Grapefruit Salad with Chinese Beans, Cherry Tomato and Granny’s Apple

A fresh and light salad, perfect for a light lunch or as a side with a steak
A fresh and light salad, perfect for a light lunch or as a side with a steak

The monsoon has already started receding, and has left behind this crazy unbearably hot days! The soups will soon be forgotten and in its place a huge bowl of salad will make dinner light, bright and healthy. Last week whilst driving across our end of town, I came across these delicious grapefruits at the local market, thankfully not as expensive as some food baskets sell it at. The salad was planned right there.

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Apricot and Blueberry Greek Yoghurt Cake

You can use fruits of your choice...i've used apricot and blueberry
You can use fruits of your choice…I’ve used apricot and blueberry

I was completely out of ideas. I knew I wanted to bake a soft, springy, light cake, but had no idea what!…it was just one of those days when you have a party at home and want to bake to destress..I finally let my colleagues at work decide the dessert. Within no time they were all of Pinterest pulling out the most amazing cakes. This one by Julia won my heart…it had two of my favourite ingredients blueberry and peaches. Sadly I didn’t get any fresh peaches and had to use fresh apricots instead…

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Chocolate Sandesh

Delicious two-layered chocolate sandesh
Delicious two-layered chocolate sandesh

The most difficult thing about being on a diet is staying away from breads, cakes, cookies and everything else that comes out of an oven! But dieticians also give you cheat dates…and I made the most of it with this Chocolate Sandesh that has more proteins than fats!

I actually made a sugar-free low-fat milk version for the husband, but a full-fat and sugared version for the girls at my workplace! This dish is turned around in less than 30 minutes, that is if you’re making  cottage cheese too, otherwise it takes less than 10 minutes!

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Lemon, Cinnamon, Cream Cheese, Barley Flour Pound Cake with Cherry and Plum Compote

This is one cake you will kill for :)
This is one cake you will kill for :)

This rich buttery but healthy pound cake has always been on my must do list. I’ve often used oats to bake with but never experimented much with flours and cake, so this was a first for me. So with gingerly steps I actually followed Martha Stewart’s recipe to a point and then well, then my second nature got the better of me. I went experimental :) What emerged was a delicious, soft, dreamy, pillowy pound cake with all the goodness or barley and the richness of the cream cheese.

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Sweet and Spicy Onion Pickle

Perfect with parathas or even rice and dal fry!
Sweet and spicy madras onion pickle: perfect with paranthas or even rice and dal fry!

I’ve always wanted to have a kitchen shelf lined with homemade pickles…but somehow that vision has never found the right bottles or shelves. Mango pickles are made in plenty–some spicy, some sour, some plain marinated, some made Goan style with vinegar, green chillies and carrot but this time it was these gorgeous madras onions that got me thinking about a good pickle recipe. I mean just plain onion pickled in vinegar was boring and was done to death. When dad handed these gorgeous onion pearls over to me, he had that “put some magic into these” look in his eyes…so that’s what I did! (more…)

Chocolate Martini Cake

The perfect cake for this glorious weather: dark, super soft, moist and filled with hazelnut and almonds delicious nut-iness!
The perfect cake for this glorious weather: dark, super soft, moist and filled with hazelnut and almonds delicious nuttiness!

Now that the monsoon has set in, the kitchen is a friendlier place to get into and bake! Hats off to the chefs who slog by the heat every single day and turn out delicacies by the dozens. I stuck to the basics all through summer! Yup it tells on the blog too…I mean who wants to sweat it out in the gym and kitchen too!

So the back to the blog recipe is a Chocolate Martini Cake dressed with ganache, hazelnut cream and almonds…I went out all the way, it was my best friend Sreeja’s birthday!

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Date and Prune Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Nutella Brownie

Chunky peanut butter, nutella, date and prune brownies
Chunky peanut butter, Nutella, date and prune brownies

I was supposed to make some energy bars to help me tide through the horrible, horrible summer. Wouldn’t life be easier if all you needed to do was unwrap a home-made bar and chomp on it for breakfast, lunch and dinner…no sweating it out at all! But that was not to be… All my chopped, stirred, melted ingredients found their way into this gorgeous, chunky, chewy, chocolatey, peanut buttery, nutty brownie!

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Summer Special: Fruity Salad

A perfect combination of crunch from the nuts and greens makes this salad a hit with all age groups
A perfect combination of crunch from the nuts and greens makes this salad a hit with all age groups

I’ve often wondered what makes a salad special. Is it the mix of ingredients, textures, flavours or an amalgamation of all of these together? Or is it farm fresh ingredients and a sweet-salty-sour dressing? I’ve still not got my answer to that one, but this salad with grapefruit, pomegranate and a bit of roasted nuts, seems to be the perfect answer to a hot day!

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Mango, Oats and Almond Smoothie

A simple and healthy way to start your day
A simple and healthy way to start your day

I’ve been going crazy at work! And at home! and with my new workout schedule–which is actually just trying to figure out how to lose weight? And lost in all that mental cobwebs is the blog, which hasn’t got updated in a while. However, now that I’m back lets start with something that spruces me up every morning. It’s a breakfast smoothie, which can can easily be converted into a dessert :) or into chilled oats in a jar! Read to the end to know how.

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Watermelon, Feta and Basil Pizza

You could dress this up further with toasted pine nuts too!
You could dress this up further by adding toasted pine nuts!

This entire month, I’m going to try to whip up a salad a day! The summer has kind of got to my appetite. And it’s the month of clean eating. No overdoing of spices or standing next to the oven for too long! And it’s time to knock of some weight too :) Isn’t it always…

So this recipe is a simple watermelon, basil, feta and balsamic vinegar salad that can be made as fancy as you like. You can either toss this up into a bowl or serve it like I did…on watermelon slices. It’s great for a party snack too!
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