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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Summer Special: Chia Seed Pudding

Make it, cool it and devour it...
Make it, cool it and devour it…

It’s been a while since my last post! Blame it on the summer…it’s so ridiculously hot that spending hours in the kitchen is something I really, really try and avoid! I’ve also been working on a new section ‘cooking for kids’ a fortnightly section in RobinAge,  a weekly children’s newspaper. The recipes are simple, easy to make and involve no flame, and yes it does involve a lot of fun! This recipe is a simple Chia Seed Pudding, a great dessert for someone on a paleo diet too!

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Malaysian Net Pancakes with Curry and Stir Fried Veggies

A complete meal: tickles the senses and a foodies delight
A complete meal: tickles the senses and a foodies delight

The first time I saw a roti jala (Malaysian Net Pancakes) was some 8 years ago at Malaka Spice, a really pretty restaurant in Koregaon Park in Pune. The eye-catching pancake soon turned into a Piece de resistance! Since then I have always hoped to make it at home but never got down to it. Last week whilst surfing for some recipes for work I came across this dish again and it was quickly noted down to be made the following weekend. I needed time to design the mould to drop these pancakes too!

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Pumpkin, Sweet Potato and Alfa Alfa Sprouts Tikki with Ragda and Wasabi Peas

Ive sprinkled my chaat with pomegranate seeds, some home made salsa, fresh cottage cheese, 7 bean mix and tamarind chutney
I’ve sprinkled my chaat with pomegranate seeds, some home-made salsa, fresh cottage cheese, wasabi peas and tamarind chutney

And you might think I’ve gotten completely carried away with my need to eat and produce healthy food! How can that weird combination even work! But it does. And what I haven’t added in that mighty long title, is that the ragda was made with sprouted white peas. don’t look at me in disdain! try it and decide for yourself. It’s chaat with the same flavours we all love just super healthy and protein heavy!

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Baked Cheesy Tortilla

A slice of the baked tortilla, filled with veggies and warm grilled cottage cheese sizzling on top
A slice of the baked tortilla, filled with veggies and warm grilled cottage cheese sizzling on top

So yesterday I tried to bake a sugar-free oats and yoghurt cake with blueberries. I broke the first rule of baking, didn’t measure my baking powder and over beat the eggs. It ended up being hard and bread like, I don’t usually have such disasters in the kitchen and was super upset. I needed a pick me up. Nothing in my fridge seemed to be right for the moment and I had run out of chocolates :( That’s when I glanced upon 2 slices of a thin herbed wheat pizza base. My brain started ticking. Should I convert them into quesadillas? (pronounced: cay-suh-dee-yuh) Or may be just turn them into dinner…something that’s warm, simple, wholesome and smooth. The thought of a Baked Cheesy Tortilla brought back a smile. The dish requires very little attention whilst its cooking. It’s almost like a pizza but 100 times more nutritious and loaded with healthy vegetables like mushrooms, spinach, onions, tomatoes and the cheese in it comes from cottage cheese. It’s my go-to-dish, try it and you will know why :)

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Sugar-free, Gluten-free Oats, Carrot and Pumpkin Cake

The healthiest way to sin!
The healthiest way to sin!

This cake was conceptualised purely out of the need to finish the pumpkin and carrots in the fridge. My inspiration was the indian version of this combination, carrot and pumpkin sweet puri’s (fried flat breads) that are made with jaggery and wheat flour. They are deep-fried to a crispy texture and had with chai in the evenings. The cake was just as delightful and made for a classy dessert that was wiped out in 3 sessions: post lunch, post dinner and post breakfast. The cake is a little dense from the gluten-free flour that’s used and is best iced the traditional way: with cream cheese and cream.

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Sugar-free Strawberry and Apple Pie

Sugar-free strawberry and apple pie
Sugar-free strawberry and apple pie

The sun’s hard and harsh rays are sadly forcing the strawberries into oblivion. :( But I must say, this year, I’ve eaten strawberries almost right through the season and I bid adieu to my most favourite fruit with nothing less than a sugar-free pie!

There’s something about this luscious fruit with at least 200 seeds that makes people go crazy about it. It’s believed that in the yesteryears, the royals feasted on this fruit and newlyweds were entitled to strawberries with soured cream as a wedding breakfast, believing them to be an aphrodisiac. I however dig them for their nutritional value: vitamin C and K, a good dose of fibre, folic acid, manganese and potassium and they help regulate blood sugar levels. Could I ask for more?

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