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Monday, March 26, 2012

Cream and Jelly Muffins

Here's a much enjoyed dessert (which I originally made with left-over pancake batter), created on Saturday for Madhva's return from India dinner. Light and delicious and very more-ish!

Approx 1 cup sprouted grain pancake and waffle mix (Arrowhead Mills)
2 cups almond meal (Trader Joe's)
1 tsp baking powder
3 TBSP cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
1 tsp nutmeg powder
1 tsp pumpkin spice mix
Pinch of clove powder
Pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup orange flavored cranberries (Trader Joe's)
1/2 cup carob chips
Approx 1/4 cup safflower oil
Approx 1/2 cup maple syrup
1 TBSP vanilla essence
water as needed

Strawberry jelly (jam)
1 cup double cream whipped

Mix dry ingredients.
Add in the wet ingredients and use enough water to create a thick porridge like consistency, and mix well.

Spoon into a lightly oiled muffin tray and bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for approx 40 minutes.
Texture when cooled should be soft and easy to cut or break.

When cool remove form tray and cut into halves - they are crumbly so be careful when cutting to avoid breaking them.

Spread a thin layer of strawberry jelly on the inside of the bottom half . Then drop a big TBSP of whipped cream on top. Cover lightly with the top half.

Makes scrumdelicious 12 muffins. :-)

Green Bean and Tofu Stir-fry

Sooo here is the latest finger lickin' experiment from Gopi's kitchen, made for lunch today! :-) Its very simple to prepare and all the picky eaters in our house enjoyed it. :-)

Serves 4 generous portions as part of a larger meal.

3 cups of fresh green beans, washed, headed and tailed
I pkg firm tofu, drained,  pat dry with paper towel, and cut into strips approx 1/2 inch wide 
1 big dollop of Vegenaise
1/2 tsp asafoetida
1 TBSP ghee (clarified butter) or oil of your choice
2 TBSP water

Heat a saute pan on medium, add in ghee. When ghee is hot, fry asafoetida for a few seconds and throw in the beans. Stir-fry for a few minutes and add 2 TBP's water. Lower heat and cover. Cook til tender.

Bake the tofu in sauce (see instructions below). Mix tofu and beans together with Vegenaise. Thats it! :-)

Serve hot, great with rice and a salad. :-) It would also work well in wraps or sandwiches.

Sauce for baking the tofu:
Approx 4 TBSP toasted sesame oil
Approx 3 TBSP tamari
Approx 2 TBSP liquid smoke
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp paprika powder
1 tsp asafoetida
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp curry powder
1 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
2 TBSP Italian seasoning

Whisk til well mixed. 

Coat tofu strips in sauce and place on baking tray. When all tofu is coated pour extra sauce over top. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for approx 50 minutes or til browned with crispy edges. Remove from heat.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Curried Spaghetti in Bechmel Sauce

Here's one of my recent experiments from Kunti's kitchen! :-) Hope you enjoy it.

1/4 pk whole wheat Spaghetti, broken in 1/4's, cooked al dente, drained
1 cup mixed veggies chopped small e.g. carrots, green beans, yellow corn
2 tsp asafoetida
Approx 2 heaped tsp curry powder
1 TBSP sea salt
2 TBSP organic coconut oil

Make sure you add a pinch salt and a drop of oil into the pasta when you are cooking it, both for flavor and to help prevent it sticking together.
Heat saute pan on medium heat, add coconut oil. It will be hot enough in a few seconds, dont overheat it. Add spices. Fry for a few seconds, and add vegetables. Saute til tender and add salt. Remove from heat, and mix in the spaghetti and the bechmel sauce (recipe below).

Great served with a salad, a bed of greens e.g. kale, and a sweet and sour chutney. Serve hot. Serves 6 portions.

Bechmel Sauce:
Approx 3 cups organic whole milk
Approx 1 TBSP butter
Approx 3-4 TBSP all purpose flour
1 pinch of paprika
1 pinch of nutmeg
1 pinch of ground black pepper
Approx 1/4 cup tamari

Melt butter in saucepan on a low flame and toast the flour in it til it turns a light tan color. Add in milk and whisk to prevent lumps. Whisk in the spices Keep stirring til slightly thickened, and whisk in the tamari, cook another minute. Remove from heat.

Simple Mixed Salad

Here's another simple tasty salad and dressing. :-)

3 big handfuls green salad mix
2-3 avocado's, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds
1/4 cup dried cranberries or raisins
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh celery heart

Mix everything together. Add dressing and serve immediately. Serves 6 portions. :-)

Approx 3 TBSP fresh lemon juice
3 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP honey (optional)
1 tsp dried dill weed
1/2 tsp sea salt (optional)
A pinch of black salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp Asafoetida (optional)

Whisk everything together.

Raw Mango Pudding

Here's a simple no-cook dessert which is super fast to prepare.

453g of plain chilled organic Oikos Greek yoghurt (Stonyfield Farm)
1 big ripe fresh mango, washed, and removed from its peel and stone
2 ripe banana's, peeled
1 1/2 TBSP maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla essence

Blend all ingredients for a few minutes in food processor til creamy and smooth. The consistency should be pudding-like.

Serve chilled. Serves 4 generous portions.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Cranberry Quinoa

Quinoa is a seed which was highly valued by the ancient Aztec's and Mayan's because it's packed full of protein and nutrition. This dish is light, and simple to prepare when you know how. :-) The cranberries add color and a tasty twist. Some people prefer to soak quinoa overnight to remove any residual bitterness, but I have never found this necessary so far.

Ekadashi friendly and vegan. :-)

2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
3 3/4 cups water
1 tsp coconut oil or ghee
Sea salt to taste
2 tsp of Italian seasoning or herbs of your choice
1/2 tsp paprika powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1 handful dried cranberries
1 handful toasted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup freshly chopped cilantro or parsley (optional)
A dash of extra virgin olive oil

Combine quinoa, water, oil/ghee, salt, seasoning and spices. Bring to a boil and then turn heat to low and cook covered for 15 minutes. It should be ready, soft and moist without being sticky. If its still got liquid, let it cook off uncovered for a few mins. Remove from heat, add in the cranberries and sunflower seeds, cover and let it sit for a few minutes - this helps it get fluffy and the cranberries to soften up. Add cilantro, and olive oil and toss to mix. Great served warm alongside a salad.

*On non-Ekadashi day's I like to sprinkle a mixture of freshly toasted and ground sesame seeds, nutritional yeast and sea salt over the top to amp up the flavor and nutrition. Sesame is a fantastic source of calcium amongst other things!

Spiced Barbecue Yam

Yam's are super healthy, delicious roasted and this barbecued yam dish is very simple to prepare.

Ekadashi friendly & vegan. :-)

2 big orange yams, peeled and cubed medium small
2 TBSP oil or ghee
2 TBSP Italian seasoning
Ground black pepper to taste
Sea salt to taste
1 1/2 tsp asafoetida (Uncle Harry's does an Ekadashi friendly version)
Approx 2 TBSP liquid smoke
Approx 2 TBSP maple syrup

Mix everything together in a big glass baking dish and bake in a preheated oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for approx 45 minutes, or til tender and nicely roasted. Turn and mix. Serve hot.

Serves 6 as part of a larger meal.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Gopi's Monster Cupcakes

Alright!! Breaking away from all that healthy sprouted wheat flour for a moment - this cupcake recipe was inspired by the request of my sweet and powerful little friend Madhavi! :-)  They are light both in texture and flavor, super fluffy, very tasty and more-ish. :-) Hope you like these girl!

 Makes 8 monster size cupcakes.

2 cups unbleached all purpose flour (sift if necessary)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 heaped TBSP fresh lemon zest
1 handful dried cranberries or blueberries (optional)
1 handful carob or chocolate chips (optional)
2 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup milk
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup cane sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup safflower oil
8 baking cups

Mix dry ingredients together. Mix lemon into milk to make it sour. Mix other wet ingredients and then mix everything together nicely. Spoon into baking cups and bake in preheated oven at 365 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake approx 20-25 mins til golden brown on top.

To test done-ness, lightly press your finger on the surface of the cake and if the depression you created springs back, then its done.

Remove from oven and allow to cool. Drizzle with frosting if you so desire. :-) Bon appetite!

*To turn these into fairy cakes, simply cut the tops off, and decorate with your favorite frosting/cream etc. The tops a quite delectable in their own right! ;-)

2 tsp lemon juice
3/4 cup icing sugar or cake frosting

Mix well and drizzle over the cupcakes when they are room temperature.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Simple Spring Salad

Here is the recipe for one of my most simple, yet tasty salads. :-) Light and fresh, and perfect for lunch during this week's balmy Spring weather. Serves 6 medium portions.

3 big handfuls of mixed salad greens
2 medium sized avocado's peeled and sliced
1/2 - 3/4 cup cherry tomato's chopped in half
1 handful toasted almond chips (Trader Joe's)

Place everything in a bowl. Pour dressing on top and mix well. Serve as soon as possible for max freshness.

For the Dressing:
Approx 1/4 cup Extra virgin Olive oil
Juice of 1 big juicy fresh lemon
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1 small handful of nutritional yeast
Approx 1/2 tsp sea salt or to taste
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp asafoetida
Pinch of paprika (optional)

Whisk all ingredients together. You can chill it slightly or use it at room temperature.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Collard Greens

Ok, here we are - for all you people who have asked how to cook collard greens. This is a simple, healthy and tasty dish. Delicious served with hot buttery mashed potato's.

2 bunches of fresh collard greens, washed and removed from stalk
1 1/2 TBSP oil of your choice - I used Safflower oil
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/4 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
1/2 tsp sea salt or to taste
Approx 1 cup of water

Chop greens into approx 1/4 x 1 inch wide strips. Heat oil in a deep saucepan with heavy base on a medium low flame. Add in spices and fry for a few seconds. Add in greens and stir, coating with oil. Allow to cook and wilt for a few minutes, making sure they don't burn. Then add water, smoke and salt. Simmer uncovered, over a low flame for approx 45 - 50 mins til tender. (Add more water if necessary - they should be very moist, with some liquid still present at end of cooking time).

Serve warm - serves 6 as part of a larger meal.

*You can also leave out the spices and smoke if you prefer, since its also good plain.

Israeli Couscous Stir-fry

This Israeli couscous stir-fry is a delicious light lunch dish. It was a hit here - I served it at home today along with mashed potato's, collard greens, a salad, and dessert.

2 cups Israeli couscous (available in Trader Joe's)
1 TBSP ghee (clarified butter)
1 tsp asafoetida
1 TBSP dried parsley
A pinch of ground black pepper
1 tsp sea salt
2 medium carrots, peeled, and chopped into small pieces
1 cup of fresh celery chopped small
1/2 cup frozen sweetcorn
2 1/2 cups hot water
1 TBSP extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 TBSP Tamari or to taste

Heat ghee on a medium low flame. Add asafoetida and fry for a few seconds. Add in the couscous and stir-fry for a few mins, then add in the vegetables, and keep stirring, til couscous is a light golden brown. Add in the rest of the seasonings and pour the hot water on top. Bring to a boil and then turn heat low and simmer for approx 15 mins, til the liquid is absorbed - the couscous should be soft and light, and remain in individual balls - not sticky!

Remove from heat, stir in the olive oil and tamari, mixing well. Cover and allow to sit in its own steam for 5 mins or so, to absorb the tamari and olive oil.

Tasty served hot or cold. Serves 6 as part of a larger meal.

Apple Lemon Zest Crumble

I created this apple crumble with a zing for our lunch dessert today. :-) I love how the freshness of the lemony zest lifts this traditional dessert into a whole new realm of very more-ish tastiness!  Served chilled it's a perfect for the spell of warm spring weather we've been blessed with in D.C. this week. Serves 6+ generous portions. Hope you enjoy it!

Crumble Topping:
1 cup porridge oats
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 cup sprouted wheat flour
2 TBSP slivered almonds
3/4 cup cane sugar or to taste
1 TBSP vanilla essence
Approx 1/2 cup melted butter or as needed to make flour saturated and crumbly
pinch of sea salt

Mix all dry ingredients together. Stir vanilla into melted butter and pour into dry ingredients. Mix well, should look abit like bread crumbs. Set aside.

5 granny smith apples, peeled, sliced into 1/2 moons
1 handful of dried cranberries
1 heaped TBSP fresh lemon zest
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 TBSP cane sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
1/2 cup water

Heat the water. Cook the apples, cinnamon, nutmeg and maple syrup until the apples are soft but retain their 1/2 moon shape. Remove from heat and mix in the lemon zest and cranberries. Pour into a glass baking dish. Very lightly pat the crumble topping on top of the apples. Bake til golden brown on top, in a preheated oven at 385 degrees Fahrenheit.

Delicious served warm or cold, as is, or with freshly whipped chilled double cream. :-)

I've also created a variation of this dessert by replacing the apples with strawberries - leave out the cinnamon and nutmeg, and add more cranberries and a little more sugar. :-)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Gopi's Black Bean Quesadilla's

This a favorite dish in our home, all Kunti's big boys love it - here is my take on quesadilla's. :-) Serve with a salad of your choice or guacamole. Serves 8 + ravenously hungry folks. :-) 

Please note, when I cook I usually measure with my hands, using a dash of this and a dash of that, so while I try to give measurements that work for others, they are approximations much of the time!!

8+ large Tortilla or Lavash wraps of your choice (I like the wholewheat ones - from MOM's)
Ghee (clarified butter) as needed
2 cups chopped red bell peppers and corn (optional)
Approx 14 cups of  cooked black beans - drained
1 and 1/2 cups crushed tomato's
1/4 cup maple syrup
A drop of molasses to taste (optional)
2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
3 TBSP liquid smoke
3 tsp cumin powder
3 TBSP basil
2 tsp asafoetida
2 tsp paprika powder
3 tsp red pepper flakes or to taste (acc to hot flavor desired)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp black pepper powder
sea salt to taste
Mozzarella cheese as needed

Heat ghee on a medium flame. Add basil, asafoetida, paprika, red pepper flakes and cumin powder for a few seconds, add the red bell peppers and corn, stir-fry for 5 mins. Add in tomato sauce, black beans, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar and liquid smoke.  Cook down til thickened, add sea salt, black pepper and olive oil for another 5 minutes. Remove from the flame and stir in the nutritional yeast.

Lightly toast tortilla's on both sides on a heated griddle over a low flame. Spread a layer of the bean paste on half tortilla and Vegenaise on the other half. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over bean paste and close the Vegenaise half over it. Add a touch of ghee on griddle on a med low flame, and place tortilla upon it. Toast til golden brown, turn and repeat browning. When done set on a plate and continue process with the rest of the tortilla's.

Cut tortilla's in half, and zigzag ketchup over them. Serve warm.

*Any extra bean paste can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days. Its very useful to have at hand for making a quick quesadilla when you need something to eat in a hurry! :-)