Healthy Delicious Cottage Cheese Wraps

Wrap of goodness

Wrap of goodness

I was bored. Bored out of the routine which had not altered for the past few weeks. Bored out of doing similar things at similar timings – daily. I needed a break. Taking a sabbatical from work and home means going out and enjoying a scrumptious meal with family… but I was bored of that too! Fussy me.

Scrumptious

Scrumptious

Lethargic dull company can have widening effects on you. So said the husband. Woken up all peppy and permeated with new found vivacity, he thought he could infect me too with it. It didn’t. I stay as dull as dishwater. After much coaxing-haggling we decide to role reverse for the day.

Great as a take away.

Great as a take away.

The guy would chip in with Milee, make lunch, do laundry, get the house to sparkle and I? Oh I was to just lie on the couch, watch TV, lick Nutella, make a mess around me and then doze off to candy land. (I secretly wish for a place really made out of chocolate – where ganache flowed, trees sprouted choco bars, flowers bloomed into candies, clouds were made of cotton candy and houses of dutch truffle – sigh!).

But somethings are just not meant to be.
Just when I put my feet up, just when I start to enjoy the reruns of Suits(Harvey Specter — I love you). Just when I haven’t even licked the spoon clean… dishes fall, water spills, kid goes hungry, maids lament…the kitchen turn into a mini battle field. Oh! my insouciance go-to-hell. Drowsy my foot! Husband has a knack of waking me up even if I were in a grave.

Fresh, cheesy warm yet crisp

Fresh, cheesy warm yet crisp

Shutting the TV off, I return to my territory with such a look that puts the inept to shame. Taking in all the annihilation, seething with rage, secretly cursing my diminutive brain for not foreseeing the future. I set to work.

Resolved not to forgive, I plotted to desecrate our Sunday. But fate was not on my side that particular day. Again.
The lunch turned out fabulous. I didn’t want it to be. It turned into a treat. I didn’t want it to be. I Sulk. And more sulk.
The dad daughter duo enjoyed every last bite, while I scowled to the last bit.

Crunch from the veggies and the melt from the paneer... goodness in every bite!

Crunch from the veggies and the melt from the paneer… goodness in every bite!

To make 6 wraps:

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups of paneer bhurji (recipe at the end)
  • 6 whole wheat tortillas/Chappathis
  • 6 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 cup thinly shredded salad vegetables like onion, cabbage, carrot, capsicum and spring onion greens
  • 7-8 fresh lettuce leaves
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tsp vinegar
  • salt and pepper powder to taste
  • Chaat masala to sprinkle – optional
  • 6 tbsp grated mozzarella – optional

Method

Soak the salad veggies in lime juice, vinegar, salt and pepper. Keep aside.
Now its just assembly basically:
Take a chappathi, place lettuce on it. Smear a tbsp of mayonnaise on the lettuce. Place a table spoon or more of paneer bhurji in the center of the tortilla. Now, top the bhurji with shredded soaked salad veggies. If using chat masala and cheese. Add it on the salad veggies now. Fold from both sides tightly. Pick the entire assembly up with a flat spatula. Roast on a hot flat griddle till toasted and crisp. If you like you can use a little bit of olive oil for toasting it.

Serve hot with a lot of extra salad and something cool to sip on.

Sunday Brunch

Sunday Brunch

Paneer Bhurji –
Bhurji is a term used for crumbled paneer in a tangy spicy tomato onion gravy. The paneer is mashed and soft. It serves as a great side to chappathis/wraps and on breads.

You need –

  • 1 cup crumbled paneer/cottage cheese
  • 1 tomato, minced
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 2 green chilies, minced
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • juice of half a lime
  • coriander leaves to garnish
  • salt

Method-
First, crumble the paneer(FUN!!) and keep aside. I didn’t crumble actually, I minced it. Little tiny perfect squares. But it doesn’t matter if u crumble or mince them.

Heat oil in a pan. Crackle cumin seeds. Saute ginger garlic paste. Add in onions-green chilies. Saute till pink. Next throw in the chopped tomatoes, along with the turmeric, chili powder and coriander powder. Cover and cook till oil separates from sides. Once done. Add the paneer. Give it a good mix. The end is a cohesive mix of the gravy and the cheese. turn the flame off. Add garam masala, lime juice and coriander leaves. Mix well. Use as required.

The onion turns red with vinegar and salt.

The onion turns red with vinegar and salt.

Sometimes I think it’s my man’s tactic to avoid doing things that he doesn’t want to do. What I mean is, Do it badly, chances are she will never ask again. Ah! well. Whatever it is. Lesson learnt. Kitchen cleaned. Lunch done. Peace regained. All that matters.

Yummmmmmmm

Yummmmmmmm

Vermicelli Noodles

Milee started primary 2 weeks back. With this new academic year comes brand new fundamental changes in our daily schedule. Apart from “waking up before the sun” there are more pressing matters to be dealt with. What do I put in her lunch box? The pre primary phase of her school pampered us mothers by “compulsory” providing them with snacks, but now the dream period seems to be done. They pass the batons to us, and what do we do?
We rack our puny brains to fill awesomeness(read: yumm yet healthy) in tiny tiffins so that the persnickety remains satiated and filled. Phew! A towering task.

Yet, the food must be made, the box packed, the child gratified.

Vegetable Vermicelli Noodles

Vegetable Vermicelli Noodles

Here I have this delicious sly camouflaged snack, which will fill the box as well as Mr/Miss Picky’s tummy.
Roasted semolina vermicelli is sautéed with veggies in chinese style, with minimal sauces but huge flavors from garlic and scallions leaves. A nutritious close cousin of our very dear traditional noodles.
So, I have whole grain from semolina, all great nutrients from the host of fresh vegetables in it and ofcourse yummness certified from Miss Milee. Yay! got one more dish in my what-to-give-in-her-lunch-box list!

Awesome alternative to Refined flour noodles

Awesome alternative to Refined flour noodles

I know, not all kids eat all their greens. So play around with the vegetables. Customize the recipe according to your child’s favorites. Use more of what he likes, a little lesser of what he grimaces at. Peas and Corn are a no-no for mine, but I indulge her fussines by not hounding her dish with the forbidden eats… but adding a little bit nonetheless.

Nutritious

Nutritious

Recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup roasted semolina vermicelli, I used MTR’s
  • 1 onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 tbsp colored peppers, sliced
  • 1/2 cup of veggies, sliced thin. I used cabbage,carrot and beans
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1-2 green chilies, sliced length wise – use accordingly
  • 1 spoon oil
  • 1/2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp vinegar
  • salt to taste
  • pepper powder to taste
  • 1 tbsp spring onion greens

Method

First, boil the vermicelli like how you would do it with noodles. That is in a pot of boiling water, throw in salt and little oil and put the vermicelli in. Since it is roasted, this process hardly takes time, so keep an eye. Once almost done, cover the pot with a lid. Keep aside.

In a wok, heat the oil up and like traditional noodles we proceed. Saute ginger garlic paste, green chili and onions. Then thow in the colored peppers. Saute. Once done, add the sliced veggies and salt. Sprinkle a few drops of water. Stir fry on high. Once 3/4th done, add the sauces and pepper powder. Mix well. To this add the strained vermicelli, and onion greens. Turn the flame on high, toss.

Serve hot or if you intend to pack in your little one’s box, slightly cool the mock noodles and shut tight.

Quick Tasty Bite

Quick Tasty Bite

They resemble and taste a lot like the usual fare, but this version with “sevviyan”(vermicelli) is healthier and guilt free. So pile on in those tiffin boxes and be mighty pleased when it returns empty.

Scrumptious Snack

Scrumptious Snack

Cheesy Hummus Pizza

Cheesy Hummus Pizza....

Cheesy Hummus Pizza….

All right. This has to be the yummiest, cheesiest, crispiest take on a pizza I have ever made!
This was oh so yum!! dear foodies, I beg/implore/coerce/push you to try it. Yea. I’m that insistent. Leftover hummus, an extra kulcha(thick mughlai bread) and loads of mozzarella can create such a master piece…. I seriously had no idea.

Gooey, cheesy  divine madness...

Gooey, cheesy divine madness…

Quick, simple and an incredibly easy way to get rid of leftovers and satiate those forever-craving taste buds! Since I had only one kulcha left and just about enough hummus to coat and cover it… Milee fought tooth and nail with dad to devour the last tasty bits and bites.

Healthy alternative to the traditional pizza.

Healthy alternative to the traditional pizza.

Here’s what you need to do:
The recipe:

To make 1 hummus pizza:

Ingredients

  • 1 thick whole wheat kulcha or any flat bread you want to use.
  • Enough olive oil to brush the bread
  • 3 tbsp hummus
  • 2-3 tbsp mozzarella, grated
  • 1 tsp parsley leaves, crushed
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes, or as per your taste
  • 5-6 sliced green/black olives
  • Optional: 1 tsp italian seasoning and little tobasco sauce

Method

This is so simple really.

Bake the plain kulcha at 175 degree for 3-4 minutes. Remove from the oven, brush the bread with olive oil. Spread hummus. Sprinkle red chili flakes and arrange the sliced olives. Sprinkle parsley.

Before the cheese and the baking bit.

Before the cheese and the baking bit.

Now top with loads of grated mozarella –

Comforting presence of Cheese.

Comforting presence of Cheese.

Bake at 175 degrees till the cheese melts and the bread turns crisp n crunchy. Remove from the oven. Cut up and serve.

Perfect Golden brown.

Perfect Golden brown.

The husband likes with an extraaa dash of seasoning and tabasco. But you could use it according to your likes.

Yumm! Yumm! Yumm!!

Yumm! Yumm! Yumm!!

Popular Indian Potato Pastry / Punjabi Samosa

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain!

Punjabi Samosa

Punjabi Samosa

It rained here last night. Some say it was a storm, a hail storm. The rain so heavy and incessant, that it literally locked us in, exactly when we siblings craved to go out and get wet. Mother barred rain walks and rain dance, told us to zip it and sit snug at home. “I’ll make samosas!”, she enticed. Luring us with mouth watering delicacies is one of the many tactics Mother employs to get us listen to her.
Samosas, a hot cuppa tea and rain is “the” most perfect combo deal, no fast food place or restaurant can ever offer!

The trick worked. We stayed. We helped. We relished.

savoury potato snack served with green mint and tamarind chutneys

savoury potato snack served with green mint and tamarind chutneys

A samosa, is an Indian entree, where a thin pastry is filled with a spiced vegetable(usually potatoes) and deep fried in oil. This savoury dish is a great crowd pleaser and has attained immense popularity in many countries, including United kingdom, Canada, US and South Africa.

Most Popular Indian Appetizer

Most Popular Indian Appetizer

The Filling inside a samosa usually is made of potatoes and peas along with a host of masalas/spices. The flavors are a melange of salt, spice and tang, mildly infused with asafetida, ginger and fennel seeds. Oh! so yumm! so rustic!

The tamarind chutney renders the tang and slight sweetness, which compliments the savoury samosa perfectly.

The tamarind chutney renders the tang and slight sweetness, which compliments the savoury samosa perfectly.

Now for the recipe:

Ingredients

For the Pastry:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 spoons of oil
  • salt to taste

For the filling:

  • 2 cups mashed or small cubed boiled potatoes
  • 1/2 cup boiled peas
  • 1/2 tsp julienned ginger
  • 1-2 green chilies, minced
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp asafetida powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1-2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp dry mango powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • salt to taste
  • 1-2 tsp chopped coriander leaves

Method

To make the pastry:
Rub the oil and maida/flour and salt without adding water. Then slowly add luke warm water to make a semi soft dough. Keep aside for 30 minutes.

Till then prepare the stuffing:
In a pan, heat oil. crackle the cumin seeds. Add asafetida. Now, throw in the peas, ginger and green chilies. Saute for a few minutes. Now add the potatoes along with the spices, dry mango powder, coriander powder, red chilli powder, garam masala, fennel seeds, salt and coriander leaves. Mix everything well.

Note: Play with the spices according to the level of heat you can take.

For the actual part:
Grabbing small pieces from the dough, roll out thin rounds. Cut each round into 2 equal semi circles. Now each semi circle will make one samosa. So you do the math for the number of samosas your cup of flour is going to give.

Pick up the semi circle gently, fold into a cone like shape. Stick the corners with water. Fill each samosa with the potato stuffing and then seal it close with the help of little water. You could even turn the corners inwards to tighten the folds.

For your help:

The making.

The making.

Novice cooks might find the process of folding and filling a little tedious and difficult. But patience and passion is all that you need… yea yea, cringe… what to do, I do get kinda preachy.

Once your done with the filling, deep fry them in slightly hot oil on low flame till they turn a perfect golden brown. This takes some time, so guys, keep cool. The sim flame ensures crispness and flakiness to the outer pastry.

The spicy potato pea stuffing.

The spicy potato pea stuffing.

To be enjoyed with a hot cup of Indian Chai.

To be enjoyed with a hot cup of Indian Chai.

Alternatively, you could even bake the filled pastries in an Oven at 180 degree centigrade till they cook and turn light brown.

So, the rain bought hot crisp samosas with it and the world turned mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful!!

Enjoying cold rainy weather!

Enjoying cold rainy weather!

Savoury Steamed Gram Flour Cake / Khaman Dhokla

After a big FAT Indian wedding and a family get together in the beautiful coffee estates of Chikmagalur in karnataka, India, I have finally arrived bag baggage and all to my parents place, in Bangalore. Just a week or so here, then we’ll be back in Mumbai to home sweet home. Apart from the usual routine of relaxing, catching up with relatives, shopping and eating out, I have come with another agenda – to blog about mother’s awesome recipes!

A fabulous cook, she loves to feed people and with all her girls around her, she is anyway going to go bonkers with food.. so why not capilatize this opportunity.

Steamed Savoury Gram Flour Cake

Steamed Savoury Gram Flour Cake

One of the first thing I asked her to make is Khaman Dhokla, a savoury steamed gram flour cake, spiced with grated coconut, green chilies and asofetida. Its light, spongy and so melt in the mouth, that you don’t stop at one. Old friends who have eaten mother’s dhoklas, have repeatedly implored me for this recipe.

So, today, when the house was buzzing with grandparents, aunts, sisters, kids and friends, mom made this soft gujrati snack.

Soft, light, Spongy!

Soft, light, Spongy!

I set the plate up, switch on the lights and lo! have forgotten my camera. So, rush back to my room, dig in for the latest precious possession. Come back, and half the pieces are gone. I fret and fume. They have grabbed a bite. I yell. But suddenly along with the food, I have like 15 more people surrounding me, all curious, amused and eager to get into the frame! Sigh!

After the monumental task of explaining to the much amused elders what a blog is, the men leave me in peace but the women buzz around like bees, each rattling off their signature recipes. Assuring each aunt that her prized recipe would make it to my latest venture, they stop the incessant chatter and stand in attention still curious(or skeptical?!) about my photography skills.
(Whew! and I had come with a whole list of things to be made n written about…blogging is not going to be easy here. 🙂 )

Instant Gujrati snack

Instant Gujrati snack

Off to the recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup gram flour /besan
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1/4 tsp citric acid
  • 1/4 tsp soda
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • a packet of fruit salt, we used Eno

For the tempering:

  • 1 tsp of oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp asofetida
  • 2-3 green chilies, slit
  • 5-6 curry leaves
  • 2 tbsp grated fresh coconut
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • 2 tbsp sugar mixed in 1/2 cup water

Method

First prep your steamer. In a kadai/dhokla maker, heat water. Its important to keep your batter in a pre heated steamer.
Now, make a batter of gram flour, salt, citric acid, sugar and soda, along with water. The consistency should be pourable. Keep the batter for 10 minutes. When ready, add the fruit salt and mix well. Immediately pour on a greased plate and steam it for 30 minutes on medium flame.

Once done, the gram flour cake would have well risen. Now to this, you just have to cut into neat squares and pour a tempering BUT, please wait for it to cool completely(this takes approximately 15 minutes), before pouring the tempering. [Like how we wait for a cake to cool completely before frosting it]

For the tempering: heat oil, fry mustard seeds, asofetida, curry leaves, green chilies. Once done, add the sugar water mix. Now, pour this tempering evenly over the gram flour cakes. Sprinkle grated coconut and chopped coriander.

Serve with mint green chutney.

Delectable yellow sponge.

Delectable yellow sponge.

Corn Broccoli Bread Pockets

Stuffed mini buns with corn, broccoli and cheese

Stuffed mini buns with corn, broccoli and cheese

Little bread cored out and stuffed with a creamy mix of corn broccoli and cheese. So yumm!
The other day, I got a packet of mini bread buns. Dainty little burgers were on mind, but at the last minute decided to dish out something different. So, I carved out pockets and filled them with a cheesy mix of corn and broccoli, baked to golden brown.
The awesome breakfast gave a dizzy, soulful start to a beautiful day.

So tempting!

So tempting!

I love the combination of sweet corn kernels and broccoli. And you throw them in a creamy cheesy white sauce, it literally yells out to you!! If weight was not a concern, I could lick an entire bowl of this dip clean.

Like how Milee sighs and exclaims “all yummy things are junk”. For me, it is “All yummy things are FAT!!”

Ingredients

  • 4-6 small mini bread buns
  • 1/2 cup sweet corn kernels
  • 3/4 cup broccoli florets, chopped
  • 2 tsp all purpose flour or whole wheat flour
  • 1 glass milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • red chili flakes – according to taste
  • 1 tsp olive oil/butter
  • 1 tbsp basil leaves, chopped
  • 4-6 tsp mozzarella cheese, grated

Method

For the Filling:
Heat oil/butter in a pan, saute the corn and broccoli. Add flour. Slowly add milk and keep stirring. A semi thick creamy white sauce should be the end. Season it with salt, pepper, oregano and chili flakes. Mix in the chopped basil leaves. Let the entire mix simmer for a minute or two. Keep aside to cool.

To make the Pockets:
Now, take each bread, core out the middle gently using a sharp knife. Fill with corn broccoli cream and top each with a spoon of grated mozzarella.

The Making.

The Making.

Then, bake at 175 degree celsius till the cheese melts and the bread turns crisp.

Awesome Appetizer.

Awesome Appetizer.

Serve immediately with tomato ketchup and some hot sauce.

Stuffed Pockets - Sooo good!

Stuffed Pockets – Sooo good!

Chappathi Noodles / Indian Flatbread Noodles

Noodles made out of Chappathis

Noodles made out of Chappathis

You read it right. We are making chinese style noodles out of leftover chappathis/rotis. Raised an eyebrow. Well, dont blame you.
I had my doubts when I first heard of this Noodle with a twist from my friend, Sonal. She saw a seasoned chef preparing it with such Elan, that she quickly called to share. ‘Yumm it looks’ she says.

My raised eyebrow wouldn’t come down, chappathi noodles was unheard of. I have this Tamil version where you tear the chappathi into small bits and saute with onions and green chilies, to be eaten with cold pachadi(yoghurt flavored with spices). But to make the bread in Chinese style was a first. So I decided to dish it up to clear the fog.

Beckoning enough?

Beckoning enough?

Leftover chappathis are not hard to have. Every once in a while we do have a couple remaining after lunch. So, rummaging through the refrigerator, I find a host of colored veggies. And by now, you must be familiar with my love for fresh produce. For dinner that night, Chinese Chappathi Noodles beckoned me like no other.

Ingredients

  • 3-4 thin chappathis/rotis/Indian flat bread
  • 1 onion, sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup colored peppers, sliced
  • 1 cup of veggies, sliced thin. I used cabbage,carrot, beans, broccoli, baby corn.
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1-2 green chilies, sliced length wise – use accordingly
  • 1 spoon oil
  • 1 tsp soya sauce
  • 1/2 tsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp chili sauce
  • 1 tsp tomato ketch up
  • salt to taste
  • pepper powder to taste
  • 1 tbsp spring onion greens

Method

To make noodles out of the flat bread, roll up the chappathis tightly into a pipe like shape, then holding it firm, using a sharp knife, cut into thin noodle like strings.

Now, in a wok, heat the oil up and like traditional noodles we proceed. Saute ginger garlic paste, green chili and onions. Then thow in the colored peppers. Saute. Once done, add the sliced veggies and salt. Sprinkle a few drops of water. Stir fry on high. Once 3/4th done, add the sauces and pepper powder. Mix well. To this add the chappathi strings, and onion greens. Turn the flame on high, toss.

Serve hot.

We were pleasantly surprised with the turn out. Quite similar to veg hakka noodles, this version gave us the satisfaction of chinese along with the health benefits of whole grain, nutritious chappathi.

A big thumbs up to Sonal for sharing this, and yea.. the fogs cleared and the picture looks bright and new.

No guilt with this one.

No guilt with this one.

The chappathi strings resemble more like flat noodles rather than the traditional one. So what about pad thai next time with chappathi? Game anyone?!

Grab a bite!

Grab a bite!

Corn Pepper Cheese Flatbread

Baby Corn, Peppers and cheese Flatbread

Baby Corn, Peppers and cheese Flatbread

I’m not a pizza person. I’ve never liked the thick crust dough-ey piece of bread, usually washed down with copious amounts of fizz drinks. But I do enjoy the flavors that pizza toppings usually offer. So here I am, creating my very own version of the pizza but with a twist.

I have used whole wheat pita breads, pomodoro sauce, thinly sliced fresh veggies like baby corn, colored peppers and lots of mozzarella cheese. Now this gooey pie entices me more than the store version. I refuse to call it pizza, because contrary to the regular notion of the unhealthiness of the junk, this variant is true to health and taste!

Crisp, Crunchy, baked to perfection!

Crisp, Crunchy, baked to perfection!

Instead of whole wheat pita breads, you could even use store made Naans or thick leftover chappathis(Indian flat bread). Leftover Chappathi will make a very healthy and yummy version of a classic pizza. But Pita pockets it is now.

Ingredients

  • 5-6 pita breads or if you’re using naans, then 2 is enough.
  • 1/2 cup pomodoro sauce
  • 2 cups chopped mixed veggies like baby corn, onions and colored bell peppers
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • 4-5 small spoons of italian seasoning
  • 2 spoons of olive oil
  • 1-2 pods of garlic, roughly chopped
  • To Serve: oregano, chili flakes, tabasco/hot sauce and tomato ketchup( we Indians like Ketchup with Pizza.. yea….weird, but we like it!)
The veggie mix

The veggie mix

Method

Start with heating the oil in a small pan, saute garlic pods in it. Once pinkish/brown. Switch the flame off, remove the garlic pods and now use this olive oil infused with garlic essence. Nice na?

Brush your pita breads/naans with this garlic imbued olive oil. To each flat bread, appropriately apply pomodoro sauce, covering the entire area. Now spread your chopped veggies, sprinkle a bit of italian seasoning over the veggies then top with grated mozzarella. Bake in a pre heated oven at 170 degree centigrade till the cheese melts and the bread looks crisp and crunchy.

Once done, drizzle or sprinkle a few drops of the garlic olive oil, serve with extra oregano, chili flakes and hot sauces. One bite.. and you are going to be hooked to this delicious super crisp gooey cheesy pie. Healthier, crunchier, tastier.. now who would hunt for Dominos again.

One bite is not going to be enough.

One bite is not going to be enough.

Try the same with varied vegetables as toppings. Try and do let me know of the combinations which work and the ones which don’t.

Simple and Quick. Enjoy with  a soup.

Simple and Quick. Enjoy with a soup.

Mushroom Pepper Cheese Crostinis

Summer Vacations are here. Meaning, no school, no classes, lesser activities, more time for the kid and less time for me. An entire day of barking, haggling, threatening, bargaining, brawling…. we decide to call it truce by the end of the day.
The war ends with Milee and me dishing up this simple entrée for dinner.

Picking her most favorite ingredients, mushrooms and cheese, we set to work.

Mushroom Pepper Cheese Crostinis

Mushroom Pepper Cheese Crostinis

Any type of crostinis are great serves as appetizers for a party or when you have some guests over. With all the ingredients in hand, it hardly takes time to make them.
They looked so cool, little Milee kept her patience till I clicked away.

Sliced baguettes, topped with vegetables and cheese.

Sliced baguettes, topped with vegetables and cheese.

An amazing amalgam of juicy mushrooms, colored bell peppers and gooey mozzarella on crunchy sliced baguettes, toasted to golden perfection!

Inviting.

Inviting.

Ingredients

  • 1 french baguette, sliced diagonally into crostinis
  • 1/4 cup red, green and yellow bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 2-3 green chilies, minced – optional
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, minced – optional
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 tsp italian seasoning
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Grated mozzarella cheese — top as much as you want… no measurement for cheese!
  • spring onion greens to garnish

Method

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil, saute garlic, onions and green chilies. I added the chilies, since we like our food spicy. You could avoid the extra heat if you like. Next throw in the veggies. Sprinkle italian seasoning, salt and pepper according to taste.

Now, preheat your oven. Take each sliced french bread, top it with a little bit of the vegetable mix. Sprinkle cheese. Make as many as your oven can accommodate. Once done, bake them all at 150 degree centigrade till cheese melts and the bread is crisp n crunchy.

Garnish with spring onion greens, serve with Tabasco and some soup to complete your meal.

Great party entre.

Great party entrée.

Since daughter dearest made it especially for father, the crostinis disappeared faster than usual…

Stack of taste.

Stack of taste.

Ragi Beetroot Dosa

Health Personified.

Health Personified.

Want to super kick start your mornings? Want your energy and body resources to last till you call it a day? Want to be healthy, energetic, smart and beautiful…. ok.. I am selling the ragi bit too much ..:).. No dear foodies, ragi/millet flour or beetroot doesn’t add to your face value, but it sure does wonders to thy holy body, nutrition wise.

This wonderful breakfast option is one of my favorite concoctions from the south of India. Milee’s favorite color is pink. She has dresses, shoes, skirts, barbie’s skirts, clips, earrings (.. the list goes on) all in her favorite dye.
We earthlings are very lucky that nature has endowed us with a super nutritious vegetable, Beetroot – in PINK! The addition of this root veggie camouflages the rest. It’s all pink now. Little girls will trip n skip! I being the ever discreet mother try to incorporate the color in her food, an effort to lure her into eating healthy. So a pink dosa was enough to get my 6 year old girl, who is currently tripping on barbies and princesses and fairyland and everything pink!

A ragi dosa is more or less in between a crepe and a pancake. Grated wonder pink root blended in calcium rich nutty grainy millet/ragi flour with the help of yummy fresh buttermilk! Can it get any healthier than this??

Pink power

Pink Power

Ingredients

  • 1 cup ragi/millet flour
  • 2 small beets, grated
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 green chili, minced — optional
  • 2-3 tbsp of coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1 tall glass of buttermilk or 1/2 a bowl of curds
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp gram flour/besan
  • 2 tbsp rice flour, for crispness
  • oil/ghee to make the crepes
  • To serve: chutneys/malgapodi or with cheese spread.. like how my kid eats.

Method

In a big mixing bowl, add millet flor, with gram flour and rice flour. Pour the buttermilk or curds to make a smooth knot free batter. Now to this add, the grated minced veggies(beet, onion, green chili and coriander) and salt. Mix well. Check consistency. Should be pourable and spreadable. Don’t be shocked by the pinkness of the batter 🙂

Now, on a hot flat griddle or dosa tawa, pour a ladle full of batter, spread evenly. The thickness will be more than a thin crepe but lesser than a pancake. Because of the veggies the batter refuses to thin out. Now, drizzle some oil/ghee on the dosa. Cover with a lid and roast on low flame. After 3-4 minutes, flip, and cook without the lid.

The result is a deep maroonish spread instead of the bright pink one you promised your little princess. Heat transforms the pink into a deep maroon, slight brown shade. My tact comes into play when I lie that the color would change again under the juices of her digestive tract. Hey! All is fair in food, kids and health. So kindly, non mothers don’t judge.

Serve hot with Chutney/cheese spread.

A Satvic Diet

A Satvic Diet

Note: You could substitute beetroot with grated carrot, bottle gourd or pumpkin or any healthy yucky vegetable your kid refuses to eat. Hide it in his food and he will not know. I know your superman cannot be fooled easily, but you are the superman’s mother/father… so come on, you can come up with some twisted idea to steal the goodness into his diet.


For those, who don’t know what a Dosa is:

Dosas are Indian savoury fermented crepes. Traditionally made from rice batter and black lentils. It is indigenous to and is a staple dish in the southern Indian states of Karnataka , Andhra Pradesh and Kerala — according to Wikipedia.
But according to me, dosas are versatile, varied types made from varied grains with varied effects on your taste buds 🙂 Have’nt met anyone who dislikes these yummy crepes.

Benefits of Ragi/Millet Flour:
Nutritionally, when ragi is used as a whole grain, it is higher in protein and minerals in comparison to rice. It is also rich in fibre and therefore suitable for people trying to lose weight. Ragi, unlike wheat does not contain gluten (a protein found in wheat), and can be easily consumed by people with wheat intolerance. Ragi is a wonder cereal grain as it has numerous health benefits:

  • A great source of calcium
  • Energy for weight watchers
  • Beats high sugar and cholestrol