Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Commonwealth Games 2014 Speciality - Recipes for Athletes

If anyone asks me where would I like to go this season, my answer would certainly be either Brazil for FIFA 2014 or Scotland for the largest multi-sport event, 2014 Commonwealth Games. With 4,950 athletes, belonging to 71 countries, participating in 17 different events, would be worth watching. Isn't it? I'm sure we all will be very busy enjoying the wonderful games from 23 July to 3 August, 2014. An athlete is judged by his wellness and fitness, the exercises involved and the food that he/she eats. So why don’t we have a look on some healthy athletes recipe, it will be fun and you can also add-on to your list of food. Here are 3 healthy breakfast or brunch recipes.
Nut Berry Oatmeal - It is a common saying, “Eat breakfast like a king”. I completely agree with this statement. We must begin our day with something healthy. What could be a better option other than nut berry oatmeal? This is a quick and easy recipe, it is loaded with nutrients as well. The simple breakfast requires skim milk, oatmeal, flaxseed meal, berries of your choice, nuts of your choice and brown sugar or honey. Go for it if you are a real fitness freak. You just require to boil the milk first, add oatmeal and flaxseed meal and keep stirring on low heat till the desired consistency is reached. Pour into the breakfast bowl and top up with berries and nuts. For more nutritious burst, you can also add seasonal fruits to it. Enjoy the healthy treat!
Kiwi-Avocado Smoothie with Lime and Honey:- Breakfast is incomplete without smoothie. The first thing that comes to our mind while thinking about health is smoothie. Isn’t it? Smoothy is a great way of including seasonal fruits/vegetables in your diet as it's very nutritious. Kiwi-avocado smoothie is a healthy way out. The combination not only boosts up the nutritional value but it's tasty as well, when accompanied by honey and lime. Yummzz!! All you need to do is, blending ripe avocado, kiwi, lime juice, honey and milk of your choice (Almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk). Add two-three ice cubes, though I consume it in purest form. This combination is very popular among fitness freaks, I personally love it. :)
Chard and Bacon Quiche - Whether, it’s breakfast or brunch, quiche is something I love to relish. All you require is purple onion, Swiss chard, bacon slices, lowest calorie cheese or vegan cheese and eggs. Infact, you can use spinach plus chard. There are variety of vegan cheese available in the market. You can combine all the ingredients and bake them. And here you are with the yummy delight. This can be served with low-fat dip of your choice, salads and toasts. You can add variant of this also by adding boiled peas, I do this. It drives me crazy :P
Enjoy Commonwealth Games 2014!

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Eid-ul- Fitr Recipes and Celebration

Ramadan is AKA Ramadhan or Ramazan. During Ramazan, Muslims go on strict fasting. They participate in pious activities such as peace making and donating. However, at the end of fasting period, Muslims throughout the world celebrate the festival called Eid-ul-Fitr. It is known as the Festival of Breaking the fast. And as I always add that any festival is incomplete without delicious food, I have highlighted the best of Traditional Muslim Food. Though Eid-ul-Fitr is celebrated worldwide, different places have different blend of spices and flavors, let’s see how.
South Asia (Indian Subcontinent) - The flavors from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are blended together to produce three fabulous dishes on Eid. These are Haleem, Biryani and Sevai Kheer. 
Sevai Kheer - A fine dessert that is a must for Id-ul-Fitr is Sheer Kurma or Semiya Payasam or simply Sevai. It is made up of vermicelli, sugar, milk, condensed milk, clarified butter, almonds, cashew nuts, saffron strands and kewra essence (flower essence). I personally love this recipe. 
Haleem - Haleem is a popular recipe that is served widely on Indo-Pak celebrations especially on Eid. Grains like lentils and bulgur are blended and cooked slowly with meat. The bones are removed lately from the recipe. But the value of the recipe is doubled since it is cooked in goodness of bones, what a delightful affair! Chicken Haleem and Lamb Haleem are very popular in this region. 
Biryani - Biryani is a rice dish that originated from Persia. Hope you liked my post, “Love for Indian Meat recipes”. Biryani takes lot of time to make and more time spent implies the tastier fest, isn't it? Biryani is made up of beef, chicken or lamb and Asian spices, strongly dominate the delights.
Middle East - One of the most popular food eaten in Middle Eastern countries is meat skewers (any meat especially lamb and beef). These are locally called kabobs. Meat patties is equally famous food here. These are made of minced meat accompanied by strong flavor of mint and pepper. These are pan-fried or grilled. The roasted spices make an excellent coating when added onto meat. The smoky spices give the best flavors out here. 
USA - All-American Whole Roasted Chicken with Cranberries over Rice forms major dish here. Saffron Road Artisan Roasted Chicken Broth is used to cook the rice and add to the chicken while roasting. The sweet flavor rice and not too much spicy chicken, completely satisfies the taste buds. Since cranberries are grown in abundance in US, they add ultimate flavor to almost any food especially rice, on the auspicious occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr.
Wish you a very Happy Eid-ul- Fitr!!

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Bullfight Celebration with Special Spanish Omelette and Drinks

Bullfight is AKA tauromachia or tauromachy. This tradition is observed in Spain, Portugal, Philippines, France and few American countries. This year the bullfight is taking place from July 5 to July 13, 2014 in Pamplona, Spain. Though the critics call this the blood sport, the supporters say that it is culturally most important tradition. It is a developed form of art that is equivalent to dancing, learning music and painting. It is very enjoyable and lively occasion. And as I always say that any occasion or fest is incomplete without food, let’s throw light on what Spanish people love to eat and drink. 
Spain is one of the largest producers of good quality of wine and hence it is an important part of dining. Traditional drinks include:-
  • Sangria(mixture of wine, brandy, juice and fruits)
  • tinto de verano (mixture of red wine with lemonade)
  • Rioja wine (typical red wine)
  • Cava wine (sparkling wine)
  • Licor 43 or Cuarenta Y(wine made up of 43 ingredients) 
Traditional Spanish Omelette is AKA tortilla española or tortilla de patatas. It is very different from French omelette. Basic Spanish omelette is made up of eggs and potatoes only. The recipes has number of variations and I am gonna present a variant recipe to you. This dish is paired with bread. It is accompanied by fried pimientos de padron. Padron peppers are small, bright green peppers. These peppers are fried and sprinkled with sea salt. In some places, it is also served with bocadillo or bocata. Bocadillo is a popular Spanish sandwich.
6 Eggs,
1/3 Cup milk,
4 Rashers bacon,
1 sliced Red onion,
1 sliced Green onion,
1 tablespoon Olive oil,
2 crushed Garlic cloves,
1 teaspoon Sweet paprika,
2 medium sliced Sebago potatoes,
1 medium chopped Red capsicum,
1/4 Cup finely grated parmesan cheese,
2 tablespoons chopped Flat-leaf parsley leaves.
Preparation Method:-
1. Heat oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and bacon. Cook for 6 minutes. Add potato, capsicum, parsley and paprika. Stir occasionally, for 4 minutes or until potatoes are soft.
2. Preheat grill on medium. Whisk eggs, milk and parmesan together in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Now pour egg mixture evenly over potato mixture. Tilt the pan to distribute egg mixture evenly. Set on low heat. Cook for 8 minutes.
3. Now place it under grill. Cook for 5 minutes. Set aside for 2 minutes. Use a spatula and turn onto a plate. Cut into wedges. Serve with bread. 
Enjoy the treat!

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Best Ever German Street Food

Germany celebrates the victory over Brazil by moving on to the street, dancing to the beats of local music, singing songs loudly and ofcourse enjoying the yummy street food. Nevertheless, the best way to explore ethnic cuisine of any country is by tasting it’s street food. 
One can observe various restaurants, Imbiss and Schnellimbiss to relish the German food. There is a remarkable difference between the three. Restaurants have waiters to serve you and the budget may range from large scale to affordable one. Imbiss on the other hand do not have waiters to serve you. This follows the concept of indoor/outdoor seating arrangement. Schnellimbiss is relatively a small hut or portable food truck. Hence, the success ratings of any food corners is marked by three things:-
  • The crowd it attracts
  • The quality and taste of food
  • Health safety certificate from the government
The Spicy Way - Bratwurst is the most popular among the street foods of German. Bratwurst covers the complete category of sausages (pork, beef, veal, poultry and even combinations). Some similar types are as follows.
  • Currywurst - It’s a tasty pork bratwurst.
  • Weisswurst - This is a finely-ground sausage paired with a sweet, Bavarian mustard.
DONER KEBAB (Kebap) - This includes spicy meat that's sliced and wrapped in a flat-bread, pita or roll accompanied by lot of raw veggies. Yummz :P 
Reibekuchen - These are German potato fritters, AKA Kartoffelpuffer.
Fischbrotchen(Fischsemmel) - This includes seafood wrapped in crunchy roll.
Flammkuchen - Bread is covered with Gruyere cheese, creme fraiche and bacon. It is somewhat pizza-style treat.
Pommes Frites - Enjoy French fries served with mayonnaise.
The Sweet Tooth Way - Not only for kids, but the people of all age groups love satisfying the sweet tooth. Let's see what is covered under the popular sweet German street food. Pretzel is the first word that comes to our mind while talking about German street food. Pretzel is a unique knot-like shape sweet bakery product. 
There are various forms of Pretzel.
  • Berliner - Authentic pretzel, not including any variations.                     
  • Laugenbrezel - Special pretzel made only from wheat flour, malt, salt, yeast and water. It’s mild in taste.                              
  • Brezel - This is sweet pretzel coated with cinnamon sugar.
Gebrannte Mandeln or Gebrannte Nüsse - These are crunchy street-roasted nuts coated with sugar and cinnamon, and are irresistible.
EIS or Eiscreme - You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice-cream (Eiscreme). There is difference between the normal ice-cream that we eat and German Eiscreme. This is typically made up of sugar, egg-white, salt, lemon juice, variety of fruits and nut flavors.
Buck-up Germany!!

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Enjoy FIFA with Brazilian Food

From beer can chicken to grilled flank steaks, Brazilian food is famous worldwide for it's distinct flavor. Brazil la la la la la la la la, this was what my neighbors were singing few days before they left for Brazil to watch the great FIFA World Cup 2014 Live. Wow! They have their relatives in Brazil and said it’s the best time to explore Brazil, and why not! But as I always say that any trip is incomplete without food, look at what they enjoyed the most. They sent me some of the worth seeing clicks. I felt like sharing it with you. 
Ever heard of Churrascaria restaurants? Churrascaria restaurants are very popular in Brazil. Churrascaria or churrasqueria is AKA steakhouse. Well, for simplifying, churrascaria is a place that serves grilled meat eg. beef, pork, sausage, chicken etc. In Brazil, churrasco simply means barbecue. Countries like Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Chile follow the same concept. Here portable churrasqueiras are used. In Argentina and Uruguay, churrasco refers to any boneless chunk of beef that's sliced as thin as a steak and grilled. 
Something really interesting about Churrascaria restaurants is that they have special waiters who carry the grilled meat. They are called passadores. And the best part is that you can dine for hours and hours. Once when we are done, we need waving a small white flag or a red disk. This indicates that the waiters can stop serving us. These grilled steaks can be paired with different wine eg. dry red wine, jammy red wine, tannic wine, mild wine etc. As far as drinks are concerned, how can anyone forget Caipirinha? Caipirinha is Brazil's national cocktail. It's made up of cachaca, which is a sugarcane hard liquor. Cachaca is the most common and popular distilled alcoholic beverage. It's AKA Pinga or Caninha. Brazilian-style authentic chimichurri sauce is well paired with these heavenly steaks. 

Acai berry is another food that takes Brazil by storm. Acai tree is a type of palm tree. It is found chiefly in Amazon rainforest region. Brazilians discovered that it has number of healing powers, if consumed regularly. It has extraordinarily high nutritional value. Acai berry helps in weight reduction. It also gives glow to the skin. It is very helpful in digestion. It reduces irritation. It boosts energy and has ample of anti-aging goodness loaded in it. Acai berry can be consumed raw or in form of tablet. It is also used in beverages like juice, smoothies or energy drinks. Other food products under Acai berry are jelly and ice cream.
Knowing such goodies of Brazil, I also feel like trying this yummy food out. What about you?

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Jagannath Ratha Yatra with Vegan Recipes

Ratha Yatra is AKA Roth Jatra or Chariot Festival. This is a famous Hindu Festival, and originated in Puri (Orissa). Ratha means Chariot and Yatra means journey. It marks annual journey of divinity in form of idols (Jagannath, Balarama, and Subhadra) to their aunt's home. Ratha Yatra has gained popularity in famous cities of the world since 1968 because of ISKCON Hare Krishna movement. This festival is celebrated with great pomp and show in more than 100 cities including Dublin, Belfast, Birmingham, New York, Singapore, Toronto, Antwerp, Kuala Lumpur, Los Angeles, London, Bath, Melbourne, Montreal, Paris and Mexico. It is also celebrated in Bangladesh. 
Well, hope you liked my blog, Indian meat recipes. My sister and her family went to India during this festival. They are very fond of Indian food. They participated in Ratha Yatra and also drew the wheel from Puri Temple to the sea. She found it very exciting doing the Hindu rituals and also wore saree (Indian culture dress) on the auspicious occasion, how lovely she looked in it. She loves Indian cuisine, just like me and taught she two yummy vegan recipes from East India. Dalma is the traditional Oriya lentil recipe. Khatta is a compote, sweet and sour yummz. The specialty of these recipe is that here we use panch phoron. Panch phoron consists of equal quantity of fenugreek seed, nigella seed, cumin seed, black mustard seed and fennel seed.
Ingredients (Serving - 6)
Dalma (Lentils Curry)
Salt as required,
4 pieces long beans (1’ cut),
1 large diced Potato,
2 large diced Tomatoes,
2 pieces Dry red chillies,
1 medium diced Radish,
4 large diced Colocasia,
100 grams diced Jackfruit,
1 tablespoon Cooking oil,
½ cup yellow pigeon peas,
½ teaspoon Turmeric powder,
1 medium diced Raw banana,
2 medium diced Pointed gourd,
1 tablespoon Panch phoron,
3 tablespoons Grated fresh coconut.
Preparation Method:-
1. Pressure cook the vegetables with lentils, salt, and turmeric. Give it 2 whistles. Remove from heat. Wait till the steam is out. Add grated coconut into the pressure cooker, keep aside.
2. Heat oil in a large wok. When warm add to panch phoron and dry red chillies. Allow the spices to splutter. Add in the cooked vegetables and lentils.
3. Serve with rice and khatta (Sour accompaniment).
Khatta (Tangy Pulpy Tomato Sauce – Serving 6)
10 piece Dates,
Salt as required,
1 pinch Asafoetida,
100 grams Jaggery,
1 piece Dry red chilli,
1 tablespoon Cooking oil,
Curry leaves as required,
8 medium size diced Tomatoes,
1 piece split Green chillies,
½ teaspoon Panch phoron.
1. In a large wok, heat oil. Add panch phoron, green chilli, dry red chilli, asafoetida, and curry leaves. Add the tomato, dates and jaggery. Cook till ingredients are blended and soft.
2. Add one cup water and simmer for 5 minutes. Khatta is ready to be served. Enjoy with Dalma and boiled rice. 
Happy Ratha Yatra!!

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Celebrate 4th JULY with Trifle and Salad Recipes

As promised in my last blog, I'll bring you with great American salads and big berry trifle, here it goes.  

Patriotic Berry Trifle - We use here strawberries, blueberries, heavy cream, cream cheese, pound cake cubes, almonds and lots of sugar. Then we arrange half of the cake cubes at the bottom of the trifle dish. Gently spread a layer of blueberries. Add the cream mixture over them and spread evenly. Again top up with strawberries, evenly. Add the remaining cake cubes on top of the strawberries. Then sprinkle with blueberries and top with remaining cream mixture. Decorate the top with strawberries and blueberries. Refrigerate for an hour. Enjoy the sweet treat!
Grilled Chicken Salad - Summer is welcomed by grills. We can enjoy a real healthy treat by combining in grills with salad. Chicken is my all time favorite lean meat. Normally we use chicken breasts in the salads. The rest you can use for curries etc. This salad can be accompanied by avocado, coriander, baked/boiled beans (red and white), tomato slices and lettuce. You can add seasoning of your choice. Hope you also enjoyed Chicken Caesar Salad.
Creamy Potato Salad With Bacon - Knowing history behind food, is something what I love exploring and potato salad is no exception. In earlier days, potato salads were made simply by boiling potatoes and adding in wine or a mixture of vinegar plus spices. However the good old fashioned, down home potato salad recipe is made by adding in egg, bacon and mayonnaise with bit of greens and apples.
Pasta Salad - This is my best picnic meals. Here we use one or more types of pasta, it is usually chilled. This is tossed in oil, vinegar or mayonnaise-based dressing. It may be served as an appetizer or main course dish. You can add in it grilled chicken, fish or summer greens. This recipe can be served warm or cold. Some of the different variations of pasta salads are:-
  • Creamy Pasta Salad
  • Caesar Pasta Salad
  • Greek Pasta Salad
  • Spinach and Pasta Salad
  • Rustic Pasta Toss with Tuna and Tomatoes
  • Fusilli with Herbed Ricotta and Grape Tomatoes
  • Spaghetti with Pesto and Tomato-Mozzarella Salad
Cabo Salad - Now we have something purely for the vegetarians/vegans, this is Cabo salad. We used here diced tomatoes, diced onions, fresh boiled corns, you can also used small baby corns if desired. Sliced avocados give it a happy, healthy feeling. Sprinkle crumbled tofu over it. Vegetarians can add over cottage cheese. Garnish with coriander. This is very nutritious and really a beautiful salad. 
Happy Independence Day!!