Friday, 30 January 2015

Valentine's Day Special Vegan Dip

It is often said, 'You are blessed doublee if you are in love'. So how many thumbs up for this? Valentine's day is here, express your feeling of love, affection and friendship. No matter how you dice and slice it, food and love are always inextricably tied. What are you planning for the love struck holiday? If your girl is hot, I've got something to really heat up your romantic date. Appetizers is a must from small to large scale gathering and even for a date. 
Hope you enjoyed my last year’s Valentine’s day special recipe, Cheesy hearts. A winning dip or spread can score big at any special occasion. This is a classic hot vegan dip that can be served with almost anything your soul mate likes whether it is crackers, chips or roasted vegetables. Do you really want the good times to roll? Serve her with something sizzling, tangy and spicy apart from your love.
Vegan Walnut and Red Pepper Dip
1 cup Water,
3/4 teaspoon Salt,
3 red bell Peppers,
1 small Garlic Clove,
1 1/2 teaspoons Paprika,
1 tablespoon Lemon juice,
2 slices Toast Pita Bread,
Black Pepper as required,
3/4 teaspoon ground Cumin,
1 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar,
4 ounces toasted Walnut pieces,
2 teaspoons Extra-virgin Olive Oil.
Preparation Method:-
  1. Roast peppers over gas burner till they are black. Place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Cool for 15 minutes. Peel and discard skin, stem and seeds. Keep aside.
  2. Toast pita bread until crisp. Break into 2 inch pieces and place in a bowl. Cover with water. Soak until soft for 10 minutes. Transfer to a sieve and drain well. Press out excess of water. Keep aside.
  3. Blend garlic and walnut pieces in a food processor. Now add paprika, cumin and reserved peppers and pita bread. Process for another 10 seconds.
  4. Add lemon juice, oil, vinegar and salt. Season with black pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate it overnight.
  5. Before serving, bring the dip to room temperature. Drizzle with oil. Garnish with walnuts. Enjoy with any snacks.
Happy Valentine’s Day

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Rebel Wilson and her love for Pavlova

Rebel Wilson, the 28 year old Australian actress, writer and a stand-up comedian, flew home for celebrating Christmas with her family. Neither did she prepare turkey nor honey glazed ham, but was seen munching on the traditional Pavlova or ‘Pav’. This is well portrayed on social sites such as Twitter and Facebook. The recipe has a crunchy and crisp outer-shell and is soft and moist from inside. The texture makes me crave for it right away. I love authentic recipes. Hope you enjoyed Chocolate Lamington.
Did you know that Pavlova has a historical significance? Pavlova is a dessert. It is named after a famous Russian ballet dancer called Anna Pavlova, when she visited Australia. There is yet a long story behind this. Pavlova makes a great summer dessert in entire Australia and New Zealand. Different fruits added to this recipe, give a colorful topping thereby making the dessert yummier. So let’s celebrate Australia day with authentic Pavlova.
16 Egg Whites,
2 diced Kiwi fruits,
A pinch Cream of Tartar,
300 ml thickened Cream,
1 1/2 cups Caster Sugar,
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract,
250g diced Strawberries,
Mint leaves for Garnishing,
1 tablespoon Icing Sugar mixture.
Preparation Method:-
1. Preheat oven to 120 D. C. Line a baking tray and baking paper. With an electric mixer, beat egg whites until stiff peaks are formed.
2. Now add caster sugar. Beat until the sugar dissolves. Then add cream of tartar. Beat for 1 minute.
3. Spoon mixture onto circle. Using a spatula, shape into a circle as shown. Make furrows. Bake for 1 hour or until firm. Turn off oven.  Allow to cool.
4. For the cream, using an electric mixer, beat cream, icing sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form.
5. Place the cool pavlova on a serving plate. Top with cream mixture, mint leaves and fruits as shown. Serve.
Enjoy Australia Day!

Monday, 19 January 2015

Enjoy Traditional Aussie Meat Pie on Australia Day

My neighbor’s little daughter came running up to me and was singing the song, ‘I am Australian’. The song is jam packed with intense meaning. This reminded me that Australia Day is approaching. Hope you liked my blog, Chocolate Lamington, which is also a traditional Australian cake. Today I’ll serve you with classic and spicy Aussie treat. I am very fond of meat recipes. The yummilicious Aussie Meat Pie is a small pie, filled with ground beef, onions and gravy. It is mostly topped with tomato sauce to compliment with the crazy crust. Vegemite is also used in the recipe. Vegemite is delectable Australian spread that is made from used brewer's yeast. 
Meat pie is considered an iconic food in Australia and New Zealand and is served for sure on the auspicious Australia Day. Even after lot of innovative goodies coming up every year, the pie continues to have top ranking in the heart and mind of millions. These traditional pies make a delectable party and picnic food as they are simple to make and easy to serve. Meat pies are popular in different cuisines example Nigerian, British, Lebanese, Australian. The ingredients, method and flavor vary from place to place. Here it goes…
1 beaten Egg,
3/4 cup Beef Stock,
3/4 cup Tomato sauce,
1 tablespoon Cornflour,
1 teaspoon Vegemite,
1 tablespoon Olive Oil,
1 chopped Brown Onion,
1 tablespoon Barbecue sauce,
500 grams minced Lean Beef,
2 sheets thawed frozen Puff pastry,
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce,
2 sheets thawed frozen shortcrust pastry.
Preparation Method:-
1. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion. Cook until soft. Add minced beef. Cook for 4 minutes. Stir until brown.
2. In another bowl, mix cornflour and 1 tablespoon of stock to form smooth paste. Add the remaining stock. Now add stock, sauces and Vegemite to the mince. Bring it to boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 8-10 minutes. Cool the mixture.
3. Preheat the oven to 220 D. C. Place a baking tray into oven. Grease the pie pans.
4. Cut circles from shortcrust pastry as desired. Fill with the beef mince. Brush the rims with water. Cut circles from puff pastry. Place over meat. Press to seal. Trim the rest. Brush with egg and then season.
5. Place pies onto hot tray. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy the meaty treat.
Happy Australia Day!

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Celebrate Australia Day with Traditional Chocolate Lamington

Australia Day, falling on January 26, has become nation's largest annual public celebration. It brings together Australians from all walks of life. Be sure to grab your spot along the streets of Australia to cheer the bulk parade participants. It's the national day and ultimate time to celebrate with classic and traditional dishes. Australia has a rich variety of food and drinks. Last year I shared with you Australian Cocktails and I'm so glad that everyone loved to dance with those drinks. 
This time I come up with the traditional dessert called Lamington. Lamington are squares of sponge cake that are dipped in melted chocolate and grated coconut. Lamingtons are usually made up of stale cake. I have used fresh cake. So the trick is to freeze it. After this, sauce the lamination when it is slightly frozen. Though I am equally fond of strawberry and raspberry flavor, this time I tried Chocolate Lamington. You can also add in strawberry cream in between the cake as I have done. 
For the Cake:-
3 eggs,
1/4 cup milk,
1/2 cup sugar,
1/4 cup cornflour,
3/4 cup self raising flour,
3 teaspoons melted butter.
For Icing:-
1/2 cup milk,
3 1/2 cups icing sugar,
1/3 cup cocoa powder,
2 teaspoons melted butter,
2 cups desiccated coconut for coating.
Preparation Method for Cake:-
1. Preheat oven to 180 D.C. Now grease and flour a square shaped cake tin. Take a bowl. Beat eggs, sugar, butter and milk in it. Sift this mixture in flour and cornflour mix. Mix until well combined.
2. Pour the mixture into the greased tin. Bake in preheated oven until a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean. Bake time is 25-30 minutes.
3. Allow to cool. Cut into smaller squares. Place in the freezer until it begins to harden, for 1 1/2 hours, uncovered.
Preparation Method for Icing:-
1. Stir butter, milk and cocoa powder, together. Then stir in the icing sugar.
2. Dip frozen cake squares into icing mixture and then into grated coconut.
3. Place on baking paper and allow to defrost. This must take 1 1/2 hours at room temperature.
 Enjoy Australia Day!

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Diabetic Friendly Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Cookies

The food craving for a diabetic and a non-diabetic person is the same. It is human nature to crave for the things, he needs to avoid. The scenario very well matches to that of a diabetic person. His desire for having desserts is doubled instead. I can well understand this coz my father has diabetes. This does not mean that low-sugar meals have to be tasteless. He has a sweet tooth. I am sure you loved my diabetic-friendly pecan ice-cream
Oats are significant source of dietary fiber. Oats have earned reputation as widely used healthy breakfast ingredient. There is nothing more fulfilling than to wake up and have a bowl full of steaming hot oats. So healthy and so tasty. Today we have different ways of using oats to give you a satisfactory yet tasty meal. If you have diabetes, you must know that a small square of dark chocolate is enough to satisfy your sweet tooth. Did you know that snacking on unprocessed dark chocolate will help in controlling obesity and diabetes? If no then surely try this recipe to quench your craving.
1/4 teaspoon salt,
1/4 cup nonfat milk,
2 teaspoons vanilla,
1/2 cup low-fat butter,
1/2 cup dried cherries,
1 teaspoon baking soda,
Cooking spray as required,
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour,
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger,
1/3 cup whipped egg whites,
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon,
2-1/4 cups uncooked quick oats,
1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate,
1 cup Diabetic friendly sweetner,
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce.
Preparation Method:-
1. Combine sweetner, butter, brown sugar, egg whites, applesauce, milk and vanilla in a bowl.

2. Mix with electric mixer until well blended. Stir in combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt.

3. Gradually mix in oats, cherries and chocolate until well combined.

4. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto lightly sprayed baking sheets.

5. Bake in a preheated 350 D.F oven for 10 minutes, or until light golden in color.

6. Remove from baking sheet and cool. Serve!

Happy New Year!

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Healthy and Spicy Thai Fish Curry

A delectable Malaysian fish curry is cooked with goodness of your fav veggies, infused with lemony fragrance. This curry makes a perfect dinner for the chilly weather. It is spiced enough to prompt a dizzy drowsy appetite and keep you warm. The best part is that the curry not only works with all kinda fish such as snapper, warehou, ling but also with seafood, from crabs to prawns, lobsters etc. For now, I have tried the fish recipe using my fav tuna fish. 
Fish sauce provides the essential savory flavor that is typically found in traditional Thai cuisine. I just love the aromatic amber-coloured liquid. I have also used homemade orange sauce. Believe it or not, it can be made in a jiffy using few ingredients. I’m sharing my homemade sauce recipe too. Coconut cream is similar to coconut milk. It contains less water. It has a thicker and paste-like consistency. This is a lite recipe with very low calories. I have therefore chosen it to get rid of heavy meals, that we had in abundant on Christmas and New Year holidays.
3/4 cup Water,
1/2 teaspoon Salt,
Handful Curry Leaves,
1 teaspoon Fish Sauce,
3/4 cup Coconut Cream,
3 chopped Garlic Cloves,
500 grams firm Fish Fillets,
1 teaspoon Orange Sauce
1 tablespoon Tomato Paste,
2 tablespoon Grated Ginger,
3 tablespoon Extra-virgin Olive Oil.
Preparation Method:-
  1. Heat the oil in a large pan. Add onion, garlic and cook over a high heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion begins to brown. Stir in grated ginger and cook for 2 minutes.
  2. Add the fish sauce and orange sauce. Cook, stirring for another minute. Add tomato paste, 1/2 cup of water, the coconut cream and salt to taste. Mix well. Allow the sauce to come to the boil.
  3. Stir in the fish cubes into the sauce. Then cover the pan and cook for 3 minutes, or until the fish is just cooked through, adding the extra 1/4 cup of water. Remove from heat.
  4. Take another pan and add oil. Add curry leaves. Sprinkle them over the curry just before serving. Enjoy with steamed rice.

Ingredients for Orange Sauce:-
3/4 cup orange juice,
2 tablespoons sugar,
1 teaspoons olive oil,
1 teaspoons cornflour,
1/4 teaspoons lemon juice,
2 teaspoons orange squash.
Preparation Method:-
  1. Take a pan. Add oil. Add orange juice, squash, sugar and cornflour. Cook until thick, by stirring continuously. Allow it to cool.
  2. Add the lemon juice. Now mix gently.
  3. Taste the sauce before you use. Enjoy!
Happy New Year!

Monday, 5 January 2015

Homemade Gluten-free Vegan Carrot Cake

Holidays are over but the spirit of the festive season is still on. Though I am not a gluten-free or vegan by nature, I wanted to try a recipe for my friends. So I tried Gluten-free Vegan Carrot Cake. I chose a beautiful cake tin to flaunt my recipe to the fullest, though the cake making procedure is extremely simple. Any celebration is incomplete without dessert, especially cake. 
Hope you liked the dessert that I had recently prepared, Low Calorie Lattice Christmas Cherry Coffee cake recipe. Yesterday, I invited my newly married neighbors for evening tea. I prepared very lite snacks coz everyone was tired of fritters and other heavy snacks that we had during the Christmas and New Year holidays. This carrot cake is very lite. I never allow desserts to finish at my home, as I’m very fond of them, my blog trail must have told you by now. So let’s go ahead with the recipe.
For the Cake:-
2 cups Sugar,
4 grated Carrots,
1/2 cup Cashews,
14 oz. Coconut milk,
1/4 teaspoon Ginger,
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg,
1 teaspoon Cinnamon,
1/2 cup White Rice Flour,
1 tablespoon Molasses,
1/3 cup ground Flax seed,
1 teaspoon Baking soda,
1/2 cup Buckwheat flour,
2 teaspoons Vanilla extract,
2 teaspoons Baking powder,
3/4 cup Garbanzo Bean Flour,
1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar,
1/2 cup unsweetened Coconut Flakes.
For the Frosting:-
60 grams Honey,
2 tablespoons Lemon Juice,
1 tablespoon Vanilla Bean Paste,
200 grams Thick Coconut Cream.
Preparation Method:-
1. Preheat oven to 350 D.F. In a bowl sift flours, baking soda and baking powder. Now take a large measuring cup and combine coconut milk, vinegar, molasses and vanilla. Pour this liquid into the dry mixture. Add sugar and flax seed. Blend until smooth.
2. Now add grated carrots, chopped cashews and shredded coconut. Mix well. Pour into greased cake pan. Bake for 45 minutes.
3. Cool for 15 minutes. While cake is cooling, make the frosting. Blend the ingredients under frosting.
4. Add frosting on the cake when cool. Sprinkle with additional shredded coconut or nuts of your choice.
Happy New Year!

Friday, 2 January 2015

New Year Begins with a Healthy Breakfast

First of all wish you a very Happy New Year. Thank you so much for loving my yummy and mushy dessert recipes. After a grand dinner on New Year’s Eve, it’s better to munch on something healthy on the brand new day of the year. Isn’t it? A great year begins with a filling, healthy as well as yummy breakfast. Eating healthy throughout the year may not be our New Year resolution but a healthy beginning on 1st January, 2015 is always welcomed. These are some of the yummy recipes, this time not prepared by me but mom. But they are pretty simple and even a novice can prepare them. Eating the food cooked by your mom has its own charm and I hope everyone agrees with it. 
Healthy Tortillas (Whole Wheat or Rice Tortilla with Grilled Chicken Guacamole) - Though my mom prepared wheat tortillas, people allergic to gluten can go for rice tortilla as well. Grilled chicken breasts with chunky guacamole is a great option. Guacamole is an avocado-based dip. Cilantro, lemon juice and pepper give this guacamole a tangy and spicy kick. Nevertheless the hotness quotient can be managed accordingly. This rich filling if baked for a minute, gives an ultimate crispy and crunchy treat.
Lite Shake (Lychee and Coconut Shake) - Breakfast is incomplete without a shake. A low-calorie shake adds smile on everyone's face. Low-calorie lychee and coconut shake sounds amazing. A blend of my favorite fruit, lychee with coconut water really made my day. This fruit contains flavonoids in the pulp that helps in preventing some fatal and lethal diseases such as cancer. Coconut water is itself a very refreshing health drink. It helps you in reducing weight and gives you glowing skin. It is also a remedy for hangover. I'm sure everyone must have had lot of drink on New Year’s Eve.
Fruity Kick (Split Banana Fruit Treat) - Including fruits in your breakfast is always a healthy option. Banana is my favorite fruit. This yummy fruitful kick was a real surprise. A salsa of orange, strawberries, kiwi and ginger to serve with a banana split along with strawberry yogurt as a topping on it, is a brilliant idea. Well now I can say that the breakfast was not only an excellent beginning for the day but the entire year. So thumbs up for my mom’s yummy treat. 
Happy New Year!