Sunday, May 31, 2020

Cherry Almond Smoothie Bowl


Memorial Day weekend always means cherry-picking for us. Going to the farm (well, finding a spot to park your car can be challenging sometimes, as the entire bay area will be on the farms picking cherry), and enjoying the time between the trees is always fun. Nature has solutions to relax everyone. The fun always doubles when you go as a gang with friends and families. The next challenge walking into the farm is finding "the tree" which is untouched and loaded with cherries  (everywhere you can see people picking the ripe red ruby spheres). Kids get excited picking them (also popping a couple into their mouth) and filling the buckets. You can hear, "Hey, there's lots on this side or this tree is abundant with cherries".



 I heard some farms are open for u-pick cherries, and a couple of people have enjoyed their day in the farm picking the ruby spheres. Hmmph! This year we are skipping cherry-picking. Better to be safe than sorry... It doesn't mean you will miss cherries if you don't go for picking. The stores are also loaded with cherries and you can see their deals on the first page in the fliers. Just get it delivered along with the rest of your groceries, wash them, and enjoy.

I like cherries and almonds together. I make cherry almond pie during this season. It is my favorite. This smoothie will remind the pie and added no sweeteners. The sweetness comes from the fruits alone. It's all the more nutritious and healthy way to start your morning.






Ingredients
Serves 4

Cherry - 1.5 cups, pitted and sliced
Banana- 1, sliced, frozen
Almonds - 40, soaked overnight
Rolled oats - 1/2 cup
Protein powder - 1 scoop
Flaxseed powder - 2 tbsp,
Apple - 1, chopped
Greek yogurt- 1/2 cup

Toppings

Cherries, sliced banana, almonds, granola, etc.



Method

Add everything to your blender and blend till smooth and creamy.

Enjoy your bowl with your preferred topping.




Tips

Coconut milk can be used in place of yogurt.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Springtime Green Smoothie Bowl






Smoothie bowls are a great idea for a morning meal when you crave for all the fruity flavors.  There are a lot of advantages to having a smoothie bowl. It is healthy, fruity, nutritious, creamy, and satisfying. It is quick. All you need is 5 minutes to make a bowl of creamy goodness to start your day. Bananas and apples extend a natural sweetness to the whole meal without the addition of too much sugar or simple syrup. Nuts give vitamins and proteins, fruits are sweet, rich in vitamins and fiber, paired with a protein source makes it a whole complete nourishment in a simple bowl. Now, who would refuse to have a creamy refreshing bowl looking at the easiness of making it? I decided to use avocado and some greens too.  There are two reasons for adding the greens in this smoothie bowl. My friend Mrs. SS shared her homegrown spinach (she is nice to share her spring harvest:-)) The other reason is, the microgreens are from my trials of growing them. So, all the pluses for adding them. The smoothie bowl has a green color, perfectly matching with everything green around for springtime. And hence, named it springtime green smoothie bowl. It tasted good too. No doubt. One of the picky eaters in our home gave a thumbs-up sign. So, Yeah! smoothies and smoothie bowls are the way when you want to sneak in a couple of veggies to your picky eaters.



Ingredients
Serves 4

Spinach - 4-6
Microgreens - 1 tbsp
Avocado - 1
Banana -1, frozen
Honey - 1 tsp
Coconut water- 1, chilled
Oats - 1/2 cup, toasted, rolled oats
Almonds - 35-40, soaked overnight
Protein powder - 3/4 scoop
Flaxseed powder -1 tbsp
Green apple - 1

Topping
sliced strawberry, kiwi, granola, blueberry




Method

Wash and chop all the fruits and greens. Add them to the blender along with frozen banana and the rest of the ingredients. Blend for a few minutes till it turns to a smooth consistency.



Pour to bowls, top, and enjoy your morning meal.



Tips

Coconut flakes, chia seeds or anything you like can be used as a topping

Monday, May 18, 2020

Kale and Navy Beans Curry




Have you ever wondered how easy some of the recipes become keepers and becomes a comforting meal? Well, this kale and beans curry is one among those. It is very delicious and nutritious. This is easy to prepare for dinner or lunch, and it's fancy enough to serve to guests. This amazing curry (which can be a soup too) is packed with proteins from the beans, and nutrition from the green leafy kale, make it a complete meal to serve along with rice or bread. Moreover, this curry is VEGAN. It is made with simple ingredients which make it perfect for any meal. Try and let me know your comments. I know you'll agree with me.






Ingredients

Navy Beans - 1 cup
Onion - 1 cup, chopped
Kale - 3 cups, chopped
Sambhar / curry powder - 1 tsp
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Turmeric- 1/4 tsp
Salt 1 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder- 1/4 tsp
Tomato - 2 or 3 tomatoes depending on size (puree to get 1 cup)
Coconut milk - 1/2 cup
Water - 3 to 4 cups


To Season

Oil - 2 tbsp
Cumin - 1 tsp
Serrano chilli - 1, slit and cut in half
Ginger - 1 tsp, minced
Garlic - 1 tsp, minced

Method

Soak the navy beans overnight. Drain, wash and cook for 2 whistles in a pressure cooker with three cups water.


Heat oil in a pan, add the seasonings. Then add onions and saute till they are translucent. Add kale saute for 3 min more.



Add 1 cup  tomato puree and cook for a couple of minutes. Add all the spice powders and salt. Mix and cook for 3-5 min.



Add the beans with water. Cook for 5 min.



Add 1/2 cup coconut milk and 1/2 cup water. Adjust consistency and check for salt. Simmer for 3 min.




Serve hot with rice.

Raita or yogurt makes it complete and tastes great with the rice and curry. I love raita with anything:-)



Tips

Cinnamon (1 in piece) and a star anise can be added to the seasoning and it adds a lot of flavor to the curry.

Canned beans can also be used.
The beans can be cooked on stove top too. It may take a longer time.

Any other bean can also be substituted.

Curry powder can be used in the place of sambhar powder.

Adjust the spiciness according to your chilli or cayenne powder.


Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Spinach and Red Pepper Grilled Cheese

Mrs. A's organic spinach was used to make this scrumptious and satisfying grilled cheese. These delicious grilled cheese sandwiches are so easy to prepare. It also provides avenues for adding some fresh veggies into it and thereby making it even more interesting and nutritious. There is a load of nutrition when you cooking with fresh veggies, and why to say no it when it is possible. I found a red bell pepper and some cheddar cheese in my refrigerator, which I paired up with her spinach to make this wonderful cheesilicious meal. Thanks again to Mrs. A for sharing us some fresh spinach. This can be made in a jiffy. After a long day, simple and tasty grilled cheese with veggies can bring smile in everyone's face. It's a comfort meal that can be made under 30 minutes for the whole family.



Ingredients

Makes 4 Sandwiches

Cheddar cheese - 12 slices
Onion -a few julienne slices
Red pepper strips
Chilli flakes (optional)
Butter
Spinach leaves - a few
Sourdough bread - 8 slices

Method

Heat a cast-iron pan on a medium flame. Butter one side of each bread slice. Place one of the buttered side on the pan. Cut one slice of cheddar cheese into two and place it on it. Layer with spinach, red pepper, and onion. Divide two slices of cheddar cheese on top and sprinkle with chilli flakes.






Top with another bread slice with the buttered side facing up. Once it is cooked, flip and continue to cook for a couple of minutes till it browns and crisps. You can see the cheese melting.




Enjoy your cheesilicious spinach and red pepper grilled cheese.