Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Cocoa Chia Coconut Smoothie

This vegan smoothie is naturally sweetened with coconut water and banana. 100% cocoa powder helps in energizing you while almonds and chia give a protein boost. This is a perfect breakfast smoothie and as temperature increases, I love to have more of smoothie kind. The coconut water also helps in cooling the body. Soaked almonds give a smooth texture. Almonds can be used without soaking too. Make sure to blend a little more. If you want a bit of bite here and there in the smoothie, prefer to use without soaking.

The Accidental Alchemist is a great book by Gigi Pandian. It is the first book in this series. I love the story line. The cover attracted me first and then the recipes inside too! The gargoyle with a whisk in cute! A great cover and a great book. The story is set in Portland. The story is how Zoe, the alchemist (who is living for centuries) and Dorian (the gargoyle from Paris) solve a mystery.  Dorian needed help to stay alive, as he may be turning into a stone and he trusted Zoe to be the one who can help him. Dorian had with him an old alchemist book which was used to bring him to life by his famous father. He requested Zoe to decipher the codes using the book and somehow help him to stay alive, and not turn back to a stone. This story unfolds when the book got lost and they were trying to get it back desperately. I liked the story line too as the mystery of the handyman's death led to attempt on Blue's life.....Zoe and Dorian were great pairs. Both the mystery and fantasy elements were perfectly balanced in this book. I admired the character Zoe's approach to problem solving and the way she thinks quickly. Also, loved the healthy lifestyle with balanced fitness and optimal food. I am onto reading the other books in this series and would recommend this book. A great reading as I couldn't put it down.

From the food point of view, Dorian won me through and through. I loved the way he made everything so delicious and how the explained each and every food. I admire Dorian - with what in hand, he made delicious and mouth-watering food that no one can resist. In fact, I have made a list of all the food he made in this book and it runs to pages, really! My daughter even made fun of me :-). I wanted to make buckwheat galette inspired by Dorian's cooking, but didn't get a chance to make. Also, his vegan chocolate cake reminded of my cake too. I too use Silken tofu to make vegan chocolate cake. I would share my recipe pretty soon. I also loved the tea varieties and wanted to make them. I grew up vegan-vegetarian and I am trying to become vegan. Most of our traditional recipes are vegan though our diet included yogurt, milk for pudding, and ghee. So becoming vegan is not hard but being an yogurt addict...:-) trying! This book is another inspiration for me. Anyways, back to recipes.....Zoe made the chocolate chia and coconut smoothie using fresh tender coconut and its flesh before their adventure to break inside Blue's home. My usual coconut chia smoothie is made using frozen coconut and coconut water and thought to share the recipe for the same.

I am linking this to April 2021 #FoodiesReadEvery post must feature a book centered around food. And you can talk about or give your views about the book in your post. Also, add recipes to your post if you make one out of it. Check here to know more about it. This is perfect to share for Weekend Cooking, all you need to make some easy recipes fitting the theme of a book. Check here for more info. 

Serves 2

Cocoa powder - 2 tbsp
Chia seeds - 3 tbsp
Coconut - 1/2 cup, fresh or frozen
Coconut water - 2 cups
Banana - 1, frozen
Almonds - 12, soaked


Add all the ingredients and blend till smooth. 

Pour in glasses and serve.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Quinoa Burrito Bowl

Published: Apr 2021, Updated with new pictures: Apr 2023.

Quinoa burrito bowl with delicious toppings and protein rich quinoa is a healthy and ideal meal packed with flavors and nutrition. This can be made in 30 minutes too making it a perfect weeknight meal or weekend brunch.

Why this burrito bowl?

  • This is comfort food.

  • Easy to make for a weeknight dinner too.

  • This bowl is loaded with proteins. With quinoa, a plant based complete protein, along with beans, this bowl has tons of proteins to keep you satiated.

  • This bowl also has lots of fresh components like salsa, guacamole, corn, lettuce.

  • There are tons of flavors and textures in this bowl making it a hearty meal.

Why is quinoa used in this bowl?

Quinoa has all the nine essential amino acids in sufficient quantities. This makes it an ideal plant based protein source with complete proteins. Replacing any grain with quinoa is a great idea because of its nutritional profile.

What are the ingredients required to make this burrito bowl?

Quinoa - Quinoa is the base for this protein rich bowl. Regular quinoa, or colored quinoa can be used.

Guacamole - Store-bought or homemade guacamole can be used.

Beans - Beans add to the proteins. Black beans or pinto beans work great for this recipe.

Salt - Adds flavor.

Oil - A little of neutral oil to cook the beans.

Onion, garlic, oregano, cumin and coriander powder, cayenne - These flavor the beans.

Toppings - Jalapeno slices, Lime wedges, Sourcream, Shredded cheese, salsa, pico de gallo

Cilantro - for garnish.

A not about cooking fluffy and perfect quinoa….

Quinoa should be perfectly cooked. It shouldn't be mushy too. Most of the packages would recommend adding 1:2 water, but reducing the water by about ¼ to ⅓ cup and let the cooked quinoa sit in its own steam works magic. This gives perfect pearls of quinoa which we love. Try and you won't be disappointed. I guarantee that.

What are the other toppings for the quinoa bowl?

Salsas and sauces make any food flavorful and this bowl is no exception. Though I love fresh pico de gallo, sometimes, a different salsa like this Mango Habanero Salsa would jazz up the flavors. Trying adding any seasonal salsa for flavor variations. In addition to guacamole, moles can also be used as per preference. Now and then we prefer a drizzle of chipotle cream for an extra dash of flavor based on whether I have it on hand.

What can be served with a quinoa bowl?

This bowl is rich in nutrition with tons of proteins and veggies. All you need is a drink. I would recommend a lemonade, maybe Strawberry Lemonade, Mango ginger Lemonade, or Dragonfruit Lemonade are perfect choices to serve with this quinoa.

More quick ways to make this bowl……

Quinoa cooks very quickly and is an ideal protein source. So it can replace rice in any burrito bowl. Leftover quinoa can also be used to make this bowl. Whenever I make cilantro Lime Quinoa, I make sure to double the recipe, so I can fix the next meal easily. The flavors of Cilantro Lime Quinoa also complements the burrito bowl. In fact, if you prefer any grains, any leftover cooked grain can also be used in the recipe. 

Swap with a can of corn (drained and rinsed) instead of roasted corn. When fresh corn is not in season, it is easier to use frozen or canned corn. Canned corn saves time. Also, using canned beans instead of dry beans helps in bringing the food to the table faster. If you have time, plan, soak and cook the beans to use in the recipe. 

Burrito bowls are loved here just like how we love this 7-Layered Dip. I often use quinoa to make it. Sometimes I make it with leftover Mexican Beans and Rice too. Cilantro lime quinoa is yet another family favorite and when looking for protein rich vegetarian options, quinoa ranks higher. So I include it to make power meals like this Ginger Garlic Quinoa and Quinoa Garbanzo Tacos. These are great options that you would love to make often for your family.

Serves 4

For quinoa

Quinoa - 1 cup
Salt - 3/4 tsp
Oil - 1 tsp
Water - 1 and 3/4 cup
Lime juice - 3 tbsp
Cilantro - 3 tbsp, chopped

For the beans

Pinto/black beans - 1 cup, dried or 1-14oz can
Water -4 cups
Salt - 3/4 tsp
Cumin - 1/2 tsp
Onion - 1/4. finely chopped
Garlic - 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Serrano peppers - 1 tbsp, chopped
Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
Cayenne - 1/2 tsp
Cilantro - 1 tbsp
Oil - 1 tbsp

For the Toppings

Guacamole - 1 cup
Sour cream - 1/2 cup
Shredded cheese - 1/2 cup
Jalapenos - 2 tbsp
Salsa/Pico de Gallo - 1 cup
Roasted corn - 1.5 cups
Lettuce - 2 cups, torn


If using dry pinto or black beans: Pressure cook the beans for 3 whistles. Add salt and boil for a couple of minutes. Drain and set aside. 

For canned as well as cooked dry beans: In a cast-iron pan, add oil followed by garlic, cumin, onion, serrano peppers. Sauté for 3 minutes. Add the beans, cumin powder, coriander powder, and cayenne. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes. Add cilantro and set aside. 

Rinse the quinoa. Add the quinoa, water, oil, and salt in a bowl. Cook on a medium flame. When more than half the liquid is absorbed, lower the flame, cover and cook for 5 -7 minutes. Switch off the flame and let it rest. After 5 minutes, gently fluff it. Add the lime juice and cilantro. Mix gently, cover, and set aside.

To assemble: Keep everything ready in bowls to aid mixing as per requirements.

Add the quinoa to the serving bowl and then add the rest of the ingredients as per preference. Garnish with extra cilantro and/or cheese. Serve with some pickled jalapenos, sour cream, and cheese, if preferred.

Quick Veggie Salad

Simple is best. This is a simple, healthy, and quick salad which can be made in minutes with the veggies that you will always have in hand. This is my go to salad always. I don't make very specific dressings for salad every time. I like this kind which doesn't have any oil but at the same time gives a wonderful flavor with crunchy veggies. The lime juice brings out the flavors of the individual components.  

The movie of the month is "Peter Rabbit" in our #FoodnFlix group. Perfect choice for this month. As soon as we watched this, I decided to post this salad. Though I make this often, this was never posted in my blog. This simple no oil dressing salad is so easy and helps in weight management and staying healthy. When Peter rabbit recommends the salad with just a squirt of lemon juice and no oil dressing, I was determined to post this finally - apt for the movie of the month.

"Peter Rabbit", released in 2018, is a great movie to watch with the family. Peter Rabbit and his siblings trouble Mr. McGregor by stealing fresh veggies from the garden. They think the fresh produce is for them and when Mr. McGregor dies, they consider that the garden and house are their property and make a huge mess. The story takes a turn when they come to know that Mr. Mcgregor's great nephew (who also happens to hate rabbits just like his uncle) is inheriting the house. And ends with a happy ending. This is must watch with family and kids will enjoy watching with roars of laughter. 

Food'nFlix is a fun little group that gets together each month and watches the same movie at their leisure.  Once we watch, we create a dish that was inspired by the chosen film. Elizabeth of  Literature and Limes is hosting this month. If you want to participate in Food 'n Flix, Check out this month's announcement post at Literature and Limes, and drop by the Food 'n Flix site to learn more! Thanks, Elizabeth!

Coming to the food inspirations from the movie, there are lots of veggies, rabbit pie, sandwiches in the movie. The sight of  fresh veggies is always irresistible to me. And with these veggies, varieties of food can be made. I love fresh veggies and love salad. Like I said, with Peter Rabbit's recipe for a salad to healthy and fit, which happens to be my way salad making, this is my post for the food inspiration from the movie.

This delicious salad is best served immediately. This serves two as main and four as a side. Instead if lime juice, lemon can also be used. They both give wonderful citrus burst to the salad. Though this is my definitive quantity for the recipe, feel free to add veggies of your choice and make a wonderful salad.

I am also linking this to Souper Sundays by Deb of Kahakai Kitchen. Check her page if you would like to participate by sharing your soups, salads, and sandwiches.

Serves 2 to 4

Iceberg lettuce - 3 cups, torn
Carrots - 3/4 cup, shredded
Radish - 1/2 cup, sliced
Sweet peppers -2 or 3, sliced
Onions - 1/4 cup, sliced
Bell pepper - 1/2 cup, sliced
Cucumber - 1 cup, sliced
Tomatoes - 1 cup, wedges
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Pepper - 1/4 tsp
Lime juice - 2 tsp
Cilantro - 3 tbsp


Add the veggies into the bowl. Add salt, pepper, and lime juice. Toss gently. 

Serve immediately.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Watermelon Refresher

Water melon refresher is the best thirst quencher. The mild flavor from lime and mint refresh you providing vital nutrients. This is a perfect summer cooler to beat the heat.

Water melon is the king of summer fruits. Juicy, with a lot of water content provides excellent hydration. Throw in a little lime juice rich in vitamin C and add mint. This can be made in a few minutes. Blend with ice and enjoy a perfect cool drink perfect for the heat. This provides excellent nourishment that you need not cook or bake when it is too hot. Drink this smoothie a couple of times and this helps in effectively managing weight. 

I am linking this to Srivalli's Blogging marathon - Summer coolers. Here are a few summer coolers that would help in planning breakfast and snack smoothies during summer.

I am also linking this to Full Plate Thursday and Happiness is Homemade.

Serves 2-4

Watermelon - 4 cups, cubed and chilled
Lime juice - 3 tbsp
Mint - 3-4 leaves
Ice cubes - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 2 tsp


Add everything to the blender. Blend toll smooth.


Sourdough Discard Whole Wheat Sun-dried Tomato Basil Muffins

These muffins are very fluffy, savory, flavorful in each bite. They are made with 100% whole wheat flour and flavored with sun-dried tomatoes, basil, and a little parmesan. Kids would love this pizza flavored muffins..

I don't like to waste any food. When you try to experiment with sourdough breads, or when you make sourdough starters, there is always a portion of sourdough which stays as discard. Though it is a discard, it can be used in different ways and I don't like to waste them. Even when you start with small quantities, a half of it is usually left in each step. I use them for dosa, pancakes, waffles, muffins, parathas... I used the sixth day discard to make these muffins.

The muffins are made with 100% whole wheat and whole wheat starter. It is a healthy choice breakfast or a quick snack for kids. I like most of my breakfasts savory than sweet version. I try to make different versions using sourdough discard and this is one of the version which is always asked for again and again. It reminds the kids of having a pizza flavor muffin for breakfast or snack. Satisfying the cravings is important when you make healthy choices. This is perfect choice. My kids love this muffin as equally as the similar flavored pasta which I make often. I have used the pasta for a salad.

I am sharing this for this month's #MuffinMonday. #MuffinMonday is a group of muffin loving bakers who get together once a month to bake muffins. You can see all of our lovely muffins by following our Pinterest board. Updated links for all of our past events and more information about Muffin Monday can be found on our home page.

Muffin Monday

Makes 12 regular muffins

Sourdough discard - 1/2 cup
Whole wheat flour - 1.5 cups
Granulated onions - 1 tbsp
Granulated garlic- 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
Olive oil - 1/3 cup
Sun-dried tomatoes - 3-4 (1/4 cup, pulsed)
Basil - 1 tbsp, dried
Chili flakes - 1 tsp
Black pepper powder - 1/4 tsp
Flax seed powder - 2 tbsp in 1/2 cup water
Water - 1 cup
Parmesan cheese - 1/3 cup (optional, or vegetarian alternative can be used)


Run the Add the dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 

Add the sourdough starter, water, oil, flaxed egg and mix well. 

Add the dried ingredients and mix everything quick till combined thoroughly. Add the finely grated parmesan cheese and mix well. Fill three-fourths of each cavity in the muffin pan. Bake for 16 min at 350 degrees F. 

Cool completely for 15-20 minutes.

Serve with butter.

Here are the quick links for the muffins we shared today. Thanks, Stacy and members of #MuffinMonday!

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Guava Pineapple Passion Fruit Smoothie

This is one of the best smoothie with tropical flavors. Nourishing and satisfying, this is perfect for a hot summer day. 

Flavors of guava, pineapple, passion fruit, coconut milk with a hint of ginger - the flavors all balance perfectly.

Summer is the time that we take a break from school work. It is also the time for ice cold thirsting quenching drinks. Sometimes you might want to cook and smoothie or smoothie bowls are great options for keeping us nourished and hydrated. 

We love this smoothie with all the tropical flavors. This is satisfying and thirst quenching at the same time. This is very simple and can be made in 5 minutes. 

Serves 6

Guava juice - 3.5 cups
Pineapple - 1 cup, diced
Passion fruit juice - 1 cup
Coconut milk - 1/2 cup
Ginger - 1-in piece
Ice - 1 cup


Add all the ingredients to the blender and blend till smooth. 


Saturday, April 24, 2021

Tapioca Pearl Stir-fry/Sabudana Kichdi/Javvarisi Upma

Perfectly cooked pearls - looks like a bowl of savory and delicious dipping dots - that's how it looks like. This is how I would describe this. This tasty dish is popularly called Sabudana Khichdi which we call as Javvarisi Upma in our home. It is light, fluffy, savory, spicy, nutty - all in one. This is packed with flavors. Soft and light with glassy individual tapioca pearls is a bowl of comfort with a bite of potato here and there. This makes a perfect brunch with tea, coffee, chaas, or juice. 

It is very simple to make.  There is one major step which needs to be taken care off. Soaking the tapioca pearls in right amount of water. This helps in making perfect khichdi. Each individual pearl should be separate and this should be mushy at all. When it cooks, it will cook in the steam and no water is necessary to cook. That's the magic! So, soaking perfectly helps in making it better. For years I had difficulty in making this until a few years back. I looked how one of our family friend made when we were at their home and from that day we had perfectly made sabudana khichdi. This is a favorite one for us and we would eat for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. This is a perfect brunch for weekends.

Christie of A Kitchen Hoor's Adventure is hosting "Favorite Brunch" in our "Our Family Table" group, as Mother's Day is around the corner. This sabudana khichdi is my mom's favorite. She loved when I make for her and enjoys it thoroughly. I love it and my daughter loves this too. It is a favorite dish to girls in three generations. This is the perfect fit for the theme. 

We share Recipes From Our Dinner Table! Join our group and share your recipes, too! While you're at it, join our Pinterest board, too!

Serves 4 -6

Sabudana / Tapioca pearls - 3 cups
Water - 1.5 - 2 cups
Salt - 2 and1/2 tsp
Serrano peppers (or Thai chili peppers) - 2-3, slit
Dried red chili pepper - 3 to 4, torn
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Cumin - 1 tsp
Potatoes - 2 cup, cooked, dices
Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
Oil - 1/3 cup
Curry leaf - 1 spring
Peanuts - 3/4 cup, toasted


Soak the sabudana with one and half cups water. In another half hour it would have absorbed all the water. Gently fluff up with a fork. Sprinkle the remaining water and fluff it up. Soak for about 4-5 hours.

Heat oil in a pan, add the dried red chilies, slit serrano peppers, and mustard. When mustard splutters add cumin, curry leaf and asafoetida. Fry for a minute. Add the potatoes and half teaspoon salt. Cook for a couple of minutes. 

Grind the toasted peanuts to a coarse powder.

Add the soaked tapioca pearls, peanut powder, and salt. Gently mix, cover and cook for 5-6 minutes on a low-medium flame. 

Fluff gently and continue to cook for another three minutes. At this point, they will be translucent and glassy which means they are perfectly cooked.

Switch off the flame. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Here are the quick links we shared for "More Great Brunch Recipes". Thanks, Christie!