February 16, 2018

Szechuan Shrimp and Cauliflower

Happy Chinese New Year!!!
We are celebrating Chinese new year day with probably my first venture into Chinese  cuisine. I decided to go with Szechuan region, which is known for the hot'n'spicy dishes. I had to make my own version of a Szechuan sauce to work with the ingredients that I had in my pantry and to stick to my quicknhealthy standards. I also made another even simpler everyday Chinese dish which is Chinese Okra and Egg Stir Fry, both served with rice. That is for another day and another post :-)

For Szechuan sauce:
  • Rice - 1 Tbs (soaked for a few hours)
  • Red chilly - 4-5
  • Garlic - 3-4 cloves
  • Nama shoyu - 2 Tbs
  • Toasted sesame oil - 2 Tbs 
  • Apple cider vinegar - 1 Tbs 
  • Sea salt - as per taste 
  • Using a mortar and pestle, crush/grind the soaked rice, garlic and red chilly to a paste. You can add a couple of tablespoons of water to aid the process. 
  • Transfer the paste to a small bowl, add the remaining ingredients and whisk well. 
For the main dish: 
  • Wild caught shrimp - about 10 
  • Cauliflower - about a cup (cut into small florets)
  • Fresh ginger - 2 Tbs (chopped fine)
  • Cashew nuts - handful (optional) 
  • Green chilly/scallions - for garnish
  • Sesame oil - 1 Tbs 
  • Heat sesame oil on a pan/wok on medium high heat. Saute the chopped ginger till browned.
  • Add shrimp and a tablespoon of the Szechuan sauce and saute flipping the shrimp halfway thru, till shrimp is no longer pink. This will take only a couple of minutes.
  • Add cauliflower florets and saute on medium heat till they are half cooked, about 4 minutes.
  • Add all the remaining sauce and cook stirring frequently till cauliflower is cooked enough but still crispy. If the sauce is sticking to the pan you can add a couple of tablespoons of boiling water to scrap everything together.  
  • Ideally should be served immediately with rice.
  • Enjoy!!

  • Soaked rice - can be substituted with a tablespoon of rice flour. 
  • Apple cider vinegar can be substituted with rice vinegar or white vinegar. 
  • Nama Shoyu is unpasteurized Soy sauce (Recommended using good organic brand for any soy products - This is the one I use)
  • For a vegetarian option, just omit the Shrimp and double the quantity of cauliflower or use a combination mixed vegetables. 

February 13, 2018

Redsgullas - the Red Rasgulla

Here's a V-Day special Rasgulla !!! If you are looking for a regular Rasgulla recipe, you can just do a google search and find a bunch of recipes with pretty much same the set of directions. Make paneer, knead and divide into balls, simmer in sugar syrup and serve. I follow the same process, just that I am adding a couple of deviations to make it colorful and flavorful for valentine's day ;-), and of course I use clean, organic ingredients. Quick'n'healthy always believe in serving the best quality desserts in small servings :-)

  • Organic grass-fed milk - 6 cups
  • Lemon juice - 1/4 cup 
  • Beet root - 1 small 
  • Unrefined cane sugar - 1 1/2 cups
  • Rose water - 2 Tbs

  • Heat milk on low medium heat, when it is starts to boil, stir in the lemon juice to curdle the milk. Switch off and let it stand for about 2 minutes
  • Line a large strainer with cheese cloth or just a plain clean muslin cloth and pass the curdled milk thru to collect the curd. Pour a plain cold water to wash the paneer to remove any sour taste from the paneer. 
  • Hang the paneer for about 15-20 minutes till all water has dripped off. Squeeze well to remove any remaining water.
  • Transfer the paneer to a bowl and knead well for about 4-5 minutes. Divide into small balls (about 24).
  • Remove the skin and grate the beet root. 
  • Mix sugar with 6 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add grated beets and simmer for about 10 minutes. Strain return the sugar syrup back to the saucepan.
  • Add paneer balls to the beautiful red sugar syrup. Simmer covered for about 15 minutes. 
  • Switch off transfer to a bowl and add rose water. Let it cool down and serve warm or chilled. 
  • Before serving, optionally add a few more drops of rose water.
  • This makes about 24 small rasgullas. Enjoy!! 

February 12, 2018

Cherry Almond-butter Mousse

Here is a quick'n'healthy dessert for Valentine's Day or any other day for a sweet little something :-) Made with clean ingredients, gluten-free, dairy-free and refined-sugar-free and can be put together easily. If you are not up to making your own coconut milk or almond butter, replace with good quality store bought versions, making sure to read the ingredients. 

  • Blend all ingredients using a blender till nice and creamy.
  • Add to a saucepan and simmer on low-medium heat stirring continuously. 
  • Once the mixture is thickened (in about 10 minutes) switch of and let it cool.
  • Divide into individual single serve dessert bowls and keep refrigerated till ready to serve.
  • Serve as is or topped with fresh cut fruit/berries. 
  • This makes about 6 small servings (as always quicknhealthy serves small servings of desserts :-))
  • Enjoy!!!

January 8, 2018

QuicknHealthy DIY Beauty Products

I am generally not someone who use any kind of cosmetics, including makeup, beauty products, hair dye or any such products. There are certain things that I have to use though to help the body when nature and other external factors overwhelm the body and it needs some help. Most  of the bath and body products have endless lists of ingredients (mostly chemicals) out of which you will not even be able to understand half of them. Many are definitely not good for you, while some are harmful instead of being useful. I try to use natural and organic products as much as practical. I have also ventured into making my own when it is practical. My readers and friends might be familiar with the body butter that I have been making for a quite some time now. This time, I wanted to try making a hand scrub and a lip balm, both made with just a few organic ingredients. They also make good gifts or party favors. The best part is your body would thank you for using it 😊

Quicknhealthy Peppermint Hand-scrub

  • Coconut Oil - 1/4 cup
  • Cane sugar - 1/2 cup
  • Peppermint essential oil - 15-20 drops *
  • Melt coconut oil over a bowl of warm water. 
  • Add the sugar and peppermint oil and mix well. 
  • Add to a container and keep it near your kitchen sink or in the bathroom. 
  • Use a little bit after dish-washing, laundry, cleaning or just when you need a little bit of pampering :-)
  • Enjoy!! 

Quicknhealthy Peppermint Lip-balm 

  • Bees wax - 1 Tbs 
  • Coconut oil - 1 Tbs 
  • Shea butter - 1 Tbs 
  • Peppermint flavor- few drops **
  • Melt bees wax, shea butter and coconut oil over a bowl of warm water. 
  • Once everything is melted, add peppermint oil.
  • While it is still liquid, add to lip balm containers or tubes. 
  • Let it solidify in about 10-20 minutes. ***
  • This makes about 7-8 lip balm tubes.****
  • Enjoy!! 

* For the hand-scrub, I used peppermint essential oil meant for topical use. 
** For the lip balm, I used simply organic peppermint flavor, if you are using pure peppermint oil, be mindful to read instructions on how to use and how much to use. 
*** In warm weather it might take longer to solidify, keep the tubes upright till it is completely solidified.
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