July 16, 2017

Plantain Tortillas


It has been such a long time I have posted a recipe, a combination of factors - getting settled to my new home/kitchen, a lil hectic time at work, some travel, friends/family visiting, and a bit of more things at home. That does not mean I have not been cooking much, the kitchen experiments have continued, just did not get a chance to post anything. So hopefully that will change soon.

So here is a new recipe that we have loved and hence made quite a few times as part of reducing carbs, gluten and grains. This is a tortilla made with just plantains. So easy to make, almost as easy as unpacking and warming a pack of store bought tortillas, yet so much better in taste, texture and of course infinitely healthier 😊.






Ingredients:
  • Medium plantain - 2
  • Avocado oil - 3-4 Tbs
  • Sea salt- 1/2 tsp
  • Filtered water - 3-4 Tbs

Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 400 deg F
  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • Peel the skin off the plantains and dice into cubes. 
  • Add to a blender jar with remaining ingredients and purée till smooth.
  • Take 1/4 cup of batter and spread on the parchment paper to 4-5 inch diameter circles. This makes about 5-6.
  • Bake for 10 minutes, check and bake for 5-10 minutes more. 
  • Use just like tortillas. Enjoy!!









Recipe adapted from here:

March 23, 2017

Vendakka Mappas (Hearty Okra Stew)

Kerala cuisine is known for its use of coconut in all forms - coconut oil, coconut milk and coconut meat. Stew is a very common dish from Kerala which has many different versions, varying from the north of the state to the south of the state, with most versions having coconut milk as the common ingredient. Mappas is a variation of the stew, mostly made with fish (Fish Mappas) and is a common cuisine in the christian belt of kerala and has its likely origin based on portuguese influence. What I am doing today is the vegetarian/vegan version. 

Vendakka mappas (Okra stew), it is an hearty stew made of okra (or ladies finger as it is known in many parts of the globe) and simmered in a mildly spiced tangy coconut-milk gravy. Addition of okra will give an interesting texture, and is a very good choice because okra is a diabetic friendly and heart healthy vegetable which everyone is trying include in their meals these days. 






Ingredients:

  • Okra  - 30-40 (small medium)
  • Red onion  - 1  
  • Tomato - 5-6 (small Campari tomato)  
  • Green chilly -2-3 
  • Fresh ginger - 2 inches
  • Coconut oil - 3 Tbs 
  • Cinnamon - 2-3 thin strips 
  • Cardamom - 1-2
  • Cloves - 2-3 
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp 
  • Red chilly powder - 1-2 tsp  (adjust as per spice level)
  • Coriander powder - 1 tsp
  • Garam masala - 1/4 tsp (optional) 
  • Sea salt - 1 tsp (plus add as per taste) 
  • Homemade coconut milk - 3 cups ** 
Directions:
  • Wash and trip okra and pat dry with a clean kitchen towel. Cut into1 inch long pieces. 
  • Heat 1 Tbs of coconut oil in a cast iron pan and saute okra on medium heat till roasted well. Keep turning frequently taking care not to burn the okra. 
  • Meanwhile slice red onion thin, julienne ginger, slice tomatoes thin and slit green chillies.
  • Heat 1 Tbs of coconut oil in another cast iron pan and roast onion slices on medium heat till roasted well. Keep turning frequently taking care not to burn.
  • Heat remaining coconut oil in a soup pot or deep bottom sauce pan, add the ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves and saute for a couple of minutes. 
  • Add tomato slices, green chillies and all the spices. Cook on medium heat till tomatoes are soft and mushy. 
  • Add coconut milk, add the roasted okra and onion. Simmer over medium heat for 5-6 minutes. Adjust seasoning and switch off.
  • Let is rest for at least an hour  before serving.
  • Serve warm with rice, rice pan cakes or just as is as a hearty stew/soup.
  • Enjoy!!


**Home made coconut milk recipe is here: While quicknhealthy do not recommend using canned coconut milk, if you must use it, please do your research and buy the best possible brand. Also note that if you are using store bought coconut milk, you might need to adjust consistency by diluting it. 

February 17, 2017

Spaghetti Squash Lemon Rice



Here is one recipe that has become popular in the quicknhealthy kitchen in the recent past. All of us like lemon rice, especially my son who loves it with extra lemon in his serving. Though when we eat lemon rice as it is, we tend to consume a lot of rice. So I was looking for an alternative to rice or even something that can partially replace the rice. That is where spaghetti squash comes into the picture. So the property of spaghetti squash that separates into noodle like strands when cooked is made to good use in the recipe. When cubes of squash is cooked, you get something similar to long grain yellow rice, which is perfect for replacing some amount of rice in the lemon rice, while also adding the extra yellow color as well. So now you can have a lil extra serving of lemon rice without worrying about eating too much rice. 

Ingredients:
  • Spaghetti Squash- 1 medium
  • Coconut oil - 1 Tbs
  • Rice - 3/4 cup
  • Lemon - 1 large
  • Green chilly - 2-3
  • Mustard seeds -1 tsp
  • Coconut oil - 1 Tbs
  • Asaphoetida- a pinch
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Sea salt - as per taste
Directions:
  • Cook rice with 1 1/4 cups of water. Let it cool.
  • Remove skin and cut the Squash into 1 inch cubes. Heat coconut oil in a heavy bottom pan on medium heat and add the squash cubes. Roast them turning every 10 seconds or so, to uniformly roast them. In about 10-12 minutes everything should be roasted nicely and you should be able to flake them with a fork. 

  • Fluff the squash with a fork into small strands and let it cool a little bit too. Mix the spaghetti squash strands and cooked rice. Make a small well in the mixture, add turmeric powder and salt in the well. 
  • Heat coconut oil and add mustard seeds, when they pop, add asaphoetida and sliced green chillies. Sauté for a few seconds, pour the mixture into well in your rice squash mixture. Mix everything well. 
  • Squeeze out juice from a large lemon, add to the mixture and mix everything well. 
  • Serve at room temperature or warm. 
  • Serves 4-5, enjoy!!


November 28, 2016

Pumpkin Barfi Pie

Though I was being lazy to post recipes online of late, I am very much keeping myself busy in the quicknhealthy kitchen :-). This Thanksgiving season, I decided to go a little extravagant to make two desserts. One was the most trending dessert of the season from NYT, Cranberry Curd Tart. For the second one I wanted to stick with my favorite TG dessert ingredient, our local Pumpkin. I also wanted to bring an Indian touch to my dessert (no surprise there!). That is how this classic 'Pumpkin Barfi Pie' originated. The quick baked crust is flour-less, gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan. The filling made on stove top is dairy-free, vegan and sweetened with just enough cane sugar. It can be substituted with coconut sugar or other choice of sweeteners, I just used unrefined cane sugar so that my bright yellow pumpkin color is retained in the dessert. 



Ingredients:
For the crust:
  • Almond powder - 1 cup (3/4 cup almonds ground in a coffee grinder of dry blender)
  • Dried shredded coconut - 3/4 cup 
  • Dates - 4-6 
  • Fresh ginger  - 1 inch 
  • Virgin coconut oil - 2 Tbs 
For the barfi filling:
  • Pumpkin - 4 cups (Grated and packed) 
  • Dried shredded coconut - 2 cups
  • Organic unrefined cane sugar - 1 - 11/4 cups 
  • Cardamom - 6-8 (skinned and powdered)
Directions:
For the crust:
  • Preheat oven to 350 deg F
  • Process all ingredients in a food processor until moistened and well combined. It should form sort of a stiff 'dough'.
  • Press the 'dough' into and up the sides of a 9-inch pie dish. (I used a tart pan instead of a pie pan) 
  • Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden. Let the crust cool down completely. 
For the barfi filling:
  • Prepare the pumpkin: I used a variety called Orange Hubbard, but any variety of sugar pumpkin will work fine. Cut it into 1/2 and remove core and seeds. Cut into 3'' to 4'' pieces, remove skin. Grate using a vegetable grater. Measure 4 cups packed. 
  • Start cooking on a heavy bottom pan on medium heat, after 3-4 minutes, the pumpkin will start releasing liquid. Add coconut and continue cooking, stirring frequently taking care not to burn. 
  • In about 15-20 minutes, pumpkin should be cooked and soft. Add sugar and cardamom powder and continue cooking. 
  • Cook till all liquid is absorbed and everything starts to leave from the edges of the pan. 
  • Remove from flame and let it cool down. Once cooled down, fill in the prepared crust by pressing down evenly as you go. Smooth the surface evenly and store at room temperature for up to 2 days. Serve at room temperature. 
  • Any leftovers can be refrigerated up to 2 weeks.When serving warm in 200 deg oven for 5-10 minutes to soften.