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

Ingredients:
  • Coconut Oil - 1/4 cup
  • Cane sugar - 1/2 cup
  • Peppermint essential oil - 15-20 drops *
Directions:
  • 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 

Ingredients:
  • Bees wax - 1 Tbs 
  • Coconut oil - 1 Tbs 
  • Shea butter - 1 Tbs 
  • Peppermint flavor- few drops **
Directions:
  • 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.

January 5, 2018

Raagi Crepes

We have been trying to include a lot of raagi (finger millet) into our diet these days as I have started spotting organic raagi flour in my grocery store shelves. Raagi is high in calcium (way more than other grains), and high in fiber, iron and many other minerals compared to whole grain rice and wheat. Raagi is also valuable as it contains the amino acid methionine (a very critical amino acid for the human body) which is lacking in our regular diet. I have tried a lot of Karnataka recipes like raagi mudde and raagi rotis which are all quite labor intensive 😉. This one on the contrary is a quick'n'healthy breakfast idea.




Ingredients:
  • Raagi flour - 1/4 cup
  • Organic grass-fed milk - 1/2 cup
  • Organic free-range eggs - 2 
  • Himalayan salt - as per taste
Directions:
  • Beat the eggs lightly, add the milk and raagi flour and mix well without any lumps. Add salt and mix well.
  • Heat a cast iron griddle on medium heat. Pour about 1/3rd cup of batter, tilt the pan around the spread the batter. 
  • Cook covered for about 30 seconds. Flip and repeat on the other side.
  • Serve with your choice of savory or sweet filling.
  • Suggestions: Homemade nutella, Avocado dill cream, green mango guacamole
  • This makes about 3-4 crepes. 





Buffalo Cauliflower


Here's another baked savory snack which is vegetarian, gluten-free and sugar-free. This is adapted from a Forks Over Knives recipe, with some quicknhealthy changes :-). This recipe needs to be served immediately and hence not ideal for a pot luck or for making ahead. I still need to figure out how to break down the prep/cooking process so that we can make this ahead of time. As soon as I figure it out, I will update it here. If anyone has suggestions, please comment below. Having said that, I suggest you have this fresh and it is just awesome.

Ingredients:
  • Large head of cauliflower - 1
  • Rice flour - 2/3rd cup (white or brown works fine)
  • Almond powder - 2 Tbsp 
  • Tomato - 1 small
  • Garlic - 2 cloves
  • Paprika - 2 tsp
  • Homemade Sriracha/ hot sauce - 1/3rd cup

Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 450 deg F
  • Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper
  • Blend rice flour, almond powder, tomato, garlic and paprika with 2/3rd cup of water into a thick smooth paste
  • Cut cauliflower into 2-inch florets.Toss them with the paste to coat evenly.
  • Arrange in baking trays.
  • Bake at 450 oven for 25 minutes
  • Take out and keep for 3 more minutes before adding the Sriracha or hot sauce.
  • Add sriracha and toss to coat evenly. (if you are not serving immediately, hold off on tossing with the sauce till you are ready to serve)
  • Serve with your favorite dip. 
  • Makes 6-8 servings. Enjoy!

Homemade Sriracha Sauce:
  • Red chilly powder -1 Tbs.
  • Paprika -1 Tbs.
  • Garlic clove - 2 (finely grated) 
  • Apple cider vinegar - 2 Tbs
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice - 4 Tbs
  • Cold pressed sesame oil - 2 Tbs
  • Sea salt - 1 tsp
  • Whisk everything together in a small bowl (or if you are making a bigger batch you can use a blender) 
  • This makes about 1/2 cup of sauce.

Spinach Yogurt dip:
  • Yogurt-1/2 cup
  • Almond powder - 1/2 cup
  • Garlic - 1-2 cloves
  • Spinach- 2 handfuls
  • Green chilly - 1-2
  • Sea salt - as per taste
  • Process everything in food processor to make a coarse textured dip.



Recipe adapted from here.

January 4, 2018

Baked Spicy Veggie Cakes

Like many other recipes from the quicknhealthy kitchen, this was born out of desperation😄..just kidding. We were snowed in and naturally we were all craving for a warm savory snack. I did not want to make a deep fried snack, especially just after the holiday season when all of us are trying to reset and get back on track. Also, since it is a working day, I definitely wanted to go the quicknhealthy route. Here is a veggie cake made with ingredients you can easily find in you kitchen and requires very little actual prep/cooking time. This is made with other veggies like cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini etc. 



Ingredients:
  • Bottle gourd - 1 medium
  • Sea salt - 1 tsp
  • Rice flour- 1/4 cup 
  • Romano cheese - 1/3 cup (grated)
  • Free range organic egg - 1
  • Garlic- 1 clove (finely grated)
  • Onion - 1 Tbsp (finely grated)
  • Green chilly- 2-3 (finely grated)
  • Paprika - 1 Tbsp
  • Oregano- 1 tsp

Directions:
  • Remove skin and grate bottle gourd, mix with salt and keep aside for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, squeeze out most of the water from the veggie. Reserve the water for another recipe (a soup maybe).
  • Preheat oven to 350 deg F
  • Transfer the drained veggie to a bowl, add the remaining ingredients and mix well. 
  • Divide into 10-12 equal sized balls. Shape into a small patty. 
  • Arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 
  • Optionally drizzle few drops of olive or coconut oil on each patty. 
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes (till slightly golden) flipping half way thru. 
  • Serve warm just as is or with your choice of dipping sauce. 
  • Enjoy!!