Tag Archives: Healthy

Tofu Salad with Sesame Lime Dressing

Yesterday’s meals were delish but a little oil heavy! I also took it quite easy in the gym today (but hey at least I went!) so to make up for that tonight’s dinner is a light (but tasty!) one.

It’s also super quick which is ALWAYS a good thing.

To make the salad:

Combine: tofu pieces (I used ready to eat organic tofu cutlets – readily available in Waitrose, Spinneys, etc), sugar snap peas (blanched in boiling water for 1 minute), sliced red peppers, and ribbons of carrot into a bowl.

Drizzle with salad dressing and top with some chopped chives.

The Salad Dressing

Whisk together: a dash of sesame oil, some veggie oil, lime juice, sea salt, chopped green chilies, a teeny bit of smashed up garlic, soya sauce, and a little thai chili sauce. Combine to your tastes.

Super easy peasy, healthy, and tasty! A great dinner if you’ve “indulged” a bit before.

Enjoy! x


Mushroom and feta quiche (egg white only)

I have been asked before why I don’t put measurements and exact figures into my recipes and this is why. This recipe I totally made up. No previous skimming of recipe books or googling. I just had an idea and made it up as I went along. Cooking should be like that… take an idea and make it your own. Hence why I think precise measurements aren’t a requirement.

As to why quiche: when I as in Barcelona I ate at this one place in La Boqueria where they had the most yummy quiches ever. Usually I hate quiche, but these ones I loved. I figured it was because they didn’t use egg yolks (I hate egg yolks). So I set out (when I got home) to re-create the dish (an egg-white only quiche).

I have never made a quiche before, I barely ever eat them, but with at least the idea in mind that it’s an egg and pastry dish, I made up my own, the below is what I did. (It was pretty delish as well… though I say so myself!)

Mushroom and Feta Quiche

What you will need:

  • puff pastry squares
  • eggs
  • skim milk
  • mushrooms
  • crumbly feta
  • parmesan
  • onion
  • garlic
  • coriander
  • olive oil
  • salt, pepper, tabasco
  • deep muffin pan
Spray your muffin pan with a light baking spray and take your puff pastry squares out to thaw.
Saute your mushrooms and onion (there should be way more mushrooms than onion) in a pan with some butter and a little finely chopped garlic. Season. Once cooked through (translucent not burned) take off the heat and set aside to cool.
In a bowl whip your egg whites up with a some milk and a splash of olive oil. You want to aerate the mixture, so put some muscle behind the fork! Then add in chopped coriander, a little crumbly feta, a little parmesan, and your cooled mushroom mixture. Season with salt, pepper, and tabasco.
Fill each hole in your muffin tray with a pastry square, then add a teeny amount of extra feta to the bottom of each square before topping to about 3/4 the way up with the egg mixture. Bake until the puff pastry is browned and the eggs are cooked through.
(Just in case: for 6 deep muffin trays… I used 4 egg whites and about a tenth of a small Almarai milk bottle; and if you are concerned about the volume of mushroom mixture – don’t add it to the eggs, just spoon directly into each pastry square so that you can control amounts.)
Enjoy! x

Trying to emulate my Mom’s kheema

And failing! Lol.

Despite being Indian, I don’t always cook Indian food. Primarily because (or at least my excuse is) I think it takes too much effort and I am very much a lazy cook.

However, of late I’ve had a real craving for Indian food. At work I’m dreaming (instead of working ooops!) of dai vada, khali daal, butter chicken (see my weekend’s efforts), papri nu loat (no idea how to spell it… just think steamed rice flour with cumin) and kheema. My God, how I’ve been thinking of kheema. Especially the way my Mom makes it. Which is actually super simple (supposedly…!).

Like the “dutiful” Indian daughter I am (ahem… well maybe not!) I emailed my Mom for this recipe sometime over a year ago? I never made the kheema till now. My first attempt. It smelled like kheema, the taste was similar, but the texture was all wrong. I’m not saying it was bad, it wasn’t, it just wasn’t my Mom’s or anything close to it. Which for me was an unmitigated disaster… because it was my Mom’s kheema I wanted. Lol.

I’m not used to things not turning out the way I want them in the kitchen… so naturally I am deeply upset by this turn of events (okay not really), but if I have learned something from this experience. I can make Kheema, just not like my Mom, and therefore I suppose that means sometimes Mom really does know best. 😮 lol

With that here’s my Mom’s deceptively simple recipe.

Chicken Kheema

2 lbs lean chicken (quantity depends on appetites and servings required). Rinse and drain.

Chop 1 large onion and get 2-3 whole green chilies (slit them down the middle).

1 tsp garlic paste, 2 tsp ginger paste

4-5 whole black peppers, 2-3 cloves, 1/2 cinnamon stick

3-4 tbls tomato paste mixed with about 1/2 cup of water

Garam masala, turmeric, and chili powder to taste

Lots of love (my Mom is corny/adorable like that! ;-p)

In a pan heat up about 3 tblsp oil, when hot add cloves, pepper & cinnamon stir fry few seconds and then add onions, garlic, ginger paste & whole green chillies. Cook on a slow fire till onion soft and fragrant.
Add kheema (normally she cooks kheema separate with cloves cinnamon & pepper, and drains the fat as it comes out till done  – I skipped this stage because again I’m lazy) cook and stir frequently to keep it separate (otherwise small clusters will form – she’s serious… it happened with mine!).
When almost cooked add peas and cook further, if dry add little water. Now add the tomato paste mixed with garam masala, tumeric, salt, red chili powder– if using– and mix well adjust spices according to taste. Sprinkle coriander before serving.

Enjoy! x

Quick tip: tandoori scallops

Using pretty much the exact same yogurt marinade as I did for the tandoori prawns (previous post), I marinaded scallops and then grilled them. Tasted even better than the prawns because the slightly sweeter flesh of the scallop works really really well with the spices of the marinade. Super yummy and still so easy to cook!

Enjoy x


Indian “Thaali”

Apologies for the photo quality… I have no idea how to crop pictures on my new laptop! Oh well, I’m no photography-wizard regardless… so onto the food!! (edit: I downloaded a free version of photoshop… it’s not perfect but at least it’s cropped!)

Yesterday, I had a real craving for some Indian food (of the kind found more often in restaurants than at home, which is daal, bhat (rice), shaq (vegetables), and rotli). But I’m fairly anti-Indian restaurants because while the food tastes sooooooo good it’s seriously unhealthy and heavy. Too heavy to enjoy all that I want to eat. So I devised this “thaali” yesterday. Totally not a traditional thaali as the dishes are non-veg and more tandoori style than traditional, but yummy! hee. My thaali consists of:

Tandoori prawns

Butter Chicken; and

Fried paneer with coriander chutney

Coriander Chutney

Easy peasy – I promise. In a blender chuck in a few green chilies, 1 red chili, a bunch of coriander (leaves and stalks), 1 garlic clove, a spring onion, a splash of a vinegar, a splash of oil, salt and pepper, squeeze of lemon juice, and done! Blend until the desired consistency is achieved. Set aside until the rest of the food is ready.

Butter Chicken

Oh my God, though I say it myself (oops) this was divine and soooooo more-ish. Make the marinade first and don’t put the chicken in until the marinade is complete  as you will want to test it. You’ll also want to use a few spoonfuls of the marinade for the prawns as well, so make a little extra.

Yogurt Marinade

In a bowl combine yogurt, half the juice of a lime, 2 crushed garlic cloves, chopped green chilies, grated ginger, ground cumin, garam masala, ground coriander, a tiny pinch of tandoori spice, salt and pepper. Mix it all together and taste. If happy, take out 3 table-spoons of the yogurt mixture and move to another bowl. Then add in the chicken (chicken breast cubed) and marinade for a minimum of an hour.

Butter chicken

Cook the chicken with the yogurt marinade in a pot, add a squeeze or two of tomato paste, a little (or a lot if you like) butter, and grated onion. Once it is about half the way cooked, add in a little single cream. Let it simmer away, until cooked.

Tandoori Prawns

Start with the yogurt base from the chicken marinade. Add to it a little lemon salt, paprika, turmeric, garam masala, and chili powder. Add more ginger. The mixture should be more red-ish than the chicken marinade. Add the prawns (I used raw tiger prawns) and marinade in the fridge.

After cooking the chicken and paneer, grill your prawns.

Fried Paneer

To be eaten with the chutney. In a bowl add flour, turmeric, chili powder, salt and pepper. Coat the paneer and then shallow fry.

All done! A reasonably healthy version of the kind of the Indian food found in restaurants and portioned for one, well one, who will be very very stuffed afterwards. But soon feeling hungry again because it was light!

Enjoy x

Muffin Mania: Savory Veggie Muffins

So I’m not entirely sure why, but I’ve decided to go a little “muffin mad.” Maybe it’s because they are easiest most fuss-free kind of baking, and completely flexible too.

Anyways, Day 1: Savory muffins

Really good (and healthy). Can eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner. AND they will freeze!

Savory Wholemeal Muffins

Super easy to make, all you need is:

  • 2 bowls
  • Spoon
  • Whisk
  • muffin tray and some non-stick spray
  • 2 eggs
  • 1.33 (1 and 1 third) cups low fat milk
  • 2 tbls lemon juice
  • 3 tbls olive oil
  • 2 cups wholemeal flour
  • 1 cup regular flour
  • 1 tbls baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • red pepper
  • green pepper
  • mushrooms
  • 1 cup gruyere
  • 1/2 cup cheddar
  • a little parmesan to top
  • salt and pepper
In one bowl combine the flour(s), baking powder and soda, and salt and pepper. Mix together.
In another bowl combine the milk, eggs, lemon juice, and olive oil. Whisk. Season if you want (I added: salt, pepper and tabasco). Then finely dice your veggies, grate your gruyere and cheddar and add into the milk and egg mixture. Whisk to combine. Then slowly add in your flour to the wet mixture and stir. No lumps.
When all is combined, spoon mixture into the muffin tins. Fill until top and then sprinkle a little finely grated parmesan onto the tops.
Easy peasy… just bake in the oven until the tops are browned.
Enjoy x
Tomorrow Lemon and Raspberry muffins!

Thai Prawn Curry

So this is just a mix-match of different Thai flavours, not really a red, green or yellow curry, but taking the bits I like and making my own curry. Its pretty easy stuff: marinade the prawns and tofu, create a base, and cook veggies, prawns, and tofu in coconut milk. Add noodles.

Prawn Marinade

Get some raw and cleaned prawns in a bowl and marinade with: soya sauce, chillies, garlic, ginger, lime juice, lime zest and a paste mixture of: shallots, coriander, galangal, lemongrass, lime juice and chillies. Marinade for half an hour or so. Also marinade the tofu in a separate bowl with same mixture. I also added some chilli oil from a jar.

Regarding the paste mixture: the shallots are the base, but quantities of each element will depend on your taste. I (roughly) have in order of decreasing quantity: shallots, coriander, lemon grass, chillies, galangal, and lime zest. Blend all together with a little sesame oil and soya sauce – till its all mushy and smooth. (I think a Tom Kha paste would be the closest approximation… MSG (ugh) aside)

Assorted Veggies

In my curry I had: straw mushrooms, water chestnuts, baby corn, and green onions. All of these I just cooked off in the coconut milk in the end.

The curry

Add some of the base mixture (shallots, coriander, galangal, lemongrass, lime juice and chillies) into a pan, cook off with a little soya sauce and then add in the coconut milk. Also add about half the volume of water. Let it simmer.

In the mean time, pre-grill your prawns and tofu a little. The prawns should not be cooked all the way through. Then add in the tofu and veggies (aside from green onions) to the coconut curry. Let it cook. Towards the end, add in rice noodles, prawns, and green onions. Let cook until noodles and prawns are done (two mins or so) and then top with coriander and serve.

Enjoy x