Cook's Hideout: August 2015

August 28, 2015

Rajgira-Red Poha Kheer (Vegan recipe)

Today is second friday in Sravan masam when 'Varalakshmi Vratam' is performed. I did my pooja too today, thanks to my mom for her help :-)
Amaranth & Flattened Rice Kheer
This kheer or payasam recipe is from a Telugu cooking show, it is very healthy with no refined ingredients. This kheer is made with rajgira or amaranth grains, red poha and jaggery.

August 26, 2015

Carrot Halwa Ice Cream

Blogging Marathon# 55: Week 4/ Day 3
Theme: Bookmarked Recipes
Dish: Carrot Halwa Ice cream
Did you ever eat warm carrot halwa with a scoop of vanilla ice cream? That is one extremely rich and decadent dessert to have (also a calorie bomb -- but you are allowed to indulge once in a while, not everyday, mind you!!). My mom and sister love this combination.
Indian style Carrot Halwa Ice Cream
This ice cream combines carrot halwa and vanilla ice cream to make a flavor that is sure to be a hit at a Indian themed parties. Recipe is from here and it is just as it sounds, make some carrot halwa, make a vanilla ice cream base -- mix them both and churn.

August 25, 2015

Dulche de Leche Ice Cream (Eggless recipe)

Blogging Marathon# 55: Week 4/ Day 2
Theme: Bookmarked Recipes
Dish: Dulche de Leche Ice cream
Next ice cream I made this summer is this Dulche de Leche Ice cream. I had a bottle of dulche de leche in the fridge that my husband got from Argentina. It needed to used up and this ice cream from Smitten Kitchen sounded like the right recipe to make.
Eggless Dulche de Leche Ice Cream
This is one of the most easy ice cream recipes I've made. All it needs is bringing milk and cream to boil and then stirring in dulche de leche and setting aside to chill, then churning it in the ice cream machine to finish making the ice cream. I swirled some dulche de leche while putting it into a container.

August 24, 2015

Cookies and Cream Ice Cream (Eggless Recipe)

Blogging Marathon# 55: Week 4/ Day 1
Theme: Bookmarked Recipes
Dish: Cookies & Cream Ice cream
My theme for the final week of this month's blogging marathon is 'Bookmarked Recipes'. Since it is almost the end of summer (sigh -- why does it have to end so soon!!!), I thought it is time to post the ice creams that I made during summer.
Eggless Cookies and Cream Ice cream
First up is 'Cookies & cream ice cream'. I read somewhere that 'Cookies & Cream' flavor is one of the most popular ice cream flavor and I told this little tidbit to my son. From that point on he started pestering me to make it for him (thanks to the summer vacation, he had too much free time on his hands to pester me).

August 21, 2015

Chia Bircher Muesli

After 3 kid friendly breakfast recipes this week, I have a figure friendly healthy breakfast oatmeal that can be made at night, so you can wake up and have it with no fuss. This recipe is from Vegetarian Times magazine.
Breakfast Oatmeal with Chia Seeds
After trying the blueberry chia jam, I made this overnight oatmeal. It is as simple as combining a few ingredients in a bowl and refrigerating overnight. This bircher muesli is a nutritious, quick and delicious breakfast for busy bees who are always on the go.

August 19, 2015

Blueberry Chia Jam

Blogging Marathon# 55: Week 3/ Day 3
Theme: Kid's Delight -- Healthy Breakfasts
Dish: Blueberry Chia Jam
Bread and jam is such an universally accepted and appealing breakfast. I guess this is the most easiest and the most convenient to have on a busy morning. Add a nut butter like peanut or cashew or almond butter to that toast and you have yourself a filling and delicious breakfast that keeps you going till lunch time.
Jam with Blueberries & Chia seeds
For today's 'Kid friendly Healthy Breakfast', I made an easy and nutritious Blueberry Chia jam. I bought chia seeds on a whim from Trader Joe's, but I haven't used it much yet except in smoothies.

August 18, 2015

Chocolate Granola

Blogging Marathon# 55: Week 3/ Day 2
Theme: Kid's Delight -- Healthy Breakfasts
Dish: Chocolate Granola
Today's kid friendly breakfast happens to be my favorite too. I couldn't stop myself munching on this delicious and addictive granola. Recipe for this chocolate granola is from Bobby Flay's 'Brunch with Bobby' cooking show. I had the recipe bookmarked for a very very long time and finally made it for the kids.
Granola with Chocolate & Raisins
Original recipe is with chocolate and coconut, but I skipped adding the coconut chips and coconut extract to the granola because I didn't have neither at home. But even without them, granola tasted amazing.

August 17, 2015

Vegan Buckwheat Waffles

Blogging Marathon# 55: Week 3/ Day 1
Theme: Kid's Delight -- Healthy Breakfasts
Dish: Buckwheat Waffles
We are starting a brand new week of blogging marathon today and my theme for this week is 'Healthy Breakfasts for Kids'. Lavina is hosting this month's Kid's Delight event with this interesting theme. Kid's Delight is the brain child of our lovely organizer Valli.
My kids usually eat cereal for breakfast during the weekdays. On the weekends I try to indulge them with some of their favorite breakfasts like pancakes or waffles.
Buckwheat Waffles
Today's waffles recipe has buckwheat flour in it. It is known as kuttu in hindi. It is not really related to wheat, as the name suggests, but is related to sorrel and rhubarb. It is a dark colored flour and contains no gluten, so it can be eaten safely by people with celiac disease or gluten allergies. In India, dishes made with buckwheat flour are eaten during Hindu fasting days.

August 14, 2015

Gongura Bobbarla Kura (Sorrel Spinach and Black eyed Peas curry)

Last weekend we visited my cousin's place and she has a lovely backyard garden filled with Indian greens and veggies. My mom and I were got very excited and brought home bags full of gongura (sorrel spinach), bachalakura (malabar spinach/ pohi) and some tomatoes.
Sorrel Spinach and Black eyed Peas curry
Indian stores here sell gongura & bachalakura for lot of money. I'm never even tempted to buy these sorry looking greens -- they are almost wilted with absolutely no life left. This explains our excitement when we saw fresh, vibrant greens :-)

August 12, 2015

No-Bake Nutella Cheesecake

Blogging Marathon# 55: Week 2/ Day 3
Theme: Nutella Galore
Dish: No-Bake Nutella Cheesecake
Here's another lip smacking dessert using Nutella, a no-bake cheesecake. I usually plan the dishes to make for the marathon, well ahead of time. But for this week except for the muffins I made for the first day, I had nothing planned for the next 2 days. I was able to make the s'mores based on my son's tv show, but I was clueless as to what to make for today.
Clueless because there are sooooooo many dishes that can be made with Nutella and I'm sure every single one would taste amazing. I was very tempted to make Valli's Nutella mousse in chocolate cups, but was too lazy to make the chocolate part.
Nutella Cheesecake
Then I saw this no-bake Nutella cheesecake on Pinterest and made it right away to make sure I don't change my mind :-) Original recipe used frozen whipped topping, but I didn't want to wait for the whipped topping to thaw, so I whipped fresh cream and folded it into the nutella-creamcheese mixture.

August 11, 2015

Indonesian Tofu Satay for #Food of the World

For this month's #Food of the world event, we are visiting the beautiful island of Aruba. It is an island country in the southern Caribbean sea. It is one of the 4 constituent countries that form the Kingdom of Netherlands along with the Netherlands, CuraƧao and Sint Maarten. 
Traditional Aruban cuisine includes dishes with goat meat, stoba-stew pots filled with vegetables that are locally grown - fish and maize. Finding a vegetarian recipe turned out to be quite challenging. Luckily Mir, my dear blog buddy and a fellow food of the world member, offered to help because her mom is Aruban. I jumped right away and took up the offer.
Tofu Satay with Peanut Sauce
She emailed me quite a few vegetarian options for Aruban food. She also mentioned that Aruba has a very large population of Indonesian because it is a Dutch island and Indonesia was the largest former Dutch Island. and Arubans also eat a lot of Indonesian food.

Vegetarian S'mores with Nutella

Blogging Marathon# 55: Week 2/ Day 2
Theme: Nutella Galore
Dish: Vegetarian S'mores with Nutella
This is probably the most loved theme I have ever chosen. My kids are beyond excited with everything that they got to eat in the name of blogging marathon :-)
S'mores with Nutella & Banana
For the 2nd day, I made a quick and easy vegetarian S'mores. Traditional s'mores are made with graham crackers, roasted marshmallows and melted chocolate. But my vegetarian version is made with graham crackers, banana, nutella and whipped cream.

Wholewheat Zucchini Bread for #BreadBakers

It's time for #Breadbakers again and I'm so excited to host it this month. The theme I picked is 'Breads using Summer Bounty'. So any bread, quick or with yeast, using fruits, herbs and vegetables from your garden or fresh from the farmer's market can be made. We have a delicious list of breads from the lovely bakers, don't forget to visit their blogs (listed at the end of the post).
Zucchini Wholewheat Bread
I planted a zucchini plant in my raised vegetable bed this year. It started flowering beginning of July and I was hoping for a bumper crop of zucchini. Little did I know that not all flowers become fruit. With no zucchini in sight even after 3~4 weeks, I started to panic. A quick google search even led me to think that there were no bees in our area to pollinate the flowers and I might end up zucchini-less after all. Then one day I saw these 2 big ones -- not sure how I missed them the whole time. Then the next day I found a gigantic 13" one -- I might have to get my glasses checked now. I'm glad that my zucchini story ended on a positive note. Not sure if I'll get more though -- I see flowers but no tiny or big zucchinis :-(

August 10, 2015

Banana Nutella Swirl Muffins (Eggless recipe)

Blogging Marathon# 55: Week 2/ Day 1
Theme: Nutella Galore
Dish: Banana Nutella Muffin
We are starting a brand new week of blogging marathon today and my theme for this week is 'Recipes made with Nutella or Chocolate Hazelnut spread'. I knew right away that my kids would love whatever I make for this week since they absolutely LOVE Nutella.
Eggless Banana Nutella Muffins
For the first day, I made a moist & delicious banana muffins with nutella swirls. I can't stop myself from bananas even though I know very well that by day 4, they will start to smell very 'banana-ey' and no body in the house would really want to eat them. I try and find some interesting ways to use the overripe bananas and these muffins with Nutella swirls sounded just perfect.

August 07, 2015

Banana Strawberry Protein Smoothie (Sunwarrior Product Review and a Giveaway)

I posted about my new exercise routine that I started at the beginning of this year here. Recently I fell off the P90X wagon -- mostly because I was getting bored of doing 1 hour long workouts over and over again. But I didn't want to stop exercising altogether, so I started doing 30 minute cardio and aerobic workouts watching you tube videos.
After a workout I try to drink a healthy smoothie (either by adding protein powder or peanut butter or chia/ hemp seeds). Recently Sunwarrior reached out to me to do a review on their new product line -- Classic Plus.
Strawberry Banana Smoothie
Like all the other Sunwarrior products, Classic plus is also based on the original rice protein and has added amino acid balancing effects of peas, chia seeds, quinoa and amaranth. Read more about it here.

Grill Roasted Vegetables and Quinoa Salad

Summer is about barbecues, grilling and enjoying the outdoors. I took the kids to the lake last weekend for the very first time and they had a blast. It was a beautiful day and the lake was very scenic too. Kids had fun swimming in the lake and my daughter didn't even want to come out of the water.
Quinoa & Grilled Vegetable Salad
Today's recipe is perfect to make for your next barbecue or grilling party. Recipe is from Vegetarian Times magazine. I love grilled vegetables and this salad uses in them in the best possible way. Vegetables can be roasted under the broiler too if you don't have an outdoor grill.

August 05, 2015

Methi Paneer Dry Curry (Fenugreek Cottage Cheese Curry)

Blogging Marathon# 55: Week 1/ Day 3
Theme: Healthy Family Dinners
Dish: Methi Paneer Dry Curry
For the final day of this week's marathon, I made a dry curry made with methi (fenugreek leaves) and paneer. This is a simple dish that can be whipped up in no time and is a yummy when served with roti or as a side dish to rice.
Fenugreek Cottage Cheese Curry

August 04, 2015

Cherry Tomato Kurma

Blogging Marathon# 55: Week 1/ Day 2
Theme: Healthy Family Dinners
Dish: Cherry Tomato Kurma
For the second day of  'Healthy Family Dinners', I have a creamy and delicious kurma made with cherry tomatoes. This dish can be served with either rotis or simple vegetable pulao.
Cherry Tomato Curry
I have been cooking a lot with cherry tomatoes lately like this cherry tomato pachadi or this cherry tomato & kale pasta. I make sure to keep some handy to make quick pasta sauces or toss into salads for a juicy bite.

August 03, 2015

Roasted Cauliflower & Rice Bowl

Blogging Marathon# 55: Week 1/ Day 1
Theme: Healthy Family Dinners
Dish: Roasted Cauliflower with Ras el Hanout & Rice Bowl
My theme for he first week of this month's blogging marathon is 'Healthy Family Dinners'. Ever since I signed up for this theme, I have been thinking what 'healthy' actually means. It has become such a subjective matter. what I think as healthy may not be really that healthy.
For example, recently I read somewhere that broccoli has to be eaten as fresh as possible and if it is stored in the refrigerator, it loses its nutrients. So if I cook something with broccoli after about 4~5 days from buying, does that mean it's not healthy or nutritious anymore? The more articles I read on this, the more confused and clueless I keep getting. So, I've decided not to worry about it too much -- I try to cook with fresh ingredients and keep processed foods to the minimum.
Roasted Cauliflower with Ras el Ranout
So for the next 3 days, I'm going to post 'healthy' dinners that taste good and are enjoyed by the whole family. Roasted cauliflower is my newest favorite and with all the amazing health benefits it has, cauliflower is sure a superfood. Roasting makes it so much more delicious and in this recipe, cauliflower is roasted with tahini and a Moroccan spice powder called Ras el Hanout. It is a very flavorful dish and I served it with some brown rice and veggies.

August 01, 2015

Strawberry Jam (using Pectin)

With the last batch of strawberries we got from the farm, I made this Strawberry jam. I had some Pomona's Universal Pectin and I used the recipe from the instruction manual to make this jam. I bought a box of this few years ago and I've made jams using this pectin before and it always worked well for me.
Strawberry Jam
Some people prefer not to add pectin, but I find adding it makes the jam hold its shape better. If you prefer not to use pectin, then feel free to leave it out. Almost all fruits have some level of natural pectin in them that will help them set to make a somewhat firm to very firm jam. Here's a good article to read more on this.

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