Chicken Nuggets that too homemade and baked…yaaaassssss!! Who doesn’t love Chicken Nuggets?? Be it kids or adults everyone loves them. Be it as an appetizer or after-school snack or as a side for those quick lunches and dinner, these sure get finished first. …
Dhokla is a popular Gujarati (western state of India) snack which is immensely popular all over India. The two main popular varieties of this savory spongy cake which are also available in most eateries and shops in India are Khaman (yellow in color) and Dhokla (white in color). So apart from the color that sets them apart, its the main ingredients that actually gives these two their own unique taste like Khaman is made out of chana dal/Gram flour and Dhokla from urad dal and rice/rice flour
With summer at its peak, all you want to eat and drink is something chilled and cold. Ice-creams and Popsicles make the perfect treats, snacks or dessert to beat this heat. Strawberry Yogurt Popsicles are the perfect summer treats. They are are all natural and delicious treats not just for kids but for adults too. These Popsicle come out nice and creamy. Make some fancy layering and these poposicles are treat to the eyes as well as to the taste buds. Honestly I can eat them for breakfast too.
I like to add a bit of sugar to the strawberries to bring out their sweetness and depending on how sweet or sour your yogurt is you can skip or add the sugar. Since I was making this treat with the lil one in mind I’ve used full fat yogurt. Found it a bit thick after whisking. Hence added some milk to adjust the consistency (but this is completely optional).
You can make various patterns using the strawberry and yogurt mixture. For instance you could simply mix the two and fill the mold to get a pink and creamy Popsicle or make alternate layers of strawberry puree and yogurt or take a step further and add some pattern like I did for this post. Which ever pattern you chose doesn’t alter their taste but definitely makes them look pretty. Now who doesn’t like a pretty looking treat/snack.
For the recipe…
Ingredients: (Makes 7-8 Popsicles)
For Strawberry Puree:
9-10 medium sized strawberries washed, cored and quartered (using fresh but frozen can be used too)
1 tsp sugar or honey
pinch of salt
For Yogurt Mixture:
1 cup yogurt (used plain, vanilla flavor can be used in which case skip the extract)
1/2 cup milk (optional)
1 tbsp sugar (or honey) (to taste)
pinch of salt
pinch of cardamom or drop of vanilla extract (optional)
For Strawberry Puree – Add the chopped strawberries to a bowl and to it add the the sugar and mix. Allow it to sit for 15-20 mins. Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. Remove it into the bowl. Keep aside.
For Yogurt Mixture – Whisk together all the ingredients like yogurt, sugar, salt and milk until smooth. Keep aside.
For Making Strawberry Popsicles :-
There are many variations you can make using these two purees but I have mentioned the method followed by me here. Please refer notes for the other ways.
Take the Popsicle molds and add the Yogurt Puree around 2 tbsp followed by 2 tbsp of strawberry and around 1 tbsp of yogurt (or as much required to fill the mold) again. Take a knife or the back of a spoon and insert into the mold make swirls or up-down motion to give some pattern to the mixture. Once you have filled all the molds, cover and insert the stick. Freeze for around 6-8 hours and Popsicles will be ready .
- Design Variations:You can follow the method listed above or simply mix the strawberry and yogurt puree together and fill the molds. You can do more strawberry and less yogurt and make patterns. Or you can make alternate layers of yogurt and starwberry mixture without the swirls. All these ways look and taste great.
- Depending on the sweetness of the strawberries and yogurt you can adjust the amount of sugar or keep it all natural and skip the sugar.
- I’ve used full fat yogurt but greek yogurt, lowfat yogurt will work too.
- I have used milk to adjust the yogurt consistency but that can be skipped or replcaed with water.
- You can make these Popsicles using any fruit of choice.
Avocado Banana Smoothie is a creamy, rich and nutritious beverage consisting of the main ingredients banana and avocado along with milk some chia seeds, and milled flax seed. This can be made Vegan by using Almond or Soy milk. Its a great breakfast or snack option and is one of my go to smoothies for my daughter. Its a very healthy drink not only for kids but also for adults.
What I love about this smoothie is every ingredient in this (like most smoothies) is packed with nutrients. Both Avocados and Bananas are nutrient dense food packed with fibre, potassium, vitamins minerals and good fats. They are creamy and their combination together gives a rich thick smoothie with the sweetness imparted by bananas. Chia seeds and flax seeds we all know are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and thus a great addition in Smoothies. I usually skip the sugar/honey as my little one prefers it that way but you can add any sweetener of choice.
Now to the recipe…
Ingredients (serves 1):
handful of spinach (optional)
Honey/sugar/dates or any preferred sweetener to taste
Chopped pistachios for garnishing (optional)
- You can add chia seeds or flax seeds or both. In addition, dry fruit powder can also be added to this smoothie to make it even more richer.
- Both avocados and bananas have a tendency to turn black when exposed to air, in other words they oxidize. So try to serve the smoothie as soon as its ready.
- This smoothie on it own is very filling but if required you can add some oats too.
- Addition of spinach adds a good green color and nutrients to this smoothie and the kids wont even know thats there is spinach in there at all.
That’s it, our Creamy, rich and nutrient dense Avocado Banana Smoothie is ready. Serve for Breakfast/snack. Enjoy!!
Instant Whole Wheat Vegetable Dosa is a quick and wholesome breakfast or even an easy lunch-dinner option since it requires no fermenting and can be made the moment you craving a Dosa. Its as simple as mixing whole wheat flour (atta) with water, adding veggies and seasoning it . Let it sit for 15 mins and you are ready to make dosas. These are so easy and quick to make that they are now a regular in my kitchen. I usually pair these some Tomato Chutney for breakfast. We love eating these for lunch/dinner too in which case I serve some dosa (potato) bhaji along with the Chutney.
This dosa is a soft variety and not the crispier kind (like the masala or paper dosa) so its perfect for kids/toddlers too. However I do like to add a bit of rice flour to get some crispier edges. Finely grated zucchini, yellow squash, carrots and finely chopped red onions are my veggies of choice for this dosa as these blend really well in the batter and making it a great way to sneak in a colorful variety of veggies. I like how the veggies impart their color and flavor to the batter. I usually leave out the green chillies as I make the same batter for all of us and my Toddler is yet to love spicy food. But you can definitely add green chillies and other spice powders you like.
Now to the recipe…
1 cup of whole wheat flour
1/4 cup of rice flour (optional)
1 and 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/4 tsp black pepper (or to taste)
pinch of asafoetida (hing)
1 tsp cumin seeds (zeera)
5-6 curry leaves (optional)
1/4 cup each of finely grated zucchini, yellow squash and carrots
1/4 cup finely chopped onions
handful of chopped coriander leaves
2 – 3 cups of water
Some oil for cooking the dosa
In a bowl mix the dry ingredients like wheat flour, rice flour, salt, pepper , asafoetida and cumin seeds. Add 2 cups of water and make a smooth batter. Add the grated veggies, onions, coriander leaves, curry leaves and adjust water if required. Let it rest for 15 mins.
In the mean while heat the Tava (flat griddle) on medium heat until its hot. Slightly greese the tava if its not nonstick variety. Mix the batter and pour a laddle or two of the batter and move the laddle/spoon in circular motion moving from the inside to the out to spread the batter uniformly. Don’t make the dosa too thin. Pour a spoonful of oil around the dosa. Let it cook for couple of mins and then loosen the dosa from the edges and flip it. Let the other side cook completely and then remove from the tava. Repeat these steps with the remaining batter to make dosas.
- Quantity and type of veggies can be added as per preference
- You can also add chopped green chillies or red chilli powder for some spice.
- For a crispier dosa add more quantity of rice flour.
- You can even make this dosa with simple addition of onion, chillies and coriander and it will still taste good.
- I usually add the curry leaves and zeera directly to the batter but you can also do a tadka of mustard seeds, curry leaves, zeera, hing and green chillies and then add it to the batter.
That’s it, our delicious, nutritious and Instant Whole Wheat Vegetable Dosa is ready. Serve it hot with some Chutney and Dosa Bhaji on the side.
Chilli Cheese Toast is a quick and easy appetizer, snack or breakfast recipe which is as simple as topping bread with a mixture of cheese, chillies, veggies and baking until bread is crisp and cheese has melted. I like to add green chillies but you could use red chilli flakes too. Adding some onions and bell peppers gives it a nice crunch and color. But you could totally add some other veggies like finely chopped carrots or cabbage too. Its the perfect after school or office snack when you want something spicy and cheesy to go with your glass of milk or cuppa. For serving, I like to cut the bread sides off and slice each slice into 3 giving them a finger shape and making the perfect portion to binge on.
Now to the recipe…
3 slices of bread
1/4 cup of shredded mixed cheese (I am using Mexican blend of 4 cheese : Monterey Jack, Medium Cheddar, Queso Quesadilla and Asadero Cheese)
1 tbsp finely chopped onion
1 tbsp finely chopped red bell pepper
1 tbsp finely chopped green bell pepper
1-2 green chillies finely chopped (or to taste)
1/4 tsp chaat masala (or to taste)
couple of tbsp of cream cheese or butter
Preheat oven to 375F. In a bowl, mix onion, red and green bell pepper, green chillies, coriander and mixed cheese. Mix well. Now add the flavors like chaat masala, oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper and give it a good mix. Divide this mixture into 3 equal parts and keep aside. On one side of each bread slice apply cream cheese as much or little as you like. Then spread cheese mixture on each slice evenly. Sprinkle the mozzarella on each slice. Bake for 7-10 mins or until cheese melts. For a crispier bread bake longer but make sure to keep a close watch. You can even broil the bread for about a minute or two for browning the cheese but make sure to keep a close watch as it could burn easily.
- I have used white sandwich bread for this recipe but you can use whole wheat or any of your choice.
- The amount of chillies/spice level can be adjusted as per your taste
- I’ve used mixed cheese blend and mozzarella but you can use completely one type of cheese too.
- In addition to onions and bell peppers you can add other veggies like carrots and cabbage etc too to this recipe.
Smoothies are the just the perfect breakfast recipes for a quick, healthy and delicious way to kick-start your mornings. For today’s post its the Nectarine Banana Smoothie recipe. If you like the combination of tart and sweet then you are going to love this smoothie. For this recipe, I have used ripe nectarine (which looks very much like a peach but just with a smoother outer skin) but you can also use peach too. Banana is optional but I like to use it as it provides the bulk and creaminess to the drink along with the boost of energy needed to kick start my mornings. I have used whole fat milk and homemade curd but you can use low fat variations or even almond milk, soy milk or any kind of choice. Also low fat or greek yogurt can be used too. My banana was nice and ripe and gave me the right amount of sweetness so I skipped adding honey/sugar. Would recommend tasting your smoothie before adding any sweetness. Last but not the least trying to get my Omega-3 in so a tbsp of milled flaxseeds and my yummy breakfast/snack is ready.
Now to the recipe…
1 ripe nectarine
1 ripe banana
1 tbsp milled flaxseed
1/2 cup milk (using full fat milk )
1/4 cup yogurt (using full fat yogurt)
drizzle of honey or tsp sugar (optional and to taste)
Few sliced almonds for garnishing
Wash the nectarine thoroughly and roughly chop it and remove its pit (stone in the center). Peel the banana and roughly slice it too. In a blender add all the ingredients and blend until everything smooth.
That’s it , our creamy, tart and sweet Nectarine Smoothie is ready. Pour it into your glass and top it up with some chopped almonds for that additional crunch. Enjoy!!
Magic Cookie Bars are crunchy,chewy and gooey bars made with chocolate chips, coconut and walnuts topped over layer of sweetened condensed milk and graham cracker crumbs. Traditionally these bars are made by layering all the ingredients in a single layer like the butter & crumbs mixture topped with condensed milk (which holds everything in place) followed by chocolate chips, nuts and then coconut. But I prefer to mix the coconut, nuts and chocolate chips together and sprinkle that as a layer. But you could totally do the single layer option too.
Now to the recipe…
Ingredients: (Makes 2-3 dozen bars)
1 and 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs or about 10-11 slabs of crackers (each contains 2 biscuits as seen in the pic below)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter (melted)
2-3 tbsp milled flax-seed powder (optional)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts (or any nuts of choice)
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 9X13inch baking pan with parchment paper and spray it with cooking oil or butter. Keep aside.
In a bowl mix together the walnuts,sweetened shredded coconut and chocolate chips. Keep aside.
Place the graham cracker slabs in a zip-lock bag and using a rolling pin crush them into fine crumbs.
In the lined and sprayed baking pan, add the crumbs, flax-seed powder and pour the melted butter over them . Mix well. Spread evenly and press firmly to the bottom of the pan.
Now pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the pressed crumb mixture. Lastly sprinkle the coconut, walnut and chocolate chips mixture evenly over the condensed milk and press down firmly. Bake for 25- 30 mins or until lightly golden brown. Cool completely in the pan and then lift the entire slab holding on to the parchment paper. Cut into squares of desired length.
- I prefer to mix the coconut walnut and chocolate chips together and then add them. But you could also layer them individually with the chocolate coconut and nuts layer or any order of your preference.
- I have used walnuts but you could use any nut of choice like pecans etc
- If you like to have it less sweeter, add unsweetened shredded coconut instead
- Pour the condensed milk evenly and don’t try spreading it with a spoon or spatula. Chances are you may pull off the crumbs layer.
- I prefer to mix white a semi sweet chocolate chips but you can use only one type of chips too
- Once cooled, I prefer to store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
That’s it, our gooey chewy Magic Cookie Bars are ready. Enjoy these on their own or with a glass of cold milk as an after-school/office snack or as quick dessert.
A very staple menu in most Indian household is Roti Sabji or Dal Chawal or combination of both. Green Roti is a very healthy and nutritious twist to the the regular Indian roti/chapati. Instead of using only wheat flour and water to make rotis this one contains tons of green goodness like Spinach, broccoli and some pistachios, mint and coriander too. Spinach, broccoli and pistachios are all super rich in minerals and vitamins. Thus addition of these to roti’s is a great way to ensure the intake of greens in your diet. The recipe is as easy as puree,knead, roll, roast and you have these healthy yet tasty rotis ready. You can even make a thepla/paratha out of these by adding some chopped green onions while kneading the dough. You can serve these like regular chapati/roti as a side with any Indian Sabji (vegetable dish) or dal (lentil curry). I even love eating these with a side of pickle that my granny sent me. Yumm!!
I happened to try these Roti’s for my toddler when she was going through phase where she would just want Roti/Chapati (yup no stuffed parathas too). Inorder to ensure she gets some dose of her veggies I thought of pureeing some veggies and adding to the dough. The combinations found in the process are endless but to begin with I will be sharing the Green Roti/Chapati Recipe today.
Now to the recipe…
For green puree: (makes approximately 2 cups) :
2 cups packed spinach leaves (am using baby spinach)
1 cup broccoli florets
1 clove of garlic
1/2 inch piece of ginger (peeled)
5-6 mint leaves
1/4 cup coriander leaves
1/2 to 1 cup of water
For Green dough:
1 cup Green puree from above
2 to 2 and 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/4 tsp black pepper (or to taste)
2 tbsp of oil.
Some additional wheat flour for rolling the rotis
Some Butter/ghee (optional)
Wash all the greens – spinach, broccoli, mint and coriander leaves and then add to the blender along with garlic, ginger, pistachios and 1/2 cup of water. blend until smooth. Use more water if required adding 1/4 cup or less at a time. This should give you approximately 2 cups of green puree. I like to use 1 cup at a time and freeze the other cup in a freezer safe zip-lock or container.
Now to the 1 cup of green puree, add about 2 cups (or more as required) of flour , 1 tbsp oil, salt pepper and lemon juice and knead into a smooth dough. Now add the remaining 1 tbsp of oil and knead again to coat the dough with oil uniformly. Cover with a plastic wrap or plate & let the dough rest for about 15 to 30 mins.
Give one final knead to the dough. It should be nice, soft and not sticky at all. Divide it into 8 equal balls. Heat a tava/griddle on medium heat. Dip one ball into the wheat flour and using a rolling pin roll it into a 6-7 inch diameter circle. Now place the rolled green roti on the heated tava/griddle. Once you start noticing small bubbles on the top, flip the roti. Now let the flipped side cook about 1-2 mins and then flip again to the first side. Let the first side cook completely and flip again roast the second side for about 30 seconds. Remove the roti on a plate and apply some butter or ghee spreading evenly. Make the remaining rotis in the same way.
- You could make this recipe without the addition of garlic too. Garlic adds a nice flavor but omitting it will not decrease the nutritional value of this recipe.
- If you want to add a little heat (spice) add 1 to 2 green chillies while making the green puree. I usually avoid as my lil one is not so fond of spicy food yet.
- The ratio for spinach, broccoli, mint & coriander leaves can be altered to taste.
- I usually prefer to make small batch of the dough so I freeze 1 cup out of the 2 cups of green puree and use it when required. The green puree is good for about 3 months in freezer. If you plan to make the dough with all the puree then recommend finishing the dough within 2-3 days as it contains garlic.
- When you want to use the frozen green puree simply defrost it or thaw it overnight in the refrigerator and then use it to make the dough.
- I prefer to use the spinach and broccoli raw to retain their maximum nutrient value but you can also cook them and then puree. To cook, boil spinach and broccoli in 1 cup of water for about 1-2 mins and then puree it along with the boiled liquid to avoid loss of nutrients.
- You can make these rotis as thick or thin as you like just like your regular roti/chapati.
That’s it, our super nutritious, healthy and tasty Green Roti is ready. Serve it hot with your favorite Sabji or dal or simply relish it with your favorite pickle. Enjoy!!
Fresh fruit flavored,all natural Popsicles or Ice Pops make such a great frozen treat for kids as well as adults. You could make these with any fruits you like but for today’s post its Watermelon Strawberry Popsicles. I chose this combination as love the way sweetness of the watermelon combines with the tartness of the strawberries. Secondly love the reddish color these two fruits impart to the popsicles making it yummy and pretty at the same time.
Now to the recipe…
Ingredients: (Makes 10 Popsicles)
2 cups of cubed watermelon
2 cups of washed, hulled and sliced strawberries
1-2 tbsp simple syrup Or sugar Or honey (to taste)
1 tbsp lime juice (or to taste)
1/4 tsp salt
In a blender add the sliced watermelon and strawberry pieces and blend until smooth. Add 1/4 cup water (at a time) and more if required to puree. Now using a wide strainer, strain the puree. I prefer to strain and use only the liquid & discard the remaining leftover fruit fibers. But you can even do this recipe without straining.
Now in the strained liquid add the simple syrup, salt and lemon juice. Mix well and then pour into the Popsicle molds. Cover and freeze for about 30 mins. Then remove from freezer and pop the wooden sticks in through the available slots. This helps to keep the stick straight and hold its position. Stick the whole container back into the freezer. After about 6 to 7 hours (or overnight) your Ice pops should be ready. Let them sit for about 2 mins or run/dip in warm water for about 10 seconds. Your ice pop should slide out easily.
- For storing, you could store individual popsicles in the small snack size ziplocks bags in freezer. They fit perfect for 1 popsicle.
- I prefer to strain the fruit puree and use only the liquid & discard the remaining leftover fruit fibers. But you can even do this recipe without straining. Just add simple syrup, salt and lemon juice to the pureed fruit and pour in molds.
- Some popsicle mold come with inbuilt stick on them (i.e.they are part of the lid. If you have one of those molds you can simply pour the liquid into the mold and freeze at a stretch for 6-7 hours or overnight.
- My strawberries were not so tart so I added a bit of lemon juice but you can skip it too.
- Simple syrup/Sugar/Honey and lemon juice are to taste so add as required or skip if not needed.
That’s it, our yummy fresh fruit Watermelon Strawberry Popsicles are ready. Enjoy this low-fat, guilt-free and juicy frozen treat with your family and friends!!