Archive for the ‘Weight watcher’ Category
These Spanish peppers have caught on in San Francisco Bay Area. Last few years they were expensive and scarce at the farmer’s market, a small basket for $5. This year, our neighborhood Asian market has a large bag of these for $5. Last year, I fried these peppers in oil until blistery. This year, I got lazy and decided to push these under the broiler. Surprisingly enough, they came out at least as good as fried if not better.
I have been on a quest for guilt free parathas for many years now. I thought I had it with my pea paratha but I stand corrected. A recent culinary experiment made me realize that an even better filling is edamame. Comparing shelled and frozen edamame to shelled and frozen peas, here is the nutritional breakdown:
| Edamame 100 gm
||Peas 100 gm
Edamame does bring its characteristic nutty flavor to the paratha. If you have a good hand with rolling the paratha with coarse filling, you can finely chop the thawed kernels and mix with necessary spices. They have lower water content compared to frozen peas and therefore don’t really need any pre-cooking.
Don’t let my culinary excursions make you forget what parathas are supposed to be like. Here is a recent article from Odd Ends discussing ghee fried parathas from Old Delhi’s Parathe wali Gali. Maybe for every year of eating healthy paratha, one can indulge in a bite of the ghee fried one.
This recipe is from my grandmother’s generation that believed in the motto “waste not want not” and uses the husk of lentils to lighten up the traditional roti. Following recipe serves two.
Preparing the lentil: Take a cup of green mung bean (split or whole). Rinse the beans and soak overnight. If using whole beans, prepare for the beans to sprout and let the bean sprout for a day or so which eases removal of husk. When the beans are ready, place the lentils in a large container and fill with water. Gently rub the lentils to loosen the skin. Collect up the skin that floats to the top. Squeeze the skin to drain all water and set aside. If making daal from the washed and de-skinned lentil, click here for one particular recipe. The sprouts can be served as a simple salad when mixed with salt, pepper and lime juice.
Somewhere between lunch and dinner, I often find myself craving for a slice of cake and a cup of tea. Mostly I make do with a health bar. Some weekends, when all the chakras are in alignment, a cake is born in my kitchen. This one started out being yet another banana bread variation but the nutty taste of buckwheat overtook the tropical taste of banana. The end product was so moist and nutty that I decided to call it a tea cake, perhaps the best tea cake to come out of my kitchen.
Why 1001 nights? I reckon there are at least that many lentil soup recipes. I am adding mine to the mix.
Why is this special? Aside from the fact that I am not an impartial judge, this one has a variety of textures and flavors that are noticeably distinct but combine to form a wonderfully aromatic and light soup.
Key ingredients? Fresh pickled ginger, finely chopped pickled lime, slow roasted garlic, …
The yogurt curry is like hot raita. It is tasty and when had with a bowl of white rice, is a light and easy to digest meal. The lovely yellow color comes from turmeric, a spice with anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory responses. An ingredient is this spice, called curcumin, is now being tested against Alzheimer in scientific studies. The nutrition in the meal comes from the steamed spinach dumplings.
Ingredients for the steamed spinach dumpling (6-8 servings):
- A pack of frozen chopped spinach, microwaved for a few minutes until warm.
- 3/4 cup of besan (de-husked black gram flour). Can be substituted with chickpea flour.
- 4-5 pickled pearl/cocktail onions finely chopped (optional)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp amchoor (mango powder)
- 1 tsp lightly crushed coriander seeds
- 1 tsp paprika
Mix the above ingredients to make a soft dough. Prepare your steamer – I use a bamboo steamer. Make small dough balls with your fist, shape is not terribly important, and steam for 12 minutes. Cool and chop into bite size pieces.
Cook’s reward: Pop a few of these pieces in your mouth while you proceed with the rest.