Thursday, 30 January 2014

The Grand Grape Juice

Grapes are available abundantly but the only fear that we have is the pesticides present on the skin. So why not try my recipe. I make this juice from cooked grapes. Continue reading to get the yummy juice recipe.

Preparation Time : 35 minutes
Serves : 2

Ingredients:
  • Red Grapes seedless - 1/2 kg
  • Sugar - 2 tsp.
  • Cardamom - 1 no.
  • Cinnamon stick - 1.5 cm size, 1 no.
  • Cloves - 1 no.
  • Palm jaggery - 2 tbsp. ( not a necessity! if you have, you can use it)
  • Water - 250 ml.
For washing grapes,
  • Vinegar - 1 tbsp.
  • Salt - 1 tsp.

Procedure:
  • Wash the grapes thoroughly. Then keep the grapes soaked in water, by adding the vinegar and salt. Keep it for 15 minutes. Again wash the grapes so that all the pesticides are removed.

Washed grapes

  • Heat the saucepan and add grapes, sugar, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, jaggery and water and bring it to boil. Boil for 15 minutes until the grapes turn pale. Turn off the flame and cool it down to room temperature.


All combined to boil
  • Remove the cardamom, clove and cinnamon from the cooked grapes.

Grapes after boiling turned pale
  • Transfer it to a blender. Blend until it is smooth. Strain it. You have the grape juice. 

Strained juice

  •  Serve it chilled.


The Grand Grape Juice
Have a healthy Grand Grape Juice!!!

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

The Red Velvet Cupcake

Getting an opportunity to taste from the best in the world is like a dream come true. Yes, I am talking about the Cheesecake Factory. After having a Steak Diane, the chef himself suggested to pick the Red velvet Cheesecake!!! Wow, it was a treat for my eyes to see the color combination. Moreover, the taste took me to some other world.

This flavor made me to do a small research on it. Yes, I converted the red velvet cake into a cupcake!
There was a balance in the flavor of each and every ingredient.Through this blog, I would like to share with you the recipe of the Red Velvet cupcake.

Preparation time : 40 min

Ingredients:
  1. All - purpose flour - 2 cups
  2. Baking powder - 1 tsp.
  3. Baking soda - 1/2 tsp.
  4. Cocoa powder - 2 tbsp
  5. Salt - 1/4 tsp.
  6. Caster sugar - 1 cup
  7. Sunflower oil - 3/4 cup
  8. Butter milk - 1 cup
  9. Eggs - 2
  10. White vinegar - 1 tsp.
  11. Vanilla essence - 1 tsp.
  12. Plain hot coffee - 1/2 cup
  13. Food colour red - 2 tbsp.

Procedure:
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degree Celsius.
  2. Sieve together, flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt and keep it aside.
  3. In a bowl, combine sunflower oil and sugar.
  4. Mix in eggs, buttermilk, vanilla essence, food colour until combined.
  5. Add the coffee and vinegar to the mixture.
  6. Add the sieved ingredients a little at a time to the wet mixture, mixing after each addition.
  7. Mix until combined.
  8. Place the cupcake covers in the cupcake tray.
  9. Fill the mixture in the cup to  half level. (otherwise you will get spilled cupcakes)
  10. Keep the tray in the middle rack of the oven and bake it for 18 - 20 minutes. 
  11. Pass a skewer through a cupcake and if it doesn't sticks, the cupcakes are ready.
  12. Take it out and keep it for cooling.

The Red Velvet Cupcake

The best way to have the red velvet cupcake is to top it with cream cheese frosting.

Have a great cupcake!!!




Cream Cheese Frosting

This cream cheese frosting prepared as shown below, can be used as toppings for many cakes.

Preparation time : 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  1. Unsalted butter, softened - 100 gms.
  2. Cream cheese - 100 gms. 
  3. Caster sugar - 1 and 3/4 cup 
  4. Vanilla essence - 1 tsp

Procedure:

  1. Beat the butter and cheese, using a mixer, in a bowl.
  2. Add sugar, little at a time, with the mixer on low speed.
  3. Add vanilla extract.
  4. Beat until smooth and creamy.
Cream Cheese Frosting

Monday, 27 January 2014

Eat right to improve your eye-sight


Did you know the diet that helps your heart is also good for your eyes?

The connection isn't surprising!

Your eyes rely on tiny arteries for oxygen and nutrients just as the heart relies on much larger arteries.
Keeping your arteries healthy will help your eyes and heart.


Through this blog, I would like to share with you some of the nutrients that are essential for the well being of your eyes.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin

These two nutrients, found in healthy eyes, aids in lowering the risk of Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and cataracts. You can find these in abundant in:
  • Dark leafy green vegetables like spinach, romaine lettuce, collards, kale, turnip greens, broccoli
  • Green Peas
  • Egg 
  • Corn 

Omega-3 fatty acid

Studies show that people who had a diet high in omega-3 fatty acid were much less likely to develop AMD.
Salmon, tuna, halibut and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acid.

Vitamin C

Eyes need relatively high levels of vitamin C to function properly. Vitamin C which acts as an antioxidant can prevent or at least delay the AMD and cataracts.
Oranges, lemon, kiwi, grapefruit, gooseberry are high in vitamin C.

Zinc

Zinc is an essential trace mineral that is found in high concentration in the eyes which protects your eyes from the damaging effects of light.
Legumes of all kinds( including black-eyed peas), peanuts, oysters, lean red meat and poultry are high in zinc.

Beta-Carotene

Vitamin A is an essential element for having a better vision. Consumption of fruits and vegetables which contains beta-carotene reduces the risk of night blindness as it converts into Vitamin A within the body.
Carrots, sweet potatoes, apricots, peaches, broccoli and cantaloupe are high in beta-carotene.

Making these nutrients as a part of your daily diets will help your eyes stay healthy.

"Eat right to save your sight."


Sunday, 26 January 2014

The Rice Ladoo.

A simple sweet, combination of rice and jaggery and a simple recipe.

Total preparation time: 40min

Ingredients:

White Rice - 500gms
Jaggery - 750gms
Cardamom - 5 to 6 nos.
Grated coconut - 1 cup
Ghee - 3 tbsp.
Salt - 1/4 tsp.

Procedure:

1. Wash the rice.

Rice sauté to brown.


2. Heat the iron pan, add the rice when the pan is hot. Add cardamoms. Stir until the rice pops and is light brown in color.

The powdered mixture.

3. When cooled, grind it into fine powder. Add salt and mix it and keep it aside.

The melted jaggery.

4. Melt the jaggery and keep it aside.

The combined mixture.

5. Heat the pan, add jaggery. When the jaggery begins to bubble, add the grated coconut. After 5min, add ghee and add the grinded mixture,little at a time, mixing after each addition, until it combines properly.

The mixture that is rolled into balls.

6. Now start rolling the mixture into small balls while warm with your hands. If cold, it won't hold in together and will break.

The Rice Ladoo

Try out the rice ladoo. Enjoy your day.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Information on the Low Glycemic Index foods

Making food choices based on Glycemic Index scores can help you in many ways in leading a healthy life. I would like to share with you some information on Low Glycemic Index foods.




What is Glycemic Index?

Glycemic Index(GI) is a measurement carried out on carbohydrate-containing foods and their impact on our blood sugar.





Importance of Low Glycemic Index foods
  • Disease Prevention : Following a low GI diet reduces the risk for Type-2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, gall bladder disease, depression and  breast cancer.
  • Better Blood Sugar and Insulin Control
  • Curbs Inflammation
  • Aids in Weight-Loss
  • Better metabolism

Glycemic Index Range

  • Low GI: 55 or less
  • Medium GI: 56 - 69
  • High GI: 70 or more

Below is a table that shows a list of healthy food with low GI which is suitable for dieters and diabetes. I also suggest this table for normal people for leading a healthy food-habit as the probability of having disorders to our organs is too high in the present world.

NB: Diabetic people should follow the table according to overall carbohydrate budget allowed and evenly distribute the intake of meals and snacks using the carbohydrate-counting method. It is advisable to consult a dietitian in case you are unaware of your total body composition.


List of Healthy food with Low Glycemic-Index 
Vegetables
Fruits
Nuts and Seeds
Beans and Legumes
Seafood
Asparagus
Apples
Almonds
Black beans
Cod
Avocados
Bananas
Cashews
Chic peas
Salmon
Bell Peppers(Capsicum)
Blueberries
Flax seeds
Kidney beans
Sardines
Broccoli
Cranberries
Peanuts
Lentils
Scallops
Brussels Sprouts
Grapefruit
Pumpkin seeds
Lima beans
Shrimp
Cabbage
Grapes
Sesame seeds
Soybeans
Tuna
Carrots
Lemons/Limes
Sunflower seeds
Tofu

Cauliflower
Oranges
Walnuts

Meat
Celery
Pears

Dairy
Beef, grass-fed
Cucumbers
Plums
Grains
Low fat milk
Chicken, pasture-fed
Egg Plant
Prunes
Barley
Skimmed milk
Lamb, grass-fed
Fennel
Raspberries
Brown Rice
Yogurt, grass-fed
Turkey, pasture-fed
Green beans
Strawberries
Buckwheat
Soy milk

Green peas

Rye
Cheese, grass-fed

Garlic
Breakfast Cereals
Whole wheat
Eggs, pasture-raised

Mushrooms 
All Bran(UK/AUS)
Oats


Olives
All Bran(US)



Onion
Special-K(UK/US)



Lettuce
Oat Bran



Spinach
Rolled Oats



Squash
Natural Muesli



Tomatoes
Oat porridge





Hope that this information will help you in choosing a healthy food habit.

Monday, 20 January 2014

A Refreshing Cucumber Drink - A Healthy Drink

Today I would like to present to you a simple recipe that doesn't consume much of your time but at the same time is very refreshing and healthy. A combination of cucumber, yogurt, mint and coriander leaves makes a nutritious health drink which is highly recommended for anyone who is on a diet control and also those who have diabetes and high cholesterol.

Preparation time : 7 min
Serves: 1

Ingredients:

Cucumber - 1 small sized
Yogurt/Curd - 1/2 to 3/4 cup
Mint leaves - 5 to 6 nos
Coriander leaves, picked - 5 to 6 nos
Salt to taste.



Peeled and Diced Cucumber

Procedure:

Peel the cucumber. Dice it. Put all the ingredients into a blender. Blend it until smooth. Pour it to a glass and enjoy the refreshment.

NB: Do not add water as cucumber already contains almost 95% of water.

Hope you had gone through the health benefits of cucumber, Health Benefits of Cucumber

A Refreshing Cucumber Drink


Sunday, 19 January 2014

The Shepherd's Pie

Introducing to you, the recipe of Shepherd's pie, a nutritious pie made of meat(lamb) and mashed potatoes.

Total preparation time: 1 hour
Serves : 8

Ingredients:

  • Lamb or beef, minced - 500gms
  • White mushrooms, sliced - 1 and half cups
  • Red wine - 1 cup
  • Carrot, julienne sliced(slices obtained when sliced using the peeler) - 1/2 cup
  • Zucchini, medium sized, julienne sliced - 3/4 cup
  • Onion, chopped - 1 no.
  • Garlic, minced - 2 cloves
  • Sprigs of fresh thyme - 3 to 4 
  • Frozen green peas - 1 cup
  • Corn - 1/2 cup
  • Butter - 2 tbsp
  • Sunflower oil - 2 tbsp 
  • Flour - 2 tbsp
  • Tomato paste - 2 tbsp
  • Worcestershire sauce - 2 tbsp
  • Chicken stock - 1 cup
  • Egg, beaten - 1 no.
  • Parmesan cheese, grated - 2 tbsp
  • Salt and Pepper, as required
Mashed potatoes:

  • Medium sized, potatoes - 6 
  • Butter - 4 tbsp
  • Cream - 1/2 cup
  • Salt, as required


Procedure:

  1. Boil diced potatoes in salted water until soft, about 30 minutes.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 200 degree Celsius. Butter a baking tray.
  3. Meanwhile in a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp oil over medium-high heat.  Add sliced mushrooms.  Saute mushrooms until soft and brown.  Add 1/4 cup of red wine to the hot pan, stirring and scraping the pan.  Remove mushrooms to a plate.
  4. Wipe out the pan and add the remaining 1 tbsp of oil, heat to medium.
  5. Saute carrots till soften, then add onion and garlic.
  6. When onions are soft, add minced meat.
  7. Saute the meat for 5 to 7 minutes, season with salt, pepper and thyme.  Add mushrooms, peas, corn and 1 tbsp butter.
  8. Sprinkle mixture with flour and stir.  Then add tomato paste, Worcestershire, and remaining wine.
  9. Cook and stir mixture for several minutes.  Add stock and simmer until sauce is thick and somewhat reduced.
  10. Remove from heat and stir in zucchini.  Season to taste.
  11. Pour meat mixture into the buttered baking tray.
  12. Drain and mash potatoes with butter and cream as needed.
  13. Spoon mashed potatoes over meat and spread evenly and smooth the top.
  14. Brush potatoes with a beaten egg and sprinkle with Parmesan.
  15. Bake it in the middle rack for 20 minutes or until hot and bubbling and potatoes are slightly browned on the topside.
Hope you will enjoy the Shepherd's Pie.

The Shepherd's Pie










Friday, 17 January 2014

Health Benefits of Cucumber

Cucumber - Health Benefits


I have always been a big fan of salad as it gives me all what is necessary for me in one meal. Cucumber seems to be most vital part of salads and for all the good reasons which I would like to share with you through this blog. I hope this would encourage you to make it part of your meal at least once in a day.

  1. Cucumbers keeps you hydrated as it contains more than 90% water.
  2. Cucumbers relieves you from heartburn.
  3. Cucumber extracts, when applied on skin, reduces tans and sunburns.
  4. Cucumber flushes out toxins in our body.
  5. Cucumber dissolves kidney stones with regular intake.
  6. Cucumber supplies skin-friendly minerals like magnesium, silicon and potassium.
  7. Cucumbers aids in weight loss.
  8. Cucumbers revives eyes by reducing under-eye bags and puffiness.
  9. Cucumbers reduces the chances of cancer with regular intake.
  10. Cucumbers stabilizes blood pressure.
  11. Cucumbers refreshes mouth and heal diseased gums.
  12. Cucumbers are rich in fiber which aids in digestion.
  13. Cucumbers are rich in silica which makes hair and nails strong.
  14. Cucumbers soothes muscle and joint pain.
  15. Cucumbers lowers uric acid levels.
  16. Cucumbers have lower glycemic index.
  17. Cucumbers help reduce bad cholesterol. 

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

THE CHOCONUT DONUT CAKE

It is my pleasure to share "THE CHOCONUT DONUT CAKE" because this cake is my own recipe.The name donut came, as per the shape. I wanted my cake to be moist and soft and wanted it to give a melting feeling while eating it. I did a small experimentation on it. Hurrah!!!! I was successful. So I made the cake to welcome our New Year 2014.

Total preparation time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients:

Butter Softened -175gms
Swiss Milk Chocolate chopped - 1/2 cup
Macadamia nut chopped - 1/2 cup
Almond white chopped - 1/2 cup
Macadamia and Almond grind to powder - 1/2 cup
Eggs - 3 nos.
Brown Sugar - 3/4 cup
Caster sugar - 1/2 cup
Vanilla Essence - 2 tsp.
Espresso - 1/4 cup
Orange-juiced, 2 nos.
Flour -2 and 1/4 cups
Cocoa powder - 1/2 cup
Salt - 1/4 tsp.
Baking powder - 1 tsp.
Baking soda - 1/2 tsp.
Red wine - less than 1/4 cup

For decoration:

Icing Sugar -1/4 cup

Procedure:

Preheat the oven to 180 degree Fahrenheit. Butter the cake tin. I used the one which gives the shape of a donut. In another bowl, beat the butter until soft. Add the brown sugar and the caster sugar to it and again beat it until you get a smooth texture. Add eggs one by one and beat the mixture until soft and fluffy. Add the grinded nuts. Add vanilla essence and mix it and keep it aside.

Sieve the Flour and Cocoa powder. In another bowl take the flour , to it add the cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix all together. Divide the flour mix, into 3 equal portions.Use a wooden spoon or spatula for mixing. Add first portion of flour, stir it. Add orange juice. Mix it. Mixing should be done properly without forming any lumps. Add the second portion of flour, stir it. Add the espresso and mix it. Add the third portion of flour, stir it. Add the wine according to the consistency of the batter. Batter shouldn't be too light or too thick. Finally add the chopped nuts. Stir it.{Note: If the batter is watery, the nuts will settle at the bottom. So try to maintain the consistency of the batter}.

Pour the batter to the cake tin. Place the tin in the middle rack for about 40 min in the oven at 180 deg Fahrenheit. After 40 - 45 min, pierce with a fork or skewer to see if any cake sticks onto to it. If  nothing sticks, then the cake is ready. Take it out from oven. Leave it to cool on a wire rack.

After it is cooled down, dust lightly the icing sugar on the top of the cake.

Serve it and Enjoy!!!

The ChocoNut Donut Cake






A Healthy Plate For Balanced Nutrition


A Healthy plate .


With a fast lifestyle and ever changing food patterns it is always recommended to have a glass of water before meal.

An example of a Healthy Plate
  • Divide your plate into 3 equal  portions.
  • One portion of salad.
  • One portion of meat/lentils.
  • One portion as a small cup of boiled rice/2 chapathi
This diet helps you in having a balanced nutrition and keeps your body hydrated.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Mojo Beef Kebabs

Cubes of steaks are threaded on skewers with lime and onion then grilled to perfection. A sauce of citrus, herbs and spices provides the finishing touch.

Total Preparation time: 40min

Ingredients:

2 slices of beef Top strip loin Steak boneless, cut into cubes 1 inch thick
1 tsp. coarse grind black pepper
1 large lime, cut into 8 wedges
1 small red onion, cut into 8 thin wedges
1 container cherry tomatoes

Mojo sauce:

1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tbsp. dried oregano
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. minced garlic
3/4 tsp. salt

Method:

1. Whisk Mojo Sauce ingredients in a small bowl. set aside
2. Cut beef steak in 1 inch thickness pieces, season with pepper
3. Alternately thread beef with lime and onion wedges on to skewers. Thread tomatoes separately on another skewer. { Here I used bamboo skewers. If so, oil them with olive oil so that the meat will smoothly be threaded onto a skewer}
4. Take a tawa-pan, heat it on a medium flame. Place 3 skewers at a time onto the pan so that the meat touches the surface of the pan. Pour 1 tbsp of  sauce for each skewer and close with a lid for 4 minutes and turn over the skewers and again close with lid for 4 minutes. { I am doing this, to give a little crunchiness to the beef.
5. Now grill the beef kebabs and the tomato kebabs drizzled with sauce, covered for 15 to 18 min over medium heat ie 180 deg Fahrenheit.
6. Serve Kebabs drizzled with sauce.

Enjoy!!!

MOJO BEEF KEBAB AND TOMATO KEBAB WITH MOJO SAUCE