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Monday, January 30, 2017

Crunchy Soya Chunks Salad Recipe

Crunchy soya chunks salad is so fresh made with lemon juice and chili flakes, this can be perfect for potlucks if serve it over spiralized cucumbers, sweet and fresh roasted corns, fine chopped grape tomatoes and onions with minty touch. 

I'm in love with soya beans these days and I am having so much of fun cooking lately. It's a great source of protein and becoming quite popular around. It's wonderful in salads, side dish and rice dishes. I miss mama's special soya bean curry and soya bean biryani, she would just turn golden chunks into yummy and irresistible delights. 

In India and here I can easily find soya chunks in any natural foods market, but I realize some of you may not be as lucky, if soya chunks are nearly available to you, I highly encourage you to try it in different ways! Quick, simple, easy and crunchy salad recipe that takes less than 10 minutes to cook and teams up well with any main dish, they are so good I could have easily eaten two servings. Present the way you want, but always serve it hot for crunchier bites.

Crunchy Soya Chunks Salad Recipe

Crunchy Soya Chunks Salad Recipe

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 8-10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 2 persons

1 bowl boiled soya chunks
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon finely chopped onions
1 teaspoon mustard seeds or rai 
1 tablespoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Salt to taste

  • In a pot, add 2 cups of water and bring it to boil, add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 cup soya chunks. Allow it to boil until the chunks turn delicately soft and spongy. Transfer it into the colander and strain all the water from the chunks by pressing down with the help of a spoon.
  • In a frying pan, drizzle some olive oil and add mustard seeds. Once they began to splutter, add together the boiled soya chunks, red chili powder, coriander powder and salt to taste, allow it to cook until the texture becomes golden brown and crisp from outside.
  • Once cooked, squeeze lemon juice and adjust the salt and piquancy as needed. Garnish with chopped onion. You can also garnish with chopped tomatoes, chopped cilantro or mint and even sweet corn, we prefer light and simple with chicken or vegetable curry!

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Friday, January 13, 2017

Home Made Restaurant Style Pizza Sauce

I enjoy adding tomato based coulis in my Italian dishes, sauces when fused with ravioli, pizza, puffs, tacos and even with salads builds a fine dash of taste and pleasing aroma because of its different levels of herbs and spices. I relish the fragrance of dried oregano in my flavorsome dish, they are flavor bombs giving rise to a lively and fresh feel in my meal. Today I am sharing my home made recipe of pizza sauce flowed in straight from the air of Italy, also known as napoletana sauce. I have made a little tweak in my pizza sauce, although you can do this with minced onions while simmering the sauce, for a change I have simply turned down the addition of onions. What I like about my sauce is that I can control whatever that goes into it, whether it’s the amount of heat or sugar!

It’s an instant sauce cooked until the sweet and tangy taste mash up wonderfully with herbs and spices, delicious pizza meal set on the dinner table in just 30 minutes; they’re perfect plat du jour for weekend gatherings. To be honest, I boil some pasta on the side for husband to serve with pasta or as a dip. I have been getting tons of requests via E-mail, Instagram and Facebook to post few sauce recipes and here it is, right before the weekend! Team up with any of your Italian recipes and hope you enjoy, feel free to come back and comment if you do!

Home Made Restaurant Style Pizza Sauce

Home Made Restaurant Style Pizza Sauce

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15-20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 2-3 persons

1 cup tomato puree
2-3 tablespoons tomato ketchup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic paste, you can even use peeled and minced garlic
2 tablespoons red chili flakes
1 tablespoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
A pinch of sugar
Salt to taste

  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil and add garlic paste when the pan is hot. When the garlic turns off its raw fragrance, pour tomato puree in the skillet and cook for 5-8 minutes on a low flame stirring occasionally.
  • Stir well and bring it to simmer, season with salt and 1 tablespoon dried oregano, ¼ teaspoon dried thyme, a pinch of sugar, 2 tablespoons red chili flakes and add 2-3 tablespoons tomato ketchup. Cook an additional 5-8 minutes and allow it to simmer on a low heat.
  • Adjust the seasoning and spice and remove from the pan, you can store the sauce in an airtight jar for a week. Enjoy!
It’s so easy to make, simply throw all the ingredients and simmer on the stove for less than 20 minutes and what you end up is a thick sauce with a perfect balance of sweet, sour and spice; perfect on chicken, meat and veggies!

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That's it guys, super easy pizza and pasta sauce!

Lots of Love!


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Yummy Chicken Hot and Sour Soup

It’s hard to believe that my yearly meal plans and cooking ideas had gotten executed with just the blink of an eye, where did the time fly? Coming out from the holiday mode, I’m back on my track focusing on my veggies and turning on to yoga a few extra times a week, how about you?

This month’s meal plan is something requested by many of you so I’ve chosen friendly and healthy recipes. These are comfortable and likeable foods my family enjoys! Autumn produce brings along a promise of substantial soups in colors that celebrates the changing leaves, my kitchen has been romancing soup these days. We have had autumn gold soup made from the flesh of chicken, beautifully fresh and fine carrot julienne and crunchy cabbage. When he wants a hearty bowl of mushroom and chicken soup in a hurry, this soup is my best friend! It’s a great way to sneak some veggies into those picky tummies while enjoying a warm bowl of soup. Hot and sour soup is a flexible version of Chinese soup, I have always slurp veg version of hot and sour soup in Mumbai consisting of chunks of garlic, ginger, bamboo shoots and of course chinese touch of vinegar and soya sauce, regularly sipping soups has practically become our dinner routine.

This incredibly fresh, healthy and savory based hot and sour soup was a win all around, I was expecting "eeew! Veggies" but he ate it right up and actually enjoyed it. I don't think I have ever been fully considered as one of those on a healthy diet as I'am eating desserts every day. Oh yes! it's one of those things I enjoy in life and don't want to give up, I would cut down to like one bite size dessert and I draw the line there, I feel happy that this soup is filled with so much of goodness that I feel okay with the dessert afterwards, Crazy!. Now do yourself a favor and make this yummy chicken soup to add up to your dinner rotation this week, don't you just want to dive into all that goodness?

Chicken Hot and Sour Soup

Yummy Chicken Hot and Sour Soup

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 2-3 persons

1 small chicken breast, boiled and shredded
1.5 cup chicken broth
1 small bowl carrot, peeled and julienne strips
1 small bowl cabbage, julienne strips
1/2 bowl capsicum, julienne
1/2 bowl chopped mushrooms
3-4 tablespoons cornflour dissolved in 1/2 cup of water
1 cup vinegar
1 cup soya sauce
1 tablespoon chopped green chilies
1 cup red chili powder
1 egg
1/2 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon cooking oil, for tempering
1 teaspoon chinese salt
Salt to taste

  • In a stock pot, pour in chicken broth and add in shredded chicken, bring it to boil on a medium flame and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, let’s make the two easy sauces that needs to be served with the hot and sour soup. For spicy based sauce, simply add 1 teaspoon red chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt to 1/2 cup white vinegar and mix well. 
  • For vinegar based sauce, Add chopped green chilies and 1/2 teaspoon salt to 1/2 cup white vinegar and mix well. Set aside, You can refrigerate the sauces for later usage.
  • Now add in fine julienne of carrots, cabbage, capsicum and chopped mushroom to chicken broth and cook for 1 minute on a medium flame. 
  • Add 2 tablespoons soya sauce, 2 tablespoons vinegar, 1 teaspoon chinese salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and salt to taste. Mix well and simmer for another 1 minute.
  • Dissolve cornflour in 1/2 cup of water without forming lumps, stir the cornflour paste to the soup and continue stirring until the soup mixture turns into a smooth and thick consistency (about 3-5 minutes). You can add more cornflour solution in order to achieve a better consistency (at this point you can thin the soup by adding a little more chicken broth if needed, I like mine fairly thick).
  • Once the soup has transformed into the desired consistency, simply add the beaten egg into the mixture and always stir or move the ladle while you're slowly adding the beaten egg in order to create long strands of egg. Cook for 2-3 minutes and adjust the seasonings.
  • In another nonstick pan, heat 1 tablespoon of cooking oil and immediately add it into the soup mixture so that you can re-heat and re-eat the soup the very next day.
  • Garnish the top with shredded chicken and black pepper or with chopped green onions, serve warm with the two hot and sour sauces. Happy Winters!