Savory Quinoa Mini Muffins

Quinoa is one of the healthiest grains – high in protein, a moderate amount of fibre and various minerals and vitamins. These mini muffins made with quinoa are a great addition to lunch or dinner with soup or as an appetizer.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups cooked Quinoa

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

1/4 -1/2 cup corn

1/2 cup black beans

1/2 cup edamame or lima beans

1/4 cup salsa

1-2 tbsp hot sauce (Sriracha or buffalo wing hot sauce)

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp garlic powder

2-3 tbsp cilantro leaves, finely chopped

2 eggs, beaten

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Brush a 24 cup mini muffin pan (or 2- 12 cup mini muffin pans) with oil.

Mix all of the above ingredients together and fill the muffin cups.

Bake for 20 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes and remove to a wire rack.

Almond Halwa

Happy Diwali! Diwali (or Deepavali) is India’s biggest holiday of the year. Also called the festival of lights – it gets its name from the row (avali) of clay lamps (deepa) that Indians light outside their homes to symbolize the inner light that protects from spiritual darkness.

I enjoy making a variety of Mitai (Indian sweets) during this time – and this recipe is a quick and easy one!

Preparation

2 teaspoon butter or ghee

1 cup almond or cashew flour

1/2 cup milk

4 tablespoon sugar (or more to taste)

Pinch of saffron strands (optional)

1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder (optional)

Chopped nuts, for garnish

Whipping cream (optional)

Method

Heat the butter or ghee in a saucepan.

Add the almond flour, milk, sugar and saffron strands, if using.

Cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, until mixture is thick

Add Cardamom powder (if using).

Pour into a serving dish, and garnish with nuts

Serve warm, with whipping cream if desired

Matri (Savory Crackers)

One of my grandson’s favorite snacks is Matri, a savory Indian snack. The traditional way of making it is to fry the dough to make it quite crispy. As I am always looking for healthy snack recipes, I decided to adapt a savory cracker recipe and switched out the spices to the ones below, typically used for this recipe, and made a baked version of Matri. We have found that it is such an addictive treat!

Ingredients

1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon red chili powder

1/8 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon sesame seeds

3/4 -1 teaspoon ajwain (Substitute: dry thyme or oregano)

1/3 cup oil

1/2 cup water

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375.

Mix all of the dry ingredients, including seasonings, in a large bowl.

Add the oil, and mix well.

Add the water slowly to make a fairly stiff dough.

Rest the dough for about 30 minutes.

Roll out to 1/4″ thickness. Prick the dough.

Cut into squares and bake for about 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool Matri on a wire rack.

Curried Peas and Tomato

Fresh English peas are low in calories, high in fiber and have one of the highest amounts of plant-based protein. The addition of tomato makes this dish even healthier as tomatoes contain Lycopene and Lutein which are great for your eyes! Pan-fried or scrambled paneer and tofu can be added to the dish to make it more filling.

Ingredients

2 cups fresh English Peas (Trader Joe’s generally have them in stock in the salad/veggie section)

2 tablespoon oil

1 teaspoon black mustard seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 medium onion, chopped fine or grated

1 teaspoon each, garlic paste and ginger paste

1/2 – 1 teaspoon red chili powder

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 medium tomato chopped

1 tablespoon tomato paste

juice of 1/2 a lemon

2 tablespoon chopped cilantro for garnish

Method

Steam the peas for about 4- 5 minutes till just soft (do not cook completely)

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds- as the mustard seeds start popping, add the onion . Sauté for about 3 minutes till the onion start to brown.

Add the garlic and ginger paste and stir for 30 seconds. Add the remaining spices and continue to stir for a minute. Next add 2 tablespoons water and cook until the spices are well combined.

Stir in the chopped tomato and tomato paste and continue to stir till the tomato is soft and mushy. Add 1/2 cup water and continue to cook for another few minutes.

Add the peas and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice .

Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Variation: Add pan-fried Paneer (or even scrambled tofu) for a more filling dish.

Quick Stir Fried Chicken

I came across a recipe for Cauliflower Manchurian and the base was using ketchup… I thought I could adapt it for chicken as well! This is such a basic condiment thats in every house!

Ingredients

1 pound boneless chicken breasts, 1 1/2 “cubed

about 1/2 cup flour

2 tablespoon oil ( divided )

4-5 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 ” piece of ginger, grated

1/2 teaspoon cumin powder

1 teaspoon coriander powder

1/2 teaspoon garam masala

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper ( more if needed)

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup tomato ketchup ( preferably low sodium and less sugar)

Method

Coat the chicken cubes with flour.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wok or frying pan. Add the chicken cubes and stir fry till the chicken is nearly cooked. about 4-5 minutes.

Remove and set aside.

Add another tablespoon oil in the wok, stir in the garlic and ginger. Stir for 30 seconds and add the remaining spices. Sauté till blended.

Add the ketchup. Cook for a few minutes till the mixture is thick and bubbly.

Add the chicken cubes into the sauce and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Gajjar Halwa (Carrot)

Carrot Halwa is a popular dish to make in India in the winter months -especially during Diwali. The carrots are plentiful and it is an easy dish to make. Enjoying a warm dessert after a delicious meal when its cold out, makes this even more appetizing! It is also another way to get some additional Vitamin A !

And if you have a major sweet tooth, simply add more condensed milk.

Ingredients

2 cups grated carrots

1 tablespoon ghee or butter

1/2 cup milk

2 tablespoon milk powder ( optional)

1/4 cup condensed milk

1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder (optional)

chopped almonds or pistachio for garnish

Method:

Heat the ghee in a frying pan or wok.

Add the carrots and sauté for 3 – 4 minutes till carrots are soft.

Add the milk and milk powder, continue to cook till the milk is evaporated.

Add the condensed milk and continue to stir for about 3 minutes till the mixture is thick .

Add the cardamom powder if using – stir until well mixed.

Add nuts and serve.

Serve at room temperature. Serve with whipping cream (optional).

Waffled Falafel with Tzakiki

falfal waffelI discovered this recipe on the Food Network website – it’s now my favorite way to make falafel.  Its an easy kid friendly vegetarian meal… chickpeas are such a great source of protein and fiber.

It can be eaten by itself if you are carb conscious, or with pita bread and salad. You can serve the falafel waffles with a variety of different sauces such as homemade tzaziki.

They also freeze well and are easily reheated in a toaster oven.

Falafel Ingredients

16 ounces cooked chicken peas (1 can drained)

1/3 cup oil (or less if desired)

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons all purpose or whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin powder

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander powder

1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder

1 small green chile chopped (optional)

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 large egg whites (or 1 egg)

Tzakiki Ingredients

1 medium cucumber, seeded and diced (or shredded)

1 cup of yogurt

1 clove of garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

lemon juice to taste

1-2 teaspoon fresh dill, chopped (optional)

 

Preparation

Make the Tzakiki first:

Put the cucumber in a colander, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Let this sit for 30 minutes, (water is drawn out of the cucumber so the sauce is not so watery) and press gently to remove  the liquid from the cucumber.

Add the cucumber to the remaining ingredients . Season with salt as needed. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

Prepare the Falafel:

Preheat a waffle iron (on maximum settings if your waffle maker has settings).

Add the above ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth.

Brush both sides of the grid with oil, and pour about 1/2 cup batter in the middle of the waffle iron.

Falafal waffel

Check the waffle when the light goes out, as you may need to leave the waffle in a few minutes longer until it is crisp about 6- 10 minutes.

Serve with  Tzatziki sauce and harissa sauce,  cilantro chutney or a tomato cucumber relish.

 

Zucchini Bites

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I had been looking for a new, tasty vegetable dish and came across this recipe.

These little bites bake up crisp, are easy to prepare and even appeal to our not always so veggie friendly family!

They can also be frozen and reheat well.

 

Ingredients

1 medium zucchini, grated

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 small carrot, grated

1 large egg beaten

1/2 teaspoon red chili powder,

1/4 teaspoon cumin powder.

1/4 teaspoon coriander powder

1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped

1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced

1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs

 

 

Preparation

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Oil a baking sheet and set aside.

Put the grated zucchini in a sieve, sprinkle with salt and set aside for 5 minutes. Press as much liquid from the zucchini and place in a towel and squeeze as much water as possible.

Place in a bowl and add the remaining ingredients and mix well.

Form small 2 ” flat patties and place on the baking sheet.

 

IMG_4863

 

Bake for 10 minutes, turn them over and bake again for an additional 6 minutes or so until they are brown and crisp.

 

 

 

 

Turkey Kabobs

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Kabobs are a popular menu item for most meat eaters, and an easy recipe to make ahead of time.  Turkey is good to use especially at parties if you’re not sure if certain people eat beef or lamb.

I have also mixed the ingredients ahead of time, and frozen the kabab mixture.  Its easy to thaw it overnight in the refrigerator, then shape the next day, and broil.

 

Ingredients

1 pound ground turkey (93% turkey and 7% fat)

2-3 whole red chillies

1 cardamom pod, 2 cloves and 1/2″ cinnamon stick

1/4 teaspoon sahajeera (or cumin seeds)

1/4 teaspoon cumin powder

1/4 teaspoon chaat masala (optional)

1/2 teaspoon ginger paste

1/2 teaspoon garlic paste

1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 tablespoon ground almonds

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon dry breadcrumbs

oil for basting

1 limes or lemon

Garnish: onions sliced  lemon slices and cilantro chopped

Preparation

Roast the red chillies, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, sahajeera in a small skillet, until  the chillies are brown. Cool. Grind to a fine powder.

Mix in the remaining ingredients (except oil and lime).

Make into small logs, place on a foiled lined tray and broil for about 3-4 minutes on each side, basting with oil in between.

Squeeze a little lime/lemon before serving.  Garnish with sliced onions, lime slices and cilantro.

Tip: Make a larger quantity of the spice powder in advance and store until needed.

 

Crunchy Chickpea & Corn Cups

These savory appetizers are made with tortillas and are filled with either chickpeas or corn.

A tasty corn alternative for those who have a Trader Joe’s near by, is the Mexican Style Roasted Corn with Cotija cheese.

Make ahead: the cups can be baked up to 2 weeks in advance and stored at room temperature.

IMG_4300

Ingredients

Flour tortillas, to make the cups

Mini muffin pans

Chickpea filling:

1 cup chickpeas (approx 1 can)

3 tablespoons mint chutney

1-2 tablespoons oil

1/2 small onion, finely chopped

1/2 small tomato, chopped

1/4- 1/2  teaspoon red chili powder

1/2 teaspoon chaat masala (optional)

1/2 teaspoon coriander powder

3 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon green chillies, finely chopped

1 teaspoon salt

Corn filling:

1 cup of boiled corn (or canned)

3 tablespoons cream cheese

3 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon green chillies, chopped,

 

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350. Spray mini muffin pans with cooking spray.

Cut out large circles from the flour tortillas (even easier with a cookie cutter if you have one) and press into the mini muffin pans.  Bake for about 5 minutes until light brown.  Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.

Note: These can be made ahead and stored at room temperature in an air tight container for 2 weeks.

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Chickpea filling:

Heat the oil, add onions and saute till light brown. Add the tomato and cook for a minute.

Add the remaining ingredients and stir until mixed well. Cool until room temperature.

Fill into tortilla cups and serve.

Corn filling:

Heat the corn in a pan, add the cream cheese and cook on low till the cheese is softened over the corn.

Add the remaining ingredients. Cool until room temperature, fill cups and serve .

OR

1 packet frozen Trader JoesMexican style roasted corn with Cotija cheese.”

Prepare according to directions, cool until room temperature and fill.

 

 

 

 

 

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