Creamy Broccoli Salad with Sunflower Seeds

Broccoli salad 1

Creamy Broccoli Salad with Sunflower Seeds
Adapted from Lauren

5-6 cups broccoli florets
1 medium onion chopped
½ cup celery chopped
¼ – ½ cup sunflower seeds
Few walnuts to garnish
½ cup crumbled bacon (optional)
1 cup yogurt (can replace with mayo or combine yogurt +mayo)
Salt and pepper

Steam the cleaned florets for 5-8 mins. Leave it slightly crunchy.
Cool and transfer to a large bowl.
Add onion, celery, sunflower seeds and bacon if using and mix.
Mix yogurt, salt and pepper in another bowl and add to broccoli.
Mix well.
Garnish with more sunflower seeds, few walnut pieces and bacon bits.

Broccoli salad

Date and Walnut Loaf

Date and walnut loaf

Extremely soft and delicious…..perfect crumbs!!

Date and Walnut Loaf
Recipe from my dear friend Hanan

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs lightly beaten
¾ cup + 2tbsp butter
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup chopped walnut pieces
1 tsp vanilla essence
½ tsp salt

1 ½ – 2 cups chopped dates
1tsp baking soda
1 cup boiling water

Date and walnut loaf 2

Place chopped dates in a bowl.
Add boiling water and baking soda and stir.
Leave aside to cool completely.
Sieve flour and baking powder and keep aside.
Beat butter and sugar for few minutes.
Add eggs and vanilla and beat again.
Add 1 cup flour and mix well. If there is any liquid left in the dates bowl, add and mix.
Fold in dates and walnuts with a spatula or wooden spoon.
Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan. Sprinkle few walnut pieces on top.
Bake in a preheated oven at 160 degree Celsius for 35-40 mins.
Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes. Invert into a plate and let cool completely.
Slice and serve.

Can use white sugar instead of brown sugar, but the cake will be too sweet.
Extremely soft cake…slice with a sharp knife.

Date and walnut loaf 3

Peanut Butter Coffee Cake

Peanut butter coffee cake

Peanut Butter Coffee Cake
Recipe source:Monique

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
½ tsp salt
8 tbsp melted butter
½ cup creamy peanut butter
1 eggs
1 cup plain coffee
2 tsp vanilla essence
½ cup buttermilk (2 tbsp yogurt + enough water)

Mix flour and baking soda and keep aside.
In a large bowl, whisk butter, peanut butter and coffee until mixed well.
Add sugars, vanilla and eggs and whisk again.
Add flour and mix.
Add buttermilk and mix lightly to combine. Don’t over mix.
Pour batter into a greased baking pan and bake in a preheated oven at 160 degree Celsius for 30-35 mins.
Let cake cool in pan for 5 mins and then invert on a wire rack and cool completely.
Use frosting of your choice or drizzle melted chocolate on top.
Slice and serve.

Paenut butter coffee cake 1

Deviled Eggs with Yogurt

Devilled egg

This doesn’t mean you don’t use mayo at all…use half mayo and half Greek yogurt or hung yogurt…

Deviled Eggs with Yogurt

6-8 boiled eggs
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tbsp hung yogurt
Salt to taste
½ tsp black or white pepper powder
½ tsp chili powder or paprika for garnish
Chopped spring onion to garnish

Boil eggs and let them cool. Peel and keep aside.
Cut the eggs into two with a sharp knife or a piece of thread.
Place the yolks in a small bowl. Actually you will need only half of the total yolks.
Mash nicely with a fork
Add mayo, yogurt, mustard, salt and pepper and mix well.
Add more yogurt if required to get a smooth and thick texture.
Place the egg whites on a serving dish. You can either pipe the yolk mixture or use a teaspoon to fill the egg white.
Sprinkle chili powder and spring onion and / or chopped capsicum for garnish. Can be served cold.
Serve and enjoy.

Easy Mushroom Biryani

Mushroom Biriyani

Easy Mushroom Biryani

1 cup basmati rice
2 cardamoms
2 cloves
2 pieces cinnamon
1 bay leaf
½ tsp shahjeera

For masala:
250 gms button mushroom
2 onions sliced
2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
2 green chilis
½ tsp chili powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp garam masala
Few curry leaves
4 tbsp coriander leaves chopped
2 tbsp mint leaves chopped
4 tbsp yogurt
Salt to taste
3-4 tbsp fried onions and cashewnuts for garnish

Wash mushrooms and cut into 4.
Heat oil in a pan and add sliced onions, green chilis and curry leaves and saute till onions are almost brown.
Add ginger garlic paste and stir till raw smell goes.
Add chili powder, turmeric powder and garam masala and mix well.
Add mushroom and yogurt and stir. Cook covered for few minutes.
Add coriander and mint leaves and mix well.
Cook till water evaporates and gravy is thick.
Meanwhile, wash rice and boil 1 ½ cups of water.
In a tight lid fitting pan add 2 tbsp oil.
Add whole spices and stir for few seconds.
Add rice and hot water.
Add little salt.
When the water boils, lower the flame just so the water simmers.
Cook covered for 10 mins.
Open after 10 mins and fluff the rice with a spoon and take off fire. Keep covered for some time.
Take a serving bowl and alternate rice, mushroom masala and fried onions.
Garnish with fried onions, cashewnuts and coriander leaves.
Serve with yogurt raita.

Quinoa Salad in Tomato Bowls

Quinao salad in tomato cup

Quinoa Salad in Tomato Bowls

8-10 medium size firm tomatoes
½ cup cooked quinoa
½ red capsicum chopped
½ green capsicum chopped
1 small onion chopped
1 small cucumber chopped
1 green chili chopped or ¼ tsp dry chili flakes
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
4-5 tbsp tbsp yogurt
Salt to taste.

Cut a small piece off both ends of tomatoes and cut each into two.
Scoop out the inside with a spoon and place inverted on a kitchen paper.
Mix the rest of the ingredients.
Spoon the quinoa mixture into each tomato bowl.
Serve and enjoy.

Quinoa salad in tomato cup 1

You can make this ahead. Just don’t add salt to the mixture and refrigerate.
Add salt and mix and make bowls just before serving.

Date Bread Ring and Cinnamon Walnut Bread

Date bread ring

walnut bread 1

Date Bread Ring and Cinnamon Walnut Bread
Adapted from Sawsan

2 – 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp instant yeast
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp yogurt
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 tbsp olive oil or melted butter
1 egg beaten
½ cup warm water or milk
¼ tsp salt

Egg wash or coffee to glaze:
Egg yolk beaten with 1 tbsp water OR
1 tsp coffee+2 tbsp warm milk mixed

Date filling (for one roll):
2 large handfuls of pitted dates
½ tsp cardamom powder
2 tbsp water
Grind all to a smooth paste.

Cinnamon walnut filling:
1 tbsp soft butter
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon powder
3-4 tbsp chopped walnts
Mix all in a bowl.

Knead by hand or use food processor.
Put 2 cups flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a food processor bowl.
Add oil and pulse few times.
Add yogurt and pulse again to mix.
Add egg and vanilla and mix again.
Add water or milk and mix again.
Add rest of the flour if required. The dough should be slightly sticky and soft.
Knead for few minutes and transfer to an oiled bowl. Cover and leave aside to rise for 2 hrs.
Lightly dust work surface with flour and put the dough on it.
Lightly knead the dough and divide into 2 or 4 equal pieces. (I did 2).
Dust the work surface with flour again and roll to a rectangle shape of uniform thickness.
Roll the date paste like a rope and place on the dough.

Date bread ring 1

Roll the dough over the paste as tightly as possible. Since I did not take care while rolling, my rolls ended up bigger in the centre!
Pinch two ends to join.
With a sharp scissor, snip the ring at regular intervals. Transfer to a baking sheet.
For cinnamon walnut bread, spread butter on the rolled dough.
Sprinkle cinnamon nut filling and roll tightly. Join both ends to make a circle and use scissor to snip at regular intervals.

Dtae bread ring 2

Mix 1 tsp coffee powder and 2 tbsp warm milk. Use this to brush the top of the rolls. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top of date bread and almond flakes on top of cinnamon bread.
Leave Aside for 30 min to rise again.

Date bread ring 3

Meanwhile preheat oven to 160 degree. Bake for 10-15 mins until the bottom turns golden brown. If the top doesn’t turn light brown by this time, keep under broiler for few minutes to get the desired colour.
Stay near the oven when the broiler is on or the top will become too brown!!
Cool on a wire rack for sometime.
Slice and serve.

walnut bread 2

Bhindi Masala Gravy

Bhindi Masala Gravy
Adapted from Dassana

20- 25 bhindi / lady’s finger
1 small onion chopped
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1 bay leaf
½ tsp chili powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
½ tsp crushed kasoori methi
2 + 1 tbsp oil
1-2 tbsp coriander leaves chopped

To grind:
1 large ripe tomato chopped
2 tbsp yogurt
1-2 green chilis
1 clove
1 small piece cinnamon
1 cardamom

Wash and wipe the bhindis so no water remains on it.
Cut into 2 inch slices.
Heat 2 tbsp oil and saute them on medium flame until they are wilted and cooked.
Meanwhile, grind all ‘to grind’ ingredients’ to a smooth paste.
Heat 1 tbsp oil and add the bay leaf.
Add onion and saute till almost brown.
Add ginger garlic paste and stir till raw smell goes.
Add chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and salt and mix well.
Add grinded tomato mixture and stir well.
When the gray thickens, add ¾ -1 cup warm water.
When it boils, add bhindi and let it simmer for few minutes. Check salt.
Add crushed kasoori methi and coriander leaves and mix well. Take off fire.
Serve with chapathi or bread.

Bhindi Masala Gravy 1

Raw Carrot Cake with Cashewnuts cream

Raw Carrot Cake

Healthy no bake vegan carrot cake….this is a really a nice dessert!!

Raw Carrot Cake with Cashewnuts cream
Recipe source:Healthy blenderrecipes

1 large carrot peeled
½ cup dates
¾ cup oats or buckwheat flour (I used oats)
½ cup dried pineapple or add more dates
¼ cup dried coconut (I did not use…increase oats little bit)
¼ tsp cinnamon powder
¼ tsp nutmeg powder
2 pinch cloves powder

Cashew frosting:
1 cup cashewnuts soaked in water for few hrs
1-2 tbsp lemon juice
4-5 tbsp honey or maple syrup
Water as needed

Blend all frosting ingredients until smooth and fluffy. (Drain cashewnuts first)
Add water as required. Refrigerate until needed.
Chop carrots into small pieces.
Pulse oats few times in a blender. Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse till all become kind of pasty and stick together,
Line any small tray or pan with cling wrap with enough leftover on the side or use a spring form pan.
Press half of the cake mixture in to the pan.
Smooth half the cashew frosting on top.
Refrigerate or put in the freezer for sometime. This step is not necessary but spreading rest of the cake mixture becomes easier this way.
Spread the rest of the cake mixture on top and spread frosting again.
Refrigerate again.
Slice and serve.

Aval /Poha Payasam (flattened rice flake pudding)

Aval Payasam

Aval /Poha Payasam (flattened rice flake pudding)

Ingredients: serves 5-6
1 ½ cup aval
½ tin condensed milk (or sugar as required)
3 cups hot water or milk
½ tsp cardamom powder
2 pinch saffron strands
Handful of cashewnuts and raisins each
2-3 tbsp butter or ghee

In a small bowl, add saffron strands and 2 tbsp warm water or milk and keep aside.
Add 1 tbsp butter or ghee in a pan and fry cashewnuts and raisins.
When cashewnuts turn light brown and raisins puff up, remove onto a plate and keep aside.
In the same pan add the rest of butter and fry aval till they turn crispy, approx. 5 minutes.
Add milk or water and cook on medium flame till aval is cooked and soft.
Add condensed milk and stir.
Add saffron, cardamom powder and fried cashews and raisins and stir.
Let the mixture come to simmer and take off fire.
If payasam becomes too thick, add milk to bring it to the desired consistency.
Serve warm or cold.

Notes: Red or white aval can be used.

Aval Payasam 1