Sunday, September 28, 2014

Chicken with Cholay (Chickpeas)

What you'll need:
2 cups plain chickpeas ( see here for how to boil dried chickpeas)
16 oz  bag of frozen bell pepper strips
2lb boneless chicken thigh meat
3 roma tomato, chopped
1/4 c. fried onion (available at any indian grocery store)
1/8c. white vinegar
2 capfuls Liquid smoke
1cup tomato sauce (1 8oz can)
1 Tbs. garlic powder
2 Tbs. coriander powder (slightly heaping)
3 Tbs. yogurt, whipped
2 tsp. ginger powder
1 Tbs olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. paprika
1 1/4 tsp red chili powder (use less for mild heat)
1 1/2 tsp lemon pepper
1 tsp cumin powder (heaping)
1 tsp (heaping) dried parsley flakes (optional)
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garam masala (can be found in most Indian stores)
1/2 tsp ajwain (carom) seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/8 tsp cinnamon

What to do:

In a medium-large pot, heat oil over med-high heat.  Add garlic powder and sauté until slightly golden brown. Add in boneless chicken thighs; sauté until chicken begins to turn white slightly (approximately 3 mins).  Add in all dry spices, vinegar, and liquid smoke; add about 1/8 cup water, only if needed, to keep spices from burning/sticking to pan.  Cook over medium-high heat for about 5-7 minutes, or until the chicken browns slightly and the spices stick to the chicken.  Add in fried onion; cook for additional 3 minutes. Turn heat up to high; add whipped yogurt, mix well. Reduce heat back to med-high and add chopped tomatoes and cook for another 4-5 mins, or until they become soft and begin to release water/ curry begins to form. Add in frozen bell pepper, cover and cook until bell peppers have thawed and the curry is at a fast simmer. Uncover the pot and allow to cook (fast simmer) for about 5 minutes, to evaporate some of the liquid. Add in tomato sauce, mix well; bring back to a simmer. Add in cooked chickpeas and cook on med-low for 3-4 mins. Enjoy!


Saturday, December 21, 2013

Pumpkin Spice Oat Bran Muffins

Yield: 18 muffins

What You'll Need:
2 1/4 c toasted oat bran ( I get mine from Trader Joe's)
1 can canned pumpkin (about 2 cups)
2/3 c. milk
1/4c egg whites ( or 1 egg and 1 egg white)
1/3 c all purpose flour
1/4 c. apple sauce
2/3 c turbinado sugar
1 Haas avocado, mashed (medium sized avocado)
1 Tbs and 1 tsp brown sugar
1 Tbs and 1 tsp cinnamon powder
2 tsp ginger powder
1/2 tsp pumpkin spice powder
1/2 tsp clove powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
Optional: 1/3 c. dark chocolate chips

What To Do:
Preheat oven to 375º.
In a bowl mix together: eggs, sugar, avocado, pumpkin, milk and applesauce until well blended. In a separate bowl, mix together: flour, spices, oat bran and baking powder. Gradually add flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture; mix until well blended. Mix in chocolate chips. Spoon into foil cupcake liners and bake for 20 minutes.


* To make cupcakes rather than bran muffins, substitute white flour in place of oat bran
* To make low-fat cream cheese frosting: mix powdered sugar and cream cheese together until frosting is of desired consistency. Add freshly chopped pecans or walnuts.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Quinoa Biryani

Yield: 12-13 servings (6 oz each)

What You'll Need:
For the Chicken:
2.25 lb boneless chicken thigh, trimmed and cut into large pieces (about 3 pc per thigh; you can use breast meat as well)

1 c. white onion, finely chopped or sliced
1/2 c. low-fat plain yogurt
1/8 c. water
3 Tbs. coriander powder
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs. olive oil (I use extra virgin from Trader Joe's)
1 Tbs. garlic powder (granules)
2 tsp. ginger powder
1.5 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. chili powder (use more/less according to heat preference)
1 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. nutmeg powder
1/2 tsp. cardamom powder
1/2 tsp. cumin powder
1/4 tsp mace powder
1/4 tsp black pepper powder
1/4 tsp clove powder
a dash of cinnamon powder
7-8 cardamom pods, with seeds
7-8 cloves, whole
1 bay leaf
3 drops kewra (flavoring; available at most Indian grocery stores)

For the Quinoa:
2.5 c. organic white quinoa
5 c. water
6-7 cardamom pods, with seeds
6-7 cloves, whole
1 stick of cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 bay leaf
In a separate bowl:
1 Tbs water
1 tsp olive oil
2 drops kewra

What To Do:
Preheat oven to 350º

For the Chicken:
Heat 1 Tbs oil over med/high heat; add garlic and ginger powder and saute until the powder begins to turn slightly golden brown. Add 1/8c water and chopped (or sliced) onion. Continue to saute until the onion begins to turn transparent and starts to brown slightly (about 3-4 minutes); if spices begin to stick to the pot, add water (2 Tbs at a time) and scrape the bottom of the pot. Once onion is ready, add cubed chicken meat; cook until chicken slightly browned from the outside (about 4-5 minutes).

Sprinkle all remaining spices (salt, chili, coriander, turmeric, paprika, nutmeg, mace, cardamom, cloves, pepper, cumin, cinnamon and bay leaf) over chicken; mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes (add additional water, 2 Tbs at at time, if needed to prevent spices from burning). Add lemon juice.


Turn up heat to high; once heated add 1/2 c. yogurt, in the center of the pot (directly touching the bottom of the pot). Stir quickly; once yogurt has turned to liquid, mix so that all chicken pieces are coated with the yogurt/spice mixture; cook, stirring frequently, until the yogurt/spice mix begins to thicken and begins to form a thick curry. Reduce heat to med/high (should be at a med/fast simmer); cook chicken, covered, for 8-9 minutes. Uncover and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Turn off heat, add 3 drops of kewra and stir well; remove from heat and set aside. (Taste: the chicken mixture should be slightly salty).

For the Quinoa:
Thoroughly rinse and drain quinoa. Place all ingredients (quinoa, water, salt, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and bay leaf) in a shallow pan. Bring to a boil; cover and reduce heat so that the water is at a med/fast simmer. Cook for 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed and quinoa has sprouted/spiraled; turn off heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork and allow to cool slightly.


Putting it Together:
In a shallow baking pan or glass dish, layer half of the cooked quinoa on the bottom of the pan followed by the chicken and curry; top with remaining quinoa. In a small bowl, mix together 1 Tbs water, 1 tsp olive oil and 2 drops kewra (note: traditional biryani recipes add yellow food coloring in this step; I leave out the coloring). Sprinkle water/oil mixture over biryani and tightly cover pan (or dish) with foil; bake for 20 minutes. Once the biryani is baked, carefully mix the quinoa and chicken/curry together so that all is evenly mixed. Serve with raita.

* You can make the same recipe using brown rice; use 2c. brown basmati rice with 4.5c. water. Cook covered for 30 minutes, or until water is evaporated.
*The amount of salt may need to be adjusted based on personal preference and/or sodium intake restrictions.

Calories per 6oz

Friday, September 20, 2013

Turkey & Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Yield: 6 servings

What You'll Need:
For the meat mixture:
1lb ground lean chicken or turkey breast
2 green onion, chopped
1/2 roma tomato, chopped
1/8 green bell pepper, chopped
1/4 c. white onion, chopped
3/4 c. white mushrooms, chopped
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp garlic powder (slightly heaping)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin seed
1/2 tsp Shaan Tikka Boti spice mix* (optional)
1/2 tsp lemon pepper
1 Tbs. tomato paste

For the quinoa mixture:
3/4 c. quinoa
1 1/2 c. water
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 c. black beans
1/2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp fresh lime juice

3 whole red or green bell peppers

What To Do:
Preheat oven to 350º

1) For the chicken mixture:
In a shallow pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute garlic powder in the oil heat, until it begins to turn slightly golden in color. Add in thawed ground meat; stir in remaining spices (i.e. red pepper, salt, cumin seeds, Shaan and lemon pepper). Reduce heat to medium and cook until meat begins to brown (about 4-5 minutes). Stir in all chopped vegetables (tomato, bell pepper, green onion, mushrooms and onion). Cook meat for about 13 minutes, until almost cooked through; stir in tomato paste and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

2) For the quinoa mixture:
In a shallow pan or frying pan, bring 1 1/2 c. water and 1/8 tsp salt to a boil. Add quinoa, cover pan and reduce heat so that the water simmers (med/med-low heat). Cook for about 20 minutes, or until water is evaporated and the quinoa is cooked through and sprouted. Once the quinoa is cooked, mix in black beans, olive oil and lemon juice.

3) Fold quinoa mixture into the ground meat mixture and set aside.

4) Remove stems and seeds from whole bell peppers and slice lengthwise. Wrap each bell pepper in a separate piece of foil and place in a baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes.


Remove from oven and remove each bell pepper from foil wrapper.  Arrange bell pepper halves in the baking dish and fill each bell pepper half with 1/2 c. of the meat/quinoa mixture; pack it in with your hand, if needed.


Once bell peppers are stuffed, cover baking dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes, or until bell peppers are tender. Serve with tomato-less corn salsa (I got mine from Trader Joe's) and a light sprinkle of shredded low-fat mozzarella!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Cholay II (Spiced Chickpeas)

What You'll Need:

1 lb Dried chickpeas
3 tsp Cumin powder (slightly heaping)
1/4 tsp Black pepper
1/8 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Ginger powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Salt (for water to cook chickpeas)
1/2 tsp Black salt
1/2 tsp red pepper (or less for mild heat)
1/2 Green bell pepper, chopped
1/4 Medium sized white onion, chopped
4 Roma tomatoes, diced
3/4 c. Cilantro, chopped
1 Tbs Lemon juice
3/4 c. Imlee (Tamarind Chutney)

What to do:

Cook dried chickpeas (without pre-soaking) in pressure cooker with 8 cups water and 1/4 tsp salt. Pressure cook (med-high pressure) for 45 mins; remove from heat and allow pressure cooker to cook and release pressure on its own. Once pressure has been released, drain chickpeas and rinse with cool water; place in large bowl.

Mix in all spices, vegetables and imlee. Garnish with fresh cilantro; serve chilled or warm.


* If you don't have a pressure cooker, you can follow the directions on the package to cook the beans
*Imlee can be found at most Indian grocery stores; I'll be posting a recipe soon!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Almond Berry Smoothie

What You'll Need:
10 strawberries
1 handful (approximately 1/2 c.) blueberries
1/2 c. unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 tsp honey (optional)

What To Do:
Place all ingredients in blender; blend until smooth. Enjoy!