Clear Veggie Rainbow soup, Vietnamese pho style

Third is the series of “How to eat a vegetable rainbow without eating salads everyday” is this simple clear veggie rainbow soup, vietnamese pho style.

The subtle flavors of star anise and bay leaf lend a cuddly warmth, and the crunchy veggies a refreshing body to the soup. With a soupy and solid texture, it is perfect as a main course of detox meals or start of the meals when you know the end isn’t going to be as healthy 😉

Recipe: Clear Veggie Rainbow soup, Vietnamese pho style

Prep time: 10min | Cooking time: 35min | 2 Big bowls

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of rainbow vegetables, finely chopped (carrot, cauliflower, broccoli, beans, cabbage, red bell pepper, mushroom)
  • 4 star anise
  • 1 medium size onion (sliced)
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon

Instructions:

  • In a pan, heat 1 Tbsp oil. Add onion and star anise, sauteing for around 5 min till the onion starts becoming translucent.
  • Add all the chopped vegetables, sprinkle salt and saute for 10min
  • Add water, cover the pan and let the veggies cook on medium heat for 15 – 20min.
  • Add soy sauce and give the last stirs for 2min
  • Check flavors, Squeeze half a lemon and serve 🙂

Notes:

  • It’s an extremely simple recipe, with one rule: Use 5 color rainbow vegetables 🙂
  • Chop the vegetables well, but not too fine to lose individual texture of each vegetable
  • Star anise and soy sauce are star ingredients here, turning a boring boiled vegetable soup into a fancy pho adaptation!
  • Enjoy a big bowl and snuggle in the warmth and health!

Rainbow Meal #2: Coconut Veggie Brown Rice, Indo Chinese Style

This second part of the Rainbow Meals series is one of the best recipes I have stumbled upon lately. A twist from the classic vegetable fried rice, packed with loads of vegetables that taste better with brown rice than white rice! How many times does that happen?

Usually when you go out to a restaurant, vegetable fried rice is practically all rice with few color pops of tiny cabbages and carrots. I feel its called vegetable fried rice just to differentiate it from the with-meat/with-egg fried rice on the menu! The flavors of soy sauce and chilli garlic sauces make-up for the taste, but definitely not the health.

Instead of replicating ‘restaurant style vegetable fried rice’, try this flavor rich, nutrition rich, 5 color eye pleasing recipe! Trust me you will fall in love and make it a weekly staple

Recipe: Coconut Veggie Brown Rice, Indo Chinese Style

Prep Time: 10min | Cooking time: 30min | Serves 2 BIG bowls

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brown rice (cooked)
  • 4 cups of chopped colorful vegetables (1 medium carrot, 5 florets of cauliflowers, 5 florets of broccoli, 5 cubes of pumpkin, 1 handful of green beans, 1/2 cup chopped cabbage)
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes
  • 6 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 chilli (finely chopped)
  • 1+1/2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 4 Tbsp soy sauce
  • Coriander (for garnish)

Instructions:

  • Start with cooking brown rice separately in a rice cooker (20-30 mins)
  • In a pan, add 1 Tbsp coconut oil, garlic and chillies. Saute for 1 min, till the garlic aroma starts fading and then add all the chopped veggies along with 1 Tbsp salt
  • Cover the pan and let the veggies cook for 15-20 mins on medium heat. Make sure the veggies don’t become mushy; they should be fully cooked, but retain a bit of crunchiness. Remove the veggies in a bowl and set them aside
  • Now in the same pan, heat the remaining 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil and add 1/2 cup of coconut flakes. Saute on medium heat for a couple of minutes, till the coconut flakes begin to change color; do not brown the flakes 😉
  • Add cooked rice to this pan. Continue to mix brown rice with the coconut flakes for 2 mins. Then, add the bowl of veggies, along with soy sauce. Mix well. Cover and cook for another 5min so that they absorb all the flavors
  • Garnish with coriander and serve!

Notes:

  1. Surprise folks with the 4:1 veggie rice combination in this dish!
  2. Coconut flakes and garlic lend an great unexpected flavor combination
  3. The nuttiness of brown rice goes well with all the veggies than white rice.
  4. Feel free to adjust salt, soy sauce, add chilli sauce in the end per your taste

Give this a try and let me know what you think!

How to eat a vegetable rainbow without eating salads everyday?

Our body needs 13 vitamins and 21 essential minerals! But with each of the 20,000+ species of known vegetables providing a unique set of these vitamins and minerals, how do we make sure we are eating the right nutrients, in the right quantities?

In the book Sapiens, the author Yuval Noah Harari argues that hunters-gatherers, before the arrival of agriculture, satisfied themselves with “a marvelously varied diet”, made possible by the fact that they had few needs and plenty of time to roam around the jungle gathering fruits, vegetable and herbs. Today despite modern agriculture and advanced trade that brings fresh vegetables and fruits from across the world throughout the season at our doorstep, we suffer from vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

It’s akin to the irony of movies. When there are too many movies to watch, we gravitate towards the blockbusters that follow a specific plot trend vs a wholesome portfolio to nourish our senses and inspire creativity.

Luckily, nature has made things simple with a color coding system. The 20,000+ vegetable species can be broadly divided into 5 color codes (Red, Orange/Yellow, White/Brown, Green, Red), each unique for its nutrient profile, together providing Yuval’s “marvelously varied diet”

Then all we need is a simple 3 step rule: (1) Shop veggies of 5 different colors, (2) rotate the mix with seasonal, exotic and experimental varieties (3) Cook and eat

I started off with salads to get around the third step – chop all the veggies, dress them up and eat. But eating raw rainbow salads everyday can get boring. So I gave myself the challenge to come up with fun, easy and delicious ways to eat rainbow meals. Below are three of the successful kitchen experiments that have been #SuccessfullyTasteTested

The Marvelous Yogic Veggie Bowl

Prep time: 10min | Cooking time: 20min | Serves two big bowls

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup beetroot, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrot, diced
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin, diced
  • 1/2 cup potato, diced
  • 1/2 cup cauliflower, diced
  • 1 cup broccoli, diced
  • 1 Tbsp ghee
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup water

Instructions:

  • Peel, dice, wash, strain all the veggies
  • In a rice cooker or a pan, add all the 4 cups of veggies along with 1 Tbsp ghee, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper and 1/4 cup water
  • Cover the lid and cook without moving the vegetables, on medium heat for 10 – 15 mins. Make sure the vegetables are fully cooked but have a tinge of firmness / crunch
  • Remove in bowls and serve hot! Add lemon, salt and pepper as required

Notes:

  • Tastes best when served hot, immediately after cooking
  • Best eaten as a salad replacement or with rice and lentil Kichari
  • Eat with a friend or by yourself without TV/phone, to truly enjoy the subtle flavors and nourishments
  • Its real fun to chop the veggies!
  • Use rice cooker to keep things simple and not worry about adding additional water in between
  • Do not touch / move the vegetables while cooking as the colors of some vegetable swill override everything else (e.g. beetroots)

Upcoming recipes in the series:

Coconut Rice with loads of Veggies and a hint of Indo-chinese flavor (coming up soon)

Clear soup with lots of vegetables, Vietnamese pho style (coming up soon)

Trivia

*13 vitamins: vitamins A, C, D, E, K and the B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12 and folate).

*21 essential minerals: Calcium, Phosphorous, Potassium, Sodium, Magnesium, Iron, Manganese, Copper, zinc, cobalt, molybdenum, iodine, selenium, sulfur, chloride, boron, silicon, vanadium, nickel, arsenic, chromium

*Our bodies need energy to survive and carry various bodily functions. We get this energy from the food we eat, specifically carbohydrates, proteins and fats. The enzymes in our body break down the three macronutrients to release energy via chemical reactions. Vitamins and minerals help keep the enzymes active, transport them to the right locations and keep the environmental conditions right (e.g. pH balance, blood sugar levels etc) for the appropriate chemical reactions to take place. Vitamins and minerals are also stores in our body parts (e.g., Calcium in the bones) that provides critical structure to them. Pretty damn important!

Why stop at just drinking your 10 glasses of water? Go to the next level

It is recommended that we drink 8 – 10 glasses of water everyday (approximately 1 glass, 200ml, for every waking hour). It’s a seemingly simple step to keep our bodies hydrated that is composed of 70% water.

For most of us, getting to the goal of 8 – 10 glasses feels like an achievement as we forget or feel lazy to getup from our desks to fill up our water bottles in the middle of this important piece of work that we are doing or just don’t want to be that person that goes to the washroom every hour so pre emptively just avoid drinking water.

But there are those who have gotten over these social / mostly personal stigmas and built habits that are useful for our bodies. Are you one of those who will stop after achieving your goals? If no, read below as we will go to the next level of our water drinking routine.

Infuse water with Tea leaves

  • A morning affair with Black tea: the highest caffeine tea will instantly boost your body and wake you up. But drinking this 4-5times a day can bring your body to an unnecessary overstimulated state
  • Keep going through the day with green and white teas: they are not processed and have high levels of antioxidants
  • Energize your afternoons with flower teas (jasmine, rose, chrysanthemums, osmanthus): the smells and sweet flavor with leave you refreshed and in a positively elevated mood
  • Go to bed with lavender tea
  • Digest your heavy food with Pu’er tea: these are fermented teas aged over several years and should be paired with heavy meals to boost digestion.  If you find the taste very strong, then mix the leaves with orange zest or rose petals and be careful not to seep the leaves in hot water for more than 5 sec!

Infuse water with fruits and flowers

There are so many superfoods, herbs and nuts out there that sometimes it can be really overwhelming to think of recipes to include them in your diet. Yes, you can just drop all of them in your smoothie, but that doesn’t let the individual flavors out and can sometimes ruin the taste.

  • Goji berries
  • Chia seeds (add honey and lime to make it a perfect post workout recovery drink)
  •  Ginger (to build immunity)
  •  Apple cider vinegar (for post meal drink to balance stomach pH)
  •  Green tea, jasmine tea (for a mid afternoon refresh)
  •  Star anise, cardamom, cinnamon (fight cold in winters)
  •  Tamarind water ( digestive laxative and a fun tangy taste)

Infuse water with roasted grains

Did you know you can drink your grains? Roast them till they become effervescent then ground them or pack in tea bags to infuse your water. The smell of a roasted grain is satisfying and will be a good experiment to reduce dependence on caffeine as grain teas are caffeine free. If not all the way, blend half of your coffee with the below grains

  • Roasted barley tea: It is loaded with antioxidants, and helps improve digestion. Famous in Japan, roasted barley is infused in hot or cold water depending on the season.
  • Quinoa tea: Loaded with superfood nutrients

Ferment it!

Kombucha is a fermented drink, aged for 10-30 days. Every 2L of kombucha drink is made from 2Tbsp tea leaves, 1/3 cup of sugar, 1 disc of bacteria rich scoby, 0.5L of starter kombucha and 1.5lts of water

During fermentation, the bacteria and yeast feed on sugar and tea to release acetic acid and probiotic bacterias as byproducts, improving the overall bacteria flora in our stomachs and intensities to aid digestion.

How to?

For your everyday routines, start with enhancing one glass of water with any of the above infusions of your choice, going up to 5 glasses a day. You can choose one infusion type a day / a week or mix it up as you like and as much prep time you have!

Scrambled Paneer (Cottage cheese)

The perfect breakfast in bed – Scrambled paneer with a side of 🥑 .

If your Saturday mornings start late and breakfast continues into brunch, you need something filling with a simple formula – it should be high in fiber, high in proteins, high in complex carbs

From my earlier post, banana oats pancake are a great option. And here is option 2 if you looking for something more savory.

Paneer (Cottage cheese) is made from curdled milk 🥛, is rich in proteins and calcium while being low on calories. So let’s make it the perfect lead actor in our breakfast today! Combined with some red beans (more protein in fiber) sweet potato (complex carbs), and avocado (good fats) with dashes of fresh herbs (coriander, sweet onion) and hot sauce. It’s a perfect breakfast colorful-wholesome-filling breakfast!

Recipe
Prep time: 15min | Cooking time: 10min | Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup paneer (cottage cheese, mashed))
  • 1/3 cup red beans (canned / cooked)
  • 1/3 cup sweet potato (boiled, peeled and cubed)
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 strands of green onion
  • 1/4 cup coriander
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 2-4 shakes of hot sauce

Instructions:

  • In a pan, heat oil. Add half a portion of green onions and saute for 30 sec before adding in the sweet potato and red beans. Saute for 3-5minutes till they become soft and easily mashed.
  • Add in the paneer and mix it all well together.
  • Add dashes of salt, pepper and the hot sauce. Cook for around two minutes before taking it off the pan
  • Serve with a garnish of remaining green onion, coriander and sliced avocados!

Notes:

  • The recipe comes out really well with fresh homemade paneer (and its so simple to make! Bring 1 ltr of milk to boil. Turn the heat off and add 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar, add more if you cant notice the curdling (milk separation into solids). Let it cool for 30min. Strain with a cloth and set in a refrigerator for at least 3 hrs before using. DO NOT Throw away the liquid. Use it in kneeling and soups or drink as is!

Strawberry smoothie!

Cant avoid the breakfast dance with a strawberry smoothie!

Breakfast is the first meal of the day, but most importantly it’s a meal we have after 12hrs of not eating just before we head to work. You need it to be light, loaded with fruits, some protein, colorful and playful to get you in the right mood.

Here is an easy formula: Mix fruits, yogurt, and a gentle sweetener together. Top with nuts!

Recipe:

Prep time: 5min | Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/3 cup yogurt
  • 1 tsp pumpkin seeds

Instructions:

  • Blend together the strawberries, banana and yogurt
  • Serve with toppings of pumpkin seeds

Notes:

  • Banana is a great natural sweetner. You don’t need to mix additional vanilla essence / honey if you are adding a banana to your smoothies

Papaya bowls

This papaya breakfast bowl is a treat to the eyes, bursting with naturly fresh orange, red, green and nutty brown colors! 

You want to hold it in your hands and eat it. You would have never eaten so much papaya at one go!

As you take the bites you can feel how the food cools down the body and nourishes you. A great first thing to start your day

Recipe:

Prep time: 5min | Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 papaya
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 4-5 Strawberries
  • Handful of Almonds / walnuts
  • 1Tbsp Chia seeds

Instructions

  • Cut the papaya into two halves, lengthwise. Deseed to create a roughly even bowl
  • Sweeten the yogurt with honey
  • Fill the deseeded papaya with sweetened honey, and top it with colorful fruits, chia seeds and nuts to your liking

Notes:

  • To eat, take a spoon and scoop out from where the yogurt meets the papaya and move outwards towards the edge of the papaya skin
  • Make sure the papays isn’t too ripe that its skin doesn’t hold strong

Chia Seed Pudding

Is it a breakfast or is it a dessert? You would still be debating as you scrape that last tiny chia seed from the bottom of your cup! Its the best dessert for breakfast! Its Chia seed pudding

Chia seeds are a staple of South America. It is said that the tribe of Tarahumara Indians, famously known for running hundreds of miles in Mexico’s deep deadly copper canyons, would have chia seeds soaked in lime juice as their energy drink! (Do read more about them and the Race of a lifetime in the book “Born to Run”)

Chia seeds are loaded with antioxidants, omega 3, fiber, iron, calcium, phosphorous – loading you with energy, good cholesterol and nutrients that are not found in everyday vegetarian diet. 

So, add chia seeds into your weekly routine with this extremely simple make ahead eye pleasing breakfast (or even dessert) recipe!

Recipe

Prep Time: 5min | Makes 1 portion

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unflavored yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • A handful of nuts (almonds, walnuts, cherries) – roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup colorful fruits – Banana, Spiced apple, Strawberries
  • 4-5 Mint leaves

Instructions

  • In one big cup, pour in unflavored yogurt. Add honey and chia seeds. Mix well so that the chia seeds are broadly distributed and not forming lumps. Its not a problem if they do, just that eating soaked isolated chia seeds are better than lumps!
  • Cover and let this sit overnight
  • In the morning, start your layering craft.
  • My Option 1: Start with a row of walnuts and cherries, then sliced bananas, then sliced strawberries then mint on top
  • My Option 2: Start with a row of toasted almonds, then add Spiced Apples!

Notes

  • This is an absolute free style recipe. Choose your own mix of fruits and nuts, play around with layering, mix as many colors you like!
  • Use transparent cup / glass / masor jar so that you can see the action!

Banana Oat Pancakes!

Make these delicious Banana Oats pancake mountain to crush those long To Do list filled mornings!

You know its going to be one of those long days, the day would start and before uyou know it you have skipped lunch. There is an unending to Do list. On those exact days, I am asking you to take out 15min – 5min to cook and 10min to eat these extremely nourishing, filling (will not cause bloating) and will keep you going!

However for those who have already started rolling there eyes on oats, I am going to be honest here. Oats are a healthy grain option – they are whole, full of fibers, vitamins and minerals, keeping you full and satisfied for a long time. But after several experiments in kitchen I have concluded and agree that it is very hard to make them taste good. 

I have experimented and tried to incorporate oats in my every day diet, but unfortunately with little success till now. They are gooey and ‘taste of health’, which people who do not lean towards healthy food know what I mean.

Oats Upma and oats Poha never turn out good; Oats Porridge loaded with nuts and peanut butter comes midway but hard to adopt for those you don’t like the taste of oats. But dont stop there if you have. Give this recipe a shot. These Banana Oats pancakes have been taste tested 20 times with 100% success – TASTE BETTER THAN REGULAR PANCAKES

Recipe

Prep time: 15min | Cooking time: 2 min / pancake | Makes 4 small pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup oat flour (You can grind it fresh in your smoothie blender. Doesnt have to be very fine. Coarse tastes better)
  • 3/4 cup milk of your choice
  • 1 egg
  • 1 banana
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (+ 3tsp for cooking)
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg (freshly grated taste better)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (can only grate fresh if you have a high power blender)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla essense
  • Strawberries and/or chocolate chips for garnish! (optional)

Instructions

  • In a bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients (oat flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, baking powder)
  • In a new (but smaller) bowl mash the Banana with forks into gooey chunks. No stress. Then carefully crack your egg, add milk, honey, coconut oil and vanilla essence. Mix it all well!
  • Pour the liquid mixture from the second bowl into the first bowl and mix well (again) till everything becomes smooth and even. Do not keep over mixing it as the baking powder will start losing its effect 😉
  • Now when you are ready to eat, In a pan add 1/4 tsp coconut oil and wait till you can feel its become hot (not too hot that oil starts burning)
  • Then pour 1/4 cup of our delicious mix, make it into a rough circle and wait till you see bubbles forming at the top and the outsides starting turning golden. Flip it over! Cook for 30sec on the other side and flip it, flying high up in the sky, straight into your pan
  • Mount two / hree of these, with fruits, nuts, honey, chocolate sauce in between! Decorate as you like
  • Eat within 10min. Best when hot

Notes:

  • Consumer within 10min. Best when hot!
  • You can pre make the mix the night before, so all you need to do on those busy days is take the mix out of teh fridge, cook for 5min (1 min to heat the pan, 2 min / pancakes *2) and 10min to eat! Give yourself that much time, esp when you know you might be skipping lunch that day 🙂
  • Banana and honey are the secret agent here!

.

Spice up your winter breakfasts!

Winters are about snuggling in bed, wrapping your hands around a warm cup of tea, losing yourself in fluffy winter jacket and getting those unexpected long hugs from families and friends during the holidays or even as you walk down the road playing the winter air

While we take ample and more care to warm up on the outside, we need to also look out for warming up our insides. During winter our body goes into a bit of hibernating stage and we need to get the digestive fire and blood circulations going with foods that have a warming effect on in our gut

Step 1 – Say hello to Spices this winter. Dig them out of your kitchen racks or order some fresh whole ones online! Spices on the must list for this winter season are – Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Green Cardamom, Blck cardamom, Cloves, Ginger, (Safron and Turmeric – not used in the recipe below)

Step 2 – Dream up your memories of winter destinations and the classic winter fruits and vegetables. I cant help but start thinking of the beautiful Apple and peach orchards of Kashmir in India. Trees laden with fruits set in the backdrop of snowy mountains…

Step 3 – Get into the kitchen to cook up something easy, fun and soul warming. Our recipe for today is Spiced apples!

Recipe:

Prep Time: 2min | Cooking time: 10min |Makes for 2 bowls

Ingredients:

  • 2 apples, sliced into 8 pieces each
  • 1/3 cup of water
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated cinnamon
  • 3 pods of green cardamom
  • 1 pod of black cardamom
  • 3 cloves
  • 1/2 inch ginger grated

Instructions

  • In a pot, add water and all the spices . Simmer on slow heat till it comes to a gentle rolling boil ( about 2min)
  • Add apple slices, cover the lid and cook on slow heat for about another 8-10 mins.
  • Remove apples from the heat and serve hot in bowls. The apples should be softened with still a slight crunch and flavorful Feel free to also add the liquid to the bowls, so that the apples keep absorbing the flavors

Notes:

  • You are going to absolutely fall in love with the aroma of the spices when you take off the lid at the end. Take a deep breath and take it all in!
  • Use only whole spices and ground them fresh as needed (ginger, nutmeg). Grounded spices kept for long loose their aroma and benefits
  • Do not cook on high heat. The Vitamin C in Apples can take small amounts of heat but will lose its nutritive value in long high heat cooking styles
  • Enjoy for breakfast everyday as a main or a side 🙂

(While I was researching, it was just crazy to find the health benefits of these spices- anti inflammatory, anti oxidant and anti bacterial. Though, I am still left confused with what specifically all of that means. If you guys have any recommendations on books / blogs that demistify spices, what exactly they do when the enter in the body, less preachy and more explanatory – definitely let me know)

Ultimate tea cocktail for when you have a bad cold

Cold is natural and body’s way to letting go of the toxins that build up over the course of our lifestyles. Being down with cold once a year is totally normal and I would go to the extent of saying that it should be fully embraced. Put on those lacy pyjamas, cozy up in the bed, get a nice book and relax to let the body get rid of the toxins to recuperate.

Now, I would say that it’s not that easy to be stuck with cold and a running nose. You want to rush to pop those pills and feel better. But that would just subvert the cold inside, make you feel better in the short term and you would be down with cold again at the slightest hint of the infection.

Instead, Try this ultimate cocktail for when you have a bad cold, to make you feel better, heal your body and get rid of toxins.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 inch ginger (grated)
  • 1 inch fresh turmeric (grated)
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp honey

Instructions:

Put the water to boil along with ginger, turmeric, clove, cinnamon and nutmeg. Let it come to a nice rolling boil. Remove it from heat, strain and add lemon juice and honey. Mix it all up!

Wrap your hands around the mug, breath into the fresh condiments and take a sip. It’s so good as it combines all the things Ayurveda says you need to have when you have a cold. Take it 3-4 times a day and you would start feeling better in a couple of days!

Seville’s Gazpacho: Under 7min!

Chopped tomato, cucumber and onion is the most traditional salad in India. With a dash of lime, its simple and refreshing across seasons.

2000miles in the west Spanishers decided to blend these vegetables together to make an even more refreshing summer drink called Gazpacho! Its delicious when served chilled , served like a cocktail or soup, and can be had before a meal on a hot summer days.

Ever since I got back from Seville I wanted to recreate this drink with simple steps  and here it is!

Recipe:

Prep Time: 5min | cooking time: 30sec | Serves 2 glasses

Ingredients

  • 2 red juicy tomatoes (washed and roughly chopped)
  • 1 cucumber (washed, peeled, roughly chopped)
  • 1 green pepper (washed and roughly chopped)
  • 1 garlic clove (peeled and crushed)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1tsp salt

Instructions

  • Blend all the ingredients together. Do not add additional water
  • Place in the refrigerator to chill for 2hrs. Serve with ice cubes / straight up

Sip, close your eyes and imagine yourself sitting on a outdoor cafe alongside Seille’s beautiful river. The sun’s setting, there are purple flowers blossoming on the trees and people are running. skating, walking along the riverside. You take a sip, take it all in, and thank life for all it has provided.

Cheers to Simple pleasures

 

Breakfast: Playing with Avocado

I love Avocado toasts and would have it every single day! At the simplest, avocado guts  mashed together with a drop of lime, sprinkled with salt and spread over a slice of toasted bread is creamy, savory, delicious and filling. But, avocados are extremely versatile and there could be so many variations to the basic avocado toast, that you would rather play with it, experiment and delight your senses with your own take on avocado toast every single day than getting stuck with the usual.

This week’s edition is Avocado toast with white beans

Recipe

Prep time: 10min | Cooking time: 5min | Serves: 4 bread toasts (2 people)

Ingredients:

  • 2 whole avocados (sliced in half, seeds removed)
  • 1/4 cup white beans (soaked and cooked)
  • 15 – 20 Cherry tomatoes (sliced in half)
  • 10 almonds / other nuts
  • 2 garlic
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp chilly flakes
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Instructions:

  • Put the bread to toast
  • Roast the tomatoes till they become soft and start falling on themselves (Oven: 9min, 250 degrees C | Stove: 10min with a dollop of oil)
  • In a mixer grinder, mash together avocados, white beans, almonds, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and chilly flakes to a thick paste. Add 1 tbsp water if needed
  • Prepare the spread with placing the thick avocado paste on the bread and topping with a couple of cherry tomatoes

This avocado toast was incredibly delicious and fulfilling! Cheers to Experiments!

Detox Fiber Overload Salad

For days when you need a fix for “I-ate-something-I-now-regret”.

You are feeling bloated and want to cleanse before you have your next meal.

To your rescue #1: A quick fix fiber overload salad.

Recipe

Prep time: 5min | Makes 2 big bowls

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 White radish, grated
  • 1 Cucumber, grated
  • 1 Tomato, diced
  • 5 mint leaves, chopped
  • 2tbsp lemon juice
  • 1tsp roasted cumin powder
  • 1tsp salt

Recipe

  • Mix grated radish, grated cucumber and diced tomatoes together in a bowl
  • Add lemon juice, cumin powder and salt
  • Mix it all together and cool for 5min in the refrigerator
  • Garnish with mint and it is ready to eat!

This salad is packed with fibers. Cucumber is soothing for the stomach. Mint is refreshing. Lemon is acidic but has a positive alkaline effect in the guts. All in all, have a big bowl of this salad and you will be detoxed from whatever you had in the previous meal.

Proof: I had “Maggie” noodles for breakfast today…just because it felt like a rebellious Saturday morning thing to do! But then right after, I started feeling bloated and the feeling didn’t stop till about 4hrs later. I needed a fix before I could have lunch. And this fiber Detox salad came to the rescue. I had a big bowl of it, and soon after I finished I could feel the distinct gut refresh! Try it!

 

 

The most refreshing Watermelon Juice

I got up today morning to a temperature of “36 degrees outside, feels like 47 degrees” due to the intense humidity and air quality. It was so hot that I couldn’t think of cooking anything for breakfast and I wanted something cool to kick start the day. Some fiddling around the kitchen led me to….Fruits, juices! I laced up my shoes and ran to the fruit shop. 20min later I was  gulping down 3 cups of the most refreshing juice I have ever had!

Recipe

Prep time: 5min | Cook time: 2min | Makes 4 glasses

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 watermelon, roughly cut into pieces
  • 2 tsp black rock salt / Himalayan rock salt
  • 10 mint leaves, finely chopped
  • Ice cubes (optional)

Recipe:

  • Put the watermelon pieces into the juicer or blend it (Watermelon has 92% water content, so even if you juice it, you waste very little fibre but end up avoiding the hassle of taking out the seeds. If you decide to blend, do remove the seeds upfront)
  • Add mint leaves
  • Add 1/2 tsp of black rock salt to every glass of juice
  • Add ice cubes / cool the juice in the refrigerator for 20min before drinking

(Himalayan Rock salt has been much praised in Ayurveda because of its high sulphur content. Compared to the readily available, processed and bleached “white” salt version, Himalayan salt is still widely available in its unprocessed state, grind into granules, maintaining its pink/black color.

While you can use the Himalayan rock salt to season absolutely anything, its match with watermelon is one made in heaven. Add a couple of mint leaves and you are sure to say this is THE MOST REFRESHING drink you have ever had and wont be able to stop at one!)