Thursday, December 24, 2009

Baked Falafel -Happy X'Mas !!!






Ingredients:

Canned chickpeas-1 no
Wheat-1/2 cup
Olive oil-1 tbs
Chopped onions-1 cup
Garlic cloves-2 nos
Red chilli flakes-1 tsp
Cumin seeds-1 1/2 tsp
Coriander-few
Lemon juice-1 tbs
Breadcrumbs-1/2 cup   
Minced parsley-1/4 cup
Minced cilantro-1/4 cup 

Method:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Heat the olive oil in a  pan and saute the onions and garlic over medium heat until the onions turn just transparent. Add red chilli flakes, cumin, and coriander and saute for a  minute. Grind the chickpeas and wheat in a food processor. Add the lemon juice, bread crumbs, cilantro, parsley and salt , process until just mixed, and has a coarse texture. Cover the mixture with a wet cloth and set it aside for 15 minutes. Form falafel mixture into small balls and place them on a parchment paper. Sprinkle on the falafel balls with some olive oil. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden, turning the falafel  once during baking. Stuff them inside pita bread with desired vegetables and serve it.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Gobi Paratha




Ingredients:
Filling:

Grated cauliflower-1 cup
Salt -As required
Chopped green chillies-2 nos
Garam masala powder-1 tsp
Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
Ginger garlic paste-1 tsp
Cumin seeds-1 tsp
Oil-1 tbs

Method:

Prepare the dough out of wheat flour, salt, little oil and water, set it aside. Heat oil in a pan. Put the cumin seeds, add the rest of the ingredients of the filling. Roast till most of the moisture from cauliflower evaporates. Let it cool down.Make small balls out of the dough and roll out into a 3 inch round balls dusting it with dry flour to prevent it from sticking.  Place 1 tablespoon of cauliflower filling in the center. Gather the edges of the round and reshape it into a ball. Flatten this ball by lightly pressing with hand. Roll out this ball into a 6 inch round dusting it in dry flour. Roll out gently . Heat a griddle and smear it with some oil with the help of a spatula. Turn the heat to medium and place the paratha on it. Cook till the underside is cooked and rawness of flour disappear. Turn over and cook the other side also. While cooking the paratha, press with the spatula in between to make it crisp. Serve the gobi paratha with raita or some curry.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Super Soft Peanut Butter Cookies




Ingredients:

All purpose flour-1 1/2 cup
Peanut butter-3/4 cup
Baking soda-1 tsp
Butter-2 tbs
Salt-1/4 tsp
Baking powder-1 tsp
Confectionery sugar-1/2 cup
Egg-1 no 
Vanilla essence-1 tsp

Method:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl, set it aside. Beat the peanut butter along with 2 tbs of butter  in another bowl with electric beater until smooth. Beat in the sugar then the egg and vanilla essence until blended. Beat in the flour mixture just until blended. (If necessary, refrigerate dough until easy to handle). Flatten the dough using a rolling pin and make desired shapes using a cookie cutter. Place them on ungreased baking sheets 2 inches apart. Gently make crisscross pattern into tops with fork. Bake for about 12 minutes or until lightly golden. Cool completely on wire rack. Store in a tightly covered container.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Foods that help lower the cholesterol



I recently came across this article on foods lowering cholesterol which i found to be highly informative and i felt that it would be useful for the blogger friends and their families.You can share it with your known ones as well, prioritize your needs and stay cautious to have a healthy and a balanced meal. I was wondering why not i commence with some blurbs every now and then that would  facilitate everyone when their diet is concerned,so here is my  trial(Starter).Wait for the main course and the dessert :) To be genuine i have ignored few of the foods quoted below finding it to be heavy with no spice :D my taste bud is very much pampered, guess these days pretty much due to the boon of the junk food. And before proceeding to the actual content i thought to add notes on LDL and HDL so that everyone can know what they are.

Cholesterol is a soft, waxy substance found among the lipids (fats) in the bloodstream and in all your body's cells. It's an important part of a healthy body because it's used to form cell membranes, some hormones and is needed for other functions. But a high level of cholesterol in the blood — hypercholesterolemia — is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease, which leads to heart attack.
Cholesterol and other fats can't dissolve in the blood. They have to be transported to and from the cells by special carriers called lipoproteins. There are several kinds, but the ones to focus on are low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL).

LDL Cholesterol:

Low-density lipoprotein is the major cholesterol carrier in the blood. If too much LDL cholesterol circulates in the blood, it can slowly build up in the walls of the arteries feeding the heart and brain. Together with other substances it can form plaque, a thick, hard deposit that can clog those arteries. This condition is known as atherosclerosis. A clot (thrombus) that forms near this plaque can block the blood flow to part of the heart muscle and cause a heart attack. If a clot blocks the blood flow to part of the brain, a stroke results. A high level of LDL cholesterol (160 mg/dL and above) reflects an increased risk of heart disease. If you have heart disease, your LDL cholesterol should be less than 100 mg/dL and your doctor may even set your goal to be less than 70 mg/dL. That's why LDL cholesterol is called "bad" cholesterol. Lower levels of LDL cholesterol reflect a lower risk of heart disease.

HDL Cholesterol:



About one-third to one-fourth of blood cholesterol is carried by HDL. Medical experts think HDL tends to carry cholesterol away from the arteries and back to the liver, where it's passed from the body. Some experts believe HDL removes excess cholesterol from plaques and thus slows their growth. HDL cholesterol is known as "good" cholesterol because a high HDL level seems to protect against heart attack. The opposite is also true: a low HDL level (less than 40 mg/dL in men; less than 50 mg/dL in women) indicates a greater risk. A low HDL cholesterol level also may raise stroke risk.

Now let us go to the actual content.



Almonds:

Substances in almond skins help prevent LDL "bad" cholesterol from being oxidized, a process that can otherwise damage the lining of blood vessels and increase cardiovascular risk.
  • Sprinkle almonds on cereals and salads, nibble on a handful for an afternoon snack.
Avocados:

The monounsaturated fats in avocados have been found to lower "bad" LDLs and raise "good" HDLs, especially in people with mildly elevated cholesterol.
  • Slice avocadoes into sandwiches and salads or mash with garlic, lemon juice and salsa for a terrific guacamole.
Barley:

When volunteers in a USDA study added barley to the standard American Heart Association diet, LDL "bad" cholesterol levels fell more than twice as far.
  • Barley makes a great substitute for rice, adds depth to soups and is terrific combined with dried fruits, nuts and a little oil and vinegar for a hearty salad.
Beans & Lentils:

From a recent study in the Annals of Internal Medicine, LDL "bad" cholesterol levels fell almost twice as far in those volunteers on a low-fat diet who added beans and lentils (along with more whole grains and vegetables) to the menu.
  • Experiment with beans in soups, salads, and dips. Tuck them into burritos, lasagnas and casseroles.
Blueberries:

Blueberries contain a powerful antioxidant called pterostilbene that may help lower LDL cholesterol.
  • Toss a cup of frozen blueberries together with a half-cup of orange juice and vanilla-flavored yogurt into the blender for a healthy breakfast drink. Sprinkle fresh blueberries on cereals and eat them by the handfuls for snacks.
Oats:

When women in a University of Toronto study added oat bran to an already heart-healthy diet, HDL-cholesterol levels — the beneficial kind — climbed more than 11 percent.
  • Consider a daily bowl of oat bran hot cereal or old-fashioned oatmeal for breakfast. Oat bran muffins can also pack a tasty dose into your day.
 It conveyed the significance of good cholesterol and the bad cholesterol,so eat healthy ,and stay healthy.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Brownie Squares




Ingredients:

Butter-4 tbs
All purpose flour(divided)-1 cup
Semisweet chocolate chips(divided)-1 cup
Vanilla essence-2 tsp
Chocolate bar-150 gms
Eggs-4 nos
Coffee powder-2 tbs
Sugar-1 1/2 cup
Salt-1 tsp
Diced walnuts-1 1/2 cup
Baking powder-2 tsp

Method:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a baking tray. Melt together the butter, 3/4 portion of chocolate chips, and the chocolate bar on top of a double boiler. Cool slightly. Stir together the eggs, coffee powder, vanilla and the sugar. Stir in the warm chocolate mixture and  let it cool. Stir together 3/4 cup of the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the cooled chocolate mixture. Incorporate the walnuts and  the remaining chocolate chips with 1/4 cup flour to coat. Then add to the chocolate batter. Pour into the greased tray. Bake for about 30 minutes. Cool it and refrigerate well and cut into squares. It tasted heavenly (hot brownie with vanilla ice cream) .

Monday, December 7, 2009

Carrot & Cauliflower Casserole




Ingredients:

Grated carrot-1 cup
Chopped onions-1 cup
Boiled spinach-3/4 cup
All purpose flour-2 tbs
Cauliflower florets-3/4 cup
Milk-1 1/2 cup
Pepper powder-1/2 tsp
Melted butter-2 tbs
Salt-1 tsp
Garlic paste-1 tsp
Cheddar cheese(shredded)-1/2 cup
Parmesan cheese-1/2 cup
Oregano-1 tsp
 
Method:
  
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a casserole dish with butter and set it aside. In a skillet of salted water, cook carrots  and the cauliflower until just tender for 5 to 7 minutes. In a large skillet pour the butter followed by onions and garlic over medium heat until onions turn soft. Add the all purpose flour to it and cook, stirring constantly for 3 minutes.
Pour the milk into it and bring to a low heat stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Now it's time to add the cheddar cheese, salt, and the pepper. Add the carrots,spinach and the cauliflower, stir until mixture is well combined.Sprinkle the parmesan cheese followed by oregano on it, if desired you can sprinkle some breadcrumbs too. Pour mixture into greased casserole dish. Bake for about 30 minutes, a delicious and a filling casserole is ready to eat with tomato ketchup or any other sauce .

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Paruppu Vada/Lentil Patties




Ingredients:

Chana dal/Bengal gram-1 cup
Chopped onions-3/4 cup
Curry leaves-few
Green chillies-2 nos
Cumin seeds-1 tsp
Chilli powder-1 tsp
Ginger paste-2 tsp
Coriander leaves-few nos
Salt-As required
Oil-As required


Method:


Soak the chana dal in warm water for 45 minutes. Then drain the water and set it aside for 20 minutes. Now grind it as such without adding water. Later on incorporate rest of the ingredients into it. Divide the above dal mixture into equal portions, flatten it on a wet cloth or on a plastic sheet and deep fry it  in oil until golden brown. Drain the oil by placing the vada/patties on the paper napkins. Serve it hot with coffee or tea. Marinate the vada in sambar or curd  and enjoy them to the fullest :)