Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Watermelon & Strawberry Juice

Looking for healthy way to quench your thirst on a hot summer day. Try this easy, breezy delicious juice. With the goodness of vitamin C & A rich watermelon and few strawberries. This juice not only tastes great but is good for you too. Both the strawberries and watermelon I used were very sweet so I added some lime juice and a dash of salt and black pepper. Perfect accompaniment to the park or good to go along with a bike ride on a hot summer day.

But once again even though this fruit juice is all natural and rich in vitamins, this is not recommended for people with diabetes because of the high fructose content.

Preparation Time - 5 Minutes

Cooking Time - Nil

Serves - 2 


Watermelon pieces - 3 Cups

Strawberry - 2 ( I just 2 over ripe strawberries, just added it to the juice to give a nice color)

Lemon Juice - 1/2 Tsp or to taste

Salt - 1/4 Tsp

Fresh Ground Black pepper - 1/4 Tsp or to taste

Ice Cubes - 1/2 Cup (optional)

Xylitol - 2 Tbsp (Optional - depending on the sweetness of the watermelon. I didn't add anything because the fruits itself were over sweet)


1) Place the cut watermelon pieces, strawberry  in a blender and blend till smooth.

2) Add the ice cubes and blend one more time and then add salt, lemon juice and black pepper powder and serve immediately.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Orange Ginger & Honey Juice

 The weather is warm outside and the kids are on a vacation from school. So many places to visit and lot of things to explore. No time to cook an elaborate meal, but lot of quick healthy snacks, juices, smoothies and shakes and that's how things go. So you will see lot of simple and quick healthy beverage ideas in the coming posts. A few weeks back, my elder one wanted to make a banana milk shake all by himself and tried to search for the recipe in my site. That's when I decided to post these simple juice, shakes and smoothie recipes which will be helpful for kids and novice cooks. Stay hydrated and have a happy, healthy summer.

Preparation Time - 5 Minutes

Cooking Time - Nil

Serves - 1


Orange - 1

Ginger - 1/2 inch piece (skin peeled)

Honey - 1 Tsp or to taste

Water - 1/2 Cup

Ice cubes - few optional


1) Cut the orange into half. Then cut each half into two pieces. Peel them and cut once again to remove the seeds and the thick white pith. (I do  not remove the soft white skin)

2) Place the orange pieces, ginger, honey and water in your blender and blend till smooth. Add the ice cubes and blend once again and enjoy.

Note - I used vitamix, so there was no need to filter and discard the fiber. The fiber in the juice makes you full for a longer time so do not strain and throw them away. Also if you are diabetic, do not go for fruit juices. Go for vegetable juices (excluding carrots & beets).

Friday, June 24, 2011

Hello Chennai my first restaurant review & a Happy Winner of Sukham Coolers event

 Hello friends and my readers, I hope you are all having a wonderful summer. I am back in home town and enjoying every bit of it. With all the travel scheduled for next 3-4 weeks, I don't know how much time I will be able to visit all my favorite blogs or do the likes in face book. I have scheduled couple of posts to be automatically published, so don't be surprised when you see my posts but not visiting your blogs.

Now coming to this post, I normally don't do any restaurant review in my site. But just wanted to share the information about this very interesting and healthy Naturopathic style restaurant(Sanjeevanam) located in heart of Chennai, India. If you are looking for a very healthy spread of balanced food with lot of vegetables, protein, complex carbohydrates and fat you should definitely visit this place.

The meal starts with 1) Ripe Banana Slices with grated coconut 2) 5 Kinds of juices 3) Few types of salads with raw vegetables 4) Few dishes with half cooked vegetables 5) Few dishes of full cooked vegetables 6) Choice of Whole Red Rice or White Rice 7) Few typical Indian Side dishes 8) Meal ends with a Tbsp of honey to aid digestion.

The food is served in the order listed above and below and will be served only after finishing an order. With all the vegetables filling up once you come to the main course or the item 6) you will barely eat 3-4 tbsp of rice. The food is all gluten free, cooked with coconut oil and you get to have good serving of Ghee(clarified butter-fat is a very important part of the meal because it helps you to feel full for a longer time and curbs cravings and of course the source should be good fat). There is also a dessert in the meal which is made using jaggery (panela) and no refined sugars or flours are used.

 I just tried to capture the juices alone and  stunned at the healthy spread before my eyes totally forgot to click next arrays of spread served. So if you get a chance to be in the city or visit Chennai don't forget to pay a visit to this restaurant.

Now coming to the end of this post, I am happy to share the good news that my entry Cucumber Celery Cilantro Cooler won the Healing Foods - Sukham coolers event. The best part is as soon as I got the email from Jigyasa & Prathibha about the good news and send them my mailing address, I got the book delivered at my door steps within few hours. Thanks guys the book is so good and there are lot of lovely recipes to be tried out. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Chocolate Truffle Shake

 Craving for some cold chocolate shake but are scared about the sugar in it. If you are like me and count the carbs and sugar in the milk shakes then this drink is definitely for you. Made with no cavity causing xylitol, unsweetened 100% Cacao dark chocolate and raw milk. These are much better choice than the sugary chocolate drinks. Try it out and I am sure you will like it.

Preparation Time - None

Cooking Time - None

Serves - 2


Raw Milk - 1 1/2 Cups (Chilled)

Chocolate Truffles - 3

Xylitol - 1 Tbsp or per taste

Ice cubes - few (optional)


Blend the raw milk, truffles, xylitol till smooth. Add few pieces of ice and give another whiz and pour into tall glasses and enjoy.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Coconut Chocolate Truffle and a Vacation

It's almost midnight, really feeling tired after all the packing. Yes heading back home for the summer vacation tomorrow. Will catch up with my blogger buddies in a few days. If you see posts being published and I am not visiting your blogs don't be surprised because I have scheduled couple of automatic posts. So good bye and will be back in action soon. Now getting on to this post.

Are you a chocolate lover and then you should be happy to know about this. Chocolate contains flavonoids, which act as antioxidants. Antioxidants protect the body from aging caused by free radicals, which can cause damage that leads to heart disease. Dark chocolate contains a large number of antioxidants (nearly 8 times the number found in strawberries).  Flavonoids also help relax blood pressure through the production of nitric oxide, and balance certain hormones in the body.

Made with 100% unsweetened dark chocolate and sweetened with xylitol and with the added nuts and coconut these surely are better than the sugary truffles.

Preparation Time - 5 Minutes

Cooking Time - 10 Minutes

Serves - Makes around 12 to 18 Truffles


Unsweetened baker's chocolate - 1 bar(4 oz - broken into pieces)

Organic Heavy Cream - 1/2 Cup

Xylitol - 1/3 Cup or 1/2 Cup for a sweeter truffle

Coarsely chopped almonds - 1/2 Cup

Grated Coconut - 4 Tbsp

Vanilla extract - 1/2 Tsp

Salt - pinch


1)  Combine the chocolate pieces, xylitol, salt, heavy cream and simmer on medium heat till the chocolate pieces melt. Add the vanilla extract, the coarsely ground nuts to this mixture and set this aside to cool.

2) Once cool enough to handle, take a small amount of this and roll them between your palms to make a uniform shape. Roll these balls in grated coconut and place them in small cup cake liners. Refrigerate for few hours and then enjoy!!!!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Mini Ragi, Mung & Kala Channa Sevai/Idiyappam( Finger Millet & Bean String Hopper)

Are you looking for more ways to loose weight. Then try to cut down on your Grain, Sugar, Starchy vegetable & fruit consumption and slightly go towards pseudo grains like Ragi, Quinoa etc. Both these are seeds but actually used as grain and are gluten free. Ragi  is very rich in calcium and iron. Dark brown in color and with a sweet taste, nutty flavor and with complex carbohydrates. Gluten free and easy to digest ragi is good from Infants to Old aged people. Here I have used Ragi flour along with protein rich Black Chick Pea flour and green mung  bean flour. Both these beans are rich in protein, iron and very low in glycemic index. I served this with Tomato Kurma (Tomato & Coconut Curry with Spices). An unbeatable combination, try this out and let me know, what you think about this recipe. Made into small mini string hoppers my elder one loves this.

Preparation Time - Nil

Cooking Time - 45 Minutes

Serves - 3 to 4


Ragi Flour - 12 oz ( 1 1/2 Cups)

Green Mung Flour - 4 oz (1/2 Cup)

Kala Channa Flour - 4 oz (1/2 Cup)

Salt - 3/4 Tsp

Coconut Oil - 1 Tbsp

Water - 4 Cups


1) Take all the three flours, combine evenly and set it aside.

2)  Boil the water in a wide mouthed vessel, once it starts boiling add the salt and the oil and slowly add the combined flours little by little stirring with a heavy spoon continuously so that there are no lumps formed. Switch of the stove and combine thoroughly so that there are no dry spots or the water is evenly mixed with the flours. Cover it and keep it aside for 5-10 minutes and then take out and spread them in wide plate for around 20 minutes to cool down.

3) Grease your hand and as well as the Idli plates. Take a string hopper maker (Idiyappam press), roll out balls of dough and place them in the Idiyappam press and press them in the greased Idli plates.  Now steam the idli plates for around 10 minutes. Repeat the same process till all the dough is exhausted.

Event Participation

This goes to Champa's Kids delight mini bytes an event started by Srivalli.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Almond flour Pancake (Egg free, Gluten free, Grain free, Sugar free but not Taste free) & Blueberry strawberry syrup

My husband is gluten free and kind of grain free. He is on diet where Quinoa & Ragi (pseudo grains) are the staple and rest of them are made up by legumes, nuts, vegetables, dairy etc. Even though me and my kids don't have any restriction, we are slowly moving towards this diet because how many different kinds of food will I cook and this kind of diet is good for every one even though it is little difficult to follow. In our house almond flour has taken over the gluten flours for making cookies, crackers etc. So when my elder one asked for Pancake, I had only almond flour in hand. I set out in search of recipes for pancakes.

There are so many innovative recipes I came across but most of them had eggs in them. But we neither include eggs, so the recipe had to be egg free, gluten free, and of course should be low carb one too. So the use of potato flour had to be eliminated. If you notice in gluten free baking, potato flour or tapioca flours are extensively used as a binder for gluten free flours and also bean flours. I have couple of bean flour mixes lying in my basement pantry because I neither like the smell nor the taste of these bean flours.  Since besan (chick pea flour) is used extensively in Indian Cuisine in a variety of sweets without any after taste or weird smell, the addition of besan worked very well as a binder and tasted great too in this pancake recipe. Almond flour and besan flour combo works great and I will post a cookie recipe also using this combination. Now getting on to this recipe. 

Preparation Time - 5 Minutes
Cooking Time - 15 to 20 Minutes
Makes - 5 to 6 Small Pan Cakes


Almond Flour - 1/2 Cup
Ground Chia Powder -1 heaped Tbsp
Split Chick Pea Flour(Besan) - 1/3 Cup
Powdered Xylitol - 1 Tbsp
Buttermilk - 3/4 Cup
Baking Soda - 1/4 Tsp
Baking Powder - 1/2 Tsp
Vanilla extract few drops
Orange Juice - 1 Tbsp
Salt - pinch

1) Add the almond flour, ground chia powder, besan, xylitol powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt in a wide bowl.

2) Heat a cast iron skillet in medium heat and add all the wet ingredients orange juice, butter milk, vanilla extract to the flour and combine with a egg beater without any lumps.

3) Pour a ladle full in the skillet and gently press it down (not too much like with a gluten based flours). Pour a tsp of ghee(clarified butter) and cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes in small to medium heat.

4) Flip and cook the other side and add more ghee if required and then remove from the heat.

For the blueberry, strawberry syrup

Blueberry - Handful
Strawberry - Handful
Water - 1 to 2 Tbsp
Stevia - 1/8 Tsp 


In a blender blend blueberry, strawberry, water into a smooth paste. Boil for 3-5 minutes till the mixture thickens and then add stevia and combine well. Pour the syrup on top of the pancake and enjoy.

Note- I am just trying to make use of stevia sitting in my pantry and I was able to taste the after taste of stevia but the kids didn't notice anything. So you can substitute the sweetener of your choice for this purpose.


This goes to Champa's Kids delight mini bytes an event started by Srivalli.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Instant Khaman Dhokla (Vegan Gluten free Savory steamed Cake with Split Chick Pea flour)

Looking for a gluten free, high protein, low carb savory snack. Then this one will perfectly fit the bill. Made with split chick pea flour and seasoned with spices, these are steamed snacks. Easy to make, tastes great and good for you. What more is needed to curb those cravings. If you haven't tried this out do try it now and let me know.

Dhokla is a gujarati(Western Indian Dish). My introduction to Gujarati cuisine happened few years back, when I was working full time and I used to have Nanny(nannies I had 3 of them) to look after my kids and do cooking at home. This went on for few years but the time lines, dead lines demanded more time away from my kids. I quit my full time job and switched to part time one. One of them was a very versatile cook and she used to do catering in the weekends, when she wasn't baby sitting. I learnt a lot of new recipes from her and this is one of hers.

Preparation Time - 5 Minutes
Cooking Time - 12 - 15 Minutes
Serves - 2


Split Chick Pea flour(Besan) - 1 Cup
Water - 3/4 Cup
Green Chilies - 1 to 2 or to taste(grate them)
Salt - 1/2 Tsp or to taste
Ginger - 1 Inch piece( peeled and grated)
Oil - 1 Tbsp 
Lemon Juice - 1 Tbsp
Eno - 1 Tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 Tsp
Asafoetida - pinch (exclude this for gluten free dishes)


Coconut Oil - 2 Tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 Tsp
Asafoetida powder - pinch
Sesame seeds - 1 Tbsp
Curry leaves - few
Chopped green chilies or jalapeno - 1 to 2 per taste

Grated coconut - 2 Tbsp


1) Heat a pressure pan or a steamer with enough water and place a stand at the bottom and let the water boil while we prepare the batter.

2) In a wide mouthed vessel take the split chick pea flour, salt, asafoetida powder, turmeric powder, grated ginger, grated chili.

3) Grease a wide plate with enough oil and keep it aside.

4) To the flour mixture add the water, oil, lemon juice and using a hand blender blend thoroughly to make a batter without any lumps.  Now add the eno salt and blend once again and pour into the greased plate and steam for 12-15 minutes. A knife inserted in the center should come out clean.

5) Heat a pan, add coconut oil. Once the oil is warm add the mustard seeds, asafoetida powder, white sesame seeds, curry leaves and chopped green chilies or jalapeno peppers. Saute for few minutes till the sesame seeds and chilies change color add 2 Tbsp water and let this boil.

6) Now the steamed dhokla would have cooled. Poke holes using a fork and pour the seasoning along with the water on top of the dhokla so that water will make it even more softer. Cut them into diamonds, garnish with grated coconut and serve with some cilantro chutney.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Sugar free Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream using Coconut Milk & Cashews

Coconut is the new darling of the health food Industry. Ignored and tainted suddenly people are reinventing the wheel and you see articles running in news papers on the health benefit of Coconut, Coconut Oil, Coconut Milk.  Whatever said and done, these products have been in certain cuisine for centuries and people didn't run into any problem. In between there was no much negativity going about the coconuts and suddenly there is a lot of awakening on including coconuts for skin benefits, for thyroids, to loose weights.

In my every day cooking I use a lot of coconut and coconut oil. But haven't really tried them in making ice creams, until I saw a Coconut Milk Ice cream in one of the health food stores and also came across lot of recipes when I searched in internet on Coconut Milk ice cream. Most of the recipes either used sugar, agave, honey or maple. Even though the latter sweeteners are much better alternate than sugar in terms of dental health, they are high in fructose. So if you are watching your carb and sugars these are not for you. I finally nailed down a recipe using Xylitol and this was absolutely delicious.  So try it out and let me know what you think. This recipe is so simple and you don't need an Ice Cream maker for this.

Ice creams get their smooth texture from the cream and fat, so to get the creamy texture I have added nuts and coconut oil.

Preparation Time - 10 Minutes

Cooking Time - 15 Minutes


Coconut Milk - 2 Cups

Xylitol - 1/2 Cup

Cashews - 1 Cup

Agar Agar Flakes - 2 Tbsp

Vanilla extract - 1/2 Tsp

Coconut Oil - 2 Tbsp


1) Take the agar agar flakes and add it to the coconut milk and let this sit for 10-15 minutes till the flakes soften.

2) Simmer on low to medium heat and add the xylitol and retain it till the agar agar flakes and xylitol both dissolve.

3) Let this cool down for 10-15  minutes, now pour the coconut milk mixture in a blender ( I used Vitamix) add the cashews, coconut oil, vanilla extract and blend till smooth.

4) Pour in a container and keep it aside for 10-15 minutes till the mixture is lukewarm, cover and refrigerate overnight.

5) Scoop out using an ice cream scoop dipped in hot water and enjoy.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

How to make Coconut Milk

Have you heard of the term BPA - bisphenol? BPA is a an industrial chemical that has been used to make certain plastics and resins. Epoxy resins can be used to coat the inside of metal products, such as food cans, baby formula cans etc. This chemical is really dangerous and the cumulative effect of being exposed to even minuscule amounts of BPA from cans, bottles, plates and all other sources over the years can eventually spell serious trouble for your child. Now do you understand what I am coming to? Yes instead of grabbing a can of Coconut milk next time try making it at home. So simple and easy to make, 100%  all natural without any "EPOXY RESINS". You can add Coconut milk to vegetable dishes, milk shakes instead of milk, ice creams. Will soon post ice creams using Coconut Milk.

Preparation Time - 10 Minutes
Cooking Time - Nil
Serves - 2


Grated/Shredded Fresh Unsweetened Coconut - 1 Cup (Packed)
Water - 2 1/2 Cups


1) Soak Coconut in 2 cups of water for at least an hour. Now pour this in your blender and blend on high speed for 1-2 Minutes

2) Pour the content through a strainer and collect the coconut milk in a container below. 
Squeeze out the collected pulp and once again place it in your blender and add the reserved half a cup water and blend once again. Repeat the same step as above and squeeze out the pulp thoroughly and use it in garnishing your vegetable curries.

Note - You can also warm the coconut milk slightly and add Xylitol to sweeten it and 1/2 tsp of freshly crushed black pepper and enjoy during winter months.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Brussels Sprouts & Radish Onion Stir Fry

Do you like these miniature cabbage like vegetable, do you buy them, how often do you include these in your daily diet? If not then next time you go for vegetable shopping, don't forget to buy them because Brussels sprouts are one of the best vegetable to include in your diet. High in Vitamin K & C, antioxidants and dietary fiber, low in carbohydrates, a very low GI vegetable. Also these are very easy to cut and cook on a time pressed day.  Radish is another highly nutritious vegetable with hosts of vitamin c, folate, potassium, magnesium etc. A very easy to make and a high nutritious stir fry can be done in few minutes.Try it out and let me know, what you think about this one.

Preparation Time - 10 Minutes

Cooking Time - 20 Minutes

Serves - 2


Brussels sprouts - 1 Pound ( Washed and halved)

Red Globe Radish - 6(Edges trimmed and sliced into thin small rounds)

Onion purple - 1 Big (Washed and chopped)

Coconut Oil - 2 Tsp

Mustard seeds - 1/2 Tsp

Red Chili powder -1 Tsp

Salt - 3/4 Tsp or to taste

Split Urad Dal - 1 Tsp


1) Steam the halved brussels sprouts in a pressure cooker for 7-10 minutes.

2) Heat a pan and add the oil. Once the oil is hot add the mustard seeds. After the mustard seeds stop spluttering add the urad dal.

3) Let the urad dal slightly brown, add the chopped onions and saute till translucent.

4) Now add the sliced radish and add 1/4 tsp of salt and saute for 5-7 minutes. After the radish is half cooked add the steamed brussels sprouts  and add the rest of the salt and red chili pepper and saute for 5 minutes and switch off the stove.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Peanut Sundal(Boiled Peanut Snack)

Peanuts contrary to their names are not nuts but belong to the legume family peas, lentils, chickpeas etc. Peanuts are a very good source of protein and ideal for growing children, weight and diet watchers. Boiled peanuts also contain resveratrol(the one found in red wine), which is a type of polyphenol. Resveratrol is extremely beneficial for maintaining healthy cell growth and preventing malignant growth of cells that leads to various types of cancer.  Protein rich, gluten free, grain free, tasty and easy to make, these are perfectly  healthy snack.

Preparation Time - None

Cooking Time - Around 20 - 30 Minutes

Serves - 2


Peanuts - 1 Cup (Raw peanuts with skin, soaked Over night)

Salt - 1/2 Tsp or to taste

Coconut Oil - 1 Tsp

Mustard seeds - 1/2 Tsp

Grated Coconut - 2 Tbsp

Chopped cilantro - 1 Tbsp

Lemon Juice - 1/2 Tsp or to taste

Curry powder - 1 Tsp or to taste


1) Soak Peanuts overnight. Rinse, drain and add fresh water to just cover the surface. Add the salt and cook in pressure cooker for 3 Whistles.

2) Switch off and wait for 10-15 minutes and remove the cooked peanuts from the pressure cooker. Drain the excess water and keep it aside.

3) Heat a pan, add the coconut oil. Once the oil is hot add the mustard seeds. After the mustard seeds stop spluttering add the coconut peanuts. Saute for few minutes (1-2) till the water is all gone and you get a dry curry.

4) Now add the curry powder and the grated coconut saute for a second and switch off. Add lemon juice mix evenly and enjoy!!!

Note - You can also add grated mango, but cut down the lemon juice.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Tomato Quinoa

Looking for high protein, low carb, gluten free grain. Then Quinoa is a very good choice for you.  Quinoa is a highly nutritious pseudo grain ( a seed which is treated as grain) originating from South America. Quinoa contains complete  protein meaning it contains all the essential amino acids required by the body. Apart from protein it is a good source of iron, calcium, potassium, copper and magnesium. Next time you get that migraine think Quinoa because diets rich in magnesium are good for people suffering from migraine, child hood asthma etc. If  you think healthy food doesn't taste good. Try this out and let me know.

If you looking for quick one pot dish this recipe will be really handy for you. Soak the Quinoa for 30 minutes and cook it and refrigerate. Cook the tomato and onion for few minutes, mix it with cooked Quinoa,  garnish with some roasted peanuts and enjoy.

Preparation Time - 10 Minutes
Cooking Time - 30 Minutes
Serves - 2 to 3


Cooked Quinoa - 2 Cups
Onion - 1 (chopped)
Tomato - 2(Ripe and firm, chopped)
Green Chili - 2 to 3 or to taste(Slit vertically)
Coconut Oil - 2 Tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 Tsp
Fennel Seeds - 1/2 Tsp
Salt - 1 Tsp or to taste
Sesame Oil - 1 Tsp
Peanuts - Handful (Toasted)


1) Heat a pan and add the coconut oil. Once the oil is hot add the mustard seeds. After they stop spluttering add the slit fennel seeds, green chilies and chopped onions. Add a pinch of salt and fry till translucent.

2) Now add the chopped tomatoes and the salt. The tomato will start cooking and will leave out a lot of water. Simmer till all the water evaporates in medium to high heat stirring in between and you will get a thick tomato paste. This will take at least 10-15  Minutes.

3) To the cooked and cooled quinoa add the sesame oil and fluff with a fork and add it to the tomato paste and gently stir so that it is well coated with the tomato gravy.

4) Add the toasted peanuts and serve with some vegetable yogurt dip(raita).

Note - Soak Quinoa in water for atleast half an hour, rinse and drain. Add 2 measures of water to 1 measure of Quinoa and cook till it fluffs up. Remove quinoa and let it cool completely. Infact for this tomato quinoa if you have left over quinoa from the previous night, refrigerate it and then take it out nextday and warm it. The left over, refrigerated quinoa doesn't have a mushed texture, so it tastes much better than freshly cooked quinoa.Alternately you can pressure cook to 2 whistles also.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Sugar free Strawberry Ice Cream using Xylitol

It's blazing hot here in the East Coast and tomorrow is going to be even more hotter reaching record highs of over 100 Degrees Fahrenheit. In event of the heat wave the schools are having half a days and that means Kids will be early home. With the Ice Cream truck hovering around in the development tempting and kids and adults equally to scream for Ice Cream, the best option is to go for home made Ice Cream. I used Xylitol instead of sugar to sweeten this ice cream and some fresh strawberries. Made with raw milk, raw cream and half and half, anytime this is a much better option than the store bought one and without any additives or preservatives.

If you are concerned about sugar high or sugar low or tooth cavities, Xylitol or stevia are the best sweeteners to go for. Stevia has a little bit bitter aftertaste. But Xylitol doesn't have any weird aftertaste. But one thing to be watchful with Xylitol is excessive consumption will lead to upset stomachs. So limit to 2-3 Scoops and enjoy!!

Preparation Time - 30 to 40 Minutes

Cooking Time - 10 Minutes

Serves - Makes 2 Quarts


Milk - 1 Cup

Xylitol - 3/4 Cup

Salt - 1/4 Tsp

Half & half - 1 Cup

Vanilla extract - 1/2 Tsp

Heavy Cream - 2 Cups

Strawberry Puree - 2 Cups


1) Warm the milk and add the xylitol and simmer till it dissolves. Remove from stove and let this cool to room temperature. Now add the half and half, heavy cream, salt, vanilla extract and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

2) Remove the milk mixture add the strawberry puree, combine nicely and pour in the Ice Cream Maker. Process till it reaches a soft serve consistency.

3) Now freeze the ice cream over night to get a firmer consistency. Scoop out using a scoop dipped in hot water and enjoy!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Red Bell Pepper Juice

 Drinking at least one glass of low sodium vegetable juice daily may help overweight dieters lose more

weight. But when talking about vegetable juices most people think of carrot, beets or tomato. There are lot of other vegetables that can be juiced too. But when making juice using carrots and beets you have to understand these two vegetables are high in carbohydrate and sugar. So if you are diabetic or overweight avoid these too and go for low carb vegetable juices like Bell Pepper, Cucumber, White Pumpkin, Spinach, Tomatoes etc. Now coming back to this recipe, red bell pepper is loaded with vitamins like A & C and eating it raw and juicing it makes the body to absorb the nutrients even more easily. To spice up I have added whole black peppers. Try it out and let me know, how you like it.

Preparation Time - 5 Minutes

Cooking Time - Nil

Serves - 2


Organic Red Bell Pepper - 1 Whole

Black Pepper - 1/2 Tsp or to your taste

Salt - 1/4 Tsp or to taste

Lemon Juice - 1 Tsp or to taste

Water - 2 Cups (Chilled)


1) Wash, cut and remove the seeds and cube the bell pepper into pieces.

2) Place the bell pepper pieces, black pepper, water, salt in the vita mix(or any high quality) blender and blend till smooth.

3) Add lemon juice and serve immediately.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies (Egg free, Gluten free & Grain free)

 Cookies and milk, what can be a perfect snack after school?  I wouldn't boast chocolate chip cookie as a super health food.  But how much can you restrict kids not to eat this and that. For my kids I no longer give any store bought treats like cookies or bars. Everything is made at home, so when my elder one wanted me to make chocolate chip cookies. I didn't have the heart to deny that. So I came up with this recipe using Almond flour which is high in protein, no gluten and grain, maple syrup at least doesn't cause cavities. Almond flour gives such a nutty taste and texture to the cookie and are so good for people who are on gluten and grain free diet. So try this out and let me know how you like it.

If you are diabetic, this recipe is not for you. The bad part in this is the chocolate chips and also maple syrup even though it is a much better alternate than sugar, has a high fructose content and may elevate blood sugar. Stevia and Xylitol are the best natural sweetener to eliminate sugar highs and lows. Will post a recipe soon with Almond flour and Xylitol, so keep visiting.

Preparation Time - 10 Minutes

Cooking Time - 12-15 Minutes

Serves - 24 Cookies


Blanched Almond Flour - 2 Cups

Maple Syrup - 1/3 Cup

Baking Chocolate Chips - 1/3 Cup

Clarified Butter (ghee) - 1/4 Cup

Baking Soda - 1/2 Tsp

Salt - 1/8 Tsp


1)  Preheat a baking oven to 350 Degrees Fahrenheit and line two cookies trays with parchment paper.

2) Combine the almond flour, baking soda, salt and mix evenly. Now add the clarified butter, maple syrup and chocolate chips. Knead into a fine dough.

3) Pinch out 24 even sized balls and place them in the parchment paper and press them gently.

4) Bake for 12-15 Minutes till slightly brown. Cool in a wire rack and store in a airtight container.

Keeps good for at least a week in room temperature.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Kovakkai(Tindora/Ivy Gourd) Pickle/Salad

Have you seen this small green colored, baby cucumber kind of vegetable before? If you haven't then when you get a chance to go to your nearest Asian Indian store check it out. I love the crunchiness of this vegetable and tastes great in stir fry and also as a salad/pickle. I am calling this as pickle because I added little bit more of red chili pepper and added coarsely ground fenugreek seeds. Which is normally done for a pickle. This not alone tastes great but Tindora is a very low GI vegetable and in alternate medicine the Doctors in fact recommend to include this vegetable more in the meals to lower diabetes.  So there is no reason not to try this and do let me know if you did.

Preparation Time - 15 Minutes

Cooking Time - 2 to 3 Minutes

Serves - 2 to 3


Finely chopped Tindora pieces - 3 Cups (Edges trimmed, washed and finely chopped)

Salt - 1 Tsp or to taste

Red chili pepper - 1 Tsp or to taste

Lemon juice - 1 Tbsp or to taste

Fenugreek seeds - 1 Tsp (Dry roast till slightly brown and grind it to a coarse powder)

Asafoetida powder - pinch (if you are gluten free, do not use this)

Turmeric powder - 1/2 Tsp

Sesame Oil - 1 Tbsp

Mustard seeds - 1/2 Tsp


1) Combine the tindora pieces, salt, red chili powder, fenugreek powder, tumeric powder, asaofetida powder and set it aside.

2) Now heat a small pan and add the sesame oil. Once the oil is warm, add the mustard seeds. After the mustard seeds stop spluttering, transfer the tempering to the tindora and spice mix. Add the lemon juice and combine thoroughly.  Enjoy!!

Notes - You can prepare this and leave this for an hour or two for the spices and flavors to be well absorbed by the vegetable. If keeping more than a day, refrigerate.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Mixed Cabbage Stir Fry (Curry)

 Red(purple)  cabbage is one of the most nutritious and best tasting vegetable around. Cabbage in general helps in lowering the cholesterol and has lot of cancer preventive properties. Cabbage is a low GI vegetable and can be included as part of daily meals even for people with weight issues and people with diabetes. This is one of the simple curry that can be done in a jiffy, do not over cook as lot of enzymes are lost in the procedure.

Preparation Time - 15 Minutes

Cooking Time - 15 Minutes

Serves - 4


Purple Cabbage - 6 Cups(Shredded, Chopped into thin pieces)

White cabbage - 2 Cups(Shredded or chopped into thin pieces)

Dry red chillies - 2 to 3 or depending on taste

Salt - 1 Tsp or to taste

Asafoetida powder - pinch (avoid this in case of gluten intolerance)

Coconut Oil - 2 Tsp

Mustard seeds - 1 Tsp

Split Urad Dal - 1 Tbsp

Curry leaves - few

Grated Coconut - 4 Tbsp


1) Heat a wide mouthed and heavy bottomed pan and add oil. Once the oil is hot add the mustard seeds. After the mustard seeds stop spluttering add the split urad dal and asafoetida powder.

2) After the urad dal slightly browns add the cut red chillies and in a few seconds add the curry leaves and then add the purple cabbage and 3/4 th of the salt and cover and cook for few minutes. Once this is slightly done, add the white cabbage and add the rest of the salt and cover and cook for few more minutes.

3) In around 10 minutes the cabbage will be tender and also because of covering and cooking there would be little bit of water in the bottom of the pan. Increase the heat and stir fry for 5 more minutes till the water evaporates.

4) Add the grated coconut, saute for few seconds and switch of the stove and serve. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Mixed Nut Energy Ball

 Craving for something sweet but easy to make and not loaded with empty calories. These mixed nut power balls are just right for you. Made with Almonds, Cashews, Pumpkin Seeds, Chia and Coconut they are rich in protein and perfect for little tummies for an after school snack. But the only thing you have to make note in this snack is this uses dates as the sweetener and dates are not good for people with diabetes. People with diabetes and weight issue have to watch the amount of fructose content in their food. Even if the fructose comes from whole fruits or dates or raisins, anything more than 15gm of fructose might cause problems in such cases.  And just 2 dates alone have 15 gms of fructose.

Try this out and let me know how you like it.

Preparation Time - 10 Minutes

Cooking Time - Nil

Serves - 12 - 14 Balls


Dates - 1 Cup

Almonds - 1/4 Cup

Cashews - 1/4 Cup

Coconut - 1/4 Cup (grated)

Chia seeds - 1/4 Cup

Pumpkin Seeds - 1/4 Cup


1) Grind the Chia into a coarse powder and add the almonds, cashews, coconut and pumpkin seeds and make a coarse meal out of it.

2) Now add the chopped dates and process in the food processor to get a sticky dough.

3) Take out the dough and roll them into small balls and refrigerate for an hour and enjoy.

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