Thursday, June 9, 2011

Quick Healthy Recipes- Part 2

Tomato Rasam
Oil/ghee - 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Red Whole Dry chillis - 2-3, according to taste
Curry Leaves- 6-8
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 Big Ripe Tomatoes or 3 Medium Size Tomatoes
Salt - 1 tea spoon or to taste
Brown Sugar/Jagree- 1/2 Tea Spoon or to taste
5 Cup water
Cilantro/Coriander leaves

Wash, Cut Tomatoes in 2 equal half, put in microwaveable bowl cover loose with lid and microwave for 4 minutes.
Once it cools down, remove the skin and mash the tomato pulp, keep aside.

In a deep pan, heat oil/ghee.
Add mustard and cumin seeds. When they stop crackling, add asafoetida, curry leaves, crushed Garlic and Dry Red Chilli.
Mix and cook for 2 more minutes.
Add tomato pulp and 5 Cups of water
Add Salt and sugar/jagree
Bring it to Boil and let it Boil for 3 min
Garnish with Cilantro/Coriander leaves and Rasam is ready to serve.
Note:Sometimes I add 1/2 spoon Ready MTR Rasam Powder or Sambar Powder for extra flavor
If you are suffering from cold or sore throat add ground Black pepper 1/2tsp in Rasam seasoning, it helps a lot.
Sprouted Mung Beans
3 cups sprouted mung beans (3/4 to 1 cup dried, see below)
2 Green Chillis/jalapeno peppers, finely chopped
1 tsp Muster Seeds
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
5-6 Curry leaves
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp Coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 medium onions, chopped coarsely
2 medium tomatoes (or 3-4 plum tomatoes), chopped
2 tsp oil
1 tsp lime juice
1 cup water (add more or less, depending on your preference)
Salt - 1 tea spoon or to taste
Cilantro/Coriander leaves

Directions:1)In a non-stick pan or heavy base pan
2 ) Add mustard and cumin seeds. When they stop crackling. Add Curry leaves and the chopped jalapenos on medium heat.
3) Add turmeric  and the chopped onions and saute for 4-5 minutes on medium-high heat, until the onions are soft but not browned.
4) Add the tomatoes,  cumin powder, coriander powder and simmer for 4-5 minutes more, until the tomatoes are softened.
5) Add the mung beans,  and water and simmer for 10 minutes or so on medium/medium-high heat, stirring regularly, until the mung beans are done to your liking (we prefer them crunchy, but not too crunchy).
6) Garnish with cilantro and s
erve with rice/roti.

Note: I sometimes sprinkle pinch of Garam Masala once it's done and cover with lid.
Preliminary for Sprouted Moung Beans: To sprout mung beans, rinse 1 cup of dried beans well, and then soak in 2-3 cups of water for 8-12 hours (the mung beans will be edible after an overnight soaking, and they'll expand to about triple their original size). Next, drain and rinse the beans, and let them stand for another 1-2 days under wet paper towels. The mung beans will quickly sprout and, more importantly, they'll have even more flavor. After 1-2 days, the beans should have sprouts of anywhere from half an inch to 1.5 inches in length.

By: Reena Sharma

Monday, June 6, 2011

Quick Healthy Recipes- Part 1

Mango Salsa Recipe
1 ripe/raw mango, peeled, pitted(without skin and seed)), and diced (about 1 1/2 cup)
1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
1 Green Chilies/ Jalapeño, minced (include ribs and seeds for a hotter taste if desired)
1 small cucumber, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
3 Tbsp. fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
Salt as per taste
(I even add little Carrot/Beetroot/Tomatoes. More the merrier)
Mix all and serve with lunch or dinner. You eat as salad or topping for Papad or topping for any chat items.

Stuffed Pita:Get Whole Wheat Pita Bread 1 Packet
Pressure Cook 1 & 1/2 cup Black beans with 4 Cup water, 2tsp salt and 2 Garlic cloves.
Drain water and keep Boiled Black beans aside. Add little salt again.
1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
Raisin Grapes finely chopped
1 Tomatoes finely chopped
3 Tbsp. fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
Cut Pita into Half, pan grill till it turns golden throughout.
Open half cut pita like a pocket Fill it with Boiled Black beans, little cut onions, Grapes, tomatoes and Cilantro. It's ready to eat.
Vegetarian Lettuce wraps recipe is quick and easy to make. Serve the filling on a platter with whole lettuce leaves on the side, and let your friends and family wrap their own. They'll love the combination of crisp, cold lettuce with the warm, flavorful filling.
head fresh iceberg lettuce (this type works best for this recipe)
1. Cooking oil: 3tsp
2. Finely chopped onions: 1½ Cup
3. Minced Garlic: 2 Tablespoons Cup
4. Finely chopped ginger: 1"x1"
5. Soy Chunks: 1½ Cup (Put Soy Chunks in Boiled water for 4min and drain the hot water by putting in colander and squeezing out all the water)
6. Mutton Masala/Garam Masala 1 teaspoon
7. Cumin Powder: 1 teaspoon
8. Coriander powder: 1 teaspoon
9. Red Chili powder/Lal Mirch powder (Cayenne): ½ teaspoon or to taste
10. Salt: ½ teaspoon or to taste
11. Tomato Paste/Mango powder(amchur): 2 tsp.
12. Defrosted green peas: 1 Cup (Optional)
13. Chopped fresh Cilantro: 2 Tablespoons

Method1. Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan/nonstick pan. Add onions and sauté onions till clear about 5 minutes. Add Garlic, Ginger. Continue Sautéing about 90 seconds.
2. Add Boiled & Drained Soy Chunks. On medium heat continue cooking and till all water is dried and the Soy has turned light brown.
3. Add ingredients Mutton Masala, Cumin Powder, Coriander powder, Red chili powder, Salt. Sauté about one minute.
4. Add Tomato Paste Continue sautéing till it forms a mixture (shiny).
5.  Turn down heat to medium. Cover. Simmer covered for 7 minutes or till done.
7. Add Green peas. Shut off heat. Do NOT cook peas for long time, they lose color and become mushy.
Garnish with fresh chopped Cilantro.
Now take 1 leaf of iceberg lettuce and put 1tbs of Soy Stuffing in the center, wrap it up and eat.
You can use some tamarind chutney or any ketchup to make it more interesting.

By: Reena Sharma

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Tips for a flat stomach and toned abs

Trying to lose weight by adopting a low fat diet? You may be making the biggest mistake of your 'weight loss regime,' say fitness experts. Celebrity trainer James Duigan, whose clients include model Elle Macpherson, says, "It's not fat that makes you fat, it's sugar and carbohydrates."

Most fitness experts agree. Says sports nutritionist Deepshikha Agarwal, "If you really want toned abs, you need to concentrate on abdominal exercises and team with that with a balanced diet." She suggests fish, chicken and meat, vegetables, berries and nuts, rather than a low-fat diet. "You need a diet rich in anti-oxidants that raises your metabolic rate," she says. "You can't be on a low-fat diet all your life. That's too much deprivation. It might also lead to stress and bingeing," says nutritionist Dr Nupur Krishnan.

Here are some tips one can follow for a flat stomach and toned abs:

Don't overcook your food - you'll kill off or reduce the nutrient content. Try to make sure around 50% of the food on your plate is raw. If you can stomach it, eat all your vegetables raw.

Don't buy cheap meat - Organic meat is more expensive, but it also contains less toxic junk such as antibiotics. If you can afford only one organic thing, make sure it's meat.

Don't eat foods that weaken your abdominal wall, as this will make it slack and lead to a protruding stomach. Foods that can weaken your abdominal wall often contain gluten.

Dr Krishnan debunks the theory that sugar, in all its forms, is bad as it fattens your mid-section. She says, "One tsp. sugar gives you 20 calories, and zero gram fat. So two-four tsp every day is okay."

Make sure you have enough fiber. Lack of fiber will lead to inflammation in the bowels. Have plenty of vegetables (ideally raw) and drink at least two liters of still, room temperature water every day.

Experts suggest having the occasional 'cheat' meal, so you can have cake or a brownie and actually help your weight loss. "Feed your soul; you can't live your whole life in denial. And it can actually boost your metabolism and get you leaner the next day. The key is to keep it to one meal," says Duigan.

By Saadia S Dhailey(TOI)