Dates & Oats Energy Bites

No Bake Date and Oats Energy Bites

Energy Bites

My best friend sent me a picture of my co-workers getting into a habit of eating healthy breakfast at work a few days back. The picture had them bringing breakfast jars to work.

It all started with me sharing my overnight oats jar, with a dear colleague one morning. It got us talking about how easy it is to put together this breakfast option. Like I say healthy need not be boring!

Overnight Oats2

Overnight Oats 

This is for you Sho and MJ, thanks for waking me up from my blog-slumber and reminding me why I love sharing recipes in the first place. Also Palla, without your persistent nudge I would have not written a word this weekend.

So no promises of being regular out here posting recipes. However I would do my best juggling a hectic full time job and a new gym subscription.

Well, the past few months have been quite exciting. I have tried making many lifestyle changes, few have take shape and few are work in progress. More on that soon!

I have not bought white sugar in the last 4 months, given up white rice, tried some exotic ingredients (mac powder, cacao nibs, chia seeds, wheat germ, matcha powder and so on)

Along with thus I have hopped on the bandwagon and made these date-oat energy bites, best decision ever!

It’s got simple ingredients which come together quickly to get this moorish bite. I made mine with Medjool dates, oats, dried coconut flakes and walnuts, great source of dietary fibre and protein.

I chose Medjool dates on purpose, they are a good source of fibre and essential minerals. I also like their caramel like taste.

Ingredients

Ingredients

Ingredients
1 cup pitted medjool dates
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup walnuts
1/4 tsp cinnamon or more
Himalayan pink salt to taste
Little water to help blend everything together

Pulse all ingredients together in a food processor for 3-4 minutes. You should have a fine paste.

Remove the mixture in a plate. Grease your palms lightly with any neutral oil or simply dip them in cold water. This would prevent the mixture from not sticking to your hands.

Now take a tablespoon of the date mixture and roll it.

Once you shape it like a small ball, roll only the one side in unsweetened coconut flakes.

Energy Bites

Voila! You got yourself some pretty looking pre or post workout snack to munch on. This recipe should make about 12 bite sized portions.

Store it in an airtight container in the fridge for a week. Pack these in your lunch box, here’s the His&Her edition of lunch boxes in our household. Sahil was very happy to carry these to work!

Lunch Box

What are you usual pre or post workout snacks ? Do let me know!

Savoury Veggie Oats Upma

I wake up most days thinking what to have for breakfast. It constitutes the most important meal for me personally.

Given that I have a massive sweet tooth, it is tough to stay away from peanut butter jam sandwiches, honey cereal or granola with berry yoghurt and fruits or simple blue berry muffins. However you regret these choices by lunch time since it makes me guilty reaching out for sweet treat after lunch.

I love a hearty breakfast, it just prepares you for the day ahead. Also the first thing I like doing once at work is to pour myself a nice cup of home made masala chai and let out my breakfast box. Ask my work mates and they would vouch for my masala chai getting the most amount of attention even on busy days. It’s cute to have them ask me to share some with them sometimes.

Off late I have been piling on the kilos and am trying to reduce my sugar intake early in the mornings. This led me to look out for savoury options for breakfast, I started with making Indian breakfast essentials Thalipeeth, Poha, Daliya, Besan Chilla and Upma but soon got bored.

Since I had already experimented with oats while making Idlis, I thought giving the humble Upma a uplift with this fab ingredient. And what do I say I am addicted to this recipe!

Oats Upma

It’s easy to prep and make on busy work mornings. I usually don’t go by adding all vegetables as listed below but make use of whatever is in the fridge. Feel free to add or remove the vegetables listed and go by the ones which is easily available for you.

Cooking Time : 15 minutes
Ingredients

2 tsp canola oil
1 tsp cumin
1 green chilly finely chopped
1 white onion finely chopped
1 red bell pepper finely chopped
1 yellow bell pepper finely chopped
2 carrots julienned
1 cup spinach chopped
1/2 cup frozen peas thawed and washed
1 tomato finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp super seed powder
1 cup organic rolled oats
1 1/2 cup water
2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp red chilly powder
Salt to taste

In a wok heat some oil, add cumin seeds and green chilly.

Oats Upma3

Once it sizzles, add onion and cook them until they are translucent.

Oats Upma4

Add peppers, carrots to the mix and cook them for a few minutes.

Oats Upma6

Add spinach, tomatoes and peas to the mix and sauté them lightly. Add salt, super seed mixture and spices.

The super seed mixture I use has a mix of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, wheat germ and some dried goji berries. This is rich in omega 3s, folic acid, fibre and other essential nutrients. I do not like having them on it’s own so disguise their presence. Adding the super seed mix in the upma gives it a good nutty texture.

Oats Upma7

Add rolled oats and mix them well in the mixture. You can roast the oats before adding them.

Once it is blended well with the vegetable mixture, add water and mix well.

Oats Upma8

Cook until all water has absorbed and the oats get a creamy consistency.

Oats Upma1

Serve hot and you are ready to tackle the day ahead. This stays good for 3 days if kept refrigerated in an airtight container.

Oats Upma2 Until next time, happy cooking!

Shakshouka

Shakshouka is a savoury North African dish made of poached eggs in tomato based sauce. This happens to be Sahil’s favorite order when we go out for breakfast. Either Shashouka or spinach salman omelette or Fritatta.

So this is my feeble first attempt at making him his favourite breakfast earlier last month. I have just kept the recipe very simple. If you do have any shakshouka recipe please pass it on, I will like to very much give it a try.

Shashouka

Serves : 2

Ingredients
3 tsp olive oil
1 white onion finely chopped
3 tomatoes finely chopped
1 red pepper finely chopped
1 jalapeño pepper finely chopped
3 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp red chilly powder
1 tsp chilli-garlic sauce
Handful of feta cheese crumbled (optional)
2 tsp tomato ketchup
2 eggs
Salt to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
Handful of basil leaves torn

In a pan, heat oil and add onion and cook them until they are translucent. Add garlic and cook it for a minute.

Follow this up with red pepper and jalapeño, cook them until they have softened a bit. To this add tomatoes, red chilli powder and cumin powder and cook until the mixture is cooked well. Add seasoning and the sauces.

Crack open 2 eggs on top of the mixture and cook them with a lid covered over medium heat.

Once the eggs have cooked, take the dish off heat and serve immediately with crusty bread.

Until next time, happy cooking!

Mediterranean Frittata

I hosted a brunch earlier last month for Sahil’s colleagues. Now the usual dilemma I face is that amongst my friend circle is that I am the sole vegetarian. While they enjoy the vegetarian fare I lay out, I don’t want my guests to miss their non vegetarian dishes.

So in instances like these I choose eggs, they come in handy. I am comfortable baking with eggs and hence decided to make a savoury dish for my lovely guests.

Frittata happens to be Sahil’s favorite after Spanish omelette or Shashouka hence I made these. I have these phases wherein I get obsessed with certain ingredients and simply can’t get enough out of them. Currently sundried tomatoes top this list hence I decided to give the Frittata a Mediterranean twist and added them to the mix.

It was World Baking Day yesterday and it is only right to post about something which I baked recently.

Fritatta

Yields : 12 portions

Ingredients
6 organic eggs
1/2 cup finely chopped Kalamata Olives
1/2 cup finely chopped sundried tomatoes
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp white pepper powder
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese + 2tsp for garnish
Handful of feta cheese crumbled
Sea salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs lightly and add all the remaining ingredients.Season well.

Now to a greased muffin tray, add a spoonful of the mixture and top it with some mozzarella cheese as a garnish.

Bake for 10-15 minutes and remove them from the muffin tin. Serve immediately.

However these re-heat well also so are a good option for breakfast the day after.

Until next time, happy cooking!

Aloo Pyaaz Paratha

This post is me paying homage to my Punjabi genes. What’s more Punjabi than a butter laden Aloo Paratha ?

They also happen to be part of my favourite childhood memories. Mum used to give us different types of parathas for school lunches. This was a way my mum used to incorporate vegetables in our diet. The most common fillings were curried potatoes, carrot mint, gram flour pickle, paneer (cottage cheese), mix vegetable. I have even had lauki (bottle gourd) bhurjee paratha. Yep! that’s how creative she got once.

Quick note to self – Should share my grandma’s recipe for Lauki Bhurjee!

It’s amazing that how after all these years as a kid fussing over these and looking at these menu options as annoying. Life takes a full circle and here I am, reminiscing and longing for those same old things. How I crave these in my office lunch.

My mum has a grin on her face when I Skype her and say that I miss those methi theplas (Thin Fenugreek Flatbreads) and Gobi (Cauliflower) parathas she makes. I insist she feed me these when I go back home.

So when mum was the gobi parathas and methi thepla making queen, I found the best aloo parathas made by Bahadur Bhaiya. He is a star when it comes to making these flaky pockets of joy.

Doused with butter and relished with mango pickle and cold yoghurt, this meal is what epicurean dreams are made of. See here:

Paratha

Think I got carried away, ask any one hailing from Punjab and they would tell you how critical it is to find an eatery or a person who dishes out delicious parathas.

No trip of ours to Delhi is complete without a visit to the epic “Parathane Wali Galli” in Old Dilli. It’s a ritual me and Sahil follow religiously, we have to go to Old Dilli for a paratha breakfast.

There gorge on aloo pyaaz parathas, papad parathas (yes! there is such a thing), bedmi aloo, Daulat ki Chaat, Jalebi with Rabdi, Malai Kulfi Falooda and the works!

Ahh! Just the mere mention of these delicacies make me salivate. Let’s move on to the recipe.

Ingredients
Makes : 6 Parathas

For Stuffing:
3 potatoes boiled and mashed
1 large onion finely chopped
1 brunch spring onion stems finely chopped
Handful of finely chopped fresh coriander / mint
1 tsp carrom seeds
1 1/2 tsp anardana powder
2 green chillies finely chopped
1/2 tsp red chilly powder
2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp freshly grated ginger (optional)
1 tsp chaat masala
Salt to taste

For Parathas:
Whole wheat dough
Canola oil for frying

For the stuffing, boil potatoes in salted water. Peel them and proceed to mash the potatoes with help of a fork once they have cooled down.

Mashed Potatoes

Add all the dry spices, onion, green chilly, coriander, mint to the mashed potatoes and mix them well.

Aloo Paratha 1

Make small balls from the rested wheat dough and roll it out on a lightly floured surface.

Aloo Paratha 2

Add the potato stuffing in the centre, seal the dough ball and flatten it out.

Aloo Paratha 3

Aloo Paratha 5

You could also use your finger tips to flatten the dough ball.

Aloo Paratha 4 5

Heat a tawa, lightly brush some oil on the surface and place the rolled out paratha on the tawa.

Cook it well on one side and flip over, brush some oil on both the sides and edges as you allow the paratha to get a even brown color.

Aloo Paratha

Serve straight from the tawa to the plate with a generous dollop of butter, mango pickle, mint chutney, pickled onions and raita.

Aloo Paratha 4

That’s how butter soaked the paratha is for husband extraordinaire Sahil.

Until next time happy cooking!

Banana Strawberry Smoothie

I’m addicted to smoothies for breakfasts in summers and love to have an array of fruits ready at home which allows me try different flavour combinations!

I do not like bananas much! However this time around I had a change of heart and added a frozen banana. It lends a creamy texture and the strawberries masked the banana flavour for me.

I cannot stress enough how good strawberries are for us. It is loaded with essential nutrients and contain antioxidants which shields the immune system from many diseases. It also lowers the risk of diabetes, strokes and cancer. Is this the reason I eat them ? Not completely, I love them!

Fruit Bowl

The shiny and lovely red brightening many fruit bowls and just plain regular oatmeal. If I skip smoothies, I pack myself an box of fruits and granola bar. It make breakfast more exciting while at work!

Boxes of strawberries lined up neatly on supermarket shelves remind me of my summer trips to Mahabaleshwar. It is a small hill station some 300 odd kilometres away from Mumbai. A few kilometres away is Panchgani where Mapro is located.

They have berry farms and as I kid, I recollect going there and having the fresh strawberries and later having them served with vanilla icecream. They also had a strawberry cream which was a hit with my family!

Smoothie2

Serves : 2

The Magic happens in : 5 minutes

Ingredients
1 frozen banana diced
1 cup fresh strawberries diced
1 Zespri kiwi diced
1/2 tsp super seed powder
300 ml strawberry juice / mix fruit juice
Few fresh strawberries and blueberries to garnish

Blend all the ingredients together and serve them immediately!

Smoothie1

You could add honey or agave syrup if you want the smoothie to be on a sweeter side.

Until next time happy cooking! 🙂

Very Berry Smoothie

My husband does not believe that I used to give my mum a really hard time having fruits as a kid. I used to hate every fruit, with strawberries and mangoes being an exception.

As a teen, I took a liking to oranges, sweet limes and kiwis mainly because my friends at college were obsessed with orange juice with chilly cheese toast to be had on an almost daily basis post our tuitions. I gave in due to peer pressure and my mum could not thank my friends enough.

Fast forward to last 6-7 years and I love fruits. In fact I look forward to having smoothies, fruit juices with breakfast and fruit based sorbets and frozen fruit yoghurts as desserts. A transformation of sorts!

With Dubai summers having dawned on us, smoothies are a staple breakfast accompaniment these days. Last weekend I was quite nostalgic about my college days back in Mumbai and as an ode to the chilly cheese toast and juice days, I made the same for breakfast.

Breakfast

Sahil loved the smoothie. I used bottled Lacanor mixed fruit juice since I was not keen on yoghurt based smoothie that day. Below is the recipe for the smoothie loaded with the goodness of antioxidants and all essential vitamin C and E. This is low in fat and offer high fiber and mineral content.

Ingredients
2 Zespri Kiwis
1 cup chopped srawberries
1/2 cup blueberry
400 ml Lacanor mixed fruit juice
Juice and pulp of 2 fresh oranges
1tsp flax seed-super seed powder
1 tsp runny honey (optional)
A few ice cubes (optional)

In a blender, add all the fruits, juice and seed powder and mix well.

Fruits

At my place, I usually powder flax seeds and super seeds in a spice grinder and keep it in an airtight jar.

I use this mixture in smoothies, muesli, granola parfaits, cookie and cake mixtures. Flaxseeds and other super seeds are great source of getting iron, fiber, folic acid, Omega 3 fatty acids and Vitamin B. I do not support taking supplements, I much prefer getting these essential nutrients by natural sources.

I skipped the honey this time since the berries were sweet enough for our liking.

Berry Smoothie

I hope you enjoy this smoothie as much as I did. Until next time may the Sun God be kind to us in this part of the world! 🙂

Disclaimer : This is not a paid post. I have not collaborated with Zespri or Lacanor brands in specific. I prefer them over others and hence the mention.