Popular Recipes

Thursday, August 30, 2012

"Nutritious and Delicious"- Eggless Spinach Cake and Zucchini Squares/ Veggie Cake topped with simple glaze,toasted Almonds and dried Cranberries

Spinach Cake/ Squares
Zucchini Cake/ Bars
A 'mom' is a person who can create just about 'anything' to make her child healthy and happy...... Do you agree??? So, this is my 'Good- mom recipe'...a delicious cake with a nutrition boost! An eggless cake with veggies! Now the 'eggs' would actually boost up the nutrition in this one...but I had baked these not only for 'E' and 'A' but a bunch of vegetarian friends....so it had to be eggless!
So, few years ago, in Ithaca NY, where we lived before we moved here.....we had weekly playdates for kids.We had a very multicultural group...kids from China, Europe, Mexico, India, Japan,Turkey etc all played together and the moms shared stories! On a 'what you feed your kids' potluck....my Turkish friend baked a Pound Cake with Spinach......I was so impressed with the idea...and the kids had loved it!!!  Since then, the idea dwelled in my mind..and finally made it this week! I baked the same recipe with Spinach and Zucchini and topped them with toasted almonds and dried cranberries.
Kids don't mind eating veggies in this form at all!
 Love those tiny green specks in the cake due to the Spinach/ Zucchini.

Use standard measuring cups and spoons for the recipe
1 and 1/2 cup All Purpose flour
1/2 cup finely grated Zucchini (along with the peel) or finely chopped fresh Spinach (Squeeze water from the veggies and save in measuring cup to use in the cake*)
3/4th cup sugar (This is mild sweet cake.Increase sugar to upto 1 cup...if you want a sweeter cake)
1/2tsp salt
1tsp baking soda
1tsp vanilla extract
1/3rd cup Canola oil
1tbsp white distilled vinegar (Add just few drops less than 1tbsp.....it prevents that 'vinegar' taste)
1 cup Cold water (*Take Veggie juice squeezed from zucchini or spinach...plus add cold water to make a total of 1 cup water)
1/2tsp Cinnamon powder
1/4tsp Nutmeg powder

 For the glaze:
1/2stick unsalted butter
 3/4 to 1cup powdered sugar
1/2tsp Vanilla
2tsp milk
1/2 cup chopped toasted almonds
1/4 cup dried cranberries

1) Sift the flour, sugar etc separately.Then measure correctly with a measuring cup.Don't over fill the cups.
Pre heat the oven to 350F
2) Mix together dry ingredients-flour, sugar, baking soda, salt etc
3) Mix together wet ingredients- water, oil,vinegar,vanilla etc
4) Mix together the wet+ dry ingredients and stir in one direction till well blended
5) Stir in the grated Zucchini OR chopped spinach
6) Mix again.
7) Grease a 9 by 13 inch pan with shortening and dust with flour. Use larger pan/ Cookie sheet for thinner bars/squares
8) Pour in the batter and spread evenly with spatula.
 9) Bake at 350 F for 20-25 mins until golden brown.
10) Let the cake cool completely before glazing.

1) Melt butter. Mix together vanilla, powdered sugar and milk. Mix till smooth and shiny.
2) Pour over the cooled cake. Spread with spatula.
3) Top with toasted almonds and cranberries. Cut the cake into squares or desired shape.

Monday, August 27, 2012

"Nutritious and Delicious" - 'Ragidlis' =Ragi Idlis/ Nachani Idlis and Ragi Dosa with Coconut-Spinach Chutney and Sambar

Sometimes,there are some simple things to do....and somehow you have never made them before!! I have made 'Idli's zillions of times and I always have tons of 'Nachani'/ Ragi on hand for little 'A'...but never did I make 'Ragidlis' before!! The other day,'S'  and I were talking about healthy 'grains' and she mentioned to me that she had tried these once before. I just couldn't wait to try these myself!!
These are excellent health food for kids, adults and diabetic patients.
'Ragidlis' were obviously brown/reddish colored and tasted great! The same batter made excellent dosas. 'M' loved the dosa better....it came out crisp just like paper dosa! Sorry the picture isn't that great...but believe me..there was 'crunch' in every single bite!!!
Ragidlis/ Ragi Dosa
1 Cup urad dal
2 cups Ragi flour/ Nachani flour
1tsp oil
Cooking spray to spray idli molds.

Coconut-Spinach Chutney
 3/4 cup shredded fresh coconut/ frozen coconut
1 cup chopped fresh tender spinach leaves
1 clove garlic
1-2 green chilies
few drops of lemon juice
Grind all the above ingredients till smooth.
Tempering: Heat 1tsp oil, add 1/2tsp mustard,1/2tsp cumin, pinch of asafoetida.Pour on the chutney.

1 cup well cooked Toor dal  (cook in pressure cooker)
1/2 cup well cooked masoor dal
1 cup cut up veggies- drumsticks, onions, eggplants, zucchini, carrots,cauliflower etc
1 tomato sliced/chopped
2tsp Sambar masala
1tsp red chili powder
1tsp turmeric powder
7-8 curry leaves
1/2tsp mustard seeds
1/2tsp cumin seeds
1/2tsp tamarind concentrate
1tsp jaggery
1-2 red dried chilies
1tbsp oil
1) Heat  oil, add mustard seeds, cumin,red chilies, curry leaves.Add the vegetables and stir for 2-3 mins. Add the sambar masala, turmeric,red chili powder etc. Add the cooked dal and water.
Let it simmer till the vegetables cook. Add tamarind, jaggery, salt etc and boil for another 5-6 mins.

1) Soak Urad in water for 5-6 hours.
2) Soak Ragi flour in water for 1 hour.
3) Grind the dal into smooth paste. Blend the ragi flour paste in blender couple times.
4) Mix ground up dal+ ragi and let it ferment overnight in warm place.The batter will rise 2-3times.
5) Add salt and 1tsp oil to the batter. Make batter in the Idli molds and steam for 20 mins.

 6) For Dosa: Heat a  non stick pan. Lightly coat with oil. Place a large spoonful batter and make a circle by spreading quickly. Let it cook on medium -low flame. Remove when crisp and done.
7) Serve the Idli/ Dosa hot along with steaming hot sambar and fresh coconut-spinach chutney!!