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Friday, March 8, 2013

Celebrating 300th Blog Post!!

A very special blog post- It's the 300th Blog post and today happens to be Women's Day!!!
Happy Women's Day to all you beautiful ladies, who make Sizzling good food for their families and thanks for visiting 'TheSizzlingPan' and encouraging me.This blog means a lot to me and you make it a 'happier place' for me!!!
So, for the 300th Blog Post...I wanted to try something NEW...which I hadn't cooked before...some new ingredient...some new dish...something brand new for myself and my family!!

Quinoa Veggie Upma:

I had never tried or made Quinoa before, but had heard a lot of good things about this mighty little whole grain.It looks similar to 'Jowar' but very much smaller grain size.It has a High protein content, low in fat, rich in iron and many more reasons to include in your diet. More about Quinoa nutrition:
I had a pack from Jungle Jims in the pantry, and couldn't wait to try it!

I used the Quinoa to make the very familiar 'Upma' with carrots and peas,so that it will be easy to accept this new grain in the family!!

1 Cup Whole grain quinoa
1 and 1/2 cup water
1/4 cup Chopped onion
1/4cup Chopped carrots
1/4cup green peas
1/4cup corn kernels
1/4cup roasted peanuts
2-3 green chilies chopped( add more or less to adjust spiciness)
 2 tsp oil
1tsp Cumin seeds
1/2tsp Mustard seeds
1/2tsp sugar
1/2tsp ginger paste
4tsp lemon juice
Cilantro for garnish

1) Wash the quinoa 2-3 times with water.Drain the water. Boil 1cup quinoa in 1and 1/2 cups water and little salt for 15-20 mins until cooked. It will fluff up.I covered it with a lid and stirred occasionally.
2) Heat 2tsp oil in a pan. When it heats up, add mustard,cumin,onions.Saute for 2 mins.Add other veggies,ginger paste and chilies.Let them cook.Add the roasted peanuts and fry for few more seconds.
3) Add this to the cooked quinoa and mix.Add sugar,Squeeze lemon juice on top.
Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve hot!!!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

'Fat Free- Whole wheat -Triple Chocolate-Almond' Muffins

As I was writing a 'name' for these muffins....I realized they have the longest name ever!! LOL! But couldn't help putting all the 'good stuff' they have, in their good name and hence the name- "Fat Free"- Whole wheat -Triple Chocolate-Almond Muffins!!
They are made with Whole Wheat flour and Almond powder, have 'Applesauce' in them to act as moistener and binder and NO added fat i.e butter/oil!! The triple chocolate is- Cocoa powder,mini semi sweet chocolate chips and white chocolate chips.The biggest 'hurray factor' for me.....E loved them...and had them with breakfast 2 days in a row:))
 By the way...did you know?? A store bought food, labeled 'fat free' is not necessarily fat free? It can have upto 0.5 gms of fat per serving! So if you eat more servings, the fat can add up. Also, if you are just looking at 'Number of calories' on the food label....KNOW this--
According to FDA regulations, calorie information on packages must be accurate with a margin of error of 20%. Which means you could be off by as much as 100 calories on a 500 calorie entree !!

Actually,last year, I tried a similar recipe-

"Fat free" and "Good for you" Chocolate-Banana-Walnut Muffins

But since,'M' hates bananas, I had to improvise the recipe and 'minus' the bananas in the recipe. But let me tell you, the bananas make the muffins really moist and yummy.So for all those who don't mind either the bananas or the egg in the recipe...go ahead and try out the above recipe!

**For a 'Banana less' and 'Eggless' version use this::
The biggest 'hurrray factor ' for me.....E loved them...and had them with breakfast 2 days in a row:))
Ingredients: Makes 12 muffins
1 Cup Whole Wheat flour
8 oz Applesauce( I used store bought- but homemade would be excellent!)
3/4th cup sugar
1/2 cup Powdered almonds
1/2 cup Unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
1/4cup milk
2tsp Flax seed powder (Optional! It's just to give 'boost' in nutrition and a little more 'nutty' flavor)
1tsp baking powder
1tsp baking soda
1tsp Vanilla essence
2-3 tsp water
few White chocolate chips
1/4tsp salt

Muffin liners(aluminum)
Non stick cooking spray

1) Pre heat the oven to 375F
2) Place muffin liners in muffin pan.Spray with non stick cooking spray.Since the muffins have no added fat,they will stick to the liner,therefore spray with non stick cooking spray and use aluminum liners.
3) Sieve together- whole wheat flour, baking powder,soda, cocoa powder,salt.
4) In a mixing bowl, mix apple sauce,vanilla and sugar.
5) Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.Add the almond and flax seed powder.Add the milk and 2-3tsp water as needed to make batter.
6) Fold in the mini chocolate chips and mix gently.DO NOT OVERMIX!! Otherwise the muffins will be tough and chewy.
7) Pour into muffin liners till 3/4th full. Add few white chocolate chips
8) Bake at 375 for 17-20 mins.Till a toothpick inserted will come out clean.
Indulge into a Chocolaty and Nutty goodness with less guilt!!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Sizzling Good Read:: "Food Rules" by Michael Pollan

With this Book, I am starting a new section in the blog called --      "A Sizzling Good Read", wherein, I will be sharing the book which I am reading/ have read and talk about it!

"Food Rules" by Michael Pollan.....64 Rules about 'What to eat and What to avoid' written in a very simple language!!

 Very simple "rules' that are easy to understand and that will stay with you while making "right' food choices.
E.g. He says, If it came from a plant,eat it; if it was made in a plant, don't!!
So true.... the more processed the food...the more it is likely to be 'bad' for your health.

A must read for a anyone who wants to eat 'better'!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Avocado Parathas

Everyone has heard the buzz about the 'Health benefits of Avocados' and want to incorporate more of them in their diets. Though they are a 'high fat vegetable'(85% of its calories come from fat)...don't you worry...they are "Good for you fats". Here is the link to know more about  health benefits of Avocados: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=5
I love to eat Avocados...in the form of "Gaucamole"...with chopped onions, tomatoes, green chilies, cilantro and squeeze of lemon juice....Spread on the baked Tostitos or even better.... "Microwave toasted Papad"!!!

The other day, my friend "Soniya Keskar" gave me a brilliant idea of making "Avocado Parathas". Since both "E" and "A" are not huge avocado fans...this was a great way to incorporate it in their diet!!
The parathas came out really soft due to the 'fats' in the avocados and looked slight 'yellowish-green' with tiny specks of avocados and cilantro.

2 cups Whole wheat flour
1 'medium- ripe' avocado
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1tsp Red chili powder ( add more or less)
1/2tsp cumin seeds
1/4tsp Garlic paste
1 green chili finely chopped
water if needed

1) Slit the avocado length wise. Twist both halves in opposite direction. Take out the seeds. Scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Scrap all the 'green' flesh near the skin too.The healthy goodness lies in here!
2) Mash the avocado with your hands.Add the rest of the ingredients and make into a "chapati like dough'. Add little water if needed to make the dough. No need to add oil.The avocado already has 'fats' to make the parathas soft. Keep the dough aside for 30 mins.
3) Knead the dough again and roll out into parathas. Roast the parathas on a heated 'tava'
4) Serve hot along with Chutney/ Pickle/ Ketchup or Gaucamole!!