Wednesday, April 23, 2014

5 Spring - Summer Must Haves

Trends change every year but style is timeless. Its fun to look at trends for every season but it is more fun to choose from them and make a personal style. In the busy world we live, most of the runway looks are not practical anyways. 

Spring is in full swing and summer is on the horizon. Most of us are done with the spring cleaning routine and all set to work hard for the dream summer body and shop for the beautiful clothes and accessories to build a new season wardrobe. Spring and summer styles are an amazing combination of both bold and pastel colors. Follow the trend but always keep your favorite colors that give you confidence. A small list of must haves to brighten every wardrobe for all body types this sunshine season...Just find the version that flatters you most. 

ArtPop Maxi Dress - comfort, style and elegance. Celebrate Femininity!
Cropped Jeans - play it sexy and cool - together. Less is more here! Play hide and seek with those sexy legs. Go for a casual look with flats or wedges. Or take to a different note with some mid heel pumps.
Bold Cross-body Bag - who says practical is not style? Make your cross-body bag a statement at the same enjoying the freedom from the big heavy bags.

Pastel Pink - Pink speaks pretty! This summer wear it on top or bottom. And add on with your favorite accessories.

On Trend Footwear - ankle strap pumps, pointed flats,printed wedges shout out summer.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Instant Khaman Dhokla Idli

Sometimes just playing with shape of a traditional recipe becomes so much fun. As am reducing the use of microwave cooking, planned to make the tasty Gujrati go-to snack Khaman Dhokla in my Idli pan in steam instead of microwave. It was fun. 

This quick snack is healthy and tasty. It is made with chick pea flour and yogurt which gives each serving (1 piece) around 3 gm of protein. Each serving is ~120 calories. The garnish of fresh cilantro, curry leaves and mustard seeds gives a very satisfying and fulfilling taste. It scores high on the charts of instant, fresh, healthy and tasty snacks.

serves 8 pieces
1 cup chick pea flour
2 Tbsp semolina
1/2 cup yogurt
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp ginger paste
1/2 tsp green chilies, crushed
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1tsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp fruit salt (ENO)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds
7-8 curry leaves
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp sugar

  • In a large pot heat enough water that will not touch the bottom of the pan you will use for steaming dhokla. I used 2 tier idli pan.
  • In a bowl mix all ingredients for dhokla except fruit salt and lemon juice.
  • Add the fruit salt and lemon juice and mix quickly. DO NOT over mix.
  • Divide the batter equally in pan molds.
  • Steam for 12-14 min.
  • When done, remove from molds and place on a serving platter.
  • Prepare the tempering using oil, mustard seeds and curry leaves.
  • As the seeds crackle, remove from heat and add sugar and water. Put back on heat and wait for one boil.
  • Spread the mixture on the dhoklas.
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro and enjoy with your fav chutneys.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Get Protein In Every Meal

How much protein do we need daily? USDA recommends 0.8 gm per kg of body weight per day. Getting recommended daily % of protein might be easy for meat eaters. But for vegetarians it seems like a daunting task.

Research has shown that plant based protein is better than animal protein. Animal protein not only puts you at risk of too much protein but is an acid producing form which can create imbalance in your body. Also, look around the earth for strongest animals - elephant, hippos, gorillas - all plant eaters. 

  • A whole wheat toast with nut butter and a glass of milk will start off your day with 20 gm of protein. 
  • Only 1/2 cup of dry roasted edamame will give you 28 gm of protein as a snack.
  • A bowl of lentil soup will quickly provide around 20 gm of protein.

There are easy and tasty ways to add protein in every meal.

Oats - 1 cup cooked in water 6 gm of protein
Almonds - 1 oz (23 whole kernels) 6 gm of protein
Milk - 1 cup 8 gm of protein
Nut Butter - 2 Tbsp 8 gm of protein
Whole Wheat Bread - 70 cal slice 4 gm of protein

Dry Roasted Edamame - 1/4 cup 14 gm of protein
Roasted Sunflower/Pumpkin seeds - 1 oz 5 gm of protein
Greek Yogurt - 6 oz 15 gm of protein

Chickpeas - 1 cup boiled 15 gm of protein
Lentils - 1 cup boiled 18 gm of protein
Beans - 1 cup boiled 15 gm of protein
Spinach - 1 serving 13 gm of protein
Quinoa - 1 cup cooked 8 gm of protein
Tofu - 1 cup 20 gm of protein
Whole Wheat Pasta - 2 oz dry 8~10 gm protein
Peas - 1 cup 8 gm of protein
Potatoes - 1 medium 5 gm of protein
Corn - 1 cup 5 gm of protein
Broccoli - 1 stalk 4 gm of protein

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Kale and Sun-dried Tomatoes Quinoa

Do I need to say more about this healthy super quick lunch? The ingredients say it all. And all you would need is one pan and 3 ingredients - Kale, Sun Dried Tomatoes and Quinoa. For the portion shown in the picture I used -

1/2 cup cooked quinoa -111 calories, 4 gm protein, 5 gm fiber
1 cup kale chopped - 34 cal, 2 gm protein, 684% Vitamin K, 206% Vitamin A, 134% Vitamin C
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes - 35 cal, 2 gm protein, 35 % vitamin C

It took me a little while to perfect the texture of quinoa. After cooking I could not fluff it with the fork how the chefs showed on TV or videos. But that is now past. In fact, I cook my quinoa ahead of time and store it an air tight container to use it over 2-3 days. I have found the best way to quick quinoa is 1:2 quinoa and water for 15 mins, covered and on low heat. Once done, remove the lid and let it cool for 20-30 min. Then fluff with the fork.

serves 1
1/2 cup quinoa, cooked
1 cup kale, chopped
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp oil
salt to taste

  • Heat oil in a pan and add chopped garlic. Saute for 1-2 min.
  • Add kale and saute for 2 mins. Cover and cook for 2-3 mins.
  • Remove from heat. Add cooked quinoa, sundried tomatoes, oregano and salt
This single serve portion leaves you feeling full for a long time and with a great feeling of eating healthy

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