Monday, January 30, 2017

Pineapple Couscous Baby Greens Salad.

When I saw Angie's Healthy Recipe Challenge I was intrigued. When I saw that the primary ingredients that she wanted in the dish were pineapple and greens, I was challenged. I wanted to think out of the box and create something that had these ingredients. I was in the process of making Couscous salad with cranberries and walnuts  for dinner . I decided to encompass these two ingredients and come up with a more nutritious salad. The resulting salad was exotic and delicious! My husband loved it! Him saying something is good is a big compliment in itself.

So try this salad when you get a chance. You will be hooked. My neighbor loved it too.. I got the couscous that cooks in just 10 mins. This is perfect for a weeknight dinner! The leftover makes for a perfect lunch.

Here is the recipe:

Servings: 3

Prep time: 5 minsCook time: 10 minsTotal time: 15 mins


Couscous: 1 cup
Water: 1 & 1/4 cup
Salt: a pinch
Olive oil: 1 tsp
Dried cranberries : 1/3 cup
Roasted Walnut pieces : 1/4 cup
Pineapple pieces: 1 cup, diced small
Parsley: 1/3 cup, finely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper:1/4 tsp
Extra Virgin olive oil: 1/3 cup
Lemon juice: 1/4 cup, freshly squeezed
Sea salt: 1/2 tsp
Sriracha or hot sauce: 1/2 tsp ( optional)
Minced garlic: 1/4 tsp
Baby greens: 4 & 1/2 cups


Take 1 & 1/4 cups water in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Add salt, olive oil and couscous. Cover and cook on low for 10 mins. When done, turn of the flame and fluff it. Keep aside to cool.

Add into a small jar, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, black pepper, minced garlic, Sriracha/ hot sauce. Close the jar and mix thoroughly. Keep aside.

Take the cooled couscous in a salad bowl. To this add the pineapple pieces, chopped parsley, dried cranberries, roasted walnuts & the prepared dressing. Mix thoroughly. Keep it refrigerated until ready to serve.

For serving:
Divide the baby greens equally among 3 plates. Then divide the couscous salad on it. Sprinkle some walnuts &/or parsley on top.

Serve immediately.


Cooking made easy:

If you intend to make/ pack this for lunch, then pack the greens separately in a container. Make sure you wrap the greens in papertowel.

Use another container for the salad. I you want the walnuts crunchy, pack it separately in a small container/ ziplock.

Tip for healthy living:

A salad like above can be quite nourishing and filling. It has pretty much all the food groups in it making for a complete balanced meal that is satisfying, yet low in calories.

Food for thought:

A little patience goes a long way. Unknown

Please do share your thoughts. Your opinion matters!

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Sunday, January 29, 2017

Pineapple Chicken Kebabs with Sumac

When Angie announced the Healthy Recipe Challenge, I was intrigued. When I looked at the ingredients that she wanted to be used in the recipe, I scratched my head. Greens and pineapple in one recipe!! I couldn't resist the challenge! I was making some Sumac chicken kebabs with vegetables for lunch. I figured I will throw in the pineapple with it & serve the kebabs on a bed of baby greens. Who could resist a platter like that??

During my recent visit to the grocery store, I came across Sumac. This is a spice that I have known through Elaine and other friends here at Fiesta Friday. I have been waiting to try it for a long time now. While we all love grilled vegetables, I was positive that grilled pineapple would taste delicious. And it turned out to be delicious!  Together with sumac, it was an irresistable combination! We ate the kebabs served on a bed of baby greens for lunch and ate the leftovers served with Pineapple Couscous Baby Greens Salad for dinner!! 

This is a very easy recipe that would be perfect for weeknight dinners , as appetizers or sides for parties! Super Bowl is next weekend guys!! You can prep, marinate and keep everything ready in the refrigerator ahead of time, and throw it on the grill or in the oven a few minutes before your guests arrive! Voila! Delicious kebabs ready in minutes!!

Servings: 2

Prep time: 45 mins ( including marination) 

Cook time: 15 mins

Total time: 1 hour


Boneless, skinless chicken breast: 1 lb, cut into bite-sized pieces
Salt: to taste
Black pepper: 1/4 tsp+ 1/4 tsp
Lemon juice: 2 tbsp
Sumac: 1 tsp + 1 tsp
Italian herbs ( dry): 1/2 tsp + 1/2 tsp
Bell peppers: 2 ( different colors), diced big.
Cherry tomatoes: 10 ( may not need all)
Red onion: 1, diced big and petals separated.
Pineapple pieces: 1 cup
Olive oil: 1 tbsp
Baby greens: 1 & 1/2  cups


Clean and marinate the chicken with salt, pepper, lemon juice, Italian herbs & sumac, for at least 30 mins.

In a bowl, take the bell peppers, diced onion, cherry tomatoes and pineapple pieces . Add olive oil, a pinch of salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, a little sumac and Italian herbs.

Set the oven on broil and preheat it.

Take a skewer and arrange the veggies and chicken pieces as you wish and the amount that you want.

Arrange it on a baking/grilling tray. Place the tray in the broiler and cook the chicken and vegetables for 14-16 minutes or until the chicken is cooked  thoroughly and to desired tenderness.

Divide the baby greens equally on two serving plates. Arrange the skewers on the bed of baby greens. Just before serving, sprinkle a little more sumac on the skewers.

Can be served with cilantro/ mint chutney.

Serve hot!


Apart from linking to the Fiesta Friday Healthy Recipe challenge, I am bringing this to Fiesta Friday #156 and Saucy Saturdays.

Cooling made easy:

The kebabs can be grilled on a outdoor grill, on a stove-top grill or even baked at 400 deg F or 200 deg Celsius on the middle rack of the oven. If you don't have steel skewers, you can use bamboo skewers, but make sure that you soak the skewers in water for sometime before using.

Tip for healthy living:

Grilling or broiling is a much healthier option for frying chicken or vegetables. It is low in calories and pretty much fat free!

Food for thought:

Think before you leap! Unknown

Please do share your thoughts. Your opinion matters!

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Monday, January 23, 2017

Dudde Phulla Gojju ( pumpkin flower chutney)

This post was written a couple of months ago and I never got the time to publish it! I am glad it is here now when everyone has come back with renewed determination to eat healthy!!

Did you know that you could make a dip/chutney from pumpkin flowers??
I didn't know either!

During Fall, when I went pumpkin picking, I picked up a bunch of pumpkin buds to fry! Yes, it is a specialty cuisine in our community! The lady at the farm told me to pick as many flowers as I wished! My 4 & 7 year old kids were also picking them for me. They picked up a bunch of not just buds but flowers too!!

The flowers in the back were used for this chutney/gojju

I was regaling this to my mom and telling her how sad I would feel to throw them out. My mom told me to make chutney out of the blossomed flowers. I laughed when she told me that! I had never heard of such a thing! But when I realized how easy the recipe was, I decided to give it a try. The result was delicious! It was gone within a day! We used it as a dip with the dosa for breakfast and then again with rice for lunch!

Do give this simple recipe a try!

Servings: 3-4

Prep time: 10 minsCook time: 5 minsTotal time: 15 mins


Pumpkin flowers: around 20-25
Red chillies: 2
Methi seeds: 3-4 nos
Asafoetida powder: a pinch
Salt: to taste
Ghee ( clarified butter) or oil: 1/2 tsp
Tamarind : pea-sized if dry or 1/8 tsp if using pulp.
Water: 1/4 cup


Coconut oil: 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds: 1/4 tsp
Curry leaf: a sprig


Wash and thoroughly clean the pumpkin leaves. Separate flowers from stem. Discard stems.

Heat 1/2 tsp ghee in a frying pan. Add the red chillies, methi seeds, asafoetida & pumpkin flowers. Sauté for a couple of mins or until the flowers are wilted.
Turn off the flame & let it cool down.
Once cooled, add tamarind, salt and eyes and blend it to a smooth paste.
Take this in a bowl.


Heat 1/2 tsp oil in a frying pan.
Add mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds splutter, add the curry leaves and turn off the flame.

Add this on top of the chutney as garnish.

Mix before serving.

Serve with dosa/ chapati or rice!

Can be refrigerated and used for up to a week.


I am bringing this to Fiesta Friday #156  and Saucy Saturdays#81.

Cooking made easy:

Regular cooking oil can be used as a substitute for most recipes that call for ghee or clarified butter. However, the dish may not be as flavorful. If you are health conscious then it is better to use ghee & oil in the ratio of 1:1. The dish will be low in calories yet flavorful!

Tip for healthy living:

Ghee is a much healthier option than most oils. A little bit of ghee can go a long way in making your dish flavorful. Also, ghee prevents food from burning easily when you have to sauté for long periods of time.

Food for thought:

Nothing has more strength than dire necessity. Unknown

Please do share your thoughts. Your opinion matters!

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Friday, January 20, 2017

Quick Mini-pepper Poppers

A very Happy New Year to all the followers & readers of this blog. I know three-quarters of January has already passed by, but you see, this is my first time writing something this year!

I have been quite busy for the past few months with my regular full-time jobs ( yes, jobs..) & the kids of course, then the whirlwind trip to India, then all the catching up at work.. well.. you get the picture.. That's why I haven't been able to blog at all!!

I decided to start by re-writing a recipe, making it easier with just 3-ingredients! This is one of my favorite recipes! When Sonal announced her Super-Bowl round up, that too recipes with 5 or less ingredients, I knew this was the recipe that I wanted to bring. This is a recipe that makes for the perfect, hassle-free, healthy, vegetarian, bite size appetizer that both vegetarians and non-vegetarians will both enjoy! This is a recipe that even a novice can make! This is a recipe that can be prepped ahead of time, maybe even made ahead of time ( not that it takes much time to make!) or can be made at the very last minute! If you are going to a potluck, this is perfect to make and carry. This can be made in the conventional oven or in a toaster oven. This is a very versatile recipe that you can give it your own personal touch! I had posted the "from scratch" version around Thanksgiving. Today, I am posting the quick version that uses store-bought herbed cheese like Philadelphia or Boursin ( no, I am not being paid by either of them) !!

Image Credit:google
Image Credit:google
Image credit:google

Believe me when I tell you that this recipe is a keeper!! You & your guests will both love it!!

Servings: 8-10

Prep time: 10 minsCook time: 8-10 minsTotal time: 18-20 mins


Sweet Mini-peppers: 16-18 nos
Low fat cream cheese with herbs: 1 package ( 8 oz or 222gms)Any brand like Philadelphia or Boursin herbed cheese will do.
Olive oil : to drizzle


Take the cream cheese in a bowl. Whip it lightly using a fork until softened and creamy. Keep aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 deg F.

Arrange a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper.

Wash and dry the peppers. Slice it into 2 without cutting the stem. You will end up with one half of the pepper with the stem and the other half without the stem. Remove the seeds and discard them.

Fill each of the halves with the cream cheese mixture prepared earlier. Arrange the peppers on the baking sheet in a single layer with the filled side facing up.

Lightly drizzle olive oil in the peppers. Place the tray on the middle rack of the oven. Bake at 350 degF or 180 degree Celsius for 8-10 mins.

Serve hot!


I am bringing this to Fiesta Friday #156  and Saucy Saturdays#81.

Cooking made easy:

If you don't have cream cheese, you can make this with paneer using the recipe found here.

Tip for healthier living:

Cheese is a good source of calcium especially for vegetarians when eaten in moderate amounts.

Food for thought:

Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one's weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart. Mahatma Gandhi

Please do share your thoughts. Your opinion matters!

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