Wednesday, December 24, 2008

simple noodle soup with lots of veggies

I made this soup for sunny boy one afternoon, when he hadn't gone to the kindergarten and was home. I didn't wish to make an elaborate meal, which I do in the evenings usually when we all eat together. After asking sunny boy, I choose to make this soup and he liked it a lot.
Although there are many ways of making it, I made it this time with the Indian tadka in the beginning and you can always replace broccoli with cabbage or beans or any veggie of choice.

For 2-3 persons

Ingredients:

a few broccoli florets, cut into small pieces
3 small carrots, thinly sliced or cubed
a few mushrooms, chopped or thinly sliced
2 handfuls soup noodles (or vermicelli)
salt, to taste
400 - 500 ml water
2 tbsp coriander leaves (I had none)
1 tsp organic vegetable broth (optional)

Tadka
1 tbsp mustard oil (use any other)
1 tsp cumin
1 pinch hing (asafoetida)
1 tbsp coriander seeds, ground
1/2 tsp turmeric
chili powder to taste

Method:

  • clean, wash and prepare the vegetables
  • in a large sauce pan heat oil and splutter the cumin
  • reduce heat and add the remaining spices,
  • stir quickly and immediately add the veggies,
  • stir for a few minutes on medium heat
  • add water, broth and salt and cook till the water begins to boil
  • add the soup noodles / vermicelli and cook till done*
  • if you wish, you can add a teaspoon of mustard oil, olive oil or ghee to the ready soup at the end and some chopped coriander leaves to garnish
Bon Apettit!

*NOTE: depending on the cooking time of the noodles and the type of veggies, the cooking time of veggies before adding the noodles could change. Adjust accordingly.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Quick corn snacks

A very very simple & quite healthy recipe for evening snacks of toddlers and kids. I know you might already know this or a variant of this but still I am writing for people like me who discovered it quite recently :-)

Ingredients :

Potato : 1 small
Frozen Sweet corn : 1 tbsp
Frozen Peas : 1 tbsp
Butter : 1/2 tsp
Roasted and crushed cumin seeds : 1 pinch
Salt to taste

Optional :

Chat Masala
Black Pepper

Steps :

1. Cut potatos in small chunks.
2. Mix protatoes, corn, peas, butter and water in a microwave bowl.
3. Microwave for 3 minutes.
4. Add salt and roasted cumin seeds.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

a quickfix meal with scrambled bread and veggies eggs


Before I begin with the actual post, let me just inform you that after a few exchange of emails we have sorted out things and everything is fine! :)

I made this meal for my sunny boy in a jiffy as we had been out of the house in the afternoon and by the time we came back it was late and he was hungry, a bit early for dinner, but that's how it is with children. So, I had to make something quick which was wholesome too. And this is what I made:

For 2 servings

Ingredients:
1 tbsp ghee or oil
2 slices of bread (white , whole wheat or gluten free), cut into small or large squares
2 eggs, beaten to make very frothy, like with a twirl whisk
1 small onion, finely chopped (optional)
6 mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 small carrots, grated
1/2 tsp cumin (optional)
1 tsp ground coriander seeds (optional)
1/4 tsp pepper, or to taste
1/4 tsp turmeric (optional)


Method:

  • cut and prepare the bread and mushrooms and carrots
  • you can also choose veggies of your own choice like very finely cut cauliflower, cabbage, zucchini or green beans, or peas
  • heat the ghee or oil in the pan and add cumin so that it splutters, add coriander and turmeric, stir shortly, add onion and veggies and stir and cook on medium heat till done
  • add the bread pieces, stirring for another one minute
  • add salt and pepper and stir to mix
  • add the beaten eggs and either prepare like scrambled eggs for another one minute
  • or just simmer till the eggs have been cooked through
I initially thought of making a french toast with the egg mainly on one side and veggies on the other, but then it didn't work out, so I cut up the bread into small pieces and mixed with the eggs.
Sunny boy enjoyed it a lot. He ate it with some home made apple onion and tomato chutney, but you can substitute it with anything else you have handy at home.

Friday, December 12, 2008

What affects Calcium absorption?

Updated on 11. Jan 2009

Before I write anything here, it is important to note that a healthy and balanced diet as we know it from our parents and grand parents is normally good enough to take care of any problems and parents of healthy and happy children growing properly need not worry.
Sometimes, if some doubts appear about the child's growth then it is surely good to consult the doctor and clarify things and ask for some good tips on increasing the calcium intake, if required.

I am required to remove some important calcium sources from my son's diet temporarily. Here are some facts I collected subsequently to ensure a good calcium intake despite that:

Calcium Absorption is affected by:

  1. Vitamin D: Vitamin D is very important for good calcium absorption. It is the signal for the body to absorb calcium , if absent causes calcium malabsorption. Among children known as Rickets among children and osteomalacia in adults. Apart from being produced by the body from sunlight, some common and good sources of Vitamin D are saltwater fishes (sea fishes) ; milk and milk products; eggs (egg yolk); liver; fortified products - cereals, margarine, vegan milk sources etc.
  2. Phytates (phytic acid) : reduce calcium absorption by binding to the calcium ions. These are found naturally in plant sources like grains, whole grain breads, (wheat) bran, soy beans (although the calcium is still partially available for absorption by the body - source), soy isolates, nuts and seeds. Phytates can be reduced by cooking, sprouting and fermentation (lactic acid - through naturally occurring yeasts). Some examples of such fermented products are yoghurt, sour /leavened breads, sour dough starters, yeast breads, rice preparations like idlis, dosas uttapams made with fermented/leavened rice. Sprouting is another wonderful way of reducing these toxins.
  3. Oxalic acid: It reduces calcium absorption by binding to the calcium ions. Found highly in vegetables like spinach, collard greens, sweet potatoes, rhubarb and beans. (check the link to jugalbandi for more infomation that)
  4. Age: The amount of calcium absorbed by the body decreases with age. This is one of the reasons why increasing the calcium intake after the age 50+ is so important to prevent calcium malnutrition and prevent osteoporosis, a not so uncommon problem among women and men at this age.
Calcium excretion (loss) is affected by (source):
  1. Sodium (Na+ ; the mineral, a constituent of table salt) and proteins in the food increase the loss of calcium. However, if the food high in sodium and proteins also contains calcium, then it could counteract the effect of calcium loss, as this calcium will get used up to prevent further loss.
  2. Potassium (Ka+ ; the mineral): High potassium diet, like eating more than 7-8 servings of fruits per day, in the presence of high sodium diet can help decrease the calcium loss .
  3. Caffeine intake can temporarily increase calcium loss, but it can be easily counteracted by increasing the amount of calcium intake. Do not drink it together with meals.
Sources:
Office of Dietary Supplements
AboutCalcium.net
Wikipedia

As a response to a comment, a clarification:
Please note that building of stones to our present scientific knowledge in whichever part of the body is not less frequent among those who eat meat than those who don't. Vegetarians do not have more stones than those who eat meat. It is, however, advised to those who have kidney stones, for example, to avoid eating plant products high in oxalic acid, or also those who have gaut or rheumatoid arthritis. It is usually a genetic predisposition for some.
If you do not agree with the facts given here or believe them not to be true, then you are most welcome to disagree, but then please include a reliable source of your information, or mention it accordingly and please don't claim it to be a fact just because you have been hearing it from a "neighbour", or have some vague information in your mind, it is irresponsible. use this as a chance to check the information you have before you put it here, please.

Another important aspect of calcium uptake is its interference with the intake of other important dietary minerals like Iron, Magnesium, Zinc and Phosphorus (a separate post on this topic will follow).

Other related posts at H&T:
How much calcium does a child need?

Update on 11. Jan 2009:
Just found this very informative page on calcium at Bee and Jai's Jugalbandi:
Calcium Q&A

Dairy free Milkshakes

Some recipes of milk shakes I'm using for sunny boy to give him the otherwise-not-so-good-tasting calcium fortified rice milk, but these are wonderful with normal dairy milk too...

Raspberry milkshake


You need:
8 raspberries
150 ml milk (about a coffee cup) - I used calcium fortified rice milk
1/2 tsp sugar or honey (is required as the raspberries are quite tart)

Mix everything with a hand blender in a deep bowl. To remove seeds pass through a tea sieve. You can make it the same way using straberries and blueberries too.


Banana milkshake

You need:
1/2 medium sized banana
150 ml milk (about a coffee cup) - I used calcium fortified rice milk

Mix everything with a hand blender in a deep bowl. make it frothy by holding the blender at the surface.


Date milkshake
Recipe from Priya's Easy N Tatsy

You need:
3 dates, deseeded and chopped coarsely
1/2 tsp cocoa (or 1 tsp drinking chocolate powder) -optional,
150 ml milk (about a coffee cup) - I used calcium fortified rice milk
1 icecube (optional)

Soak dates in milk overnight (if you don't mind serving it warm then you can also soak it for half an hour in warm milk, as per the instructions at Priya's blog). dissolve the cocoa in 1 teaspoon hot water. Puree everything together. serve with a date on the glas rim.

Although, dates don't seem to go so well with rice milk, as they only make the milk sweet, but being comparitively low in flavours, don't hide the stronge taste of rice milk. So, I tried it with some cocoa, which did seem to help a bit and I made him drink half the milk, by letting him take one sip for each of his relatives - nana, nani, cousines, mausis, bua, mumma-papa etc, or sometimes I use his pet softtoys - Leonie, Wau wau and so on. :)

Today I also tried making a fruit pudding with rice milk, where I pureed some fruits along with the milk and cooked it up with one tablespoon of cornstarch. The thing I didn't like about it is the fact that I had to add a heapful of sugar fo it to be palatable. But, as such I think it is a good idea. It worked better than the milk shakes. But, I can't make it every day.

Reasons for using fortified rice milk: He has to be on this diary and soya free diet for about two to three weeks, to see if he is showing any improvement, as he showed a low level allergy to them and wheat in a bloof test. If you have other ideas, they are most welcome.
A good source of information on calcium from the Office of Dietery Suppliments (National Institute of Health), USA.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Mung sprouts, a salad

Sprouts are in general quite healthy. As all the nutrients once the seeds start to sprout, are mobilised and so to say in an active form, which is quite valuable for the body and much easily available to be absorbed than otherwise. Sprouting also minimises the phytotoxins (phytates) present in beans, which make it unhealthy for them to be eaten raw.
But, still slightly heating it with some water and optionally with spices on medium low heat for a few minutes is the best way to eat them.
This is how I make it for a quick meal or snack:
Mung sprouts salad

Ingredients:

2 cups mung sprouts
1 tbsp oil
1/3 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cumin
a few tbsp water
salt to taste
1/4 th English cucumber or 1/2 of large Indian varieties, peeled and cubed
1 large tomato, cubed
1 small red or yellow onion, finely chopped
1 large boiled potato, cubed (optional)
1/2 green chili, finely chopped (optional)
1 - 2 tbsp lemon- / lime juice
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves
1/2 tsp ground roasted cumin
1/4 tsp ground black salt, or to taste


Method.

  • heat oil in a fry pan on medium heat
  • add cumin so that it immediately splutters, add turmeric and sprouts
  • stir immediately and add some water, cover with lid and cook on medium low for 3 -5 minutes
  • cut the fresh cucumber, tomatoes, potatoes and onions in a bowl
  • add the lemon juice, chilli and coriander leaves
  • add salt to the sprouts, once done, to taste
  • either mix with the vegetables or keep in separate bowls while serving,
  • sprinkle with roasted cumin and black salt to taste and serve
This time Rishab ate it like this:
with parantha and another potato-red bell pepper sabzi and a small piece of mozarella

Friday, December 5, 2008

Southwest sauce

I've recently become a Subway addict, and suddenly realized that I could make myself a Sub of sorts, if only I had some Southwest sauce and mayo. Got this recipe from a friend, am yet to try it out. I'll update this post when I do!

Ingredients:
3 tbsp Vinegar
Squeeze of lime juice(can use the juice of 2 limes instead of vinegar)
1 cup Mayonnaise(preferably sugar-free, or diet mayo)
4 tbsp Dijon mustard
To taste - pickled jalapeno or chipotle.
8 cloves garlic, ground to paste

Substitute for jalapeno or chipotle in India(can be used in any recipe demanding pickled peppers, so you can pickle more than 2 at a time):
Take those absolutely mild green chillies, you'll need about 2 for this recipe.
Marinade in some vinegar, add a few poppy seeds("posto") and mustard seeds.
Salt generously. Add a teeny-tiny bit of sugar if you want.
Keep for 3 days, then deseed the chillies and puree them with a bit of the vinegar used and a little capsicum for the peppery smell.

Procedure:
Mix together the pickled peppers, mayo and mustard.
Add the garlic, adjust salt and seasoning(some chilli powder works nicely) to taste.
Drizzle some refined oil and mix in the vinegar and lime juice.

Et voila!
(Er... does this count as healthy enough to be here? It's definitely healthy for me 'cause i'll use about 1-2 tsp in a sandwich FULL of veggies!)

Banana "mushie"

I've been eating at least 4 bananas daily recently, so trying to find out new things to do with them. I used to have them chopped up with oats, but got bored of that soon enough. Plus it takes too long to eat!

Then I remembered something I'd heard once in passing a few years ago. Tried it out, and it's turned out beautifully.

Ingredients:
Bananas(I use 2 bananas on 3 pieces of bread)
Bread(preferably unsweetened, cut into 3/4in. slices)
A little ground pepper
Honey if you want.

Process:
Toast the bread lightly.
Mush up the banana with a little pepper and honey, spread it on the toast - I like mine slightly warm - and devour immediately. This also works for slightly overripe bananas which you might not want to eat otherwise.

Carrot, the best way to eat them....

...is with some oil or a type of fat. Give them to kids grated or cut into thin slices.

It is the oils and fats which are necessary for the good pro-vitamin A (β carotene) to be absorbed by our body. Let the children chew the carrots properly as well.

These are three tempting ways that I remember of doing it for the kids:

  1. A yoghurt dip: mix some yoghurt (strained, if possible)/curd/low fat- quark with whipped cream or clotted cream (Indian malai), add some salt and pepper or a pinch of ground roasted cumin. Serve with carrots, grated or cut into thin sticks or rings to be eaten as finger food
  2. Just sprinkle grated carrots (or in any form) with some edible oil (which has not been heated!), a teaspoon of lemon juice and a pinch of salt and pepper or ground roasted cumin
  3. A vinaigrette: mix some olive oil (or oil of choice) with natural white wine vinegar , salt, mustard (optional), roasted ground cumin, pepper or a pinch of chili powder, stir thoroughly with a spoon till you get homogeneous mass and dip your carrots in it, like we did today (see picture above)
We will use the leftover vinaigrette tomorrow, maybe again with carrots or some cucumber and tomatoes.

TIP: try to use as much oils high in unsaturated fatty acids (mono and poly unsaturated), as they contain the types of fatty acids which cannot be produced in our body. For example.

cold pressed rapeseed oil
cold pressed mustard oil
extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

These oils are not good for deep frying, as they mono and poly unsaturated fatty acids degrade on heating on high temperatures, the reason why one needs to buy these which have been extracted by cold pressing. But, these can still be used for cooking or (stir-) frying or baking

Some examples of oils which should :
  1. not be heated (at best to be used cold),
  2. always kept in the dark,
  3. in air-tight containers (should not come in contact with too much air - oxidative degradation)
  4. and at best be used up fast as they are very unstable, being so rich in unsaturated fatty acids which make them so healthy :
  • walnut oil
  • sesame seed oil
  • almond oil
  • pumpkin seed oil
Some more comparatively stable oils, which are good for deep frying (should not be done too often, of course!):
  • peanut oil
  • sunflower oil
  • coconut oil
  • ghee - not a plant oil, but animal fat, but, is also a good substitute. But, one should keep in mind the high amount of saturated fatty acids and cholesterol in it
Therefore, deep frying should best be done not more than once a month, or at best even lesser.
Any type of oil should always be stored in airtight containers otherwise it degrades (becomes rancid) and even the comparitively stable ones, once heated on high temperatures, also start to degrade much more and faster, so repeated heating of oil, especially in large gaps of days is not good. Do not store deep fried oil for long, but, either use it as much possible in the next few days or throw it away. Wastage or not, nothing is wrong if it is for your health.
Give me more names of oils if you want to know about them which I have left out. I have only mentioned the most common ones.

Monday, November 24, 2008

How much calcium does a child need?

This is a post which I'm writing more like in a note form, so that I finally am able to publish it.

Hope it is still of help to others too. Please leave your feedback or comments for any other question you think should be answered in this topic or wish to know more. I'll try to include it. Do check the links given at the bottom in this regard. I have tried to keep the list as small as possible and it contains good links to reliable information, which are also the source of information for this post.


Why do children (and adults - to a lesser extent) need calcium?

Required for healthy mental and physical development of the child - by their growing bones and teeth, important for general cellular (body) functioning, especially nerves and muscles, and activating enzymes required by the body to produce energy, and for blood clotting, and many other important body functions.
Long term shortage can lead to rickets among children (osteoporosis among adults-especially 50+).


How much calcium does a child need (a rough estimate)?


Upto 3 years of age: about 500 mg per day calcium - about 1 1/2 - 2 cups milk or plain yoghurt
4 -8 years of age: about 800 mg per day calcium - about 2-3 cups of milk
9-18 years of age: 1,300 mg per day calcium - about 3-4 cups of milk or the equivalent amount of cheese and yoghurt

The calcium in 1 cup of milk = 1 cup of yogurt = 1 and 1/2 ounces of cheese= 2 ounces of processed cheese. 1 ounce = 28 (25-30) g cheese.

For the body to absorb the calcium properly, adequate amounts of Vitamin D is neccsary. A very good source of Vitamin D is the sunlight, which is required by our body to produce vitamin D in our own body.
Good physical activity, like walking, running, jumping, other sports activities which require the legs to carry the body weight, is necessary for children's bones to develop properly and to promote new bone cells to develop and grow.


Food rich in Calcium

Dairy products are supposed to be the best sources of calcium:
Milk, yoghurt and cheese: gouda, chedder, mozarella, ricotta, soft cheese - mould cheese and many others. Cheese is a much more concentrated form of calcium source than milk. Yoghurt is a more easily digestible (proteins) source of calcium than milk. The best option is to include all of them. Cheese also has much lower lactose content than milk or yoghurt, as it has been broken down and used up by microbes present in cheese, which is usually stored for much longer than yoghurt, for example, which is again a better option than milk.

In case of allergies or lactose intolerance or those living on a vegan diet, it can be compensated with many other vegetable sources, beans and fortified products like orange juice fortified with calcium. But in such cases, a doctors advice needs to be taken to see how it can be achieved best.


Calcium rich non-dairy products, some examples:

Tofu (soyabeans)
Soya milk, fortified
Orange juice (packed), fortified
Muesli and cereals, fortified
Green leafy vegetables - like spinach, beet greens and pak choi,
Beans : soya beans- ripe, white beans, baked beans
Crucifers (Brassica spp.): broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale, collard greens, turnip greens, musttard greens, etc.
Other vegetables: Okra
Nuts and seeds: especially sesame seeds, almonds
Grains: amaranth, quinoa

Many common fish varieties, like rainbow trout (cultured), salmon, atlantic sardines

Following is the list of good links to recipes for the above mentioned categories
(I'll update it everytime I find some good information/recipes):

Update: A good source of information on calcium from the Office of Dietery Suppliments (National Institute of Health), USA.
Sources of information for this post (please check the websites below for more detailed answers to the above questions):
wiki
Keep kids healthy.com
iVillage: toddlers
About.com
Children need calcium...
Parentingideas.org
calcium for children and teens
good sources of calcium for my child
Calcium: The vegetarian resource group - Nutrition

Other related posts:
What affects calcium absorption?

Update on 11. Jan 2009:
Just found this very informative page on calcium at Bee and Jai's Jugalbandi:
Calcium Q&A

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Easy Peas-y Pasta

I know it's been a while since I've put up any new recipes here and I should have been posting regularly now that I'm home with the Noobie all the time. I've been experimenting with her and at 19 months, she's now eating everything. I don't make anything on the side for her, she usually eats everything we do. We've ever been big on spicy food anyhoo so it wasn't too hard.

This is her all-time favorite. She'll eat this when she won't eat anything else.

Ingredients:
A handful of frozen peas
A handful of sweet corn
1 tbsp tomato puree
1/2 tsp onion paste
1/4 tsp ginger-garlic paste + some
Coriander powder
Chicken / Vegetable Stock
A pinch of salt
Cumin and rapeseed
A cup of pasta - I usually go wth the rice-shaped one

Process:
1. Cook the pasta in boiling water with salt and very little ginger garlic paste. Drain and keep aside in a colander when ready.
2. In very little olive oil, fry cumin and rapeseed until they splutter. Add the onion paste and cook until the color changes to a light pink. Add the ginger-garlic, tomato puree, salt and coriander powder and cook for a few minutes. Add the peas, and sweet corn and stock. Cover and cook until peas and sweet corn are soft. Add pasta. Mix well and serve.

Variations:
Noo's liked this with boiled eggs.
Once in a while, much like my everything-rice, I throw in whatever veggie I can find in the fridge - Noo loved the cabbage version as well as the squash version just as much.

I'm looking for a good eggplant/brinjal recipe to get the tyke to like it. Ideas?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Zucchini and Mushroom saute


...or just call it subzi ;)
Since someone requested me to give the recipe, I'm posting it here too:

Ingredients:
1/2 zucchini, cut into thin strips
150-200 g small mushrooms, whole or quartered - I used crimini mushrooms, but white ones are fine too, but they should be fresh and should not give in on pressing 1/2 inch piece of ginger, grated finely (optional)
1 small onion, finely chopped - I left it out as sonny boy doesn't like it
1 tsp cumin, whole seeds
1 tbsp coriander, ground
1 pinch hing, ground (or just pressed down with the flat side of a large knife )-optional
chilli powder or black pepper to taste
salt to taste (use sparely for children)
1 tbsp rapeseed oil and some more if required

Method:

  • heat rapeseed oil in a saute pan / fry pan on medium high
  • add cumin, let splutter and add the onion if using
  • fry till the onion is golden in colour and / or add the coriander and stir once quickly
  • add the ginger stir again, reduce heat
  • add the zucchini , fry for about 3-4 minutes till half done
  • add the mushrooms and saute (do not stir too much, add some olive oil or rapeseed oil, if desired) on medium heat till they get a nice brownish tinge
  • serve warm with rice or bread or roti / parantha
Sometimes I also add some sesame seeds to the food, as I love them in food. But, I'd do that once you are sure that your child is not allergic and is old enough, maybe 2 years or above.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

"My Child is not eating...."

Update: see below.
This is the same old story one hears so often in different versions, but, which I think every mother goes through. How easy is it to say "Don't worry!", but how difficult once it is you yourself as a mother who has to deal with it. I remember how long I was worried about my son's eating habits. But, it is always good to inform oneself about such things to know "Is my child really eating very little.... Is it so little that I need to worry? A lot of times the doctors measure the weight of the child and check his growth curve and say "All is well!" And you "Huh!...that's it?!.... It can't be?!".
Since I'm not a nutritionist I can only tell you what I have learned through experience as a mother and what I read and hear around me from others and which makes sense to me.

But, before I begin, one thing should be clear that the focus should always be the child and his well being and his physical and mental health rather than the (amount of) food. As, a lot of times despite worrying so much, a simple reason is that children's taste buds and sense of smell are much more sensitive and there being so many new tastes which they encounter day in day out that they need time to get used to all of them. Keep offering your child these fruits even if it refuses to eat them. But let it remain to that, let your child decide on its own what it wants.

Some tips which might help you deal with the situation better:

  1. An important rule, which applies to major number of everyday situations with children: "Give them Time". Keep trying, again and again.... and again.... and again.................. That is what motherhood means.
  2. Don't force feed. Do not feed him something which he refuses to eat and shows complete dislike for.
  3. I do want him to try and taste the food, but if he refuses to eat then I have to respect it. I can pester a lot, but he is even more stronger willed, thankfully!
  4. Once, I had read that one has to offer a child the particular food at least 32 times (or more; corresponds to the number of teeth an "ideal" human mouth can have) over a longer period of time before you know if your child really dislikes it. I like the idea a lot.
  5. Here, there is an old saying which is difficult to translate (Ein kind holt sich, was er braucht) but means something like "a child will come and get for himself / eat when its body needs it" - this will apply given the condition that you offer them a balanced diet, offer enough choice and a healthy meal is served on the table, the rest can / should be left to them. I'll be honest - I find it hard to follow this rule. But, it is surely a good line of thought to follow. Trust them a bit more in taking the right decisions on their own.
  6. Involve your child while preparing food, like cutting fruits or vegetables. Let them also lay the table get the spoons for example for them to realise that it is time for lunch or dinner.
  7. Eat together with your child. It is mor fun for them. It applies to toddler age too, onmce they beginn to eat with their spoon, however much they can.
  8. Encourage them to eat on their own, don't refuse. Take time to let them eat, It may mean 20 minutes more. Plan this time whenever possible , if not always. You'll be rewarded wit an independent and enthusiastic eater one day.
  9. With children 3 or 4 years onwards, go shopping with them and ask them what they would like to buy. Try and see how long will the child want to eat the same vegetable every day. One day he might come and say "mom...let's buy something else today.."
  10. One thing which I learned after becoming a mother was that a lot of times children quite often instinctively know what is not good for them and avoid eating it, like in case of allergies or intolerance. Now this may not necessarily be always the case, as in such cases you would also see physical signs of these most of the times. But, one does need to pay heed to it and also respect it.
  11. Don't feed babies and toddlers too many things in one go. Offer just one fruit at a time. Less variety is a much better choice at that age. The lesser number of fruits a child is exposed to at an early age, the better. Only after they reach the age when they start going to school, should one worry about offering them a variety of things.
If you want to start your baby with solids then, two important things one should keep in mind (see also this post on food allergy and intolerance):
  1. Choose one vegetable which is considered hypoallergenic, trust your instincts too in this matter and as to what your child would like.
  2. Do not give anything else for at least a week. Depending upon the age of the baby, you could either stay with this one vegetable for as long as you feel like (1, 2 or 3 months or even longer) and if the baby rejects it even after a week or you feel that it does not suit the baby - watch his stool and any physical reactions like rashes and redness, then try something else. Even if your child is not allergy prone, it may react to the food, as the body's immune system is developing at that age and it needs time to get to know its environment and overexposure is not good.
Good sites to go to for good tips regarding baby food:
Starting babies on solids
Introducing solids to babies and charts at Wholesomebabyfood.com
Recipes for babyfoods at Wholesomebabyfood.com
I highly recommend you to go to Wholesomebabyfood.com for any questions regarding baby foods. It is good guide. Many questions to which your paediatrician cannot give good answers to may be given here, or to questions which pop up in your mind.

This is what my midwife, surely the age of my mother, once said and it impressed me a lot: "...Today's mothers always seem to be in too much of a hurry with their children.... want them to grow so fast ..... do everything and do everything fast...". It's true in different ways, isn't it? Maybe it has reasons, why we are like that, like external pressures, wanting our child to survive in today's speedy world where everybody is wanting to be better and faster than the other. But, for that very reason, we have to teach our children to stay healthy by having a healthy attitude towards food. To learn to enjoy food. And, honestly, do you like all the vegetables? An did this thought ever cross your mind that maybe had we had the chance to choose between eating this particular vegetable or leave it, that today we might actually react totally differently today than we do now, the moment we think of this vegetable. Vegetables are important, but we need to trust our children much more that they will choose to eat healthy if given enough options and time on the longer run. That they will still develop into healthy beings with an healthy mind.
We do need o tell them to keep trying a vegetable, find ways, force or motivation or tricks (fair ones - the child should not feel cheated, the are way smarter than we think, isn't it?),.......... but only to make them try it. Let it be a tiny piece only. Accept their "No, I didn't like it" and don't forget to tell them that you are proud of them that they at least tried it.
And this site was created by Swati just for the purpose of having ideas on offering different thing which your child might like to eat.To share your recipes which were successful with your child. I guess picturee are not even so important ass long as you give ideas and a rough guideline as to how to makeit. And if you can't do that at that moment and give the readers the option of asking you by email for example when they want to prepare the dish you posted about.
This (picture above) is what my sonny boy ate a couple of days back. If you want the recipies then ask me: Zucchini parantha with sauted / stirfried mushrooms and zucchini in some cumin and coriander powder and salt and 'rasa aloo' with ajwain seeds (the zucchini in the mushrooms was the other leftover half I used up for parantha dough).
Please do give me your feedback and suggestions on this topic. Or a link to any good site you know. Looking forward to your feedback as experienced mothers/parents.

Update: Good tips here:
What to Do with a Picky Eater

Friday, October 31, 2008

Food Allergy vs. Food Intolerance

Updated on 4th November 2008:
Last month was an allergy awareness month, so this is my belated contribution to it:
Through the blogsphere I am getting to know that the concept of allergy is not clear to all. I know, even here, people misinterpret and use the terms too loosely. But, I feel as smart blogging mothers, I expect you to know and understand it thoroughly! -
The basic difference between an Food allergy and a Food intolerance.
Allergy is an immune-reaction of the body against the foreign bodies it encounters - also termed as Allergen(s). An allergic reaction happens when the white blood cells (lymphocytes) get activated and recognise certain "harmless" foreign "protein-aceous" substances as a danger and start producing antibodies against them. These allergens could be present anywhere - dust (mites, spores), pollens, foods - fruits and vegetables, nuts, but also eggs and milk and its products. Viewed at the molecular level it is almost invariably a protein or a peptide ( a small sized protein). Now you might have heard of people having an allergy against uncooked or unroasted foods like nuts or fruits like apples, but, can eat the cooked / roasted forms, as the allergens - proteins degrade through it. But, it is usually in cases of a milder forms of the allergy. As over-activated lymphocytes is not good for ones health and can also get very dangerous.
For those showing a strong hypersensitivity to certain allergens, they need to avoid it completely, as it can be fatal for them! (Anaphylaxis) They need an immediate treatment, if they come in contact with the allergen.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction are listed here.
The best thing to do when one notices the first signs of allergic reactions to certain things is to talk to ones doctors and take care of the allergy at an early stage. As, one can get oneself desensitised to many of the allergens and prevent them from getting worse.

Food Intolerance: This is usually the body's response - a much slower one as compared to an allergy - caused by its inability to produce certain enzymes or other digestive substances, otherwise present in a healthy body. The reasons can be varied, genetic, but also environmental. Some common examples of intolerance are:
Lactose intolerance and
Gluten intolerance (also called coeliac disease; Not gluten allergy!).

The less common ones for example: Fructose and sucrose intolerance, or intolerance towards certain medical drugs or also salicyclate intolerance (Active principle in Aspirin).


An allergic reaction involves a hypersensitive reaction through antibodies and the white blood cells, whereas an intolerance does not - it is more a metabolic defect.

Hope I didn't make things even more complicated than they already were! If, yes, write your comments here or contact me.

Update on 4th November:

Tharini has also put a similar but very good information of clarification on both (here).

Many of you have actually made me check on one point about lactose intolerance once again. I keep hearing from many that they were or their child was temporarily intolerant. It confuses me, as it is the enzyme lactase we are talking about which breaks down lactose (a disaccharide) into glucose and galactose, which can then be absorbed by the intestine into the blood. I checked in wikipedia and am going to ask Rishab's doctor too. Normally the situation is like this:
1) either the enzyme is there in abundance or
2) its production is reduced or
3) it is almost absent. It has genetic and environmental factors.
But (I had not gone into details about this part of the information), sometimes it can get temporarily interrupted (source: wiki) :

  • through infections of the gastro-intestinal tract like gastroentiritis.
  • But, this is, as I understand, a very short term interruption, i.e., lactase production would restore as soon as the disease is over or the intestinal wall is healthy which would normally be within weeks.
  • Another reason is the lactose overload, i.e., not enough lactase can be produced to break down the lactose sugar. Another very intersting point which was unknown to me (I'm not sure about its correctness)
I just found a very good link on Lactose Intolerance at kids health.org, which points out more situations where it can arise temporarily.

IMPORTANT NOTE: I'm not a doctor and any information given here does not replace the guidance required by a doctor in both the forms of medical conditions mentioned above!

Here are some more informative posts from fellow bloggers about their personal experiences and on Food Allergies:


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Vanilla Pudding (or a vegetarian Vanilla Custard)

Update: do go and read the below mentioned post of Bharati, a good read for all health conscious mothers!!
Inspired by this post on chocolate pudding by Bharati of Veggie foodist , I also tried my hand at home made vanilla pudding and it turned out great. It is a very simple thing to make and I knew it all the time, and I had also seen on the packets of puddings the ingredients and found it quite easy too, but never tried it myself until now.

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Utensils: a whisk, a deep saucepan, a tabelspoon, a bowl, measuring spoons

For 4 servings

Ingredients:

400 ml milk (depending on the thickness required one can also increase the quantity later)
1 pinch of curcuma (a pinch is enough to give a light lemony colour to the pudding)
2 teaspoon bourbon vanilla extract (or any vanilla extract)
4 level tablespoon cornstarch
4-6 level tablespoon sugar (take lesser in the beginning , as sugar can also be added later)


Method:

  • Take out about 6 table spoons of milk before adding it to a deep saucepan
  • Add the cucuma and vanilla extract to the milk and whisk
  • while stirring in between, bring it to a rolling boil, reduce heat and stir
  • In the mean time mix the cornstartch and sugar with a spoon and add 6 tablespoon of the cold milk to it to make a smooth paste*
  • When the milk starts to boil, remove from heat and while whisking continuously slowly add the cornstarch paste.
  • Stir further till it mixes evenly
  • Place back on heat and bring to boil again on medium heat while stirring in between, making sure that the base of the pan does not burn
  • When it starts to throw bubbles reduce heat and let it simmer for a few minutes, while stirring
  • Serve warm with fruits of choice or just plain
*NOTE:
  • add the milk to the cornstarch after adding sugar
  • ad the milk slowly one spoon after the other and mixing thoroughly in between
  • use a small whisk or fork to crush the lumps, if they don't dissolve
As you can see in the picture, this time I was abit careless and burnt my pudding a bit at the base. It wasn't that bad, only slightly and partly because of bourbon vanilla. But, I would love to know, if any of you have tips for that. One is to put some cold water at the base before adding milk, it does not seem to do anthing for me.
So, guten appetit! we enjoyed our simple dessert with some fruits, hope you do yours too.

TIP: I also use vanilla pudding to make fruit triffle.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Multi Grain Chilla

Ingredients
1 cup Multi Grain Powder*
1 cup water
1 finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped capsicum (I had put yellow and red ones)
2 green chillies finely chopped
salt and chili powder to taste

note - u can any other vegie u like

Method
1. Mix the powder with water to get a batter of smooth consistency...
2. Add salt, chilli powder and rest of the ingridents
3. Heat a tawa and spread the mixture on the tawa...
4. Roast on side and then turn and roast the other.
5. Enjoy with ketchup or green chutney...




* - the funda here is the powder... we usually make it the following way...
100gms ragi (Finger millet)
100 gms wheat
100 gms bajra Pearl Millet
100 gms jawar
100 gms corn
100 gms green moong dal
100 gms black gram
handful of almonds
handful of cashew

wash all the grains and the soak overnight for slight sprouting
dry roast them on low flame and then grind them till powder is ready

Its extremely nutritious and my son loves it... for him I usually make it by just cooking it for 5 mins with water and later feed him by mixing it with his formula or some curd

The above is a cumbersome process and if u dont have the time and energy to do so.. u can get a similar ready powder in the market (atleast in the southern parts of the country its pretty popular)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Honey lemon chicken

Honey Lemon Chicken
 - simple and easy.


Ingredients
1/2 kg skinless, boneless chicken
Oil for frying(I used sunflower oil - avoided mustard oil)

Make batter of:
2/3 cup plain flour
1/3 cup cornflour
1/2 tsp baking powder
Salt as per taste
Pepper as per taste
2 egg whites
1/4 cup milk
Pinch of cinnamon

For Sauce:
2 tbsp melted butter
1/2 cup clear honey
1 tbsp lemon juice

Method:

  1. Cut chicken into small(bite-size) pieces
  2. Marinate overnight with salt and lemon juice
  3. Make batter - should be quite thick, because fluid from the chicken will thin it out.
  4. Dip chicken into batter
  5. Fry in a non-stick pan till golden brown
  6. Remove and drain
  7. Mix honey, butter and lemon juice, warm slightly
  8. Serve hot, pour honey sauce over the fried chicken on the plate 
I wish I had pics, but no camera here :(.
I found that just the fried chicken dumplings tasted really nice - this could be a nice evening snack if you roll the dumplings in breadcrumbs before frying. Otherwise, tastes nice with rice noodles(stir-fried with bits of chopped boiled veggies added) or even just roti.
Another option which will completely change the taste around is to add soya sauce, basil and some herbs to the honey instead of lemon.

I'm longing to try this out again, and carry out the combinations and alterations in my head :)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Cheese Parantha

This parantha is a favourite with Anirudh. And I guess it would be for all the kids who like cheese.

Ingredients:

  1. A ball of roti dough.
  2. 2-3 tbsp of ghee/oil/butter (I prefer to use ghee with Anirudh)
  3. Cheese (I used regular cheddar from Brittania)
Steps:
  1. Roll out the dough into a shape of a roti.
  2. Spread 1 tsp of ghee over it.
  3. Grate the cheese over it.
  4. Fold it up.
  5. Roll it out again.
  6. Put it on the tawa (girdle) and make it like just any other parantha.
  7. Once done, take it off and give to your hungry kid who will definitely love it!
Variations:
  1. I have once made it with Gouda cheese too and it turned out as delicious as it was with cheddar.
  2. You can make aloo-cheese parantha too by using a boiled aloo, mashed and mixed with grated cheese.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Meethi Moong

Everyone in my family enjoys eating methi and though we make it in quite some ways... aalo methi, gajar methi, methi-palak toor dal, methi paneer... we had got kind of bored with all this and thus I put my thinking cap and tried to get something different... the result was very good and all at home loved it :) Its an simple and extremely healthy dish... do try it our

Ingredients


2 cups fresh chopped methi leaves
3/4 cup moong dal
2 medium onions chopped
1 large tomato chopped
3-4 dry red chillies
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp dhaniya powder
1 tsp tava fry masala (u can make it at home also but easier way is to get MDH tava fry masala)
1 tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste
chilli powder if u want it spicy (i was like my food spicy)
2 tsp oil

Method
1. Wash and soak moong dal for about 15 mins and then keep it for boiling in a pan with abt 1 cup of water, boil for about 5 mins or till tender and drain the water... they should just be boiled and not sticking to each other


2. Heat oil in a kadai and add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds to eat... after the cumin becomes brown add the dry chillies and fry for 1/2 minute

3. Add the onions and fry till they start becoming golden brown

4. Add the tomatoes and fry till it leaves oil

5. Add all dry masalas and fry for another 1/2 minute
6. Now add the methi leaves
7. Fry for about 4-5 minutes till they become tender and then add the boiled and drained moong dal

8. Fry for another 3-4 minutes and then bingo its ready...... enjoy.......

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Dahi Walla Bread Upma

I got a mail on Aug 26th ..
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hi,
Recpie to contribute to the blog... my first one... :) http://monikamanchanda15.blogspot.com/2008/07/dahi-walla-bread-upma.html also let me know how to contribute further
Regards
Monika
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Monika , sorry for the late post. Sending you an invite to this blog so that you can write directly here , instead of depending on me :)

Guys , go read , cook and enjoy the upma :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Wheat Flour Cheela

Kheer Cheela is one of the loved occasional weekend brunch at my in laws place. Occasional because its high in calories and loved because we all love sweets. Its nothing but rice kheer served with two kinds of cheelas.To all my south indian friends , cheela is nothing but small dosa.

Of the two kinds of cheela served , one is salty moong dal cheela. I did share the recipe here , the only difference is that instead of moong sprouts , moong dal is used.

Other one is the sweet wheet flour cheela. This post concentrates on this cheela , because Aryan loved it and I now make it often just for him , without kheer , as evening snack.

Ingredients

Wheat Flour - 1 Cup

Sugar - 1/2 Cup

Cardomom powdered - 1 pinch

Water - 1 glass

Steps
1. Mix water in flour , to make a smooth paste.

2. Add sugar and cardomon powder and leave for 10 minutes for sugar to dissolve.

3. Mix well. The paste should be of dripping consistency.

4. Spread like a dosa on a non stick tava and roast using little ghee.


Bad Picture Quality ..Sorry!

Thats my plate ..SLURP !!

To add to variety , coriander chutney and Potato gravy is also served along , but I did not make potato gravy and rather served another gravy from previous night.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Cheese Toast

Ingredients:

  1. Cheese - 250 gm
  2. Milk - 1/2 cup (may need more while preparing paste)
  3. Italian seasoning that you get with pizza
  4. Black pepper powder
  5. 1 -2 capsicum
  6. 1-2 tomatoes
  7. 1-2 onions
  8. 1 cup of corn pearls
  9. White/brown bread slices
  10. Pizza sauce or simple tomato ketchup
Steps:
  1. Put cheese, milk and Italian seasoning and make a smooth thick paste. If you make it too thin, it will pour out while baking fro the slices to the baking tray.
  2. Dice all the vegetables finely.
  3. Spread bread slices on the baking tray.
  4. Put pasta sauce or tomato ketchup on the slices.
  5. Put the diced vegetables.
  6. Put the cheese-milk sauce.
  7. Bake it for about 10-12 min in the oven at 200° C
  8. Let it cool before digging your teeth into it as the cheese paste is VERY hot! :)
Variations:
1. You can make it with plain cheese-milk paste.
2. You can add mushrooms and olives as well.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Uttapam

Ingredients:

1. Dhuli Urad - 3/4 cup
2. Rice - 1/4 cup

Steps:
1. Wash and soak the rice and daal for 2-3 hours.


2. Grind them adding little water to make a thick batter, add salt and asafoetida (heeng) and let it to rise overnight (8-9 hours)


3. You might have to add little bit of water after the batter has risen as the batter should not be very thick.

4. Spread it over a tawa (girdle). I've never been fussy of perfect rounds which is obvious from the picture.

5. Sprinkle some chopped onions and put little droplets of oil on the open side and flip it when its done from the other side.


7. Serve it with coconut chutney or ketchup as you like it!

Variations:
1. Instead of onion, you can use finely chopped tomato as a topping.
2. You can make mixed veggie uttapam by finely dicing capsicum, diced tomato, chopped onion, coriander and grated carrot for topping.

P.S. I forgot to click the pic of the uttapam when fully done.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Healthy Bhel Puri

This is a healthy version of Bhel Puri - the eternal favorite of all things children and adult.

Ingredients:
1. Murmure - 2 cups
2. Onion - 1/2
3. Potato - 1 small
4. Cucumber - 1/4
5. Apple - 1 very small slice.
6. Sprouts - About 50 gms
7. Assorted vegetables that can be eaten raw - about 1/2 cup (incl carrots, matar et al)
8. Pudina Chutney - to taste
9. Gur-Imli Chutney - a little more than pudina chutney, as per your preferance.
10. Salt, Pepper, Green Chilli and Black Salt to taste. No red chilli. Add oregano if u or the children like it.
11. Grapes - one for each child.

Preparation:
1. Dice all the vegetables into really small pieces.
2. Mix Murmura, Vegetables, Salt, pepper, black salt, seasoning et al. in a bowl.
3. Now toss the vegetables and add again(apple is a vegetable in this recipe)
4. Add both the chutneys and mix like bhel is normally mixed.

Serving:
1. Place a single grape at the bottom of each serving bowl.
2. Top with Bhel puri.
3. Decorate with a wedge of Apple if you'd like. (not really recommended)
4. Challenge the children to find the hidden grape in their bowls while eating and to say "Bingo" each time they are able to identify a piece of sweet apple in their spoon.
5. Reward all children. :-)

Why this is healthy
You will notice that Bhel tastes nice even without the sev and the puri et al, if there are enough veggies to maintain variety in each bite. This one is totally fat free, and manages to push a little roughage down.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sevain ki Kheer

One of my favorite childhood sweetdishes "Sevain ki Kheer" (sweet vermicilli in milk) is what I made yesterday, which we all enjoyed as a hot dessert and I think it is quite healthy for a child too. Since I used whole wheat vermicilli and whole cane sugar (something like north Indian shakkar) that makes it all the more healthy. So, enjoy!

But there is another thing I would like to share regarding this dish. This dish also reminds me of "Java ki Kheer" which both my grand mothers made for us now and then. These are home made whole wheat (atta) noodles (I'm calling them so) and resemble vermicilli to a certain extent, except that they are very short (1 -2 cm), spindle shaped noodles, about 2 mm thick in the middle and thinner outside. And are prepared just like "Sevain ki Kheer".
Since this is another one my recipes I learnt through watching my mom prepare it, I cannot give you precise measures. But, then there isn't much that can go wrong, simple as it is. The only important thing is that shouldn't leave it for long in the pan over the stove, as the vermicilli swells up too much and gets too soft. It is best enjoyed when still hot. Store the left overs in the fridge and add hot milk to it for the next time.
The most important flavoring in this "kheer" comes from whole cane sugar. It gives a wonderful aroma to this simple but delicate dessert. Once you have eaten it like this, you would never want to make it with white sugar. I would also love to use palm sugar or jaggery for this, but then there is more work involved, and I don't get them here in any case.
So, here it goes, the easiest and yummiest recipe around!

Makes for 4-5 people.
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes


Ingredients:

(These are approximate measures)

2 cups (100 g) whole wheat vermicilli
750ml milk
100 g whole cane sugar (or use north Indian Shakkar)
1 tbsp almonds, chopped
Optionally:
1-2 tsp ghee or butter for roasting the vermicilli
2-3 tbsp rose water
2 tbsp raisins
1 cardamom , powdered (if using white sugar)

Method:

  • Roast the whole wheat vermicilli for short on medium heat , with or without ghee
  • Add milk and stir. Increase heat to full. Let cook while stirring in between, till it starts to boil. Reduce heat to low.
  • Add whole cane sugar (if you use refined sugar, then you might require cardamom powder or rose water for the flavour)
  • Keep stirring while coking the vermicilli till done. It should be al dente, just like spaghetti
  • Serve garnished with raisins or almonds
My son wanted some raisins in his dessert which I added just to his hot vermicilli in his bowl.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Whole wheat Banana Pancake

Yes, again banana! But, wait, the recipe is really simple and finger-licking tasty! :)

The inspiration for making this recipe comes from A&N's Banana Muffins. On seeing A&N's lovely muffins, I knew I have to do something with my over-ripe bananas lying in my fruit basket too. So, here is my ultra-simplified version (Although, I plan to make the muffins one day too!).
Since I have a three year old son, I have become very conscious about what ingredients I use, how healthy it is, if I can reduce the amount of sugar in it or replace it with something healthy and so on. This time I served it with some stirred sourcream and blueberries as an evening snack which was enjoyed by us and my son thoroughly. He ate so much that I could forget about his dinner, but then I didn't worry! As this is a wholesome meal for children for now and then.

The picture is not showing the best pancake, but just didn't remember to click. Managed to take one picture later on. The pancake got a bit wrinkled while turning. :(

Preparation Time: 1 h 15 minutes
Baking time: 3 minutes for each pancake
Makes about 8-10 pancakes

Ingredients:

Pancake Batter:
2 ripe bananas (overripe is as good!)
150 g Wholewheat flour
2 tsp Baking powder
250 ml milk
1 tbsp Maple syrup
1 tsp fennel seeds (optional)
or
1 large pinch cardamom powder

Oil or butter for frying the pancakes

Method:

  • Mash the bananas with a fork in a large bowl
  • Mix the whole wheat flour with the baking powder and add to the crushed bananas
  • add milk and maple syrup and mix everything with a whisk into a smooth batter
  • Set aside for about an hour , if for longer, then put in the fridge, covered
  • Use butter or oil for frying them in a fry pan or griddle
  • For that, heat the pan on medium heat, spread a tbsp of butter and put one ladle of the batter on the pan and spread slowly with a base of a ladle into a round pancake.
  • Cover the pan immidiately. Reduce heat slightly
  • After about half a minute, when the upper part is no more fluid and shows bubbles, turn it upside down. Use some more butter, if required.
  • Bake till the other side is done.
  • Serve with maple syrup or honey or sweetened apple puree and chopped nuts or fruits!

Keeping the blog alive! ;)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Mung Sprouts Parantha


This is one variant of using mung sprouts which I had to improvise as my hubby protested about having to eat mung salad which I love to make, where I steam the mung sprouts for short with a pinch of turmeric, add my simple home made chaat masala, chopped onion, tomatoes, diced cucumber, some fresh cilantro, if I have it at home, and lemon juice. But NO! It was too healthy for him. I guess you might know what I am talking about.

So, here is a creation which wasn't bad at all. I steamed the sprouts like I mentioned above and I made the paranthas with rape seed oil (mustard), which added to the flavour a lot. I just mixed the sprouts to the usual dough while preparing it with atta (whole wheat chapati flour).
All you need is the atta, salt, spices of choice, mung sprouts steamed with turmeric and salt for 3-5 minutes with little water, if required.
I could not make these paranthas puff up so much, because of the sprouts, but they still tasted really good. If you want to know exact preparation method, here are two links: one at about.com, the other at Indian Foods link.

It can be eaten with yoghurt raita, daal or any vegetable preparation.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Brown Vs. White Bread

Did anyone tell you that white bread is more fattening/high in fat /has more calories than brown bread ????

Look at this chart.



After I see the chart I can say that brown bread is healthier than white but not less fattening. It has got equal amount of calories and more fat. But then it also has vitamins , minerals and protien in better quantity , so its healthier.

Also note that if you think, that the colour of the bread is brown , its whole wheat bread , then you are wrong. It can just be artificial colour.

If you don't believe me, read it here.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Strawberry smoothie


Call it a smoothie or a shake, this is how I often make a strawberry drink, earlier for me and my hubby and now more often for my 3 yr. old son. Like today!

Preparation time: 5 minutes
For 2 persons

Ingredients:

6-8 strawberries, washed and pat dried, cleaned of the green cap or any other blemishes
2 small tubs (300 g) Yoghurt
1 scoop of strawberry icecream (or any other)
1 tsp sugar (optional)
2 mint leaves, chopped finely (optional)
a mint leaf as garnish

Method:
Mix everything with a blener untill smooth and homogenous.
Pour in a glas and serve garnished with a mint leaf.

Tips:

  • Substitute the strawberries with other fruits like raspberries, blueberries or blackberries.
  • When using tropical fruits, like mango (delicious!) adjust the sugar accordingly.
  • If it is too thick, just add some milk. Yes, you can replace yoghurt completely with milk too!
  • For those living in hot climates, a few cubes of ice would be great too!