Cook's Hideout: March 2016

March 31, 2016

Sunwarrior Illumin8: #EnlightenedNutrition

It's that time of the year when health resolutions from the beginning of the year are slowly becoming a thing of the past. In my case regular exercise and healthy eating, though still on the top 10 list, are slowly and steadily sliding down the line while more important goals and things-to-do are taking their place.
Sunwarrior Meal replacement powder
That is when Sunwarrior announced the release of their newest product New Meal replacement Illumin8 I was excited because I love their Classic blend and use it almost everyday to make my smoothies.

March 26, 2016

Hara Butter Paneer Masala (Spicy Green Curry with Paneer)

Blogging Marathon# 62: Week 4/ Day 1
Theme: No Tomato Gravies
Dish: Hara Butter Masala
For the final day of this week's 'No Tomato Gravies' theme I have an interesting curry made with green pepper and cilantro. Regular butter masala is made with butter, tomatoes puree and cream. This 'green' version is made with butter, green pepper, cilantro and cream.
Spicy Green Curry with Paneer
This recipe is from a Telugu cooking show and it looked too good to pass on. It is very easy to make once you have hara/ green masala prepped. Switch paneer with other protein like tofu, chickpeas or beans and skip the cream and use vegan butter for a vegan version of the curry.

March 25, 2016

Punjabi Dal Tadka

I made this Punjabi Dal tadka along with this Aloo curry for a mini Punjabi meal. Recipe for the dal is from a Telugu cooking show and I have made it quite a few times already.
Punjabi mini Thali
Like any dal, this is very easy to make and is very hearty and comforting dish. It is a simple dish but tastes amazing and the lovely thing about this dish is it can whipped up for a simple dal-chawal menu on a weeknight or can be served with naans and jeera rice for a party.

Mixed Vegetable Curry in Coconut milk gravy

Blogging Marathon# 62: Week 4/ Day 2
Theme: No Tomato Gravies
Dish: Mixed Vegetable Curry in Coconut milk gravy
After yesterday's yogurt based curry, today I have a coconut milk based curry that is creamy and delicious. Coconut milk is a great vegan alternate and is much healthier than using heavy cream.
This recipe is from Mallika Bhadrinath's 100 gravy recipes cookbook. Along with coconut milk, a freshly ground spice paste gives this dish creaminess and a nice spicy kick.

March 24, 2016

Punjabi Aloo (Spicy Potato curry with Yogurt)

Blogging Marathon# 62: Week 4/ Day 1
Theme: No Tomato Gravies
Dish: Punjabi Aloo
We are starting the final week of this month's marathon and my theme for the week is 'Gravies with No tomatoes'. When I signed up for this theme, I wasn't expecting it to be as difficult as it turned out. I realized that I'm very much dependent on tomatoes for making gravy curries. I have fresh tomatoes, canned tomato paste and puree always in the pantry. Coming up with 3 tomato-free gravy recipes was quite a challenge.
Spicy Potato curry with Yogurt
I have tried 3 curry recipes using different ingredients to give the gravy consistency. For the first day, the curry is thickened with yogurt and a little bit of heavy cream. I was skeptical if my yogurt-hating husband would like it or not. But he didn't really notice the yogurt that much, so this curry goes into our recipe rotation.

March 22, 2016

Vegan Tuna Sandwich Wrap & The Florida Keys

Disclosure: I was selected as a member of Honest Cooking for this sponsored post on behalf of The Florida Keys. Some of the content and photos of Florida Keys have been provided by the sponsor.
Sunday was the first day of Spring and it SNOWED!! Oh I wish I was in a warmer place, how about Key West. It sounds just like heaven now. It was a favorite destination for Ernest Hemingway, Jimmy Buffett, and many more.
Key West Street
I have never been to Key West but I have heard a lot about its beautiful palm lined streets, it's distinct mixture of cultures and the island is not only home to a strong seafood scene, but a tantalizing fusion of cuisines. At night, the streets lite up with vibrant sidewalk cafes that lure in passersby with delicious scents of their specialties. Live music and hopping bars are the perfect pairings to watch the sunset into the Gulf of Mexico.

March 19, 2016

Coconut Cookies (using Coconut flour)

Blogging Marathon# 62: Week 3/ Day 3
Theme: Cook with Coconut
Dish: Coconut Cookies
For the final day of this week's marathon under 'Cook with Coconut', I made these cookies with coconut flour, coconut milk and grated dry coconut. You can already understand how coconutty these cookies taste.
Coconut flour Cookies
Recipe is from 'Good to the Grains' cookbook. The recipe uses barley flour along with coconut flour with no all purpose flour, but you would never know from the light crumb. They are crunchy on the outside and soft and cakey inside.

March 18, 2016

Baked Oatmeal with Coconut Milk

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Coming to today's recipe, keeping with this week's theme of 'Cooking with Coconut', I made this baked oatmeal with coconut milk and blueberries from Vegetarian Times magazine.
Blueberry Baked Oats
This baked oatmeal is so comforting and delicious. It has a crunchy granola like crust with a coconut flavored interior. I absolutely loved how this one turned out. Even my husband who is not an oatmeal fan said he can eat this almost everyday for breakfast :-)

Thai Coconut Lime Dressing (and a Salad) Vegan recipe

Blogging Marathon# 62: Week 3/ Day 2
Theme: Cook with Coconut
Dish: Thai Coconut Lime Dressing
Today's dish uses coconut milk in a very interesting way, in a salad dressing. I bookmarked this recipe from Food52 a while back and made it for this week's 'Cook with coconut' theme because who doesn't like creamy coconut dressing with Thai flavors and served with colorful veggies. I sure do :-)
Vegan Thai Coconut Lime Dressing
This recipe could not be simpler, mix all the ingredients for the dressing, chop all the ingredients for the salad, cook rice and assemble. Original recipe used fish sauce in the dressing and I subbed it with low-sodium tamari (soy sauce would work well too). I'm sure fish sauce is much more flavorful than just soy sauce, so if you can your hands on some vegan or vegetarian fish sauce, by all means use that. This dressing is great for salads or as a dipping sauce for spring rolls or lettuce cups.

March 17, 2016

Spicy Coconut Rice (Masala Kobbari Annam)

Blogging Marathon# 62: Week 3/ Day 1
Theme: Cook with Coconut
Dish: Coconut Masala Rice
We are starting a new week of blogging marathon today and my theme for the week is 'Cook with Coconut'. Coconut is a very interesting ingredient in that it comes in so many different forms, oil, milk, fresh grated, desiccated, flour and sugar. So this week I have 3 recipes using various forms of coconut.
Masala Coconut Rice
First up is a delicious rice made with fresh grated coconut. Recipe is from Suma's blog. I made it a few days after she posted the recipe. It is a spicy version of regular coconut rice with some added masalas as well.

March 12, 2016

Chickpea Sundal

Blogging Marathon# 62: Week 2/ Day 3
Theme: Salads
Dish: Chickpea Sundal
For the last day of this week's blogging marathon, I have a traditional Indian salad that is usually served during festivals.
Chickpea & Coconut Salad
I love chickpeas in any form and this recipe with coconut and minimum spices is easy to make and is one of my favorites. I made it for Sankranthi along with pulihora and bobbatlu, for prasadam that day.

March 11, 2016

Quinoa Oats Idli

Idli is one of my husband's favorite dishes, but me being lazy don't usually make them that often for him. Pulling out my Ultra grinder is a big chore for me and then the weather plays spoil sport and the batter doesn't ferment properly. Well whatever might be the reason I end up not making those idlis.
Idli with Quinoa & Oats
Here comes in instant idli recipes that don't need grinding batter and fermenting. I've tried a couple of different recipes (like this oats-rava idli) for instant idli, but these quinoa-oats idlis are the best of the bunch. Recipe is from a Telugu cooking show and I made them right away.

Greek Cucumber and Chickpea Salad

Blogging Marathon# 62: Week 2/ Day 2
Theme: Salads
Dish: Greek Cucumber Salad
Today's salad is extremely easy to put together, very filling and absolutely refreshing. I made this salad along with Greek Lemony Dill rice that I posted last month. It is a great to serve as a side dish or on its own for a light meal.
Greek style Cucumber & Chickpea Salad
Recipe is from Cooking Light magazine. I wasn't a big fan of dill for a long time. I thought it had a very strong flavor that was overpowering. But recently I started liking it quite a bit, especially when used in Greek style dishes like tzatziki sauce or Spanakopitas.

March 10, 2016

Wild Rice Kale Salad with Pomegranate Molasses Dressing

Blogging Marathon# 62: Week 2/ Day 1
Theme: Salads
Dish: Wild Rice Kale Salad
My theme for this week's blogging marathon is 'Salads' and Valli gave us free rein on choosing the type of salad. So for the next 3 days I have some delicious salad recipes coming your way.
Kale & Wild Rice Salad
First up is this Wild Rice & Kale Salad. I watched Chef Bobby Flay make it on Food network during Thanksgiving time and I have made it 2~3 times since then. Wild rice is my latest favorite, I love its chewy & earthy flavor. I buy wild rice from Trader Joe's and it is well worth the money spent.

March 08, 2016

Russian Grated Beet Salad for #Food of the World

We are visiting Russia this month for the #Food of the World event. I picked a very easy Russian grated beet salad from Natasha's Kitchen.
Russian Beet Salad
I have tried a few Russian recipes in the past and for this month I was planning to try my hand at baking a Russian bread, but time just slipped out of my hand and I finally had to pick something relatively simple. That is when I landed on Natasha's grated beet salad.

Chocolate Yeast Bread for #BreadBakers

All the recipes so far this month revolve around Chocolate. After 4 posts for kid friendly chocolate posts from last week, I have yet another recipe with chocolate and this time it is for the Bread Baker's group. Our lovely host for the month Shireen Siqueira wanted us to make any bread with cacao, cocoa or carob in form.
Chocolate Almond Bread
Initially I was planning to bake something that is good for Easter, like chocolate babka or something in those lines, but when I saw this chocolate yeast bread recipe on David Lebovitz's site I dropped all the earlier ideas and made that instead. I have only tried baking chocolate yeast bread twice before, first time in this chocolate cherry bread and then in this sourdough chocolate bread, so I was intrigued on how this bread would turn out.

March 05, 2016

Chocolate Ricotta Muffins

Blogging Marathon# 62: Week 1/ Day 3
Theme: Kid's Delight -- Chocolate
Dish: Chocolate Ricotta Muffins
Today's recipe was born out of necessity. I had another chocolate recipe planned for the third day of Kid's Delight -- Chocolate event being hosted by Kalyani, but the container of ricotta needed to be used up before anything. I landed on Joy of Baking recipe for these muffins and made them right away.
Ricotta Chocolate Muffins
Ricotta cheese makes these muffins extra moist and gives them almost-cheesecake like texture. I used part-skim ricotta but the original recipe suggests using whole milk ricotta. I replaced all of the all-purpose flour with wholewheat pastry flour and even with that the muffins turned out soft, fluffy and moist. I subbed the eggs with some egg replacer powder (flaxseed meal will be a great alternate too).

March 04, 2016

Individual Brownie Trifles

Today's dessert is probably the most simplest to make and doesn't even require a recipe. But I'm going to give you one anyway :-)
Brownie Trifle with Banana

Chocolate Banana Pancakes

Blogging Marathon# 62: Week 1/ Day 1
Theme: Kid's Delight -- Chocolate
Dish: Chocolate-Banana Pancakes
Today's dish combines 2 of my kids favorites -- chocolate and pancakes. I've made pancakes with chocolate chips before but never entirely with chocolate. Eating these feels like eating dessert for breakfast which I must admit was thoroughly enjoyed by all (including me).
Vegan Banana Chocolate Pancakes

March 03, 2016

Homemade Hot Cocoa (using Raw Cacao powder)

Blogging Marathon# 62: Week 1/ Day 1
Theme: Kid's Delight -- Chocolate
Dish: Hot Cocoa
We are starting a new edition of Blogging marathon today and my theme for this week is 'Kid friendly Chocolate dishes'. Kalyani is hosting this month's Kid's Delight event with this universally loved ingredient as the theme.
Hot Chocolate made with Raw cacao powder


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