Thursday, March 26, 2015

Skinny Girl's Guide To Gain Weight The Healthy Way

When the world is all about size 0 and people so obsessed with losing weight, are you someone who badly want to gain weight? And do you feel so much out of place when researching on the internet where most fitness information is tailored to meet the needs of those who want to lose weight?



I can totally feel ya!

No kidding, but I was this desperate extremely skinny girl couple of years back who wanted to gain weight in any possible way. Friends, family and I even lost hope that I would ever gain weight. But finally to all our shock, I did (although now my scenario is totally different. I am on the reverse gear now :D). Trust me, it is no easy joke.



And there may even be others who are envious of such skinny people and think trying to gain weight is something that is exaggerated.  But for the love of God, it is just the same as over weighed people trying to lose pounds. I am talking about the extremely skinny people here! In the long run, it is all about the balance that all of us are trying to achieve!

So for all my friends who are researching on how to gain weight, here is what I did.  For the rest, I am sure this would make no sense at all!

Please note that I am no certified nutritionist or fitness trainer. These are few things that personally worked for me – Indian Vegetarian girl. So use it to suit your body needs.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Mushroom Biryani

                            


Mushroom Biryani ! Yes.. It's mushroom biryani. It is simple, tasty and one of my personal favorites. Fresh mushrooms can be added in everyday dishes. It provides an extra serving of veggies and delivers important nutrients including niacin, riboflavin, vitamin D & potassium. It reduces the risk of breast cancer, prostate cancer, diabetes and helps in weight loss. Now let's go to the recipe.....
                                       
                                           


Ingredients 

  • Basmati rice - 1&1/4 cups
  • Onion (finely sliced) - 1
  • Tomato (finely chopped) - 1
  • Button Mushrooms - 3/4 cup 
  • Mini soya chunks - 1/2 cup
  • Green peas - 1/4 cup
  • Green chillies - 2
  • Ginger garlic paste- 2tsp
  • Red chilli powder- 1tsp
  • Turmeric powder- 1/4tsp
  • Cilantro (finely chopped) - 2-3tbsp
  • Mint (finely chopped) - 4tbsp
  • Fennel seeds - 1/2tsp
  • Bay leaf -1
  • Cloves - 2
  • Cardamom - 1
  • Cinnamon - 1/4 inches
  • Oil - 1tsp 
  • Ghee - 1/2tsp
  • Water - 2cups 
  • Salt as needed

Method

  • Soak rice in hot water for half an hour.
  • Heat ghee/oil, add bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamom and fennel seeds. When it starts to splutter add sliced onion and fry till golden brown color. 
                               

  • Add ginger garlic paste fry till raw smell goes. Now add chopped tomatoes and cook till its mushy. 
  • Now add red chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt, mint leaves and half cilantro chopped. Mix well and cook till oil separates out. 
  • Add mushroom, mini soya chunks and peas, saute for 2 minutes in medium flame. 
  • Once masala blends with mushroom nicely then add basmati rice and give a quick stir.
  • Then add water and cook in medium flame for 10 minutes, then after water is absorbed by the rice. Lower the flame and cook it covered with lid for 10 minutes.   
                               

  • Once done switch off the flame and leave it undisturbed for 5 minutes. Then fluff the rice with a fork carefully without breaking the rice.
  • Serve it hot with onion raita and chips. 
                                        

Tips 

  • You can add coconut milk instead of water.
  • You can also add tomato puree instead of chopped tomato.
  • You can skip soya chunks and peas.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Braided Nutella Star Bread

Back to back Nutella recipes on blog is enough to prove that how much I'm obsessed with Nutella!! I tried Nutella only after moving to the US, I know I was living under a very large rock all these years!! But I'm totally compensating for all those years I missed eating this deliciousness..
If you know me well, you know that I bake cake very often, just like that for no occasion or celebration whatsoever.. When I told my mom that I'm baking 'bread' for H's birthday, she was like 'bake a cake for his birthday, save the bread experiment for some other day' But I was sure H would like this more than a cake on his birthday, cake is too mainstream anyway!


This recipe is a must try for all the bakers/Nutella lovers/instagrammers/food bloggers.. Its not that complicated as it seems.. If I can do it, even a monkey can do it!!*SMUG LOOK* Also its a  tear-n-share bread, you'll not have heart to tear up this pretty thing but that gooey-ooey Nutella will make you wanna rip the bread and stuff your face with it.. I swear!
Ingredients

  1. All-purpose flour - 450 grams(3 1/2 cups) plus some extra for sprinkling
  2. Sugar- 1/2 cup
  3. Active Dry Yeast- 1 envelope( 2 1/4 tsp)
  4. Unsalted butter(melted) - 2 tbsp
  5. Milk- 3/4th cup
  6. Egg yolks- 2 ( save the egg whites for later to be used as egg wash)
  7. Vegetable oil- 2 tsp
  8. Nutella/ any chocolate spread- 1 cup
  9. a pinch of salt  
Ok first things first,
  •  Keep the eggs and butter out of fridge. We need them to be at room temperature.
  • Separate egg yolks from egg whites.
  • Warm the milk to 80-100* F , add yeast and 1 tbsp sugar and dissolve all the ingredients. Keep it aside.
  • Sieve the flour into a large bowl. Add sugar and salt to it. theses are the dry ingredients.
METHOD
  • Add yeast mixture, melted butter, egg yolks to the bowl with dry ingredients. Mix well with a fork just until well combined.
  • Now with your hands, knead the dough for about 10 mins or until it forms a smooth dough.
  • Coat the dough and bowl evenly with oil. Cover the bowl with cling wrap or damp cloth and leave it in a warm place for 40 mins-1 hour.
  • Dough would have doubled in size, take it onto a lightly floured surface, knead it just once and divide it into 4 equal parts.
  • Now take 1 ball of dough, stretch it out using a rolling pin into a 10 inch big circle. slide this rolled dough into a baking paper/aluminium foil.
  • Take a plate/round cake tin and make a impression on the rolled dough. Cover the marked area with Nutella with a butter knife.
  • Roll another ball of dough and place it over the 1st one and mark it with the plate and spread the Nutella only in the marked area.
  • Repeat the process for the 3 rd ball too.
  • For the last layer, put it over the 3 rd layer and mark it with the plate and with the help of knife cut out the excess dough so that we'll have a perfect round one
  • Place a cup in the center of the dough-circle. Divide it into quarters all the way through the dough. 
Then each quarter into 4 equal parts. Now you'll have 16 equal segments.
  • Now take a segment and twist it twice around very delicately. And the piece next to it, twist twice in the OPPOSITE direction. Press together the ends of the segments. Repeat the process with the rest.
                                        
  • You'll end up with this beautiful braided bread. Slide it slowly into a baking tray. Cover it with a damp cloth and let it rest for 20 mins. You'll see a beautifully risen braided dough.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 350 F/180 C. 
  • Brush the braided dough with egg whites(egg wash).


  •  Pop it into the oven for 15-20 mins. Keep an eye on it after 15 mins to make sure it wouldn't go too dark. Cool it completely.

TIPS
  • Remember the excess dough which we scraped off, Yes don't throw it!! I made this out of it

Follow the last part of this video if you want to learn the braiding style for this bread.
  • You can use your Kitchenaid for kneading the dough.
If you have any doubts/questions, you can ask me here. I'll try my best to help you out. 
As usual if you try this, I would love to see your creation, so please let me know by tagging me on Instagram/Facebook

Limking this post to: 
hearth n soul blog hop

Friday, March 13, 2015

DIY Coffee Table Makeover

Hey there! I am sorry about the brief hiatus but I have few things to share. My husband and I just moved to a new apartment. We were just about to settle at the new place when we welcomed a new member to our family – a cute little 2 months old puppy. He is a Labrador retriever and we have named him Boomer! He is adorably cute. Although, initially I was not exactly thrilled about the idea of bringing home a puppy, I am beginning to love him and hoping to get used to him soon. So now, you might know the reason why I was missing in action on the blog for the last couple of weeks.

I am not sure about you guys, but I found the whole process of the apartment move exciting and fun. Right from planning, packing, moving, unpacking, organizing, shopping – everything was absolute fun. We did not want to overspend on apartment d├ęcor but still wanted to make it colorful, personal and call it our home.

To start with, we painted a wall of the living room a different color to give it that accent feel and all of that jazz. Here is the picture of the wall –
We then made a list of really old things that we wanted to dispose and the ones that needed a replacement. Coffee table was on the top of the list. We had the really basic lack coffee table from IKEA. Here is a picture of similar model from IKEA website.

We decided to dispose it as it got old with some paint chipped and we wanted to  invest on some good coffee table with our budget - $100.

But then I came across this awesome tutorial for coffee table makeover. My husband and I are ‘sort of’ DIY enthusiasts and when we saw this, we knew we had to give this a try before investing on a new one. I am so glad we made that decision. OMG, we are now totally obsessed with the table. It looks unique, Tumblrish (if that is even a word!), colorful and wait for it… cost us less than $30. So it is almost $70 saved. We really love how it turned out. So thanks to Ann for the tutorial.



Here is what we did with slight modifications with the things we had in hand or readily available.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Spicy Vegetable Pulao

Vegetable Pulao is easy and quick one pot meal on a lovely spring day. I love spring and hope the weather stays good for the next few days as well. This pulao is a regular quick lunch box recipe that I pack for my husband. When I pressure cook the pulao my veggies gets soft, but I always wonder how it's crunchy in the restaurants. Then I found the trick, pressure cooking softens the vegetables, so I made the pulao in a kadai, the veggies were crunchy and so flavorful as in the restaurants. I loved it & it was so yummy :) 

                          

Ingredients 

  • Basmati rice - 1cup 
  • Chopped veggies like carrot, beans, green pea - 1 1/4 cups
  • Cauliflower - 4-5 florets 
  • Onion (finely sliced) - 1
  • Cilantro (chopped) - 2tbsp
  • Water - 1 1/2 cup
  • Salt as needed 
  • Ghee - 1tbsp
  • Oil - 1tbsp
To grind
  • Green chillies (slit into two) - 3
  • Garlic cloves - 4
  • Mint - few 
  • Cilantro (chopped)- few
  • Fennel seeds - 1tsp
  • Cloves - 2
  • Cardamom - 2
  • Cinnamon - 1 stick 
To temper 
  • Jeera - 1tsp 
  • Bay leaf - 1 

Method

  • Soak basmati rice in hot water atleast for half an hour.
  • Grind the items given under "to grind" table with little water into smooth paste. 
  • Heat kadai with oil:ghee and add jeera, bay leaf.
  • When jeera splutters. Add onion and fry till transparent pink color in medium flame, then add the ground paste.  Fry till raw smell goes. 
                          

  • Then add veggies and saute in medium flame for 2 minutes.
  • Add the rice drained from water. Mix well. 
  • Now add salt and water, bring to boiling point. 
  • Close the kadai lid and cook in low flame for about 15-20 minutes.
  • Once done switch off the flame and leave it undisturbed for about 10 minutes. 
                            

  • Now open and fluff the pulao with a fork carefully without breaking the rice.
  • Vegetable pulao is ready to be served with rich gravy or raita of your choice or even chips. 
                                    

Tips

  • Soaking rice in hot water will give less water consumption while cooking.
  • You can also add coconut milk or milk instead of water.
  • Adding milk will give richness to the rice. 
  • You can also add sweet corn.   
     

Friday, March 6, 2015

2 Ingredient Nutella Mousse

Nutella mousse is just like chocolate mousse, only better!

'cause Nutella>Chocolate anytime, right? :)

This mousse is light, smooth, fluffy and can be whipped together in no time!!

This recipe is almost similar to my mango mousse recipe sans the sugar..

I find the sweetness of Nutella just right, you can add some sugar if you want it sweeter.. 

Two ingredients, two steps, can make it ahead, crowdpleaser.. So do yourself a favor and make this soon.. 
Ingredients
1. Heavy cream/whipping cream- 1 cup
2. Nutella- 1/2 cup

Method
  1. In a bowl, whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form.
  2. Fold in the Nutella gently until evenly combined. Chill for atleast 30 mins before you serve.

Tips
  1. Garnish with chocolate shavings or chocolate chips
  2. Whip the cream only until soft peak form, nothing more than that.
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