Inito – a journey into the flavours of Indian street food in London’s East End

Journey into India’s by lanes without leaving London? Yes it’s possible well at least transporting your taste buds is. Simply head to London’s east end for a treat to your senses. Located a stone’s throw away from Liverpool street, @Inito_UK has the look and feel of a really cool dhabba plus an old college canteen rolled into one.

While we waited for all our friends to arrive we were served some thick and delicious lassi, I love salted lassi and this one made me greedily want another round – it’s the kind of lassi that you will happily drink and not worry about your ‘lassi moustache’ – I almost thought I was stuck in the dhabba scene from Rang de Basanti for a minute there (which reminds me I must add a road trip to the North of India to my bucket list – with loads of stops at roadside dhabbas included and if I can do this one a motorbike – waah!!) As expected the Mango lassi was most popular choice.

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We were then served Chicken Lollipop with a mini masala dosa, the chef was generous enough to even give some dosa batter away to experiment at home to one of us. Chicken lollipop is another very popular ‘item’ on the menu in India and is very popular even as a starter for parties. Dosa stalls dot streets where dosa lovers throng to eat a variety of different dosa’s with delicious stuffing , there is at least one dosa stall to be found outside every big railway station in Mumbai.

Inito served the dosa with some delicious coriander and mint chutney.

Then came Pani- Puri – the one snack that makes me go weak in the knees. Everytime I go to Mumbai I must head to Elco Pani Puri to gobble up as many plates I can possibly stuff myself with! The pani puri was ok and much better than what I have tried elsewhere in London but amongst everything we sampled that evening I would put this at the bottom of my list. This has nothing do with the what they served per se but more to do with what type of pani puri I am accustomed to having back in Mumbai.

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Then came the bhel and the dahi chaat – both were excellent and the tamarind chutney was fab.

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Then came a huge platter with various roti- rolls – basically loads of meat or veggies with some fresh veggies and chutney stuffed inside. I loved the chicken and lamb – the meat was cooked tender and it was what I would expect in terms of taste. Reminded me of Tibbs Frankie ummm The prawn roti roll was my least favourite – I would rather have had the prawns on their own.

We were given a selection of different dips and chutneys to go with these roti-rolls, my favourite was a chewy aubergine chutney, very good. The adventurous few can even design their own roti rolls. No wonder then the Chef Saurav Nath is an award winner – he has managed to retain the authenticity of most of the dishes while coming up with clever fusion dishes like the pau slider and roti rolls.

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Then came the Tikka’s – tender and succulent portions of meat, chicken and paneer- Indian cottage cheese – marinated in Awadhi spices and yoghurt and then skewered inside a tandoor. I loved the mini pau-sliders too. Highly recommend pairing the tikka’s with Bombay Blonde a blonde beer crafted specially to compliment the complex flavours of curry and a great alternative to Indian Lagers.  For those who have had Cobra beer before can order Cobra, Mongoose or Kingfisher too. I love Kingfisher especially when I am in Mumbai or Pune over summer – nothing better to help me survive temperatures upwards of 32 deg cel!

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The chef then got us some curries to try and dum-biryani. While all of us went into a frenzy clicking pictures and capturing the moment when the lid was lifted off the biryani , the air filled with the unmistakable biryani fragrance of basmati rice, spices and meat  The very thought of that steaming hot biryani  makes me salivate even now  -ummm . I had fun explaining to my one of blogger friends who had never seen anything quite like that before. Folks its worth the trek to this place just for the biryani! – Head over to my Instagram feed to check out a cool ‘biryani’ video here

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The curries were delicious and I am biased in favour of the lamb. But by this point I was ready to explode and so were the others. Lucky for some who readily agreed to take some the curries.

No Indian meal is complete without some freshly made pipping hot gulab jamun and ice cream and even with full tummies , everyone did justice to the sweets. I was quite delighted to hear that the ice cream was Horlicks flavoured – Horlicks and Bournvita were my favourites while growing up and made drinking hot glasses of milk bearable. The mini Gulab Jamuns were irresistible little bite sized ones in sugar syrup. (as confirmed by my friends since I did not touch them – had vowed to stay away from sweets – whyyy???!! But I just had to try the ice cream and allowed myself as teensy weensy taster)

The rasmalai was fabulous too (as confirmed by my friends) with the right consistency and topped with pistachios and cardamom floating in a sweet thickened milk.

The best thing about going for a review dinner with blogger friends is that you have great company sorted and you hope for good food and when food is fabulous it just turns into one of those evenings that you wish would happen more often. I got to meet my friends, eat fab food, discuss things food and blogging related that only like minded folks can fathom and enjoy discussing – what more can one ask for, huh?

We were served by smiling and courteous staff and sampled a large variety of dishes from the vast menu. The Chef came and spoke to us at length and I loved chatting him up in Hindi. The food is brilliant and I would certainly  recommend anyone who wants to try fabulous melt in your mouth tikka’s , steaming hot biryani and tangy chaat – If the food managed to transport my taste buds to Mumbai then am sure they got that bit right!

The minimalist decor goes well with the street food theme and the bright wall art will have you clicking away to share pictures on Instagram – I did !

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*With  thanks to the PR Agency and Inito for the invite. No monetary compensation was offered for a positive review. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. 

 

 

MoBa – New Boulangerie with a French-Asian fusion menu opens in London

The new artisan bakery where Bánh Mì meets  Boulangerie called MoBa opened it’s doors to the public on Monday at Goodge street in London.

MoBa press day

Before I dive into the details about their unique and well thought of menu, a bit about the background – the how’s and why’s ( humm ,maybe all those hours am spending watching House M.D have started affecting the way I think – need to know the why first..)

The Paris born founding duo – Thibaut and Theodore, met while studying Hotel Management in Switzerland and then kept in touch even when their careers took to various locations across the world.  They recently moved to London with the aim of  bringing a new concept of dining to London. Though they are still in their early 20’s this duo has gained lots of experience between the two of them and have been exposed to various culinary influences.

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With a bold and fabulous new fusion menu this new casual dining spot promises to serve up interesting food, which like their lovely window display will change with the seasons. ‘MoBa’ an acronym for Modern Bakery aims to combine traditional French cooking with fresh and simple flavours from Asia – a culmination of friendship, passion for creativity and of course a shared love of good food.

The interiors are cool and fresh, the minimalist look adds a soothing touch while the sleek leather lined stools give it just the right edge.

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I also got a feel of a  bit of behind the scene the counter action – a masterclass of sorts. Thibaut Voury, one of the founders , who was managing the kitchen showed me how to make my own Bánh Mì.

MoBa press day

Because I wasn’t too keen on a heavy lunch, the naked Bánh Mì sounded good and Theodore Charoy the other founder suggested that I choose ‘Tokyo’ because of the fabulous flavours of the Salmon gravlax. He was right! I absolutely loved this mix of seasonal veg wok, Japanese lime and garlic cream served on a bed of noodles. Not only is it light and fresh it is still full of wonderful Asian flavours.

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I resisted having any beer but they have my favourite Asian beer – Asahi, while the other bloggers loved Bellerose – a blonde beer from Northern France.

MoBa press day

I also learnt that the word Bánh Mì was born out of a misspelling for ”pain de mie” which simply means ‘sliced bread’. This sandwich dated back to the time when French colonised Indochina, a perfect example of a fusion born out of the meeting of two very different culinary worlds.

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The other bloggers choose the Toulouse (£7.20) which as they described as a fabulous combination of spicy mango sauce and duck confit in a traditional baguette stuffed with seasonal veg wok. It was massive and looked very delicious , I do hope to go back soon for this one.

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Apart from the fusion menu, the Boulangerie also stocks beautiful breads and some baguettes with unusual combinations like the soya-ginger baguette which I got to take home in goody bag. I was greedily eyeing the green tea croissant while photographing the place and the mango croissant looked so tempting with the beautiful glaze over it – wow – almost irresistible!

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Ever since I started having my matcha green tea everyday I am totally addicted to the taste of green tea and the match green tea brownies were my absolute favourite from the sweet treats we were given to sample. Of course the fusion of flavours spills over into the dessert menu too then and the exotic sounding Zen Lightning Éclair packs a punch with a strong tangy flavour while the Speculoos Mango Cheesecake is delicious too and a perfect companion with a steaming hot latte. What I loved most is that the dessert tray came lined with the MoBa ‘newspaper’ – hot off the press!

MoBa press day

MoBa is conveniently located a short walk from Goodge Street tube station and is a fabulous lunch option for lunch go-ers and would make for a great place for a casual catch up over dinner with friends too.

Don’t know about you but I think MoBa is going to kick off a new trend in London with their  fusion menu!

*With  thanks to the PR Agency and MoBa for the invite. No monetary compensation was offered for a positive review. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own.All images without my watermark for ‘travelsfortaste’ are provided by the PR Agency. Kindly do not re-produce any images without prior permission.

Häagen-Daz rings in Spring Summer 2015 with captivating new flavour combinations

Last week may have forced us all to crank up the heater and go back to stews and soups, but hopefully if the weather today was any indication Spring is finally here – fingers crossed!

After a lazy Sunday spent lounging around after a stroll in the park where it felt amazing to feel the sun on my face, I deiced to allow myself a bit of indulgence. Sitting in my freezer and waiting to be eaten were 2 new flavours from Häagen-Daz – a limited edition exotic flavour  – Yuzu Citrus & Cream and a dreamy Chocolate Salted Caramel.

They were sent to me in a goody bag with a yuzu lemon juice from Waitrose which I used to season a whole fresh sea bass for dinner last Friday and some yuze scented bath bombs from Lush. Those am saving up for a quite dip in the tub sometime this coming week.

Yuzu Lemon is definitely the new citrus craze in town and in ice cream form its creamy tangy taste is quite irresistible. It’s good to know then that Häagen-Daz handpicks the exquisite Yuzu fruit from the Japanese mountains of Kôshi.

The sour hybrid of mandarin and ichang papeda is pressed fresh to deliver a juice with crisp flavour notes, reminiscent of mandarin and grapefruit. The juices are then mixed with sweet oranges to create a refreshing sauce that twists into Häagen-Dazs’ original ice cream recipe for a uniquely intense taste.

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The die hard chocoholics also have reason to celebrate as the new Häagen-Dazs Chocolate Salted Caramel combines the delicious chocolate ice cream with generous silky ribbons of salted caramel and delicate brittle, delivering a moment of decadence with every satisfying crunch.

To really enjoy your Häagen-Dazs allow it to rest for a while before you dive into it, just when it starts to melt is the the time when you will relish it the most. Like all their flavours, these new flavour combinations are made using 100% real milk and cream and yolks from free-range eggs.

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**Häagen-Dazs Yuzu Citrus & Cream is now available to purchase from Sainsburys and Waitrose and Häagen-Dazs Chocolate Salted Caramel is now available to purchase from Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Asda, Morrisons and Tesco.

*With thanks to Häagen-Dazs  and the  PR team for sending me samples for review. No monetary compensation was offered for a positive review. As always all opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

Kale, Spinach and fruity superfood smoothie

Am back with another smoothie post, this one was even better than my previous green one in that , that hubster really enjoyed it and was blissfully unaware about how much Kale he had unknowingly added into his system :)

Also Chia seeds are now a permanent feature of our smoothies and I add them into our porridge too, they are quite bland on their own and go with almost anything. They are a superfood and antioxidant boosting . Besides starting your day with a green smoothie keeps you going for longer, with a healthier fuller feeling which does not spike your blood sugar levels as some other sugar laden juices can do , which then suddenly lead to a crash and thus result in hunger pangs.

What’s fab about this smoothie?

  • Chia seeds are 100% natural whole grains that are rich in omega-3, antioxidants, fibre, vitamins and minerals. Great for those who have Type 2 diabetes as chia seeds can significantly lower blood pressure and a marker for inflammation.
  • Kale is rich in Vitamins K and C and is calcium, also it contains a chemical called sulforaphane which has anti cancer properties.
  • Spinach helps boost iron levels and is a rich source of various Vitamins like B2,K , C & A.
Kale, Spinach and fruity superfood smoothie

Kale, Spinach and fruity superfood smoothie

Serves: 2 – makes 4 small glass fulls

Ingredients:

  • Large handful of baby spinach leaves per person
  • Large handful of Kale leaves per person
  • Large handful of fresh raspberries per person
  •  1 Big avocado per person
  • 1/2 a pear per person
  • 1/2 of a small tetra pack of coconut water per person
  • a small knob of ginger

Method:

  • Chop the ginger into small bits after roughly removing the skin, if the ginger is super fresh you can use the back of a spoon to easily peel of the fine layer of skin.
  • Roughly chop the pear.
  • Half the avocados, remove the seed and roughly make large chunks.
  • Wash the spinach and kale under running water in a colander.
  • Simply chuck all the above ingredients into a food processor with the coconut water and add very little water just to give the smoothie some more movement while it mixes in the food processor.
How to make a delicious Green smoothie in minutes!

How to make a delicious Green smoothie in minutes!

  • Adjust the quantities according to how many servings you want to make.
  • Sprinkle with some chia seeds and a raspberry or two and drink up for a delicious and filling smoothie that will do wonders for your body and mind!

* With information gleaned off Wiki and some other useful sites and articles like here  and here. Having said that am not a nutrition expert and am trying hard to get onto a balanced diet and exercise regime and educating myself to understand superfoods, how to eat cleaner, healthier and incorporate more raw foods, how to eat the right food at the right time to reduce blood sugar and how to fight off diabetes and other obesity led disorders .

Kale, Spinach and fruity superfood smoothie

Kale, Spinach and fruity superfood smoothie

Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup

As spring begins to unfold and the weather changes to beautiful sunny days and chilly evenings, I like that we can still enjoy warming and wholesome soups. Butternut squash is so versatile and there are various ways to use it in soups, curries, salads etc.

This recipe is created by Chef Annie James at Sunrise of Tettenhall  for Sunrise Senior Living who make sure that all of their recipes are nutritious and tasty, making them great for everyone, not just the elderly. Of the many recipe options they sent me I choose to make this one because I simply adored red lentils as those who read my blog will know. The buttery aroma of onions sauteing which filled my kitchen was simply amazing and very satisfying. Needless to say the soup went down and treat and even normally fussy hubster greedily licked his bowl clean – no better compliment than that folks ins’t it? I must admit I couldn’t resist adding a bit of my own personal finishing touches as my palate is so used to all the spicy and tangy little ad-on’s that I normally use ;)

Butternut Squash and Red Lentil Soup

Butternut Squash and Red Lentil Soup

Serves:4  Preparation Time: 10 minutes  Cooking time: approx 25 minutes Ingredients:

  • 400 ml vegetable stock
  • 150 gms butternut squash – peeled and diced into bite sized bits
  • 12 gm unsalted butter
  • 2 red onion – peeled and chopped fine
  • 3 carrots -peeled and diced into small bits
  • 60gm dried red lentil ie. masoor dal – split without skin
  • Sea salt with a hint of garlic
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • small quantity of fresh coriander to garnish
Butternut Squash and Red Lentil Soup

Butternut Squash and Red Lentil Soup

Method:

  • In a large saucepan or stockpot melt the butter on a medium flame
  • Saute’ the finely chopped onions in the butter for just under 4- 5 minutes till they turn a beautiful golden brown colour and reduce
  • Then add in the chopped carrots, squash and saute’ for a further 2- 3 minutes

    Bite sized Carrots and Butternut Squash sauteed in butter and onion

    Bite sized Carrots and Butternut Squash sauteed in butter and onion

  • Now stir in the vegetable stock and the red lentils.
  • Reduce to a low flame and let the soup simmer gently.
  • Cook until the vegetables and lentils are tender.
  • Allow the soup to cool down to room temperature, then using a hand blender puree’ until smooth or like I did give it a whizz in your food processor.
  • Season with sea salt with a garlic or plain sea salt and add a generous sprinkling of freshly cracked black pepper.
  • Garnish with a just a small amount of finely chopped fresh coriander.
  • Serve hot ideally with a warm crusty bread with a dollop of butter. If your conscience allows it stir in a small amount of fresh cream into the soup or smother your crusty bread with some freshly made garlic butter ;)
Butternut Squash and Red Lentil Soup

Butternut Squash and Red Lentil Soup

*With thanks to Sunrise Senior Living and the  PR team for reimbursing the expense for ingredients . No monetary compensation was offered for a positive review. As always all opinions expressed here are entirely my own. 

In my Veg Box: Courgettes – Recipe Linky Challenge

After a whole year am guest hosting In My Veg Box again, an event run by Vegetarian food blogger Nayna Kanabar of Citrus Spice UK. In March last year,  the vegetable of choice for In My Veg Box was Cauliflower and you can view the recipes in my round up post here.

I have a long standing love affair with courgettes. Why? I think it goes back to childhood habits of eating loads of fresh cliced cucumber and in dahi raita with biryani very often. But now I am obsessed with getting just the right amount of Courgette curls for a Courgette ‘pasta’ OR  even getting to bake a cake with Courgettes.

I have recently taken it upon myself to go on a weigh loss journey and in the process eat healthier, eliminate food waste and of course educate myself about the health benefits of various foods. Courgettes are very low in calories and fat, and have a high water content. 100 grams of Courgettes contain approximately only 15 calories!

Besides this the biggest health benefit is that Courgettes have anti-cancer properties and are known to inhibit cell mutations and therefore help in preventing colon and lung cancer. Not only that they contain a whole host of beneficial and necessary Vitamins – Vitamins B1, B2, B6, Vitamin K and Vitamin A.  It is also a good source of folic acid, potassium, fiber, manganese, phosphorous, magnesium and copper.

They are also known to help prevent a whole host of diseases like:

  • Stroke
  • Heart Attacks
  • Scurvy
  • Multiple Sclerosois

Now with so many health benefits this delicious vegetable must form a very important part of your diet, don’t you think?

Besides I think those who are lucky enough to grow their own vegetables can enjoy amazing dishes like stuffed Courgette flowers and make the most of this summer squash . At it’s peak in July, the Courgette which is part of   Curcarbita is actually a fruit and is commonly mistaken as a vegetable. Popularly known as Zucchini in America, the beautiful golden yellow Zucchini makes for beautiful salads and is a gorgeous addition to many recipes.

Rules to Participate:

  1. Please prepare any vegetarian recipes using Courgettes and link your dish to the linky code below. You will need  to enter the name of your dish, as well as the url of your blog.
  2. Current theme is COURGETTES.
  3. You must link your blog post to both this blog post on Sliceoffme and to Citrus Spice UK, this is mandatory.
  4. Use of the logo is not mandatory but it helps to spread the word if you can use it.
  5. Multiple entries are allowed.
  6. Archived entries are also allowed, only if they are re-posted and updated with this event link, as well as the Citrus Spice UK link.
  7. Recipes must be added to the linky by 31st March 2015.

In the event of any problems with using the linky code, please email me your entry to fruitsnveg@yahoo.comPlease include your name, recipe name, url and an image no larger than 300 pixels. 

An InLinkz Link-up

Thank you! Can’t wait to see variety of recipes that I am sure are possible with the humble cauliflower! Get Cooking Bloggers!

In my veg box  courgettes event logo

 

References: Courgette Recipes,U.K

*Disclaimer : I am not a trained health professional and what I have written about is from what i have read, please ensure that you consult a certified health professional and/ or consult your Doctor for advice relating to any serious illness, ailments, queries etc.

Easy Moroccan Chicken one pot meal

The chill in the air is just right for warming one pot meals. Make them healthy, quick and easy to put together and you have a winner on your hands.Last year at the Cake and Bake show which I attended with a dear friend and fellow blogger ,  I ended up spending a bomb (£££!!!!) on four different sized pots – non – stick being one of their biggest virtues.One of them is a huge wok which I intend to use to make a stir fry over the weekend. The coating is said to last for years and each vessel comes with a glass lid. I can apparently also shove them directly into the oven but haven’t tried that yet. The big and rather saucepan is what I use as my crock pot for making one pot meals in. In fact there is something very comforting watching a warming curry or gorgeously tasty and nutritious one pot meals!

heaven in a saucepan - healthy , happy meals begin here!

Ok so coming back to my one pot recipe. I had a bag of baby spinach leaves in my fridge and was craving a wholesome soupy stew with lots of vegetables. So managed to gather a few things that I think would taste great together and then added in Knorr onion gravy pots and Knorr mixed chilli pot for flavour and the result was so very satisfying.  But the best part was adding in Ras El Hanout a delicious and fiery moroccan and North African fragrant spice mix. The delicate dried rose petals look so pretty , that’s why I decided to name my dish Moroccan Chicken one pot.I also devoured it for lunch today – umm.

 Moroccan Chicken one pot meal

Make this in a large quantity and it will freeze well. Batch cooking is highly recommended as it saves you time and ensures that you do not eat things that you will end up regretting when you are hard pressed for time and simply cannot cook.The freezer is a wonderful boon, use it!

I purchased a beautiful Red Leicester and Pumpkin seed batard to go with my meal – it is soul-satisfying to mop up the thick gravy with the bread while sitting on the couch watching my fav crime show on the telly, feeling all warm and happy.

The best part of this recipe is I haven’t added in potatoes or extra sugar to taste and yet the flavours are so well balanced. (Though both gravy pots do contain sugar) I love stocking up on these tiny Knorr flavour pots they are life-savers!

A recipe with enough spinach to make Popeye jump with joy! Spinach has several health benefits and is known to be a great source of folic acid and several essential vitamins and great levels of iron too. Best part is a big bag of spinach can be consumed in no time as the leaves are high in water content and it reduces in size when cooked.

 Moroccan Chicken one pot meal

Easy Moroccan Chicken one pot

Serves:4  Preparation Time: 10 minutes  Cooking time: approx 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil 2 tbsp
  • 1 large red onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Mixed bag of broccoli, carrot and cauliflower – 270 gm
  • Chicken thighs – 500 gm – appox 3 big pieces
  • Trimmed green beans – 75 gm
  • Chestnut Mushrooms – 4 – 5
  • 1.5 Knorr onion gravy flavour pot
  • 1 Knorr mixed chillies flavour pot
  • 4 handfulls of spinach leaves
  • Red lentils – without skin and halved 3/4th cup
  • 1/2 tsp of Ras El Hanout
  • 1/2 tsp of roasted cumin powder
  • Water

Method:

  • Remove the skin from the chicken thighs after washing thoroughly under running water.
  • Chop the chicken thighs to make strips of the flesh leaving just enough on the bone.
  • Wash and cut the broccoli, carrots,cauliflower, green beans and chestnut mushrooms bits into bite sized pieces.
  • Slice an onion lengthwise into fine strips.
  • Remove the skin from the garlic cloves and chop into tiny bits.
  • In a large saucepan or stock pot heat olive oil on a medium flame, when the oil becomes to heat up add the finely chopped garlic and saute’ until they turn a golden brown then add in the sliced onion.
  • Stirring occasionally allow the onion to sweat and just when it begins to brown add in the chopped vegetables and saute for half a minute.
  • Then add in the chicken thighs and saute for another minute.
  • Then wash and add the red lentils , add enough water to create a thick gravy – enough to allow the lentils to cook and not soak up all the water. Then add in the Knorr flavour pots and mix well.

Big, beautiful pot of healthy goodness - absolutely irresistible!

  • Then add the washed spinach leaves, cumin powder and cover and cook on a medium flame for 15 minutes.

Gorgeous Bowl of goodness with immunity boosting spinach and delicious veggies

  • By now the lentils will have cooked and the chicken will almost be done too.
  • Then taste the soupy water and if it is too spicy add just a very tiny pinch the Ras El Hanout , I added 1/2 a tsp as the taste reminded me of garam masala. Ras El Hanout is a moroccan mixture of fragrant spices with rose petals and gives the stock pot a gorgeous full bodied flavour.
  • Cook for a further 10-15 minutes on a gentle low flame.
  • Serve in large bowls with a big portion of the pumpkin batard bread.

Moroccan Chicken one pot meal recipe

Have linked up my recipe with the #NoWasteFoodChallenge hosted by the lovely Elizabeth who blogs at Elizabeth’s Diary. Find out all about this challenge in her blog post here.

Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary

Avocado,Spinach and fruity Green Smoothie

It’s a relatively bright and sunny but chilly February morning and the bright sunlight streaming through my kitchen window is not letting me sit down work due to the blinding light getting into to my eyes. I have now moved to a cosy spot on the couch but it’s making me drowsy…

While I was away in India and eating all the wonderful local food, I also started reading up on a lot of things related to food , what we eat and how it affects us and how our body reacts to it all.

Now let me share some facts about myself – I am lazy – very lazy and not the type who will ever go the gym even twice a week – I have ended up wasting money in 2 currencies and 3 cities so I should know that however fabulous the gym it simply does NOT work for me.

Nor does dieting – I feel deprived and end up stuffing my face even more.

So what’s the way out when I have finally made a decision to eat sensibly and loose as much weight as I can without going mad. Well, past 2 weeks I have broken down my meals to smaller portions, trying to eat 5 small meals instead of 3 every day and have drastically cut down on sugar consumption. By sugar I don’t mean granulated sugar but sugar hidden in various food.

I have procured a chart about which foods are high in carbs and thus break down into sugar while they are being digested. Am consciously trying to read up more and steer clear of obviously sugar laden foods and any sugary foods are out. Thankfully I quit sugar in my tea years ago so that is not a problem but yes saying no to alcohol and other foods is not going to be easy. But then nothing good come by too easy does it?

Avocado, Spinach and Fruity Green Smoothie - Bursting with the goodness your body NEEDS every day!

Avocado, Spinach and Fruity Green Smoothie – Bursting with the goodness your body NEEDS every day!

So here goes, my morning smoothie recipe – an attempt to start the day on a healthy note :

Serves: 1 – makes 2 small glass fulls

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 a Banana
  • 1/2 of a big pear
  • 1/2 of a big avocado
  • 1 Royal Gala Apple
  • 2 handfuls of baby spinach leaves
  • a small knob of ginger

Method:

  • Chop the ginger into small bits after roughly removing the skin, if the ginger is super fresh you can use the back of a spoon to easily peel of the fine layer of skin.
  • Roughly chop all the fruits into chunks.Break the banana half by hand.
  • Simply chuck all the above ingredients into a food processor and add very little water just to give the smoothie some movement and consistency.

I prefer a thick consistency the type you can scoop out using a spoon as it is simply more satisfying and increases the feeling of being full.

This made 2 small glasses and I had both of them , simply double up the quantity for 2 people and so on and so forth.

Avocado, Spinach and Fruity Green Smoothie - Bursting with the goodness your body NEEDS every day!

Avocado, Spinach and Fruity Green Smoothie – Bursting with the goodness your body NEEDS every day!

Leafy , green, tasty , bursting with fruity goodness and taste, this smoothie is an immune system booster and full of all things good for your body. It will definitely boost sagging energy levels and induce a feel good factor. The smooth creamy taste added by the avocado is a bonus!

I have linked up my recipe with Credit Crunch Munch which is a frugal food recipe sharing challenge developed by Helen over at Fuss Free Flavours and Camilla over at Fab Food 4 All and guest hosted by the lovely Elizabeth who blogs at Elizabeth’s Diary, have a look at all the other fabulous recipes linked up for Feb 2015 on her blog post too.

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Jus-Rol Turkey, Ham and cheese tart

Hello Everyone!

I have been away on a long holiday in Indian for almost four weeks. I got back last week and it has taken my system a few days to throw off the jet-lag completely and my internal thermostat to acclimatise to the massive difference in the weather.But am back now all refreshed and raring to go! So expect a lot of new and fun recipes, LOTS of travel posts and many photographs from my foodie and travel adventures – oh yes not to mention more exciting competitions, fabulous restaurant reviews and events that I will be going to soon – woohoo!

While I was in India I did a fair bit of travelling to Chennai, Pondicherry and shuttling between Mumbai and Pune. So all the resulting fatigue has taken it’s toll too.

Besides have discovered that I do have a fair amount of catching up to do with my blogging as well. hummm

So dinner the day after I landed had had to be a simple affair, because my body clock was still following IST. We decided to make a quick and super easy yet delicious Turkey, Ham and cheese tart using my own recipe. Hubster and me are both big fans of Jus-Rol as it really can save the day when things are crazy busy or plain lazy ;)

I have made a few minor tweaks to the original recipe but other than that it was smooth sailing. Here is my version:

Prep. Time: Less than 10 minutes
Makes: 2 servings
Total Time: 35 mins
Ingredients:
  • 320 gm Jus-Rol™ puff pastry ready rolled sheet
  • 2 medium onion peeled & chopped fine
  • 100 gm cooked ham diced
  • 1-2 tbsp oil
  • 3 heaped tbsp Gran Luchito smoked chilli honey
  • 250 gm cooked turkey diced
  • Salt & black pepper
  • 75 gm grated Parmesan Cheese

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a large pan, gently sauté the onion until it is translucent, then add the diced ham and cook on a low flame for about 2 minutes. Meanwhile remove the Jus-Rol™ puff pastry ready rolled sheet and allow it to rest while the filling is being prepared.
  2. Add the turkey,season to taste and then add the smoked chilli honey. Stir continuously to ensure the chilli honey does not burn and cook on a gentle, low flame for a further 2 minutes.
  3. Prepare a baking tray by lining with a baking sheet and carefully place the Jus-Rol™ puff pastry ready rolled sheet onto the baking sheet.
  4. Preheat oven to 220°C/(200°C for fan assisted ovens)/Gas 7.
  5. Spoon out the turkey and ham mixture onto the baking sheet and sprinkle the grated Parmesan cheese over the mixture.
  6. Bake in the preheated for 20 minutes and serve hot.

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I remember going to buy Jus- Rol at a supermarket two years ago post Christmas and it simply wasn’t available anywhere. Clearly people had been smart and stocked up on this lifesaving fridge fav for all those leftover meals after the big day. And have since then made a mental note to stock up well in advance for future occasions. There have been numerous dinners and surprise tea time treats for unannounced but welcome visitors who have been fed piping hot treats with several hot cuppas thanks to that pastry roll lying in my fridge! So like many of my store  cupboard essentials this is one of my life savers and will almost always be found living in my refrigerator.

I loved this recipe and now am looking forward to more experiments with Jus-Rol .

If you need more inspiration to get creative with Jus-Rol why not check out these gorgeous recipes on the Jus-Rol website ?

*With thanks to Jus-Rol and the  PR team for sending vouchers to buy some samples of Jus-Rol  for review . No monetary compensation was offered for a positive review. As always all opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

Beetroot and Chickpea salad

Who doesn’t love a salad that you can put together in no time? This easy to make and super quick to put together Beetroot and Chickpea salad recipe is just the thing when you want to eat healthy and not compromise on taste at the same time.  I have added in amchoor powder which is a tangy  dried mango powder which will give this salad a fabulous twist when combined with balsamic vinegar.

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If possible try and buy baby beetroot cooked in vinegar as these would be the perfect size and also have the right amount of vinegar. If you are not sure of how much balsamic vinegar you can handle, add 1⁄2 tbsp first and then if you feel brave add another half. I have a whole collection of flavoured vinegar and if you can get your hands on cranberry infused vinegar, I highly recommend adding that in as it will totally elevate the flavour of your salad.

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Serves: 4 as a side and 2 as a main

Ingredients:

  •  1⁄2 a can of boiled and cooked chickpeas
  •  4 small beetroot cooked and peeled – roughly 250 gm
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 small red onion sliced length wise
  • 2 tsp amchoor powder
  • 2 heaped tsp pomegranate seeds

Method:

  • In a large mixing bowl add the chickpeas
  • Chop the cooked and peeled beetroot into bite size chunks. Add them into the chickpeas. Add the chopped onion and pomegranate seeds.
  • Add the vinegar and the amchoor powder and mix well.
  • Serve and sprinkle with more pomegranate seeds if desired.

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I have found the perfect linky to add my virtuous yet superbly delicious salad to. It’s this month’s Spice Trail with the theme ‘ Temple Food‘ hosted by the lovely Vanesther on her blog called ‘Bangers and Mash’. The whole concept of respecting your body by treating it like a temple is really apt for the way I have recently begun to think about food. I have to re-think and re-align what I feed my system and actually begin to ‘listen’ to what my body is speaking to me. It’s important that after years of neglect I FINALLY pay attention to what is entirely my own – my body.

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By linking to this challenge I take heart in knowing that I am not ALONE . There are other like-minded foodies who are re-thinking their ways of eating. I do hope my recipe is one of the many delicious , innovative and beautiful ones that will help my readers on their journey to eating healthy and feeling more energetic.