Posts Tagged With: healthy

Grilled Avocado Sandwich

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There is a sudden oversupply of avocados in the Singapore Market .  I remember having a tough time in selecting the best from the little basket of raw avocados, pay S$2 for each I picked and wait for over 3-4 days for them to naturally ripen ; Now you see big caskets of  ripened Hass variety of these butter-fruits imported directly from America and thanks to their profusion, they now cost just  S$ 2.75 for 3!!  ( Please don’t judge me!)  Singapore food market relies completely on imports, so prices are decided by the supply. ( I even remember paying S$3.6 /kg for my Indian tomatoes 😐 )

Anyway, I love avocados for its distinct texture & health benefits and now I had an encouraging reason to take them to my kitchen! 🙂 While I was happily choosing my dark spotty Alligator Pear ( that’s what they are called for obvious reasons ) , my brain was churning ideas to effectively use them. As I trotted  further, I entered supermarket’s in-house bakery section and that is when a loaf of herb Focaccia caught my eye. The sound of “Avocado & herb Focaccia Sandwich” sounded both fresh and delicious! So here it goes:

Quick Ingredients:

  • Focaccia Loaf
  • Lettuce
  • 1.5 cups of Guacamole
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Tomatoes
  • Butter/Olive oil ( to lightly grease the bread)

Avocado Sandwich

I started by making fresh tangy guacamole dip, using the same recipe that we shared with you in our express Mexican platter.  To quickly reiterate I used pulp from 2 medium ripe avocados, one medium onion, one medium tomato, few green chilies ( instead of jalapeno peppers ) , loads of cilantro,  salt and lime to taste.

Guacamole

It takes 5 mins to mins to assemble the sandwich once the guacamole spread is ready ( which in itself is a very quick process).

Avocado Sandwich

Whether to have this sandwich grilled or just raw is completely an individual choice. I like to grill it to make this preparation more interesting. When grilled, the focaccia gets a li’l crisp and adds a new dimension to the otherwise gooey filling of guacamole, tomatoes and cheese.  I lightly brushed the bread with butter spread so it doesn’t become too dry. Olive oil can also be a healthy substitute.

Avocado Sandwich

All set to be Grilled in the oven

Just give it 5 mins in the oven. Alternately, you may choose to toss it on grill pan over a gas stove just enough to make the bread crisp.  You may serve this with extra guacamole and lemon wedge.

The freshness of ingredients is the highlight of this sandwich. Cilantro, chili and Lime add zing to this nutritious meal while cheese and avocado add to the creamy texture.  I made this sandwich for quick breakfast. Its simple, healthy and heavenly!

Avocado Grill

Replacing just a couple of  ingredients, this recipe can be made suitable for our vegan friends. Olive Oil, Vegan Bread and Vegan Cheese are the ingredients that could be incorporated.

To all our working/ bachelor/lazy  friends, who have been requesting us to share some fast and easy health recipes, this quick fix is for you! We hope you’d enjoy it.

Have a munchy weekend!

Ciao!

Team 156, Hungerlane

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Categories: Breads, Breakfast, Mains | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments

Express Mexican Platter

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We are back after celebrating the colorful festival of Holi and gorging on equally colorful food menu that we have been sharing with you! Don’t we just love  these festivals, they push us out of our mundane routine while bringing around so much euphoria and enthusiasm.  This time the celebrations were elongated by the long Easter weekend that followed.. Believe me, I have been thinking of sharing this blog post since the Good Friday but lazy mornings followed by eventful evenings have been keeping me away from doing so!  Anyway, finally we are here and to compensate for our absence , we are excited to introduce a whole new dimension to our widespread blog menu – The Tex- Mex Express! The inclination to try Mexican cuisine came when our close friends and fellow bloggers- Neha and Mridul shared with us the recipe to the Guacamole Dip on their blog. While their blog post was enough to plant the idea of trying Mexican cuisine in my head, the recent visit to two interesting Mexican restaurants in Singapore – Cha Cha Cha and Viva Mexico just pushed me further into  trying the extended Tex-Mex platter at home!

Tex-Mex is often used to describe a localized version of Mexican cuisine ( and even uses ingredients that are not generally used in traditional Mexican preparation). So, today, we will share with you the recipe for “quick” Tex-Mex platter using simple, easy to find ingredients!  The items on platter require minimum cooking and use of very little oil…. Hope this makes this post all the more exciting for you! 🙂

So, this is what our platter looks like:

Mex Platter

We tried three famous dips that generally accompany the Mexican mains :
1. Guacamole ( that uses Avocado as the main ingredient)
2. Chunky Salsa ( Fresh dip made of tomato chunks!)
3. Sour Cream 
 
Apart from this we tried the vegetable Quesadillas and baked Nacho Chips!
 
The Dips:
 

1. Guacamole

Guacamole is made by mashing ripe avocados and adding few condiments that make it more interesting. Avocados become smooth and creamy when mashed and are often used to replace butter in vegan preparations!. They have very mild yet unique taste, and therefore care should be taken that condiments added do not overpower its distinct flavor.

Guacamole

Directions:

– Take ripe Avocados (one with dark firm shell but they should yield to pressure when pressed hard), deseed them, scoop out the avocado pulp into a bowl and mash it using a fork. Note- Keep the seed aside and do not throw it away, 😕 we will shortly* tell you why.

– For one Avocado, add 3 tbsp spring onions/ red onions,  1 tbsp minced jalapenos, loads of chopped coriander, half a  lime and kosher salt to taste.  You may use green pepper sauce/tobasco if you do not find jalapenos, also the kosher salt may be replaced by rock salt.

– Some people add tomatoes to the Guacamole, but we are not too happy about the idea, the water from the tomatoes doesn’t quite mix that well with rich, creamy avocado texture! You may chose to top the Guacamole with fresh tomatoes just before serving instead.. its  completely your choice! 🙂

Mix everything well and fold in all the ingredients.  [ Handy Tip-  The Guacamole tends to oxidize and turn brown within sometime. To prevent this, ensure that you scrape off the greenest portion next to the peel, add lime juice right in the beginning and insert the avocado *seed in the guacamole until you are ready to serve it. It is said that the avocado seed prevents the guacamole from turning brown]Guacamole

2. Chunky Salsa

Salsa is Spanish term for “Sauce” and is also a famous Mexican dip. Tomatoes are the main ingredients for Mexican salsa preparation. Nowdays, the prepacked salsa jars are easily available at almost all general stores with variations in the amount of spice/heat. While the prepacked salsa have a thick paste consistency, what we tried was a lot chunkier.. almost like a Salsa Salad!

Salsa Dip

For our Chunky Salsa we need:

Medium Firm Tomatoes – 2
Small Onion-1
Capsicum – 1/3 rd
Jalapenos/Green Chilies- to taste 
Coriander Leaves – one small bunch
Fresh Mint Leaves- handful
Oregano- 1 tsp
Minced Garlic – 1 clove
Big Lime – 1  
Cumin Powder- 1/2 tsp
Salt – to taste
Sugar- if required
 

Directions:

Chop all the ingredients, you don’t have to cut them too fine or the Chunk of our Chunky Salsa would get lost 😉

It is advised to de-seed the jalapenos and green chilies before you mince them , we do not prefer the seeds for two reasons –  they would make it difficult for us to control the heat of the salsa and since they are  thick-difficult-to-chew, they  do not really do justice to this otherwise fresh tender salsa!

Toss all the ingredients well in a large bowl , you may adjust the flavors especially of salt, lime and heat as per your taste. Sometimes, the tomatoes are too sour which we do not really prefer, we add some sugar to balance the sourness of the tomatoes in such case. It’s completely up to you to how you want your salsa – with sugar or without!

Cover the bowl with a cling wrap, and let it refrigerate for at least 30-40 mins.. why? A. Because you would love this dip chilled! B. The salt and lime together make all the ingredients to release their flavors and come together for this lip smacking concoction! The freshness of mint, coriander and oregano gives kick to the palette in every bite! This fresh, raw salsa can be a great accompaniment to endless dishes.. Try it today!

3. Sour Cream

Sour cream is a cream that has been naturally soured by lactic-acid bacteria. It tastes just like it sounds, creamy yet sour. It’s both delicious and fattening at the same time. Sour Cream makes a great accompaniment to fried potato snacks like wedges, Rosti, baked hash etc.  It even goes wonderfully well with Mexican preparations like tortilla chips, enchiladas, burritos. Sour Cream should ideally be added to any preparation after it has been cooked, so sour cream retains its natural creamy texture!

Directions:

Mix half cup of hung plain yogurt (drain all water by hanging in cheesecloth) with half cup of heavy cream [ ideally it should be 3 tablespoons of yogurt for a cup of cream, but I find half-half a little more healthy ;), you may use any proportion according to your preference].  I am sometimes tempted to use it as it is, right after it has been mixed but ideally, you should let it stand (out in the heat) in a glass container for at least 6-8 hours and then refrigerate.  The bacteria from the curd would sour the cream and the fermentation process would make it heavy. Check the appearance. We are looking for white cream and a creamy, smooth consistency with a characteristic tangy smell.

I learnt this half-half process to make sour cream at home from my sister. This method is not just quick and delicious but also less fattening than the sour cream prepared by other means. Make it in advance and store it in a clean container ( for upto 2-3  days) in fridge for quick use.

Baked Nachos

Baked Nachos

Baked Nachos are as fat-free and  simple as they sound. To make these healthy and express Chips at home, just get any ready-made tortilla wraps. You can use the flavored wraps for a little twist in your chips.

I used the Spinach Tortilla wraps to make  these chips more “healthy”.

Directions:

Cut the Tortilla wraps into desired shapes.

Grease the baking tray with little olive oil and spread the tortilla chips on them properly.

Sprinkle little cumin, cayenne pepper and red chili powder and let them bake till they are golden brown. Caution –  In some cases, it’s better to sprinkle the spices after baking to prevent them from turning brown.  You may take a call accordingly.

Just like that you baked yourself these express and healthy Nacho chips that will go deliciously well with the dips mentioned above!

Express Quesadillas

Quesadillas

Quesadillas, as a dish originated in Mexico. The name is derived from combination of  tortilla and the Spanish word for cheese queso. It is made by folding tortillas after   filling  them with any kind of stuffing and cheese.

Directions:

I used the spinach tortillas again for this recipe ( one pack had 8, and I intelligently used all of ’em).

You can really experiment with what filling you wish to make. I used shredded mozzarella cheese along with vegetable filling (made from tomatoes, spinach,capsicum and onions and seasoned with cumin powder, chili powder and tobasco!) I cooked the filling on a hot skillet with very little olive oil to remove the rawness of the ingredients.

Once the filling is ready, sprinkle little olive oil on a flat non stick griddle, put cheese and filling mixture on one-half of the tortilla wrap, fold it and cook on a slow flame from both sides. The cheese would melt and bind the filling inside the wraps well , making it easier for us to gorge on these crisp, cheesy quesadillas! Cut the quesadillas to make them easier to hold. Serve hot and the cheese shall melt right in your mouth! 😀

Quesadillas

If not the entire, I really hope , we at-least got you are tempted to try few of the express tex-mex preparations we shared with you today. Do let us know how did they come out , share back with us through comments below, our Facebook page or even on our mail 156hungerlane@gmail.com

Recently, we have been really looking forward to something exciting that might just happen for Hungerlane ! We can’t wait to share it with you and shall do it you as soon as we receive a confirmation. 🙂

Till then, keep cooking , sharing and of course, gorging on that good-looking delicious food!

Cheers!

Rashi

 
Categories: Breads, Mains | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Holi Special – Palak Paneer with Beetroot Paranthas ( Homemade Cottage Cheese in Spinach Gravy served with Beetroot Bread)

So this new year, I decided to make a resolution to eat healthy and the first thing that came to mind was to add more greens in our diet and what could be more green that spinach, right ? 🙂  It is also the most difficult thing to feed kids and adults alike, my husband being one of them!.

So, I decided to make something Indian where spinach is cooked down and is not in its leafy form – the evergreen, Palak Paneer and to give it a twist of taste and make it more healthy, I served it with Beetroot Paranthas.

This leafy green is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, magnesium, folate, manganese, iron, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin B2, potassium, vitamin B6 and dietary fiber… phew!! This recipe is a very popular dish in North India and one that has many variations to it. This one however, is the greenest, healthiest and tastiest of them all… Read on and you will know why.. Here is what you will need.

156hungerlane_palak paneer_ingredients

Palak Paneeer!

Greener!

  • Start by blanching the spinach leaves. In order to blanch them, boil some water in a deep dish and add the spinach leaves. Leave them to boil for 2-3 minutes. Immediately remove them from the heat and drain the water. Refresh the leaves immediately in cold water. This was help you retain their green color. Grind the spinach along with the green chlles  in a blender to form a puree.

156hungerlane_greener

Healthier!

  • Take 2 tbsp oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds and wait till they crackle. Now add all the chopped garlic and sliced onion. This makes this dish really healthy. Garlic promotes the well-being of the heart and immune systems with antioxidant properties and helps maintain healthy blood circulation. One of garlic’s most potent health benefits includes the ability to enhance the body’s immune cell activity.

Tastier!

  • Once the garlic and onions turn lightly brown, add the spices – turmeric, coriander, ginger powder, salt to taste. Saute for another minute, lower the flame and add the curd. If you have ROCK SALT, add that along with the regular salt. It gives great flavour to the dish. Now add the spinach puree and cook for a few minutes. Add the cottage cheese cut in small cubes and serve hot!

156hungerlane_Tastier

You can also add a dash of cream to your spinach gravy to make it rich. Since this was the healthier version, I refrained from adding any!

156hungerlane_Palak Paneer

Beetroot Paranthas!

156hungerlane_Beetroot Paranthas

Note: While making the dough for the Beetroot paranthas, the amount of flour required per beetroot can vary with the size of the beetroot you are using. Adjust the amount of flour accordingly. You don’t necessarily need to follow my measurements, just follow the ingredients 🙂

Try this recipe this holi and treat your guests to a colorful meal 🙂

Enjoy!

Nupur

Categories: Mains | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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