AH so many food recipes!

Leaving for college soon so today was a food adventure day with my mommy. First, we had a delicious lunch at a nearby cafe called Nuray’s Gourmet Cafe! I had a three bean salad that was magnificent – topped with a delicious blend of olive oil and vinegar – and my mom had a grilled vegetable sandwich on multi-grain toast. I loved it and wanted to share the pictures ūüôā

Doesn’t it look delicious! Ah, definitely was. If you live anywhere near Bridgewater, NJ, I would highly recommend you go to Nuray’s and try something scrumptious out! Speaking of scrumptious, my mom and I had an amazing food adventure day today. Her best friend has a vegetable garden and grew a delicious and gigantic zucchini so we decided to make two different types of zucchini bread.

look how gigantic that is!

Moreover, my mom taught me how to make one of my favorite Indian dishes: moong dal dhokla (Indian steamed cakes); and then taught me how to also make her favorite Indian dish: squash handvo (Indian spice cake). All so yummmmy, hope you enjoy like always!

Vegan Moong Dal Dhokla (Indian Steamed Bite-sized Cakes)

Vegan Pumpkin Zucchini Chia Bread (No Oil & No Added Sugar!)

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Homemade Squash Handvo (Indian Spice Cake)

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Indian Lentil Salad Wrap


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The Recipe

Yields 1 serving

Serving Size: 1 wrap

1 100% whole wheat tortilla

1/2 large carrot, shredded

1/2 large cucumber, sliced

5 cherry tomatoes, diced

2 large mushrooms, diced

1/2 cup of mothbeans, cooked

1 tbsp sunflower seed butter

1 tbsp freshly chopped parsley leaves

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp black pepper

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Directions

1. Heat the tortilla slightly in a toaster or in the microwave lying a damp paper towel over it to keep the moisture. 

2. Prepare all the vegetables.

3. Spread the sunflower butter onto the tortilla evenly. 

4. Line the mothbeans along the center. Then, place the cucumbers, tomatoes, mushrooms, and carrots. Finely, top with the parsley leaves and spices. Wrap the tortilla either as a wrap or as a quesadilla. Enjoy!

Lentil Healing Soup

I just got back from vacation aka eating tons and tons of “unkind” foods. So, for lunch today, I decided I needed to have a really soothing, healing soup. I chose a lentil base and tossed in a delicious blend of “kind” vegetables. First, I tossed in some dandelion root. Dandelions have been used for centuries now since it has been known to have mild laxative effects, promoting digestion and improving one’s GI tract. Then, I used some carrots, which we all known is the perfect detox vegetable. Carrots are known to help cancer prevention, strengthen the heart organ, and naturally detox with its high vitamin and antioxidant content. Lastly, I used some green beans, which have vitamins B1 and B2! Moreover, they are relatively high in protein and contain the essential minerals like calcium, making it a perfect source for vegetarians, helping to build strong bones (yes, your parents were right when you were kids!). I also added some flaxseed, which helps to fight constipation, inflammation, and cholesterol! This blend of spices and vegetables with the lentil protein all help to fight any bloat or gassiness that you may have from a holiday weekend! If you want to make this soup purely healing then do not add any salt (which you will notice is not in the ingredients list) – excess sodium can add to water weight so you want to avoid salt for a few days after a holiday weekend.

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The Recipe

Yields 1 Serving

Serving Size: 3 cups

1/2 cup mung beans, cooked

1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth

1/2 cup green beans, diced

1 carrot, diced

1 cup dandelion root, diced

2 large white mushrooms, diced

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp ginger powder

1/2 garlic clove

1 tbsp ground flaxseed

1 tsp masala powder

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Directions

1. Cook your lentils in a rice cooker or steamer with some bay leaves to help reduce any gassiness (you can also soak your lentils overnight if you prepare ahead of time).

2. In the meantime, chop all your vegetables.

3. After your lentils are cooked, toss them into a pan with your vegetables and spices. Add the vegetable broth and cook till the broth simmers and the vegetables are cooked.

4. Serve warm with some basil leaves on top!

Sweet and Zesty Coconut Lentil “Granola” Snack

You may have noticed from my past posts, but I love love love crunchy snacks. My all-time obsession food is granola! Well, if I buy store-bought granola, I end up eating like four times the serving requirement and that’s like more than 3/4ths of my daily calorie intake, which is ultimately a problem since I eat granola everyday. So, I started to experiment with making homemade granola since I’m home from college for the summer. Today, I made one that has a blend of Indian spices so it’s has a nice zesty spice to it. If you like salty, sweet, and spicy snacks, this recipe is perfect for you because it is a blend of them all! I used lentils instead of your atypical oats and made it coconut flavored! I’m also going to try out making a different recipe for granola with actual oats later on today so look out for that recipe too! This recipe is really simply but delicious – the lentils give you the crunchiness of granola, but give you a healthy dose of protein as well. Moreover, coconut is just a beautiful fruit and flavor in general. It works really well with the spicy zest, balancing it out with a nice blend of sweetness, so I highly recommend you use that combination if you like savory snacks! Lastly, I added some ground flaxseed since I didn’t have whole flaxseeds, but really wanted to add some healthy omega-3 fatty acids to the recipe so that worked out perfectly. Let me know how you like this if you try it out! ūüôā¬†It’s really perfect for like a breakfast side or an afternoon snack with some hot tea, and the best part is that it’s an easy on-the-go snack too that you can pack and enjoy whenever you want some zesty crunchiness!

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The Recipe

Yields 6 – 8 Servings

Serving Size: 1/2 cup

2 cups red lentils, soaked overnight

1 cup shredded coconut flakes

1 tsp cinnamon powder

2 tbsp ground flaxseed

2 tbsp extra-virgin coconut oil, melted

1 tsp masala powder or 1 tsp curry powder

3/4 – 1 tsp salt

**Other possible add-ins: raisins, dried cranberries, chocolate or carob chips, nuts, granola, dried fruit (berries, bananas, peaches, apricots, etc.)

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Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

2. Mix all of your ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Feel free to add any other ingredients you want (I suggested some other add-ins above).

3. Spray a pan with PAM or line with some oil. If you have a nonstick pan, you don’t have to spray it. Another option is lining your pan with some parchment paper. All these options will work – you just want to make sure your lentils don’t stick to the pan.

4. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the pan and mix around the granola so it doesn’t get burnt.

5. Bake for another 10 minutes. Remove and let the granola cool for about half an hour. Store in an airtight container (it will last fresh up to a month!). Enjoy whenever!

Refreshing Citrus Summer Lentil Bulgur Salad

I had a meeting today at my internship so I was short on time in the morning to prepare myself lunch. Therefore, last night, I soaked some bulgur wheat for about an hour and then cooked and refrigerated it. This way I was prepared to make my lunch for today! It’s a hot day outside, really sunny, mid 90s. So, I wanted a nice summer salad – sweet, tangy, filling, and delicious. I decided to go with a nice blend of cabbage greens, hearty white mushrooms, sprouted lentils as my protein, bulgur wheat as my whole grain, avocados as my healthy fats, and a little summer-y secret ingredient to make it delicious: grapefruit!

Ah, now grapefruit is a difficult fruit in the sense that it is very tangy and acidic so I know a lot of people who don’t like it, but I LOVE it. First of all, it’s so healthy for you – it’s about 90% water. Moreover, it helps to control insulin and blood sugar, which is why a lot of doctors and trainers advise dieters to eat half a grapefruit a day. It’s the perfect summer food since it has a high water content so on hot days, it’s refreshing and sweet. Grapefruit juice is also really tasty, especially as a dressing, which is what I used in this salad as well! As directed below, you will use some olive oil, grapefruit juice, and lemon juice to make a nice tangy dressing for your salad. It’s honestly the perfect blend because grapefruit and lemon are so refreshing; therefore, this salad will definitely give you a boost of energy and a dose of summer happiness. The chilled taste of fresh citrus in your mouth is something you cannot miss out on in the summer.

I made the vegetables in the salad raw to get a nice balance of fiber and whole grains, but feel free to cook your bok choy leaves and mushrooms if that is how you prefer your salads! Also, the avocado in this salad really meshes well with the grapefruit. It balances it out the acidity really well and gives the salad some more texture, making it even more extraordinary. Enjoy this salad as either a side to a meal or as your entree – it’s filling and easily portable since it’s not drenched in dressing and won’t go bad in the heat! I hope you enjoy the grapefruit-based salad as much as I did.

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The Recipe

Yields 1 Serving

Serving Size: 3 cups

1/2 cup bulgur wheat cooked

1 cup sprouted mung beans or 1/2 cup of a lean protein of your choice Рclick here to learn how to sprout

1/4 avocado, diced

2 large white mushrooms, sliced

2 bok choy leaflets, diced

1/2 grapefruit, peeled and sliced

1/4 cup fresh mozzarella cheese (optional if you like cheese on your salad)

1 tsp lemon zest or freshly squeeze lemon juice

1 tsp salt and black pepper (optional for taste)

1 1/2 tsp olive oil

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 freshly grated garlic clove

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Directions

1. Slice your bok choy leaflets into pieces about the size of lettuce leaves you usually get in a caesar salad. Wash the mushrooms properly. Cook these vegetables if you wish to (you can steam them in the microwave in a bowl of water as well if you are short on time).

2. Cook your sprouted lentils or your choice of lean protein (if they are not cooked already).

3. Place the bulgur wheat, lentils, mushrooms, bok choy, and avocado into a mixing bowl. On the side, start to peel and slice half of a grapefruit. As you are doing this, some of the grapefruit juice will being to ooze out so do it over a small bowl and collect the dripping juice because we are going to use it!

4. Place your sliced grapefruit into the bowl and freshly grate one garlic clove over top.

5. Take the grapefruit juice that you collected (if you didn’t get much, don’t worry, you really only need a few drops for the tangy dressing). Mix the juice with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper (if you need it), and the lemon juice. This will make a nice refreshing dressing for your salad. Taste a little to make sure it is not too tangy for you and if you need more salt or pepper.

6. Drizzle the salad with your freshly made dressing and mix together. Top your salad with some fresh mozzarella cheese if you wish. Yummm, so refreshing! : ) 

Wheat and Lentil Medley w/ Indian Spices (Khichdi)

First, I apologize to my followers for the two email notifications you may have gotten so close to each other, but this recipe is too good to hold back from sharing! Today evening, before dinner, my mom taught me how to make a special Indian dish called khichdi, which is a light yellowish dish typically found in restaurants as a blend of rice and lentils. However, my mom makes it differently and with her own, authentic blend of Indian spices. Indian dishes typically use a lot of curry powder, but my mom likes to substitute that with curry leaves and turmeric powder instead since they are healthier for your digestion. And, they in fact make the dish taste so much better! For Indian dishes, we typically like to first create our “sauce” in a separate pot with our choice of oil and then cook our lentils, rice, vegetables, etc. with the “sauce”. That is what my mom taught me and we used some delicious and hearty coconut oil, and I threw in some freshly diced garlic! This dish is a delicate blend of wheat and lentils that tastes just like rice but is in fact, healthier because yellow mung lentils are rich in dietary fiber and protein. Serve this rice dish warm – you can in fact make it your entire meal because it is really filled or just use it as a side dish. The dish will turn out to be the texture of sticky rice that you typically enjoy in Korean or Thai restaurants. We typically like to enjoy the medley with just some yogurt, but you can add your own twist to it!¬†The blend of spices, lentil, and wheat tastes just perfect and is very filling.

*¬†¬†You can soak the lentils overnight if you aren’t used to eating too much legumes and are afraid of gas, but with yellow mung lentils, you don’t necessarily need to soak them overnight like you typically do with other legumes.

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The Recipe

Yields 4 – 6 Servings

Serving Size: 1 bowl

2 cups yellow mung lentils

2 cups cracked wheat

5 – 7 curry leaves

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 tbsp cumin seeds

2 garlic cloves, diced

1 tsp turmeric powder

3/4 – 1 tsp salt

4 tbsp of seaweed kelp

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Directions

1. In a small pot stovetop, saut√© together the coconut oil, chopped garlic, cumin seeds, and curry leaves to make a delicious blend of Indian spices as your “sauce”.

*¬†¬†You can soak the lentils overnight if you aren’t used to eating too much legumes and are afraid of gas, but with yellow mung lentils, you don’t need to soak them overnight.

2. Place the sauté coconut oil spices, the cracked wheat, the lentils, and the additional spices (turmeric powder, seaweed kelp, and salt) into a rice cooker. Place double the amount of water into the cooker.

3. Cook for about 30 – 40 minutes till they are cooked. Serve warm!

Lentil Quinoa Soup

Blegh, today was a tough day. There was a huge thunderstorm and hailstorm in New York that literally seemed like a hurricane storm. Walking through it to get home was very exhausting so by the time I came home, my mom and I just wanted to throw a quick dinner together with the least amount of dishes possible. So for dinner today, I mixed together whole grains, lentils, and vegetables to make this hearty soup. It was really filling, and I incorporated some great spices to make it savory and have some anti-inflammatory effects. Moreover, the soup was easy on my tummy so that was really perfect considering my big dinner last night at The Melting Pot. I hope you enjoy! 

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The Recipe

Yields 1 Serving

Serving Size: 1 dinner entree bowl

1/2 cup cooked quinoa

1/2 cup cooked sprouted mothbeans – click here to learn how to sprout

1/2 cup mushroom, sliced

1/2 cup cooked kale, chopped

1 cup vegetable broth or water

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 – 2 tsp fresh grated ginger root

Vegan Sprout Avocado Salad

For lunch today, I made an avocado salad with sprouted moth beans. Everything I used was raw except the moth beans, which I cooked. However, if you’re on a raw vegan diet, you can easily use raw sprouted moth beans in this recipe and have it taste just as good with more crunchiness! What I love about this salad is that it is packed with antioxidants and fiber, and I also threw in some lemon juice and turmeric powder for an anti-inflammatory effect. The salad was a great to-go lunch for work today, and I have to say that the avocado made it perfectly yummy in my tummy for sure. ūüôā

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The Recipe

Yields 1 Serving main dish

Serving Size: 1 salad bowl

1/2 cup cooked sprouted moth beans (you can use raw sprouted moth beans as well)

2 cups raw spinach, chopped

1 cucumber, diced w/ skin

8 cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced

1/4 avocado, diced

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 lemon wedge juice or 1 tsp lemon juice

Salt as per needed (optional)

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Directions

1. Wash and cut all the vegetables carefully. On the side, cook the sprouted moth beans if you aren’t looking for a completely raw salad. To learn how to sprout moth beans, click here.

sprouted moth beans

2. Sprinkle the moth beans with turmeric powder and drizzle all of the salad toppings with your lemon juice. You can add a little salt if your tastebuds need it. 

turmeric moth bean sprouts

 

all of the salad toppings ready and drizzled with lemon

3. Once all the ingredients are ready, layer the salad by placing the sprouted moth beans first, then the spinach, followed by the tomatoes and cucumbers, and finally the avocado. Shake/mix up the salad as you wish to mix all of the ingredients together and enjoy!

Sprouted Lentil Protein Salad

I’m working in the city this summer and instead of torturing my stomach with city food everyday, I make lunch and my snacks from home and take them with me. Today, I made a lentil protein salad that is full of healthy combination of carbohydrates from the lentils, protein from the eggs, vitamins and antioxidants from the vegetables, MUFAs from the avocado, and a dash of sweetness with the fresh strawberries. This lentil salad only took me ten minutes to toss together and its so easy to take on-the-go in an air tight plastic container like above.¬†Yummm, who knew salads could be so tasty and healthy at the same time!

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The Recipe

Yields 1 Servings

Serving Size: 1 bowl

2 cups sprouted lentils (I used mung beans – click here to learn how to easily sprout your own lentils and beans)

1/2 cup of strawberries, sliced

2 hardboiled egg whites, sliced (I removed the yolks and used the egg whites only)

1 cup raw baby spinach leaves

8 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

1/4 ripe avocado, sliced

1 dash of turmeric powder (optional)

1 pinch of salt (optional)

Crunchy Lentil Trail Mix

I started to train for a marathon recently, working out several times a week, and I found myself having a hard time getting the proper post-workout nutrition being a lactose-intolerant vegetarian. The recommended post-workout nutrition is centered around protein and carbohydrates. However, most of the recovery bars that you find in the supermarkets (i.e. PowerBar, CliffBar) are very delicious and appetizing, but I personally felt that they had too much added sugar and processed materials.

So, I decided to create a homemade lentil trail mix that I could both use as a post-workout recovery or as a snack anytime during the day. It is packed with healthy vitamins from the lentil and healthy fats (including mostly MUFAs) from the nuts and other add-ins that I chose to use. Since it is baked, it has a crunchy texture and both the chocolate chips and raisins give it a sweet taste, which altogether makes it a very satisfying yet healthy snack.

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The Recipe

Yields about 20-25 Servings

Serving Size: 1/2 cup

3.5 cup lentil/peas uncooked (I used yellow lentils – you can use any you wish: moong dal, split green peas, yellow lentil, red lentil, etc.)

2 cup raw whole almonds

1 cup semisweet chocolate or carob chips (I used Trader Joe’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips – you can use any kind of chocolate chips you want or even choose not to include them in your trail mix)

1.5 cup raw pumpkin seeds

1.5 cup raisins seedless (you can use dried cranberries as well)

** You can basically use whatever add-ins you want based on your taste so feel free to play around with whatever you like. To give you an idea, here are some add-ins you could use: dried cranberries, raisins, chocolate or carob chips, almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, dried blueberries, dried apricots, dried figs, whole flax seeds, chia seeds, fennel seeds, etc. Some of my favorite combinations are the following:

– dried cranberries and chocolate or carob chips

– pumpkin seeds, whole flax seeds, and raisins

– chia seeds, dried blueberries, and walnuts

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Directions

1. Soak lentils in a bowl until they are soaked for about 1-2 hours. Drain the lentils.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 C.

3. If you are using any nuts, silver your almonds or crush your walnuts, etc. Then mix them with your lentils and spread them across a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or sprayed with PAM, whatever you prefer.

4. Bake the lentils and the nuts, stirring twice or thrice every 10 minutes, until the lentils are golden crisp. Cool the lentil mix to room temperature for 20-30 minutes.

5. Mix the roasted lentils and nuts with your extra add-ins like raisins or chocolate chips, etc.

6. Store in an airtight container (the trail mix lasts for over a month).