Oatmeal Breakfast >> with easy management tips!

Hey Socials,

Are you also not a breakfast fan?

Well, we are best friends then!

I would rather eat the leftovers from the previous night than making a meal in the morning—moreover, it’s a task to figure out what to make for breakfast. My breakfast list is limited.

Here are some basic things you can practice make your mornings easy, effective and healthy.

  1. Plan your mornings: 

Write down the things you have to do for the next day. Make a to-do list of clothes you are going to wear for office, what shoes go with them, what hairdo will suit that outfit, similarly, write down what breakfast you want to make, In this way, you will be organised and on time.

2. Prepare in advance:

Prepare the things that can help and save your time in the morning, in this way you will have more time to yourself and won’t have to rush. For example; Keep clothes ironed, shoes and socks ready for your morning run next to your running clothes, prepare your smoothie mixture in a ziplock or a container, so you don’t waste time finding things in the fridge.

This practice has helped me in a long way, especially as a flight attendant. I had to wake up at odd hours to go for a flight, and for that, I used to prepare my things so I can take that 15 mins of extra sleep.

How to prepare oatmeal?

EASY!!!!

To a cup of rolled oats or steel-cut oats in a pan and add 1 cup water and 1/2 a cup of milk. Cook it, until it takes up porridge consistency. {we can precook this a night before and store it in the fridge} Serves 2

Toppings?

EASY!!!

Be creative, and if you run out of ideas, follow these basic ones.

  1. Top up the oatmeal with sliced banana coins, nut butter, chia or flax seeds and maple syrup/honey.
  2. Cut an apple in cubes and add them to the oatmeal porridge along with the cinnamon powder. Top up with honey or maple syrup.
  3. Add your favourite berries or berry compote to the oatmeal and sprinkle the magic of coconut flakes. Top up with honey or maple syrup.
  4. Add dry nuts, seeds like hemp, flax, or chia to the oatmeal along with some honey or maple syrup.
  5. Mix cacao powder with oatmeal porridge as per your liking and top them with shredded milk or dark chocolate to give yourself a treat. Top up with honey or maple syrup.
  6. Make it savory, cook the oat meal with some carrots, broccoli, onions and green chilly with turmeric powder and salt. (refrain from adding milk)

These are my favourite ways to make my breakfast hassle-free, exciting and healthy. Feel free to mix and match your mood and taste buds. Try to intake your quota of essential nuts, seeds, and fruits in your first meal of the day. So even if you have a long busy day, you don’t have to worry about this.

Why Oatmeal?

It’s a wonderful meal to keep our self full for a longer time as they are full of fiber, takes a long time to digest. Oats are full of antioxidants that help to prevent cardiovascular diseases, high in protein and low on calories. Controls diabetes and regulates bowel movement.

I mean, it’s a win-win in my opinion!

Keep eating healthy, because healthy is not boring. Until we meet.

Much Love

Classic Vegetable stock >> a kitchen essential + storage idea.

Hi, socials
The internet is buzzing with several recipes, especially with the lock-down season.
Most of us are experimenting with a lot of sweet and savory dishes. With this, we have also tried our hands on quite a few delicious yet healthy recipes.
When we talk about curry recipes, we sometimes need to use vegetable or meat stock to add extra flavors and thicken the consistency to our meals. Bouillon cubes are also available in the market as an easy alternative, however, it may turn out expensive and/or unhealthy.

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In this case, it is easy to make your own stock at home that is healthy and cost-effective. We can use the basic simple ingredients or even toss in some of the leftover herbs/veggies. If you are thinking of the storage problem, then we’ve got you covered.
We have added an accidental item in this stock recipe which is optional.
Without wasting any more time, we would like to take you straight to the recipe.

Basic ingredients:

Onion

Celery

Carrots

Additionally, add Garlic.

Optional ingredients – Any herbs and vegetables available at home/ fridge. We also added some clove.

Accidentally added – Samgyetang Ingredients Mix These ingredients are used to make a traditional bowl of chicken soup in Korea during the summer to build up the lost energy.

Method:

Take a large container and all 1lit water. simmer the gas and add all the chopped ingredients to it and let it boil for 45 mins to 1 hour. Use a large strainer or a cheesecloth to strain the ingredients. Let the stock come to room temperature before you store it.

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Storage:

You can store the stock in a glass bottle in the refrigerator. Or if you have a shortage problem, then you can freeze the liquid in an ice tray and then transfer the cubes into a storage bag. When needed, just add 6-7 stock ice cubes to your dish to enjoy its great flavours.

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Hope this was useful and you will try and let us know about the same. Take care of your self until we meet,

Much Love.

Is sugar really bad? + Sugar alternatives.

We tend to make a conscious effort to cut down our sugar consumption, because we intuitively feel that sugar is evil. Campaigns and advertisements constantly vilify sugar in favour of chemical substitutes.

How can we possibly eliminate sugar altogether?

Isn’t it the most irresistible thing?

But wait a minute; is sugar really bad?

In India,

  • 93% of children eat packaged food more than once a week
  • 59% of children aged between 14 years and 17 years consume packaged beverages or meals at least once a day.
  • 91% of children carry a lunch box from their homes, but 40% of children consume packaged food at school almost daily. **

In the UAE,

  • 47% of adults dine out 2-3 times a week, and 17% of adults say that they eat out/order in every single day.**

But bear in mind, packaged food is full of artificial sugars and oils that are used as preservatives.

What is sugar?

Sugar is a type of carbohydrate found in food and beverages. After consumption of food the sugar gets broken down into glucose that is used for energy. A sugar is of many types and has different functions in our body. It is important to understand what type of sugar is good for our body.

Artificial Vs Natural Sugar: 

Artificial sugars are added while preparing or processing food and beverages. Eg., candy soda, diet sodas, sausages, chips, cereals, ready to eat/make packaged food. Artificial sugar is used in food to increase the shelf life. They contain no nutrients, hence the blood sugar level spikes up rapidly and drops soon. They provide empty calories. Our pancreas create insulin to stimulate the storage of blood sugar in the form of Fat or Glycogen. This makes us lazy and lethargic. Therefore, we tend to feel hungry soon after eating processed food.

Natural sugar occurs naturally in our daily food. E.g., fruits, vegetables, grains and dairy. Natural sugars are better than artificial sugars as they contain more nutrients and we benefit from the fibre content of the food they are found in. Fibre helps control the spike in blood sugar level, and helps us feel fuller for a longer period of time.

What happens if we over eat sugar?

Over consumption of sugar is linked with several avoidable heart problems, type 2 diabetes and obesity.

According to the AHA (American Heart Association), the daily sugar intake recommended for men is not more than 9 Teaspoons (35 grams) and 6 Teaspoons (25 grams) for women.

If we consider a breakfast of 1 sunny side up with 2-3 slice of bread, butter, fruit jam and a glass of packaged orange juice, we have probably exceeded our daily sugar limit. Hence, its ideal to choose food carefully.

How can we avoid buying ‘added sugar’ products?

Be aware of misleading advertisements: 

Little do we know, when we read ‘100% fruit juice’, ‘No added sugar’, ‘Healthy’, ‘Zero calories’, ‘Diet cola’, ‘Heart Healthy’, ‘Sugar-Free’, ‘Fat Free’ or ‘Made with real honey’ advertised on packages are not necessarily good for health, they may contain added sugar.

We must learn to pay attention to the Nutritional Facts printed at the back of our cereals or juices, which clearly indicate the content of dietary nutrients.

Pay attention to these names of artificial sugars on the labels:

  • Brown sugar
  • Corn sweetener
  • Corn syrup
  • Concentrated fruit juice
  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Honey
  • Galactose
  • Invert sugar
  • White sugar
  • Molasses
  • Raw sugar
  • Maple sugar
  • Granulated sugar
  • Sugar
  • Sugar molecules ending in “ose” (dextrose, fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose, sucrose)
  • Laevulose
  • Syrup
  • Dextrose

Don’t be fooled with the serving size:

We generally consume more than the serving size mentioned on the packaging.

A serving size mentioned may refer to a 1/2 cookie or just a 1 slice of bread. Make sure we know what and how much of it we are consuming/ serving.

What are the alterations we can consider to avoid artificial or added sugar?

  • Replace sodas*, energy drinks, packaged juices and pre-sweetened teas with water, homemade lemonade, infused water with mint, berries, cucumber, lemon or orange, or fresh coconut water.
  • Craving for sweets can be a false trigger for thirst, try drinking a glass of water before if you are craving for something sweet.
  • Purchase plain yoghurt ***and jazz it up with fresh or frozen berries instead of buying flavoured, sugar-loaded yoghurt from the market.
  • Consume whole fruits like banana as a natural sweetener instead of sugar in a smoothie.
  • Replace candy with homemade cookies for kids.**
  • Try fruits for dessert after dinner, banana + yoghurt, chocolate strawberry or a simple fruit salad with maple syrup.
  • Use olive oil, vinegar, honey for a salad instead of a packaged salad dressing.
  • Make your own granola.
  • Instead of jelly, slice fresh bananas onto your peanut butter sandwich.
  • Use natural nut butter in place of off-the-shelf manufactured chocolate spread.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages that are sweetened with soda, juice, honey, sugar or agave.
  • Shop the perimeter of the grocery store, focusing on fresh, whole ingredients.

To wrap up:

Not all sugar is ‘bad’, natural sugars are good, and food in which natural sugars are found have the added advantage of nutrients, fibre and minerals. We encourage preparing your own healthy meals at home and avoid buying foods and drinks that are high in artificial/added sugar.

Eliminating sugar completely from our diet is impossible, unhealthy and certainly not recommended.

* Avoiding carbonated drinks helps prevent bloating.

** Involving children in small activities to make food will certainly build their interest in healthy eating. Celebrate homemade food as a treat.

*** Milk and Yogurt contains natural sugar Lactose along with proteins, vitamins and some minerals which can be difficult to obtain from other food sources.

Credits:

https://www.financialexpress.com/lifestyle/junk-food-becoming-menace-in-india-data-points-to-dangerous-increase-in-consumption/1679596/

https://www.khaleejtimes.com/lifestyle/food/eating-out-is-on-everyones-menu-in-the-uae

Thai Curry with a twist.

Thai curry fan???

Who is not?

Lets not waste any more time.

Marinate chicken

Marinate the chicken: (20-30 mins)

Ginger and Garlic paste, Salt and lemon juice. Miso paste (optional) Orange juice (fresh), Thai curry paste (red, green, as per choice)

You can marinate Tofu instead of chicken.

Preparation

Chop your favorite vegetables:

We have used, red and yellow bell pepper. Onions chopped, Thai lemon leaves, Pak choy, Enoki mushrooms’ and Chilly (optional). You can also add egg plant, beans etc.

Coconut milk and Basil leaves are important.

Method:

  1. To a hot pan, add a tbsp of coconut oil, Onions and a chilly. Let it cook.
  2. Add the marinated chicken to the pot and let it cook for about 3-4 mins. add water to deglaze the pan.
  3. Add 2 tbsp each Thai curry paste** and sodium reduces soy sauce.
  4. Add homemade or a can of coconut milk and add a bouillon cube or vegetable stock and a glass of water.
  5. Add salt as per taste.**
  6. Let it cook for about 5 mins.
Want to know how to make and store veg stock? Click here

Add the vegetable to the boiling curry and cook the curry for about 3-4 mins.

We loved using greens in our curry to make it more wholesome. The last step can easily be replaced with white button mushrooms & spinach.

**Keep an eye on the salt as we have marinated the chicken with salt as well.

**When adding Thai curry paste, make sure you add small quantity as an authentic Thai grocery bought product may be spicier than the one bought from supermarket.

Plating:

Serve the curry on a bed of sticky or normal rice.

Enjoy with love.

Citrus Roast

Ever fancied having those beautiful citric dressings on your favorite desserts, meals or baked salmon?

I got ya back!

Follow these few simple steps and invest a little time to get the perfect dressing. Roasting Lemons, Oranges, Grapefruits bring out their intense charcoal, sweet and sour flavors.

Pre-heat the oven at 200°

Slice the orange or any citric fruit.
Place them on a parchment lined baking tray. Slide it into the oven.
Reduce the heat after 2 hours. Keep a close eye on the oranges whilst you toss or flip them.
Store them in a Zip-Lock bag in the refrigerator and use them to decorate your meal.

Where can you use them?

Well, it goes beautifully with roasted sweet potatoes, condiments for meat, use them on your salad or just as a decoration on yogurt or vanilla ice-cream.

गूळ खोबर ( Jaggery and dry coconut )

Snacking on Gul Khobra ( Jaggery and dry coconut ) has been a tradition in my family.

It’s quick, easy to grab and go, additionally has many unbeatable health benefits.

Jaggery is RICH in magnesium and hence keeps your intestine happy.
Coconut is high in fiber and slows down glucose absorption keeping glucose level in control. Hence it help keep you fuller for longer and also cuts down on the sugar craving while giving you a sweet treat for snack.

In my opinion consumption of coconut is great pre-workout too as it is loaded with fat and the medium-chain triglycerides gets absorbed in our small intestine providing energy to our body. The insoluble fiber helps in healthy gut.

The natural oil available in the dry coconut that may reduces bad cholesterol and improves good cholesterol. That means it may reduce our risk of heart disease.

This combination of snacking coconut and jaggery goes way back in time and help boost immunity especially in monsoon. When the weather changes this power packed combination will keep us warm and healthy.
Says my Mother.
Aanndd!… Mothers are always right.

Keep showing love.

References and Credits:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5044790/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5686931/

Hold on to your waste

As I hold on to my mother’s philosophy of root-to-stem cooking.

Little hacks come handy, and so I have decided to share these tips I have learned from my parents with you all.

Freezer them:
We often end up putting all the peels and the heads of the veggies we used in the trash. On the contrary, I saw my grandma storing leftovers and the waste of vegetables in the freezer to make vegetable stock.

Fruits for Fertilizer:
What do you usually do when you finish eating a banana, apple, an orange or a pomegranate?? Trash them?
Well, now you can store them in a zip lock bag with some water a few days and then use the water a plant fertilizer.

Onion and garlic peels:
What?!! How can one use onion and garlic peels?

Well, the outer skin of onion and garlic contains high antioxidant and a great source of vitamin A, C and E.

Tips to use onion and garlic skin

  • Pop in some onion skins in the rice cooker to add nutrients to rice.
  • Heat the onion skin or a few layers of onion with hair oil to stop hair fall naturally.
  • Use onion and garlic-infused water on the skin to avoid skin allergies and acne.

Can’t use them now? Alrighty! Store them in a zip lock or plastic bag or a container for later in the freezer.

Credits:

Aai, Baba and Aaji.

The 3Cs!

Capsicum Coconut curry!

Being a half goan, coconut has always influenced our meal preparations. There was never a day that we ran out of a coconut, and if that happened, my mother made sure I ran to the nearest supermarket to get one.

Coconut has been a significant part of my childhood and my pantry obsession.

Presenting to you a very simple capsicum coconut red curry that takes only 7 mins for preparation and 15 mins to cool. Can be batch cooked and stored for days to follow.

This vibrant and creamy curry is comforting, serves 5 and just 350 calories.

Ingredients:
Use sunflower or any oil that is available in the pantry.
Capsicum 500 grams,
Coconut Milk,
1 medium-large onion,
3-4 cloves of garlic, 1 spicy green chilly, and
Finely chopped 12/2 medium tomatoes.
Spices used – red chilly powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and salt to taste.
Garnish – Finely chopped coriander.

Method:
To a hot pot, in 2 tbsp oil, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, green chilly and garlic. As soon as the garlic turns a bit pink, add the finely chopped onion and let it cook till golden brown. Add the tomatoes and cook them until they are mashed and you see them releasing their own water, add the spices as per your taste*. Once the spices release the aroma, you can go ahead and add the chopped capsicum.
Stir the ingredients well and add the coconut milk as per the thickness desired. For the more liquidy curry, you can combine it with some water.
Put a lid on the container and let it cook for about 5 -7 mins. Later add salt to taste and garnish with coriander.

This curry is easy to make and goes will with wheat flat bread, white, sticky wild or brown rice.

*While adding spices, keep in mind the green chilly used in the curry. Green chilly can be optional if you have zero spice tolerance.

If you make this curry, please tag me on instagram, I would love to see your versions too.

Until we meet… Much love!

Post workout smoothie!

Being underweight all my life was a struggle for me. And for my mother to keep feeding me right to gain weight.


For many of you, weight gain is just as simple as breathing air. I get it, and it is equally painful for a person like me with a high metabolism.

My mother used to incorporate veggies like kale, spinach and beetroots to my regular food. Today, adding greens to my meals comes instinctively to me.


This smoothie can keep you full for long hours due to its balance of macro and micronutrients—one of the reasons why I like to have this smoothie post-workout.


One can consume this smoothie before a meal, and that may prevent overeating.


To a smoothie maker;
A banana, 1/2 orange, some semi-cooked beetroot, some raspberries 3/4 cup yoghurt or milk of our choice and blend with 1 tbsp of almond butter and flax seeds.
Sprinkle some cinnamon and serve with love! (serves 2)

Nutritional banana contains vital nutritious values that help weight loss. Vitamin C helps prevent tissue damage; Vitamin B6 helps produce red blood cells, and potassium supports brain growth.

Raspberry packed with antioxidants fight against cancer, heart and circulatory diseases. Tannin content controls blood sugar.

A study in 2012 has suggested that consumption of beetroot juice boosts physical performance. Beetroot also contains many other nutrients like iron, potassium, selenium, copper and the list goes on.

The most popular fruit helps with several benefits. Orange contains Vitamins B6 that help boosts the making of haemoglobin. Helps to keep blood pressure under control because of magnesium. Alkalises the body and keeps the eyes healthy with the help of carotenoid present.

Enjoy this version of smoothie and comment down or tag me on instagram if you have ever tried it.

Tips and Tricks: Store the peels in a ziplock bag with water and use the water as a fertilizer after few days.

References and Credits:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26501271/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22248502/

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/diet/why-you-should-eat-oranges/articleshow/4662391.cms

Minty Avo Shake

Lockdown is no longer applicable in Dubai, yet people are not too sure of stepping out and availing the restaurant services.

Here is a simple version of an avocado shake that will instantly add a cooling impression to Dubai summer.

Stay Home and enjoy healthy freshness with this easy and hearty recipe. (serves 2)

To a smoothie maker, add;

  • 1 Avocado,
  • 3-4 Mint leaves,
  • 2-3 soft dates (deseeded) or sugar as per taste,
  • One glass of milk,
  • 1 tsp chia seeds,
  • 3-4 ice cubes.
Serve with love!

Nutritional Facts 

Avocado– This popular fruit is also known as a buttery fruit embraces sustainable amount of monounsaturated fatty acids providing en-number of nutrients and minerals. 

It is associated with reduced inflammation and shown to have beneficial effects on genes linked to cancer and is rich in soluble fibre.

Mint– Mint has a profoundly fresh and vibrant flavour. A vitamin A that not only helps with night vision but also a potential source of antioxidant that will help and protect the body from the stress that is caused by free radicles. 

An avocado shake with a twist of mint will bring instant freshness with vehemence through the rest of the day. 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10997544/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17168666/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16484595/