Gazpacho – the Spanish Soup (Cold & Refreshing)

gazpachoWhat can be better than this refreshing and cleansing cold summer soup to beat the heat? A few simple ingredients and no cooking required – can you ask for more? 😉 There are several gazpacho recipes available online, but here is my take on the Andalusian soup. If you want to experiment then you can add soaked bread to thicken the soup, generous amount of olive oil, some vinegar to increase the tang, and include raw onion to recreate the original recipe. Enjoy it any way you like, but definitely try it out. Bring on some tapas and you have a delicious meal ready in no time (quick, delicious, and, of course healthy). Tapas recipes coming soon- I promise!

Know your key nutrients: By now, I think you might have become familiar with the foods I usually work with and their nutrient profile. You might be able to fill out this section for me, right? 🙂 Can you describe this dish by its nutrient profile in the comments – say whether it is low, moderate or high in terms of its calorie, fiber, protein, fat, vitamin content ? Right answers will get a surprise!

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(A hint)

Per serving: 97 calories | 2 g protein | 5 g fat | 1.5 g fiber | Vit C & Pro-vitamin A

Total time: ~ 10 mins 

Ingredients (2 servings)

2 Persian cucumbers, diced

2 tomatoes, diced

1/2 red bell pepper (large), de-seeded and diced

1 large clove of garlic

2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Chopped Cilantro or grated cheese for garnish

Procedure

  1. Wash the vegetables and then dice. De-seed only the bell pepper and retain the peel of cucumber. Best is to avoid washing vegetables after cutting. Washing after cutting the vegetable increases the exposed area and washes away the water soluble nutrients with it. More such tips on preserving nutrients are in the GOOD TO KNOW section. 
  2. Blenderize the vegetables along with garlic to make a fine puree. Add some water if necessary.
  3. Collect the puree in a large bowl while you pass it through a fine sieve. Mash the residue as much as possible to extract maximum juice and reduce the solid residue. If you wish to not strain the puree, you may do so. I tried it in order to save the fiber, but the consistency was not so appealing & taste was not as palatable. I found other ways to utilize the fiber rather than discarding it. Save it for your stocks, or spice it up with different spice mixes (red chili powder, cumin & corriander powder, with or without ginger-garlic) and bind with potato or bread crumbs to make patties (like my SCHEZWAN PATTIES recipe) or use it as a filling for your turnovers, parathas, or savory cakes (like my DOODHI DHOKLA recipe).
  4. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and olive oil.
  5. Serve the soup immediately or keep it in the refrigerator for cooling. Garnish with chopped cilantro and/or grated cheese. Salud ! 🙂

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Roasted Chana Dal & Curry leaves Chutney (Indian Hummus ;)

Who does not love dosas or idlis (the South Indian crepes and soft steamed cakes) ??? They go so well with tomato chutney, coconut chutneys and sambar (South Indian Lentil Soup). But have you tried a chana dal chutney with it? If not, this is a must-try healthy chutney to compliment your favorite idlis and dosas!! I call it the Indian Hummus 😀

My mom makes this chutney every time she makes dosas (with or without sambar). I like how simple, yet flavorful this chutneys is, even without coconut!!

Chana dal chutney 3

Know your nutrients: This is a low calorie, protein dip. Chana dal like most pulses is a good source of proteins for vegetarians, and a complete protein when combined with cereals (rice, wheat etc). Roasted chana dal contains more Iron than regular chana dal because it is usually roasted in iron woks that introduces iron into the dal. Dals (& whole beans) are a good source of Magnesium and Potassium, valued for lowering blood pressure.

Per serving: 44 cals | 2 g protein | 2 g total fat 

Time: 5-10 minutes

Ingredients (6 servings)

1/2 cup roasted chana dal (split chickpeas) (~ 2oz, 56g)

1 large clove of garlic

1/4 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves

1 green chili or 1/4 tsp red chili powder

6-8 curry leaves

salt to taste

For tempering

2 tsp oil

1/8 tsp mustard seeds

a pinch of asafetida

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Procedure:

  1. Blenderize roasted chana dal, garlic, chili/ red chili powder, curry leaves and cilantro leaves with 1/2 cup of water to make a smooth paste. Add additional water (~1/4 cup) & blenderize again, if you prefer less thick.
  2. Heat oil in a small steel pot. When it is hot enough, but not smoking, add mustard seeds and turn off the heat. After the seeds crackle add asafetida.
  3. Allow the oil to cool down & then pour the smooth chana dal paste over the oil and mix well. Serve with idlis or dosas, and enjoy!

Chana dal chutney 4

Variations:

  • You can reserve a few curry leaves and use them for tempering.
  • You can even add the red chili powder to the tempering for deeper flavor and color.
  • Adjust the spice level by adding less or more chili/ chili powder, per your preference.

RECIPE CARD – PIN IT, SAVE IT, SHARE IT! 🙂

roasted chana dal chutney

Yummy Lauki/doodhi Dhokla (steamed calabash savory cake)

After spending about 2 years (on and off) in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India, it was hard to not fall in love with the Gujarati delicacies- khaman dhokla, dhokli, theplas, handva, muthiyas, undhiya etc. However, the generous use of oil/ghee made it a little hard for me to enjoy those dishes without critical evaluation. So, with some determination and courage to try out a hybrid of two of my favorites – lauki muthiya and handva, I conjured up this “formula with halves” 🙂 This makes it easier to remember the recipe too!

I will let you try this recipe, as I reminisce the days we spent in Ahmedabad. The aroma of methi theplas being roasted early in the morning by my neighbor, while I prepared tea with lemon grass, is a fond memory.

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View from our kitchen window

How to serve: Enjoy this dish with a cup of masala chai.

Know your nutrients: This dish serves as a good low calorie, nutritious snack with moderate amount of protein. Most of the snacks can be high in calories & sugar, and/or low in protein. I have used coarse semolina which contains more fiber than fine semolina or semolina flour. However, there was no source to quote its nutrient content. As such, I have used values for semolina flour.

Per serving: 103 cals | 4 g protein | 1 g fiber | 3 g total fat 

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Chatpata Aloo Gobi (Spiced cauliflower potato filling for your tacos/ wraps)

A dear friend requested I post some recipes without onion and garlic. I know its not just me but a lot of people love O & G; they really make food flavorful and are part of most cuisines. I thought it would be a bit difficult to make food as delicious without these ingredients. However, my mom reminded me of some of her recipes that are in fact quite delicious, and don’t require O & G. I had somehow forgotten about those dishes :). During certain religious celebrations as well, Hindus are required to cook without O & G. Its only a matter of different combination of ingredients that make a dish lip smacking, without using a whole lot of oil! So, I hope you enjoy and let me know if you liked this dish. More such recipes on their way ~~~

How to serve: This dish can be served as a subzi with whole wheat roti, or a filling for your tacos and wraps. Add lettuce, tomatoes (and onion for those who love raw onion), lemon juice, cilantro etc over your tacos or serve as a side salad along with beaten, low fat yogurt dressing.

CHECK OUT THE RECIPE CARD BELOW – PIN IT, SAVE IT, SHARE IT!

Know your nutrients: Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable like cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts etc. It is valued for its anti-cancer properties attributed by glucosinolates. Make sure you prepare any of these vegetables at least once a week! Enjoy 2-3 servings of this dish and reap the benefits as well. It also contains vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps protect your body from oxidative stress and builds resistance.

This is a low calorie, high fiber dish with vitamin C.

Per serving: 97 cals| 3 g protein | 3 g fiber | 5 g total fat | 56 mg vitamin C

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Flavorful Coleslaw (Cabbage & yellow pepper salad) – Boost your vit C

Flavorful coleslaw

This is a very interesting and unique recipe that I’ve developed using ingredients, all of which (except for salt & pepper) contain vitamin C, an important and volatile antioxidant. Here’s how you can make this simple & refreshing salad that you can add as a side to your meal, or as a filling in your burritos, or wraps or sandwiches.

Know your nutrients: Vitamin C is important for growth and repair of all body tissues; facilitates healing of cuts and wounds, and keeps teeth and gums healthy. As an anti-oxidant it is all the more important for people with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes etc. who have greater physiological oxidative stress. It can help you relieve your acidity problem by reducing the production of excessive gastric acid. Include it with iron rich foods in your meal and you can boost your iron absorption significantly and thereby increase your Hemoglobin levels. So much for the educational info on vitamin C. Enjoy this salad and leave a comment on the recipe or for the educational info. Thank you! 🙂

Per serving: 24 cals | 1 g protein | 2 g fiber | 0 g total fat | 78 mg vitamin C

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