Friday, December 23, 2011

No-bake brownies

A couple of weeks ago, these two cute little Reindeers appeared in my house along with a very cute and small Christmas tree. How sweet !
These two cuties kindled me to go and work in the kitchen for Christmas celebration.

Last year I made lots of cookies, Bourbon biscuit, choco cookies, coconut macaroons, Oh the list goes long. You can find all the recipes here. This time I started with no-bake brownies.

No-bake brownies are very simple, with simple ingredients like a pack of Marie biscuit, chopped nuts, cocoa powder and a tin of condensed milk. As the name says, no need to bake or cook. All you need is patience.

I tried this recipe from 'Cooking and me' by Nags. You can find the recipe here from her site.

In addition to her recipe, I added one of my favorite ingredient which made the brownies extra special. The secret ingredient is none other than peanut butter. To the brownie mixture I added 1/4 cup of peanut butter, rest all I followed the original receipe.

Since I used the peanut butter, I think my brownies were little fudgy. But the taste was wonderful. It reminded us the taste of Ferrero Rocher. Karthik started calling those brownies as Ferrero Rocher.

You will not believe me I bought a small pack of Ferrero Rocher the day I made the brownies and I am happy to report that the Ferrero Rocher is still there in the fridge while my brownies are long gone!!

Merry chrismas to all.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Nutritious lentils

As a vegetarian, I dare not dream a world without lentils - my major source of protein. Last week, Alton Brown' Goodeats show was about one of the oldest and most versatile ingredient in the pantry, the lentil. Click the Goodeats to know more about the show and the recipes he tried.


Here are some interesting facts and articles about lentils that I culled from the net. Hope you find them useful.

Nutritional facts :
One cup of lentils, approximately 198 g, a single serving of cooked lentil contains 230 calories. Lentils are a healthy option for a weight loss diet, since they are filling while being low in calories. One serving of lentils contains 18 g of protein and only1 g of fat. There are 40 g of carbohydrate in one cup of lentils, including 16 g of fiber. The fiber in lentils is of both soluble and insoluble types. Lentils have no cholesterol and are low in salt, with only 4 mg sodium per cup.

Health Benefits :
Health magazine has selected lentils as one of the five healthiest foods. They are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber, helps in managing blood-sugar disorders. Lentils also provide good to excellent amounts of six important minerals, two B-vitamins, and protein—all with virtually no fat. This tiny nutritional giant fills you up--not out.

Love Your Heart—Eat Lentils. A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine confirms that eating high fiber foods, such as lentils, helps prevent heart disease. Lentils can increase energy by replenishing iron stores. Particularly for menstruating women, who are more at risk for iron deficiency, boosting iron stores with lentils is a good idea--especially because, unlike red meat, another source of iron, lentils are not rich in fat and calories. Iron is an integral component of hemoglobin, which transports oxygen from the lungs to all body cells, and is also part of key enzyme systems for energy production and metabolism. And remember: If you're pregnant or lactating, your needs for iron increase. Growing children and adolescents also have increased needs for iron.

Go to your kitchen, quickly cook some lentil and enjoy them as a salad or a soup.

References :, - Home cooking, WH Foods, Live Strong

Friday, December 16, 2011

Cream of vegetable soup

Last weekend we decided to eat out and headed to our favourite restaurant here. As usual the food did not disappoint and we stuffed ourselves up. Guilt began to bite us and we thought a long walk would quieten it. Walked along  the beautifully decorated Orchard Road. Oh yeah, also saw the male models standing outside the Abercombie&Fitch outlet to celebrate the opening of their new shop in Singapore. This is the hot news here, with all the local news channels covering this for the past one week.

The food we had this time was a little different from our usual one. I wanted to try them at home in my style. This cream of vegetable soup is one among them.  Most of the time I prepare tomato soup and red coloured vegetable soup. So I wanted to try this soup since it tasted so rich, creamy and with lots of vegetables, of course the color is different from what I used to cook:)

Very easy to make and satisfies your heart and stomach.

Ingredients :

1 cup -- Cut vegetables
1 no -- Onion (small size)
1 pod -- Garlic
2 cups -- Water or Vegetable stock.
2 tsp -- Corn flour
1 tbsp -- Butter
1/4 cup -- Milk
1/4 cup -- Heavy cream (optional)
1/4 cup -- Grated cheese (optional)
Black pepper and salt to taste

Method :
--- Heat the sauce pan to the medium heat and add butter.
--- Slice the onion, garlic and saute them in the butter. After a minute add the cut vegetables.
*** Choose the vegetables according to your taste. I used yellow and green coloured bell peppers, carrots, peas. Also cut the vegetable to small thin pieces. You can use cauliflower, broccoli, beans, corns, choices are endless.
--- Once they are half cooked add water or vegetable stock, pepper, salt and cook well.
--- Now take the corn flour and dissolve in the milk without any lumps. Pour the mixture to the cooking stock.
--- Cook until a creamy thick soup is formed. It will take about 3 - 5 minutes.
--- Last stage. add heavy cream and cheese and mix well . Turn the heat off.
--- Heavy cream and cheese are optional, this adds more rich taste to the soup.
I did not use cheese in this soup. Without that itself my soup tasted just like  the one we had in the restaurant.
Restaurant style cream of vegetable soup is ready to serve at your table.