Winter Quinoa Bowl with Crispy Garbanzos

Happy Wednesday!

It is pouring rain outside here today and I am thankful for it – California can always use an abundance of rain. I am working and drinking cup after cup of hot tea to keep the chill away.

I have definitely been in a rut with dinner for the last few weeks! So I got back to some of my favorite blogs for some ideas and walked away pretty inspired! Some of my faves are:  Naturally EllaSmitten KitchenMy Name is YehA Cozy Kitchen, Cookie and Kate and Pinch Of Yum.

From this exploration I was inspired to make some yummy things: kale salad with fried greek cheese, a couple new soups, and some old fashioned Indian veggies (bengan bhartha!). This quinoa came out of that experimentation – it was delicious. There are a lot of possible variations and I encourage you to use whatever veggies you have on hand. I ran out of tahini otherwise I would have throw that in as a dressing. It was good the way I have it – lots of different textures and very comforting. You could also throw a fried egg on top.

Winter Quinoa Bowl

Ingredients:

1 cup quinoa, rinsed and soaked for at least 10 minutes

1 head cauliflower

1/2 red onion

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

1 can garbanzo beans

salt/pepper

olive oil

dried oregano

garlic (2 cloves, optional)

lemon (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat over to 375 degrees F.
  2. Drain quinoa and cook. Put in a small pot, add 1 and 1/3 cups of water and salt to taste. Cover then bring to a boil. Once it is boiling, decrease the heat to minimum until the water is gone. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
  3. Cut cauliflower into small florets, onions into small pieces,  and toss with salt, pepper and olive oil. Roast in the oven until the cauliflower is crispy. Toss once of twice during cooking. This will likely take 30-40 min.
  4. Use toaster oven to toast the pumpkin seeds. Set aside to cool.
  5. Heat a frying pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil until shimmering, put in the garbanzos (drained and rinsed) and cook, tossing frequently, until they are darker brown and crispy.
  6. You can add thinly sliced garlic once the garbanzos are almost done. Be careful not to allow them to burn.
  7. Toss together the quinoa, 1 tsp dried oregano, cauliflower/onion mixture, crispy garbanzos and pumpkin seeds. Add additional salt/pepper to taste and a squeeze of lemon. Season with crushed red pepper for an extra kick.
  8. Enjoy!

Love,

Pooja

Happy New Year!

Happy Monday! How is everyone doing now that we are solidly in the new year? I am just getting back to this space after a very nice break where we had the chance to recharge and enjoy each other and our extended family. For our end of December vacation we:

Toured the Mission District in SF where we saw murals and ate good food. It was good to back back in our old haunts!

Went to the Jelly Belly factory! Here we learned all about Reagan and how he made Jelly Belly popular and we ate too many (the kids disagree) jelly beans.

 

We also spent some quality cousin time together – and really enjoyed these two peas in a pod:

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I read some books:

A Place for Us was a great story – but it was a little too long and felt too sad/familiar with the immigrant story. I am reading the Art of War for Women now and it is very good. I tried to read Underground Railroad but it was too hard for right now – I will come back to it. I also read this really interesting essay that a friend of mine sent me about women and race, find it here.

And I cooked up a storm – but didn’t take many pictures. Most of what I made was old standbys. These donuts definitely made another appearance!

As we were nearing 2019, our family also took some time to reflect on 2018. We realized that there were some amazing days and memories but also some very hard things. We are all looking forward to this year and the chance to reset! Are you still doing resolutions? We do. I don’t know if they need to be set for January 1 but doing it in the new year does provide a natural break – a time to set intention. My resolution this year is To Pace Myself – I am still figuring out what that is going to look like.

This year is shaping up to be a year of adventure. We will be spending an extended period of time in Asia this summer and we are really excited about the possibilities.I would love to hear what you are planning for 2019! More to come soon…

 

Love,

Pooja

Salty Rye Brownies + Books

Happy Monday everyone! It’s almost holiday time and I am super looking forward to some quality times with friends and family. I hope that you are finding a semblance of balance in this very packed time of year!

I wanted to throw out some book recommendations in case you need something to read during the holidays! These are books that I have read and enjoyed over the last few months – let me know if you have an recommendations for me!

  1. Little Fires Everywhere
  2. A difficult but necessary read: Homegoing
  3. Some interesting life advice books: Grit and this one that I liked less but was still interesting: Overwhelmed – this book had a quote from one of our really good friends which was really cool and it also called out the overuse of the word BUSY – so I am trying hard to stop using it!
  4. An interesting story: How to Stop Time
  5. Loved this: The Hate You Give – still have to see the movie
  6. Intense and SO interesting! One of President Obama’s fave books from last year – literally blew my mind! The Power

The ones on my list to read next are:

  1. Becoming – no intro necessary!
  2. Always looking for an inspiring read and came across this: Gmorning, Gnight!: Little Pep Talks for Me & You – it’s by Lin Manuel-Miranda
  3. A Place for Us

Also, I recommend this article for those of you who are interested in what it is like being a doctor mom, it was written by a friend of mine: Working in Medicine: Experiences of Pregnant Physicians.

Now, onto the brownies! These brownies are GF as they are made with rye flour. They are intensely chocolatey and these turned out a bit salty since I cut back on the added sugar – however, I think that this made them even more addictive! These are adapted from the Violet Bakery Cookbook by Claire Ptak. The recipe comes in grams but I converted on google.

img_2665Salty Rye Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 150g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for greasing the tin (about 10 tablespoons)
  • 300g dark chocolate (at least 60-70% cocoa solids), broken into pieces (about 8 ounces, I used about half of a Trader Joe’s 72% dark giant bar)
  • 50g cocoa powder (1/4 cup)
  • 200g wholemeal rye flour (1 cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 200g unrefined caster sugar (I cut this down to a half cup instead of the full one cup)
  • 200g light brown sugar (I also cut this down to a half cup)
  • 200g eggs (this is closer to 3-4 eggs but I used 2 and they came out fine)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt (e.g.Maldon), for sprinkling on top

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a square 8×8 or 9×9 pan and line with parchment paper.

In a heatproof bowl, melt together the butter and the chocolate over a pan of water that has been brought to the boil and then taken off the heat. I actually did this by melting the butter in the microwave then adding the chocolate and stirring until it was melted. This allowed me to avoid the double boiler technique.Allow the mixture to rest, stirring occasionally as it melts.

In another bowl, whisk together the cocoa, rye flour, baking powder and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together the sugars, eggs, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Slowly add the melted chocolate, followed by the dry ingredients. Mix just enough to combine, then pour into the prepared baking tin. Smooth the top with a spatula and sprinkle with a teaspoon or so of flaky sea salt.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the brownies are set but with a slight wobble. Leave to cool completely in the tin before cutting into 12 squares. These are best warm with vanilla ice cream but also take amazing the next day as they firm up!

Love,

Pooja

Ricotta Donuts

Happy December everyone! It’s hard to believe that we are approaching the end of the year. In the midst of all of the holiday craziness, I am trying to find ways to stay centered. We celebrated Esha’s 10th birthday and Nisa’s 3rd birthday. I went on a hike with a good friend last week, had a family dinner with a bunch of friends for Friendsgiving last weekend, and was blessed to reconnect with someone important in my life. As we gear up for new adventures next year, we are trying to find ways to be cozy for the end of the year. Enter these amazing donuts – please excuse the pictures, I was so skeptical that these would be good (they are so easy! I have never made donuts before!) that I didn’t take pictures until the girls took a bite and were wowed.

I thought that these were going to be a weekend project but really they only take a few minutes and they are well worth the effort! They may have been even more delicious because I fried them in ghee. We also made these with spelt flour – you really couldn’t tell the difference.

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Ricotta Donuts

Ingredients:

  • Powdered sugar for sprinkling
  • ghee (or canola oil for frying)
  • 1/2 lb ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 cups spelt flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions:

  1. Beat the sugar and eggs with an electric mixer until fluffy (about 1 minute)
  2. Stir in the ricotta and the vanilla until blended.
  3. Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl and then add to the sugar/egg mixture until just combined. Careful not to overmix.
  4. Heat the oil until shimmering.
  5. Use a spoon or an ice cream scoop to drop small balls of batter into the oil.
  6. Fry each side until golden brown (about 30 sec to 1 minute). Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels placed on a cookie sheet. Once they are slightly cooled, coat in the sugar.
  7. Using a sieve, shake powdered sugar over the donuts, flip to cover both sides.
  8. Enjoy them hot and fresh! We will never go to Dunkin Donuts again!!

Love,

Pooja

Pumpkin Coconut Ginger Latte

It’s fall everyone! I know it’s cliche but I really love the flavors of fall: warming spices, pumpkin, apples, pears…just dreamy. Today I want to share with you my new favorite morning treat! I love my morning coffee and I look forward to having it to hold, smell and drink everyday. As the weather cools down, I move towards adding ginger to it to keep me warm all day (an old Indian tradition, usually done with Chai).

I think that this latte hits all the right notes but let me know if you enjoy it as much as I do! This recipe is part of the Virtual Pumpkin Party hosted by Sara at Cake Over Steak. Find all of the links for the recipes Here!

Pumpkin Coconut Ginger Latte

Ingredients:

One cup strong coffee

1 spoon coconut oil

2-3 tablespoons almond milk or plant based

milk of choice

1/2 to 1 tsp finely grated ginger – about a 1/4 inch knob

1 tablespoon pumpkin purée

Sugar to taste – I use about 1/2 tsp

1/4 tsp pumpkin spice

Methods:

Blend all ingredients in a bullet blender or regular blender until well incorporated and frothy. Pour into a comfy mug and enjoy the fall flavor!

I hope you enjoy it!

Love,

Pooja

#VIRTUALPUMPKINPARTY

Cake Over Steak • Pumpkin Protein Waffles
Let’s Eat Cake • Pumpkin Donut Holes
Kitchen Konfidence • Pumpkin and Hazelnut Tart with Toasted Marshmallow
This Healthy Table • Pumpkin Minestrone Soup
Delicious Not Gorgeous • Pumpkin Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Three Sweet Peas • Pumpkin Coconut Ginger Latte
27th and Olive • Pumpkin Honey Ale Pie
Foolproof Living • Paleo Pumpkin Muffins
Smart in the Kitchen • Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins (Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free)
Food with Feeling • Pumpkin Risotto
The Pig & Quill • Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting (Gluten-Free)
Sweet Gula • Pumpkin Baked Donuts
Well and Full • Vegan Pumpkin Nachos
Lemon & Vanilla • Pumpkin, Saffron and Orange Soup
Taste Love and Nourish • Pumpkin Crisp
Tending the Table • Butternut Squash Kitchari
CaliGirl Cooking • Easy Double Pumpkin Shepherd’s Pie with Fresh Herbs
Will Frolic for Food • Savory Pumpkin Bread
Vegetarian Ventures • Pumpkin Cheddar Cheese Ball Appetizer Recipe
Long Distance Baking • Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Maple Cream Sauce
All Purpose Flour Child • Maple Bourbon Pumpkin Pop Tarts
Live Eat Learn • Pumpkin Soup with Cheesy Popcorn Topping
Rubarbarians • Cheesy Pumpkin Quesadillas with Smoky Sour Cream
JoEats • Pumpkin Brown Sugar Babka
An Edible Mosaic • Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread Recipe
The Foodwright • Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars
Floating Kitchen • Pumpkin Butter Thumbprint Cookies with Whiskey Caramel Sauce Drizzle
Jam Lab • Pumpkin Banana Yogurt Cake with Pecan Brittle Buttercream Frosting
Feed Me Phoebe • Paleo Pumpkin Muffin Recipe with Chocolate Chips
Pass the Cookies • Pumpkin Cream Puffs with Chocolate Glaze
Ful-filled • Pumpkin Spice Ruffled Milk Pie
Wood and Spoon • Pumpkin Pecan Tart with Maple Whipped Cream
A Joyfully Mad Kitchen • Gluten Free Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Donuts
Katherine in Brooklyn • Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
Craft Beering • Pumpkin Ale Pumpkin Loaf (with Honey Pumpkin Spice Whipped Butter)
A Couple Cooks • Chewy Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies
Brewing Happiness • Fall Harvest Pumpkin-Carrot Blender Juice
Linden & Lavender • Pumpkin Loaf with Vanilla Glaze
Cookie Dough and Oven Mitt • Pumpkin White Chocolate Cake Pops
Appeasing a Food Geek • Pumpkin Pancakes
Snixy Kitchen • Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting
Petit Bakes • Pumpkin Croissants
Hungry Girl Por Vida • Pumpkin Ganache Cupcakes
La Pêche Fraîche • Pumpkin Cake with Spiced Meringue Buttercream
Oat and Sesame • Pumpkin Pie Sugar Cookies
Sheri Silver • Pumpkin Streusel Monkey Bread Muffins
The Sweet Nerd • Pink Halloween Sugar Cookies
Cloudy Kitchen • Buttermilk Pumpkin Streusel Pie
Loves Food, Loves to Eat • Fall Queso with Pumpkin and Chorizo
Cook Til Delicious • Double Pumpkin Sourdough Milk Bread
Fit Mitten Kitchen • Blender Oatmeal Pumpkin Pancakes
Copper & Verdigris • Pumpkin Spice Pets de Soeurs
The Little Epicurean • Pumpkin Sticky Buns
Hortus Cuisine • Pumpkin Merengue Pies
Sweet Crusader • Pumpkin Espresso Streusel Cake with Cinnamon Espresso Caramel
ShortGirlTallOrder • Stuffed Vegan Pumpkins with Vegan Stuffing
A Cookie Named Desire • Pumpkin Creme Brûlée
Baked the Blog • Rosemary Pumpkin Biscuits with Smoky Mushroom Gravy
Eat. Love. Namaste. • Pumpkin BBQ Cauliflower Wings
Salted Plains • Easy Pumpkin Granola
Feedtheswimmers • Pumpkin Crostini (Crostini di Zucca) with Lentils and Chévre
The Traveling Spoon Chef • Twice Baked Butternut Squash

Cooking up a storm…

Good morning! I haven’t posted in a while because I have been too busy cooking! We are on a bit of a restricted diet as a family and as a result, I have been spending a lot of time being creative with what we are eating.

The good thing is, we have started to pay more attention to all of the extra junk that is in so much of the food we eat.  We have also tried a lot of cool recipes that we wouldn’t have tried before. Here are some of the more successful ones:

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Fresh paneer!
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Mascarpone-Oat Blondies
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Greek Yogurt Date Pistachio Bark
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Oat Milk

 

The best recipe that we made (I don’t have pictures because they are gobbled up THAT fast) is the one for Spelt Cookies. I made some adjustments: I decreased the sugar to 1/3 cup of coconut sugar and left out the chocolate chips. Sometimes I also brown the butter which makes them even yummier.

The mascarpone blondies are truly amazing. The recipe is awesome as it stands but I swapped out oat flour for the all-purpose to keep them gluten free. I also decreased the sugar to 1/3 of a cup of coconut sugar instead (but you may want to halve it instead) . They are barely sweet and perfect with a glass of milk or a cup of coffee.

I hope that the beginning of fall is going well for everyone.

 

xo

Pooja

Vanilla Ice Cream with Blackberries Swirl and Speculoos cookies

Happy summer everyone! I know that I have been away from this space for too long. The problem is that the longer I was away, the more activation energy it was taking to get started again. But then, this ice cream! And I knew exactly what I needed to tell you about. But first, a bit about the summer.

We had the chance to have an epic adventure this summer where we lived/worked in a small town outside Zurich called Zug. Our life there was simple – no driving, only taking trains and buses and walking. Lots of playing at the park with a view of the lake. And, of course, lots of chocolate. We did local sightseeing, a short jaunt to Prague and then ended the trip with a few days in Paris and then London. We watched the entire World Cup in Europe which is was an added bonus! I will share some of the pictures in a separate post for those who are interested.

Now, the ice cream! I was hanging out in the back yard with Nisa last week when I noticed that we have a blackberry tree/bush! I was so excited! There are not that many so I wanted to find something that I could make with them that would work. I got my inspiration from this blackberry cobbler ice cream. I hope that you enjoy this version as much as we did!

One tip: If your berries are firmer, really smash them down with a fork so that they incorporate well into the ice cream. Otherwise, you will end up (like we did) with whole frozen blackberries – not so easy to eat!

P.S. Thank you to Aparna for this awesome housewarming gift!

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Vanilla Ice Cream with Blackberries Swirl and Speculoos cookies

Ingredients:

Ice cream:

2 cups whole milk

1 cup heavy cream

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp salt

Blackberry smash:

1 cup blackberries

2 tablespoons sugar

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Cookies:

a handful (to taste) speculoos cookies

Instructions:

  1. Freeze the freezer bowl (ahead of time if possible – needs 24 hours).
  2. Put the cream, milk, sugar, vanilla and salt in a mixing bowl and either mix by hand or use a hand mixer until well incorporated and no separation between the sugar and liquid remains.
  3. Put it into the freezer bowl and then into the ice cream maker and churn for at least 20 min or until starting to form into ice cream.
  4. Meanwhile, smash the blackberries well with a fork and toss with the sugar – add more if needed for desired sweetness, although better to leave it a bit tart since the ice cream is sweet.
  5. Crumble the cookies into a bowl and set aside.
  6. When the ice cream is done, swirl in the blackberry mixture, and mix in the cookies. Put it in the freezer for another 15-20 min to firm up the ice cream.
  7. Enjoy! We ate ours in these cones!

 

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Love,

Pooja