Monday, November 8, 2010

Menu for a day:

6:30 A.M. Hot Steel Cut Oat Meal with milk, and a tall refreshing                         glass of Apple Juice.

8:30 A.M. Barley Water and Orange.

10:30 A.M. Green Tea, 2 cups

12:30 P.M. Multi Grain Rice and Mango Dal and Rasam.
                   Neer Moru.

3:00 P.M. Two Steaming Cups of Green Tea and Bhel Puri.

6:30 P.M. Multi Grain Rotis with Curry.
                 Neer Moru.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Radha's Fit: Avocado Mania

I love, love, love Avocados. And they are so good for your hair, eyes, and joints. The Omega 3 oils in them are very good for your brain too. Try this Avocado sandwich and you'll agree with me that this is indeed a hearty meal. I must admit though, that I eat this with vegetable chips. The combination is very nice. And a tall chilling glass of Green with a hint of honey and mint. Lovely.

Whole Grain Bread Slices, 2
Walnut Oil, 2 tsp
Grapeseed Oil, 1 tsp
Cucumber, thinly sliced circles
1 tomato, deseeded and thinly sliced
1 green zucchini, thinly sliced
1 carrot shavings
1 Avocado
Juice of one lemon
Citrus zest, 1/4 tsp
Salt, as required
Pepper, as required
Vegan Mayo, as desired
Green Chili, thinly sliced
Cilantro, 1 Tbsp finely chopped
Pine Nuts, 1 Tbsp

In a bowl, add Walnut oil, Citrus zest, juice of one lemon (or as required), Salt, and freshly cracked Black Pepper.
Mix well. To this, add Cucumber, Tomato, Zucchini, and Carrot Shavings. Mix well until completely coated.

Scoop out Avocado into a bowl.
Add green Chili and Cilantro and mix well.
Add any leftover lemon juice.
Add 1 Tbsp of Pine nuts

Toast the bread slices until browned. Add grapeseed Oil to make crispier toast on the pan.
Spread Vegan Mayo one side of each slice.
Spoon Avocado Mixture on top of the Mayo.
On one slice, heap the marinating veggies.
Seal the sandwich by piling the other bread on this one.

That is one big and hearty sandwich. Radha Rayasam. The Avocado is so creamy. I absolutely love it.

Radha's Fit General Tsao's Paneer / Tofu / Meat Substitute

Who does not love General Tsao's? Now you can eat it without all the guilt at all. If you are craving for the restaurant version, then this is almost as close as you can get to it. I personally make this whenever I'm craving for some fusion food that is really wicked in taste, but awesome for my personal health. Recently, I have been skipping the tofu, paneer parts and simply sticking to the veggies. I'm loving it. Radha Raysam. I read some nasty things about Tofu, and until I can clear that up, I want to stick to my veggies. I use Paneer, but give it to the children. They simply adore this dish. The best part is, even the veggies taste so awesome that even that's gobbled up.


Firm Tofu, 1 Packet
Fried Paneer Cubes from Indian Grocery Store, 1 packet from the frozen section

In a bowl,
1 tsp White Pepper Powder
2 tsp Tomato Ketchup
1 Tbsp Rice Flour
1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
2 tsp Sodium Free Soy Sauce

Mix the above ingredients very well. Add 2 tsp cold water to Rice Flour to make a paste first. Then combine the other ingredients. To this prepared mixture, add Tofu or paneer and let sit for 15 minutes

In a separate bowl,
3 Tbsp Sodium Free Soy Sauce
1/4 Cup Maple Syrup or Agave nectar
Chilli Flakes, as required
2 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar
1 Cup Veggie broth, Mushroom Broth, or Water.
1 Tbsp Corn Starch or Rice Flour (Mix first with Cold water)

Other Ingredients:
2 Garlic Cloves Crushed
1/2 inch Ginger Crushed
Bell Peppers of all colors, 1 cup
Broccoli, 1 Cup
Carrots Shavings, 1 Cup
Peanut Oil, 3 Tbsp.

Take the mixture from the first bowl and set it ready for cooking.
Heat a skillet or pressure pan and add 1 Tbsp Peanut Oil.
Add Ginger and garlic and fry for a minute until turning golden.
Add Onion if necessary (totally optional) and cook until transparent.
Add the mixture from the first bowl and fry until crispy.
Add more oil as required to make sure that the Tofu / Paneer is well fried and looking golden.
Cooking Tofu is a hassle, so if you feel its breaking, then fry for a minute and brown (broil) it in the oven for a few minutes.
Remove mixture and let cool in the side.

Heat the thick bottomed pan or pressure pan again.
Add 1 Tbsp Peanut oil. Add all the veggies and stir fry until crispy.
Add the mixture from the second bowl and mix well. Add a little water if necessary.
Keep stirring until it becomes a nice and thick sauce in a consistancy that you like.
Put the pressure cooker lid on without the whistle and let sit for 5 minutes.
Remove lid.
To this sauce, add the fried Tofu / Paneer and mix well.
Serve hot on a bed of Brown rice.
Garnish with green onions.

Radha's Fit Mung Dal Soup: A Comforting Lentil Soup

This soup is very easy to digest and was given to us when we were too sick to eat anything solid. This soup is also given as a first food for children. The taste is extremely delicious. You can buy Mung Dal as split beans or with it's husk on. It looks green in color and is used widely in several curries. If it's your first time, stick to buying split yellow Mung beans from Indian grocery store. The taste of this soup is so awesome that I make it atleast twice a week for that 'comfort' feeling. I also feel that it is a light food that restores balance and spirit to the wary soul.

Mung Beans, split, 3/4 cup washed well
Turmeric, 1 tsp
Black Pepper, for garnish, as required
Salt, 1 tsp or as required
Cumin seeds, 1/2 tsp
Water, 6 Cups
Cilantro, finely chopped, 1 Tbsp
Toasted and pounded cumin, 1/2 tsp (Optional)
Toasted and pounded Coriander Seeds, 1/2 tsp (Optional)
Ghee, 1 tsp.
Curry Leaves, optional (10)

Remember that the more ghee you add, the better it tastes.
Ghee is recommended highly in ayurvedic cooking.
If Ghee is not available, use Organic Sesame Oil.
In a pressure pan, add Mung Beans, water, and salt.
Cook for one whistle and turn off.
After pressure is relieved, mix well to make sure that water and Beans mix well.
In a pot, heat ghee and add toasted cumin and fry lightly.
Curry leaves may be added at this time.
Add turmeric.
Pour the Soup in it and mix well.
Let the soup reach one boil and then turn it off.
Taste test for salt, and add pepper and pounded powders.
Pour into a serving bowl and garnish with cilantro.
Serve hot with multi grain bread slice or enjoy as is.

Radha's Fit Quinoa Pilaf, Desi Ishtyle

Desi means Asian (Pakistan, India, Bangladesh); and ishtyle has become a word in itself for style. I had never heard of Quinoa until a few years back. It's only recently I see this seed available almost everywhere. Even the organic version is prevalent in most stores now. This seed has to be washed in a sieve as it's too tiny. The seed has a bitter coating on top and will be gone when washed. Radha Rayasam. This seed has complete protiens in it. This is a good way for one to get started with the introduction to this awesome ancient seed.

Organic washed Quinoa, 1Cup
Onion, 1 diced
Green Bell Pepper, 1 diced
2 Carrots, diced
Cauliflowe Florets, few
1 Green chile
Garlic, 3 Cloves (crushed)
Ginger, 1 inch (Crushed)
Garam Masala, 1 Tbsp
Cinnamon Stick, 2
Vegetable Broth, 2 Cups
Sesame Oil, 2 tsp or more, as required

Dice Onions finely and addto the pressure pan with sesame oil.
Add the cinnamon sticks before adding the onions.
Now, add ginger and garlic.
Once transparent, add all the vegetables, green chili, and saute for a minute.
Add Salt,  Garam Masala and Quinoa.
Mix well and add broth or water.
Close the pressure pan and cook for one whistle.
Turn off and let pressure get down.
Finely cut cilantro can be used for garnish.
Serve hot.

Radha's Fit Rice Substitute: Barley Pilaf

Barley has too many health benefits to be ignored. It should become an integral part of ones kitchen. Radha Rayasam. This pilaf has passed the kid test at my home. Even my friends's kids approved of it. So I will consider this a hit. The health benefits of mushrooms are many too. Hence I use mushroom broth when available. Water will suffice, but any other broth will add more flavor to this dish. I recently ate a coconut rice in which they had added raisins, I must tell you, I was blown away by the taste. I tried adding raisins to this dish too, and it did not disappoint. Coconut milk may also be added for a different flavor. You can play quite a bit with this dish, bottom line is, you are eating barley and not white rice. Your body needs barley.


1 1/2 Cups Pearl Barley (Try it with the hull too, needs some getting used to)
1 medium onion Chopped finely
1/2 Cup Chopped carrots
1/2 cup, chopped peas
1 tsp All Spice + 1 tsp Garam Masala
1 tsp Turmeric + 2 tsp Freshly ground Black Pepper
Cashews lightly fried in ghee, 10
Raisins fried in ghee, 10
1 Bay Leaf
2 tsp Olive Oil
Water or Broth, 3 Cups
Salt, as required

Heat a Pressure Pan and add oil. To the oil, add bay leaf.
Add Onions and fry till tranparent.
Now toss the carrots and peas and saute a little.
Add salt and powdered spices.
Mix in washed Barley and saute for a minute.
Add water / broth and put the lid on.
Cook on medium flame for 2 whistles.
Wait till pressure is completely relieved,
Garnish with cashews and raisins.

Use instead of Rice. Serve with your favorite curry or seared fish

Radha's Fit Tomato Bruschetta

I love this appetizer so much that I simply substitute it for lunch sometimes. It is hearty and bursting with flavor. The flavor intensifies when you use home grown tomatoes. It's very simple but it has to be absolutely fresh. The main flavor of this dish itself is from fresh Basil leaves. The mixture of garlic, olive oil, Basil leaves is imply divine. You can skip the cheese, or use a cheese substitute. You can also add Tofu to this dish. It tastes awesome no matter what. While it's true that butter, fresh Mozzarella slices, and a generous amount of garlic oil would make this dish taste out of this world, you can do without all that and keep it simple and lite.

Diced Canned tomatoes, 2 cups
or Freshly diced tomatoes, 2 cups
Oregano, dried 4 pinches
Garlic, 5 Cloves
Basil Leaves, one pack, tear and bruise the leaves a bit,
Sun Dried Tomatoes in Oil, 1/4 Cup
Olive Oil 4 tsp
Freshly Cracked Pepper and Salt, as required
Whole Grain Bread or French Baguette, 3 to 4 large

If using fresh tomatoes, chop them finely and remove the seeds and flesh inside. This ensures that your bruschetta does not get soggy.
In a mixing bowl, mix tomatoes, oregano, bruised basil leaves, salt, pepper, and sun dried tomatoes.
Now add required amount of garlic and Olive Oil.
If you're going to eat the bruschetta a little later, then do not add salt. Adding salt will release more water from tomatoes.
Heat a girdle and add a few drops of Grapeseed Oil.
Toast the bread on both sides until well browned.
Alternately, this can be broiled in the oven for a couple of minutes.
Cheese can be added at this point of time if required, but Grapeseed Oil is such a healthy option.
Cilantro or Parsely can be finely chopped and add to the tomato mixture as a garnish.

Top the Bread with Tomato mixture and Brushetta is ready.