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.

Radha's Fit Barley Water

We make what is called 'Kanji' of Barley. This is used to cleanse the Large Intestine and also provide food for the good bacteria there. We use barley that still has its husks on. Consuming this Kanji between meals keeps one from getting hungry soon. Thus it aids in weight loss. The fiber keeps you feeling full. The beta Glucans in it is extremely beneficial in reducing cholestrol. People with high BP and diabetes are often advised to drink this "Kanji.' This is nutritious and very easy to make. Consume it the same day it is made to reap full health benefits. When stored for longer periods, it gradually loses its nutritional content.

Hulled Barley, 1/4 Cup
Water, 10 Cups
Salt, a pinch
Fennel and Cumin Seeds, 1 tsp each, toasted and powdered (Optional)
Freshly pounded Ginger, 1 inch (optional)

In a Pressure pan, add barley and 10 cups of water.
Let it cook for 2 whistles.
Turn off the stove and let the cooker cool down.
Sieve the contents and discard the bulled barley.
Garnish with salt, powders, and Ginger.
Drink Warm or cold.
Ayurveda recommends that it should be consumed at room temparature.
This recipe has been passed down from generations, hence I can't provide proof or citation details.

Radha's Fit Roasted Veggie Sandwich:

Vegetables are full of vitamins, flavonoids, fiber, and vitamins. The nutrition in these vegetables work synergesically to give the body full benefits. Vegetables roasted in healthy oils and herbs are full of flavour. Colorful veggies are a delight to the senses and aesthetic looking to the eyes. Make this fresh and serve hot. Can be eaten with a pickle and a Berry Smoothie. I also enjoy drinking iced tea with this sandwich.

Multi Grain Bread or Buns (Store bought)
Grapeseed Oil, 1 tsp
Olive Oil, 2 tsp
Italian Seasoning mix or Chaat Masala, as required
Salt (Optional)
Sugar, a pinch
Assorted fresh Vegetables
(Potato, Beans, Zucchini, Carrots, Broccoli, and so on)
Fresh Romaine Lettuce Leaf, 2 large

In a thick bottomed pan, add 2 tsp Olive Oil.
Once hot, add veggies and mix well.
Add a few drops of water now and then to ensure faster cooking.
Add salt, and Seasoning.
Mix well.
Set aside to cool a little.

Take the bun / bread slices and toast them on the pan until browned.
Add a little Grapeseed oil for crispiness.
Sprinkle a little Chaat Masala or Spice mix.

Place a Romaine leaf lettuce on one of the breads, top it with veggies.
Cover the veggies with another Lettuce leaf and seal with the remaining bun / bread.
Serve immediately.
A little paprika can be added to make the Sandwitch a little more spicier.
The veggies can also be cooked  in the oven for 20 minutes at 400*

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Radha's Fit Spiced Buttermilk:

Ayurveda, the art of Indian Medicine is something I believe in very much. Ayurveda recommends people to consume butter milk, particularly during summer months, especially after the mid day meal. I usually drink three to four cups during summer months after every meal. It helps in the digestion process and the probiotics are good to cleanse the intestines. On a regular basis, I wash down my early dinner with a tall glass of chilled buttermilk. It completes my meal and leaves me with enough energy to wind up the day for the family and prepare for bed time. I drink this any time I eat multi Grain Rotis so it can work with that fiber and effectively cleanse and rehydrate my guts. This refreshing drink is energizing and helps restore skin's moisture balance. We also use this as an electrolyte. Several of my childhood friends used to swear that drinking buttermilk made them taller than they would have been. I'm not sure about that claim, seems ridiculous, but throughly enjoy drinking up this lovely drink. Back home, we used fresh buffalo milk for making delicious butter milk. But here in USA, I don't have that choice. We use organic Cow Milk to prepare thick yogurt. As soon as the yogurt is ready, we immediately remove a portion and make buttermilk and let it sit in the fridge. We drink it often as required.

Butter Milk, 4 Cups
Alternately, 2 cups Yogurt with 2 Cups chilled water
Rock Salt or Himalayan Salt
Pound together: Ginger + Green Chili + toasted Cumin + Cilantro (according to your taste)

Add this pounded mixture to buttermilk and mix very well.
It should be chilled to work effectively.
Serve immediately or store in frdge and use as needed.
Try to finish the buttermilk on the same day.

Radha's Fit Mutli Grain Roti:

These whole some (tortillas, rotis) are a great way for me to manage my weight and ensure that I have consumed enough fiber for the day. I like to make these fresh and I love the piping hot rotis. I make a bean burrito, or simply stuff mesclun / boiled veggies. I make sure I eat atleast 3 rotis a day, preferably during lunch time. It fills me up and I don't feel drowsy at all. The taste is remarkable and I have a great feeling of positive energy flowing through my body.

1 Cup Multi Grain Roti Powder
1/2 Cup Cold Water
Salt (Optional)
Oil, 1 tsp (optional)

Sieve the flour to make sure it's well mixed and there are no lumps.
Add very cold Water (a tsp at a time as required), Salt, and Oil.
Once you have a firm dough, knead it for five more minutes.
It's a great idea to wrap the dough in plastic and let sit for 10 minutes.
Alternately, oil the dough ball, and put a moist towel on top and let sit for 10 minutes.
Dust a clean surface with dry flour.
Knead the rested flour once more and divide into four balls.
Knead each ball and dust with dry flour to prevent sticking.
Roll out the ball with a rolling pin to make thick or thin discs as you like.
On a heated pan, toss the roti and quickly flip to the other side.
With a flat spoon, press the roti until it puffs up. Press at the corners.
Flip on the other side.
If you have gas flame, you can put the half done roti on direct flame till it puffs up.
Remove to a clean plate.
Dab with Walnut oil or ghee.
Serve hot with curry or stuffing to make you favorite tortilla / rolls.

Radha's Fit: Multi Grain Roti Flour

Multi Grain roti flour is one blessing for me as it's easy to consume a variety of Organic Multi Grain Flours at one time. In India, my friend is lucky enough to pick the legumes she likes, hand cleans them, and runs it by the mill for freshly made flours. I can only imagine the fresh taste, must be phenomenal. I am lucky enough to be able to buy ready made flours in my Grocers refrigerator section. I make a small batch at one time and store it the fridge in an airtight container. I make fresh rotis in a matter of minutes and serve it hot. Sometimes I like to add a dab of ghee or butter to enhance the taste. Sesame Oil or Walnut oil is a better option for ghee.


2 Tbsp Quinoa Flour
5 Tbsp Whole Wheat Flour
2 Tbsp Amaranth Seed Powder
2 Tbsp Buckwheat Flour
3 Tbsp Ragi Powder
2 Tbsp Oats Powder


Mix all the flours and make sure they are completely mixed.
Sieve this once to remove any large particles.
Store the sieved flour in an air tight container in the refridgerator.

Radha's Fit Bean Burrito:

I love this Beany Burrito. Please check out my Multi Grain Roti recipe before proceeding with this recipe. You can also substitute Organic Store Bought Tortillas. I serve this with a small cup of fuit and a tall glass of spiced Buttermilk. Check out my recipe for Spiced Buttermilk.


Make as many Burritos as you want. I am giving the recipe for two burritos.

2 Mutli Grain Rotis
A few torn assorted salad leaves
1/4 Cup Black Beans (Can or Soaked)
1/4 Cup Black Eyed Peas (Frozen, defrosted)
2 Tbsp Sweet Corn (Frozen, defrosted)
3 Tbsp Salsa (Any brand, I use Mild)
Salt and Pepper, as required


In a large bowl mix the beans, Black Eyed Peas, Sweet Corn, Salsa, Salt and Pepper.
Microwave the bowl for two minutes.
On the Roti, spread required amount of leaves you desire.
Spoon in desired amount of Bean-Salsa mixture.
Wrap and serve immediately.

Radha's Fit Soup : Spinach Barley Soup

I love to drink this soup for lunch with a slice of whole grain bread and a small Organic Romain Lettuce Salad.

Spinach Barley Soup:

Fresh Baby spinach leaves or one small bag of frozen bag (as much as you like)
1 small White Onion, sliced fine
2 cloves Garlic crushed
1 large Tomato chopped into large pieces
Vegetable Broth (Organic) 3 Cups
Water, 3 Cups
Pearl Barley, 1/2 Cup
1 tsp Cumin
1 Green Chile
Salt and Pepper, as required
1 tsp Grapeseed Oil
1 tsp Sesame Oil


Barley cooks really faster if you soak it for a while or even better, if you have a pressure pan like mine.
In the pressure pan or heavy bottomed pan with a heavy lid, heat both oils. Add Cumin and toast.
Add onions and saute until transparent.
Add Tomato and saute for two minutes.
Add Green chile and salt.
Add spinach and saute until it wilts lightly.
Add Soaked Barley with the water it soaked in, the Broth, and Water.
Put the lid on, and if it's a pressure pan, keep it for one whistle.
If using pan, boil until tender.
I love using a pressure pan as I know for sure that my soup has not evaporated and thickened out.
If I'm using a thick pan with lid, I make sure that the barley is soaked and cooked before starting out the recipe. That way I can be sure that my soup will not evaporate.
I love to add some cinnamon to this as it's good for blood circulation and also tastes great.
Serve hot with a slice of whole grain bread, Salt, and Pepper.


I usually use Ezekiel Sprouted bread.

Romaine Salad:

I usually break the Romaine hearts, add some fruit like water melon, and about 2 Tbsp of mixed raw nuts.
I drizzle a tsp of Walnut oil.
I make sure to use all organic ingredients

Om Ganeshaaya Namaha: