Friday, March 29, 2013

Rush in your entries and sign up for guest hosting Healthy Me & Healthy US

Hello Friends,

This is just a reminder to rush all your entries to my Healthy Me & Healthy US event that I am hosting this month. 2 more days left.

In addition, I also want to welcome any blogger friends who would like to host it starting next month. Please email me with your interested month.You can check the guest host list for more details. If you want to host "April 2013", you have to really speed post your email to me :)

Monday, March 25, 2013

8 Bean Medley Soup

Hello Friends,

Now that I am making more soups, I find them to be super easy and sometimes the best one pot meals once can have with whatever is there in the fridge or in pantry.

Let’s come to what I am blogging about today. As a vegetarian, dry whole beans/legumes are kind of staple in my family and many of yours too. And, what even better, almost all the beans give you a little of almost every nutrient you need in a day – Carbs, Protein, Fat, Vitamins and Minerals.

I made this soup with 8 different varieties of beans – Chickpeas, Whole Masoor (Red Lentils), Whole Moong, Whole Chawali (Brown Lentils), Black Eyed Peas, Whole Urad Dal (Black Lentils), Dry Matar (White Peas) and Kala Chana (Black Chickpeas). But, here is the thing, you can mix and match any kind of beans/legumes, even 2 or 3 mixed is fine, it doesn’t have to be 5 or 8 or 10 or 16. Just remember to go with all whole ones just so that they are all of same or similar texture. You don’t want one ingredient to get all mushy during the cooking process.

One cup of this soup will approximately give you 150 calories. Isn’t that great for a one pot meal. The measurements I used made about 8 servings of this soup.

8 Bean Medley Soup

Dry Beans washed & soaked overnight – 4 cups (Any Medley will do. I used the ones mentioned above) – you don’t have to make this much, go with a smaller quantity
Onion – 1 cup, chopped
Tomato – 1 cup, chopped
Garlic – 5-6 cloves (increase or decrease based on your taste)
Dry Spices – Any mix of spices will do (I added, Red chili powder, coriander powder and cumin powder)
Salt – per taste
Oil – 1 tbsp
Water – 6 cups
  • If you did not beans overnight, it is fine, you can still make it, but it will take longer to process
  • Take a heavy bottomed pan (I used cooker) and heat it.
  • Add oil and when heated, add garlic
  • After a few seconds (once nice aroma comes, don’t let it burn), add chopped onions and fry.
  • Once the onion is translucent (about 2 min.), add chopped tomatoes and all the spices (along with salt).
  • After about 2 min, add the beans and water. Mix it well.
  • Let it come to a boil and then reduce the gas to a simmer.
  • Cover the lid (don’t lock the cooker, just put the lid). And let it simmer for about 1.5 – 2 hours. Keep mixing it every 5-10 min.
  • Take it off the heat once the beans are cooked. Remember, we don’t want them mushy, but not raw either, so find your perfect balance.

Eat a cup of this soup with ½ a cup of rice or the best, 2 slices of whole wheat brown bread or simply on its own. I am sure any option you choose, you will love this hearty dish. It is very filling.

This is my contribution to Healthy Me & Healthy US event that I am hosting this month.

That’s all for now. Take care till next post.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Broccoli Soup

Hello Friends,

How is every one? Here I am with a healthy and simple soup.

Soups, unlike people think, are the easiest to make. It is more like throw everything together in a pan and let it simmer and either blend the contents and have it smooth or have it chunky. It is seriously that simple.

Would you believe if I say, one serving of this soup has only 99 calories and it is really filling? Believe it or not, it is true.

Total Fat          4.4g
Saturated Fat    0.4g
Sodium            488mg
Total Carbohydrates 13.8g
Dietary Fiber    5.6g
Sugars              3.5g
Protein                         4.2g
Vitamin A        44%    
Vitamin C        144%
Calcium           18%
Iron                  7%

Here are some amazing benefits of Broccoli (courteously
  • Nervous System - Broccoli contains a high amount of potassium, which helps maintain a healthy nervous system and optimal brain function, as well as promotes regular muscle growth.
  •  Blood Pressure - Along with a high amount of potassium, Broccoli also contains magnesium and calcium that help regulate blood pressure.
  •  Vitamin C - One cup of broccoli contains the RDA of vitamin C, an antioxidant necessary for fighting against free radicals. Moreover, vitamin C is an effective antihistamine for easing the discomfort of the common cold.
  •  Bone Health - Broccoli contains high levels of both calcium and vitamin K, both of which are important for bone health and prevention of osteoporosis.
  •  Sun Damage - Broccoli is helpful in repairing skin damage thanks to the glucoraphanin it contains which helps the skin to detoxify and repair itself.
  •  Immune System - One cup of broccoli bolsters the immune system with a large dose of beta-carotene. Trace minerals, such as zinc and selenium, further act to strengthen immune defense actions.
  •  Cancer Prevention - Broccoli contains glucoraphanin, which with the body processes into the anti-cancer compound sulforaphane. This compound rids the body H. pylori, a bacterium found to highly increase the risk of gastric cancer. Furthermore, broccoli contains indole-3-carbinol, a powerful antioxidant compound and anti-carcinogen found to not only hinder the growth of breast, cervical and prostate cancer, but also boosts liver function.
  •  Diet Aid Broccoli is high in fiber, which aids in digestion, prevents constipation, maintains low blood sugar, and curbs overeating. Furthermore, a cup of broccoli has as much protein as a cup of rice or corn with half the calories.
  • Eye Health - Studies have shown that the carotenoid lutein helps prevent age-related macular degeneration and cataracts, as well as possesses anti-cancer effects. Additionally, broccoli is a good source of vitamin A that is needed to form retinal, the light-absorbing molecule that is essential for both low-light and color vision.
  •  Heart Health - The carotenoid lutein may also slow down or prevent the thickening of arteries in the human body, thus fighting against heart disease and stoke. The B6 and folate in broccoli also reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, heart attack, and stroke.

Broccoli Soup

Broccoli - 5 cup, chopped
Regular Milk - 2 cup (I used Almond Milk, use any milk you have handy)
Onions -1 cup, chopped
Water - 2 cups
Olive Oil - 1 tbsp
Coriander Powder – 1 or 2 tsp
Cumin Powder – 1 or 2 tsp
Red Chili Powder (Paparika) – 1 tsp (per taste)
Salt – per taste
  • Take a heavy bottomed/non-stick pan.
  • Add oil and sauté onion for 2 min.
  • Add everything in the pan except for Milk.
  • Cover and let it simmer for 10-15 min. (or till broccoli is cooked).
  • Let it cool a bit and then using a hand blender or otherwise, blend it smooth.
  • Add the blended soup back to the pan and add almond milk.
  • Taste and adjust it to your liking and let it cook for 2 more min.
  • Add water if you like your soup thinner.

Serve it warm with some chopped onions or croutons or just like that. Even my kids enjoyed it :)

This is my contribution to Healthy Me & Healthy US event that I am hosting this month.

That’s all for now. Take care till next post.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Morning Sunshine

Hello Friends,

I am here with your “Morning Sunshine”. This is something that most of my mornings these days start with. I am calling it “Morning Sunshine”. It is the simplest juice once can make and it definitely is a great start for your day, not sugary at all.

This juice (it will be a 18-20 oz. depending on how much juice your orange has) has 181 calories in total. Here is the breakup:
9 calories from fat
255 mg sodium
1096 mg of potassium
35 g of carbohydrate
3 g fiber
3.4 g of protein
10% of daily Vitamin A
307% of daily Vitamin C
9% of daily Calcium
7% of daily Iron
20% of daily Thiamin
12% of daily Riboflavin
6% of daily Niacin
9% of daily Vitamin B6
9% of daily Phosphorus
10% of daily Copper
3% of daily Selenium
22% of daily Magnesium
3% of daily Zinc

Whew!!! I am exhausted just writing it all down, but boy what a good list. What do you say? 

Do you agree it is a great start?

So, why delay, here is the simple recipe and pic.

Morning Sunshine

Oranges – 2 medium sized (it comes to about 1 cup of juice)
Fresh Coconut Water – 1.5 cups (you can used can ones too, but make sure the ingredients only say coconut water and no additives)
  • Juice Oranges and mix the juice with coconut water. Stir and Enjoy!!!

Serve it chilled or at room temperature. You can keep it in fridge up-to-a-day, but as always fresh is the best. I usually eat this with my morning Banana and that is a great breakfast to begin your day with. It has Carbohydrate, Protein and Fat, what else do we need, right? :)

This is my contribution to Healthy Me & Healthy US event that I am hosting this month.

That’s all for now. Take care till next post.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Chia Seeds Pudding

Hello Friends,

After a long time, today I am doing a food post. I have recently come across this amazing “super food” (as people are calling it) called Chia Seeds. The seeds are really tiny, even smaller than Sesame Seeds. Click the link to get more details about the seeds.

1 ounce (28 g) or 2 tablespoons of these seeds give your approximately 137 Calories in energy and most of it upto 72 calories are fat calories. But, don’t be alarmed, it is one of the best known sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids for a vegetarian/vegan and even meat lovers. Because you get 4915 mg meaning approximately 5 g (grams) of Omega-3 Fatty Acids from one serving of Chia Seeds, which is basically 1 ounce (28 g) or 2 tablespoons, whereas the recommendation is only 3 g. So, you get all your daily intake of this nutrient with just 2 tbsp of Chia Seeds. In addition, you get about 4.5 g of Protein along with 10 g of fiber and a bit of Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Sodium, Zinc, Copper and Manganese. Wow, no doubt, they call it “super food”.

Now, let’s see how to take it. It is in seeds form in its raw state. Once it is added to water or any liquid, it swells up and soaks all the water & liquid (up to 10 times its size) and forms a gel like consistency. It has very slight nutty flavor, but very subtle, I could never tell really.
In my house, we have started adding it to our juices and they become nice and jello like (of course depends on how much juice and how much chia seeds) and enjoy it.

In the course of time, I will bring many recipes of this ingredient as I experiment with it. For now, here is a recipe we tried and had it last week. Real simple to make and can be used as a great breakfast or snack or dessert. We used it for dessert :)

Chia Seeds Pudding

Chia Seeds – 4 tbsp
Nut Milk – 1 ¼ cups (I used Almond Milk, you can use any, due to Chia Seeds’ nutty flavor, they say it works well with nut milk, but you can surely use regular milk too with same results)
Honey – 1-2 tbsp honey (adjust it to your taste)
Cinnamon – ½ tsp
  • Mix everything together and shake it well (with just a spoon) so that everything is well blended.
  • Let it soak for at least 30 min to an hour before consuming. I had left it overnight.
  • Chill it as it tastes better cold.

Serve it chilled. It is just that simple. The quantity that will be made is 2-3 servings (depending on your serving size) and approximately 125 calories per serving (for 3 servings). 

Isn't that a great healthy dessert that gives you so much nutrition?

This is my contribution to Healthy Me & Healthy US event that I am hosting this month.

Take Care till next post,

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Veggie/Fruit A Month - March Edition - Guest Hosted by Usha

Hello Friends,

I wanted to invite you all to March Edition of Veggie/Fruit A Month event, that dear Usha is guest hosting. Please do click the link and visit her event announcement page. This month she is *ing EGGPLANT / BRINJAL

Take Care till next post,

Friday, March 1, 2013

Healthy Me & Healthy US - A New Event

Hello Friends,

As promised, here I am with a new Event Announcement that will positively help me take care of my family and help you take care of your families as well. It will improve the lifestyle of our families and hopefully a lot more people as well.

As you all know I am not very creative, considering that, here is the event name and logo as the first step.

Now, let us get to the details of the event.

I am promoting healthy food habits for all of us and our families. Now, the question what is considered healthy. You will get million different answers talking to billion people. But, here is what I think healthy eating is with my understanding of whatever little research I have done and read and heard a few nutritionists.

In very simple terms, HEALTHY IS anything “unprocessed” and “unenhanced”, meaning the foods that are eaten as they are grown underground or above ground. Now, technically this also includes meat and seafood/fishes, but as my blog promotes vegetarianism in general, I will skip discussing meat and seafood. Basically, anything that is NATURE MADE and NOT MAN MADE. By man made, I don’t mean the food you eat, the raw materials are should be nature made :)

Now, let’s look into some explanations of the words “unprocessed” and “unenhanced”. By, “Unprocessed”, I refer to the foods that are eaten in their “natural” raw form, may be cooked, but still raw, no machines have run over it and bleached or added chemicals etc. For example, Whole Wheat (with bran and all) is unprocessed or even stone ground whole wheat flour is unprocessed, BUT, white or brown bleached flour is processed and unhealthy. By “Unenhanced”, I refer to again eating vegetables and fruits and grains eating as they are (cooking is OK) , but the ones that are not genetically enhanced or sprayed with pesticides all over or given so much plant food, that it looks bigger and better, but in reality, it is not. 

I am sure you got an idea of what I mean by HEALTHY here. Now, there is this general misconception in most of the people that vegetarian diet is always deficient in some or the other way. That is NOT TRUE. Let’s look at some deficiency you hear when we talk about vegetarian diet.

Protein: Everyone always think, you get protein only by eating meat, which is so NOT TRUE. The very first source of protein is beans and legumes in a vegetarian/vegan diet. Other than just beans, you can eat nuts and seeds and even some whole grains.

Iron: There are just way too many vegetables and fruits which provide this nutrient. Almost all of the leafy greens are rich in protein.

Zinc: Almost all of the whole grains and seeds/nuts are sources for this.

Vitamin B12: There are many sources for this too. You will see down there.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: After protein, this is the most talked about what vegetarians/vegans miss in their diets. Again, you have more than enough sources for this in vegetarian diets. See the list down below.

Vitamin D: Sunshine, haven’t we heard all. But, check the list and you will be surprised at all the sources.

Now, after all this talk, I am not going to leave you hanging without telling you the sources of these so-called deficiencies in vegetarian diet. Here are the sources that provide more than enough.

Protein in Legume: Garbanzo beans, kidney beans, lentils, lima beans, navy beans, soybeans, split peas

Protein in Grain: Barley, brown rice protein, buckwheat, millet, oatmeal, quinoa, rye, wheat germ, wheat, wild rice

Vegetable Protein: Artichokes, beets, broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumbers, eggplant, green peas, green pepper, kale, lettuce, mushroom, mustard green, onions, potatoes, spinach, tomatoes, turnip greens, watercress, yams, zucchini

Protein in Fruit: Apple, banana, cantaloupe, grape, grapefruit, honeydew melon, orange, papaya, peach, pear, pineapple, strawberry, tangerine, watermelon

Protein in Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, cashews, filberts, hemp seeds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts (black)

Iron in Vegetables/Fruits: Sun Dried Tomatoes, Apricots, Parsley, Spinach, Coconut, Olives, Currants & Raisins, Palm Hearts, Lentil Sprouts, Swiss Chard, Asparagus (Raw), Broccoli Raab, Pears , Figs , Apples , Dandelion Greens, Kale etc.

Zinc sources: Breads, grains, cereals, Legumes/Beans, Soy foods, Nuts and Seeds, Corn, Peas and Sea Vegetables etc.

Vitamin B12 sources: Cheese, eggs, whey, milk & yogurt and yeast etc.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Hemp Seeds, Walnuts, Flax Seeds, Olive Oil, Avocado and Chia Seeds etc.

Vitamin D: Sunshine (is the best), Orange Juice, Mushrooms etc.

Now, with all this talk, let’s come down to the rules of the event.
  • You have to cook a dish out of “unprocessed” and “unenhanced” foods ONLY. If you have made something and have doubts on whether or not it qualifies, let me know. I recommend using more vegetables, fruits and nuts/seeds than grains in your dish.
  • Any course of the meal is allowed, even beverages.
  • Eggs and Meat/Seafood/Fishes are NOT ALLOWED.
  • Using pre-packaged food are NOT ALLOWED.
  • Using artificial flavors are NOT ALLOWED.
  • Using pre-processed food is NOT ALLOWED.
  • Nut & Seed Oils ARE ALLOWED but in moderation.
  • Paneer & Tofu are ARE ALLOWED, as they not exactly processed, but cooked to make it the way they are.
  • Stone Ground or Mill Ground (Uncontaminated) flours ARE ALLOWED.
  • You have to do a small write up on the nutritional benefits of your dish and if possible (recommended) how many servings it gives and what is the calorie per serving (approximate).
  • Provide some substitutes for certain ingredients, if you think they are not easily available. Vegan substitutes will be highly appreciates.
  • Archived posts will be allowed, if it follows all the above rules and if it is updated with this event details.
  • Link your post back to this announcement and promote healthy eating habits.
  • The Event is open till 31st March 2013.
  • Finally, after you have posted your entry, please send me a link with the subject “Healthy Me & Healthy US” and send your name, blog name & link, dish name, dish post link, course of the meal and a picture @
  • If you are a Non-Bloggers, please send me all the details and I will post it on behalf of you.

So, what are you waiting for? Do your own research, look into healthy options at some local stores, if big chain supermarkets do not provide you healthy options and most importantly, make a decision to start healthy lifestyle.

Did I tell you the most important advantage of this lifestyle? Hold onto your seats. YOU CAN STOP COUNTING CALORIES and still be fit & healthy. Is it not great to be able to do that? I have started this lifestyle recently and already reaping benefits :)

I would like to continue this event for future as well. So, please mail me (not as a comment, but real email) if you are interested to host it in future.

If I have misstated anything, please do let me know and I will verify and correct the facts.

That’s all for now and take care till next post.


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