In our house, we tend to eat oats for breakfast very often. Sometimes, this can prove difficult, because we’re running late or its summertime and I can’t bear the thought of turning the gas on to make us porridge. Not to mention, eating hot porridge on a hot day, only makes things hotter. So once I tried refrigerated overnight oats, I was really happy. If you’ve never tried overnight oats, you really should. Oats are healthy and when combined with some chia seeds, fresh fruit and nuts, it is a really healthy breakfast. The best part is, this is a make ahead recipe and requires no cooking. Which can be a blessing during hot summers. This is a versatile recipe and you can add your favorite fruit and nuts to top it off. So I hope you try this out as a breakfast option and let me know what you think.
Vanilla Overnight Oats
(Makes 1 portion)
1/3 cup rolled oats
1 tsp chia seeds
1/4 – 1/2 vanilla extract
Maple syrup, to taste
2/3 cup almond milk (you can use soy milk or any other milk of your choice)
Fresh fruit and nuts of your choice (I used some strawberries, grapes and slivered almonds)
In a mason jar, add all the ingredients except the fresh fruit and nuts that you’re using to top off the oatmeal with.
Cover the jar and refrigerate overnight. (You can make a larger batch and use it through the week)
In the morning, add the fresh fruit and nuts of your choice. Serve up.
Breakfast happens to be one of my favorite meals of the day. Well, a weekend breakfast, that is. Its the perfect time to whip up a batch of pancakes or French Toast or muffins. And if you’re the mood for something savory, then eggs and toast with the optional bacon and sausages is a great option. If you’re in a slightly more adventurous mood, then only a masala omelette will do. We love a good omelette. It needs to have nice bold flavors, a little spice and a little bite as well. We love it so much, that it sometimes makes an appearance as “breakfast for dinner”. Anyone else like “breakfast for dinner” as much as I do? I cannot believe that I haven’t shared this recipe with you before. It is super simple and so good. We usually serve it with some plain / buttered toast or some hot chapatis. They also make a fantastic sandwich when served between 2 slices of buttered bread. Try it out this weekend and let me know what you think of it.
Yields 1 omelette
2 tbsp finely chopped onions
2 tbsp finely chopped tomatoes
1-2 tsp finely chopped coriander leaves and stalks
1/2 birdseye chilly, finely chopped
Salt, to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
A good pinch of turmeric powder
1 tsp oil
Add the onions, tomatoes, chilly and coriander to a bowl.
Add the salt, pepper and turmeric powder to the bowl and mix everything thoroughly.
Heat a pan over medium heat.
Drizzle the oil in the pan. When the oil has heated, pour the omelette mix into the pan.
Cook it over medium heat till the bottom side has set and turned a light brown.
Carefully flip over and cook on the other side as well.
You can watch how I make it here –
Maple syrup, to drizzle over, to taste
Actually, I really like breakfast for dinner. This breakfast hash is a nice way to fancy things up. What I love about this hash is its made from scratch. That being said, it comes together so quick and easy and all in one pan. If you’re using an oven proof skillet, you can crack the eggs right in and let them cook off in the oven. I didn’t want to switch the oven on, so I used a second pan to fry the eggs. You could use poached eggs or scambled eggs too. This hash obviously uses potato. The addition of red peppers and kale makes it so colorful, not to mention, delicious. And kale in a recipe must definitely make it healthier.
So if you’re ever in a situation where you need a meal on the table in under 30 minutes or if you feel like a fancier breakfast, or for that matter, breakfast for dinner option, try this hash out. You’ll love it. We certainly did. And leftovers keep quite well, refrigerated. Simple heat it up the next day and serve with an egg, if desired.
Breakfast Hash with Potatoes, Kale, Peppers and Green Peas
2 potatoes, peeled and diced (the smaller the cubes, the quicker it will cook)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 cups kale, roughly chopped
1 cup green peas
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp cumin powder
Salt, to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
1 egg per serving (You could use 2 eggs per serve, if desired)
Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat.
Add the potato to the pan and let it cook, stir every now and then to ensure even cooking and avoid any burning.
When its half cooked, add the onion and red pepper.
Saute and let the onion and pepper soften.
Add the paprika, cumin, salt and pepper.
Add the green peas and the chopped kale.
Let it cook for about a minute till the kale and the peas have warmed through.
Serve hot, topped with an egg (or two) cooked to your liking.
I was glad to have tried out smoothie bowls recently. They were my saving grace. Healthy, full of flavor and their amazing ‘cool you down from the inside out’ quality made them a regular occurrence in my kitchen. The first one I tried was this Mango Smoothie Bowl and this blueberry version was really delicious too. I had some blueberries that I should have finished sooner, but I didn’t want to waste them so they went right in the bowl for some color. If you love blueberries, this treat is a must try if you are looking for a healthy summer cooler.
A few ingredients and a minute in the blender and a bowl is all you need to whip up this bowl of deliciousness, so I do hope you try it out.
Blueberry Smoothie Bowl
1 ripe banana, frozen
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup milk
4 tbsp Greek yogurt
For the topping –
Sweetened coconut chips
Place the banana, blueberries, milk and yogurt in a blender and blitz on slow at first.
Scrape down the sides and blitz till you are left with a soft serve sort of consistency.
Pour this mix into a bowl.
Top with some sweetened coconut chips, fresh blueberries and almonds.
Since this is my first smoothie bowl, I kept it simple. It is so easy to make and so refreshingly delicious, I know I’m going to be making more than a few more of these All you need is the fruit of your choice, milk and a little yogurt. Onto the toppings. You could use your choice of cereal, granola, nuts, seeds, chocolate chips pretty much whatever you feel like.
So go ahead and give these bowls a try. They will be a hard summer option to beat. You know you’ll be seeing a few more of these. Oh, have I mentioned these just take a couple of minutes to make. Its a winner all the way.
Also, I have news. I have finally been bitten by the Instagram bug. I hope you can join me there. My Instagram username is @TheAspiringHomeCook. You can find the recipes from this blog making an appearance there at #theaspiringhomecook. Have you tried a recipe from this site. Post a picture on Instagram with #theaspiringhomecook and tag me in the picture to be featured in my feed.
Mango Smoothie Bowl
1 cup frozen mango cubes
1 banana, frozen
1 cup milk
4 tbsp Greek yogurt
For the toppings –
A few fresh blueberries
Peanut butter granola
Place the mango, banana, milk and yogurt in a blender and blitz on slow at first.
Scrape down the sides and blitz till you are left with a soft serve consistency.
Pour the smoothie into a bowl.
Top off with fresh blueberries and some granola.
Last week I had 2 over ripe bananas and its been so hot, I had no intention of switching the oven on to make the banana bread. I kept putting off the tea-time fritters and yesterday I decided I had to use the bananas and if I left them anymore, I’d probably have to throw them out. I hate wasting food so that was out of the question. The plan that morning was to make some oatmeal for breakfast, but then it struck me I could use the bananas with the oats and do something with that. I remember a while ago, coming across a banana oat pancake recipe and decided to try it out. Now, those of you who’ve been visiting for a while know I love my pancakes. So what could be better than combining my love for bananas and pancakes. Nothing much right! So breakfast that morning was sorted. I blitzed the ingredients in the blender and added a few fixin’s like fresh blueberries and roughly sliced almonds. I think Jamie Oliver would have been happy with me. I really like his philosophy on superfoods. Eat a variety of fresh produce in moderation and everything acts as a superfood. I figure the addition of the berries and almonds would amp up these pancakes to superfood status. I googled a few recipes but in the end just ended up throwing a few things together and I tell you it was great. I was really pleased with how the pancakes turned out.
Basically this recipe uses no refined flour and no refined sugar and you’ll never miss them. We did use some maple syrup over the pancakes to sweeten the deal, but who can resist maple syrup over pancakes. Definitely not me 🙂
I hope you give these pancakes a try. They deliver taste and health together.
Banana Oat Blueberry Pancakes
Makes 6 pancakes
1 cup rolled oats
2 over ripe bananas
1 tsp vanilla extract
A handful of fresh blueberries
12-15 roasted almonds, roughly sliced
A pinch of salt
A little oil, to fry the pancakes (I use olive oil, but you could any oil of your choice)
Maple syrup, to drizzle over
Blitz the oats in a blender till you are left with a powder.
Add the bananas, eggs, a pinch of salt and the vanilla extract. Blitz till you are left with a nice batter.
Scrape the sides down and give it another quick blitz.
Pour the batter in a large bowl and add the sliced almonds and blueberries and fold through gently, making sure they are evenly distributed.
Heat a little oil in a pan, about half a teaspoon. I use an oil spray to reduce the amount of oil being used.
Carefully ladle some batter onto the pan. Cook on medium heat.
When the bottom edge looks like its getting a little color, gently lift a portion of the pancake. If you are happy with the cooking on that side, flip the pancake and let it cook on the second side too.
Repeat with a spray of oil and a ladle of batter for every pancake till you finish the batter.
Serve warm with some maple syrup.
So back to this paratha. This paratha is easier to make than the Gobhi Paratha, because of the filling. This filling has lesser moisture and so is so much easier to roll. I was happy with that. I love the little green peeking through the paratha with the finished product. Try it out and see what you think of it.
Green Peas Parathas
Yields approx. 9-10
For the dough –
2 cups wholewheat flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp olive oil / ghee
Mix the flour and the salt well.
Drizzle the olive oil and mix through.
Bind with a little water at a time to form a soft pliable dough. The dough should not be sticky.
If you find the dough sticky, add some more whole wheat flour. If the dough is too dry and difficult to knead, add a little water.
Knead well, roll into a ball, cover with a damp cloth and keep aside while you make the filling.
For the filling – 1 1/2 cup frozen green peas (you could use fresh too), rinsed, thawed and thoroughly drained
2 birdseye chillies, or to taste
1 tbsp garlic minced
1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves and stalks, chopped
Salt, to taste
1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter) (alternatively you could use olive oil)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
Into the bowl of a food processor, place the green peas, chillies, garlic, coriander and salt.
Pulse a couple of times. You want a coarse blend and NOT a paste or puree. You want some larger pieces and some smaller bits, much like what you see in the pan in the next picture.
Heat a pan over medium heat and add 1 tbsp ghee.
Add the cumin seeds and let them sputter, being careful to not burn them.
Add the green peas mix.
Stir around and let it cook out for about 2 minutes.
Remove from the pan and let it cool completely.
**Additionally you will need some dry whole wheat flour for dusting your work surface and some ghee to brush over the parathas.
To make the parathas –
Place a thick bottomed pan / tawa on a medium flame and let it heat up.
In the meanwhile, divide the dough and the pea mix into portions.
1) and 2) Dust your work surface with some flour. Roll a ball of dough between your palms to form a smooth ball. Flatten and using a rolling pin roll out to a disc about 6 inches in diameter. While rolling you need to make sure it doesn’t stick to the work surface. Don’t flip the dough over while rolling. (Note that these measures are approx. just to give you an idea of the sizes).
3) Place the disc in the palm of your hand. I am right handed, so I place the little disc on my left palm.
4) Spread a few drops of ghee on it.
5) Place a spoonful on the filling mix in the centre. You don’t want to overfill the parathas or rolling can get messy.
6) Pick up opposite sides of the disc and press together to seal.
7) Gather in the rest of the edges. Press the edges against each other (like a little dumpling) to seal. Then flatten it gently and press the edges down. Here you are trying to roll it into a little ball carefully without smashing it.
8)Dust a little more flour on your work surface, if needed. Place the seam side down and gently start rolling the little ball out.
9) Roll out to about 8 inches wide. Again, you need to make sure it doesn’t stick to the work surface. You can dust with more dry flour if needed. You also don’t want to roll it too thin because the filling will just ooze out.
Place this on a well heated tawa / griddle and roast for a while moving it around till light brown spots appear on one side. Turn over and cook on the other side till light brown spots appear on the other side as well.
To finish off, spoon a few drops of clarified butter on the paratha and spread. Flip over and repeat this on the other side letting it roast for a few seconds after you add the clarified butter to the side.
Serve hot with butter and a mug of hot coffee for a yummy Indian breakfast or brunch option.
This time around, I served this up for dinner with some mildly flavoured yogurt (plain raita) and some sweet mango pickle. (The pickle is called Chunda / Chundo and you should be able to find it in any Indian store.)
These parathas go very well with any Indian style veggies too.
You can leave out the clarified butter if you want an even healthier version, but it does wonders for the taste.
If you have any dough or filling left over, simply refrigerate and use the next day.
You can also make a plain paratha by simply rolling out the dough, spread the ghee, wrap and re-roll and roast it without the filling. This can be served with your favorite jam or cheese or scrambled eggs or an omelette or anything else you’d fancy.
You could serve this up with plain yogurt too.
For the plain raita –
Good quality, unflavoured yogurt
Salt, to taste
Sugar, to taste (I use about 1 tbsp to 1 1/2 cups of yogurt, approx)(This will also depend on how tart the yogurt is. I sometimes use lesser than that)
Red chilli powder
Mix the yogurt, salt and sugar and still thoroughly to incorporate the salt and sugar and beat till you are left with a smooth yogurt.
Place in the serving bowl and lightly spinkle some cumin powder and red chilly powder over.