SRC: Strawberry Oat Smoothie

This month for my SRC reveal, I was assigned Leslie’s blog, La Cocina de Leslie. If you haven’t visited her blog yet, let me ask to go over right now and check it out. Don’t worry, this post will still be here when you get back. I was amazed at the collection of delicious recipes on her blog. I found myself drooling at all the Mexican fare on her blog. I can’t wait to try a few of them out. The way things worked for me was there were a few things at play – work is super busy at the moment, that coupled with the usual chores at home, I haven’t have the time to stop and breathe. At the same time, the weather has warmed up quite a bit at the moment. We seem to have jumped from winter to summer in about a week. I would’ve liked a longer Spring. But this means we have lots of delicious berries to work with. I needed something yummy and quick to make. So when I saw Leslie’s post on Strawberry Oat Smoothies, I knew I had to try it.

Usually my husband is the one who whips up the smoothies in our house. I have also consciously started taking some juice or a homemade smoothie to work over the last couple of weeks. Its been a nice change and has helped me lay off the coffee and give me a burst of energy that I need. I just made a couple of changes to the recipe for this smoothie like leaving out the cinnamon and I also cut down the honey to half. You could adjust the sweetness to your liking. I would like to try it soon with the cinnamon and see how that turns out. Let me tell you a little about this smoothie. Even though it didnt have any cream, yogurt, ice cream or avocado, it turned out nice and creamy and that was a pleasant surprise. I reckon I have the oats to thank for that. They also give the smoothie good substance and a glass of this great stuff will keep you going for a while. I have a punnet of blueberries that I will use to make another batch of these smoothies. Thanks Leslie for introducing me to a great new twist on the smoothie. 🙂



Strawberry Oat Smoothie
(Makes 2)

1 1/2 cup cold milk
12-15 strawberries
4 tbsp. dry oats
2 tbsp. honey

Place all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and puree till smooth.

Pour out into a glass and enjoy!!!

Breakfast Quesadillas

So one morning, I found myself craving something different for breakfast. And as luck would have it, this happened to be the day we needed to go grocery shopping for the week. So its safe to say it was slim pickings. I was out of eggs, cold cuts and bread. All that I had access to was one flour tortilla from a pack we used for dinner the previous night and 1 banana. I really didn’t feel like breakfast cereal that morning, so I turned to Google to see if there was something that I could make really quick with what I had at hand. There were lots of amazing options but all required something or the other I didn’t have. I took inspiration from some and just went with flavors that I know work well. Banana and chocolate – yum, peanut butter and chocolate – double yum. In minutes, I was sitting down with a warm, gooey, chocolatey, deliciously crunchy breakfast quesadilla and a big mug of coffee. Now that’s what I call a good start to the day.

Breakfast Quesadilla

1 flour tortilla
Crunchy peanut butter
1 banana, sliced
Dark chocolate chips
A knob of butter

Spread some peanut butter on the tortilla.

On one half of the tortilla arrange the banana slices and sprinkle the dark chocolate chips over.

Fold the empty half over and press down lightly to make sure the peanut butter can do its thing and get everything together.

Add a knob of butter in a pan and over a low-medium flame toast the quesadilla till it gets nice and crunchy.

Then add another knob of butter to the pan and carefully turn the tortilla over to the other side and let it crisp up nicely.

I cut it into three wedges just to make it easier to handle.

Serve up…. and oh, please proceed carefully, the melted filling is hotter than you think it would be.

SRC: Spinach Stuffed Omelette

Hello everybody! Last month sure flew past. All of a sudden it was time for yet another SRC reveal. Don’t know what SRC is – well, its only the coolest foodie club around. We are a group of bloggers who come together each month for what we call an SRC reveal. Each month we are assigned a blog from the group and we pick out one recipe from the assigned blog, make it ourselves and post about it on reveal day. The only catch it, you cannot disclose which blog you’ve been assigned till the reveal day. Its so much fun. I’ve been a part of this fun group for a while now, and it is so much fun. If you’d like to join, you can find more details here.

This month, I was assigned Beth’s blog – It’s Good to be the Cook What a fun name for a blog! Not surprising, since Beth sounds like a fun girl too. She cooks up some serious yum and strongly believes in eating healthy and exercising. She loves her sports and a 100% dog person (that’s what she calls herself). I totally get that – I’m a 100% dog person all the way. I totally fell in love with Stella May, her really adorable little dog. Go on over and say hi to Beth and Stella, will you!
For this months reveal, I had quite a few options. What I really love about Beth’s food is that apart from being healthy, it is also no fuss and big on the flavors – something I look for in food. I narrowed my options down to this Italian Hoagie Dip, Beth’s Springtime Tuna Salad, Sriracha White Bean Dip and this Onion, Tomato, Spinach Scramble. There’s plenty more great recipes on Beth’s blog, so make sure you stop by. I decided to go with the Onion, tomato, spinach scramble. The weather in Sydney has cooled down considerably and there’s nothing better than starting the day with a nice hot brekkie. This is the perfect option for a nice weekend breakfast. I’ve made a lot of omelettes in my lifetime, but this one was different. You saute the onion and tomato before adding the egg, and this intensifies the flavors and makes it extra yum. That coupled with the baby spinach stuffed in it results in something stunning. Pretty and colorful to look at and so tasty, not forgetting your getting some greens in as well. This one is simple but hits the spot.
If you have trouble getting the little folk in your house to eat up their greens, this is an ideal way to get some in their diet. The spinach doesn’t alter the taste of the omelette, but it adds all of its goodness to their diet. Here’s the spinach, before you can flip half the omelette over the other side.
Spinach Stuffed Omelette
Makes 1
2 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp chopped onions
2 tbsp chopped tomatoes
A little chopped green, red chillies, to taste (optional)
A small knob of butter / a tsp oil
Salt, to taste
Freshly crushed black pepper, to taste
A handful of baby spinach, roughly chopped (I might’ve used approx. 15 leaves, you can use as much as you’d like)
Heat some butter or oil in a pan.
Add the onion and chilly (if using) and saute till the onions soften up a bit.
Add the tomato and stir fry for a minute. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the beaten egg and let it set on one side.
Place the spinach on one half of the omelette.
Carefully, flip the vacant half of the omelette over the other side.
Let it cook through. Flip over and let it cook on the other side too.
Cook to you liking.
Serve hot with some toast and a nice hot cup of coffee.
Here’s a peek of what it looks like cut into. See the spinach peeking through –

SRC: Blueberry Pancakes

Here we are at October’s SRC reveal. How I love reveal days! I’m happy to say that this month’s reveal treated me to the yummiest breakfast in a long, long time. For this month, I was assigned Kim’s blog, Everyday Mom. Kim’s blog has so much deliciousness packed in one place, I was spoiled for choice. She cooks and bakes with her 3 gorgeous children and you will see them featured in her posts. I was torn between quite a few of her recipes, like this Crunchy Kale, and this Chicken Satay Salad, and the yummy Mango Panna Cotta, these super fun Tortilla Bowls, Zuchinni Fries and these Black Bean Sweet Potato Quesadillas. Can you imagine the dilemma I was faced with? It was hard to pick one for the reveal. I will be making a few of these in the coming days but for the reveal I went with an absolute winner – her Pancakes. Now if you’ve been around for a while, you know I’ve posted pancake recipes in the past, namely my Coconut Pancakes, these Almost Vegan Pnother aancakes and Nigella Lawson’s Pancakes. So why another post on pancakes, you might wonder. Well, until now, I’ve never had the opportunity to make pancakes using buttermilk. And for the first time I had access to some yummy blueberries, that I’d picked up on a trip to Sydney’s Paddy’s Market at Haymarket.

An easy recipe to put together and a treat for breakfast, this recipe ticks all the boxes for me. The buttermilk does its magic and makes such fluffy pancakes, I was thrilled. Never before have I had such fluffy pancakes. I stuck to Kim’s recipe but halved it, since it was for just the two of us. I made some plain buttermilk pancakes (just incase my husband wasn’t feeling like the blueberry ones – he’s undecided on whether or not he likes blueberries). To the rest of the batter I added a handful of blueberries, but no other changes were made. We had the pancakes with some honey drizzled on top. They were so delicious, even my ‘undecided about blueberries husband’ enjoyed them. This will be my go-to recipe for pancakes from now on – Thanks Kim.

In the pan – on its way to becoming some brekkie deliciousness
Here are some of the plain buttermilk pancakes. You will notice the all of the pancakes are a little more on the brown side. We absolutely love the light crunch and caramelisation that this adds to the pancakes. You can pull them off the pan earlier to suit your liking. 

And last, but definitely not the least, some blueberry pancakes.

Blueberry Pancakes

1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste / vanilla extract
Maple Syrup, to drizzle over
A handful of blueberries (Approx. 1/4 – 1/3 cup)

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Combine the wet ingredients and add to the dry ingredients. Whisk together till combined.

Gently fold in the blueberries.

Heat a pan, spray some oil to coat the pan.

Pour a ladlefull of batter onto the hot pan. Leave some space for the batter to spread a little.

When you see bubbles appearing and bursting on the top, flip the pancakes over and cook till done.

Serve with some maple syrup! Yumm!!!

Thanks Jane – The Heritage Cook for hosting our very own Group A month after month and April – Angel’s Homestead for making sure that our fun Group here at the Secret Recipe Club runs smoothly and continues bringing a ton of yum to our tables every month. 

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Mini Eggless Banana Walnut Muffins

Can you tell that I absolutely love bananas? They’ve always been one of my favorite fruits. If you’re new here and don’t believe me, check out these beauties – Banana Bread, Bananas Foster, Stuffed French Toast and Monkey Business. See I wasn’t kidding. Today I have yet another banana treat for you. And let me tell you that these were absolutely wonderful. Even though they were an eggless bake, they were light, moist and super yum. I made mini muffins this time just as an excuse to have a second helping, maybe even a third 😉 These were so great that the next time I whip these up, I’m going to make them the regular muffin size. I think that tells you how much we enjoyed them. I hope you do too! Oh, I love my new silicone mini muffin cups. They are so gorgeous, they just brighten up my day. Am I crazy to want them in every color available 🙂 ? Unfortunately I forgot to use them while baking the muffins but they do make a pretty picture. Can’t wait to bake with them.



Mini  Eggless Banana Walnut Muffins
Yields 12 mini muffins

2-3 over ripe banans, mashed
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup natural unflavored yogurt
1/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt, or to taste

Preheat the oven to 180ºC and prepare your muffin mould

Mash the bananas in a bowl and add the oil, yogurt, sugar and vanilla and mix well.

Mix the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl. Mix well.

Add the mashed banana mix and fold it into the flour till incorporated. Don’t beat the batter.

Add the walnuts, reserving a few and stir them in gently.

Spoon the batter into paper lined muffin tins and sprinkle the reserved walnuts on top of them.

Bake for 20-30 minutes or till done.

This recipe is linked to –
Sweet Tooth Friday
Sweets for a Saturday
Savory Sunday
Mix it up Monday
My Meatless Mondays
Bake Fest

Gobhi Parathas

Parathas are one of my favorite breakfast items. Do you remember the Aloo Parathas and the Methi Parathas? If you haven’t seen those, you really should. Here’s another variation to the stuffed paratha that you can try. The method is the same as the one used for the Aloo Paratha except here we’re going to make a gobhi (cauliflower) filling.

Do you have a favorite paratha? Leave me a comment and let me know what it is. I’d love to try it out!

Gobhi Parathas


For the dough recipe and on how to make the parathas, click here.

For the Filling- 
1 head of cauliflower, washed and grated (Do not use the greens)
1″ ginger, grated
1 green chilly, finely chopped
Salt, to taste

Mix well and use a spoonful of this mix to stuff the parathas.

For details on how to make the parathas, go here.




This recipe is linked to –
My Meatless Mondays

A Weekend Breakfast – French Toast

Our weekday breakfasts are usually hurried as we get ready to make our way to work and get on with our day ahead. So on weekdays, its usually a couple of slices of buttered toast, a cup of coffee and a fruit or some cereal or porridge and a fruit. So over the weekend, I feel its only fitting to have a more leisurely and stepped-up-a-notch type of breakfast. Some of you will remember that one of these types of breakfast is a helping of pancakes. Another such fairly simple, yet very satisfying breakfast option for me is French Toast.

There are a few variants to this basic French toast that I’ve tried and I’ll list them at the bottom of the post. Something that I’ve been longing to try is a stuffed French toast. I seriously hope I get around to trying that sometime soon; I have so many ideas for those. This basic recipe I picked up from watching my mother in the kitchen. People find it hard to believe that when I was a kid, I didn’t fancy spending much time in the kitchen watching my mother cook. One exception was  when she was making something sweet. So when she was making us French toast for breakfast or when we were making goodies to go on the Christmas platter, it was hard to get me out of the kitchen. Till this day, I really enjoy making the sweeter stuff, desserts, cakes, cookies etc. Its the everyday cooking that sometimes leaves me lacking inspiration. 
Anyway back to the French toast. What I really like about making this at home is that you get to decide what flavors you want to work with and just how sweet you’d like it to turn out. When frying the slices of bread be sure to let it color a little. Its the browning that caramelizes the sugar and gives it a delightful crunch. 
What’s your favorite French Toast recipe? Drop in a line in the comments section and let me know. I’d love to try some new variants.
French Toast
(This recipe should make enough to dip about 4-6 slices of bread)
4-6 slices of bread
1 egg
1/2 cup of milk
Sugar, to taste
A few drops of vanilla extract
Butter / oil to fry
Heat a knob of butter or a little oil in a pan.
Whisk the eggs, milk, sugar and vanilla till well combined. Use a shallow bowl that is wide enough to fit the slices of bread in.
Dip the slices of bread in this mix, one at a time to cover well on both sides and soak in some of the liquid. I usually do a double dip on both sides. 
Carefully place the slice in the hot pan and let it cook on a medium flame till it caramelizes a little. Flip and cook the other side as well. 
If your griddle or pan is large enough, you can do multiple slices at a time. You’ll finish off faster. 
Enjoy it warm with a nice cup of coffee. 
If you’d like, you can drizzle some honey over the slices when you’re ready to eat. Don’t drizzle the honey before hand, it will make your toast soggy. If you don’t fancy honey, you could dust it with some powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar as well.
Variants
– You can substitute the vanilla with some cinnamon powder. You could also use a combination of both.
– You can also substitute the vanilla with some freshly grated nutmeg. 
Both this variants are gloriously flavorful. Try them all and see which one you prefer.
This recipe is linked to – 

Sheera with a twist … of Saffron, that is

In India, Sheera, a sweet dish made from semolina is a much loved snack. It is usually served in Udupi hotels for breakfast. In my house, however, we usually had this as an evening tea time snack. My grandmother used to whip up a little plate each, for my brother and me. She would add a some crushed cardamom seeds, a few raisins and slivered almonds right at the end, to add to the deliciousness and the healthiness of the dish. She would lovingly, flatten it out to look like a thin round cake, engrave scallops around the edges using a spoon and carve out our initials in the center, so that we’d know which one to pick. She would also add a couple of drops of food color to tint it. I still remember the excitement at seeing two delightful plates on the table, waiting for us as we came back in the evening.

My version is a little less fancy looking, but tastes the same. I know my Nana would be proud. I use roasted semolina to make this and roasting it brings out a wonderful nuttiness that the unroasted version lacks. I added a few strands of saffron as well. In mere minutes, you will be sitting down to a lovely warm, hearty treat. It is equally yummy if had once its cooled down to room temperature.

Sheera
(Serves 2)

1/2 cup semolina, dry roasted till it emits a light nutty aroma
1/2 cup milk
1/2 – 3/4 cup water
2-3 tbsp sugar, or to taste
1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
A few strands of saffron, added to the milk
Seeds of 2 pods of cardamom, crushed
Slivered almonds and a few raisins (optional)

Heat the ghee in a vessel.

Add the roasted semolina and let it fry off till the ghee is incorporated with the semolina and the semolina has fried off. Make sure you don’t burn the semolina in the process.

Add the sugar and the crushed cardamom seeds.

Add the water and milk and stir continuously while the semolina absorbs the liquids.

When the liquids have almost dried out, add the slivered almonds and raisins and stir well.

Once all the liquids have been absorbed, the sheera is done.

You can garnish it with some more almond slivers, if desired.

This recipe is linked to –
Sweet Tooth Friday
Sweets for a Saturday
Savory Sunday
Meatless Mondays
Mangia Mondays
My Meatless Mondays

Bombay Street Food Special #3 – Rava Idli

I know, it seems like I’ve abandoned this series on Bombay street food. I haven’t, but sometimes theres just so much going on that its not possible to fit everything into a twenty four hour day. In the past few days since I’ve returned, the day seems to have somehow shrunk and become even shorter. Anyway, the news is that I’m going to try and squeeze in some time for this serious. 


South Indian fare is very popular street food in Bombay. Today, I’ve got a little twist on the the traditional fare, but I promise you it is good, so very good. Typically, South Indian snacks like dosas and idlis take a while to make. The batter is made with a base combination of rice and urad dal (black gram). The ingredients have to be soaked, ground and fermented etc. (not necessarily in that order). In time, I’m itching to try out the traditional method. This take, however, is a quicker, simpler version. Its almost an instant recipe. The idlis turn out really delicious and I made a quick coconut chutney that my mum always made to go along with dosas and idlis. My mum has this amazing lady for a neighbor. She is from South India and ever so often whenever she has time away from school, where she’s a full time teacher, assistant head mistress and I don’t know what else, she’d treat us to a huge portion of breakfast snacks like this that she’d make for her family. I miss those days. And honestly, she was the first person I thought about while I was eating these. I should try and coax her to give me her recipe for the traditional rava idli.


But back to the instant rava idlis, they make a quick healthy snack with rava (semolina) and it is steamed. What could be healthier? For me, this is like soul food.



Rava Idli

(Makes 8)
1 cup rava or semolina
1 cup curd or plain unflavored yogurt
Salt to taste
1/4 to 1/2 cup water (I used a almost half)
A pinch of soda bi-carbonate

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and make sure there are no lumps.

Let it stand for 20-30 minutes. During this time you can make the chutney (Recipe below).

Pour the batter into idli moulds and steam for about 10 minutes.

Open the steamer and let it cool for a couple of minutes. Then take the idlis out of the moulds. A small spatula or the blunt end of a knife should be just right incase you need to help the out of the moulds.

Enjoy them hot with some Coconut Chutney.

Coconut Chutney

1/2-3/4 cup of freshly grated coconut
1-2 green chillies
Salt, to taste
1/2″ ginger
A ball of tamarind, the size of a large marble, soaked in a little water

Blitz all the ingredients together in a blender. Taste and adjust seasoning.

And thats it. In half an hour you can treat yourself to something yummy and wholesome.

This recipe is linked to –
Tuesdays at the Table
Delectable Tuesdays

Tuesday Night Supper Club
Whats Cooking Wednesday

Pancakes for the Breakfast Club!

I’m reposting these for a fun event I’m participating in called “The Breakfast Club” hosted this month by Krithi of Krithi’s Kitchen. This wonderful event was started by Helen of “Fuss Free Flavors”. Do head over and participate. This month you need to link up Pancakes.

I can’t wait for the round up. This is going to be so much fun!!!