Kale Chips with a Spicy Chaat Masala Seasoning

Anyone who knows me well, knows I love my snacks. Most Indian snacks are deep fried. Actually, scratch that, most snacks anywhere are deep fried. Well, atleast the yummy ones are. That being the way it is, I try to cut down on these kinds of snacks. Which means, I’m constantly on the lookout for healthier options. And it goes without saying that even these healthier options, have to be delicious. At the end of the post, I will list some of the recipes that I find healthier. Do you love your snacks as much as I do? Hit me up with your healthy snack recipes in the comments section. I would love to try them out and will post my experience here, with credit to you, of course.

Today’s post is one such snack option. Kale Chips. I never thought I’d love it as much as I do. I’ve had the option to cook with Kale only in the last couple of years. I’ve not tried too many Kale recipes so far. Just this Skillet Breakfast Hash and now these Kale Chips. I’ve made them both a few times and we love them. That is how I knew, I had to share these Kale Chips with you. Kale is really good for you. They are choc full of antioxidants. These are baked and I can’t tell you how delightful they are to snack on. You have to try it to believe it. What I love is that the options for the seasonings are endless. I have a soft spot to this Spicy Masala Chaat Seasoning. It is a little tangy, a little salty and a little spicy – just perfect. And its such an easy recipe too. All you do is prep the leaves, sprinkle the seasoning over, toss and bake. So what are you waiting for? Try it out. You’ll definitely want to make it again.

You can watch the recipe here –

Kale Chips


1 bunch of Kale, washed and shaken dry
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder or to taste
1/2 tsp Chaat masala, or to taste
Salt, to taste

Preheat the oven to 180ºC.

To prep the Kale leaves, break the leaves into smaller chip size portions, discarding the tougher stem.

In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, the chilli powder, chaat masal and salt together.

Drizzle this over the the kale leaves and toss well to make sure all the leaves are coated with the spices. Its best to do this with your hands. Rub the leaves gently to get the seasoning in the little nooks and crannies.

Either line a baking tray with some parchment paper or lightly spray with some oil

Arrange the kale leaves in a single layer on the tray.

Bake for 10-15 minutes or till the leaves are lightly browned.

Keep a close watch on the leaves as they can go from just right to burnt very quickly.

Take them out of the oven and let the chips cool completely before eating. They crisp up as they cool.

Sit back and enjoy.

Pin now and enjoy later!

Date, Apricot & Chia Bars

How many of you enjoy your dry fruits, nuts and seeds? I’m talking raisins, sultanas, dates, apricots, prunes or almonds, cashewnuts, peanuts and also pumpkin seeds (pepitas) and sunflower seeds. Me, I love them all. They are all known to have health benefits if eaten in small quantities as part of a balanced diet. It is a shame that more people don’t include these little gems in the diets. My husband loves nuts, but isn’t too keen on the dried fruit or seeds by themselves. So I have to think of ways to include them in our diet. Most often, we usually just nibble on a small handful of an assortment of fruits and nuts / seeds, but I was looking for other ways to enjoy them too.

When I came across a post with these bars, I knew I had found something good. It has dates, apricots, pepitas, chia seeds and a touch of cinnamon, all of which are know to be healthy in their own right. They come together to form these little delicious bars which are so tasty. They are sweet from the dates, a little tangy from the apricots and have the crunch of the chia seeds and pepitas though them. As the original recipe included a small amount of white chocolate chips, I threw them in, but they would be fantastic even with dark chocolate or even without chocolate at all.

The verdict, my husband enjoys them, which is a win for dry fruits in his books. They are small portion sizes, but pack a punch. If you like to reach for a snack bar or a granola bar during the day, I suggest trying these out. They are very satisfying and will keep the hunger pangs away till your next meal. They take all of 10 minutes hands on time. So even if you are time poor, you can still make a batch of these on your day off and enjoy them through the week. Kids will enjoy them too. Go ahead, give them a try. If you do, I’d love to hear what you think of them.

Date, Apricot & Chia Bars
Recipe from: Cupcakes & Kale Chips
Yields: 16 pieces (2 inch squares)

1 cup dates, pitted
1 cup dried apricots
2 tbsp Chia seeds
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds / pepitas
2 tbsp white chocolate chips (optional)

Line an 8×8 inch baking dish or tray with baking paper.

Place the dates, apricots, chia seeds and cinnamon in a food processor and blitz till it has coarsely broken down.

Add the pepitas to the processor and blitz again till the pepitas have broken down to finely chopped.

Now add the chocolate chips, if you’re using them and blitz again to break them up to little pieces.

Empty this mix onto the lined baking dish and flatten it down as best as you can, using the back of a spoon.

Next, I used another piece of baking paper on the top and used a large glass jar to flatten it out evenly. You can also use the bottom of a pan or a similar sized baking dish to do this after you place the baking paper on top.

Refrigerate for an hour.

Cut into squares. They are now ready to eat.

To store these bars, place a piece of baking paper between the squares to keep them from sticking to each other. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

You now have little snack bars that will take you through the week.

Enjoy!!!

If you like this recipe, here’s a few more you might enjoy –
Fruit & Nut Balls
Power Packed Snack Bars
Banana Bread Baked Oatmeal


Baked Sweet Potato Fries

I’m finally back to blogging! If you’ve been wondering where I’ve been over the last few weeks, I’ve been right here but I’ve had my laptop die on me. It was a real task recovering the data on it and getting back to doing this. But thanks to my wonderful husband, I’ve recovered most of it. And now finally have access to it. Still don’t have my trusty laptop, but the family computer works fine for now.

So to ease back into the flow of things, this will be a quick post. The recipe also is a quick one, super simple to make. Infact, you can barely even call it a recipe, but the results are so very good, I will go ahead and post it here to share with you. If you haven’t tried out sweet potato fries yet, trust me, you really should. Even my beloved husband, who doesn’t care much for the sweet potato (he calls it a sweet mush / baby food), loved it and actually requests for these fries every once in a while.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind here. You could peel the potatoes, but I leave the skin on. Just give it a good wash and scrub and you are good to go. Also, size of the fries will make a difference. The thicker you cut it, the longer it will take to cook. The thicker sized fries will still be soft and fluffy. If you are like me and love a little crunch in your life,  cut the fries thin. It cooks quicker and caramelises a little and is super delicious, not to mention perfectly crunchy.

This fries are a much more healthy version that the regular potato fries and are great either as a snack or as a side to a big roast dinner or holiday meal too.

Sweet Potato Fries


1 large sweet potato, washed
Salt, to taste
Freshly crushed black pepper, to taste
A drizzle of olive oil (about 1 tbsp)

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Cut the sweet potato into fries.

Drizzle a little olive oil on a baking tray.

Place the sweet potato, salt and pepper on the tray and toss to make sure everything is well coated. You can add a little more olive oil if needed.

Arrange the potato pieces in a single layer.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, turning the pieces once at the halfway mark.

Keep an eye on your oven from time to time. It may not need as long in your oven. Also this time will depend on the size of the pieces. So keep an eye on it the first time you make this.

When it is done to your liking, take it out of the oven.

Serve hot and enjoy!

Sriracha Chinese Cucumber Salad

Every now and then I love a little snack. Yes, I snack between meals Dad. My Dad would be horrified that I still do. He is a strong believer that food should be restricted to meal time, unless you were at a party or something. However, I love my snacks. I’ve always tried to cook / bake from scratch and now I want to try and take that one step ahead and eat clean. It will take some getting used to, but I think it definitely is do-able and I hope to take that to my snacks as well. Does this mean you’ll stop seeing desserts, bakes and other slightly indulgent food on my blog. Most definitely not. I will still do that, but will try and be more mindful of the kind of food I eat on a regular basis. Do you have any clean eating recipes that you love? I would love to try them out too. Leave me a comment and let me know 🙂

So back to this salad. I love cucumbers – continental, lebanese, baby cukes – all of them. One of my favourite ways to eat cucumber is straight up sprinkled with a tiny bit of salt. I usually serve some up with lunch or dinner. I wanted to try and change it up a little. So after a little looking around on the internet I came across this recipe. It was quick and easy and sounded delicious. I could definitely snack on some of this too. I’m very glad I stumbled across this recipe. 
I did this a tiny bit differently. I didn’t drain out the liquid and to make it work as a fresh salad, toss salad in the dressing and serve immediately. If not, it will get soggy. You can make the dressing ahead of time and just chop the cucumber and toss it up just before serving.
Sriracha Chinese Cucumber Salad
Adapted from: Kirbie Cravings
1 continental cucumber, cut into batons
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tsp sesame oil
1/4 – 1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp sriracha sauce
1/2 tsp fresh coriander leaves and stalks, chopped
1/4 tsp red chilly flakes
Lemon / lime juice, to taste 
Mix all the ingredients except the cucumber pieces together in a bowl.
Add the cucumber pieces to the bowl and toss well.
Serve immediately.

SRC: Sriracha Peanuts

This month I had the pleasure of being assigned, Mellissa’s blog, A Fit and Spicy Life. That’s one thing I really love about the Secret Recipe Club, each month you are introduced to a blog you are not necessarily familiar with. I had so much fun looking through Mellissa’s blog. If you are a dog lover like me, you have got to go over and check out the doggie cuteness on her blog. And yeah, while you’re there stay a little longer and check out her recipes. There’s something for everyone.

There were two recipes that I was very eager to try. Strangely enough, they were very similar recipes – both munchies. I’ve been surrounded by sweet food. If you go to a supermarket here, you’re bombarded by sweet stuff – cakes, cookies, pies, pastries and so much more. But it is practically impossible to find good savoury treats that are slightly on the spicier side. So when I saw these recipes for Spiced Pumpkin seeds and these Sriracha Peanuts, I was sold. So by now, you’ve figured that I chose to make the Sriracha Peanuts and I’m so very glad I did. These were super easy to make and they are so addictive, I had to put them in a container and tuck them away before I finished the whole lot. I made a few minute changes to the spice mix, but that’s only because the blend called for in the original recipe, is not available in my part of the world. But the resulting peanuts are crunchy and tasty and I’m sure I’ll be making many more variants, now that I’ve figured how to add a spicy glaze to nuts. Thanks Mellissa for the inspiration.

Sriracha Peanuts


2 cups salted peanuts
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp Sriracha sauce
1 tbsp Smokey barbecue sauce
1 tsp Cajun spice blend
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Preheat the oven to 180ºC.

Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with a non stick spray.

Combine all the ingredients together in a bowl and stir to make sure all the peanuts are well coated with the sauces and spices.

Pour the nuts onto the lined baking sheet and spread so that they form an even single layer of nuts.

Bake for about 12-15 minutes till they’re toasted. Carefully stir them through once at about the 10 minute mark.

Let the nuts cools completely.

You could either pack these up in an airtight container and nibble on it over the next few days, or serve them right up. If you put a bowl of these nuts in front of company, trust me, you will need to make a double batch and might still not have any left over.

Corn Dog Muffins

Fried food is usually delicious, isn’t it! I have to agree. We love our fries, pakoras, fried chicken and oh yes, the good old corn dogs… and that’s just the start of the list. However, we are trying to adopt slightly healthier eating habits. Let’s not get all wound up here. I’m just talking about changes like baking instead of frying where possible, consuming a little less oil and so on. And yes, I will continue enjoying the occasional helping of fried food. So I decided to try a baked version of the corn dogs – Corn Dog Muffins.

This recipe is an absolute star. I was a little apprehensive when I started out. Because I’m sure all of us have found atleast one such baked substitute recipe that seems so promising but is nothing like the original. I know I have. This recipe is nothing like that. It is so delicious and knowing it is baked and not fried lets you enjoy this treat even more. My husband loves these muffins. He is actually happy to skip the sausage in the centre and eat just the cornbread by itself. It is that tasty. Unlike some corn dog batters, this is NOT a sweet one, which works out really well for us. We prefer it savoury.
I hope you give this recipe a try and if you do, don’t forget to serve this up with some mustard and ketchup.
Corn Dog Muffins
Adapted from: The Pioneer Woman
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 – 1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
6 whole hot dogs (I used cocktail franks)
Preheat the oven to 200ºC.
Cut the hot dogs / franks into pieces long enough to stand in the centre of the muffin.
Melt the butter and leave it to cool a little while you get the other ingredients together.
Combine corn meal, flour and salt in a bowl.
In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, milk and egg.
Add the baking powder and baking soda to the milk and egg mix.
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
Add the slightly cooled, melted butter and stir well.
Spray the muffin tray with some oil.
Pour the  batter into the muffin tin to fill about 2/3 of the tin.
Place the hot dog / frankfurter pieces in the middle of each muffin.
Bake until cornbread is cooked. It should take about 10-12 minutes.
Serve up with some mustard and ketchup.
These muffins keep very well in the fridge. My plan was to use it for a snack through the week. They were finished well before the week was. All we did was warm it up before eating. 

Cajun Chicken Wrap

Chicken is a protein that we eat most frequently at home. Whether it is a curry or fried, roasted or in a salad, we love it. What I also love about it is that is easy to prepare and cooks fast. One of many new edible ingredients that I’ve had access to in the last year is a Cajun spice mix. A lot of the spices I use are Hoyt’s including this one.

This is the first brand of Cajun Spice that I tried and enjoyed it a lot, so I’ve just stuck with it. And moreover, it is a 100% Aussie family owned company; I try to buy local whenever possible. I know there are loads of folks who make this blend at home and sometime in the future, I fully intend trying my hand at making it myself. For now, I’ll stick with what I have easy access to.
Making Cajun chicken my way, couldn’t be easier. I use smaller pieces of boneless chicken. Sometimes I use thigh fillets, other times I use breast fillets. I almost always buy the whole bird and then portion it out and cut it up at home (that is husband’s department though). You could use whatever cut you like. Its nice to leave the chicken to marinade for about half an hour, but at times, when I’ve been pressed for time, I’ve made it after just 10 minutes and it still turns out pretty good. This is not a recipe as such, more of a guide to some yummy chicken.
Boneless chicken pieces
Salt, to taste
Lime juice, to taste
Cajun spice blend, to taste
1 tbsp Vegetable oil
Take off the skin and trim the fat, if any, from the pieces of chicken.
Sprinkle the salt and cajun spice mix over the pieces of chicken. 
Squeeze the sour lime juice over the chicken. I think the lime juice is what brings out the wonderful flavors of the spice blend. Its definitely not the same without the tang from the citrus juice. If you don’t have lime juice at hand, you could use lemon juice too, you’ll just need to use a little more. 
Toss the pieces well to ensure they are well coated. Rubbing the spices into the pieces of the chicken works really well. Leave the chicken pieces in the spice rub for about half an hour.
Heat the oil in a pan. Carefully place the pieces of chicken in the pan and fry on both sides over medium heat till done. Depending on the number of chicken pieces you are frying, you may need to cook it in batches. Do not overcrowd the pan. You may need to use a touch more oil for each batch. (Tip: I start on a slightly higher heat to seal in the juices and then lower the heat to cook it through.) If you have a grill, I’m pretty sure this would taste fantastic grilled too.
You could serve these chicken pieces as they are with a salad for a fantastic quick weeknight meal. Or you could do what I do – cut up the pieces and use them in wraps and take them to work for a great packed lunch option. Here’s how a put the wraps together. 
For the Wrap –  
Flour tortillas (I used store bought)
Iceberg lettuce, chopped
Cheese slices, optional
Cajun chicken pieces
Lay the cheese in the middle of the tortilla and place some lettuce on top. 
Top that with the the chunky guacamole and lay the chicken pieces over it.
Carefully, roll the tortilla to make the wrap.
Tip: If I’m eating the wrap straightaway, I warm the tortilla before making the wrap.
Enjoy!!!
** This is not a sponsored post. I’m just sharing with you a product I really enjoy.

SRC: Fruit & Nut Balls

This month for my SRC reveal, I was assigned one of my long time favorite blogs, Baking and Boys by Katrina. Ever since I started blogging back in September 2010, when I joined some awesome bloggers for the 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies Challenge, I have been a big fan and follower of Katrina’s blog. She always, ALWAYS, posts some absolutely delicious treats. Everytime, I visit her blog, I find myself wishing I lived next door to her, that way I might’ve been able to sample some of them (much easier than making them myself 😉 ). She has so many options for Chocolate Chip Cookies, I almost made a batch. But realized that I had just picked up a bag of chocolate chip cookies on impulse just before the assignments got out.

These days, Katrina has made a few dietary changes and I found so many treats on her blog that are healthier than the regular ones but equally delicious. I decided I had to try out one of those. I’ve been looking out for recipes for little snack like options to take to work. Something no-fuss, tasty and that will keep me going for a while. I found just the thing – her Cranberry Almond Date Balls. These were so simple to put together and super delicious. My husband could not believe that they didn’t have a grain of sugar in it. I was really happy that I decided to try these out and I look forward to taking them in to work over the coming week. Thanks Katrina 🙂

I pretty much stuck to Katrina’s recipe and added all the optional add-ins. The only difference being, I used almond meal instead of whole almonds since I had it at hand. Also, instead of mixing the coconut with the rest of the ingredients, I just rolled the little fruit and nut balls in it. I love the fact that these have no sugar in it and everything in it is wholesome. In my books, that makes it a healthy snack. With the cranberry peeking out from under that snowy looking coconut, these remind me of Christmas 🙂  I think it would look pretty on a platter of Christmas treats. These are slightly on the larger side and are snack sized, but when I make them next, I intend making them a little smaller.

Fruit N Nut Balls


1 cup almond meal
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup pitted dates
2 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
A pinch of salt
2 tbsp dark chocolate chips
1-2 tbsp desiccated coconut (unsweetened)

Chop up the dates roughly.

Put the dates, cranberries and almond meal into a food processor and blitz till it chops everything up nice and fine and mixes it through.

Add the honey, vanilla and salt and pulse it to bring everything together. At this stage it will start to clump a little.

Add the chocolate chips and pulse it a couple of times to mix it through.

Divide the dough into walnut sized portions and roll to form balls.

Place the coconut in a small bowl or plate and roll the balls in the desiccated coconut.

Leave it to set for a little while. Store in an airtight container.

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.

Crunchy Lettuce Wraps

This one isn’t really a recipe, but just a way to use up some leftover ground beef mince and make it a little interesting. The wrap adds a lovely crunch and is super versatile; fill it with whatever you have at hand. It is a beautiful way to serve up leftovers.

I use ice berg lettuce leaves, but you can adapt and use any lettuce you have. Another thing to remember is, make sure the beef is slightly on the drier side. While cooking the mince, if you’ve left it at a gravy consistency, simply cook it uncovered till the juices dry up, stirring occasionally to ensure it doesn’t burn.

I didn’t just stop there. I threw in some thinly sliced onion, a slice of tomato and some chopped coriander leaves.

As options, you could use steamed prawns and a cocktail sauce, you could use leftover grilled chicken with some sauteed onions and mushrooms and so much more. I like to think of this as a healthy snack; there’s no carbs. If you decide to whip up some lettuce wraps, I’d love to hear from you. Leave me a comment and tell me what you used as a filling. You could send me some pictures or a link too, I’d be happy to feature them here.

Here’s to healthy snacking!

Crunchy Lettuce Wraps


Iceberg lettuce
Leftover beef mince
A few slices of onion
A few slices of tomato
Fresh coriander leaves, chopped


Wash, pat dry and separate as many layers of ice berg lettuce as you’d want wraps.

Place a spoonful of the beef mince, a few slices of onion, a slice of tomato and some chopped coriander leaves.

Wrap it snugly, so that the filling doesn’t fall out. As a precaution, I used some small cocktail sticks to keep everything in place.

Place on a platter and serve.