Tag Archives: Healthy snacks

Fighting the Blues with Cute Cucumber Tapas

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Cucumber Tapas

Cucumber Tapas

Today, I am not at my sunshine-y best. I have been battling a health issue for almost a year. I thought I would keep that out of my blog because I want this blog to be my happy space. But happiness cannot be disguised in denial. Sometimes, we have to squeeze in little morsels of sunshine and happiness into the gray canvas of a day.

When I saw photographs of these little cucumber darlings on Pinterest, I knew this is what I could create today. Its easy, fuss-free and light on the stomach.

Why should I bother rustling cucumber thingies up when I feel blue? Since I have been unwell for a long time, I feel as though my days are dissipating and vanishing into nothingness. I am committing to posting one healthy, simple recipe everyday. This is my attempt to give some structure and purpose to my day. Often, I reach out for that unhealthy snack simply because I cannot think of something quick and easy to eat when the hunger pangs strike. I am hoping to build a collection of healthy, yummy, go-to recipes that I can incorporate into my diet easily.

The cucumber tapas fits the bill perfectly.

Serves 2

Ingredients

1 large cucumber

6 tablespoons hung curd

Few sprigs of mint

1 slice of red bell pepper (capsicum), chopped

Salt to taste.

Method

1. Peel the cucumber with a vegetable peeler.

2. Scoop out the seeds halfway through to create a mini cucumber bowl.

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3. Sprinkle the cucumber ‘bowls’ with a little salt and set aside.

4. Chop mint leaves finely.

5. In a bowl, mix the hung curd, mint leaves and salt.

6. Pour in spoonfuls of the hung curd filling into the cucumber ‘bowls.’

7. Garnish with red bell pepper.

8. Chill and serve.

P.S. No matter how gray the day is, I always find a bright spot if I look hard enough. Today, a white hibiscus flower radiantly bloomed in my balcony garden. It felt such joy. I hope you do too. See you tomorrow ­čÖé

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Hummus and Resolving the Tahini Mystery

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Hummus & Carrots

Has this ever happened to you? You google for a yummy, healthy recipe of a dish you tried at your favorite restaurant. You start getting excited and suddenly, there is one such ingredient that you have never heard of. And your enthusiasm dies a slow painful death. You sigh and go back to your bag of potato chips because now you are very hungry from all the googling. This has been the long-abiding story of me and hummus.

Hummus is a beautiful dipping sauce that is served in Middle Eastern restaurants with toasted bread.It is protein-rich and makes for a yummy and delicious snack.

Every hummus recipe requires teaspoonfuls of tahini. And recipe writers assume that I know what tahini is simply because I have eaten at a Middle Eastern restaurant called Ali Baba. (Have you ever noticed how every city has one Middle Eastern restaurant called Ali Baba and one Indian restaurant called Tandoor? Stereotypes, I tell you!) This makes me want to write an Indian recipe with ingredients like rajma, amchoor, etc. and deliberately leave out the English  translations. I am diabolical that way.

I discovered that tahini is nothing but a paste of toasted sesame seeds (white til). And with that knowledge, I proceeded to make this beautiful hummus with a creamy, nutty taste. You can have it as a dipping sauce with carrots, celery, or kebabs, and you could also use it as a sandwich spread.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 15oz can/125 grams of chickpea (garbanzo,┬áchhole)
  • 5 tbsp sesame seeds (white til)
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp coriander leaves (chopped)
  • Pinch of red chilli powder/paprika
  • Salt to taste

Method

1. Toast the sesame seeds in a hot skillet/kadhai for 5 minutes till they get a light brown color. Make sure not to over-roast it because it will become bitter.

2. Drain the can of chickpeas. If you are using uncanned chickpeas, soak it overnight till it becomes soft.

3. Tip in the chickpeas, sesame seeds, 5 tbsp og olive oil into the blender. Blend till it gets a creamy consistency. If its too dry, add 1-2 teaspoons of water.

4. Transfer the mix into a bowl. Fold in the lime juice and coriander leaves.

5. Season with red chilli powder and salt.

Easy creamy hummus is ready!

P.S. I did have some fun while roasting the sesame seeds. Since Valentine’s day is just around the corner, my sesame heart, just for you! See you tomorrow ­čÖé

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