Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Mango Strawberry Lassi....a great chiller for a hot summer's day!

Our town annually holds a Strawberry festival in June where they celebrate...Strawberries.From Italian ices and strawberry shortcakes to fresh strawberries and even strawberry sodas,they had em all.It was a lot of fun walking around the festival while music played by local bands and singers filled the air.Our spirits were high and with that,my husband was inspired to buy himself a strawberry soda(which sadly they were out) and lots of fresh strawberries and I mean LOTS.So our refrigerator has been well stocked with them and it was time to use them before they went bad.Today was a hot day and so I thought why not make something cooling with the strawberries and not owning an ice cream maker,my options were limited.I had yogurt in the fridge,mangos in my fruit bowl and so I thought,lets blend them.Here's the recipe to a delicious fat free,sugar free Lassi that might be a great treat for the whole family.

Mango Strawberry Lassi

You'll need:

3 cups Fresh strawberries(sliced in half)
1 ripened Champaign mango (flesh scooped out)
2 cups Fat-free yogurt
3 tbsp Stevia or Agave to taste
1/2 cup Fat -free milk
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup Ice cubes


Lassis are very easy to make.Combine all ingredients in your blender.Mix well and serve it while its still cold.You can keep it refrigerated if you're preparing it beforehand.Garnish with Strawberry slices or/and mango chunks.

Its as simple as that.A great drink for the summer and also to wow your friends and family.Not only is this a healthier recipe for a great drink but it is extremely flavorful.So try it out and let me know how it goes.

Note:For those of you who are lactose intolerant,you can substitute the yogurt and milk with soy products.

With love for food and you,

Monday, June 20, 2011

Renu's Banchowal Cookies

As funky as its name is,this cookie that I came up with turned out super delicious.It has an interesting texture which I think works great.Have you ever wanted a cookie and a cake all in one?Here it is.It's got some crunch but is soft in the middle and the burst of flavors are divine.So give this recipe a shot and you'll know what I'm talking about.I almost forgot....Bachowal stands for Banana,chocolate chips and walnuts.

Renu's Bachowal Cookies

You'll need:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1stick unsalted,low fat butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup stevia or 1/4 cup agave nectar (agave is very sweet so use according to preference)
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats(optional)
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted & coarsely chopped

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare 2 cookie sheets with non-stick baking spray or parchment paper.
In a medium mixing bowl,add flours with baking soda ,sugars and salt.Mix well with a whisk.In a separate bowl using  a hand mixer or stand mixer,beat butter until creamy,add in egg and beat for an additional 30 seconds.Once egg and butter are mixed well,add in vanilla extract and mashed bananas.Beat for another 20 seconds.Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well.Once you have mixed the ingredients well (meaning no more dry flour at sight),fold in the chocolate chips and chopped walnuts.Incorporate all ingredients well.
Spoon about 1 tablespoon of batter onto your cookie sheet spacing each about 2 inches apart.I usually spoon about 3 per row and 12 cookies per sheet.Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until cookies are golden brown.Once cookies are done,let them sit for about 10 minutes before removing from the cookie sheet.Once cooled,plate and serve.Cookies can be kept in room temperature for about 2 days.You can also freeze them if you wish to keep them longer.

These cookies are healthy and a great treat for your family and friends.Its low in sugars and sodium and thats what you want in a cookie.Something you can eat and not feel guilty about it.Hope you have a successful try and let me know what you think about this recipe.I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

With love for food and you,

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Spicy Mango Chutney Turkey Wrap.......low cal and delish!

Today was such a gorgeous day that my husband suggested we went for a picnic at a park.This is a long overdue activity that we have been wanting to do and also it was time to use this really pretty wicker picnic basket that we've had for 5 years but never once used.I wanted an exciting lunch to take with me so I decided to whip up something with flavors I love yet low in calories.So,heres my recipe of a delicious wrap.

Spicy Mango Chutney Turkey Wrap

You'll need:

2 large multi grain Tortilla or wrap
1 Tomato(thinly sliced
 Boston lettuce(this happens to be my favorite but you can use any lettuce)
4-5 slices Deli smoked turkey 
Cheese slices(optional and cheese of your choice)

Spicy mango chutney sauce:

3 tbsp Light mayonaise(you can find a variety of low calorie mayos)
1/2 - 1 tbsp Sriracha chilli sauce (adjust to your spice preference)
1 1/2 tbsp Mango chutney (you can find them in jars at your local grocery store)
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
Pinch of Salt
 1/3 tsp Black pepper (optional)

Add all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and mix well into a thick spread.Set aside.Line tortilla with 2 pieces of lettuce followed by the turkey meat.Spread the sauce over the meat and top with sliced tomatoes and cheese.You can also use other toppings like sliced green peppers or avocados to go with your wrap.Fold the bottom of the tortilla upwards and roll the tortilla tightly,enclosing filling.Cut your wrap sideways in half if you wish.

I enjoyed my wrap and I'm not that big a fan of wraps in general.I just loved the combination of flavors especially the mango chutney with the turkey.It makes a great summer wrap.You can make it as spicy or not as you wish.Feel free to experiment with your favorite toppings.This sauce goes well for any sandwich.So,have a great wrap filled day and enjoy your summer.

With love for food and you,

Satay Chicken and Shrimp Stir-Fry...My delicious little experiment.

I love making stir fries.They are delicious,easy to make and can be very nutritious depending on what you put into them.I have tried many sauces and ingredients to stir fry with and am always looking for exciting flavors to explore. One of my favorite places to eat at is the Cheesecake Factory and I always order this dish called the 'Bang-bang Chicken and Shrimp' which I adore.We recently went to one in West Hartford (nice to have one close enough) and they didn't have the coconut milk to make the dish,so I couldn't have it. Missing eating that dish,I decided to do something with a peanut sauce to compliment the Malaysian satay marinated chicken which I had leftover from our memorial day barbecue.So here's my little experiment which turned out to be a great dinner.

Satay Chicken and Shrimp Stir-Fry

You'll need:

1/2 lbs Easy peel shrimp
3-4  Boneless chicken breasts(cut into bite sized pieces)
3 Multi-colored bell peppers(cut into 2 inch pieces)
3 stalks Baby bok choy (or green leaf vege of your preference)
1 Onion (thinly sliced)
1/2 pack Baby Portobello mushroom(wiped and sliced)(you can also use canned mushrooms)
2 inch Fresh ginger (grated)
5 cloves Garlic (chopped finely)
2 stalk Scallion(chopped including white part)
1 1/2 tbsp Oil(heart healthy oils)


3 tbsp Natural peanut butter 
1 tbsp Light soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp Sriracha thai chili sauce or other chili sauces
1 tsp Chinese cooking rice vinegar
1 tbsp Agave nectar or stevia

Mix all sauce ingredients and set aside.


Heat oil in a wok and add in the garlic and ginger.Fry until fragrant.Be careful not to burn as this will render a bitter taste to the stir-fry.Add in the  onions immediately and fry until it turns a light brown.Add in the sauce and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.You can add water if it gets too dry.Once the sauce begins bubbling,add in the shrimp and stir in with the sauce.Let it cook for about 2 minutes and add in the chicken.Stir well to mix in the chicken with the sauce until cooked.Once chicken is cooked(when meat turns all white),add in the mushrooms and peppers.Let it cook for about 3 minutes before adding in the Bok choy.Stir everything together to make sure the sauce coats your ingredients well.Don't over cook the vegetables.Chinese stir fries are known for their crunchy and fresh vegetables.After about 3 minutes,add in the scallions and do a quick stir.Take stir fry off heat as sometimes electric stoves can keep cooking even after its been turned off.You can eat it as it is or serve with a side of rice or noodles.You can also garnish with some crushed peanuts if available.

Here it is....a great recipe for a simple stir fry that your friends and family might enjoy.You can show off your culinary skills with the simplest of meals.It doesn't always have to be a six course dinner to prove you can cook so give this a try and charm your loved ones with a delicious meal.Have fun trying it and remember that the smiles you put on the faces of the ones you serve is the best reward you can get and not to mention,the delicious burst of flavors for yourself doesn't hurt a single bit.So,enjoy this recipe and let me know how it goes.

Note:Many don't know that fresh mushrooms should not be washed.Washing them will only result in rubbery textured mushrooms.To clean them,use a wet kitchen towel or paper towel and wipe them down.Hope this tip helped you.

With love for food and you,