Alu Tikki Taco with Salsa and Mint chutney


IMG_20160317_125051-2

For the indian that I am I haven’t experimented with too many indian whole30 compliant recipes. There are a few reasons why indian food is not going to work for me.The first being that the food combinations are too deeply entrenched in my mind that It won’t feel like a novelty but a compromise and secondly the spices don’t support eating just the curry or meat and third everything indian contains yoghurt or lentils. This is what I told myself for the past 20 days while on my whole30 program.

But how the proverbial light bulb switches on with an idea, I realised that my assumption is just that, an assumption.Indian food can be customised to be whole30 compliant.My craving for Chat made me think of how I can customise the Alu Tikki Chat to suite the whole30 standards.Alu Tikki is a indian potato patty which is eaten with curd and various chutneys or with Chole Masala which is a chickpeas curry.

As always I started with a different plan in my mind but ended up somewhere else all together.I was going to bake my alu tikki and eat it with mint chutney but I obviously didn’t stop with that,as apparent in the pics. I had made some salsa just cause I had fresh jalapenos and I had bought some fresh iceberg lettuce on a whim. I originally wanted to make some sort of a mexican Taco inspired dish with it but finally decided to mix the cuisines and make my own Alu Tikki Lettuce Tacos!

My suggestions for this recipe-Its a great party food so you dont have to restrict yourself to this only while on whole30. If you are not on whole30 use flour to bind the patties. Any kind of salad veggies can be used in this dish so experiment away.

IMG_20160317_125006-2

TOMATO SALSA

INGREDIENTS

  • Tomato-1-Chopped
  • Onion-1-Chopped
  • Lemon juice-1 tbsp
  • Jalapeno-1-Chopped.
  • Cilantro or Coriander
  • Salt to taste

RECIPE

  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Let it sit for a few minutes before consumption to let the juices flow.

Eat with LITERALLY anything!

 

MINT CHUTNEY

INGRIDIENTS

  • Fresh Mint-1 cup
  • Raw Mango-1/2/Dry Mango(Amchur)-1 tsp/yoghurt-1 tbsp(if not on whole30)
  • Green Chilli-1(thumb sized)
  • Garlic-2 cloves
  • Salt to taste

RECIPE

  1. Throw all the ingredients in a blender with some water and blend for few minutes.

EAT with LITERALLY ANYTHING!

 

ALU TIKKI LETTUCE TACO

INGREDIENTS

  • Potatoes-Boiled-2
  • Onion-1/2-Chopped
  • Binding Agent-Almond flour-1 tbsp/ground almonds-5-6/flour(if not on whole30)
  • Coriander
  • Iceberg Lettuce
  • Radish-1-sliced
  • Chilli powder-1/2 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Lemon-1
  • Ghee-1 tbsp

RECIPE

  1. Mash the boiled potatoes.Add chopped onions,Binding agent of your choice,coriander,salt,chilli powder and few drops of lemon.
  2. Make small balls out of the potato mash.
  3. Preheat the oven at 180 degrees. Butter or oil the baking tray with ghee so the tikkis don’t stick to the bottom or use a butter paper.Place the balls on a baking tray.
  4. Brush the balls with ghee and bake for 20-25 minutes till the tops are brown.
  5. Tear the 2-3 lettuce leaves and place them together to make a sort of bowl or a taco.
  6. Place the Radish,Salsa and Tikkis in the lettuce bowl.Drizzle the mint chutney.

 

Serve with a Lime wedge as it is or Roll it up and eat like a burrito or a taco!

 

 

Moroccan Inspired Grilled Chicken with Baby Spinach & Carrot Salad


IMG_20160316_210910~2

Do you think you can define a country’s flavour using a few ingredients?Like Italian flavours are Basil,Tomato,Garlic,Olive oil and Cheese in a nut shell? Thai cuisine is Lemon Grass, Coconut milk, Kaffir leaves and Galangal for a new cook? But how would you define Moroccan flavours? Moroccan cuisine is very spice centric. I did a little research and found five spices in all things Moroccan – Cumin, Mint, Cinnamon,Cardamom,Coriander.Ras-El-Hanout is a Moroccan Garam Masala which can have 10-100 spices in the blend.I wish I could get my hands on Ras-El-Hanout but it is not easily available in India. I will go in search for it but I couldn’t wait till then.

I saw Jamie Oliver make Tagine with a Raw Carrot salad once on television.  I want to try my hand at it but i want to taste the authentic version of it before attempting it.I instead settled for a Moroccan inspired Grilled Chicken with Baby Spinach Salad.

 

IMG_20160316_210839.jpg

Moroccan Inspired Grilled Chicken

INGREDIENTS

  • Chicken Breast-1
  • Olive Oil-1 tbsp

SPICE RUB

  • Cumin powder-1/2 tsp
  • Cinnamon Powder-1/2 tsp
  • Paprika-1/2 tsp
  • Sessame Seeds-1/2 tsp
  • Salt to taste

RECIPE

  1. Combine the spices for the rub.
  2. Gently rub spice mix on the chicken breast and let it marinade for 10-20 minutes.
  3. Heat a grill pan and add oil.Move the pan around so that its fully coated with oil.Remove excess oil if you want after this.
  4. Place the chicken on the Grill pan. You can place a plate and weigh it down by placing something heavy on it.
  5. Grill it for 2-3 minutes before turning the side and repeating the same steps for 2 minutes.
  6. Once cooked slice the chicken using a sharp knife.

 

Baby Spinach and Carrot Salad

INGREDIENTS

  • Baby Spinach-1 1/2 cups
  • Carrots-2 -Strips
  • Cherry Tomoatos-8-Halved
  • Sesame Oil-1 tsp
  • Lemon Juice-1 tsp
  • Salt
  • Chilli flakes-1/2 tsp
  • Raisins-7-8

 

RECIPE

  1. Soak the Raisins in warm water.
  2. Meanwhile ,Mix the oil,lemon,salt and chilli flakes to make the dressing.
  3. Combine the baby spinach,carrot strips and cherry Tomatos.
  4. Add the dressing just before serving to maintain the crunch of the veggies.

 

Serve with your choice of protein or eat alone!

Pork Stir Fry with Sweet Potato Fries


IMG_20160314_171130-2 (1)In a nut shell day 12,13,14 was a sad YO YO of dying of craving,lavishing in compliments about my weight loss, neeeding a dessert and Binging on pistachios!

Definitely the most difficult Chennai trip ever! Imagine sitting in Sarvana Bhavan (the most amazing South Indian Breakfast heaven!!) and not eating a thing!!!My taste buds cried a meloncholy ballad remembering the taste of a masala dosa..

But sense prevailed after 2 stanzas of the ballad when I realised that the Indian Breakfast of Puri-Bhaji,Parathas and Dosas might be the cat burglar robbing me of the chance of eating nutrient rich food!!! Just compare two boiled eggs to a Masala dosa you would eat outside..

In the past I regularly fell pray to my cravings..All the brilliant home delivery startups made it easy to order two chocolate desserts and devour them without thinking about the kazzelllion calories I was dumping in my body..But its different now..I see the food for what it will do to my body…I spend the first few seconds salivating but the next few seconds I see the food for what it is actually..a thick slab of empty calories! This weekend ,while travelling back from Chennai in shatabdi I saw a couple mix pepper in butter and eat it like a dip with the soup sticks!! First two seconds went by in visualising how it would taste if I ate it the same way..and then I actually saw the couple…in between them they could most probably make at least 2 more fully grown human beings and a small dog!! Hmmm..I ate my Banana in silence!

The lunch for today was Indian style Pork Stir fry with minty sweet potato fries. I used fresh spicy pork sausages for this dish but you can use any kind of ground pork. These sausages disintegrate very easily in the sause and give the same texture as minced pork. The sweet potato were spiced with a spice mix that my mother usually adds to yoghurt to make a raita.I usually have a box of this handy though I havent cooked a lot with this.The final dish had a mix of Mexican and Indian flavours.

IMG_20160314_171332

INGREDIENTS

Sweet Potato Fries

  • Sweet Potatos-1 large cut into fingers.
  • Dried Mint
  • Roasted Cumin
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper

Pork Stir Fry

  • Two Fresh Pork Sausages/1 cup of minced Pork-firmly pressed
  • Red Pepper(capsicum)-1-Julienned
  • Yellow Pepper(Capsicum)-1-Julienned
  • Mushrooms-4-sliced
  • Onion-1-Julienned
  • Tomato-3
  • Garlic-3 cloves
  • Dried or Fresh Mint-1 tbsp
  • Salt to taste

RECIPE

Pork Stir Fry

  1. In a Non stick pan heat oil on medium flame. Add the Garlic and Onions and saute on a low flame for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the minced Pork/sliced Sausage.Brown for 2-5 minutes.
  3. Make a Paste of the tomatoes and add to the pan with pork.
  4. Add the peppers,mushrooms,mint and Salt.
  5. Cook for 5-8 minutes.

Sweet Potato

  1. Heat a Pan on medium flame.Add oil and Sweet Potatos.
  2. Keep Tossing the potatoes in the pan to ensure all sides get the heat.
  3. Sauté for 20 minutes.
  4. Add a tablespoon of Spice mix.

 

Serve the Stir fry hot with the Sweet Potato Fries.

Day 11-Zuchinni Spaghetti in Chicken Meatballs


IMG_20160310_164619-2

Is our tongue foolish? Or do our eyes control the taste? Is re creating dishes which look like the famous versions of themselves satiate us just by looking at it? At the end of the day does our tongue just want textures and colors?

Past few days have been full of colorful different food for me…i am making food which I don’t usually eat…i spend anywhere between 15-30 minutes in creating my lunch…And probably 2-3 hours brainstorming on what to cook tomorrow…My current schedule lets me do this..But I wonder if this is not your sole focus how this diet would go…

If you are eating outside your house in India you totally can forget about whole30…Do not even try explaining it to your relatives at dinner or worst yet ask the server at a restaurant if they have anything without dairy, legume, wheat and sugar!! Food in India centers around 3 whole30 “Don’ts”…grains, dairy and legumes. Any meal would be incomplete without these three food groups. Indians worship dairy and legumes and think it’s the best thing that has happened to mankind! I remember drinking almost a liter of milk growing up everyday…its difficult for us to move away from cultural fixations.

Every day I feel like I should stop this diet…Atleast twice..and every day I see positive changes in myself!! I have come to a stage where I am taking selfies in the full length mirror of the lift!! My friends say that my skin has cleared…In fact my skin always tended to be oily but now when I wash it with my usual oily skin facewash my face remains dry for hours!! They also see a visible difference in my body…I seem to have shrunk a bit(modesty!)

On day 11 I recreated spaghetti in meatballs. The sauce is pretty basic and doesn’t require too much work or cooking…This recipe creates 6-8 chicken meatballs which can be frozen for use later. These can also be eaten as snacks.

Zucchini Spaghetti in Chicken Meatballs

IMG_20160310_165159-2.jpg

  • Zucchini juliennes or noodles-1 cup
  • One onion
  • One tomato
  • Garlic-2 cloves
  • Almond Milk-2 tbsp (Normal milk if not on whole30)
  • Salt to taste
  • Mixed herbs
  • Clarified Butter or Ghee-2 tbsp (divided)

Meatballs

  • Chicken Thighs (boneless)-2
  • Onion-half
  • Cumin-1/4 tsp
  • Garlic-2 cloves
  • Chili flakes
  • Egg-1 small (or half)
  • Parsley-Chopped
  • Salt to taste

RECIPE

  1. Grind the Chicken thighs in a blender(or buy chicken Keema)
  2. Combine all the chicken and all the other ingredients for meatball.
  3. Using your hands make small balls out of the chicken mash
  4. Grease an oven proof pan and place the balls in the dish.
  5. Brush the meatballs with Ghee or one drop of Ghee on each meatball.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes at 180 degrees. Adjust the time based on how brown you want the chicken balls to be.
  7. For the Sauce-Heat rest of clarified butter in a pan. Add onions and Garlic. Soften till translucent.
  8. Add the chopped tomato, herbs and Almond milk. Cook till the tomato softens. Sauce is ready.
  9. Combine the sauce the zucchini noodles. Zucchini noodles can be cooked in the sauce for exactly 10 seconds or you can eat them raw. Place the meatballs on top and enjoy!

 

 

 

Whole30 quote “it’s not hard.dont you dare tell us this is hard.Quitting heroin is hard..Beating cancer is hard…Drinking your coffee black .IS .NOT.HARD”

Day 10-Tom Kha Gai with Raw Mango Salad


It’s amazing to see the overwhelming response from the whole30 community on instagram!! It’s even more awesome to listen to your very very vegetarian mom saying your chicken shicken looked great!!: D…One thing which struck me today with our conversation was that this diet has no artificial “Protein Shakes” or “Fibre Tablets” or even a “specially brewed weight control green tea” like most of the diets dietitians are suggesting. There are no gimmicks; you know exactly what you are eating and where it has come from!

I am sure a lot of folks have gone from pillar to post searching for the best weight solution ever and been given a bunch of bottles filled with tablets! Or are given some great insight about eating only grated bottle guard (lauki) and yogurt for dinner for next 30 days or just a protein shake!! I am not saying they don’t work but for me a bowl of meatballs and zucchini spaghetti works much better…The most important factor this diet has addressed is the feeling of dieting! I don’t feel like I am dieting when I eat pretty food!!

My day 10 on whole30

Breakfast- Pear and one boiled egg

Lunch-tom kha Gai with Raw Mango salad

Dinner- Indian Bhindi(OKRA) Masala and one boiled Egg

In betweens – Black Coffee, Roasted Cashews.

Tom kha gai is one of my most favorite soups in the world! I love the combination of lemon and coconut which is the essence of this soup! I also love the fact that the soup can actually double as a curry because of its consistency!!:D I served my husband this  along with rice..

I ate this along with a very pretty raw mango salad..I can’t make the actual Thai raw mango salad with the whole30 restrictions so I made a version of it…This is super simple and can make use of all your left over veggies! ANDDDD toasted cashews are THE SHIT!! I am going to come out of this diet with new favorites!

Tom Kha Gai

INGRIDIENTS

  • 2 red chilies
  • One thumb ginger (3 cms)
  • 4-5 dried prawns
  • Lemon grass-1 sprig
  • Garlic-2 cloves
  • Dried Coconut-1 tbsp (can be skipped)
  • Coconut milk-200 gm-1 carton
  • Mushrooms-4
  • Chicken thighs sliced-2
  • Oil-1/2 tsp
  • Limon kaffir leaves-4-5
  • Salt to taste

RECIPE

  1. Blend the first 6 ingredients to make a paste.
  2. Heat a pan on medium flame. Add the paste in the hot oil.
  3. Add the chicken and sauté for 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add the coconut milk, mushrooms and Kaffir leaves. Season with salt.
  5. Simmer for 10 minutes and voila it’s ready!

Raw Mango Salad

IMG_20160309_140354-2.jpg

 

  • Toasted cashews-5-6
  • Julienned carrot-1
  • Julienned zuchinni (green and yellow)-1 cup
  • Julienned raw mango-half

Dressing

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Chili oil
  • Salt

IMG_20160309_133321-2

RECIPE

  1. Mix the dressing and set aside.
  2. Using a peeler julienne peeler or use a regular peeler which would give you slightly broad strips.
  3. Put the veggies in iced water till you are ready to eat them to preserve the crispness.
  4. Combine the veggies and dressing and hog you way through it!

 

 

Whole30 quote “it’s not hard.dont you dare tell us this is hard.Quitting heroin is hard..Beating cancer is hard…Drinking your coffee black .IS .NOT.HARD”

 

Day 9 with Cashew Lemon Chicken and a bonus Chicken Masala Recipe


 

Day 9 was much better than the weekend…i hardly felt I was on some sort of diet…I think it’s the weekends when I have to be extra strong!!! But yesterday was better because of another event!!! I know my friend who introduced me to this is kicking ass in whole30 because he is in US where you have so many readymade substitutes!!   We used to cook together when he was in India in fact we have a post together on foodcow- Chicken Biryani with Balaji Ravishanker.He knows how difficult it is to do this in India and so he wrote a mail to whole30 to tell them about my Indian journey and they want to put one of my posts from their instagram page!! Small victories!!A shout out to Balaji Ravishankar for the awesome friend that he is!!

Today I tried on a couple of clothes which had stopped fitting me and I am surprised that I can close the buttons now!! The reason I stopped baking and hence stopped being active on my blog was not only the insane work pressure but also cause I was eating the goodies I baked and gaining an inch a post!..But one area where whole30 has already changed me for the better is in thinking only unhealthy food is tasty and pretty!! The image of health food in my head has already transformed!!!

Today I can say wholeheartedly drinking your coffee black .IS .NOT.HARD.

Day 9 was great in terms of flavors but I have realized I don’t like chicken thighs…I prefer the chicken breast cut much more…I made a very very creamy Lemon chicken with cashew sauce..if not on whole30 and feeling like a lot of carbs you can add cream to this recipe..I also figured the taste of whole rosemary in the sauce isn’t that amazing so I decided to blend the sauce after I cooked the chicken in it for extra silkiness!

Cashew Lemon Chicken

IMG_20160308_204433-2

INGREDIENTS

  • Chicken Thighs-3
  • Cashews-6
  • Lemon Juice-1 Lemon
  • Dried Rosemary-1/2 tbsp
  • Chili flakes-1 tsp
  • Onion-half chopped
  • Oil-1 tbsp
  • Salt to taste

RECIPE

  1. Soak the Cashews in hot water for 20 minutes.
  2. Marinade the chicken in salt and lemon juice for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile chop the onion and heat the pan for cooking.
  4. Add oil and when it is hot add the onions. Cook the onions till translucent. Remove the onions from the pan or move them towards the outside.
  5. Add the chicken and brown both the sides.
  6. Make a paste of the cashews and add to the cooking chicken.
  7. Add Rosemary, salt and chili flakes.
  8. Cook the chicken in the sauce for 10 more minutes. Check whether it’s cooked by cutting into the thickest part. It should be moist and white in color. If it is still pink it needs more cooking.
  9. Remove the chicken and set aside. Take the gravy and blend it to make smooth gravy.
  10. Pour the gravy over the chicken and Serve with grilled zucchini.

 

I am also posting a bonus recipe of the starter that I took to the party on the weekend. I took this dish to the weekend house party so that i can stay whole30 compliant..This is a very fast version of chicken and can be ready in a matter of seconds. I usually keep a mix of the marinade spices listed below in a jar and use it for fish fry.This recipe is also whole30 approved and is a great party food!

Chicken Masala

IMG_20160306_194403-2.jpg

INGREDIENTS

  • Chicken breast-2
  • Parsley for garnish
  • Tomato puree-3 tbsp
  • Oil-1/2 tbsp

Marinade

  • Turmeric-1/2 tsp
  • Coriander powder-1/2 tsp
  • Cumin powder-1/2 tsp
  • Chilli-1/2 tsp
  • Salt to taste

RECIPE

  1. Slice the chicken breast into small bite size pieces
  2. Add the marinade spices and rub the chicken pieces well. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Heat oil in a pan. Add the chicken and sauté till the pieces turn slightly brown.
  4. Add the tomato puree and cook for 3-5 minutes.
  5. Garnish with parsley or coriander.

 

 

Whole30 quote “it’s not hard.dont you dare tell us this is hard.Quitting heroin is hard..Beating cancer is hard..Drinking your coffee black .IS .NOT.HARD”

Day 6,7,8 -Eggs Baked in Tomato Sauce, Mutton Keema with Cauliflower Pulav


Whole302 (2)

I just want one day off this diet…just have something normal with carbs…some rice with the chicken curry maybe..or some roti or little bit of the bread or even dal..That’s all…

Day 6, 7 and 8 have been very difficult…started with my cook making rotis when I was awake for a change and that just pushed me almost over the edge..It’s sort of what happens to my dog Milo…He stays with my parents back home…He is almost my soul brother..But a dog…when my mom is making rotis in the house he goes mental…which is about twice a day…you can’t not give him the roti…Once he smells the fresh rotis being made…he can’t control himself..He goes from salivating to light cooing to howling to crying to finally to barking and bringing the house down…I am almost there myself…i think I am at the crying stage at this point..

We visited the very famous Windsor Pub in Bangalore and I obviously couldn’t have anything except the grill chicken…Which by the way came with an amazing looking mushroom gravy, perfectly done garlic bread and veggies sautéed in butter…The garlic bread was howling in agony for me..But I couldn’t have it! Phew!!

Weekends are definitely not for this diet!! Especially if you have an active social life!! Today I got up late…and couldn’t fix a lunch for myself on time and ended up eating only the potatoes from the chicken curry that I was making before rushing for the movie Deadpool!!It was a horrendous experience!! The movie in itself is amazing but the cheese popcorn was driving me crazy!! I almost called the friend who introduced me to this diet to blast the shit out of him! But I got a little distracted by forever21..: D

Now for the food…We went for a house party and I decided to make my own snacks…I obviously cant be the only one eating so I made 4 starters…Kerela Squid Masala, Sausages in Sriracha sauce, Baby potatoes in pizza seasoning and Chicken Masala..I usually serve this with a yoghurt dip which is the most amazing and the easiest dip you can ever make! I will post the recipes of these starters in the following days…

One of my breakfasts were the eggs in tomato sauce…The tomato sauce was left over from the Zucchini pasta…And my special lunch was the Mutton Keema Biryani…I made two versions of this…the Whole30 approved version was with the cauliflower and the tummy happy version was with Basmati rice for my husband..

 

Eggs Baked in Tomato Sauce

IMG_20160305_102420

INGRIDIENTS

-Left over Tomato Sauce

-Eggs

RECIEPE

  1. The Tomato sauce can be made from the recipe listed in the <>
  2. In a ramekin add two spoonfuls of tomato sauce
  3. Break an egg over this and bake at 180 degrees for 10-15 minutes…Depending on how runny you like your egg. I baked mine for extra 5 minutes because I don’t like mine runny.

 

Careful of the hot ramekin and enjoy a Sunny breakfast!!

 

Mutton Keema

INGREDIENTS

  • Mutton-300 Gms
  • Onion-2 chopped
  • Garlic-1 thumb
  • Ginger-2 cloves
  • Potatoes-2-Diced
  • Tomato-2
  • Curd-4 tbsp (skip if doing whole30)
  • Salt to Taste
  • Oil-1 Tbsp
  • Jeera (Cumin)-1 tsp
  • Chillies-1-2 green chilies
  • Red Chili Powder
  • Coriander Powder-1 tbsp
  • Kerala Garam Masala-1/2 tbsp (Substitute with regular Garam Masala)

KERELA GARAM MASALA

  • Black Peppercorns-1 tbsp
  • Mustard Seeds-1tbsp
  • Cumin-1 tbsp
  • Fenugreek-1/2 tbsp
  • Poppy Seed – 1tbsp
  • Cloves – 10
  • Cardamom – 4
  • Cinnamon stick – 2 pieces of 1” inch length each
  • Star Anise – 1
  • Fennel seeds – 1 tbsp

RECIPE

  1. Use a deep Pot for this recipe. Heat the oil in the pan on a high flame.
  2. Add the Jeera (Cumin).Once it crackles add the green chilies, garlic and ginger. Fry in the oil for 10 seconds.
  3. Add the onions and fry them in the oil till the onion becomes light brown. Add the Coriander powder, Kerala Garam Masala and red chilies to the onions. Roast for about 5 seconds. Anymore will burn the Masala.
  4. Add the curd spoon by spoon and heat till the curd mixes well with the Masala and oil separates. Takes about 10 minutes.
  5. Add the tomatoes and keep heating for another 10-15 minutes till the tomatoes disintegrate in the curry.
  6. Add the Mutton Keema and potatoes now to the curry with half cup of water. Add Salt to taste.
  7. Simmer on the open Pot for 10 minutes. At this point transfer to a cooker and cook for 3 whistles. Alternatively cook the mutton for 30 minutes on low flame in a covered pan.

The Keema can be layered with Basmati rice to make the Mutton Keema Biryani. If you are on whole30 eat with cauliflower rice. The left over Keema can be frozen for later use.

 

Cauliflower Pulav

INGRIDIENTS

  • Cauliflower-1 cup-Shredded (grated)
  • Oil
  • salt to taste
  • Jeera-1/2 tbsp
  • Onion-1 chopped
  • Turmeric-1/2 tbsp
  • Garam Masala-1/2 tbsp

RECIPE

  1. Add oil in a pan. Add Jeera and heat till it crackles. Add onions and roast till onions are translucent.
  2. Add the Cauliflower, Turmeric, Garam Masala and salt. Combine all together and cook for 10 minutes.

 

Garnish with Coriander and Serve hot.

 

Whole30 quote “it’s not hard.dont you dare tell us this is hard.Quitting heroin is hard..Beating cancer is hard..Drinking your coffee black .IS .NOT.HARD”

 

 

Day 4 and 5-Ginger Coriander Basa with Spicy Baby Potatoes


Whole302

Day 4 was not as smashing a success as the other days. I conquered the cravings but botched up the cooking. The chicken was over cooked and the flavor from balsamic vinegar was too strong. Only saving grace were the carrots which were cooked to perfection…Sweet and salty charred orange perfection!

I did make a good egg dish. It was like a quiche but without the pastry or cream and milk. I used the left over mushrooms from the lunch in this dish. Pretty bite sized pieces of eggy delight. They work well as a post workout snack…But unlike the, not so tasty chicken and mushrooms these didn’t photograph as well… :(..I want to work more on these recipes before posting them so you wont find them in this post.

 

Day 5 was good. Armed with my frozen basa I was ready to make a million fish recipes. I find that my creative juices are flowing copiously because of all these restrictions. I have a long list of ideas I want to implement on a daily basis…The list is longer than the 30 days I have for this experiment!

Days are easy enough for me…I don’t have the sugar cravings people talk about but I know for a fact weekends are going to be difficult when I will be faced with the most amazing fried food and pizzas and bread!! Ahhggggrrrrr! In fact, tonight could be tricky…We are going to a food truck festival in the evening and I know I won’t be able to eat most of the food!!!Cry Cry Cry…

Day 5 Menu

Breakfast-Banana

Lunch-Ginger Coriander Basa with spicy Baby potatoes

Snacks-Black Coffee and Cashews

I had one big banana for breakfast…My lunch was fish in a very Indian coriander marinade. I was inspired by the Parsi dish Patra Ni Maachi. This dish is marinated in coconut-coriander chutney which is traditionally wrapped in a banana leaf and steamed. The marinade I used is inspired from here but the fish is pan seared (tried my best) and baked for 5 minutes in the over at 200 degrees. I served this (to myself) with baked new potato in one tomato sauce.

When it comes to fish my knowledge is limited. I find it very easy to use frozen basa because it’s boneless and very easy to handle. Basa is a white oily fish which can be cooked in a matter of minutes!!I also saw some frozen Tilapia fish in the supermarket which I am itching to try.

For the marinade, instead of using the coriander leaves I used the coriander stalks (The stems-the part of coriander which we usually throw in the garbage) but you are welcome to use coriander leaves. I also didn’t bother using fresh coconut cause of the amount of bashing up that goes into it so I have used dry coconut in this recipe. The marinade is more of a sambal paste which you coat the fish with than a sauce.

 

Ginger Coriander Basa

IMG_20160304_151157~2.jpg

 

INGRIDIENTS

Vegetable Oil-1 tbsp

Basa Fish-2 fillets

Coriander stalk-Fist full

Dry Coconut-2 tbsp

Green Chilli-1

Ginger-1 thumb

Salt-To taste

 

RECIPE

  1. Make a paste of the coriander stalks, dry coconut, chili, ginger and salt with 2 tbsp of water.
  2. Using a spoon coat the fish on both the sides with the coriander paste and marinade for 15-20 minutes.
  3. In a pan heat the oil for 20 seconds and place the fish gently. Check if the fish has browned from one side. Lift and turn the fish using a flat spoon to sear the other side. This usually takes 45-60 seconds on each side. The fish needs to be handled very delicately at this point.
  4. Once the fish has seared from both the sides wrap it in a foil and bake it at 180 degree for 5 minutes.(if you don’t have an oven-place the foil wrapped fish in the pan on low heat for 5 minutes)

Squeeze lime and gobble it all up or wait for the potatoes!!

Spicy Baby Potatoes

IMG_20160304_151136~2.jpg

INGREDIENTS

-Baby Potatoes-20-25

-Salt to taste

-Ginger-thumb sized

-Tomato-1 medium

-Oil-1 tbsp

-Garlic-2 unpeeled cloves

 

RECIPE

  1. Boil the Potatoes in an open pan for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, blend the tomato and ginger together to create a course paste.
  3. In an oven proof dish, mix the par boiled potatoes, tomato puree, salt, garlic and half cup of water.
  4. Bake at 180 degrees for 20 minutes followed by 200 degrees for 15 minute.Saute the potatoes occasionally.

 

Serve along with fish or anything else!!

 

 

Whole30-Day 3 with Thai Green Curry


Whole301.jpg

Day three started very happy. I was extremely positive. Before getting out of the bed I read about some awesome whole30 stories and was totally inspired. The Day went well with no real challenges. Highlight of the day was the Green Curry. Dinner was a simple salad with some balsamic vinaigrette.

Breakfast

-One Boiled Egg

-Two Slices of Pineapple

Lunch

-A bowl of the Thai curry

Dinner

-Basic Salad with fried Egg

Snacks

-Dates

-Roasted Cashews

-Coffee with Almond Milk

 

I found some Thai basil the other day in the super market. Usually I am not finicky about basil. I use whichever basil I find in whatever! But this basil worked wonders with the curry. This basil has purple stems and smaller leaves. It also stays for a little longer than the regular basil. Thai green curry can be adjusted to be whole30 approved. This isn’t a traditional Thai curry but a fast and furious convenient version of it. The purists might be offended by this so we can name it something else: D But its green, coconutty lemon grassy, basily curry..: D

But let me tell you this…it’s infinitely more delicious than the synthetic versions you get in fast food joints. There are 6 ingredients which are the key here-Coconut Milk, Basil (Thai or otherwise), Green Chilies, Lemon Grass, Kaffir Lime Leaves (substitute with lemon rind), Galangal (Substitute with ginger). It’s not easy to find these ingredients in usual grocery stores so you have to prepare in advance or like me substitute the key elements to make it when the fancy strikes!! The 4 ingredients which are not negotiable are coconut milk, Green chilies, Basil and lemon grass. Everything else can be substituted. OR you can just buy the paste and add it to the coconut milk.

 

 

GREEN THAI CURRY

IMG_20160302_135457

INGREDIENTS

For the Paste

-Basil Leaves-1/2 cup

-Chilies-2-3

-Galangal-1/2 inch (substitute with equal amount of ginger)

-Lemon Grass-2 stalks

-Kaffir Leaves (substitute with rind of one lemon)

Curry

-1 tsp oil

-Cherry Tomatoes-8-cut into half

-Mushrooms-10-cut into half

-Carrots-2-diced diagonally

-Spring onions-1/2 cup

-Coconut Milk -200ml

-Chicken Breast-Sliced thin

-Salt to taste

RECIPE

-Add all the ingredients for the paste along with little water in a processor to make a fine paste. Keep this covered as it has a tendency to oxidize and change color.

-In a pan heat the oil. Add the chicken and cook for about 2 minutes or till they are very lightly brown .Let them be slightly under cooked at this stage as they will cook in the curry later.

-Remove the chicken and all the vegetables. Sauté on medium flame for few minutes. Any vegetables can be used for this curry. Chicken can be skipped for a vegetarian version.

-Add coconut milk and the paste. Season with salt. Add the chicken.

-Bring the curry to boil.

Serve hot with rice OR if you are on the whole30 diet eat it as it is!

 

 

Whole30 quote “it’s not hard.dont you dare tell us this is hard.Quitting heroin is hard..Beating cancer is hard..Drinking your coffee black .IS .NOT.HARD”

 

 

Day 2-Whole30 WITH ZUCHINNI PASTA IN RED SAUCE AND SMASHED ROASTED POTATOS


 

Whole30.jpg

 

Day 2 was certainly a delicious day of this diet…I didn’t feel I was on any kind of diet! I know I might end up paying for this! I mean who eats spaghetti and baked potatoes and looses weight!!I did have a moment when I struggled a bit after my evening badminton game when everybody was ordering amazing Kerala food and I couldn’t devour it!

The Zucchini pasta in red sauce was my special lunch obviously abiding by all the rules. Substituting zucchini for pasta was not the compromise I thought it will be. It lifted the dish way more than any store bought pasta could ever do!! Have you ever felt that the pasta in itself becomes too bland and doesn’t absorb enough sauce or isn’t moist enough? Well you will definitely not feel any of that while eating this. This sauce is a gorgeous blend of sweet salty and hot. Let me confess here the amount of pasta on the plate was just so I could take pretty pictures. I ended up eating almost double the quantity! I might stop buying pasta even after I finish my whole30!

I was short of tomato so I roasted a red bell pepper on the stove and pureed it along with the tomatoes’ also substituted the sugar with one slice of pineapple.

Let me tell you the smashed baked potatoes were no diet food! If you are ever craving for crispy Alu Chat then this is the recipe to follow. I should have sprinkled Chat Masala instead of the balsamic dressing. This is one recipe which will be super hit in parties! If you invite me to this party…I might be the one finishing all your potatoes!!

Breakfast

Boiled Egg and Musk Melon

Lunch

-Zucchini Pasta in red sauce

Dinner

-Smashed baked Potatoes

 

Zucchini Pasta in Red Sauce

IMG_20160301_140948

 

INGREDIENTS

-Zucchini-1

-Tomato (small)-2

-Red Pepper-1

-Onion (Large)-1

-Pineapple-1 slice

-Salt to taste

-Oil-1 tbsp

-Garlic-4 cloves

-Chili Flakes-1 tsp

-Dry Mixed Herbs

-Roasted chicken-shredded (Left over from last recipe)

RECIPE

  1. Wash the zucchini well and Cut both the ends. Using a peeler peel the zucchini to make flat noodles. Stop peeling when you start seeing the seeds. One zucchini should be good for one person.
  2. Roast the Red pepper on the stove fire directly. Rotate the red pepper to evenly burn till the skin is black and charred. Let it cool a bit. Use a folk to remove the charred parts of the skin.
  3. Use a deep pot for this recipe. Place the pot on the burner on low heat. Add the Garlic cloves (with the peels) to roast them lightly. Sauté continuously and Remove once they start to brown.
  4. In the same pan add oil. Heat for 20 seconds and add the onions till translucent. (Do not brown the onions for this recipe).Add the mixed herbs now.
  5. Blend the tomato, Red Pepper and garlic roughly and add to the translucent onions. Add the finely chopped pineapple slice to the pot. Season with salt. Simmer for 10-12 minutes.
  6. In another pan lightly roast the leftover chicken and add the zucchini spaghetti and lightly toss for a few seconds only. Add the sauce and Mix.

 

Now EAT EAT EAT!!!

 

Store the left over sauce for later

Smashed Roasted Potatoes

IMG_20160301_200706~2.jpg

INGREDIENTS

-Small-Medium Potatoes-5

-Olive oil-2 tsp

-Balsamic vinegar-1 tsp

-Salt to taste

-Mixed Italian herbs-1 tbsp

-Water enough to cover the potatoes

 

RECIPE

  1. Boil the potatoes in water for 15 minutes. Do not cook the potatoes through.
  2. Take a heavy stone, rolling pin or anything else you can find to smash the potatoes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees.
  4. In a baking dish toss oil, potatoes and salt. Bake for 30 minutes.
  5. Increase the temperature of the oven to 200 degrees and bake for another 10 minutes.
  6. Mix the Balsamic and the herbs to the potatoes and stick in the oven for another 2 minutes.

 

Go ahead and HOGGG now!

Almost forgot!Tomorrow’s lunch is Thai Green Curry!

Whole30 quote “it’s not hard.dont you dare tell us this is hard.Quitting heroin is hard..Beating cancer is hard..Drinking your coffee black .IS .NOT.HARD”