Simply Loaded Avocado Toast with Morningburst Black Tea 

Ingredients:

  • Whole grain bread – 2 slices
  • Red potato – 1 medium, spiralized
  • Avocado – 1, cubed
  • Sharp cheddar – shredded
  • Red chili flakes
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Pepper
  • Salt
  • EV Olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Heat olive oil in pan and sauté spiralizer potatoes with garlic powder, onion powder, pepper and salt. Sauté until potato is fully cooked.
  2. Toast both slices of bread.
  3. Place potatoes and shredded cheddar on the bread, add avocados and top with red chili flakes.

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Homemade Morningburst Black Tea blend:

  • Black tea – 2 tsp
  • Ginger powder – 1 tsp
  • Orange zest – 2 tsp
  • Hot water – 16 oz

Add all of the above ingredients together into a teapot and let it brew for about 7-10 minutes.

I also like to add a drizzle of hot sauce on my toast for some 🌶

Enjoy! 🙂

.. and stay beautiful from within.

Carrot “Rice” Pilaf with Zucchini-Chicken Masala

Ingredients:

  • Chicken thigh or breast (1, chopped)
  • Zucchini (1, chopped)
  • Carrot (2 cups, spiralized or julienned and chopped to “rice” in food processor)
  • Yogurt (1/2 cup)
  • Ginger garlic paste (2 tsp)
  • Yellow onion (1/2, medium, chopped)
  • Garam masala (1/2 tsp)
  • Turmeric (1/4 tsp)
  • Cayenne powder (1/4 tsp)
  • Cumin powder (1/4 tsp)
  • Coriander powder (1/2 tsp)
  • Cinnamon powder (1/4 tsp)
  • Bay leaf (1)
  • Black pepper (a pinch)
  • EV olive oil
  • Salt (to taste)

Serving(s): 1

Instructions:

  1. Add olive oil to a skillet and add the onions and ginger garlic paste. Sauté until the onions have browned.
  2. Add garam masala, turmeric, and cayenne powder. Mix well and let it cook for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken and mix thoroughly. Cover the let the chicken cook in the masala for about 5 minutes.
  4. After the chicken has cooked, throw in the zucchini, yogurt and add some salt. Mix well, cover and let it cook for another 5 – 10 minutes.
  5. Let the masala simmer uncovered for a few minutes before serving. When the zucchini is cooked, you should be okay to turn the burner off.
  6. On another pan, heat some olive oil and throw in the bay leaf, some chopped onion, cumin, cinnamon, coriander and a pinch of black pepper. Sauté until you can smell the aroma and the onion is browned.
  7. Add the carrot “rice”. You can also add green peas or other veggies.
  8. Sauté and mix well until the carrot “rice” is cooked. I cooked it with the lid closed so it took me less than 3-4 minutes.
  9. Finally add salt to taste.

Serve the carrot “rice” with the zucchini-chicken masala on the side and some raita. All I did was mix some yogurt with Coriander Chutney and you have your yogurt sauce.

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Enjoy!

.. and stay beautiful from within.

Spicy Chipotle Chicken with Roasted Potatoes 

In this one baking pan dish, we have some smokey spicy baked chicken with perfectly done potatoes roasted and cooked with the flavors from the chipotle peppers, onions and garlic. I can imagine repeating this recipe with more veggies like green beans, broccoli and bell peppers. It was delicious. And so simple!

Ingredients:

  • Chicken thighs – 8 pieces
  • Cumin – 3 tsp
  • San Marcos Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce – 3.5 oz can (2)
  • Black pepper powder – 2 tsp
  • Cayenne pepper powder – 2 tsp
  • Salt – 2 tbsp
  • Red potatoes – medium, 5, cubed
  • Garlic – 5 cloves, minced
  • Yellow onion – medium, 1, chopped
  • Dried parsley 
  • Dried rosemary 
  • EV Olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the over to 375 degrees F.
  2. Line the baking pan with aluminum foil and brush on some olive oil.
  3. In a mixing bowl, add the chicken, chipotle peppers, cumin, black pepper, cayenne, half of the minced garlic, and 1.5 tbsp salt. Mix all ingredients together and ensure the chicken is coated well. Let the chicken marinate for about 15 minutes.
  4. On the baking pan, throw in the diced potatoes and add the rest of the minced garlic, salt, dried parsley and dried rosemary herbs, and some black pepper. Mix the ingredients together.
  5. Make space on the baking pan and add the marinated chicken.
  6. Sprinkle chopped onions through out the pan and add a few drizzles of olive oil on top.
  7. Place the baking pan in the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  8. Flip the chicken pieces and toss the potatoes. Bake it again for 20 minutes.
  9. Finally broil for 10 minutes.

Let the chicken sit for a few minutes before serving. Mix the potatoes in the seasoned chicken juices!

I served the chicken and potatoes on a bed of baby spinach and kale.

Since I had a lot left over, I was able to create several dishes out of the chicken and potatoes including shredded chicken tacos, Mexican rice (made with yellow squash), southwestern chicken salad, etc.

Enjoy!

..And stay beautiful from within.

Chicken Fajita Zoodle Bowl

Because you guys requested this one!

This is probably the easiest, filling and most delicious homemade bowl meal I have ever had. Honestly, nothing beats Chipotle and Freebirds (lol) but this was close.

Ingredients:

  • Zucchini – spiralized, 2
  • Avocado – 1
  • Cilantro
  • Tomato – 1
  • Serrano pepper – 1/2
  • Red onion – medium, 1/4
  • Lemon juice – half a lemon
  • Chicken thigh/breast – 1
  • Bush’s Best Refried Beans – 1/2 cup
  • Daisy brand sour cream – 1/4 cup
  • Cayenne pepper powder
  • Black pepper powder
  • Cumin powder
  • Salt
  • EV Olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Marinate chicken with black pepper, salt, cayenne, and cumin.
  2. In a food processor, add avocado, cilantro, tomato, onion and some fresh lemon juice. Grind until mixed. Guacamole is done!
  3. Next, simply heat up the refried beans in your microwave oven.
  4. On a fry pan, add some olive oil and toss in the marinated chicken. Make sure the chicken is cooked well – I like to cook it covered for at least 5 minutes before frying it with the lid open.
  5. Let the cooked fajita chicken sit for a few minutes before chopping.
  6. While the chicken is sitting, add the spiralized zucchini into the same fry pan and sauté for about 3-5 minutes or until the zucchini noodles are slightly wilted.

Time to serve!

In your bowl, place the sautéed noodles, refried beans, guacamole, chopped chicken fajitas and sour cream. Garnish with chopped cilantro and top it off with some fresh lemon juice.

There you go 🙂 Can’t wait to make this again.. I’m drooling just writing about it.

Enjoy!

..And stay beautiful from within.

Vegan Dark Chocolate Pancakes with Peanut Butter, Banana and Strawberry Ice cream

I was craving pancakes but ran out of milk and had everything else, but for whatever reason, I was in the mood to give myself a challenge this morning. For the past few years I’ve been seeing a lot of people adopting a vegan diet (including my little sister – well, at least she tried) so I thought why not try it for myself this morning.

I am neither a vegan and nor have I ever tried to become one. I’m simply a lover of food and if it tastes great, I am all for it.

Reading up on this subject and to know Mahatma Gandhi contributed a big role makes me feel all proud and Indian-y. Gandhiji was vegetarian and during his days in the London, he expressed his opinions on vegetarians consuming other animal products like dairy and eggs.

If you ask me, I completely agree.

During lent, my parents vow to follow a pure vegetarian diet for 40 days. This includes avoiding all animal products. In other words, they follow veganism, but we refer to it as simple vegetarianism.

I, on the other hand, could never last a month without animal products. Maybe I could try a little harder?

These pancakes definitely made me realize there are great alternatives out there. Yes, it takes a lot of effort, creativity and will to change. However, if you honestly want to make some positive changes in yourself, you will go right for it. You will want to go for it. I wanted to change things up for breakfast today and guess what? I went for it.. 🙂

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients together – floured oats, chia, cocoa, baking powder and sugar.
  2. Add coconut oil and coconut milk gradually and mix well ensuring there are no clumps.
  3. Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes.
  4. Make your pancakes! I only had to wait about 10-20 seconds before flipping each side. Super quick.
  5. In between each layer of pancake, place some sliced banana pieces and sprinkle PB2. I have 4 pancakes stacked on top of each other.
  6. I topped the stack with a scoop of strawberry ice cream, some banana slices, maple syrup drizzle and some PB2 sprinkle.

Gluten free, dairy free, egg free.

I was not disappointed. Cannot wait to share this deliciousness with friends and family!

Maybe with chocolate drizzle next time? 🙂

Enjoy!

… And stay beautiful from within.

Zucchini Alfredo with Roasted Butternut Squash and Grilled Chicken

Back to basics. Spiralizing.

I came home from work craving a big bowl of cheesy pasta but had to remind myself that my cheat days are over and should probably not push it lol. Next best option, ditch the fettuccine and replace it with veggie noodle – leaving everything else pretty much as is!

Ingredients:

  • Zucchini (2, spiralized)
  • Butternut squash (1 cups, cubed)
  • Chicken thigh/breast (1)
  • EV olive oil (3 tsp)
  • Grated parmesan cheese (2 tbsp)
  • Garlic paste (1 tsp)
  • Dried basil
  • Dried oregano
  • Salt (to taste)

Serving(s): 1

Instructions:

  1. On a pan, heat 2 tsp olive oil.
  2. Place chicken on pan and sprinkle some dried basil and salt on one side. Flip the chicken and sprinkle the same seasonings again. Continue flipping the chicken every 30 seconds to avoid burning and until the chicken is fully cooked.
  3. Take the chicken out of the pan once cooked and place aside.
  4. On the same pan, add 1 tsp of olive oil and garlic paste.
  5. Then add spiralized zucchini noodles. Sauté in medium to high heat for 2 minutes.
  6. Add parmesan cheese, dried oregano and dried basil. Toss and mix well into the noodles for 3 minutes or until the noodles have wilted.
  7. Once done, place the noodles on a plate.
  8. On the same pan, throw in the butternut squash. Add a pinch of salt, oregano and basil and sauté for about 5 minutes. Roast the butternut squash in medium to high heat until it is tender.

To serve, I roughly chopped the chicken, placed it on the noodles and topped it off with the roasted butternut squash. Delish..

Enjoy! 🙂

…And stay beautiful from within.

Indian Chicken and Rice Soup

It’s officially fall season and there is an obvious drop of temperature out here in Austin, Texas. The sun is setting two hours early which means I’m also home, on the couch and ‘burritoed’ in a blanket early. Today in particular, I was craving something spicy and soupy but with a kick of Indian (more specifically Tamil) flavor.. Something that reminded me of home.

Growing up, dad would make this soup in the winter or when we were sick or even just as per our request. We could never go wrong with this light, yet warm and comforting bowl of goodness. The spice from the ginger, cinnamon and black pepper is what makes this soup a major hit for the fall. It is perfect for allergy and sinus relief, and beautifully soothing to the throat.

If you are a fan of spiced soups, you will love this one.

Ingredients:

  • Large yellow onion (1, chopped)
  • Garlic (8 cloves, minced)
  • Ginger (1 oz or 3 inch piece, cubed)
  • Serrano peppers (2, chopped)
  • Cinnamon sticks (3)
  • Turmeric (1/2 tsp)
  • Roma tomatoes (3, diced)
  • Black pepper powder (2 1/2 tsp)
  • Cumin (3 tsp)
  • Chicken Breasts/thighs (1 lb, chopped)
  • Greens – spinach and kale (2 cups, chopped)
  • Water (5 cups)
  • Salt (2 tsp) or as preferred
  • EV olive oil (2 tbsp)
  • Cooked brown rice

Serving(s): 4 – 5

  1. Heat the olive oil toss in the cinnamon sticks. Sauté for a few seconds in medium to high heat.
  2. Next add the ginger and garlic. Sauté until browned.
  3. Add onions and fry until browned as well.
  4. Add black pepper and cumin. Mix well and then add the tomatoes, turmeric and Serrano peppers. Mix, cover, and let the tomatoes cook for about 5-10 minutes in medium heat.
  5. Next add chicken and mix well with the spices and tomatoes. Cover and let chicken cook for about 5 minutes.
  6. Add water and salt, stir, and let the soup simmer covered for 10 minutes.
  7. Finally add chopped greens, cover and let the soup simmer in medium heat for another 10 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked.

Serve this soup with some cooked brown rice.

Enjoy! 🙂

.. And stay beautiful from within!

Middle Eastern Quinoa Bowl

Growing up in the middle east, I felt I had it all. Taco bell, Pizza Hut, KFC, McDonalds, Dairy Queen, Chilli’s.. but nothing beat the local Qatari rice dish – majboos. Aromatic fluffy buttery rice and tender meats served with salads and pickles and of course the sauces (drool). The sheikhs had it all. One of dad’s friend was a cook at a sheikh’s mansion and from time to time he would set aside some majboos for us because he knew how much us kids loved it. Dad would bring home a bag full and we would dive in. There was no stopping. Fats? Pff.. Carbs? Pff..

Living in one of the most diverse cities in the US, Houston, I have yet to find majboos. So I decided to make my own version of the dish – with a healthy twist. No fatty lamb meat, no buttery rice. Unfortunately. But still carries the flavor I remember from my childhood.

Ingredients:

  • Cooked quinoa (4 cups)
  • Unsalted butter (2 tsp)
  • Cinnamon powder (1 tsp)
  • Coriander powder (1/2 tsp)
  • Nutmeg powder (1/4 tsp)
  • Turmeric powder (1/2 tsp)
  • Black pepper powder (1/4 tsp)
  • Cayenne powder (1/2 tsp, or as preferred)
  • Large red onion (1/2, chopped)
  • Tomato (2, chopped)
  • Chicken (1 lb, chopped)
  • Salt (2 tsp) or as preferred
  • Bay leaves (2)

Serving(s): 3-4

Instructions:

  1. Add butter to pan and throw in the onions. Sauté until brown.
  2. Add the chicken and let it cook covered for 5 minutes in medium heat.
  3. After the chicken is cooked, add tomatoes, salt, bay leaves, cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg, turmeric, black pepper and cayenne powders. Mix well and let it cook for 5 minutes. Sauté every now and then.
  4. The chicken may have exhausted some liquid. Let it continue to simmer uncovered for another few minutes until it leaves a thicker “gravy”.
  5. Finally add cooked quinoa and mix well to infuse the quinoa with the chicken and spices.

For the salad, I used:

  • Greens (blend of baby spinach and kale, 4 cups)
  • Large red onion (1/2, sliced)
  • Tomato (2, chopped)
  • Cucumber (1, chopped)
  • Serrano pepper (1, chopped)
  • Fresh lemon juice

For the sauces, I used:

To serve I added the quinoa mixture into a bowl, topped it with the salad and finished with the sauces.

So light and refreshing yet so flavorful! It’s the perfect healthy dinner recipe.

Vegetarians can easily substitute the chicken with cauliflower.

Enjoy! 🙂

… and stay beautiful from within.

Garlic Tahini Sauce (Healthy “white” sauce)

If you like a bit of middle eastern flavor in your meals, this Garlic Tahini Sauce is a must have. It goes with everything! Drizzle it on your grains, meats, salads, sandwiches and even use it as a dip. Take it to work for some late afternoon snacking – pair it up with cucumbers, carrots and bell peppers.

Warning: Beware of strong GARLIC flavor

JK.

No Seriously.

Alright moving on…

Ingredients:

  • Tahini (2 tbsp)
  • Garlic (1 clove)
  • Yogurt (1 cup)
  • Lemon juice (2 tsp)
  • Extra virgin olive oil (1 tsp)
  • Salt (1/4 tsp)

Serving(s): Typically 2 – 3; Varies

Instructions:

  1. Blend all ingredients together.
  2. You will notice the sauce may be “watery” but still tastes amazing. If you like for it to have a thicker consistency, good news – it thickens a little over night!

Serve and enjoy!

Just remember to brush 🙂

…And stay beautiful from within.

Souper Chilli (Slow cooker recipe)

One of the many reasons I love the slow cooker is I am able to make big batches of food enough for nearly 2 weeks worth of healthy scoop n’ go lunches. Souper chilli is a great way to use up those vegetables that have been sitting in your fridge long enough before they go bad. Vegetables release lots of moisture which in turn gives you the “soupy” part and you would not have to add additional broth. Healthy could be an understatement.

This is my go-to meal prep recipe. I throw all of the ingredients in Sunday nights and wake up to this hearty deliciousness Monday mornings.. ready to be scooped. Easy and convenient for busy professionals and students.

Ingredients:

  • Diced tomatoes (1 can)
  • Black beans (1 can)
  • Kidney beans (1 can)
  • Pinto beans (1 can)
  • Power greens (4 cups)
  • Garlic (3 cloves, ground)
  • Zucchini (1, chopped)
  • Red potatoes (2, chopped)
  • Bell peppers – red, green, yellow, orange (chopped)
  • Red onion (1 large, chopped)
  • Serrano peppers (2, chopped)
  • Black pepper powder (1 tsp)
  • Cayenne pepper powder (2 tsp)
  • Salt (2 tsp) or as prefered
  • Dried herbs – basil, oregano, thyme (2 tsp each)
  • Ground cumin (3 tsp)
  • Extra virgin olive oil (1 tbsp)
  • Ground beef (optional)

Instruction:

  1. Add the oil to the pot and spread well on the bottom.
  2. If you are adding meat, I prefer it to be the second ingredient in the pot that way it is cooking first.
  3. Add all of the other ingredients one after another.
  4. Place lid and set the timer to either 4 hours on High heat setting or 8 hours on Low heat setting.
  5. Stir every 2 hours. 

Serve with some shredded cheddar, sour cream or by itself. Garnish with cilantro.

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Enjoy! 🙂

…And stay beautiful from within.