Italian Summer Pasta Salad

 Italian Summer Pasta Salad1

 

After radio silence for 3 weeks, I’m back. Again. Can’t say for how long but I am here. So how are things guys? Here, monsoon has almost arrived and summer is officially over (for good!). But here I am, with a huge backlog of summer recipes. What am I to do when all these days I have been cooking all things “summery” regularly but not getting time to post them. Let’s just say that it is still summer somewhere in the world, right?! 😉

I love anything and everything Italian so when I came across this pretty looking salad on Sommer’s amazing blog I knew I had to get to it pronto. It is so good and SO refreshing! Zests of orange and lemon, al dente pasta, orange chunks, tiny tomatoes and torn basil all tied together with olive oil and Parmesan cheese. What’s not to love? Must try, whatever time of year it is for you.

I hope you’re having an awesome weekend.
Stay cozy, it’s gonna be a rainy one! xx

 

Italian Summer Pasta Salad3

 

Italian Summer Pasta Salad

Recipe scaled down & adapted from A Spicy Perspective

Yield: 2-3 servings | Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 15 minutes | Total: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole wheat Farfalle pasta
  • 1 naval orange, zest and orange segments
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup scallions, cut into 1 inch segments
  • 1/4 cup torn basil leaves
  • 3 Tbsp shaved Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Place a large pot of salted water over high heat. Bring to a boil and cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain the pasta and set aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, zest the orange and lemon. Place the zest and the juice of lemon in a large bowl. Add the olive oil and whisk. Peel the orange, gently break the segments apart and seed them. Place them in the bowl.
  3. Slice the tomatoes in half and add to the bowl. Then pour the drained pasta over the tomatoes and gently toss to coat. Add the scallions and basil leaves to the bowl and toss. Salt and pepper generously, about 1/2 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Note: I didn’t have scallions at hand so I had to skip them but they are highly recommended as it’d add some crunch & make the dish all the more flavorsome. 🙂

 

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L.O.V.E. Wraps

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I know you think that my blog has sort of turned into a baking blog with a savory recipe seldom thrown here and there which again involves some sort of baking! (Humph.. Do I make sense?) So after throwing so many sugar-laden desserts week after week, I thought a savory recipe for brunch or breakfast (which does not involve baking) would be a great way to redeem my past actions. And when the recipe is so healthy, no-carb and wholesome, I’m sure many of you’ll be ecstatic.

With this recipe, turn your regular scrambled egg breakfast into a fancy brunch dish. With summer upon us, we require as many quick-fixes as possible. I mean, who wants to turn on the oven or spend time in the kitchen slogging over the heat! Low-fat and clean eating becomes a necessity when days are so hot and humid. This recipe absolutely fits the bill as an all-rounder meal suitable for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner.

This dish is so colorful because of zucchini, carrots and broccoli. As for the recipe, these are the measurements I followed but this dish does not require following a recipe to the T so feel free to make any adjustments. Use whatever vegetables you have at hand. Go vegetable crazy! Bell peppers and beans would be quite awesome too.

So eat light & have a happy happy weekend!
xo

 

L.O.V.E. Wraps

 

L.O.V.E. Wraps

Serves: 2 | Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 10 minutes | Total: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small head broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 small carrot, cut into julienne
  • 1 small zucchini, cut into julienne
  • 1/8 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning (or any seasoning of your choice)
  • 1/2 Tbsp butter
  • 2-3 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp milk
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4-6 lettuce leaves, washed and dried (any lettuce of your choice is fine)

Directions:

  1. In a skillet, heat 1 Tbsp oil over medium heat. Add garlic and onion to the skillet and saute till golden brown for about 2-3 minutes.
    Add broccoli and carrots and saute for another minute.
    Add zucchini and cook until just warm. We want the vegetables to have crunch and not be mushy. Mix in red chili flakes, Italian seasoning (or seasoning of your choice) and season with salt and pepper. Place this mixture in a small bowl.
  2. Wipe the skillet (used to saute vegetables) with paper towel and heat 1 Tbsp butter in it over medium heat. In a mixing bowl, crack 2-3 eggs and whisk them together with milk until well-beaten. Add pinch of salt and plenty of pepper.
    Tilt the skillet to ensure the entire pan is coated in the melted butter and pour in the eggs. Keep the heat on medium low. When the eggs just start to set, use a flat spatula to slowly scrape sections of eggs, creating folds. Scrape occasionally until the eggs form soft folds; turn off the heat just before they are fully hardened.
  3. To serve, place the scrambled eggs on a lettuce and top with onion and vegetable mixture.

Skinny Chocolate Avocado Banana Pudding & Pops – Raw! ~ For Two

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Raw Chocolate Avocado Banana Pops1

 

Okay, so I”m ashamed to EVEN call this a recipe but in actuality it is! However simple it might be. Sometimes simple is all we need. Simple is beautiful. We are experiencing summer at full force and I want to spend minimum time in kitchen that too away from stove and oven. Of course, still wanting extraordinary food to appear magically on my plate so I’m all about quick recipes nowadays. Cold salads, iced coffees/teas, cold cereal, smoothies and frozen fruit treats are what my days are made of.

A raw pudding. And pops. Same ordinary ingredients with just a bit of tweaking gets transformed into two incredibly delicious desserts. Desserts which are healthy and skinny at the same time. All you need is a high-speed blender. And some chocolate, cocoa powder to be specific. And avocado and banana. Avocado-haters, do not fret. You can not taste avocado. Promise! My husband truly hates avocado from the bottom of his heart, if used in anything other than guacamole and he couldn’t tell! Yes, I didn’t tell him beforehand and he couldn’t make out. Win! Also, you can totally have these for breakfast! 😉

 

Raw Chocolate Avocado Banana Pudding2Raw Chocolate Avocado Banana Pops2

 

Each recipe serves two but you can easily double, triple or quadruple the recipe to serve more people or have bigger portions. Stay cool this summer with these cool recipes up your sleeves!

Happy Monday you all!

Raw Chocolate Avocado Banana Pudding:
Serves: 2 | Prep time: 2 minutes | Chill time: 3-4 hours
Ingredients:
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp instant coffee powder
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 ripe (large) avocado
  • 1/2 ripe (large) banana (fresh or frozen)
  • 3 Tbsp honey/maple syrup/date syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 10-12 dices of fresh, ripe mango, for garnish

Directions:

Place all the ingredients in a blender (place dry ingredients in the bottom so they don’t stick to the sides of the blender) and whip till you get completely smooth consistency. Divide the pudding between two ramekins/bowls and refrigerate covered for at least 3-4 hours. Serve, topped with mango dices.

*Consume the pudding within 1 day of making it.
*Instead of mango, you may use strawberries/raspberries.

Raw Chocolate Avocado Banana Pops:
Serves: 2 | Prep time: 2 minutes | Chill time: 8 hours/overnight
Ingredients:
  • 2 and 1/2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp instant coffee powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 ripe (large) avocado
  • 1/2 ripe (large) banana (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/4 cup honey/maple syrup/date syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup water

Directions:

Place all the ingredients in a blender (place dry ingredients in the bottom so they don’t stick to the sides of the blender) and whip till you get completely smooth consistency. Divide between two Popsicle moulds. If you do not have Popsicle moulds then divide between two paper cups like I did and cover with tin foil, poke the center of the foil with the Popsicle stick. Chill in freezer for at least 8 hours/overnight, demould and serve immediately.

P.S. Want to make these Pops even more chocolaty? Cover them with the chocolate magic shell just like a professional by following this easy-peesy tutorial.
P.P.S. Use white chocolate for these Pops! 😉

 

Sunshine Smoothie for Two ~ 100th Blogpost!

Sunshine Smoothie1

 

Woohoo (with more o’s than I can type)!!! This is my 100th blogpost! I know I should have reached this teeny-tiny (quite huge for me of course!) milestone a long time back but I’m glad I did. I thank each and everyone of you for being with me on this journey. And even tolerating my sporadic absence. You guys are sweetest. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Really 🙂

I’m sure we all agree on this that no celebration is complete without a cake. And I know I should have brought one today but instead, I come bearing smoothie and I ain’t sorry. This is no ordinary smoothie, it’s a sunshine smoothie! Yes, pure liquid sunshine for breakfast and you won’t need anything else. Great way to get lots of fruit in your system. So go fruit wild this summer. This one is mindbogglingly refreshing!

 

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This fruity concoction is so creamy, it may trick you into thinking there is ice-cream involved. This smoothie is created using shockingly simple ingredients aka fruits and nothing else! I’m a huge fan of frozen banana whip and it works as a great base for a smoothie. I made this whip for breakfast last week with frozen kiwi and banana and it turned out totally amazeballs. The idea was sparked then to turn it into a gorgeous smoothie.

I went fruit crazy and added mango (my fav), banana, kiwi and orange with a squeeze of lime and a spoon of honey, blend and Ta Da! You get this tropical heaven. Truly summer in your glass! (See I didn’t whine about the hottest, sunniest weather we’re experiencing here even once.. Ha!)

Put your feet up and enjoy this citrus bursting smoothie. It’ll brighten up your day and make the weather certainly more tolerable. Trust me.

Sunshine Smoothie for Two

Serves: 2 obnoxiously | Prep time: 10 minutes 

Ingredients:

  • 1 large frozen mango, previously peeled & sliced
  • 1 large frozen banana, previously peeled & sliced
  • 2 frozen kiwi, previously peeled & sliced
  • 2 oranges, peeled, seeded and sliced
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 6-8 ice-cubes
  • 1 Tbsp honey (optional)

Directions:

Blend all the ingredients in a blender on high speed till you get a smooth consistency (for about 2-3 minutes). Serve in tall glasses.

*You may turn this smoothie into green smoothie by adding 1 cup of your favorite greens.

*You may swap kiwi with frozen chunks of pineapple. Whatever rocks your boat!

Skinny Banana Blueberry Oats Muffins

Skinny Banana Blueberry Oats Muffins1
In the past week, I was just rummaging around and found out that the blog has only ONE muffin recipe posted(a great recipe but with REALLY hideous photos)! Whatt??!! How did THAT even happen? I was shocked and needed to change that pronto! Okay, I did post few skinny muffins recipes on my Facebook page before I started this blog but I haven’t been able to post them here. Of course, that is not an excuse. But you can check them out here, here and here!
I was delighted when I chanced upon these muffins on my favorite baking blog. They are skinny and totally healthy, right up my ally! Of course, they don’t taste healthy or skinny… In fact they are quite soft, moist and so dang fluffy!
Skinny Banana Blueberry Oats Muffins2
This recipe is a total bomb! It does not contain any oil or butter! Say what?!! YES… Mashed bananas and yogurt will do all the work here! Trust me, breakfast can not get better! I made quite a big batch for our small family of 2 and froze the extras and re-heated them in micro whenever the sugar cravings hit! They still tasted absolutely perfect. Instant gratification! 🙂
The recipe includes simple ingredients. Nothing fancy-schmancy! Plus, no mixer required! Takes just about 30 minutes start to finish! Such a phenomenal recipe I tell ya! The only change I made was throwing some oats for a bit of bite and texture. And of course, to make it healthier!
The batter will be quite thick so be gentle and do not over-mix, just until the flour pockets are gone. Over-mixing will result in hard and rubbery texture. Also, use super-ripe bananas for unbelievably sweet, moist and flavorful muffins. I could go on and on about them, but I’ll spare you now! Make them and see for yourself! 😉
Happy weekend you all!
Skinny Banana Blueberry Oats Muffins3
Serve warm with a knob of butter… Totally dee-vine!! 🙂
Skinny Banana Blueberry Oats Muffins
Yields: 15 muffins | Prep time: 15 minutes | Baking time: about 20 minutes
Ingredients:

  • 2 and 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour (or mix of whole wheat and all-purpose)
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup mashed very ripe banana (2 large bananas)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup non fat yogurt
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 and 1/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 160ºC/325ºF. Spray 15 muffin tins with nonstick spray*. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Toss in oats. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix honey and brown sugar together into a thick paste. Stir in the mashed banana, yogurt, and beaten egg.
  4. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Gently fold it together. It will be thick. Add the milk slowly and continue to gently mix the ingredients together. Gently fold in the blueberries. Do not overmix the batter or you will get tough, dry muffins.
  5. Divide the batter equally between 15 muffin tins. Fill all the way to the top. Bake for 17-19 minutes until very lightly browned on edges or a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean. Allow muffin to cool completely before demoulding. Muffins stay fresh stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Muffins freeze well, up to 3 months.
*Do not use cupcake-liners as muffins will stick to the liners.
Recipe source: Sallys Baking Addiction

Baked Chocolate Banana Doughnuts ~ Low-fat & Egg-free!

Baked Chocolate Banana Doughnuts1

 

I pretty much say this about the every recipe I post here but these are the BEST thing ever ever baked in my kitchen! At least so Mr claimed!

These are so moist, soft and super-pillowy. Banana and chocolate heaven in each bite! These baked doughnuts will truly rock your world I tell ya! People with diet-restrictions, this recipe is a MUST in your repertoire!! Such a result without eggs and whole wheat flour… Amazing!

Baked Chocolate Banana Doughnuts3

 

 

Baked Chocolate Banana Doughnuts2

 

And these beauties are then topped with ganache.. A white chocolate ganache.. slurp… It is so gorgeous and I am telling you that this ganache is a MUST for these donuts! I mean who eats a naked donut, right?!!! And then the sprinkles which truly are a NECESSITY! 😀

I shall not endorse it anymore but you gotta try it to believe it! 🙂

Baked Chocolate Banana Doughnuts

Yields: 8 doughnuts

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3 Tbsp Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (about 2 medium bananas)
  • 4 Tbsp yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For Ganache:

  • 2 Tbsp medium-fat cream/milk
  • 4 oz white chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • sprinkles, optional

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven at 180ºC/350ºF. Grease doughnut pan with baking spray. Set aside
  2. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together melted butter and brown sugar. Whisk in mashed banana, yogurt and vanilla extract.
  4. Slowly fold in dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Divide the batter equally and fill the mold no more than 3/4th. Bake for 11-12 minutes. Cool in pan on a cooling rack for 5 minutes. Then carefully turn out doughnuts directly onto rack to cool.
  5. Preparing ganache: In a microwave safe bowl, heat the cream for 40-60 seconds. Fold in chopped white chocolate and mix till it melts completely. Dip cooled doughnuts one by one into bowl of ganache and place back on a cooling rack. Top with sprinkles and serve. Doughnuts will keep in an airtight container for 2-3 days.

*In ganache reccipe, white chocolate may be substituted with dark chocolate.

Skinny Potato & Leek Soup

Potato & Leek Soup1

I want to make a confession. This is a very simple and classic soup. There… I said it! I am not bringing you some fancy-schmancy recipe today. Just an old classic… Flavored as per my liking and made skinny of course! I didn’t even want to post this recipe for its sheer simplicity. But the flavors were so bang on that I had to bring it forward to you guys!

This soup is so hearty that it is a complete meal in itself. Make this on a cloudy, rainy, grey, cold evening, have it curled up under a blanket and it won’t disappoint you! The aroma of the soup will soothe your mind and soul. It will love you back! (Really!!!) I made this on one such rainy Saturday afternoon and it did hug me back! 🙂

This recipe is inspired by Jamie Oliver‘s book Ministry Of Food. He says that this soup is also surprisingly delicious eaten fridge-cold on a summer’s day with a squeeze of lemon juice and a dollop of natural yogurt. I would love to try it this way too! But I might have to wait for the next summer to arrive…

All the ingredients used in this soup are very earthy… just like rain. Leek is a dominant flavor in here.  While celery adds a nice boost of flavor, carrot adds a touch of sweetness and potatoes give it a creamy texture. I would recommend not skipping onion powder and thyme for a complete experience.

Potato & Leek Soup2

Make this soup and bask in the serenity of warmth the soup surrounds you with!

Skinny Potato & Leek Soup

Serves: 2-3 | Prep time: 5-7 minutes | Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 leek
  • 1 carrot, peeled & sliced
  • 1 stick celery with leaves, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp dry thyme
  • 600 ml vegetable stock
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled & diced
  • salt & pepper, as per taste

Directions:

*Preparing Leek : Cut the ends off leek and discard. Quarter the leek lengthwise, wash under running water to remove all the grit and cut them into slices. Save a 2-inch piece from the end of leek and julienne it for garnishing.

  1. Heat a deep sauce pan on a high heat and add olive oil to it. Add garlic, leek, carrot and celery to the pan and sauté for around 5 minutes with the lid askew on a medium heat.
  2. Add onion powder, thyme and vegetable stock to the pan. Let it simmer on high heat till the stock has come to a boil.
  3. Add potatoes and give the soup a good stir with wooden spoon. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes with the lid on. At this point the potatoes would be just cooked and soft. Do not overcook them.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat. Season with salt and freshly cracked pepper. Pulse until smooth using a hand blender. Adjust the seasoning and consistency as per your liking. Serve garnished with julienned leek.