Sweets & Savory’s under 30 mins

Vegetable Couscous Pilaf ….

Vegetable Couscous Pilaf – Diabetes Friendly Thursdays…

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Creating Recipes with a Cause! I am a proud DFT blogger. To learn about DFT, Click on above collage ..

Vegetable Couscous Pilaf
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DFT is back just in time at the onset of winters, comfort food and celebrating Thanksgiving! Bringing a healthy yet delicious dish this month to celebrate the International Diabetes Month!

Couscous is also known as moroccan pasta and is easily available in grocery stores as well as Online ..
Pilaf is usually made using Rice but I have made this Pilaf using Couscous as it is healthy , extremely quick and simple to make – which is perfect for a busy week night
This pilaf looks pretty With colorful vegetables and gets its flavor from vegetable stock , cumin and other spices.
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Serves 4
Serving size 1 Cup
Cooks in under 30 mins

For the Pilaf

1 cup whole wheat Couscous ( Whole Grain )
2 cups water Or Vegetable stock
1/4 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped mixed bell peppers
1/4 cup chopped carrots
1/4 cup chopped Zucchini
1/4 cup boiled and drained chickpeas
1/4 cup cherry tomatoes for garnishing ( optional )
A handful fresh parsley chopped
Handful feta cheese cubed ( optional )
Juice of 1/2 lemon or to taste
1 tbs oil ( I used Olive Oil )
1 tsp cumin powder
Salt and pepper as per taste
Red pepper flakes optional

Method
1. In a large, deep skillet, heat the oil.
2. Add all the vegetables and cook over high heat, stirring frequently, until lightly browned and crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.
3. Now season the vegetables with salt , cumin, pepper and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring for a minute .
4. Add the couscous and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes.
5. Stir in the stock , Cover and let stand off the heat until the couscous is tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes. 6. Fluff with a fork, stir in the feta and cilantro and serve hot with Raita of your choice ..
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NOTE :
1.You Can even serve Couscous Pilaf with some grilled lean meat on the side to make it into a complete meal .
2. I used vegetable broth as liquid to rehydrate Couscous to give it more flavor ..
3 Another Method to To Rehydrate Couscous
Place dry couscous in a heat proff bowl , pour double the amount of boiling water or broth over it . Let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed .

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LETS LOOK AT THE BENEFITS OF THE INGREDIENTS USED

WHOLE WHEAT COUSCOUS
The American Diabetes Association recommends that individuals with diabetes choose whole grains, such as whole-wheat couscous, Because they contain the entire grain kernel, whole grains tend to be higher in dietary fiber than their refined counterparts. They are also less likely to spike your blood sugar levels because of their lower glycemic index, according to the University of Michigan.

Garbanzo Beans / Chickpeas
Chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans, are a healthy way to add more protein and other essential nutrients to your meals. They are good sources of fiber, iron, phosphorus, zinc, potassium, magnesium and vitamin B-6. These beans may also lower your risk for cancer, heart disease and diabetes, as well as limiting increases in blood sugar levels after meals.

BELL PEPPERS
Peppers are packed with fiber and relatively low in calories and carbohydrates, they are an excellent choice on a diabetes diet.
peppers are considered a nonstarchy vegetable — which means that most of the carbohydrates found in peppers are in the form of fiber. MayoClinic.com explains that fiber not only helps regulate blood sugar levels, but also decreases the risk of heart disease…

ZUCCHINI
Zucchini for diabetes is very effective as the B complex in the presence of zinc and magnesium help in breaking down the sugars in your body. It has an abundance of fiber and pectin, which are vital in regulating your blood sugar levels.

ONION
Adding onions to your daily meal boosts your vegetable intake without adding a large number or calories or carbohydrates to your diet.

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Disclaimer
I am not a nutritionist or dietician. My knowledge and information is based on my research and reading from different resources. Please consult your doctor or dietician before making any changes to your diet.
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FOR MORE DIABETES FRIENDLY RECIPES , CLICK ON THE PICTURES BELOW

Veg Kebabs with Quinoa, Spinach & Chickpea Salad

Curried Tofu With Vegetables

Quinoa Pilaf with Soy Kebabs..

Vegan cottage pie

Ratatouille & Roasted Cauliflower Quinoa Rice

Sugar-free Cranberry Relish

Khaman Dhokla ….

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Khaman is a food common in the Gujarat state of India made from chickpea flour mostly served with fried chillies sprinkled with salt and green chutney… Khaman is Although a Gujarati snack, it has become increasingly popular all across India & abroad ..

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These dhoklas are so soft and spongy and this recipe is also very easy to implement if you follow these simple instructions properly and practice it a bit. The addition of fruit salt to the batter, and water to the tempering, are the two main factors responsible for the super-soft and spongy nature of this khaman dhokla ..

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Special Equipment required
Pressure cooker , Steamer along with steaming pan / plate ..

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups besan (bengal gram flour)
1 1/2 tbsp semolina (rava)
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp ginger-green chilli paste
1 tsp lemon juice OR Citric Acid
Salt to taste
2 tsp fruit salt
3 tsp oil
1 cup water for the batter ( more or less to make thick , smooth and flowing batter )

for tempering:
1 tsp lemon/ lime juice
2 tsb sugar
2 tsp mustard seeds ( rai / sarson)
1 tsp sesame seeds (til)
1 tbsp chopped green chillies
6 to 8 curry leaves (kadi patta)
1/2 cup water
2 Tbs Fresh Coriander leaves for garnishing
2 TbsFreshly scrapped coconut for garnishing ( optional)

Method
Grease a big enough pan to steam khaman with 1tsp oil .
Fill the steamer with water and keep it to boil while we prepare Khaman dhokla batter .

1.Combine besan, semolina, sugar, ginger-green chilli paste, lemon juice and salt with ¾ cup of water in a mixing bowl and mix well to get a thick and smooth batter.
2.Just before steaming, add the fruit salt and stir briskly and quickly. the fruit salt should be mixed evenly with the batter. or else you get uneven texture in the Khaman .
3.The batter would froth and become bubbly, so you have to be quick.
4.Pour the mixture immediately to a greased pan and spread evenly by rotating the pan clockwise.
5.Steam in a steamer for 10 to 12 minutes or till the dhoklas are cooked. Keep aside.
6.Heat the oil in a small non-stick pan and add the mustard seeds.
7.When the seeds crackle, add the sesame seeds, green chillies, and curry leaves and sauté on a medium flame for 30 seconds.
8.Remove from the flame, add 1/4 cup of water and mix well. Be careful while adding water as the tempering will sizzles.
9.Add 2 tsp sugar. stir and allow the tempering mixture to come to a boil.
10.Pour the tempering over the prepared Khamaan Dhokla and spread it evenly.
11.Garnish with chopped coriander and grated coconut.
12.Cut into pieces and serve immediately …

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For instant Microwave khaman dhokla click on the picture belowe …

Musk Melon Cooler…

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This is my very first Blog Hop post and I am glad to be a part of Culinary Hoppers which has committed bloggers who I admire and follow ..
Culinary Hoppers decide a theme twice a month and then we create and post recipes accordingly .. This time the theme is Beverages .

Beverages are a must in my house special during summer , so when I came to know that the theme is Beverages , I was thrilled and decided to make Melon Cooler which my boys love and can have anything .
It was fun making this fruity drink in no time!!!
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This delicious low-carb drink calls for the melon of your choice — I used Musk melon plus a splash of lime juice along with ice cubes to make this refreshing drink ..

Makes: 2 servings
Serving Size: 4 ounce

Ingredients
2 cups seeded and chopped Musk Melon or any Melon of your choice
1 tablespoon lime juice
Ice cubes as needed
Sugar as per taste (I did not use any as the melon was super sweet )
Melon or lime wedges for garnish (optional)

Direction
In a blender combine melon cubes and lime juice.
Cover and blend until smooth.
Press mixture through a fine-mesh sieve; discard pulp. (You should have about 11/2 cup juice.)
Serve over ice or chill mixture and serve in chilled martini or wine glasses.

If desired, garnish with melon or lime wedges.

Makes 2 (4-ounce) servings
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Here is another of my favorite beverage especially for Summer. Click on the picture for recipe ..
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Do check the recipes by other taletned Culinary Hoppers at the bottom of this post ….

1. Anupama’s
http://easybitesonline.com/strawberry-banana-yogurt-drink/
http://easybitesonline.com/strawberry-coconut-cooler-with-kiwi-and-lime/

2. Sonal’s
https://simplyvegetarian777.wordpress.com/2015/08/10/jamun-amla-panna/

3. Jayashree’s
http://www.evergreendishes.com/2015/08/09/iced-expresso/

4. Swati’s
http://www.letscookhealthytonight.com/roohafza-applade/

5. Padma’s
http://www.masalakorb.com/virgin-pina-colada/
http://www.masalakorb.com/honey-ginger-lemonade/
http://www.masalakorb.com/mint-flavoured-watermelon-cooler/

6.Vani’s
http://marudhuskitchen.com/www/drinks-for-summers-indian-beverages-to-beat-the-heat/

7.Shubha’s
http://www.shubhaskitchen.com/2015/08/sweet-lassi.html

8.Piyali’s
http://mytrystwithfoodandtravel.blogspot.com/2015/08/raibi-moroccan-yogurt-drink-with-mango.html

Cheesy Jalapeño Onion Pull Apart Bread..

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I first came across this cheesy Pull Apart bread on Pinterest last year and wanted to give it a try since then ..
This Bread is very buttery and cheesy with pull-apart pieces pwhich is full of fresh herb , onion and spicy flavors.

The best bread to use for this is dense type of bread( my favorite is Sour dough bread ) but it works well with plain crusty loaves as well.
Dense bread tends to hold together better when you pull bits off. image

1 crusty bread Loaf , around 450 grams
1 cup shredded Mozzarella or any melting cheese
100 gram butter, melted
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 tbs finely chopped Jalapeño or any other chili pepper
⅜ tsp salt
2 tbsp finely chopped Coriander / Cilantro leavea

Pre heat the Oven at 180*C OR 375* F

1.Cut the bread lengthwise and widthwise, but DO NOT cut through the bottom crust. Make sure your knife is really sharp, cutting the bread is the hardest part.
2. Place cut loaf on a foil-lined baking sheet.
3. Combine melted butter with onion , coriander leaves and green chilies
4. Use your fingers or a knife to pry open each crack and drizzle in a teaspoon of butter and stuff in cheese. it’s nice to have some of the butter drizzled over the crust.
5. Wrap with foil and bake for 15 minutes until the cheese has mostly melted, then unwrap and bake for 5 minutes more to make the bread nice and crusty

Serve immediately.

NOTE :

1. You can also add any ingredients of your choice like mushrooms, bell peppers, chicken , garlic etc…
2. To make ahead, after wrapping with foil, wrap with cling wrap as well. Store in fridge overnight or freeze to store for longer. To cook, thaw then follow recipe instructions to bake.
3. The denser the bread, the better the pieces will hold together when pulled .
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INDIAN JAVA PLUM MOCKTAIL / KALA KHATTA…

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Indian Java Plums /Jamun , the black berry-like fruit is an incredible coolant for the body, a digestive and also a natural medicine to control diabetes. Kala namak is a mineral salt which helps replenish what you lose sweating it out and also improves eyesight, so they say.

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I am a proud DFT blogger. To learn about DFT, click on the picture above ..

To view more DFT recipes, Click here!

This recipe is part of Recipes With A cause for Diabetes Friendly Thursday.

Let us beat the heat and indulge ourselves with Diabetic Friendly Mocktails and Coolers with Team DFT..

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If you are from India or have lived there, you know that street food is a big part of every Indian’s life …One thing that we all love during the hot and humid summer months in India is “Kala Khatta”– black and tart, made with the concentrated juice of the Java Plum …

Kala khatta or Java Plum juice is popular tangy flavored cooler made from jamun/ Java plum and is available in drink and syrup form.

It is a drink which is available in summer on the roadside. The syrup is made with Jamun, black salt, lemon juice and sugar.

Preparation Time: 20 Minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:
2 Cup Java Plum/ Jamun
Juice of a lemon
1 tsp Black Salt /Kala Namak
Freshly ground Black Pepper Powder ( as per taste )
1tsp Roasted Cumin Powder ( optional )
Salt as per taste
2 tsp raw honey ( optional )
Ice-Cubes

Method :
Wash and remove the seeds from all the jamuns
Using a blender blend the seedless and chopped jamun to a puree .
Strain the mixture by sifting it through a sieve.
Add lemon juice, honey , black salt , roasted cumin and stir well.
Adjust seasoning .
Serve chilled over ice-cubes adding some sparkling soda or chilled water …

Lets look at some benefits of Java Plums / Jambul / Jamun .
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The jamun fruit and  leaves are good for diabetes patient. The black plum has anti-diabetic features. Jamun helps to convert starch into energy and keep your blood sugar levels in check. In the summer season, the sugar patient should eat jamun regularly because of its low glycemic index. Jamun reduces the symptoms of diabetes like frequent urination and thrusting. The extract of bark, seeds, and leaves are too beneficial in the treatment of diabetes. In a recent study in CDRI, Lucknow, India, it has been found that the dried alcoholic extract of the seeds are good to reduce the level of blood sugar. The decoction of the bark and powdered seed is good in the treatment of diabetes. The extract of the bark, seeds and leaves are good in decreased of sugar in urine (glycouria). Jamum and jamun seeds are hypoglycemic effects. Jamun seeds powder contains jamboline, a type of glucose, which helps to control the conversion of starch into sugar.

All, the fruit, seeds and juice can be used for the treatment of diabetes.
It has substantial influence on the pancreas.
The jamboline content present in the seeds check the conversion of starch into sugar (in case of increased production of glucose).
The inner bark of Java Plum tree is also considered beneficial in diabetes treatment.
The bark is dried and burnt to a white ash. This ash is ground, strained and bottled. 2 grams of this ash should be taken on empty stomach in morning and 2 grams in the evening after meals.
For excessive urination in diabetes, seeds of Java Plum fruit can be used. 1 gram powder each in the morning and evening is effective in controlling the condition.

For more information CLICK HERE

Disclaimer
I am not a nutritionist or dietician. My knowledge and information is based on my research and reading from different resources. Please consult your doctor or dietician before making any changes to your diet.

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FOR MORE DIABETES FRIENDLY MOCKTAIL RECIPES , CLICK ON THE PICTURES BELOW

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