Jun 4, 2014

Vegan Banana Nut Bread


In the recent weeks there hasnt been a situation of over ripe bananas in our house. But last week we went on a camping trip to Arkansas where I had carried a bunch of bananas but half a dozen remained uneaten given the variety of food we had there. We were an enthusiastic group making upma and bhelpuri among other delectables, at the camp. It was a lovely time beside the river. The river itself was shallow at the camp site and there were innumerable small size fishes swimming around our legs. The whole gang enjoyed playing in the water and swimming with the fishes.

By the time we came back home, due to the heat, the bananas were all over ripe and I had to find a way to use them without throwing out the whole lot. I mentioned banana bread and to my surprise my daughter was overjoyed. I have no idea what caused the change of heart in the non-sweet eater but I wasnt going to let this chance get away. I baked the bread that very night and as is always the case with banana baked goods, it came out very well. We all enjoyed a healthy dessert that night and it lasted well for the next four days with refreidgeration.

Vegan Banana Nut Bread

Servings: One 4*8 loaf
Prep Time: 10 mins Cook Time: 35 - 45 mins

Ingredients

4 very ripe bananas
1 cup Whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup All purpose flour
1/2 cup Vegetable oil
1/2 cup Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla essence
1 1/2 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Baking soda
a pinch of salt
1/2 cup nuts (walnuts, almonds)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Grease a 4*8 loaf tin with a little oil or line it with parchment paper
  3. Mash the bananas to fine and add in oil and sugar and mix well. Add in the vanilla extract and mix well.
  4. Sieve the flours, baking soda and baking powder and mix well and keep aside
  5. Add salt to the flour and mix well
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix till it comes together. Do not overmix.
  7. Fold in the nuts
  8. Pour the mix into the prepared loaf tin and bake for 35 - 45 mins till a skewer inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean. (My oven took 45 mins)
  9. Slice it up and serve warm.
  10. It also tastes good as a base to a trifle or with ice-cream.

Bean and Oat Veggie Burger


When the need of the hour is to make your little one eat nutritious food without much fuss, the Burger is the way to go.  Simple, easy to make and extra delicious. Put a large dollop of tomato sauce inside the burger, for the kiddies and it goes in faster!



This burger is high in protein what with all the beans, lentils and oats. I used a combination of red kidney beans, black eyed beans, green channa dal, yellow channa dal, double beans, some other variety of bean that I dont recognise and green moong beans. The burger can also be made with very little oil and I mainly used oil to shallow fry the patty.
These burgers can be extra filling because of the beans. I served them with a portion of coleslaw instead of fries to round it off as a healthy efficient meal.


Bean and Oat Veggie Burger

Servings: 9 Patties
Prep Time:       Cook Time:

Ingredients 

1 cup Mixed beans
1/2 cup Green Moong beans
2 small Potatoes (optional)
1 small onion (cut in rings or jullienne)
1 tomato cut in slices
1 cucumber cut in slices
1/4 cup Oats flour
2 tsp Red Chilli powder
1/2 tsp Garam Masala
1/4 tsp Aamchoor (Dried Mango powder)
1/2 tsp Cumin Coriander powder
1/2 cup Coriander Chutney (optional)
1/2 cup Tomato sauce (optional)
9 tsp Oil
Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Pressure cook soaked beans along with potatoes upto 3 whistles
  2. Mash the cooked beans and potatoes
  3. Add in all the spices and salt and mix well
  4. Add in the oats flour and mix well.If the mixture is still having a paste like consistency add in more flour to make it drier
  5. Take an onion sized piece of the patty mixture and pat it to a flat round of 2 1/2 inch diameter and 1/2 inch thickness
  6. Shallow fry on a heated skillet by drizzling a little oil around it
  7. Let it fry for a couple of minutes on medium-low flame, flip it and shallow fry the other side with a little bit of oil
  8. Once its nicely done, remove from skillet and keep aside
  9. Repeat the preparation of patty with the rest of the mixture.

To assemble the burger

  1. Slice a burger in half and toast it in the toaster for a minute to get it nice and crisp. Alternately roast the inside of the bun on a hot skillet with some butter lathered on
  2. Spread the inside of the bottom half with coriander chutney
  3. Top it with onion slices
  4. Place the burger patty on top of the onion, spread a little tomato sauce and top it off with tomato and cucumber slices
  5. Place the upper half of the bun right on top

Quick soak for beans

  1. Wash the mixed beans a couple of times in water
  2. Place it in a vessel and cover with water upto 2 inches over the beans
  3. Boil the water and then remove vessel from stove, cover and leave to soak for an hour
  4. The beans would have softened and are ready to be cooked further. Wash and ready to use.
  5. Soaking decreases the cooking time of the beans

Mar 10, 2014

Spiced Whoopie Pies


It is with absolute pleasure that I write this post. I am hosting the Feb '14 episode of the Home Bakers Challenge, another brain child of the ever so creative Priya Suresh.
In keeping with the occurence of Valentine's day I presented a variety of "to-bake" items to all those who were willing to participate. The underlying theme was to bake stuff which were different from the regular V-day fare including
1) French Macaroons
2)  Whoopie Pies
3) Neapolitan Cakes
4) Cheesecake Cupcakes
The main reason for choosing the list above were because I wanted to try out eggless versions of all of these. For various reasons my baking has become few and far between, therefore I managed to concoct only one bake. I had to choose the easiest recipe, for reasons strong, and since I cannot eat cheese at the moment I chose Whoopie Pies!


Before I ventured out to make a red velvet whoopie pie or any other sweet whoopie pie, I took a vote and my family unanimously chose a spicy fare. So I twisted the ingredients around to get a spicy cookie halves and even used onion-chive cream cheese filling for one. It turned out delicious. This was really a rare case of having only a few minutes before all the cookies and whoopie pies were cleaned off the plate! My joy knew no bounds! The aroma of ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg is exactly what you need in your house on a cold winter's day and mine was snowing to boot.


Spiced Whoopie Pies

Servings: 20 cookies or 10 Whoopie pies
Prep Time: 10 mins Cook Time: 12 mins

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups All purpose flour
3/4 cup Cane Sugar  (Or 1/2 cup Cane Sugar and 1/2 cup dark molasses)
3 tsp grated fresh Ginger (or 2 tsp Ground ginger)
1 tsp ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
3/4 tsp Salt
1/3 cup Vegetable Oil
1/4 cup Yogurt
1/3 cup Boiling water

Instructions


  1. Preheat oven to 350 deg F.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
  3. Combine flour, sugar, (molasses if used), ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, baking soda in a bowl
  4. Mix in oil, yogurt until well combined
  5. Pour in boiling water and mix until smooth
  6. Drop dough in balls on prepared cookie sheet with 1 inch space between each
  7. Bake in oven for about 12 mins untill slightly puffy and golden
  8. The cookies will be soft when removed from the oven and will continue to harden a bit. 
  9. Cool on the cookie sheet for 5-7 mins before cooling completely on a rack
  10. Once the cookies have cooled completely apply filling on the bottom of a cookie and place another similar sized cookie on top of the filling. 
  11. Chill it for 10 mins in the fridge if its gets a little runny or is a warm day
  12. I used store bought cream cheese and Nutella for the filling. The sweet of the chocolate and then tang of the cream cheese blended perfectly with the spiced cookies!
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