Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Salads 2

Healthy and filling Salads

Salads don't have to be boring. You can make a wholesome and filling meal by adding your choice of vegetables, fruits, nuts, rice, pasta, quinoa, bulgur wheat or whatever you like. The final combination should look colourful and appetizing. 

Here are a few salads you can make as a light meal for dinner or even as packed lunch. Just pack the dressing separately in a little jar or bottle.



Click on the salad names for the recipe

In order from top left to right :

Sweet Potato and Pasta Salad

Peanut and Fruit Salad

Rice Salad

Mango and Curried Chickpea Salad

In order from bottom left to right:

Moroccan Couscous Salad

Burrito Bowl Salad

Cucumber and Orange Salad

Mango Avocado Salad

Monday, 17 April 2017

636. Watermelon Bruschetta

Antipasti

         Italian meals are usually served with a starter. Starters or antipasti (singular antipasto) usually consist of cured meat, pickled vegetables, mushrooms, cheeses, olives, peperocini, pickled meats etc. These are suppose to be colourful, attractive and usually should be able to change the mood of  people or gathering who will dine together. Anti means before and pastus means meal. Therefore its the starter or appetizer. Antipasti is usually served in individual plates or as bite size where diners pick it and enjoy it. It can be cold or warm or hot.
         
       There is much confusion between the crostini and the bruschetta. Crostini are usually made from small bread slices like an Italian baguette.The bread is toasted and the topping are more rich. 
       
       Bruschetta is usually served on more rustic Italian bread slices that are slightly bigger. The bread slices are usually roasted over coal. The word bruschetta comes from the Italian word bruscare...which means to roast over coal. The slices are usually rubbed with garlic and drizzled with olive oil. Originally it was served with olive oil drizzled on it. Nowadays a variety of topping are used to make bruschetta.
        
        Nowadays there's not much difference between the two especially when you're not able to roast a bread over coal. Bruschetta are prepared with whichever bread is available. I baked an Italian baguette at home a day before I wanted to make the crostini. After just 20 minutes of  second fermentation, the shaped bread looked a bit fatter and no way was I going to get nice dainty slices. 
        
       As the other ingredients were ready and wine already chilled, I decided to deviate from the norm and made Watermelon Bruschetta. #FoodieMonday #Bloghop group decided that  #watermelon will be our 88th theme. My contribution for this theme is the delicious and refreshing Watermelon Bruschetta.







WATERMELON BRUSCHETTA
Makes 8-10 pieces

8-10 slices of bread preferably a baguette or any other rustic bread
4-5 cloves of garlic
4-6 tbsp olive oil
1½ cups watermelon chopped into small cubes
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
½ cup thick plain yogurt
½ cup coarse pepper powder
8-10 black olives, sliced
2 tbsp balsamic syrup
2-3 tbsp chopped spring onion
10-12 mint leaves chopped


  1. Mix crumbled feta and yogurt together to get a smooth paste.Add pepper powder and mix well.
  2. Smear olive oil over the slices on both sides.
  3. Toast them lightly in a pan over medium heat.
  4. Rub garlic over the toasted slices.
  5. Spread some feta cheese mixture over the slices.
  6. Top the slices with watermelon, olives, spring onion and mint.
  7. Drizzle some balsamic syrup over the topping and serve.
Tips:
  • I did not add any salt as both the feta and bottled olives are salty.
  • You can toast the slices over a BBQ grill.
  • Use ricotta cheese instead of Feta if your prefer.
You may want to check out other starter recipes:
mashed avocado and tomato bruschetta


Sending this recipe for the following event:





   

Friday, 14 April 2017

635.Baba Ganoush

GUEST NO.8 ON THE BLOG

    My 8th Guest on the blog is Mehwaesh Islam. Now you may be wondering how did an Islam enter the Patel family. Let me clear up the air for you. Mehwaesh is originally from Bangladesh, married to my best friend Daxa's son. Daxa and family are more like family than friends to me.Paras, her son is like my son. So technically that makes Mehwaesh my daughter in law. I first met Mehwaesh during their wedding in Bangladesh. At first sight she appeared to me as a very sophisticated lady. On getting to know her, she is a very intelligent, caring, quiet and a friendly person. I had the opportunity to lunch with them at their quaint little home in London. From her little little kitchen she was able to put out quite a fare from chaat as a starter to egg biryani and sabji followed by dessert. What I loved about her cooking was that little Bangladeshi touch and flavour to most of her dishes. As I follow them on social media both husband and wife team practically every weekend introduce me to new cuisine, new street food, new open air markets and exciting places to visit. Both are foodies and I'm sure that when I next visit them, there will be new dishes for me to sample.

    Mehwaesh works in science policy. Give her a book and she's the happiest girl on earth. Her other hobbies are watching Turkish dramas, knitting, cooking and travelling. 

Over to Mehwaesh:
     Huge thanks to Mayuri Aunty for inviting me to post a recipe on her blog.I have know Mayuri Aunty since my marriage to Paras, she was one of the very few people who made it all the way to Bangaldesh for our wedding. Paras always raves so much about her food. Paras spent a lot of his childhood at Mayuri Aunty's house so he knew very well the extent of her culinary skills.

   When my parents visited Kenya for the first time, Mayuri Aunty cooked up a lovely feast for us. I knew then that all f Paras' raving was well substantianted. It was a Friday lunchtime meal cooked in Mombasa's sweltering March heat. When we turned up at her apartment, the whole place had a lovely aroma of home cooked food. My parents thoroughly enjoyed their meal and continue to appreciate her kind gesture.
 
    P and I have recently returned from a fabulous trip to Jordan where we got to sample some splendid Levantine cuisine. One of the highlights of our trip was a visit to the ancient city of Petra, one of the new seven wonders of the world!

   On our first night in the rose-red city, we made our way to Petra Kitchen, a local initiative where we joined two other couples (Austrian and American) to cook and share a Jordanian feast under the guidance of Chef Tareq. We chopped, diced, and assembled a selection of hot and cold mezzes, salads, soup and a main course. We mopped up the meal with the most deliciously soft, warm bread.

   With our bellies full, we headed out to experience Petra by Night - a magical candle lit walk to the fabled Treasury (Al-Khazneh). The sight is as every bit awe-inspiring as you might expect! We sat under the stars on blankets spread on the ground, sipping hot cups of mint tea, and listening to a Bedouin's flute song. 



   Here's the baba ghanoush recipe we learnt at Petra Kitchen that I have since recreated in my kitchen in London. In Arabic, baba can mean father or daddy, and ghanoush can mean spoilt or pampered. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the dish was named “perhaps with reference to its supposed invention by a member of a royal harem.” The pampered daddy may have been a sultan.


BABA GANOUSH
2 lb aubergines
1 green pepper
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 Tbsp mint chopped
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 large tomato
1 medium onion
Salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp pomegranate molasses

1. Score the aubergines with a knife in a few places and roast under a hot grill for an hour until the skin is charred.
2. Leave to cool slightly, then scoop out the pulp and drain in a colander.
3. Mash the pulp into chunky pieces. Add olive oil and lemon juice.
4. Chop the onion, tomato and pepper, and add them to the aubergine purée. Add in the crushed garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and the pomegranate molasses.
5. Mix well, adjust the seasoning (if needed), and sprinkle the chopped herbs over the top. 
Tips:

  • Use baba ganoush as a dip with cut vegetables, toasted pita wedges, chips or any thing you like.
  • Use it as a spread in sandwiches.
  • Use it over your salad or serve as a sauce with pasta or couscous. 
  • Eggplants can be roasted over a flame or on a your BBQ stove. The best ones are those roasted over charcoal fire.
You may want to check out what other guests had prepared:
Dried Grapes Achaar Pickle

Chinese Cauliflower Rice
Eggless Upside Down Pineapple Cake

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

634.Mini Panettone#BreadBakers

My favourite Country

  When Anshie, blogger at Spice Roots asked members of Bread Bakers  group to bake breads from Italy as the April theme, I was really excited. I love the country and Italian breads with all that olive oil, roasted tomatoes, cheese, bell peppers. I've been wanting to try out panettone for such a long time, so I got the opportunity to bake it for this theme. 
   
    Panettone bread is usually baked as a Christmas breakfast or dessert treat in Italy. Full of fruit and wonderful aroma of orange, its suppose to like a cake but with yeast. Panettone means pane de tono--- bread of luxury.Its believed that this rich Italian bread has originated from Milan. When yeast was considered a luxury item, this bread was baked only during important religious events.
    
    Original panettone making process is long where the dough is allowed to proof for several days which adds to the fluffy texture. Fruits added to the bread are not soaked as in other sweet breads from other parts of Europe. However, modern world means newer techniques. Fruits are soaked in rum or sweet wine and added to the dough. Nowadays the dough is not allowed to proof for days.
    
     I first tasted a panettone years back when I had gone to UK to visit my parents. I fell in love with the cake like delicious rich bread. Having it with some butter and a cup of coffee was the ultimate treat. I know Christmas is far away, but who can wait for Christmas to bake this fruity bread? I had to grab the opportunity now and bake it.
     
     Panettone is sometimes considered as a dessert and served with dessert wine, tea or coffee or even with some mascarpone cheese. Leftover panettone is used to prepare French Toast.









Juliet Balcony in Verona

Panzarotti - a typical Italian street food

 these small thick based pizzas sold as Street Food

MINI PANETTONE
Makes 12
Recipe adapted from: BBC Good Food

For the Starter:
¾ cup plain flour
a pinch of dry active instant yeast
⅓ cup cool water

For the bread dough:
All of the starter
2¼ cup plain flour
¼ cup warm water or milk
2 large eggs
½ cup soft butter, divided
½ tsp Fiori di Sicilia *
2¼ tsp dry active instant yeast
1 tsp salt
⅓ cup sugar
½ cup golden raisins
½ cup chopped dried apricot
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup mixed candied peel
2 tbsp grated orange or lemon peel (zest)

Make the starter:
Mix flour, yeast and water in a medium bowl. Cover with a lid or cling film and let it ferment overnight or for 8-10 hours.

Preparation of the bread:

  1. Mix flour, salt, sugar, yeast and zest in a big bowl.
  2. Add ¼ cup butter and rub it into the flour.
  3. Add eggs, Fiori di Sicilia and milk to the starter and whisk till its all mixed.
  4. Add the starter mixture to the flour.
  5. Mix with a wooden spoon. The dough will be quite sticky at this stage.
  6. Cover and let the dough rise till its nearly double the size.This will take about 1½ hours in warm climate.
  7. Mix raisins, mixed candied peel and cranberries and keep on the side till required.
  8. Lightly flour the worktop and remove the dough from the bowl onto the work top.
  9. Adding the remaining butter and dried fruits to the dough. 
  10. Knead till the fruit is all mixed into the dough.
  11. Cover the dough and let it rest for 10-15 minutes.
  12. Deflate the dough and divide it into 12 parts.
  13. Grease a muffin tray or line it with cake cups. I chose to use cardboard cake cups that I had got so overly excited about!
  14. Roll each dough part into a round shape and drop it into the prepared muffin tray. 
  15. Cover the tray with cling film and let the dough rise till its above the rim. I had to let it rise for 50-60 minutes.
  16. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  17. Bake the mini panettone for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. If they brown too quickly then cover the top with an aluminium foil.
  18. Brush butter over the top as soon the panettone is ready.
  19. Let it cool.
  20. Serve as it is or sprinkle icing sugar and then serve.
Tips:
  • I didn't get mini panettone molds so I chose to use cardboard cake cups. You can use a normal muffin tray which can be lined with muffin cups or brown/parchment paper.
  • To make a big panettone you will need a panettone pan or a straight sided tall pan about 1½ - 2 quart pan.
  • Add dried fruits of your choice.
  • * Fiori de Sicilia is 'Flower of Sicily', is an extract that combines vanilla, citrus and flower essence.If you don't get fiori di Sicilia you can add 1tsp vanilla and ⅛ tsp of orange oil and rose water for the floral fragrance. I added  1 tsp vanilla essence and  1tbsp orange blossom water.
  • I made these mini panettone again without eggs but found they turned out too dense in spite of adding more milk and butter.
You may want to check out what members have baked for the "Breads from Italy" theme :


#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.
If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com
BreadBakers



Monday, 10 April 2017

633. Watermelon Coconut and Rose Popsicles

Summer time

  It was in year 1 that I learnt that there were different seasons. Growing up in Nairobi, for us it was always hot during the day, cold at night and the occasional showers in April and October. That was pretty much what the weather was back then. Words like Summer, Winter, Spring and Autumn were all new to me, seasons not experienced as yet. Postcards and pictures in books made them all seem like such refreshing and exotic seasons. When my aunt and cousins went off to UK in the 70s its then we would hear from them how windy the autumns were, umbrellas flying away and how their hands would get ice cold shovelling the snow. Mombasa's hot weather was the hottest we would ever experience when we went there for our holidays in December.

   My first experience of a really scorching hot Indian Summer was when I was 12. That too in the really hot city of Ahmedabad and in May! It was unbearably hot for a girl who comes from a cool climate of Nairobi. My skin would burn and I'd get headaches. Back then, there were no reminders on television, radio or newspapers to stay hydrated. After a week or so I went to Mt. Abu and realised that summer everywhere in India is not as hot as Ahmedabad.

   My first experience of Autumn in UK was nearly 10 years ago. Chilly cold, windy, rainy and yes umbrellas would fly away. Just a few minutes outdoor and my nose would be all cold. However, I enjoyed the cold as I had had enough of the hot weather in Mombasa. Autumn in Canada which we witnessed in 2013 was an amazing experience, full of sun shine, colours and a bit of rain.

   So while all my family and friends living abroad, praise summer and wait for summer eagerly, I cannot seem to understand why! Its only after having spent the chilly autumn in UK that I realised what people meant when they say 'our bones need the heat'. Literally one gets the feeling that bones get cold in autumn and winter.

   Summer in India or other parts of the world is synonymous with flipflops, summer hats, caps, bikinis, sundresses, shorts, T shirts, ice creams, golas, chatpatta snacks, open air markets, picnics, sand, beach, cocktails, fragrant flowers, longer days, lazing under the shade of trees, sleeping on the lazy chair, feeling lethargic, cricket, football, sandwiches, funfairs,walks in the park or beaches, late evening outings, coconut water and so much more.

   When my kids were young, I would make them simple popsicles..freezing fresh fruit juice, ribena or even rose milk during the really hot season. Nowadays, with kids having left the coop, it's hubby and me only. Popsicles are a healthier way of satiating my hubby's call for dessert ever single day. Sometimes, I just freeze fresh fruit juice or on some days when I feel a bit energetic, then I may add something exotic to the fruit juice.

   This week our #FoodieMonday#Bloghop group decided on #Frozencoolers as the 87th theme. Mangoes and pineapples have disappeared and the market is flooded with watermelons. A couple of days ago I went to Nakumatt and complained on my cousin whatsapp group that the veggies section only had watermelon, coconut and ginger all spread out on the shelves. My young cousin replied, "waiting to see what concoction you come up with using these ingredients". Well here is my concoction, watermelon coconut and rose popsicles with a hint of ginger.









WATERMELON COCONUT AND ROSE POPSICLES
Makes 8

2 cups fresh watermelon juice (about 2½ cups of watermelon cubes)
½ cup shredded fresh coconut
8-10 mint leaves
2 tbsp rose syrup
½ tsp minced fresh ginger


  1. Puree the watermelon without any water in a blender. Strain the juice to remove seeds.
  2. Put the juice back in the blender. Add shredded coconut, mint leaves, rose syrup and ginger.
  3. Process it for a few seconds.
  4. Pour the juice into popsicle molds.
  5. Freeze for 4-6 hours and serve.
Tips:
  • If you don't like the taste of rose syrup add honey, maple syrup or simple sugar syrup instead.
  • If you don't have popsicle molds, use ice cream or small plastic cups. Pour the juice in the cups. Cover with foil. Make a slit in the foil, insert the stick in through it gently.
  • Ginger helps to fight tiredness,  bad summer microbes, loss of appetite and feeling of heaviness.
  • I've made these popsicles adding desiccated coconut and they didn't turn out too exciting. The bite of fresh coconut is what makes these popsicles yummy.
  • Spike your popsicles with some vodka, gin, tequila, triple sec, champagne, gin for an adult version.
You may want to check out other frozen coolers:
pineapple paleta





Sending this recipe for the following event:


Thursday, 6 April 2017

632. Chinese Cauliflower Rice

GUEST NO.7 ON THE BLOG

        My 7th guest is my dear little sister Sapna.  Sapna is one of those type of people who does not like to take sides when two people fight. She never sided with either of us when my brother and I used to fight. She is a very dependable person and can juggle a series of chores in a jiffy. I have not spent that much time with my sister but whatever time I have spent with her is memorable. I'm so lucky to have a sister with whom I can share all my joys and sadness, distance makes no difference. She immediately will know how I will feel and I will get a comforting message from her. She is a true friend, to whom I can open my soul and she will not judge me. I cannot imagine how people who do not have sisters get by. She's always got a smile on her face, is very sensitive and very humble. My brother and I tease her that she owns a water work company... she can cry at a drop of a hat! Though she is my younger sister, I can depend on her for good advise on anything.
   
       I remember when we were little, she use to love wearing bangles and rings. She would get those jewellery sets from our toy shop and dress up. So once  had put on a ring, the kind that you can adjust the size. She must have pressed it too hard so one end went into her finger. She probably was scared to tell my mum so it kept on going into her flesh till one day we noticed that her teeny weeny finger was swollen. Then all hell broke out... mum getting angry, us worried, our house help James trying to help my mum to remove it. I think in the end she had to be taken to the doctor.

        I've actually never heard my sister say that she loves cooking. She cooks for her large family, but I don't think she ever discusses cooking the way I do with my sister in law Vibha.
She loves travelling, reading, watching movies and American series.




Over to my little sister:

     My sister Mayuri is a brilliant cook. I follow most of her recipes from her blog. When we were growing up she had to help our mum in the kitchen.I was the one who got away from any chores in the kitchen. Living in a huge family, there was plenty to prepare and cook. I never learnt how to cook until I moved to UK. My sister started cooking at a very young age. 
My childhood memories are of us playing in the garden at our home in Nairobi. We both would wear my mum's saris and pretend to play house. Mayuri and I studied in a boarding school in India. We spent just a few years together. After completing her high school she moved back to Nairobi while I continued my studies in India. After her marriage, my parents moved to London and my brother and I joined them. However, my sister had to start her married life in Mombasa. Although we have not stayed together we share a strong bond.

 Tired of chinese stir fried rice..well here is another version and tastes delicious!








CHINESE CAULIFLOWER RICE
Serves 4  
10 mins cooking time

5 cups of cauliflower florets
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
¼ tsp white pepper
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic minced
1 medium onion diced
6 oz broccoli florets chopped
2 carrots grated
½ cup frozen peas
½ cup frozen corn
2 spring onions thinly sliced
½ tsp sesame seeds


Method
1.To make the cauliflower rice grate the florets using a cheese grater, the large holes or use a food processor and pulse till it resembles like rice.

2. In a small bowl whisk the sesame oil, ginger, white pepper and soy sauce.

3. Heat 1 tbsp of vegetable oil in a wok or skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook till the onions are translucent about 3-4 mins

4.Stir in the chopped broccoli, peas, carrots and corn stirring constantly until the vegetables are tender.

5.Add the cauliflower rice and the spring onions and cook till cauliflower is tender, about 3-4 minutes.

6. Add the soy sauce mixture. Mix it gently into the rice.

7. Serve immediately, garnish with sesame seeds and spring onions optional. You can also serve some soy sauce in a bowl for guests who want it salty.

Tips:
  • I had added  some mangetout, bamboo shoots, red peppers and water chestnuts. If you want to make it spicy either add ground green chillies or chilli flakes.
  • Also if the family eat eggs then use 2 large eggs and make an omelette. Add this in step 5.
  • Cauliflower rice is quite a versatile ingredient. You can use it in various dishes.
  • Prepare all the vegetables when you are ready to eat.
You may want to check out the other guest posts:
eggless zucchini bread muffins
eggless pineapple upside down cake


Monday, 3 April 2017

631. Pina Colada Overnight Oats

Sea, sand and Pina Colada

     Ok, its not the drink Pina Colada that I'm going to blog about. However, the name Pina Colada makes one think of sunny sandy beaches, blue seas and lazing on the sunbed with a Pina Colada to keep you cool. 

     The #FoodieMonday #Bloghop group decided on #Coconutmilk as the #86th theme. I was happy as I could just think of pina colada muffins (which has been on my 'to do' list for ages). However, hubby dear dashed all my hopes of baking muffins as he just said pretty adamantly 'no baking muffins in this house, there's been too many muffins.' Truthfully, haven't blogged a new muffin recipe in a long time, but how do I explain to hubby dear that the ones I baked last week were for friends and neighbours as they had requested for them. Anyway,will bake them pretty soon.

    So, now had to think of a healthy way to use coconut milk. I've already blogged quite a few Kenyan coastal dishes using coconut milk so what else, what else kept on revolving in my head. There is still no respite from the hot, hot weather here, we're suppose to have rains! Having a hot bowl of oats in the morning is not so appealing and am getting bored of daily smoothies with oats in them. That's when I thought of the overnight oats that my daughter had prepared for me when I was in Bangalore with her last year. She made overnight oats and added the seeds and nuts the next day and breakfast was ready. I kept on staring at my portion and kept on thinking these oats are going to be gooey and I hate gooey oats. Nami said 'mum go on just try it, one spoon, if you don't like them then I'll prepare something else for you.' Put one spoon in my mouth and it was not gooey at all and tasted chilled, creamy and delicious.

   That's when I thought, ok its going to be a healthy dish, pina colada overnight oats.Before you check out the recipe for the Pina Colada Overnight Oats, here are a few tips on preparing overnight oats. 

Base: of course oats. Many recommend steel cut oats, but they tend to remaining a bit hard. Some say no to quick oats. What I say is use any type you like. I used quick cooking oats and the end result was a nice creamy consistency with a little bite.

Liquid: Add any liquid you prefer right from normal milk, soya milk, nut milk, coconut milk to juices. Basically, the liquid should cover the oats.

Add protein:  can be plain of flavoured yogurt, greek yogurt (makes the oats more creamier), peanut butter or  any other nut butter.

Add the crunch: Add nuts like almonds, hazelnuts, cashew nuts, pistachios. Add seeds like pumpkin, sunflower, hemp seeds or flax seeds, chia seeds. Whatever you prefer.

Add fruit: Can be fresh, canned or dried or a mixture of any. Berries, cherries, banana, mango, apple, peaches, grapes, dates, coconut...whatever you have at hand.

Sweetener: From sugar, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, agave nectar to stevia and jams. Your choice.

Finally Spice it up: cinnamon, cardamom, chai masala, ginger powder, gingerbread spice, pumpkin bread spice, or extracts like vanilla, orange, or just a bit of coffee.

And finally you need some empty jars --- jam/jelly jars, pickle jars, olive jars ... any jars with a lid. Ok, if you really insist you can go ahead and buy some of those fancy mason jars.

The basic idea is to soak the oats overnight or for at least 4-6 hours. You can add the spices, sweetener, nuts, seeds and fruits. Or you can add the nuts, seeds and fruits in the morning. 

The advantages of making overnight oats:
a) You can have a chilled breakfast during the hot season and fill full at the same time.
b) Can carry your jar of goodness and have breakfast at work, No greasy canteen food.
c) Because you prepare it the previous night, no rushing around in the morning to get breakfast ready.
d) Time saver.
e) Aids in weight control or even to lose weight as overnight oats are filled with healthy nutrients.
f) The one I like the best-- who said overnight oats can be consumed only at breakfast? Think of it as a healthy option to curb your sweet tooth. Add a few dark chocolate chips and you've taken care of the craving.

My Pina Colada recipe is a guideline to making your own variety of overnight oats.And before you ask... no I did not add a dash of rum ! Can't start that early in the morning, can I? My recipe is for one serving only as hubby dear being a creature of habits, didn't want to deviate from his normal bowl of hot oatmeal with fruits and nuts.






PINA COLADA OVERNIGHT OATS
Serves 1

¼ cup oats
½ - ¾ cups coconut milk
1 tsp chia seeds
½ cup of finely chopped fresh pineapple or crushed pineapple
1 tbsp shredded fresh coconut
1 tbsp almond and pistachio slivers
1 tbsp maple syrup
¼ tsp vanilla extract
  1. Add oats in a jar.
  2. Add the chia seeds, vanilla extract and maple syrup.
  3. Add coconut milk.
  4. Mix well. Put the lid on the jar.
  5. Put the jar in the fridge. 
  6. Next day add the chopped or crushed pineapple.
  7. Top it up with shredded coconut and almond pistachio slivers.
  8. Enjoy your healthy breakfast.
Tips:
  • I added the pineapple next day as I didn't want the fruit to make the milk taste sour.
  • Adding nuts the next day adds a bit of crunch, but you can add them at night too.
  • Here I used fresh home made coconut milk. You can use canned one. To make fresh coconut milk at home, grate the coconut finely. Put the grated coconut in a blender jug. Add enough water to just about cover the coconut. Process it for 30-50 seconds. Strain the liquid using a fine meshed sieve or cheesecloth. Squeeze out all the liquid from the coconut mixture. This is your first creamy milk. Put the grated coconut bake into the blender jug. Add some water. Process and strain. This is the thin coconut milk. I used the first thick milk for the oats. The second or thin milk can be used to prepare a curry, rice or even in soups. Don't throw away the grated coconut after processing it twice. Dry it at 100°C in the oven. When it is cool process it to make coconut flour.
  • If the soaked oats are too thick, add more milk if you prefer.
  • If you are using yogurt, reduce the amount of milk you use.
  • Remember chia seeds absorb a lot of liquid.
  • For me ¼ cup oats was more than enough as I added more fruit. You can take how much oats you prefer.
You may want to check out my other coconut milk recipes:

Vitumbua (East African coastal dish)
Nunu's Biryani
Mango Coconut Jelly

Sending this recipe for the following event:



Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Salads 2

Healthy and filling Salads

Salads don't have to be boring. You can make a wholesome and filling meal by adding your choice of vegetables, fruits, nuts, rice, pasta, quinoa, bulgur wheat or whatever you like. The final combination should look colourful and appetizing. 

Here are a few salads you can make as a light meal for dinner or even as packed lunch. Just pack the dressing separately in a little jar or bottle.



Click on the salad names for the recipe

In order from top left to right :

Sweet Potato and Pasta Salad

Peanut and Fruit Salad

Rice Salad

Mango and Curried Chickpea Salad

In order from bottom left to right:

Moroccan Couscous Salad

Burrito Bowl Salad

Cucumber and Orange Salad

Mango Avocado Salad
Pin It

Monday, 17 April 2017

636. Watermelon Bruschetta

Antipasti

         Italian meals are usually served with a starter. Starters or antipasti (singular antipasto) usually consist of cured meat, pickled vegetables, mushrooms, cheeses, olives, peperocini, pickled meats etc. These are suppose to be colourful, attractive and usually should be able to change the mood of  people or gathering who will dine together. Anti means before and pastus means meal. Therefore its the starter or appetizer. Antipasti is usually served in individual plates or as bite size where diners pick it and enjoy it. It can be cold or warm or hot.
         
       There is much confusion between the crostini and the bruschetta. Crostini are usually made from small bread slices like an Italian baguette.The bread is toasted and the topping are more rich. 
       
       Bruschetta is usually served on more rustic Italian bread slices that are slightly bigger. The bread slices are usually roasted over coal. The word bruschetta comes from the Italian word bruscare...which means to roast over coal. The slices are usually rubbed with garlic and drizzled with olive oil. Originally it was served with olive oil drizzled on it. Nowadays a variety of topping are used to make bruschetta.
        
        Nowadays there's not much difference between the two especially when you're not able to roast a bread over coal. Bruschetta are prepared with whichever bread is available. I baked an Italian baguette at home a day before I wanted to make the crostini. After just 20 minutes of  second fermentation, the shaped bread looked a bit fatter and no way was I going to get nice dainty slices. 
        
       As the other ingredients were ready and wine already chilled, I decided to deviate from the norm and made Watermelon Bruschetta. #FoodieMonday #Bloghop group decided that  #watermelon will be our 88th theme. My contribution for this theme is the delicious and refreshing Watermelon Bruschetta.







WATERMELON BRUSCHETTA
Makes 8-10 pieces

8-10 slices of bread preferably a baguette or any other rustic bread
4-5 cloves of garlic
4-6 tbsp olive oil
1½ cups watermelon chopped into small cubes
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
½ cup thick plain yogurt
½ cup coarse pepper powder
8-10 black olives, sliced
2 tbsp balsamic syrup
2-3 tbsp chopped spring onion
10-12 mint leaves chopped


  1. Mix crumbled feta and yogurt together to get a smooth paste.Add pepper powder and mix well.
  2. Smear olive oil over the slices on both sides.
  3. Toast them lightly in a pan over medium heat.
  4. Rub garlic over the toasted slices.
  5. Spread some feta cheese mixture over the slices.
  6. Top the slices with watermelon, olives, spring onion and mint.
  7. Drizzle some balsamic syrup over the topping and serve.
Tips:
  • I did not add any salt as both the feta and bottled olives are salty.
  • You can toast the slices over a BBQ grill.
  • Use ricotta cheese instead of Feta if your prefer.
You may want to check out other starter recipes:
mashed avocado and tomato bruschetta


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Friday, 14 April 2017

635.Baba Ganoush

GUEST NO.8 ON THE BLOG

    My 8th Guest on the blog is Mehwaesh Islam. Now you may be wondering how did an Islam enter the Patel family. Let me clear up the air for you. Mehwaesh is originally from Bangladesh, married to my best friend Daxa's son. Daxa and family are more like family than friends to me.Paras, her son is like my son. So technically that makes Mehwaesh my daughter in law. I first met Mehwaesh during their wedding in Bangladesh. At first sight she appeared to me as a very sophisticated lady. On getting to know her, she is a very intelligent, caring, quiet and a friendly person. I had the opportunity to lunch with them at their quaint little home in London. From her little little kitchen she was able to put out quite a fare from chaat as a starter to egg biryani and sabji followed by dessert. What I loved about her cooking was that little Bangladeshi touch and flavour to most of her dishes. As I follow them on social media both husband and wife team practically every weekend introduce me to new cuisine, new street food, new open air markets and exciting places to visit. Both are foodies and I'm sure that when I next visit them, there will be new dishes for me to sample.

    Mehwaesh works in science policy. Give her a book and she's the happiest girl on earth. Her other hobbies are watching Turkish dramas, knitting, cooking and travelling. 

Over to Mehwaesh:
     Huge thanks to Mayuri Aunty for inviting me to post a recipe on her blog.I have know Mayuri Aunty since my marriage to Paras, she was one of the very few people who made it all the way to Bangaldesh for our wedding. Paras always raves so much about her food. Paras spent a lot of his childhood at Mayuri Aunty's house so he knew very well the extent of her culinary skills.

   When my parents visited Kenya for the first time, Mayuri Aunty cooked up a lovely feast for us. I knew then that all f Paras' raving was well substantianted. It was a Friday lunchtime meal cooked in Mombasa's sweltering March heat. When we turned up at her apartment, the whole place had a lovely aroma of home cooked food. My parents thoroughly enjoyed their meal and continue to appreciate her kind gesture.
 
    P and I have recently returned from a fabulous trip to Jordan where we got to sample some splendid Levantine cuisine. One of the highlights of our trip was a visit to the ancient city of Petra, one of the new seven wonders of the world!

   On our first night in the rose-red city, we made our way to Petra Kitchen, a local initiative where we joined two other couples (Austrian and American) to cook and share a Jordanian feast under the guidance of Chef Tareq. We chopped, diced, and assembled a selection of hot and cold mezzes, salads, soup and a main course. We mopped up the meal with the most deliciously soft, warm bread.

   With our bellies full, we headed out to experience Petra by Night - a magical candle lit walk to the fabled Treasury (Al-Khazneh). The sight is as every bit awe-inspiring as you might expect! We sat under the stars on blankets spread on the ground, sipping hot cups of mint tea, and listening to a Bedouin's flute song. 



   Here's the baba ghanoush recipe we learnt at Petra Kitchen that I have since recreated in my kitchen in London. In Arabic, baba can mean father or daddy, and ghanoush can mean spoilt or pampered. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the dish was named “perhaps with reference to its supposed invention by a member of a royal harem.” The pampered daddy may have been a sultan.


BABA GANOUSH
2 lb aubergines
1 green pepper
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 Tbsp mint chopped
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 large tomato
1 medium onion
Salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp pomegranate molasses

1. Score the aubergines with a knife in a few places and roast under a hot grill for an hour until the skin is charred.
2. Leave to cool slightly, then scoop out the pulp and drain in a colander.
3. Mash the pulp into chunky pieces. Add olive oil and lemon juice.
4. Chop the onion, tomato and pepper, and add them to the aubergine purée. Add in the crushed garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and the pomegranate molasses.
5. Mix well, adjust the seasoning (if needed), and sprinkle the chopped herbs over the top. 
Tips:

  • Use baba ganoush as a dip with cut vegetables, toasted pita wedges, chips or any thing you like.
  • Use it as a spread in sandwiches.
  • Use it over your salad or serve as a sauce with pasta or couscous. 
  • Eggplants can be roasted over a flame or on a your BBQ stove. The best ones are those roasted over charcoal fire.
You may want to check out what other guests had prepared:
Dried Grapes Achaar Pickle

Chinese Cauliflower Rice
Eggless Upside Down Pineapple Cake

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Tuesday, 11 April 2017

634.Mini Panettone#BreadBakers

My favourite Country

  When Anshie, blogger at Spice Roots asked members of Bread Bakers  group to bake breads from Italy as the April theme, I was really excited. I love the country and Italian breads with all that olive oil, roasted tomatoes, cheese, bell peppers. I've been wanting to try out panettone for such a long time, so I got the opportunity to bake it for this theme. 
   
    Panettone bread is usually baked as a Christmas breakfast or dessert treat in Italy. Full of fruit and wonderful aroma of orange, its suppose to like a cake but with yeast. Panettone means pane de tono--- bread of luxury.Its believed that this rich Italian bread has originated from Milan. When yeast was considered a luxury item, this bread was baked only during important religious events.
    
    Original panettone making process is long where the dough is allowed to proof for several days which adds to the fluffy texture. Fruits added to the bread are not soaked as in other sweet breads from other parts of Europe. However, modern world means newer techniques. Fruits are soaked in rum or sweet wine and added to the dough. Nowadays the dough is not allowed to proof for days.
    
     I first tasted a panettone years back when I had gone to UK to visit my parents. I fell in love with the cake like delicious rich bread. Having it with some butter and a cup of coffee was the ultimate treat. I know Christmas is far away, but who can wait for Christmas to bake this fruity bread? I had to grab the opportunity now and bake it.
     
     Panettone is sometimes considered as a dessert and served with dessert wine, tea or coffee or even with some mascarpone cheese. Leftover panettone is used to prepare French Toast.









Juliet Balcony in Verona

Panzarotti - a typical Italian street food

 these small thick based pizzas sold as Street Food

MINI PANETTONE
Makes 12
Recipe adapted from: BBC Good Food

For the Starter:
¾ cup plain flour
a pinch of dry active instant yeast
⅓ cup cool water

For the bread dough:
All of the starter
2¼ cup plain flour
¼ cup warm water or milk
2 large eggs
½ cup soft butter, divided
½ tsp Fiori di Sicilia *
2¼ tsp dry active instant yeast
1 tsp salt
⅓ cup sugar
½ cup golden raisins
½ cup chopped dried apricot
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup mixed candied peel
2 tbsp grated orange or lemon peel (zest)

Make the starter:
Mix flour, yeast and water in a medium bowl. Cover with a lid or cling film and let it ferment overnight or for 8-10 hours.

Preparation of the bread:

  1. Mix flour, salt, sugar, yeast and zest in a big bowl.
  2. Add ¼ cup butter and rub it into the flour.
  3. Add eggs, Fiori di Sicilia and milk to the starter and whisk till its all mixed.
  4. Add the starter mixture to the flour.
  5. Mix with a wooden spoon. The dough will be quite sticky at this stage.
  6. Cover and let the dough rise till its nearly double the size.This will take about 1½ hours in warm climate.
  7. Mix raisins, mixed candied peel and cranberries and keep on the side till required.
  8. Lightly flour the worktop and remove the dough from the bowl onto the work top.
  9. Adding the remaining butter and dried fruits to the dough. 
  10. Knead till the fruit is all mixed into the dough.
  11. Cover the dough and let it rest for 10-15 minutes.
  12. Deflate the dough and divide it into 12 parts.
  13. Grease a muffin tray or line it with cake cups. I chose to use cardboard cake cups that I had got so overly excited about!
  14. Roll each dough part into a round shape and drop it into the prepared muffin tray. 
  15. Cover the tray with cling film and let the dough rise till its above the rim. I had to let it rise for 50-60 minutes.
  16. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  17. Bake the mini panettone for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. If they brown too quickly then cover the top with an aluminium foil.
  18. Brush butter over the top as soon the panettone is ready.
  19. Let it cool.
  20. Serve as it is or sprinkle icing sugar and then serve.
Tips:
  • I didn't get mini panettone molds so I chose to use cardboard cake cups. You can use a normal muffin tray which can be lined with muffin cups or brown/parchment paper.
  • To make a big panettone you will need a panettone pan or a straight sided tall pan about 1½ - 2 quart pan.
  • Add dried fruits of your choice.
  • * Fiori de Sicilia is 'Flower of Sicily', is an extract that combines vanilla, citrus and flower essence.If you don't get fiori di Sicilia you can add 1tsp vanilla and ⅛ tsp of orange oil and rose water for the floral fragrance. I added  1 tsp vanilla essence and  1tbsp orange blossom water.
  • I made these mini panettone again without eggs but found they turned out too dense in spite of adding more milk and butter.
You may want to check out what members have baked for the "Breads from Italy" theme :


#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.
If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com
BreadBakers



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Monday, 10 April 2017

633. Watermelon Coconut and Rose Popsicles

Summer time

  It was in year 1 that I learnt that there were different seasons. Growing up in Nairobi, for us it was always hot during the day, cold at night and the occasional showers in April and October. That was pretty much what the weather was back then. Words like Summer, Winter, Spring and Autumn were all new to me, seasons not experienced as yet. Postcards and pictures in books made them all seem like such refreshing and exotic seasons. When my aunt and cousins went off to UK in the 70s its then we would hear from them how windy the autumns were, umbrellas flying away and how their hands would get ice cold shovelling the snow. Mombasa's hot weather was the hottest we would ever experience when we went there for our holidays in December.

   My first experience of a really scorching hot Indian Summer was when I was 12. That too in the really hot city of Ahmedabad and in May! It was unbearably hot for a girl who comes from a cool climate of Nairobi. My skin would burn and I'd get headaches. Back then, there were no reminders on television, radio or newspapers to stay hydrated. After a week or so I went to Mt. Abu and realised that summer everywhere in India is not as hot as Ahmedabad.

   My first experience of Autumn in UK was nearly 10 years ago. Chilly cold, windy, rainy and yes umbrellas would fly away. Just a few minutes outdoor and my nose would be all cold. However, I enjoyed the cold as I had had enough of the hot weather in Mombasa. Autumn in Canada which we witnessed in 2013 was an amazing experience, full of sun shine, colours and a bit of rain.

   So while all my family and friends living abroad, praise summer and wait for summer eagerly, I cannot seem to understand why! Its only after having spent the chilly autumn in UK that I realised what people meant when they say 'our bones need the heat'. Literally one gets the feeling that bones get cold in autumn and winter.

   Summer in India or other parts of the world is synonymous with flipflops, summer hats, caps, bikinis, sundresses, shorts, T shirts, ice creams, golas, chatpatta snacks, open air markets, picnics, sand, beach, cocktails, fragrant flowers, longer days, lazing under the shade of trees, sleeping on the lazy chair, feeling lethargic, cricket, football, sandwiches, funfairs,walks in the park or beaches, late evening outings, coconut water and so much more.

   When my kids were young, I would make them simple popsicles..freezing fresh fruit juice, ribena or even rose milk during the really hot season. Nowadays, with kids having left the coop, it's hubby and me only. Popsicles are a healthier way of satiating my hubby's call for dessert ever single day. Sometimes, I just freeze fresh fruit juice or on some days when I feel a bit energetic, then I may add something exotic to the fruit juice.

   This week our #FoodieMonday#Bloghop group decided on #Frozencoolers as the 87th theme. Mangoes and pineapples have disappeared and the market is flooded with watermelons. A couple of days ago I went to Nakumatt and complained on my cousin whatsapp group that the veggies section only had watermelon, coconut and ginger all spread out on the shelves. My young cousin replied, "waiting to see what concoction you come up with using these ingredients". Well here is my concoction, watermelon coconut and rose popsicles with a hint of ginger.









WATERMELON COCONUT AND ROSE POPSICLES
Makes 8

2 cups fresh watermelon juice (about 2½ cups of watermelon cubes)
½ cup shredded fresh coconut
8-10 mint leaves
2 tbsp rose syrup
½ tsp minced fresh ginger


  1. Puree the watermelon without any water in a blender. Strain the juice to remove seeds.
  2. Put the juice back in the blender. Add shredded coconut, mint leaves, rose syrup and ginger.
  3. Process it for a few seconds.
  4. Pour the juice into popsicle molds.
  5. Freeze for 4-6 hours and serve.
Tips:
  • If you don't like the taste of rose syrup add honey, maple syrup or simple sugar syrup instead.
  • If you don't have popsicle molds, use ice cream or small plastic cups. Pour the juice in the cups. Cover with foil. Make a slit in the foil, insert the stick in through it gently.
  • Ginger helps to fight tiredness,  bad summer microbes, loss of appetite and feeling of heaviness.
  • I've made these popsicles adding desiccated coconut and they didn't turn out too exciting. The bite of fresh coconut is what makes these popsicles yummy.
  • Spike your popsicles with some vodka, gin, tequila, triple sec, champagne, gin for an adult version.
You may want to check out other frozen coolers:
pineapple paleta





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Thursday, 6 April 2017

632. Chinese Cauliflower Rice

GUEST NO.7 ON THE BLOG

        My 7th guest is my dear little sister Sapna.  Sapna is one of those type of people who does not like to take sides when two people fight. She never sided with either of us when my brother and I used to fight. She is a very dependable person and can juggle a series of chores in a jiffy. I have not spent that much time with my sister but whatever time I have spent with her is memorable. I'm so lucky to have a sister with whom I can share all my joys and sadness, distance makes no difference. She immediately will know how I will feel and I will get a comforting message from her. She is a true friend, to whom I can open my soul and she will not judge me. I cannot imagine how people who do not have sisters get by. She's always got a smile on her face, is very sensitive and very humble. My brother and I tease her that she owns a water work company... she can cry at a drop of a hat! Though she is my younger sister, I can depend on her for good advise on anything.
   
       I remember when we were little, she use to love wearing bangles and rings. She would get those jewellery sets from our toy shop and dress up. So once  had put on a ring, the kind that you can adjust the size. She must have pressed it too hard so one end went into her finger. She probably was scared to tell my mum so it kept on going into her flesh till one day we noticed that her teeny weeny finger was swollen. Then all hell broke out... mum getting angry, us worried, our house help James trying to help my mum to remove it. I think in the end she had to be taken to the doctor.

        I've actually never heard my sister say that she loves cooking. She cooks for her large family, but I don't think she ever discusses cooking the way I do with my sister in law Vibha.
She loves travelling, reading, watching movies and American series.




Over to my little sister:

     My sister Mayuri is a brilliant cook. I follow most of her recipes from her blog. When we were growing up she had to help our mum in the kitchen.I was the one who got away from any chores in the kitchen. Living in a huge family, there was plenty to prepare and cook. I never learnt how to cook until I moved to UK. My sister started cooking at a very young age. 
My childhood memories are of us playing in the garden at our home in Nairobi. We both would wear my mum's saris and pretend to play house. Mayuri and I studied in a boarding school in India. We spent just a few years together. After completing her high school she moved back to Nairobi while I continued my studies in India. After her marriage, my parents moved to London and my brother and I joined them. However, my sister had to start her married life in Mombasa. Although we have not stayed together we share a strong bond.

 Tired of chinese stir fried rice..well here is another version and tastes delicious!








CHINESE CAULIFLOWER RICE
Serves 4  
10 mins cooking time

5 cups of cauliflower florets
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
¼ tsp white pepper
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic minced
1 medium onion diced
6 oz broccoli florets chopped
2 carrots grated
½ cup frozen peas
½ cup frozen corn
2 spring onions thinly sliced
½ tsp sesame seeds


Method
1.To make the cauliflower rice grate the florets using a cheese grater, the large holes or use a food processor and pulse till it resembles like rice.

2. In a small bowl whisk the sesame oil, ginger, white pepper and soy sauce.

3. Heat 1 tbsp of vegetable oil in a wok or skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook till the onions are translucent about 3-4 mins

4.Stir in the chopped broccoli, peas, carrots and corn stirring constantly until the vegetables are tender.

5.Add the cauliflower rice and the spring onions and cook till cauliflower is tender, about 3-4 minutes.

6. Add the soy sauce mixture. Mix it gently into the rice.

7. Serve immediately, garnish with sesame seeds and spring onions optional. You can also serve some soy sauce in a bowl for guests who want it salty.

Tips:
  • I had added  some mangetout, bamboo shoots, red peppers and water chestnuts. If you want to make it spicy either add ground green chillies or chilli flakes.
  • Also if the family eat eggs then use 2 large eggs and make an omelette. Add this in step 5.
  • Cauliflower rice is quite a versatile ingredient. You can use it in various dishes.
  • Prepare all the vegetables when you are ready to eat.
You may want to check out the other guest posts:
eggless zucchini bread muffins
eggless pineapple upside down cake


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Monday, 3 April 2017

631. Pina Colada Overnight Oats

Sea, sand and Pina Colada

     Ok, its not the drink Pina Colada that I'm going to blog about. However, the name Pina Colada makes one think of sunny sandy beaches, blue seas and lazing on the sunbed with a Pina Colada to keep you cool. 

     The #FoodieMonday #Bloghop group decided on #Coconutmilk as the #86th theme. I was happy as I could just think of pina colada muffins (which has been on my 'to do' list for ages). However, hubby dear dashed all my hopes of baking muffins as he just said pretty adamantly 'no baking muffins in this house, there's been too many muffins.' Truthfully, haven't blogged a new muffin recipe in a long time, but how do I explain to hubby dear that the ones I baked last week were for friends and neighbours as they had requested for them. Anyway,will bake them pretty soon.

    So, now had to think of a healthy way to use coconut milk. I've already blogged quite a few Kenyan coastal dishes using coconut milk so what else, what else kept on revolving in my head. There is still no respite from the hot, hot weather here, we're suppose to have rains! Having a hot bowl of oats in the morning is not so appealing and am getting bored of daily smoothies with oats in them. That's when I thought of the overnight oats that my daughter had prepared for me when I was in Bangalore with her last year. She made overnight oats and added the seeds and nuts the next day and breakfast was ready. I kept on staring at my portion and kept on thinking these oats are going to be gooey and I hate gooey oats. Nami said 'mum go on just try it, one spoon, if you don't like them then I'll prepare something else for you.' Put one spoon in my mouth and it was not gooey at all and tasted chilled, creamy and delicious.

   That's when I thought, ok its going to be a healthy dish, pina colada overnight oats.Before you check out the recipe for the Pina Colada Overnight Oats, here are a few tips on preparing overnight oats. 

Base: of course oats. Many recommend steel cut oats, but they tend to remaining a bit hard. Some say no to quick oats. What I say is use any type you like. I used quick cooking oats and the end result was a nice creamy consistency with a little bite.

Liquid: Add any liquid you prefer right from normal milk, soya milk, nut milk, coconut milk to juices. Basically, the liquid should cover the oats.

Add protein:  can be plain of flavoured yogurt, greek yogurt (makes the oats more creamier), peanut butter or  any other nut butter.

Add the crunch: Add nuts like almonds, hazelnuts, cashew nuts, pistachios. Add seeds like pumpkin, sunflower, hemp seeds or flax seeds, chia seeds. Whatever you prefer.

Add fruit: Can be fresh, canned or dried or a mixture of any. Berries, cherries, banana, mango, apple, peaches, grapes, dates, coconut...whatever you have at hand.

Sweetener: From sugar, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, agave nectar to stevia and jams. Your choice.

Finally Spice it up: cinnamon, cardamom, chai masala, ginger powder, gingerbread spice, pumpkin bread spice, or extracts like vanilla, orange, or just a bit of coffee.

And finally you need some empty jars --- jam/jelly jars, pickle jars, olive jars ... any jars with a lid. Ok, if you really insist you can go ahead and buy some of those fancy mason jars.

The basic idea is to soak the oats overnight or for at least 4-6 hours. You can add the spices, sweetener, nuts, seeds and fruits. Or you can add the nuts, seeds and fruits in the morning. 

The advantages of making overnight oats:
a) You can have a chilled breakfast during the hot season and fill full at the same time.
b) Can carry your jar of goodness and have breakfast at work, No greasy canteen food.
c) Because you prepare it the previous night, no rushing around in the morning to get breakfast ready.
d) Time saver.
e) Aids in weight control or even to lose weight as overnight oats are filled with healthy nutrients.
f) The one I like the best-- who said overnight oats can be consumed only at breakfast? Think of it as a healthy option to curb your sweet tooth. Add a few dark chocolate chips and you've taken care of the craving.

My Pina Colada recipe is a guideline to making your own variety of overnight oats.And before you ask... no I did not add a dash of rum ! Can't start that early in the morning, can I? My recipe is for one serving only as hubby dear being a creature of habits, didn't want to deviate from his normal bowl of hot oatmeal with fruits and nuts.






PINA COLADA OVERNIGHT OATS
Serves 1

¼ cup oats
½ - ¾ cups coconut milk
1 tsp chia seeds
½ cup of finely chopped fresh pineapple or crushed pineapple
1 tbsp shredded fresh coconut
1 tbsp almond and pistachio slivers
1 tbsp maple syrup
¼ tsp vanilla extract
  1. Add oats in a jar.
  2. Add the chia seeds, vanilla extract and maple syrup.
  3. Add coconut milk.
  4. Mix well. Put the lid on the jar.
  5. Put the jar in the fridge. 
  6. Next day add the chopped or crushed pineapple.
  7. Top it up with shredded coconut and almond pistachio slivers.
  8. Enjoy your healthy breakfast.
Tips:
  • I added the pineapple next day as I didn't want the fruit to make the milk taste sour.
  • Adding nuts the next day adds a bit of crunch, but you can add them at night too.
  • Here I used fresh home made coconut milk. You can use canned one. To make fresh coconut milk at home, grate the coconut finely. Put the grated coconut in a blender jug. Add enough water to just about cover the coconut. Process it for 30-50 seconds. Strain the liquid using a fine meshed sieve or cheesecloth. Squeeze out all the liquid from the coconut mixture. This is your first creamy milk. Put the grated coconut bake into the blender jug. Add some water. Process and strain. This is the thin coconut milk. I used the first thick milk for the oats. The second or thin milk can be used to prepare a curry, rice or even in soups. Don't throw away the grated coconut after processing it twice. Dry it at 100°C in the oven. When it is cool process it to make coconut flour.
  • If the soaked oats are too thick, add more milk if you prefer.
  • If you are using yogurt, reduce the amount of milk you use.
  • Remember chia seeds absorb a lot of liquid.
  • For me ¼ cup oats was more than enough as I added more fruit. You can take how much oats you prefer.
You may want to check out my other coconut milk recipes:

Vitumbua (East African coastal dish)
Nunu's Biryani
Mango Coconut Jelly

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