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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sweet Buns/Bread Rolls

These sweet rolls are easy and fun to make with a few ingredients from your pantry. Baking breads are not only therapeutic, but its a lot of fun and very comforting. In my kitchen, 'Coconut oil is the new Butter', so i have replaced butter (the original recipe calls for) with coconut oil. Also added the whole wheat flour for my satisfaction. The bread is not too sweet and every bite just melted in my mouth. You can make your own tweaks and twists, and enjoy the baking therapy. Here goes the recipe,


1 1/2 cups All purpose flour (Maida)
1/2 cup Whole wheat flour
1 Egg
2tbsp + 2tsp Coconut oil (Organic Extra virgin)
1 tbsp Canola oil
1/2 cup Luke warm Milk (i used 2%)
2tbsp +2tsp Sugar
1/4tsp Salt
1 1/2tsp Active Dry Yeast
1 Egg white, for brushing
How to:
  • Dissolve the sugar and yeast in the milk and let sit for 10 mins, until foamy.

  • In a large bowl, mix together the flours and salt, followed by the oils and egg.

  • Now pour the yeast mixture into the flour mixture and mix well.
  • When the dough starts to pull away from the sides, (its going to be really sticky, don't panic, make sure you a have a tbsp of flour by the side just enough to coat your hands) take it in your flour coated hands and keep on folding and pressing between your palms until it is smooth and a bit handle-able. (Do not add more flour to the dough when kneading. 'The stickier the dough, the softer the Bread'.) (Sorry, couldn't grab the camera for a click as my hands were playing with the sticky dough.)
  • Transfer the dough into a lightly oil coated bowl, wrap and let rest in a warm place for an hour, until doubled. (I kept inside microwave oven.)

  • Remove the dough, knead it for a min and cut into equal pieces.
  • Now line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, shape the dough into desired shapes and place it on the sheet.

  • Cover and let rest for another 30 mins inside the oven. The dough doubles again. (if you want to make smaller buns, make sure you cut the dough accordingly.)

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Slightly beat the egg white and brush the top just before baking.

  • Bake for 15-18 mins, until golden brown.

  • Let cool on a cooling rack before storing.

  • Serve warm with your morning cup of coffee or tea. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Whole Wheat Chicken-Feta Pizza (From Scratch) with Spinach-Mushroom Salad

Don't turn your back on this whole wheat pizza because it didn't taste like cardboard, for sure. The crust is prepared from a mix of wheat flour and APF. Also, i have added few dried herbs to the flour to make the crust even more flavorful. These days everybody is trying to sneak in some healthy stuff into their favorite dishes and one such dish is my pizza. For topping, use the real cheese, but in moderation and skip the low-fat ones. This way, you will feel full and satisfied and also escape from cravings. My next pizza will be 'all WWF, no APF'. I guess so...


2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 1/2 cups All purpose flour (Maida), divided
1 1/2 cups Warm Water
1 tbsp Active Dry Yeast
1/2tsp Italian Seasoning (optional)
1/2tsp Pizza Seasoning (optional)
1tbsp Olive oil, more for greasing 
1tsp Sugar
1tsp Salt
How to:

  • Dissolve the sugar and yeast in the warm water and let sit for 10 mins, until foamy.
  • In a big bowl, mix together the whole wheat flour, 1 cup APF, seasonings and salt.
  • Add the olive oil to the flour mixture and mix it well.
  • Now pour the yeast mixture to the flour mixture and mix until dough starts to come together.
  • Transfer the dough to a floured flat surface and start kneading by slowly adding the remaining 1/2 cup APF and prepare a smooth dough. Knead for 10 mins.
  • Now transfer the kneaded dough to a clean oiled bowl, wrap it with a kitchen towel and place it inside the microwave oven. (Do not switch on the oven.)
  • Let it rest for an hour, until doubled.
  • Once doubled, gently knead the dough for a min getting the air out of the dough.
  • Divide the dough into equal halves and let rest for another 45 mins in the same warm place.
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and grease a cookie sheet/ baking pan.
  • Transfer one dough ball onto the greased sheet/pan, gently press with your hands to make desired shape of equal thickness. (You can make 2 thin crust pizzas.)


Pizza Sauce (see the recipe here)
1/2 small Green Bell Pepper (thinly sliced)
1/2 small Red Onion (thinly sliced)
1/2 cup Shredded chicken (already cooked)
1/4 cup Crumbled Feta Cheese
2 Fresh Mozzarella balls (sliced and cubed)

  • Spread the sauce over the dough leaving 1/2 to 1 inch from the sides.
  • Top it with pepper, onion, chicken the cheeses.
  • Bake for 18 mins, until the crust is golden brown and the cheeses are all melted.
  • Slice it up and devour. 

Spinach-Mushroom Salad:


2 handfuls Fresh Baby Spinach
2 White Button Mushrooms (thinly sliced)
1/4 Red onion (thinly sliced)
1tbsp Crumbled Feta Cheese
1tbsp Olive Oil
1tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
1tsp low sodium Soy Sauce
1/4tsp Ground Black Pepper
How to:
  • Toss together the spinach, mushroom, red onion and feta.
  • In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, vinegar, soy sauce and black pepper.
  • Pour the dressing over the spinach and mushroom and give it a gentle mix.
  • Serve as a side with pizza.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Mug Muffin

'Muffin in a mug' sounds really fun and cool. This muffin will be ready to eat in just 2 mins (including the prep time). I found this recipe from the Dr Oz's show, under the session "jumpstart your day'. I tried this today morning and it tasted really good. It rises up like a soufflé and sinks down a bit, once taken out of the oven. The texture was very soft and light. I ate the whole muffin and the protein and fiber kept me full and satisfied for more than 3 hrs now. The original recipe calls for 1 packet of stevia and 2tsp Cinnamon powder, but i replaced stevia with sugar as i did not have it handy. And the actual sugar substitution is, 1 packet stevia=2tsp of Sugar. This will be a perfect healthy on-the-go breakfast. 


1/4 cup Flax meal (Ground Flaxseed)
1 Egg
1tsp Cinnamon powder
1tsp Baking powder
1 1/2tsp Sugar
1tsp Coconut oil (Organic Extra Virgin)
 How to:
  • Pour the coconut oil into the mug, followed by the flax meal, cinnamon powder, baking powder and sugar. Mix well.
  • Now break the egg, add it to the mixture and beat with a fork.
  • Microwave for 55 seconds. 
  • With a knife gently loosen the edges and transfer it to a plate.
  • Serve warm as breakfast to jumpstart your day.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Birthday Dinner at 'LOLA'

Yesterday, booked a dinner reservation at the Lola restaurant in Seattle to celebrate Senthil's birthday. This was our 2nd time visiting the Lola. It is one of Chef Tom Douglas's restaurants. He defeated Masaharu Morimoto in one of the Iron Chef America episode. We have also been to his other restaurant 'Serious Pie' which is a pizzeria. Ok, enough about the Chef, lets talk about the food.

We started off with an appetizer of Pita bread with a couple of Lola spreads. 

Kopanisti~Pistachio, Mavrodaphne : This is made by mixing 80% Feta cheese and 20% blue cheese, topped with pistachio and drizzled with sweet wine reduction.
Fava Skordalia~garlic spread : This is just like hummus, but made from fava beans and not chickpea.

Unfortunately, there is no pic as we were both hungry and didn't bother to click it.

The 2nd course is the Entrée,

I had Chicken kebabs which are skewered and served over charred onions, lemon and a shot of ouzo. Ouzo is an anise- flavored drink that are consumed widely in Greece, which stimulates the appetite. These are served mostly in authentic Greek restaurants. 
The chicken simply melted in my mouth. I left my plate clean.

Senthil had Goat Kleftiko, which is like a pot pie, stuffed with carrots, leeks, cipollini onions and feta with a crust. Kleftiko is a Greek recipe for slow roasting a joint of meat with herbs until the meat is moist, succulent, tasty and falling of the bone.
He loves goat and devoured every bite of it. 

As a common dish, we had Brussels Sprouts with apple and bacon spiced with Ras al hanout. It nothing but a famous Moroccan spice blend. Ras al Hanout means 'top of the shop' and refers to the mixture of best spices the seller has to offer.
The brussels sprouts were juicy along with the apple and the spices really kick it up a notch. It was sweet, salty and spicy altogether. 

The 3rd course is the Dessert,

I had deep fried Mini Donuts with Cinnamon and Sugar along with a side of Vanilla Mascarpone Cheese and Cherry Jam. The donuts were soft and butter and the vanilla mascarpone was the best. The cherry jam was a bit sour for my taste. Btw, this was the dish that Giada De Laurentiis, the celebrity chef had For the Food network's 'The best thing I ever ate- Totally Fried' show. 


Senthil had Goat Cheese Turnover with Pistachio, mint and honey. It looked kind of like our south Indian Somas. The fillings were goat cheese and lots of lemon zest, so it tasted a bit lemony. And it ended up in his not-so-favorite list. 

And to wash it all down, Senthil had Espresso-tini. It is made from stoli Vanilla, Espresso, Bailey's, Kahlua and chocolate rim. It was bitter for my taste and i am not a fan of coffee, so i let him drink it.

At the end of day, it was a great dinner. No Complaints. 


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