Double Chocolate Chip Wholegrain Cookies


I try to make up for my sometimes debilitating weakness for sweet things by sneaking in healthier substitutes for some of the ingredients, such as wholemeal flour or brown sugar, or replacing part of the flour with soy flour for added protein. Often, and happily for me, the results are tastier than their white-flour alternatives. As I consider chocolate nutritious anyway, it shows up twice in this recipe 😉

  • 2 cups wholemeal flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup cocoa
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar, brown or white
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 175C
  2. Cream, with a handmixer, the butter and sugar till whitish and fluffy
  3. Add vanilla and eggs, continue to beat
  4. In a separate bowl, sieve together the flour, baking powder and soda and cocoa
  5. Add the cocoa-flour mixture to the wet ingredients gradually, blend till done
  6. Stir the walnuts and chocolate chips into batter
  7. By spoonfuls, drop onto a Pam-ed baking tray, patting it down with wetted fingers if needed
  8. Bake 11 to 12 minutes.

June 25, 2008. Tags: . Baked Goods, Cookies, Kids Cuisine. Leave a comment.

Apple


Apple facts:

  • China is the world’s biggest apple producer, spouting out 25 million of the fruit in 2005, with the US a distant second at 4 million
  • Apples could indeed keep the doctor away, with studies indicating they could reduce the risk of various cancers
  • Apples have vitamin C and other antioxidant compounds, as well as fiber
  • The Big Apple is a moniker for New York City
  • The term was first made popular in the 1920s by John J Fitz Gerald, a sports writer for the New York Morning Telegraph, in a reference to horse racing
  • The nickname is said to have its roots in African-American culture
  • And, not least, the Big Apple is where we’re headed next. Woo hoo!

June 22, 2008. Tags: , . Fruit, Fruit Salads, Musings, Nutrition. Leave a comment.

Blueberry Muffins – Reprise


Perhaps it’s time I reminded myself of the existence of the other, lesser berries, but what can I say? ‘Tis the season for blueberries. Not only do they cost half as much as they did six weeks ago – which explains why I keep grabbing pints of them, but the warm, spring sunshine has plumped them up to twice their size in May and bursting with ever-so-blue flavour!

Do click on the title for a peek at the ingredients. The muffins take minutes to make and they will disappear as quickly 😉

June 19, 2008. Tags: . Baked Goods, Breakfast, Fruit. Leave a comment.

Yummy Yoghurt

As a child growing up with my Indian grandparents, I was fortunate to have been introduced to live, homemade yoghurt and had lots of it, sometimes as a drink – lassi – thinned with milk, sweetened with a touch of sugar, and sometimes as an accompaniment to food, the thick white creamy yoghurt flecked with bits of red chilli, onion and ginger. Which, incidentally, I didn’t find spicy at all 🙂

When I was pregnant with my first son, I was delighted to come across a medical study which encouraged mothers-to-be to consume the stuff, based on indications that babies born to yoghurt-eating mums had healthier intestinal and digestive tracts and a stronger immune system. The argument was that the good bacteria in yoghurt and its acidity created an unconducive environment for bad bacteria.

Add to that the fact that yoghurt can minimise bad breath, mitigate the side effects of antibiotics, treat diarrhoea in babies and prevent yeast infections.

They had me at Yo….

My boys have had plain, live yoghurt almost every day with lunch and dinner since they were about seven months old and love it. I sometimes dress up their yoghurts as dessert, topped with chocolate rice or marshmallows or drizzled with maple syrup.

June 18, 2008. Tags: . Kids Cuisine, Nutrition, Superfood. Leave a comment.

Blueberry Pancakes


I simply can’t bring myself to make plain old white-flour pancakes and fear I have become a bit of a nutritition nazi since having kids. In case you’re wondering why blueberries are featured again, click on the title and you will see 🙂 These are delicious with just a dollop of butter and some pure maple syrup.

  • wholewheat flour, 1 1/2 cups
  • oats, 1 cup
  • fresh blueberries, 1 cup
  • salt, 1/2 tsp
  • milk, 2 cups
  • eggs, 2
  • baking soda, 1 tsp

  1. Beat the eggs by hand
  2. Add milk and salt
  3. Add flour and beat thoroughly, add oats
  4. Stir in blueberries, add baking soda
  5. Add ladleful onto preheated pancake pan
  6. Continue till done. Pancakes can be kept warm in a 70C oven to allow the chef to join the family at breakfast 😀

June 14, 2008. Tags: , . Breakfast, Brunch, Fruit, Nutrition. Leave a comment.

Chick Peas with Tomato and Cummin


Definitely one of my favourites when I fancy something spicy, this is a mild version of channa masala, a fragrant and tangy chick pea dish with tomatoes. Indian cooking can be a long-drawn and complicated affair, but I, regularly crunched for time and patience, enjoy taking liberties and simplifying the process. Having said that, don’t let the list of ingredients daunt you!

  • 1 can chickpeas (540ml), in water
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 green chillies, chopped and seeded (if wished)
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cummin
  • curry leaves (if possible), small handful
  • 1 cup stock, veg or chicken
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • splash of lemon juice
  • coriander leaves (cilantro), handful

  1. Saute onions in some canola oil till translucent
  2. Add mustard seeds, curry leaves (if using)
  3. Add ginger, garlic, turmeric, chillis and cummin
  4. Stir till fragrant on medium heat
  5. Add tomatoes and chickpeas, drained of water
  6. Add tomato paste and stock
  7. Simmer about 10 mins till tomatoes are done and sauce thickens
  8. Chop some coriander and add right at the end, with lemon juice
  9. Serve with brown rice, eat in a wholewheat wrap or with naan or chapati, with a good dollop of yoghurt

June 14, 2008. Tags: , , . Asian, Indian, Sides, Vegetables, Vegetarian. Leave a comment.

Mommy Lois’ Pecan Pie


I have a vast collection of cook books, some of which remain semi-permanently in boxes for lack of shelf space. Yet I relish trawling through the Internet in search of inspiration. I found this particular recipe six years ago and, doing a search right now, I gleefully find it’s still there 🙂

I don’t know who Mommy Lois is, but she hit the nail on the head with this one. Chewy, nutty, gooey… mmmm, thank you Mommy! As usual I couldn’t help fiddling with the recipe here and there, using only brown sugar, for example, and substituting 1/4 cup of the corn syrup with molasses. All a matter of preference.

Pecan pie is clearly not something the average granny has a recipe for in the tropics, but here in the vast expanse of North America, where one might fancy warm, comfort food at least half the year, it fits right in. It’s probably more of an autumn or winter sweet, but I fancied one today, and hey, it’s my blog!

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar (I use brown)
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 3/4 cup corn syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Dash of salt

  1. Beat the eggs, add sugar and continue to mix
  2. Add butter, vanilla, salt
  3. Drizzle in corn syrup slowly while mixing
  4. Pour into ready pie mould (decorate with extra pecans if you like)
  5. Bake at 300F (150C) for about an hour till firmish and not wobbly.
  6. Wow, easy or what?

June 7, 2008. Tags: , . Baked Goods, Desserts. 3 comments.