Spicy almond baked tofu rice bowl

Tofu is a staple ingredient in our home. We love tofu because it is high in protein, low- carb, super inexpensive and delicious when its prepared in right way. Tofu is so versatile and there are so many dishes we make regularly.

I have been experimenting lots of tofu recipes in my new air fryer and so far loving the low fat option. I have made tofu many various ways (baked, pan fried, marinated) and this is by far my favorited. Besides the crispy baked tofu, you are going to fall in love with the super flavorful spicy almond sauce that it is coated in!

I would suggest getting extra firm tofu and pressing it for 30 minutes. You can press it however you life, however I do have tofu presser at home which i ordered from amazon and love! The more water you take out of the tofu, the faster the process becomes. I love my tofu press, since it does the most hard work for me.

I made this dish in my air fryer and whipped it out under 15 minutes. Its quick, healthy and delicious! While the tofu is baking, you can whip up the sauce and pairing to go with it. At times I like to eat this with green veggies and rice. Sometimes I like to avoid carbs and just add this tofu to my salad.

There are many various types of sauces that go well with crispy tofu. Spicy Almond chilli sauce is the BOMB! its so flavorful and saucy, it coats every single nook and cranny of the crispy tofu!. I know that you are going to love it as much as i do! This recipe makes a pretty good amount of sauce. I like our tofu really saucy so I tend to drizzle a little extra over the plate. If you dont like a lot of sauce you can freeze half of the sauce for dinner another night.

I use to use peanut butter instead of almond butter but since my son is allergic to peanuts, now my go to choice is almond butter. Def go ahead and give it a go! Dont forget to share your deliciousness when you make it!

Ingredients:

1 block of extra firm tofu – pressed for 30 minutes until excess water is out

Ingredients for sauce:

2 tbsp of almond butter or peanut butter

2 tbsp of maple syrup

1 tbsp of soy sauce

3-4 tbsp of water

1 -2 tsp of sriracha sauce (adjust for heat)

1 – 2 tbsp huy fong chili garlic sauce (adjust for heat)

1 inch of ginger grated (optional – if you like ginger/ at times i add and other times i omit)

1 tsp of garlic powder or grated garlic

1-2 tsp of oil

Method:

Tofu- Take the tofu out of the box and press for 30 minutes to remove excess water.  Cut tofu cubes and gently toss them in oil and sprinkle some salt. You can bake the pieces for 30 minutes in oven at 375 degrees – flipping halfway through. I usually end up air frying my tofu until crispy.

Sauce: Take all the sauce ingredients and mix it well together.  Turn on the stove, add all the sauce ingredients and bring it to simmer. Add little water if it starts becoming thick. Turn off the stove. Add your crispy tofu to the sauce and toss it well. Toss the tofu until its evenly coated. Garnish with cilantro, sesame seeds and green onions. Serve with rice or salad. Enjoy!

 

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Vegetable manchow soup (Indo-chinese manchow soup)

52344254_10155924430226643_932007297641611264_nHot soups bring comforting warmth during the cold winter months and vegetable manchow soup is one of the favorite soups we enjoy. Vegetable manchow soup is a spicy, hot and sour indo-chinese soup loaded with crunchy vegetables flavored with soy sauce and vinegar and thickened with a cornstarch  or arrowroot mixture. Once you have relished the indo-chinese flavors, your palate will crave for more….

This soup is my go to comfort food when i am suffering from stuffy nose or a bad throat infection! All that ginger and garlic almost works like magic potion and the veggies sure fill me up when i am not in the mood to eat anything heavier. This recipe is very easy, basically you can add any veggies that are available in your refrigerator. I usually add carrots, french beans, mushrooms, cabbage, capsicum, spring onions, broccoli, and anything else that is available at the time. I generously add lots of ginger and garlic, which makes the soup come to life!! Now lets make some soup, its an ideal meal in itself!

51734081_10155924430146643_3687901676192137216_nIngredients:

1/4 cup cabbage finely chopped

1/4 cup carrots finely chopped

1/4 cup bell pepper finely chopped

1/4 cup mushrooms finely chopped

1/4 cup onions finely chopped

3 tbsp green onions (finely chopped)

1 tbsp garlic finely minced

1 tbsp ginger finely minced

2-3 tbsp cilantro finely minced

2-3 jalapeños finely minced

3 cups of vegetable stock or water

2 tbsp of EVOO

2 tsp of soy sauce

1 tsp of vinegar

2 tbsp of cornstarch or arrowroot in 1/4 cup of water – thickener for the soup

1 tsp black pepper

salt to taste

51506006_10155924430181643_7188346158970830848_nMethod:

Heat oil in a deep medium size pan. Once hot, add finely chopped onions, ginger, garlic, green chilies. Saute for a minute on high heat. Add all the chopped vegetables for couple of minutes – make sure you don’t overcook because you need little crunch from the vegetables in the soup.

Add 3 cups of vegetable stock or water to the vegetable and bring it to boil. Add all the seasonings and vinegar. Adjust salt, soy sauce, vinegar to get a balance flavor. Stir in corn starch or arrowroot paste to the soup and heat till it thickens. If you want a thicker soup, add more corn starch or arrowroot. Mix well until heated through, garnish with chopped green onions or cilantro and serve piping hot soup by it self or with dumplings. 51682670_10155924432561643_1297882504887271424_n

Baked eggs in avocado

51556265_10155923852471643_8108293051006320640_n.jpgHave you ever thought of baking avocados? I know its never the first thought that comes to anyones mind. However, baked avocados are so yummy because the texture becomes even creamier. Baked egg in avocado is a fun way to have a balanced snack or meal. I love this recipe because it is an amazing low carb option with perfect amount of fiber, protein and healthy fats. I love making this recipe when I am in time crunch or when I want to eat something very filling.

This recipe is very simple, easy and customizable. This dish can be made within 5 minutes and also can be prepped ahead of time for parties. I love how everyone gets a portion and customized with different toppings of their choice. Scoop out some avocado for the egg to fit, which I promise you it is more than you think. First time everyone makes a mistake and has a spillage, BUT IT IS OK! Cooking is an art and we learn from trial and errors to get perfection 😉

PRO TIP-

Make sure your avocados are room temp and not refrigerated. Scoop out about 1-1.5 tbsp of avocado to create enough room for your egg. If you scoop deep, it will take longer for the egg to cook. Use large eggs. Extra large or jumbo will be too big for the avocado. After cutting avocados, I like to press them against the pan to get somewhat flat surface so it stays stable on the pan so the eggs dont spill out. There are two ways to insert the egg. You can either gently crack the egg and let any whites overflow into your baking dish (it’ll happen). Or, you can crack the egg into a small bowl, then use a spoon to transfer the yolk into the avocado first and add just enough egg white to fit the cavity. Either way works.

52111495_10155923852406643_7664783848869199872_n.jpgIngredients: 

1 large avocado, halved and pit removed

2 eggs

1/3 cup of tomatoes, finely chopped

1/3 cup of onions, finely chopped

1-2 thai chillies, finely chopped

salt and pepper

other spices as desired (chili powder, cumin-coriander powder, garlic/ginger powder)

Method: 

Preheat oven to 350F or you can also make these in your airfryer. Carefully scoop out enough avocado from the center for each half to make room for an egg. In a baking dish with sides, place avocado halves cut side up. Press little to get somewhat of flat surface. Crack an egg in each half of the avocado. Add your veggies, seasonings on top and bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes or 450F in air fryer for 10 minutes. You can drizzle any sauce you like prior serving. I love eating my eggs with avocado salsa and sriracha sauce. 51405160_10155923852436643_9053605036344475648_n.jpg

Spicy japanese eggplant stir-fry

51283423_10155916148081643_8098990160433119232_nSince I am still job hunting, I find some time during the day to cook low carb recipes and to update my blogs. We have some kind of routine down with my kiddo going to school now. Still its amazing how fast time flies by during the day. I do manage to find an hour for my self to go to gym though and been committed. On the other side when it comes to food, I am little laid back LOL. I have cheat days here and there. My goal is to keto adapt most of the regular recipes so I dont keep cooking 2 different meals every meal.

51341508_10155916147991643_8237153795147038720_nSpicy japanese eggplant dish is my all time fav recipe. This dish is so easy and outrageously delicious. It is spicy, sweet and amazingly paired with rice, quinoa, or cauliflower rice. Anytime I am craving asian/thai, this is my to go food at home. My original recipe isnt low carb or keto but I have changed couple of things from my original recipe to make it adaptable to keto diet. I will be sharing both options here, you can make it as your heart desires. Hope you love this dish as much as I do. If you end up making it than please don’t forget to share your experience with me.

Ingredients:

2 large japanese eggplant (cut into 1 inch cubes)

1 onion – diced

2-3 thai basil leaves chopped (optional)

2 tbsp coconut oil

2-3 tbsp garlic cloves finely chopped

2-3 tbsp ginger finely chopped

2 tbsp brown sugar (if you are doing keto than add 2 single serving packets of pyure)

2 tbsp sambal oelek (chili garlic sauce)

1 tbsp sriracha sauce

2 tbsp molasses (if you are doing keto than add 1 tbsp of choc zero caramel syrup)

2 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce

1 tbsp white vinegar

2-3 tbsp crushed red pepper (adjust to your comfort level)

salt to taste

1/2 cup water

scallions – chopped to garnish

51511168_10155916148056643_4887452584169701376_n.jpgMethod:

Heat 1 tbsp of coconut oil in a pan. Once hot, add chopped eggplant. Add salt and crushed red pepper flakes. Saute over medium heat until tender but not mushy.  Maybe 5-8 minutes.  Set aside in a bowl.

Using the same pan, heat 1 TBS coconut oil & saute the onion with a bit of crushed red pepper. Add garlic, ginger. When the garlic begins to brown add brown sugar (pyure), sriracha, sambal oelek (or chili garlic sauce), molasses (choc zero caramel), soy sauce, white vinegar & water. Add eggplant and mix well.  Simmer over med-low heat for 10-15 minutes.  Stir in some chopped basil (if using). Serve over rice, quinoa, or cauliflower rice. Garnished with additional chopped basil, the scallions.

51100889_10155916148026643_4412771488650756096_nP.S. You will be amazed how delicious this dish is that you end up eating it by itself. Most of the time I end up eating the whole dish by it self without any rice or quinoa. It is quite spicy so adjust the heat to your comfort level.

Instant pot guvar dhokli curry (cluster beans with wheat dumplings)

51086958_10155907227416643_1031771077165973504_nGuvar Dhokli, is delectable, robust and authentic recipe which is quite popular in Gujarati community. This recipe hails from the region of Kathiyawad. It’s main course dish made of spicy flour dumplings ( Dhokli ) cooked with Cluster beans. In this recipe flour dumplings are made of wheat flour and this dish can be made in jiffy, if preparations are done early. If preparations are not done early than the process can be very lengthy.

51186809_10155907227446643_5050366496207798272_nAs a foodie and food blogger, I always experiment with traditional dishes, maybe I would add one new ingredient or omit one. It’s always trial and error and with that I have had many disappointments and successes too. I was rushed this evening so I decided to make this dish in instant pot. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out but it was success! My instant pot recipe can make this whole process very easy for you. You can whip up this curry within 20 minutes from start to finish. This recipe stands out as you can have as main course with Rice, Roti or paratha or if you are like me just have it on it’s own, the way you devour Daal Dhokli.

Ingredients:

1.5 cups guvar /cluster beans

1 tbsp EVOO

2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp garlic ginger paste

2 cup water

salt to taste

2 tsp oil

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

1/2 tsp ajwain seeds/carom seeds

1/2 tsp asafoetida/hing

1 tsp green chilis finely chopped

4-5 curry leaves

2-3 dry red chilis

For dhokli:

1/2 cup wheat flour

2 tbsp gram flour/Besan

1/2 tsp Chili powder

1/2 tbsp garlic paste

salt to taste

1/2 tsp ajwain/carom seeds

1/4 tsp asafoetida

1 tbsp EVOO

water- little at time to knead the dough

Method:

In a bowl, Mix all the dhokli ingredients together. Take little water at a time to knead the dough. The dough should just soft enough to roll it into tortillas. If your dough is sticky than add little bit of wheat flour. If too hard then add little water and knead it more until soft. Once the dough is proper consistency, roll it into tortillas.

50936721_10155907227311643_436426070921576448_nMake sure when you roll the tortillas, it should not be medium consistency (not too thin or thick).

51010836_10155907227341643_8205257293537738752_nOnce desired thickness, cut it in any shape you like. I used round small cookie cutter. Once cut in desired shape, keep it aside.

50984085_10155907227371643_5639493085592289280_nWash and Trim cluster beans on both sides and chop into medium size pieces. Turn on instant pot on saute mode and add oil. Once hot add mustard seeds, red chilis, cumin seeds, carom seeds, and curry leaves. Once crackle, add chopped green chilies, ginger/garlic paste, and cluster beans. Add all the spices (asafoetida, chili powder, turmeric, and salt). Mix well. Add 2 cups of water and once it comes to boil than add dhokli (wheat dumplings) inside. Close the lid and seal it. Turn off the saute mode and turn it on chili/bean mode for 3 minutes. Once the timer goes off, instantly release the pressure.

50979292_10155907227286643_4891505676087459840_n Serve it hot by it self or with tortilla (roti) or rice.

P.S. if you want dry curry than add little less water or boil it until it evaporates. Adjust the spices to your comfort level. if your dumplings are too thick than it may not be cooked in 3 minutes. If the cluster beans and dumplings are not cooked than cook for another minute.

Dragonfruit beets chia smoothie/pudding

50022194_10155903173726643_3332613301338112000_nEveryday my goal to self is to attend bootcamp, either its 530am or anytime of the day. After working out for an hour, I am exhausted and hungry. I don’t like drinking protein shakes everyday, hence I tend to experiment with different low carb recipes. Last week I was in grocery store and they were organizing dragon fruits. The bright purple color caught my eye. I have had dragon fruit drinks outside but never had experimented anything at home. I originally brought it for pancakes but ended up making smoothie/pudding today.

This smoothie is perfect post workout and as a snack when you’re feeling drenched from the day and its not even bedtime yet. But you know the hard part of the day (especially if you have kids) ain’t over yet. This is when you reach for that pick-me-up snack. I want you to add one more healthy, easy and filling snack to that line-up: chia pudding/smoothie! Most of the time I make my chia pudding with only 3 ingredients: chia seeds, yogurt or milk and a sweetener of choice. When it settles in the fridge, it has a pudding texture, amazing flavor and lends itself to endless topping possibilities. It’s a snack will leave you feeling satisfied, satiated and so energized for your day!

Today I wanted to incorporate dragon fruit in my smoothie/pudding. I realized that dragon fruit is very bland, hence it would take up any flavors that you would add to your smoothie/pudding. I got this amazing organic beet powder from Costco, which I have been adding daily to my protein shakes, so I thought let me experiment today 😉

50758764_10155903173761643_4160966167495704576_nIngredients:

1/2 dragon fruit

1/2 cup coconut milk

2 tbsp chia seeds

2 tbsp honey

2 scoops of windmill vitamin organic beets powder

1/2 tsp of cocoa powder (garnishing)

Ice cubs

Method:

Smoothie: Add all the ingredients in blender and blend until its uniform. You can add the ice first or later, your preference. Serve it cold.

Pudding: Add dragon fruit, coconut milk, honey, beets powder in blender and blend until its uniform. Take it out in a mason jar or any container. Add chia seeds and ice cubes. Close the jar or container and mix until all the chia seeds are incorporated into the milk. If you have to close the jar and shake it well. You have to make sure there aren’t any clumps. Drizzle cocoa powder on top. Place it overnight or for 2-3 hours for the chia seeds to absorb all the milk and become pudding consistency. 50788738_10155903173701643_604612751100215296_n

Vegetable rice vermicelli noodles

51121361_10155903036711643_6111586738193301504_nIn my opinion, recipes must always be quick and easy. You know, the kind of recipes that you can whip up in a jiffy, and that doesn’t even need the use of accurate measurements. Do you love such recipes? Then read on to learn all about this rush hour recipe that also happens to be super delicious. This is my toddlers favorite meal and he can eat this any time of the day. My kiddo is very picky when it comes to vegetables hence I have to make different variety of dishes to squeeze in the veggie servings. When I make this dish for my husband and I, its quite different then when its made for my son. My version has lots of veggies and my kiddos version has 1-2. Today I was making this dish for my kiddo, hence it only has onions, tomatoes and carrots. However, you can add practically any veggies you like. I love adding asparagus, green beans, peas, etc.. go crazy with your choice of veggies.

Ingredients:

1-2 cups of rice vermicelli noodles

1 cup shredded carrots

1 cup finely chopped onions

1/2 cup finely chopped tomatoes

salt to taste

1 tsp of ginger paste

1 tsp of garlic paste

1 tsp of chili powder

1 tsp of soy sauce

pinch of sugar

1 tbsp of EVOO

51357641_10155903036706643_7867312323042476032_nMethod:

  1. Prepare the vermicelli noodles according to the package directions. Normally soak them in hot boiling water for 3-4 minutes then drain and rinse them under cold water. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pan, once hot add finely chopped onions and tomatoes. Once translucent, add carrots, ginger, garlic, sugar, and salt. Mix well, cook for 3-4 minutes. Add noodles and soy sauce. Mix well and cook until warm throughout. Serve warm.

50792645_10155903036721643_8513722746679590912_nP.S. You can add chopped green chillies and other veggies as you wish. This is my sons fav noodle recipe hence I shared exactly the way he likes it. I like mine with little more heat and lots of veggies (green beans, carrots, onion, tomato, asparagus, bell pepper, broccoli)

Quinoa black bean stuffed peppers

50914145_10155899442611643_2657130140995158016_nIts almost end of January, so how are those new year resolutions coming? I love how everyone keeps me motivated by sharing their little victories. I also go to a gym called burn boot camp here since I moved and it has really kept me on my toes. Motivated to eat better and workout 6 days a week. It has really kept me on track this month with my eating goals. I have been making swaps for healthier foods and having little non-scale victories for myself.

I love quinoa and its very important to have this in a diet if you are vegetarian. It is great for supporting weight loss and management, it has protein, fiber and minerals. I know it has unique texture, but it is very bland and absorbs all the flavors that you add to it. I love making different varieties of stuffings to add to veggies and baking them into deliciousness.

I love mexican food with a kick and since I cant have real mexican food due to my low carb/healthy diet, I try to twist healthy dishes with mexican flavors. Seriously, this stuff is so good! definitely hits the spot when you are craving mexican. I love stuffed peppers because it gives everyone their own individual pepper that is stuffed to the brim with goodness.

This dish is very easy to make and you can whip this up in 20 minutes. these are good last minute meal options or can be prepped ahead of time for gatherings. You can add any meats/toppings you like to your stuffed peppers. I hope you enjoy this dish as much as we did!

Ingredients:

3 large bell peppers (any color you want)

1 cup cooked quinoa (can be made ahead of time/or instantly in instant pot – high pressure cook for 3 minutes)

1 large onion chopped finely

1-2 jalapenos chopped finely

1 tomato chopped finely

1 tbsp garlic finely chopped

1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)

1/2 tbsp chili powder (adjust to your comfort level)

1 tbsp cumin-coriander powder

1/2 tbsp lime juice

salt to taste

1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese

1/2 cup cilantro finely chopped

1/2 cup chopped bell pepper

1 avocado sliced

1/2 tbsp of EVOO

51048623_10155899442541643_7609217224145895424_nMethod:

  1. Cook the quinoa ahead of time or you can cook them instantly in instant pot on high pressure for 3 minutes with seal closed while you are prepping the vegetables.
  2. In a large skilled, add EVOO. Once hot add chopped jalapenos, garlic, onion, tomato. Saute until translucent. Add chopped onion and bell pepper. Saute for couple minutes. Add all the seasonings (salt, cumin-coriander powder, chili powder). Mix well and add black beans and cooked quinoa to the veggies. Saute for 1-2 minutes and turn off the heat. Top the stuffing off with lime juice and chopped cilantro. 50807588_10155899442481643_7561735978436526080_n
  3. Prep the bell peppers and scoop the mixture into the insides of the peppers. Top them off with pepper jack cheese. Bake at 400degrees for about 15-20 mins until the peppers start to soften and the insides are heated throughout. The cheese on top should be melted by the time and maybe little crispy.
  4. Take them out of the oven, top it off with sliced avocados and chopped cilantro. Serve stuffed bell pepper with lime wedge. Squeeze the lime juice over it prior eating, its quite delicious!

P.S. I dont like corn hence I did not add it. You can also top the stuffed pepper with sour cream. Go crazy with stuffing, add any veggies, meats, and cheese you want in your stuffed peppers. Hope you enjoy this dish as much as we do in our home.

51094048_10155899442546643_5422792043975933952_n

Grilled Veggie Mayonnaise Sandwiches

50125807_10155876888176643_1893663510441754624_nI love sandwiches because they are so versatile, fun to make, comfortable to pack and carry in lunch box and loved by kids as well as adults. Grilled veggie mayo sandwich is a quick meal option that can be made in minutes with very few ingredients. You can use vegan mayo or cream cheese or sour cream if you don’t like the mayo taste or following certain diet.

Mayonnaise filling is one of my favorite because it quick and easy last minute option and can be done in a jiffy! You don’t really need any special ingredients, this can be made with everything that you have in the refrigerator.

49938776_10155876888071643_8058537654473457664_nAlso, these sandwiches are amazing when grilled but again its optional. It comes out equally tasty grilled or not. This time I have used panini maker but you can also toast/grill sandwich on stove or griller. This sandwich can be served in any meal of the day with any choice of your dip or sides. This recipe takes literally 15 minutes from start to finish. You can pick your choice of veggies or whatever its available in your refrigerator.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup finely chopped onions

1/4 cup finely chopped bell pepper

1/4 cup finely chopped carrots

1/4 cup finely chopped cucumber

1/4 cup finely chopped cabbage

1/4 cup cilantro finely chopped

1/4 cup corn

2-3 cups of mayonnaise (add little at a time)

1 tbsp chili flakes

1 tbsp chili garlic sauce (optional)

1 tbsp black pepper

Shredded/sliced cheese –  I used cabot pepper-jack cheese this time

Bread

Butter

Cilantro-mint-chili chutney

2 boiled potato – sliced

1 medium onion – sliced

1 bell pepper – sliced

1-2 cucumber – sliced

1-2 roma tomatoes – sliced

50271415_10155876888291643_6529648564044300288_n

Method:

50020074_10155876888101643_1167075711064735744_n

To prepare sandwich filling, mix all the finely chopped veggies (cabbage, carrots, bell pepper, onion, cucumber, corn, cilantro) in a mixing bowl. Add mayonnaise, black pepper, chili flakes, chili garlic sauce)

49948146_10155876888006643_8413952163927031808_nTake a slice of break, spread spoonful of sandwich filling and top that slice off with choice of shredded cheese. Take another slice of bread, apply green chutney, and stack all the sliced veggies on it. Combine both sides together. Apply some butter on top and the bottom and grill or toast this until golden brown/crispy on both the sides.

50914570_10155876888246643_5090590149130059776_nYour sandwich is ready! Serve it with ketchup or your choice of dip/chutney. Enjoy!