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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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.

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.

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Fresh veggie spring rolls

2019 has been good so far, I have started working out 5-6 days a week and eating low carb/lazy keto most of the days. I do have cheat meal at least once a week. Sometimes I feel like it becomes like cheat meal 2-3 times a week but the goal is to be good m-sat and have cheat meal on Sunday. We just moved to new city/new home so it’s been hectic trying to unpack/renovate/adjust to the new city/looking for jobs..

My kiddo has started school and adjusting very well. Which leaves me with plenty of time in the morning to do things in the house and experiment new low carb dishes.

Starting low carb diet has its own struggles, since my husband and kiddo eats normal food and I am the only one whose adapting to this low carb diet. That means cooking 2 different meals. At times it gets hectic but meal prepping has been helping me a lot.

Fresh veggie spring rolls have saved my life. They are quick, easy to make and quite filling. If you get bored of eating same old salads, then this dish is for you! At times I make them in the morning and eat them whenever I get hungry. It’s healthier option compare to chips or other junk foods.

You can also make these at night for next day lunches. The filling options are endless, basic idea is to fill everything that you like and it’s available in your fridge! I usually go for veggies, healthier fats, eggs, tofu, paneer, cheeses.. anything really. If you eat meat or seafood, that also can be added with veggies. Add whatever you feel like eating or available at the time.

I love eating these fresh veggie spring rolls with sriracha ranch or spicy almond/peanut butter sauce. I will provide you recipe for the almond butter sauce that I make. I don’t really cook or bring peanuts in the house due to my kiddos allergies.

Ingredients:

1 rice paper wrapper (any brand)

1 cup shredded lettuce

1/2 cup shredded purple cabbage

1/3 cup shredded carrots

1 avocado sliced

2 cucumbers sliced

1 tbsp Barney almond butter

1 tbsp Huy Fong Chili Garlic Sauce (adjust to your comfort level)

1/2 tbsp pyure stevia or 1 tbsp of honey

1 tsp soy sauce

Hot water to soak in rice paper

Method:

Before making fresh veggie spring rolls, you want to have all the prep ready. Shred all your veggies and keep them aside. I had shredded/sliced all the veggies listed above and kept on the side until I was ready to make rolls.

You can also make the sauce ahead of time if you want. I am trying to make the sauce very low glycemic index (lazy keto way) so I am using pyure stevia. If you aren’t following any specific diet then you can add 1tbsp of honey instead.

To make the sauce add your almond butter or peanut butter, chili garlic sauce, honey or pyure stevia, soy sauce, and little bit of water. Mix thoroughly until it’s uniform and there your sauce is ready!

Now moving on to making fresh veggie spring rolls. Fill a bowl with hot water and keep it on the side along with all your stuffing prep. When you are ready, soak the rice paper in the hot water until it’s soft. Usually takes around 20-30 seconds. Once it’s soft, take it out and lay it on flat surface. Then right in the middle of the circle, add all your stuffing (veggies). Wrap bottom of the rice paper over the filling; fold in the sides. Continue rolling firmly to enclose the filling. Place roll, seam down on a plate. Continue with remaining wrappers. Can be refrigerated up to 3 hours (cover with damp paper towels.) Cut in half . Serve with spicy almond/peanut sauce.

Chilli Cilantro Lime Makhana (Fox Nuts)

50254831_10155874717736643_8712540025511739392_nAs we all know that Makhanas (fox nuts) acts as an anti-oxidant & is a rich source of calcium and fiber. They are also low in calories and free of gluten what more do you need. Due to its high magnesium & low sodium content, this gluten-free health food is beneficial to those suffering from high blood pressure, heart disease & obesity. It is also ideal for snacking anytime, as it is low in fat & controls cholesterol as well. Additionally, Makhana has a low glycemic index, making it an excellent choice for diabetics, while the presence of natural flavonoid called Kaempferol which prevents inflammation and aging. Meanwhile, according to Ayurvedic beliefs, Phool Makhana or Fox Nuts astringent properties benefit the kidneys.

I was introduced to Makhana couple years ago when I was visiting my moms place in philly and since then I was hooked! Over the years, I have attempted to make makhana using various different toppings and seasonings. I am going to share few with you starting with this one. This snack recipe is quick, easy and delicious. By the way did you know that Makhana provides so many health benefits and its extremely healthy snack compared to other snacks out there.

Along with this recipe please check out my other recipe, its called Spicy Masala Makhana

Ingredients:

3 cups of makhana

Black salt to taste

Black pepper to taste

Green chilies – finely chopped

Cilantro lime seasoning

1 tbsp EVOO

Method:

Heat oil in a pan. Once hot, add finely chopped green chillies. Roast them until they are crispy. Add makhana, roast makhana on low-medium heat to avoid burning them. Add salt, black pepper, and seasonings over the roasted makhana and toss them well to coat the seasonings evenly. Turn off the stove, let it cool and store in airtight container.

Curried Tofu

49645500_10155861489611643_3550624939339939840_nBaked tofu is a quick and easy plant based protein that tastes great! It comes together so easily, just whisk together a marinate, soak the tofu, spread the tofu on a pan, bake or roast, and enjoy! It comes out of the oven crispy, flavorful, and ready to add some zing to salads, noodle bowls, sandwiches, and more!!

Check out my other marinate recipe Grilled tofu with sriracha peanut sauce

I love to experiment different marinates to tofu and see the magic work itself! This one is quick and easy recipe and tofu comes out perfectly infused with indian spices!

Ingredients:

1 block of extra firm tofu

2 tsp of turmeric

2 tsp of chili powder

2 tsp cumin-coriander powder

2 tsp of ginger-garlic paste

1 tbsp of EVOO

salt to taste

pepper to taste

49452252_10155861489576643_6993753594654621696_n

Method:

In a bowl mix all the dry spices, ginger-garlic paste, EVOO. Mix it well. Drain the tofu water from the container and remove the excess water with towels. Cut the tofu in blocks, cubes or any shape you like. Mix the cut tofu in the bowl with spices. Let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour.

You can roast them on stove top with little oil until they are crispy or you can pop them in the oven at 350F for 15-20 minutes or until they are crispy.

Once crispy, let it cool. Store in air tight container.

You can eat them by it self or add to your sandwiches, salads, soups, noodles, rice, etc.. options are limitless. Go crazy with it!

 

 

Spicy Masala Makhana (Savory Lotus Seeds)

49405690_10155850155261643_1203368068751818752_nI was introduced to Makhana couple years ago when I was visiting my moms place in philly and since then I was hooked! Over the years, I have attempted to make makhana using various different toppings and seasonings. I am going to share few with you starting with this one. This snack recipe is quick, easy and delicious. By the way did you know that Makhana provides so many health benefits and its extremely healthy snack compared to other snacks out there.

Makhana is known by many names. Lotus Seeds, Fox Nut, Euryale Ferox, Gorgon nut etc.  These seeds are of great value in the Asian medicine and cuisine. Makhanas (fox nuts) acts as an anti-oxidant & is a rich source of calcium and fiber. They are also low in calories and free of gluten what more do you need. Due to its high magnesium & low sodium content, this gluten-free health food is beneficial to those suffering from high blood pressure, heart disease & obesity. It is also ideal for snacking anytime, as it is low in fat & controls cholesterol as well. Additionally, Makhana has a low glycemic index, making it an excellent choice for diabetics, while the presence of natural flavonoid called Kaempferol which prevents inflammation and aging. Meanwhile, according to Ayurvedic beliefs, Makhana or Fox Nuts astringent properties benefit the kidneys.

Ingredients:

3 cups of Makhana

1 tsp Mustard seeds

1 tsp Cumin seeds

1 tsp Asafetida (hing) powder

2 tsp Turmeric powder

2 tsp Chili powder (adjust spice level to your comfort)

black salt per taste

2-3 Red dry chilies

1 tbsp EVOO

Method: 

Heat oil in a pan. Once hot, add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Once they crackle, add red dry chili, asafetida and turmeric powder. Roast makhana until crunchy. Make sure to roast on a low-medium heat to avoid burning them. Once roasted is complete, Add chili powder and salt. Shut off the flame and mix well. Let them cool in another bowl. Store in air tight container.

P.S. At times I add chopped green chilies and garlic. If you want to add those toppings, you have to roast them very well until all the moisture is out, otherwise the makhanas will get soggy too.

49342374_10155850155271643_1985724510933876736_n

 

Keto Pav Bhaji

40012138_2040944715968647_371039024950804480_nPav means bread and bhaji means vegetable. It’s base of potato with green peppers, tomato and other veggies that are slow cooked into a nice spiced mash. This is further cooked with butter, onions and more spices. The key to the most delicious pav bhaji is normally the copious amount of butter used.

Obviously today we are making the keto pav bhaji which doesnt include the potato and instead of regular bread, it will be served with keto bread. Remember, cauliflower is the new potato.

This recipe makes 4 servings

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Ingredients

4 cups of cauliflower – chopped in medium cubes

1 roma tomatoes – finely chopped

1/2 medium size onion – finely chopped

3 tbsp of butter

2 tbsp of ginger garlic paste

3 tbsp pav bhaji masala – badshah brand

1 tbsp of chili powder

1/2 tbsp of peprika powder  – for red color

1 tbsp of peas

Salt to taste

Juice of half a lime

39976725_2143433412582011_5552034752443187200_n

Method

Cut the cauliflower into small cubes and pressure cook it or boil it in the water until its soft. Mash it with potato masher and keep it aside.

In a frying pan, add your oil+ 1.5 tbsp of butter and peprika powder and mix it well. Add ginger garlic paster, onions and cook them until soft. Add chopped tomatoes and all the spices and cook well until its uniform/thick gravy.

Once the oil starts to separate, add peas and mashed cauliflower into the gravy. Add some water in and give it all a final good mash in the pan and then depending on how thick or think you like it you will add water or cook it out further. Make sure to add the rest of the butter and lime juice at the end.

Garnish with finely chopped onions and fresh coriander. Serve with keto bread or eat it by it self.