Sunday, November 12, 2017

Healthy Cheese Quesadillas for Toddlers

Hi! 
I am not sure how many of you have given up on my blog since I have been so lousy and lazy, not posting anything for ages now. I am in true sense playing the role of a seasonal blogger. But the fact is that motherhood is keeping me insanely busy.

I want to keep the nest organised looking spic and span the whole time and that comes at the price of posting lesser on the blog.

However, just the other day I cooked something for adira and she loved it! I thought it will be a crime if I do not share it with all the mothers struggling with their picky toddlers. Your spouse will love it too!

It’s easy, nutritious and delicious! 



INGREDIENTS

For the Dough
1 cup bathua ( washed and cut)
2 cups Wholewheat flour /atta 
Water as per requirement
Salt as per taste

For the Quesadilla 
2 tbsp ghee
A slice of cheese
Few leaves of spinach ( boiled)
2 tbsp crushed cottage cheese
Salt as per taste
1/2 tsp pepper
Pinch of oregano

RECIPE

For the Dough
Pour water in a pan. Bring it to a boil. 

Add bathua leaves to it. 

Cover the pan with a plate and let it cook till the leaves become soft and wilted

Take it off the stove and blend the bathua to form a purée.

Add this purée to atta, add salt and some water and knead it to firm a soft dough.

For the Quesadilla 
Put a griddle on flame and let it become hot. 
Meanwhile, taks some dough and form two small balls.

Roll theme into two thin rotis.

Put a roti on the hot griddle and cook it from both sides without using any oil or ghee. 

Repeat the same with the other roti.

Now place one roti on a plate, add a slice of cheese on top, add crushed cottage cheese to it.

Sprinkle some salt, pepper and oregano.


Top this with a layer of boiled spinach leaves and finally with the second roti. 

Put ghee on the griddle and place the entire thing on the pan. Let it become brown and crisp.

Brush some ghee on the other side, flip it and let cook. 

Press the top a little so the cheese gets melted.

Take it off the griddle and cut it into triangles.

Serve it hot to adults. Let them cool down and then serve the toddlers. 


NOTE:

  • You can make this dish with plain dough or spinach dough.
  • You can add grated broccoli, capsicum and other veggies. Use your  imagination.

Hope you and your family enjoy relishing this as much as we did ! 

Happy Cooking! 







Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Creamy Methi Paneer

Hi!

So I realise that I have been absent from my blog for sometime but if you have been following my posts since the beginning you must have got used to my erratic frequency of writing. I know I know that it is not an excuse for not posting in a while but please let me use it as one this time. 

So yesterday we had someone coming over and I was in charge of the dinner menu. I realised the refrigerator just had capsicum so I made capsicum-potatoes or Shimla mirch-aloo as we call it normally. Dal is always obvious. I was glad when my father-in-law got paneer. I knew it will make the perfect third dish. 

I had got tired of making the same old kadai paneer and butter paneer masala, so this time I thought of making a new kind of paneer dish. ( I will not lie it was also because I have recently found out that I am allergic to a few things and onions and tomatoes are among those things!). 

The idea of this dish comes from something my mom cooks for us but I have brought in my own changes to it and the result is phenomenal. 

So this creamy paneer dish is not as much work as it looks. It was loved by everyone, even my little girl! So it is definitely a win. 

If you want to make something rich looking and rich tasting but do not want to work extremely hard, this dish is your answer.



INGREDIENTS (serves 4)

3 tbsp oil
2 tbsp yellow butter
2 cloves of garlic (crushed or grated)
3 tbsp wholewheat flour (atta)
Handful of cashews
3/4th cup of milk
Salt as required
1 tbsp of pepper
1 tbsp of mixed herbs
2 handfuls of crushed kasoori methi
375gms paneer (cottage cheese)
Water as required.


RECIPE

Grind cashews in a mixer with some water to get a runny cashew paste. Yes runny not thick.

Pour oil in a wok and let it get warm.

Add butter cubes to the oil and let them melt.

Toss in the grated garlic and let it fry for 30 seconds.

Add the wholewheat flour to the garlic oil and cook it for a minute. 

Add half a cup of water to the flour to form a paste, followed by the runny cashew paste.

Give it all a good stir and let it simmer. Add milk to this and let it all come to a boil.

Throw in the crushed dried fenugreek (kasoori methi) and let it cook.

Keep adding a little water and a little milk if the gravy looks too thick.

Add salt, pepper and mixed herbs to the gravy and let it come to a boil.

Toss the cubed paneer into the gravy. Let it all cook for a few minutes and allow the flavours to come together.

Transfer it to your serving dish, sprinkle some pepper on top and serve hot.


Honestly I can eat this dish even without a bread. My little squirrel licked it off her plate in no time. But you can serve it with any bread of your choice. 

NOTE:

If your gravy looks too runny even after a lot of simmering make a paste of wholewheat flour, milk and water and add it to the gravy. The consistency of this paste should be the same as honey. 

I hope this dish comes to your rescue when you are uncertain about the next dinner party at your place, because believe me it is definitely a winner!

P.S: the title of this post is creamy methi paneer and not methi malai paneer because there is NO malai in it!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Wholewheat Pancakes

I just had wholewheat pancakes for breakfast yesterday. And as soon as I posted it on my Instagram page I started receiving a lot of messages asking for the recipe.

So here you go folks. Wholewheat pancakes are easy to make. You can hand these to your kids without giving a thought. They look inviting and taste even better. Believe me I have had pancakes at many places but these home cooked wholewheat ones give them all a tough competition.


This is how I ate my pancakes




This is how my sis-in-law had the pancakes.


INGREDIENTS (makes 6 mini pancakes)

2 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 egg
4 tbsp wholewheat flour (atta)
8 tbsp milk
A drop of vanilla essence

RECIPE

Put ghee in a bowl. Add sugar to it and whisk.

Add the egg to the mixture and whisk again.

Add 1 tbsp of flour with 2 tbsp of milk and whisk. Now add another 1 tbsp of flour and 3 tbsp of milk. Whisk again.

Finally add the remaining flour and the remaining milk and give a good whisk.

Add vanilla essence and stir. The batter now should not be to thick nor too runny.

Heat the pan. Make sure the pan is nicely hot.

Pour the batter with a ladle onto the pan. Let the pancake bubble and cook from side.

Flip the pancake and cook the other side.




Transfer them to a plate.

Serve hot.


SERVING TIPS

You can have these pancakes with peanut butter and jam like I do.

If you are a chocolate lover you can go crazy with Nutella and Hersheys topped with nuts!

And if you are serving these to kids and toddlers you can use honey or maple syrup with banana slices or a seasonal fruit like strawberry.




Friday, July 21, 2017

Healthy Homemade Cookies For Kids and Everyone


                                               

I have always loved baking. However, I have also been moody with it. For example when I got married I baked a lot for the family. I baked for my husband on every special occasion ( check out my strawberry cupcakes from one Valentine’s Day). 

With adira in our lives now I have been so busy doing the mundane chores that my other hobbies had taken a backseat. But I am glad that I am back to doing those things again. Ofcourse not at the same pace but I am definitely doing them again. 

Baking is one of those things. I don’t bake everyday anyway but I had completely left it for a while. 

Contrary to my excuse for not baking, now adira is my reason to bake. You know how kids love biscuits. Also, biscuits come to our rescue when out for dinner or in a public place to keep these toddlers occupied. No, I am not proud of handing her a biscuit every time. Rather a lot of times I carry fresh cuts of cucumber/carrot/apple/pear. But sometimes these kids just need a biscuit.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Moms of Instagram




The title of this post hints a lot about what this post is going to be about. Yes it is going to be about moms; moms of instagram. And no this is no informative post. This one is personal. 

I had already had a few friends who became mothers around the same time as I did and we shared similar stories and experiences often. It didn't really take place over social media but yes a lot over the phone.

Then one day I just stumbled upon a mother’s account on instagram who had been reasonably popular among other mothers.  This mother was an entrepreneur, a blogger and so much more. I followed her account and realised how bizarrely similar every mother’s story is yet so different with its little elements. Though this mother’s kid is a year ahead of adira I could still relate so much with her.

Anyway through her account I discovered so many more mothers all sailing in the same boat, going through the very same complex combination of emotions; emotions of tiredness, happiness, anxiety, excitement all rolled into one. Isn't this all what motherhood is about?

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Postpartum Weight Loss



I have been wanting to write about post delivery weight shedding for the longest time. And I have been wanting to do that for various reasons. Firstly, because every time a new mum sees me she asks me how am I  back to my previous size. Secondly I want women to get over some notions about postpartum weight loss . Thirdly, I want women to know that just because someone has a lean structure doesn't mean weight loss comes any easier. 

Also, with this post I will share a few things you can do while you are baking that bun in your oven for easier weight loss after the bun is out.

While the average weight gain during pregnancy is between 13 and 15 kgs I had put on 17 odd kgs during my pregnancy. I am sharing this fact with you so that you know that I had REALLY put on weight. I had not restricted my diet. I was slightly worried when I touched an above average number in weight gain. My doctor had told me that it was alright to go a few kgs above. The only issue was the difficulty I would face in losing it. 

Now I have been an active person even before I got pregnant. I did not follow a certain regime or a particular activity. I did yoga or danced a bit in the bathroom (yes I do that often) or just managed a set of squats before getting into the shower. The idea has always been to remain active. And my pregnancy was no different. 

The first trimester was a bit challenging since I was bed ridden. However, the moment that phase passed and I was on my feet all free I decided to practice light yoga which included light physical movements and breathing exercises. I followed pre-natal yoga videos on you tube.

 Also, I really worked myself out after the 36th week. I was always keen on a normal delivery and my doctor suggested that if I wanted one I better be squatting enough. So, with those extra 17 kgs I used to do full squatting for ten minutes with two breaks plus brisk walks plus the yoga. Ofcourse there were days I just didn't feel like moving a finger and that felt ok! On such a day I say don't lift a finger. 

So the FIRST TIP to losing weight postpartum is to remain active during pregnancy. You can go for a walk or practice yoga like I did. A word of caution when following pre-natal you tube videos; listen to your own body. Everything you see in the video is recorded under guidance of a trainer or is performed by a trainer herself. Not all of us are trained or have been performing yoga forever. So when you are following one of these videos perform a movement that you are comfortable with. Wrong asanas or positions can cause trouble. Be as active as you can be as your due date approaches. Squat; walk; take stairs. Not only does that help you with your delivery but also escalates the weight losing process later.

Now that I have covered the pregnancy part let's talk about the post delivery part. So we all shed a couple of kilos as soon as our angels are out. I had lost a decent 7kgs right after delivering adira. Now the task was to lose the remaining 10 kgs. However, losing weight was the last thing on my mind that time. All I wanted to do was take care of my baby. I was suggested a few light exercises by the hospital staff that could be done in bed. Even an otherwise active person like me  did not do them regularly. I was just so busy looking at adira if I was not feeding her or was changing her diapers. 

So here comes TIP No. 2. Be patient. By that I do not mean that you wait forever but do not be in a rush either. The doctors generally suggest a three months period wait before indulging in a full fledged workout regime. So work out as hard as you want to after three months. Till then go for a stroll and do light exercises as suggested. 

I did not shed the remaining 10 kgs overnight. I started looking close to my previous self around 7th month after delivery. Once adira settled a little I realised that my stamina wasn't the same. I used to feel breathless while taking stairs which had never been the case earlier. So when I started working out after the fourth month, I did it with the motive of regaining my strength. The weight loss came complimentary with it.

This brings me to TIP No. 3: Focus on your overall wellness. The weight loss will follow. Focus on building on the lost strength. 

Adira is a year old now and I still do not find the time to work out everyday. I know new mums who take out an hour everyday and go to a Zumba or an aerobic class and I feel great that they are able to do so. But the ones who cannot do that don't fret. 

TIP No. 4: Don’t follow a workout routine. Make workout a part of the routine. Your children  will anyway make you workout a lot, keeping you on your toes once they start crawling. So besides all that running around just perform any form of exercise even if it is for 5 minutes. Dance on your favourite number. Take the stairs a few extra times. Do a quick cardio by doing a a few sets of jumping jacks or take the yoga way. You do one or you do all. The choice is yours. 

I used to do nearly 80 surya namaskars in a session before I conceived. Now I am not sure if that is more or less but that was my limit. When I started working out a little seriously after delivery I could manage only 10 surya namaskars in a session. But that did not stop me from going forward. I now manage 40 of them plus a few sets of crunches. (No I don't do that every day. Rather sometimes I manage to do that just once in ten days but I am active everyday). 

Coming to TIP No. 5: Concentrate on the progress. It will all come back. Start with whatever time span you are comfortable with. Slowly and steadily you will reach where you want to be. 

I won't be lying when I say that working out with a walking baby around is no piece of cake. I don't feel like working out every time she takes a nap because sometimes I too want to take a nap and the other times I want to watch something on Netflix. So my workout sessions with adira walking around mostly end up with a tornado-hit looking room and a fit of laughter. But like it is said “ laughter is the medicine”. 

I am sharing all these details and my experiences so that you know there is someone like you facing the same challenges.

The LAST but the most important tip: DO NOT COMPARE yourself with other women. We all have different body types, structures and different metabolism rates. We all have different tendencies to weight gain and loss. Keep all this in mind. Do not beat yourself up trying to achieve what another woman has achieved. Rather keep a check on your own progress. Where were you when you started the journey of pregnancy? You just have to go close to it if not the same. 

Besides all the above mentioned try to get a few sessions of body massage after delivery. It just doesn't help you feel relaxed after the hard work you have done delivering a baby but also helps firm up your body. My masseuse ditched me after 10 days so I got a few sessions at my mom's after which I used to massage my belly a bit on my own. I was not religious with the practice though. If you do not find a masseuse just massage your own belly in strokes towards the belly button. 

I haven't mentioned diet even once till now since I know how hungry new mums are. They breastfeed which only leads to wanting more food. So do not worry about your diet. Till the time your baby is latching onto those assets do not starve yourself and keep eating healthy. You can go on any diet once the baby is off your feed. No one is judging you and the ones who do let them.

I hope this post helps the pregnant women as well as the new mums who are trying to get back in shape. If you have more ideas do share to help other women sailing in the same boat. 

 I am sharing a few pictures of how my workout sessions look like with a walking toddler around. Also there is a picture of me before i conceived and of the time when i was heavily pregnant so that every woman understands that weight gain is normal. If it won't be during pregnancy then when should it ideally be? and if I can lose 17kgs so can you shed those extra kilos.

 


here i am trying to exercise in my boxers



adira chilling like a boss







Monday, May 29, 2017

Adira Ticks One

Like I promised on my instagram handle that I will post about my daughter's birthday so here I am putting my thoughts down. It is going to be one long post. Caution: you might fall asleep. 

I have always been an excited person where birthdays concern. I am more excited about my husband’s birthday than he himself is so how could it be any different around my daughter. My daughter is a May girl and the moment may started this year I started reminiscing the same time last year (2016) when I was heavily pregnant and had just been wanting to deliver. 

Last year, the night of 23rd may my husband and I had tried making pakoras and oh boy the pakoras did the trick. I got into labour around 3:30 am that morning, 5:30 we reached the hospital and were informed that the pain is real and our baby is on its way!!! 

After almost 12 hours of labour we were blessed with our angel of a girl. Adira came into our lives on the hot afternoon of 24th may 2016. I still remember how I had to wait for nearly 6 hours to finally hold her just because I didn't pee after the delivery! Phewwww!

Time flew; months hopped and we jumped onto the biggest milestone; a year!! Together we entered the numbers. My daughter is one… the parents in us are one!! Such an achievement! 

I had been preparing for our daughter’s big day for a while. My daughter and I had got matching outfits. We had organised a little celebration with family and friends. I had already taken care of it . 

 

Since she is too small to go pamper herself at a salon like I generally do on special occasions, I gave her a nice scrub of wholewheat, turmeric and milk at home a day before her birthday. In the evening the family got together to decorate the house with pink and white balloons. I also made paper flowers to decorate the car she was going to get the next day. 

 

 
The moment the clock struck 12 I just kissed my daughter and whispered “happy birthday squirrel” in her ear since she was fast asleep. Softly we called in her birthday. 

The morning started with presents from dadu dadi. She took a drive in her new electric car. Our help also got her presents which touched me deeply. It was so thoughtful of them. We had inflated a pool for adira, had filled it with water, flower petals and her water toys. Adira and I took a dip in the water and she was beyond elated. The pool time was followed by a bath and a little nap. 

When you are happy about everything going well like it should be something has to happen. And so it did. 
In the afternoon while I was getting ready for the celebration, I heard adira crying. 

Now I always used to wonder how mothers could distinguish one type of crying from the other but now I realise it comes naturally. So when I heard my daughter crying I knew she had got hurt but I didn't want to presume so I sent my help downstairs to check. And yes she had fallen and had hurt her lip from the edge of the bed!!! That moment I left everything and rushed downstairs. Her dress had blood on it, I wanted to cry but I tried my best to keep my cool.

The thing with babies is that they somehow manage to fall and get hurt even under supervision. My father in law was sitting on the bed and he himself could not fathom how it happened. Anyway after applying an ice pack on her lip over and over again and after 15 minutes of watching telly tubbies she pacified. Her lip had swollen and I could not feel worse. 

The entire incident gave me a headache. I was upset that adira had got hurt. It is bizarre how mothers are connected to their babies. I was not bruised yet I felt so much pain.

Anyway I had a feeling that she would be cranky during the celebration. However I did not want to let that vibe spoil the remaining evening. So I smiled, gave some more love to adira and headed to the event.

Adira observed all the decorations and cooperated by meeting everyone quietly. However, she refused to part from me. I had worn heels hoping she would stay with dadu and nanu. But those hopes went into a pit. 

She enjoys walking a lot these days and dances but I think seeing so many people made her a little clingy. I could not blame her. It was a tough afternoon for my little birthday girl.

Finally the time to cut the cake came and only after tasting her birthday cake did adira feel a little better. I thought she would sleep but my girl wanted to enjoy the celebration till the very last.

 

She became herself when the last of the guests were left. It was a relief to see that smile on her face. Anyway all is well that ends well. 

We feel grateful to be surrounded by so much love. A big thank you to everyone who remembered adira on her special day and showered her with their blessings. 
Adira is growing naughtier with every passing day and keeps me on my toes. I think it just makes us appreciate our parents a little more. 

Thank you squirrel for filling our lives with so much love, joy and laughter. May you always be blessed.