Buy me a coffee: It’s 2150! and I am all whacked out.

Time is embedded in everything we do. It towers large over how we perceive the Universe. Traveling through it and zipping-off into the sci-fi future is usually considered the stuff of science fiction. But walking through twists and turns of time travel or meeting your digital clone is no longer a tricky or impossible fantasy. Only that we are still messing with it and searching for a workaround.

It’s then no surprise that the freedom to move through time just as we move through space, drags on as a stupendous barrier and overrides everything else.

Would something close to time-travelling DeLorean or a custom-built wormhole allow us to travel from one event in present to another in future any time soon? Would Universe care if we moved an atom from position A to position B? Are there impossible answers or is it simply impossible to happen?

Let’s figure out how much more is to be done before we get to get a glimpse of future!!

Imagine you have hopped onto a time machine, pressed a button, and have journeyed back to 2019, before the corona-virus jumped the species -from animals to humans and you have found and isolated patient zero!

Well…theoretically, the pandemic wouldn’t have happened, right? Not quite, because then future-you wouldn’t have decided to time travel in the first place.

Things rather don’t not work the way we want them to. Events readjust around anything that might cause an inconsistency and don’t let it happen.

Simply said, you could travel back into the time but couldn’t change anything.

This sounds tragic for those who wish they could rewind the clock. And that’s not without a reason. Who wouldn’t want to blitz through time and space at the speed of light to reach out into the past and undo those bad decisions and vile events that are a torment today and might hurt someone?

Let’s assume for a moment that it could actually be done and you get to travel back into time of your liking; but…

What if you can’t fix the past? Wouldn’t it be rather you looked forward into the future than backwards. Besides regretting or trying to fix things done absolute in the past won’t help nobody! Maybe you could salvage some of your broken present in future!

And you don’t need a wormhole or a decked up DeLorean to do it!!

Try this…

Not many of us may know but time is not a constant and tends to slow down as you move faster through space. If theory of relativity is any good then real-life time travel to the future is possible through time dilation.

Feature credits: ‘‘The Time Machine(2002)’ by Sebastian Jarus in You tube. com on Dec.15, 2013.

Do you know what this unheard of time dilation really about? Simply put, it is the difference in elapsed time as measured by two clocks. This could happen either due to difference in gravitational pull at their locations or relative velocity between them. If dilation happens not because of either of these events, then it is the ‘Velocity’ that runs the show!

You think it’s all screwed up? May be ‘yes’ and ‘no’; Yes because the dynamics on which our Universe works are baffling; No because the euphoria of time travel is formidable yet stirring.

So, let’s dig a little deeper into the space-time’ theory that fuses the three dimensions of space and one dimension of time into one.

If you think that the space is something flat and rigid that holds the entire Universe, then it’s time you corrected yourself. Re-imagine it as a curved and maleable trampoline-a piece of taut, strong fabric stretched between a steel frame using many coiled springs, the one used in trapeze, gymnastics and acrobatic exercises. Place a bowling ball in the center and it would cause smaller objects placed on it to slide towards the center.

The gravitational dips around masses in a curved space work the same way! pulling other objects in; and the closer they gets to the center, the faster they accelerate. For us, the center of this gravitational dip is centered right in the Earth’s core and it is here the acceleration is the highest. The stronger the gravity, the more space time curves, and the slower time itself proceeds.

In other words, time moves more slowly as you go faster through space, the closer you are to a center of gravity-pulled up by a black hole, warm hole or even a star on the verge of collapse, the slower the time would move for the object.

Image source: ‘Are Wormholes Real?’ by By  Sabrina Stierwalt in scientificamerican.com on May29, 2019.

Let’s put it this way!

Look above to heavens. Some hundreds of GPS satellites are stationed about 20200 kms above us. This effect is most visible there. The highly precise onboard clocks gain an average of 38 microseconds per day and adjusts for time dilation. Run them 38 microseconds faster and positioning error of some 10 kms happens every 24 hours!! This would increase exponentially if the time lag goes uncorrected.

Still couldn’t get hold of what this time dilation is all about!? Try and get a feel of it in a more electrifying manner on Netflix. Watch Interstellar that critically acclaimed flick from 2014. Matthew McConaughey as ex-NASA pilot Joseph Cooper, is tasked to pilot a spacecraft along with a team of researchers to discover a new planet for humans as the Earth is slowly dying. The crew travel to outer space and land on a planet with extreme gravitational forces due to a nearby black hole. The intense gravitational pull slows down the time for those on the planet measuring one hour on it’s surface equal to seven years of Earth.

The revelation of time travel is massive and dumbfounding! It’s devastating for Cooper as he returns to a space habitat orbiting Saturn after traveling through a black hole (inside the boundaries of the Event Horizon). The 5d beings had safely transported Cooper to the edge of the wormhole  near Saturn where he gets picked up and finds way home, only to discover that his daughter has turned an old woman while he had aged almost none and appeared the same as when he had left.

Check this out; Murph, Cooper’s daughter was 10 years old when he had left. Cooper traveled for 2 years to the wormhole and subsequently lost 23 years in gravitational time dilation on Miller’s planet.

So if we are so good at finding answers to whys’, why couldn’t we just leap forward into future!

Dear me!! this is mind-bending. It’s the Velocity that holds the key to trans-temporal travel!

For us to travel into the future, only two things could make that happen; either we take advantage of the gravitational acceleration caused by black holes or we jump into the space at the speed of light (1 billion kms/hr). Today, we could manage only a few microseconds into the future, given the current technology at hand.

But like everything else, technology too is ever evolving!

Image source: ‘What Is the Grandfather Paradox?’ by Greg Uyeno in space.com on Jun.6, 2019.

Should this happen sometime soon, would it be possible for us to get back to reality from future using time dilation and share findings with everybody?

The answer is a big “Yes”; only if we could manage interstellar travels at the speed of light!

There is a catch here though!

The voyage will be one way ticket- into the future and not back to the past because we can’t use time dilation for passage back and forth.

Does this mean that past is forever inaccessible?

Perhaps no. only if we could put to use a wormholethe areas of space time that is warped and connects two distant points in space. This bridge in space, if it stays stable, happily consummates other physical laws and lives long enough for us to make a dash; may be we could catch sight of our past lives.

Few though dismiss ‘wormholes’ as science fiction and argue that both particles and states of matter have ‘exotic’ physical stuff that would violate all known laws of physics. For them a trek back to the past is more inviting than a peek into the future.

And why shouldn’t it be? Who wouldn’t want to see the Dinosaurs or meet Albert Einstein?

But if I were you, I’ll be wary of this hustle! While it’s fascinating enough to brave a travel into the past, it might tempt you to attempt a change that could destroy future for so many.

Remember that blockbuster movie ‘ Back to the Future’ that had smashed all box office collections for a sci-fi hit! Marty McFly traveled back into the time and prevented his parents from seeing each other, nearly cheating his own existence!

It sucks! If he had undone his own existence, how could he have doubled back in time in the first place?

Marty’s escapade if nothing else, is close to a variation of grandfather paradox’ that none of us would wish to ever happen. What if you were to go back into the time and kill your grandfather for him being a monster or something before your father is conceived? If you were to succeed, how could it be possible that you are alive to kill your grandpa in the first place?

Creepy? Well…you ought to be amped up by now!

When we say that the Universe has the ability to self-correct to avoid inconsistencies, does this makes an anomaly-free time travel easy to happen?

Hypothetically yes, theoretically no!

So what’s the upshot?

Although time dilation could allow us to get a glimpse of the future, we will never be able to visit the past let alone alter events to create a different future. If Stephen Hawkins in his book Black Holes and Baby Universes could weigh the future of time travel into the past as mysterious and as abysmal as black hole, then it’s cooler if we rather skip it altogether and went forward in time.

It’s completely different mathematics that sits behind the string theory’. In fact, all the dimensions of time and space work uniquely for all possible future and all possible pasts including realities with a physics totally different from what we know of today.

I looked around but couldn’t find a McDee!

Like everybody else. I too got stuck at home in pandemic. Everything stayed shut and I just rared to jet off to some fun-filled destination. Of course, this was not gonna happen any time sooner.

But I did manage to get my hands full! I deep dived and looked for answers…

What of traveling through time into the future, if the planetary science and intergalactic travel limitations deny us a glimpse of the past? And not just in a boring way; like the one where we wait for it to arrive one sec at a time. What if I could zip through time to future back and forth as easily as pushing buttons and actually live a fantasy that’s been on the cards for at least 125 years!

No way! H.G. Wells wouldn’t have imagined that his 1895 epicThe Time Machine would kick start some serious investigations into my mind.

Am I only a curious creep or seeing ghosts!# If we can move freely through space why not time?

I wish somebody from ##SpaceX is listening!!

Sometimes curiosity overwhelms… well almost everybody. At least I get bowled over more often than once. When this happens. I look around for cues that might have some answers to this intriguing unexplored journey.

If general relativity refers to gravity as bending or warping of space-time, maybe everything that we do with space, we can do with time also. It is this warp that paves us the way to go forward but unfortunately not backwards and that too at a rate that we can control!

Well.. that’s almost everything but not exactly everything!

Excited to know more…scroll google for famous twin paradox” and you will get to know why if you travel at the speed of light and your twin remains at Earth, you will uncover something insane. A bizarre windfall has happened while you were away. You’ll find yourself much younger than your twin! If the voyage draws out a bit longer, you might look just a few years older than when you left, while your twin is probably a grandpa now.

Time appears to have passed just as it always does for both of you twins; it’s only when you two reunite that the enormity of madness reveals itself.

It is a bit disappointing for Star trek enthusiasts too; for all I know, you have to get very close to the velocity of light to be any close to warp speed. No!…I don’t think we have even cracked a tenth of a percent of the speed of light as yet; max.

But there is one true revelation that saves the day for me; We know for sure that…

If we could somehow spend a good deal of time hugging close to that ultimate speed in the Universe, our clocks will run slower. We will get to travel through time into the future. Nothing will change except that for a couple of years in voyage, time on Earth must have advanced by centuries even ten of thousands of years.

Feature credits: ‘ ‘Stephen Hawking- What It Takes to Time Travel’ by
AtheismLogicReason in Youtube .com on April.14, 2013.

Rest is just surreal!!

Maybe someday I get to crack this pesky paradox and get to visit a McDee take-away on some distant planet millions of light years away, one like scores of it’s franchises spread across galaxies and time zones, all warmly swarmed and inundated with hungry time travelers!! The standard menu has changed faces but no faking…the unmistakable flavors of ‘McNasty’ stays tantalizing and lip smacking as ever.

Maybe you could buy for a cup of coffee if the rush is crushing… after all it’s 2150! and people have turned fond of intergalactic sojourns. No worries…we will pick up the grub in some other galaxy some other time or on way back to reality! Who’s gonna wait when stars zip by?

Today, my take remains unshaken though. Till such day I get to wade through time, my experience of it’s passage is absolutely normal. My clock doesn’t race or behaves dopey. It ticks normal as ever. I age normally and…

I am no further into my future than normal. But I wait…

Maybe someday I get to travel into my twin’s future!

Maybe someday I get to choose how quickly I reach it!!

It feels so good to be a #Sloth-My guide to finding happiness the lazy way!!

“I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.”Frank B. Gilbreth Sr.

When getting out of bed feels awful, when going to the gym seems utterly disgusting and when you just can’t face the idea of siting down at the Office desk, I could figure out what has happened to you. You have crossed into the dangerous territory of laziness! The thief of happiness and poacher of ambition, it will end you up doing nothing with your days, if you let it get hold of you. Quite simply you are ‘dumped but not down’ for you have missed seeing the error of your ways.

Want some help to get out of the funk? Check-out on me on how to trump the struggle and fight blues the lazy way. Sometimes the best way to make stuff happen and relive happiness is by doing nothing at all!

Image source: ‘Dangers- Sleeping with a blanket over the head’ by Richard Adjei in news.payperlez.com on May 25, 2021.

I live in a messy chaotic world. Yet I am perfectly content doing nothing at all. I no longer punish myself and do not let reluctant party animals, chronic slow pokers and clutter of messy desk wizards to hurt me for being a slow pusher any more. Not that I have been like this always. It’s just that one fine morning I discovered that it was not the laziness but my giant intellect that’s to blame for my misadventures. So, I reworked myself out. I lied to my enormous brain down to a nap with pride. And look!! The hard work of being lazy has paid off.

I have finally found happiness!

Funny; I wonder why it feels so good to be lazy in the first place. Why things do not turn turtle for work-shy people; rather everything would start falling into place more intensely? Why all this shade against doing nothing? Why an unenterprising soul is underrated when being lazy might turn him a ‘Kingsomeday. What’s more shocking is that whenever I reached out to romanticize laziness, I ended up get around ways to overcome it.

Feature credits: ‘Study Finds Lazy People Are Smarter’ by Jacqueline Sarkissian in You tube.com on Aug.18, 2016.

So, I decided not to waste time on unnecessary motions; instead I looked around for clues to trick it into my fold and #find the balance between work and weariness.

And see, this is what I learned;

The Hard Work of Being ‘Lazy’

Laziness is something we all experience from time to time, but some people simply love to stay in that refuge forever, once out of that everyday slavery. And there’s a pretty good reason why they adore it so much! They allow their minds to wander into creative territory for free…by being lazy!!

I guess we all are hardwired to fill time. We easily get overwhelmed by things that are on our to-do list and plunge headlong each day, trying as hard as possible to burn ourselves out.

I find this distracting. Do overs or not; for me unrewarded geniuses are not geniuses but clichés.

Interestingly, one study claims that the more the intelligent among us socialize or work heads-down the less happy and sullen they become. The more you mingle, the more intent you get on spilling your guts around telling everybody how happy you are, without being so; the more half-witted jerk you turn yourself into. This sniffs less savory to the more intelligent ones. And the nerd in you stays outclassed as ever.

It’s not so difficult to figure it all out yourselves! Besides who says the world needs Type A personalities only? The ‘L’ types are not like some failed menu item and will eventually land in some rut. Amid misplaced sense of FOMO, a ‘knightly’ life beckons them.

If you are anything close to me, take a sec off and stop being busy. Check yourself out.; what tempts you more, an hour-long walk with your dog, or a snug spell with your pet cat on your favorite couch; all lazed-up?

Well, this might surprise you. If you think that being snug and comfortable in your space and doing nothing, slurs you as a remiss; you are mistaken! This could actually be a sign of intelligence, and not an inclination to remain sedentary or desk bound.

If we are to trust the ethereal revelations of a wispy study made some eight years ago; then cat lovers score higher on intelligence than dog lovers. And why not? It makes some good sense too. A dog person is livelier because he goes out there walking and talking even to strangers with a tethered canine in tow. Contrary to this, if you are more introverted and sensitive, you would probably prefer to stay back at home, read a book, sip a cuppa tea…and your cat doesn’t need to go outside for a walk.

You may not believe this but your pet type influences your choice between different environments. Dog- you take a walk, Cat- you covet the cozy comfort of a couch with your cheesy Ginger snuggled in your lap.

Get the hang of it! Even a brief interruption derails our train of thoughts. Walk your dog and you are distracted by sight of every passerby. It’s like you went too close to another browser tab and got distracted by a cat video. Hang around your home with your cat and you do not let yourself be beaten by those fast-track requests that your quick witted brain lines up fast for you!

At some time or the other all of us get miffed in this mad mad world for one reason or the other. At times bitterness and despair is overwhelming. We are put off partly because we are worried that we have not done enough and largely because we believe that allowing ourselves to be lazy might not be the perfect antidote for that garden variety stress.

Uh oh! Search your soul…No do overs but I guess you know there are ways to be a heartthrob to yourself. Perhaps you’re not lazy after all, or maybe it’s just that your good old brain is playing tricks!

My idea of a perfect laziness however means snacking on a couch, watching telly or solving cross puzzles. This might shock you but I discovered that laziness is what got me interested in being productive at the end; getting more done in less time and getting more time to relax.

Today taking a break feels rewarding to me. I find it ok to allow myself to be lazy occasionally; not because I am a big fan of being lazy, but because I want to be happy. Take a break and be a little lazy yourself if you cherish the same. Next time if someone accuses you of being a sloth, just tell yourself, “I believe he meant to say highly efficient”.

Image source: ‘3 Ways Having a Lazy Weekend Can Be Good for Your Health’ by Lexi Petronis in glamour.com on Ap. 26, 2013.

Shortcuts will cut you short

Most of us are usually bad at being ‘lazy’. And by that I mean not only the mindless distractions that occupies our space and attention; I’m talking about choosing to do nothing; rather prefer being idle. Much of the day we spend checking things off from our to-do list believing it to be of little consequence.

Hell no; this does help!

Our brains are hard wired to focus on things that we find both novel and threatening. Why else would you check news or social media every 10 minutes or worry over some stupid prickly e-mail that you received a week ago? If you are the one who would skip after-work drinks for some other night on the settee and stretch your evenings for a zero-guilt day, you probably are n every hawk’s live checklist every time you enter your Office.

But there is a downside to laziness too!

Getting stuck indoors could make things uncanny; even worse. You tend to get slave to running checklists, always worried about being productive, cramming more things-to-do in a day’s time and in bargain give up things that make you happy. Taking a walk or reading a book or hanging around with friends- you miss all. Unable to perk up your surroundings, no sweet talks with your flame! The squeeze is too hard to stay pumped up all day long. Sure, you are neck deep in weeds and all set to get a miserable heartache and a grumpy evening!

So, if a lazing mindset isn’t always the right choice why Danes and Finns are the happiest persons in the World? Why the chase of getting things done the right way, is no longer an infernal experience for them? Dare find them work shy! No…rather it’s the brilliance of a drifting mindset that makes you more creative and better at problem solving. This is when your focus rests and your brain puts pedal to the metal.

It’s massive! But your brain worries about the future 14 times more during spells of idleness or laziness, compared to being attentive to just one thing when you are kicking around. It literally occupies 48 percent of your bootless time mostly weighing your long term goals and intentions! Try remembering the last time you cooked up some creative idea or worthy solution! Chances are that it didn’t happen when you were hell-bent to finish things before upheaval happened. Instead genius in you may have touched the nerve softly when you have been taking a long shower or sitting on a park enjoying the surroundings.

When you laze and allow your brain to rest, you actually save on your mental pluck and get to expend it on more and more of right things. Hardly anything runs dry your mental strength than an anxious mind and the fear of missing out.

Best way to waylay it?

Just stop running wild, catch your breath, close doors to your mind and let it do nothing; no logic, no reasoning, no judgment- just plain Zero. Cool your heels till it tells you what it needs rather than what it cries for.

To begin with you could stop being obsessing over news; Go take a walk; watch some Netflix, listen Mozart or just soak yourself in a nice leisurely warm bath. It might just be the right thing for you to do. Be crazy to be lazy for once and you get to turn into more productive person than you would ever imagine.

Not long ago, like everybody else I too believed that success stems from hard work alone; but today I find myself rescued. I have reclaimed myself. It didn’t come to me from hard work. It’s rather the lazy way of doing things that have done sheer good to me.

The only difficult part is to see myself a sloth bear. From a rewarding guy to a disinclined and forgettable creep! To work with it instead of against it; sounds weird doesn’t it?

Yet I have triumphed! I have taken to the lazy way of doing things and I have prevailed!

How good will it work for you? Maybe a little; maybe not at all. May be you will get success working long hours and pummeling your nose in the grindstone. But would you prefer not to take the bite if you haven’t tried being lazy? How would you know that it doesn’t work even better? Take a shot, you might like it; even hit the bulls’ eye.

I get plenty of “me” time outside sleeping and dreaming

For the last few days, I kinda feel strange; weird perhaps. I don’t feel like doing anything;

Leave aside work and laze-off? Yes; Screw-around? Maybe.

It is the guilt of doing nothing that has set me up. I get mad at myself and mess with happiness. Easily it is the end of creativity after a day of laziness.

But not all is at it seems! Laziness tend to lie to us and if you think that that’s a problem, then you are bending it and being untruthful to yourself.

Laziness is irksome only because it slows down the time for us. It’s upsetting but it leads to a new insight. For me it works like an early warning system. It’s a sign that I am about to burn out for being overly worked.

The thought itself is horrific and isn’t really an accident!

Feature credits: ‘If you are a lazy person then Watch this’ by daily Motivation in You tube.com on Oct. 14, 2019.

This is when the need to endure kicks in. It tells me that I am a jerk if I don’t get my lazy bum into action, I might be destroying myself for good. Do I need to be on my knees any longer?

The other day I sat quietly and mused. I found myself comparing my present workdays to the ones at my last job. At first, it seemed like I was working a lot less with no 9-5 job.

I deep dived and realized that I had panicked for no reason. I had posted twice as many weblog stories, picked up couple of on-line courses, read three times as many books, network with 5x more people and presently writing a new story. Am I suffering from self-doubt! Am I scattered and seeing Ghosts! Bumbled or fumbled but in the end…I felt relieved.

It’s so weird how we suddenly dig up the advice we need at the exact moment we need it.! Interestingly, my brain’s anatomical connectivity no longer sympathizes with anything that leads to the idea of”I’m lazy”! It is riveted to the belief that ‘I am working when I am not working‘!

If I were you, I would rather fancy these vibes not as something cold and crippling but a queer sign of revolt from a worn-out body crying for a break.

When you notice the truth behind your laziness, it’s possible to take a lesson or two to your advantage. It took me years altogether to learn that we are at work when we are doing the dishes, having a shower or tidying up the garden. These idle chores help to connect our hardwired brain to rewarding tasks that are on our to-do list. In fact, when we laze, our body betters all inputs while everything else is on hold.

Laziness is perhaps one sin you need most to make a better sense of the world. Trust me, if your lack of laziness causes your impending meltdown, Gods are not coming to save you.

At first sight it may seem to banish us from living successfully or from thinking in any way well of ourselves. But at close quarters things look brighter and shining. If the point of ‘doing nothing’ is to clean up our heart of hearts wouldn’t it be right to get down to the business of lolling?

After all, the threat to our happiness lies not in our failure to be busy, but in our inability to be “lazy” enough. A heroically hardworking person isn’t necessarily the one, who sits in the business lounge of an International airport; it might be the person who gazes out of the window and occasionally writes down an idea or two on a piece of paper.

Do what you have to do for laziness is not a lie

If you have a smartphone, which obviously like everybody else you do, it’s most likely that you have often struggled with the idea of “shutting down” after work. As you sit idle or perhaps watch a movie or listen to a podcast; a voice at the back of your mind keeps telling you that instead of being lazy, you ought to be on your phone cleaning out the inbox or readying yourself for tomorrow’s meeting.

Image source: ‘Laziness leads to happiness’ in mashupcorner.com on Sep. 01, 2021.

Believe me, your inability to stop working, or even the inability to do so without guilt, harms your enterprise more than your resolve to stay upbeat. If you truly are a sworn work horse, then you need to learn how to be lazy for this is all about efficiency and none of us is inherently lazy.

In fact, the challenge to this frailty lies with the guilt that overrides it. There is so much happening around us every day, so many excitements, regrets, suggestions and emotions. Are we not letting the marrow of life escape us? Is there nothing smart enough to reign it in?

You need not dig deep to find the answer!

Whenever you get lazy and desire for an intensely-felt life clean of all ruckus, sit back and imagine that a deep part of you is hustling to cook-up a big thought. Make no haste; though you run the risk of being accused of gross laziness! Plan your laze interlude in advance. When you schedule it you would know the duration of your subconscious shame for having done nothing. Complete your errands beforehand and it will inwardly feel good.

Consider making a day of your indolence and get cracking instead of freaking out. Get lazy on a regular basis and you will find out why not falling shy of it makes a heap of difference. Your mind is all stoked and will help you get out of the weeds; fix the broken ideas and mend your missing control.

For a productivity guy, you’ve become a sloth bear. But what the heck… don’t fret. Simply prioritize, no overtime and you will get the most done in shortest possible time!

Laziness is your free wellness tool with zero guilt

Haven’t you heard less is more?

Image source: ‘It’s Good to Be Lazy’ by Atulhost in atulhost.com on May 26, 2019.

There is a creative side to all of us. When we are lazy we get plenty of time to toy and tinker within us. Getting cheered for being a busy-bee is a burden now. People do not want to hear about how busy your life is. Besides, you miss out on your friends. You are never in a mood to head out on a Saturday night or burn yourself a little on a weekend run.

Not that you are not left with enough time to rouse the clever and gifted person that you always were.

Simply side step for a moment and choose to be different for a while. You have just aced the art of living life the right way! And remember, if you howl and cry for long, are unable to keep the desk tidy, fail the assignments any other time than the night before the deadline or lament for having ruined so much time doing nothing; you could be the one with a giant IQ!

In fact being lazy is another way of being efficient.

I think lazy persons are onto something all the time! Go ahead, take that nap and shake off all the fears of going overboard. It’s better rather you chill with a cat than walk a dog.

You will always end up beaming!

And someday, your mind and body will thank you for it!!

To be or not to be…Friends surprisingly make you a happier person, only if you could be with the real ones!!

If you think that you are done with friends in life, it’s time you tell yourself a different story.

Like love, friendship is a thick soupy word and a messy business. It’s hard to be friends with someone who couldn’t hold your hands, or cut loose your heart strings. It’s harder to look for companionship if it comes with the shroud of secrecy surrounding it. Friendship is rather a stretchy word. It’s more of a life choice that you hesitate to fully buy into, fearing darker truth may come out later.

Friendship means something different every time we say it. It’s what a relationship isn’t. You may find good mature acquaintances but they don’t really get you good lasting friendship. At times hopelessly vague; ‘calling them a friend’ doesn’t help. Let’s just be friends” is a no less confusing either because it could mean anything. From bosom friend to pink of a crush, all it does is communicate what you never meant in the first place.

In fact, there is not one single great word for the kind of relationship that you have with the ones you love or loved. Give the requited attention a miss and the other person won’t find you awesome enough to hit it off.

Yet you shrug and say, “Sure.” And try again. But it’s weird and gets murkier.

When you think about it, you have no idea what it means to be with real friends.

Think about them and you will still touch yourself.

Perhaps ‘friend’ is a catch-all high sign that helps in ignoring bittersweet emotions.

Get into the Act

I grew up a shy introvert with terrible socializing barriers and was often shelled with embarrassing suggestions by those around me. Honestly, I did muster enough courage to try them all and overcome my fears. But soon I realized that it’s lot easier and more effective to be kind than to try to act confident.

I never tried to compete with the extroverts. I let them win at their game. Instead, I decided to invent my own circle—went all-in on being as thoughtful as possible and this is what I found out.

Everyone loves to hang out one time or the other, with the person who won’t say or do anything to hurt your feelings. But not wanting to hurt someone’s beliefs and opinions isn’t friendship. Real friends never coddle egos. They always tell the truth, love spending time together and never get awkward in each other’s company. Good news, bad news and secrets, they share everything. Gossip and late night wakes; it’s all part of lives in bonhomie.

Like everybody else, I too wanted to be friends with every single person on this planet. Probably more so, but not with someone who wants kinda attention that I’d prefer not to give. I had learned that coming out with the truth was way better off than using words that are so vulnerable to misinterpretation. When you tell somebody you want to be friends, but you really don’t, you are not letting them down gently. Mocking hits like a harsh acquittal. It hurts no matter how gently you have hurled the bomb.

Perhaps sometimes we get to learn about friends the hard way.

Are true friends hard to get by!

In university one of my buddies fell hard for a gal who wasn’t into him. She had a crush for a guy Robin who looked smarter and was perhaps wealthier. Of course, Robin wasn’t into her.

It confused and hurt everybody, especially my mate.

But it was kinda different too. Both heand the girl were doing fine and everything a couple would, except touch. Dates, long walks, deep conversations, partying ; it seemed fascination was blossoming. One day he asked her if she thought friendship could turn into romance. He would muse how his mom couldn’t stand his dad before they got married. A day later she uninvited him to a party.(Robin was going to be there.). What followed was enough to shake up things badly. Sullen moods and peppery behaviour crept in slowly. Finally he couldn’t take it anymore, and stopped returning her calls.

A year went by, and then one day both ran into each other. She came up and regretted. “Can we be friends?”

“What do you mean…?” he asked.

“If I see you, I’d like to come up and say hi.” It sounded more like she wanted him to acquit her of all guilt. Both agreed to smile and wave if their paths ever crossed. Fears of misplaced trust, broken promises and brazen lies, all fell apart in that one moment of regret.

Fortunately, he never saw her again.

That story tells what lot many people mean when they say they want to be friends, yet prefer kind of stealth friendship where deeper feelings never grow. If you are honest you usually wouldn’t want to bejust friends”. It’s hard but being real friendsmeans you don’t hold onto your emotions and actually make yourself available to someone who might requite your feelings.

Real life stories like this one grow on trees but payoffs are important!

Contemplating a relationship as a sack of rotten tomatoes when things turn sour, is like eyeing everything with serious skepticism. Crush aside, you should expect no one to be your real friend until you stop wanting romance to creep in your emotions. Before then, being around them will only rip your heart apart.

Funny! There is a simple fix for this

Nobody is hard wired to spend time crying out for someone who cheats under the cloak of stealth friendship, forever. And you need not hate somebody to realize that they are not good for you either. It’s nobody ‘s fault. The chemistry simply hasn’t struck. The slyness has prevailed!

So, gift yourself the truth! Firstly to be friends you need to ease off being sheep eyed. And in the second place, if you think of someone as your friend each time you look for favors; then honestly you are not ready for friendship.

Ease off till you could show some respect to your affinity. Pull up your head, put aside your phones and the world around you will no longer be clueless. Smiling, holding doors and saying hello to strangers; those powerful gestures will make you stand out. Seeing people, acknowledging them, showing some respect might mean you are charming and perhaps charismatic too. Trust me, the frenzy of warm hands reaching out to you, in turn, would leave you overwhelmed.

But is it enough to get you good friends; the real ones?

Countless times I have met people who didn’t click right away, only to be heard of later with a friendly gesture of sorts; sometimes through a mutual friend on social networking, at others maybe for a book exchange or casual film recommendation. These interactions spoke little but emotionally measured high. I guess, it’s kinda hard for me now to dislike someone who was thoughtful enough to have gone to lengths and make an effort to reach out!

Some people couldn’t make easy initial connections. If you are one of them, give yourself some time to dazzle. Once you think you have made the right choice and want to make a connect, reach out with whatever little beans you could muster to make their lives a bit brighter, even if in a small way.

Today, I gather I was right about my insights in the first place. Aches and pains not withstanding, I had aced the key to finding a soul buddy!! You may find my suggestions a tad basic, but that’s the point! If I have learned anything during my journey from a shy, floundering kid to a quiet thoughtful, self inventing, all smiles person who takes stock of the world in HD, I believe I did my basics well enough to have led myself so well.

If you are an introvert, don’t curse yourself for this innate skill. Hang on to it, for the one who listens, is rare and precious. Only a handful of us actually has this gift that sets us apart. Don’t chide yourself either, if you couldn’t hold onto to your lead. “You only get one chance to make a first impression”; every Tom, Dick and Sally would love to tear into you. Sure! But a lot has changed and this cliche’ is your buried past now. Chance to strike a conversation is just a click away!

How would you feel if you open your phone and a message is waiting from someone you just met, wishing you well for your upcoming interview? Or how about you sending a one-of-a-kind get-well-soon message to your ailing elderly neighbor?

Uh oh! No this isn’t about copywriting beauty and the beast. Privy characteristics such as kindness turn emotions toasty, takes the chill off and outwits brains and air when it comes to accepting connections! So do a little jig, get yourself out of the weeds. You will have fun and find joy reaching out to real friends.

Feature credits: ‘A Real Friendship’ by manu7 production in youtube.com on Dec.19, 2017.

Happiness needs a warm hand

A real friendship never sucks! It stems from mutual understanding and respect. It’s not meant to serve pleasure or purpose all the times. Rather a good friend is for friendship sake; the gold equivalent of human relationship. A lucky few of us might get a handful of real friends in our lives and it shouldn’t matter if they are relatively new. It’s their uniqueness that makes them amazing and priceless.

I have always found the intriguing connection between friends, happiness and longevity a bit weird but promising. The cutting edge made me feel zesty. I found myself surrounded by good people- people who never failed to remind me if I needed a haircut; people who complimented me and hauled me over in crises. Life never fell short of league of gentle folks. Listen, watch, notice and praise…these were small actions, but they helped me feel good for everything about me, admire myself and have strong ties with others.

If you are anything like me, rub some dirt on your fears, sell yourself a lot of quality friendship and trust me, you will ripe through a ‘golden-over-the-hill’ life. Try not to forget that real friends are meant to share concerns and confidences, build trust and not always be a sham listener or a crazy admirer.

Sometimes you cannot push a special connection between friends. It just happens. Two people come together, who find ease between them instantly and are comfortable in their skins. Laughing away at silly jokes for hours or talking the night away; a lasting relationship begins to fall into place between two people who understood each other well by simply being themselves. The spark wouldn’t douse even if the two “thieve” enormous pint or two of bourbon and celebrate!

So! where would you find the kindred-spirit that accommodates your mood, occasionally mimics intimacy and excites you in ways different than those you would otherwise face when spending time alone; quietly. Could you think up of an egghead who has all the signs of a true friend? Where should you look for one and know if that somebody is the big Daddy you were hunting for?

Taverns, bars, coffee shops, clubs, and even rec rooms are the usual joints that foster inner circles among people. Yeah! This is the tribe of savvy thinkers who will get you to realize that all that sweating, lifting and walking is not absolutely necessary for finding happiness. It is here that sharp contrast of unselfish indulgences change hands. It is here that your voice could finally get to grow some teeth. And, it is here that a good Johnny-on-the-spot could hammer some sense out of your successes, failures, opportunities and help you choose differently.

Someday you will make the naysayers jealous

I never realized that rushing lifestyles could reduce relationships into commodities so fast. It has left every relationship hanging by thread and every affinity slain of excitement. In all our complexities, we have shrunk to titles and net worth and eye each other as a means to an end. It is difficult to know who is legit and who pretends.

It all feels so punishing and fiendishly difficult…isn’t so?

Putting on a smiley face or saying right things and turning their back when the going gets tough, makes a difficult choice between deceit and uprightness. Props in hard times alone do not matter. A friend is someone who genuinely wants to see you succeed and is happy to see things go well for you in life; each time, every time. A true mate loves the person you are, with all the flaws and quirks and imperfections.

That doesn’t mean friends agree all the times. Rattling opinions help expand horizons! If your choice has been the right one, you will find yourself surrounded with people who share your values but warn you the moment you start falling off the track.

Worse luck! if your buddy wouldn’t help you to make the right choice even if that means saying something that you never wanted to hear in the first place.

“Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” ~ Albert Camus.

Close affinities like good friends just don’t pop out of nowhere and mature fast. So, if you happen to have more than a handful of real good ones, you are indeed blessed. Making and keeping real friends smells of a rare experience. Each lasting friendship represents a world within us, a world that is not born until they arrive. And it is only when we bump into each other, a new world is born for us.

So, get busy being an amazing human being. Be a good one and knight hearted. If you haven’t reached out in a while to the people in your life who love and support you; learn to do so. The awe of discovering a BFF will smitten you for good. Perhaps then you could make out what Mary Tilley (94) of two children, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, meant of Evelyn Hodge as friend- they had lived next door to each other for over 72 years in Britain– when she mused;“Evelyn is great company”.

Someday you too might as well get to get a real good friend who celebrates life with you.

Till then, keep smiling and face up…

It’s never too late to walk off into the sunset!!

Who moved my Pâte à choux? :12 insanely charming and generously forgiving ‘Tuck-away’ foods for a zesty dine!

Indulging your sweet tooth with a smart choice could sometimes save you from gorging hastily onto leftover chocolate chip cookies in the rec room. Watch out for those boring low-cal foods; stick to them or you could cool off with a scoopful of delightful tuck-away choices. Munch on delicious fudgy brownies or slurp on the gooey goodness of warm chocolate lava cake, just keep an eye for the size and you will never need to miss the fun!!

From a twice cooked, crisp, light and creamy pȃte à choux filled with vanilla ganache and grounded hazelnut paste, to a garlicky Korean Cream Cheese Bun or a chocolate chip cookie- crunchy at the edges and fudgey in the center; each has the remarkable pluck to hit the sweet spot every time and leave you surprised. Michelin perfect and raving over the spice n’ nice flavors, these good-for-you treats can seriously partner your sweet tooth.

“It sucks”? Not convinced either! You wonder if there is a reason why banana bread is such a rage after all ? What so good is there that could outclass traditional recipes and bowl you over with a single bite?

At some point or the other, if you crave for something sweet and find yourself looking for flavors on your table that are right from the get-go, you are not alone. Strong cravings usually get mushy in emotionally charged moments; Or is it only a nutritionist nightmare!

There is always a good chance that dusting off your mixer to whip up something sweet or sauntering off to nearest Patisserie might work as a good getaway for your sagging spirits. Sounds good, only if you could find a simple but delicious food with spin off flavors that could help and skyrocket your mood! If you were to ask me; for a best possible experience, try a coconut sponge cupcake with a swirl of buttercream on top and a jammy surprise of mango compote in the middle for a start. Swipe right and the exploding flavors will smitten you into love!

So, what roasts and bakes should you reach out and accept? And—most importantly, without compromising your nutritional needs? Should you dig into foods that are simple and satisfying but come with a blast of sugars? Choosing treats comes with its own set of problems!

Sugar isn’t something to eat freely.

Remember back when single-crusted, whipped-cream-topped, custard-based wonder -the cream pie was considered healthy? It existed simply as an unearthly way to use up surplus eggs and milk dying in the freezer, but lately thrived into ubiquity.

Speaking of cream pies, do you recall that classic French fruit tart, one that was essentially a single-crusted custard pie topped with sugar-glazed fresh fruit? Slender, colorful and mildly-flavored, this sweet was a staple of dessert carts and somehow managed to pass as a brunch selection at some of the fancy dines; no more! Heathilicious! “Uh-oh! Take cover!” Your teeth do not need to hurt or fall off just because you have decided to indulge in something sweet? For many years, I didn’t either, but now I know; you can eat sweet, keep your teeth and have a good beat!

If you have just finished a scrumptious healthy dinner and look for something sweet to quell your craving-light on calories, sugar and carbs but big on flavors– reach out to ones that are balanced and on a healthier track! Honestly who wouldn’t want to eat plenty of calories and then binge on easy treats that taste sweet and decadent but won’t leave you with a sugar crash!

For many of us, everyday dinner is like a light-on everything else, but joy. It feels more like a lackluster vinaigrette that would want you to skip the salad altogether. So, there is nothing wrong if you feel like you need a cleanse, as you did after all those Christmas cookies! Not like a juice cleanse but just don’t feel like eating cookies for sweets everyday kind of cleanse. If you are like me, eating dessert isn’t optional; I simply am not satisfied till I dig into something sweet. And just because you have a knack for eating healthy; doesn’t mean you ought to let go of a decadent taste and fiery flavors.

If you are hankering for something sweet but on the opposite side of the Cheesecake Factory horizon, look no further beyond these 12 incredibly addictive, healthy and guilt free foods, that run high on flavors but are light on everything else.

Turmeric sourdough toast

Feature credits: ‘How To Make Turmeric Bread Recipe’ by Top Food Eli in Youtube.com on Feb. 28, 2021.

This honey glazed toast, topped with a generous dollop of fat free butter and nigella seeds, is quintessentially a simple but skilled brunch plate to turn to. Few love to experiment it with Chia and poppy seeds. Delivering on each count of bright yellow color and beautiful aroma of honey, yeast and spices, the toast pairs nicely with a towering glass of hot chocolate, whipped up thick with Callebaut (a Belgian chocolate brand) on a rainy afternoon. Come summer and it is the perfect time to begin working with your favorite jam and jelly toppings. Could you ask for anything more of a perfect brunch? And to think you could drive right past your ‘tuck-away’ spot!

Uniquely organic the sourdough loaf has spicy, warming notes of turmeric and black pepper all holed-up in an airy chewy bread that is perfectly balanced with the natural tang of sourdough. Great for making some lively sandwiches or unconventional bruschetta, this loaf is an absolute must for avocado toast! True to its name this is one singular bread experience you just couldn’t miss!

Almond Chocolate Mug Cake

Feature credits: ‘ Now you can enjoy Mug cakes ‘Gluten free” by Ashees cookbook in Youtube.com on Sep.08, 2020.

On a keto diet? No worries! If there is one food that could up your protein count and is a heart-healthy choice, it is a cozy warm mug filled with a sweet, simple, gooey and moist cake! Unlike other mug cakes that run aground because of the taste of prep-made mixes, this one comes packed with goodness of almond meal, maple syrup, cacao powder and extra virgin olive oil and is one smart choice that will perk up your nutrients with 5 grams of fiber,13 grams of protein and 3 mgs. of iron. After all, you’re definitely need not eat empty calories with a comfort food!

Convenient and gluten free, a single serve of this mug cake packs extra punch of chips, stirred-in after it is baked. Try it and you will find yourself taking a shot at it again and again. Just who wouldn’t spare 10 minutes for a meltingly heathilicious chocolate cake?

Almond Coconut Macaroon

Feature credits: ‘Coconut Macaroons’ by El Mundo Eats in Youtube,com on Jul.25, 2020.

Feeling stressed or bowled over! you are getting nostalgic for your favorite classic treats but also dread jumping over the line and ruining your workout tips. To bail out, take your comfort food a notch higher considering your health goal and taste preferences and try this homemade delight to make sure if it’s worth it. The real deal of eating this treat is that none of the ingredients are complicated. Shredded coconut, dark chocolate, egg whites and almonds, all come together to keep your heart healthy and cool, while keeping type-2 diabetes at bay! Naturally occurring polyphenols, offer anti inflammatory and anti oxidant effects to reduce the risk of chronic diseases, especially if you have sized up your crush modestly and opt for the recipe with at least 70 percent cacao.

In other words, this is one meal after that you could feel good about indulging in. Look out for flavors versions like Mango Chilli and Coconut Passion fruit- you will be awestruck!

Coconut Cream Pie Chia pudding

Image source:’Toasted coconut cream pie chia pudding’ in wecountcarbs.com on Sep.03, 2020.

If you are anything close like me then you must be spending a great deal of time thinking about food! We all usually lack creativity for day meals that could be simple and often confused with being ‘flat’; but did you ever think that even a small platter of coconut cream pie chia pudding could bring a little sensation to the dinner table? Rich and decadent this velvety coconut pudding has slices of banana and comes topped with coconut whipped cream and toasted coconut!

Chia seeds are the most versatile of FODMAP (Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols, or say short-chain carbohydrates and sugar)fiber source. 10 gms /2 tbsp potion and you have just served yourself 8 gs of carbs and 8 gs of fiber!. Packed with Omega-3s, proteins and dietary fiber, this indulgent and nutrient dense pudding is a smart way to keep your gut healthy. Texture though is something that takes getting used to but health benefits are unassailable.

Could you think of a better low carb, keto friendly sweet treat to perk up your dinner spread! So, do yourself some good and indulge in this taste of tropical paradise!

Lemon and Yogurt syrup cake

Image source: ‘Lemon and yoghurt syrup cakes’ in taste.com.au.

If you think that you are a sucker when it comes to lemony delights, then this slightly tangy, flavorful, moist and totally delicious incredible cake is what you will love even waking up to, let alone enjoying after a quaint dinner. Marrying healthier options of coconut sugar, spelt flour and low fat Greek yogurt, this cake is a super moist and amazingly delicious end to your sweet craving. A simple lemon syrup brushed on while the cake is still warm, whips up magical flavors in each slice. For a twist, have it served with fruits, whipped cream, chocolate syrup or whatever you can think of. Berries with a light sprinkle of powered sugar make it the perfect way to have an angel treat, when you are on the go!

Cherry Coconut Yogurt Bites

Image source: ‘Cherry Coconut Frozen Yogurt Bites’ in probulin.com on Ap.16, 2021.

If those summery days are still all heat and sweat and your discomfort is inching up, chances are you are looking for something to cool you down. This refreshing convenience food tastes more like a chill cheesecake. Pureed cherries, coconut flavored Greek yogurt, maple syrup and shredded coconut; all blend together into a heavenly frozen bite!

Getting worked up over wrecking your fitness goals? Don’t fret; in bargain you get 1 gram of fiber and 5 grams of protein for each little frozen bite. Besides you score high on vitamins and minerals like vitamin-C and calcium also. (Each one cup of raw, pitted cherries gets you 10.8 mgs of vitamin-C.). If you are good on tweaked recipes, try lemon and blueberry combines for a start. Flavors here come together to make a super fresh, tangy and fruity treat. Eating it is almost like eating a pineapple flavored Paleta. Even strawberries and raspberries work really well and so do the peaches, nectarines or mangoes! With real ingredients and 45 calories or less per cup, this could easily be the newest sweet sensation to your private selection of desserts.

Lemon Pannacotta with Vodka Blueberry syrup

Manifesting an all Italian heritage, this inspired creamy lightly sweet tart, looks and tastes just as fancy. Served with some fresh fruit for added sweetness to balance out the tartness of lemon, every creamy bite of this molded chilled dessert is an oomph moment where the superbly complimenting tang of fresh berry sauce never misses the count. Turn your simple dinner, quick breakfast or casual brunch into a delightful escapade. It’s a lovely ending for a great dine. Looking beautiful and tasting great, it’s always a big hit with guests!

Frozen Strawberry Cheesecake

Image source: ‘Frozen Strawberry Cheesecake’ in dairyfarmersofcanada.ca.

If you are searching for a ‘ healthy’ low calorie treat, look no further! Using buckwheat, almonds, coconut and dates in the base instead of crackers, means this cheesecake has already cut down on processed sugars and added natural goodness. A delicious departure from the classic version, this 210 calories per serve cheesecake is all set out frozen with fresh strawberry and mint topping. Plus, the flavors are amped up even more, thanks to a drizzle of homemade strawberry topping sauce. The end result is the cake you are not just going to find anywhere!

Chocolate Pudding With Olive Oil and Sea Salt

Image source: ‘Egg-Free Chocolate Pudding With Olive Oil and Sea Salt Recipe’ by David Zinczenko and Matt Goulding in eatthis.com on Mar. 12, 2019.

Off the shelf puddings usually fare worst on calorie counts. Besides the flat regular chocolate flavor would often leave you bored and wondering if it was really worth the splurge! This home cooked version of chocolate pudding skips the eggs, cuts down on calories and goes easy on dime! Peppery olive oil and crunchy flakes of salt combine sublimely in this rich bittersweet chocolate recipe while flavors simply get fired up up with a drizzle of caramel sauce and fruity olive oil.

Still looking for a twist! If you want a pudding that comes little less smoky, ask for the one that does half smoked oil and half regular. Alternatively you could try lemon, lime or mandarin olive oil. Results will just be as amazing for this 310 calorie per serve dessert and won’t derail any of your healthy eating plans either.

Ginger-Carrot Pineapple Cake

Image source: ‘Easy Ginger-Carrot Pineapple Cake Recipe’ in eatthis.com on Jul.11, 2019.

A moist carroty delight with pineapple, chopped walnuts and topping of an easy-peasy cream cheese, this cake is one perfect combination of truly irresistible savory and sweet flavors. Grounded cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg make this tropical looking cake an all time treat that comes dotted with sweet raisins. Between the juicy pineapple and bright colored carrot ribbons, it is a perfect dessert for you to feel good about! Canned pineapple juice and finely chopped chunks whip up a fascinating zing that would leave with you with an insane crush for it. With 265 calories per serve, a dressed up cake with large shavings of toasted coconut never fails to take the center stage.

Cinnamon-Orange Lava Cake

In some places, dessert could simply mean a delicious piece of fruit. But there is everything so satisfying about this gooey lava cake! Watch the chocolate filling seeping out onto your plate as you slice through and the whole thing feels decadent! It might seem complicated but in fact it isn’t. Cinnamon and orange zest join bittersweet chocolate and pair perfectly to whip up a ramekin full of amazing flavors combination that you won’t forget anytime sooner. With 16 ingredients and 281 calories per serve, this spice enhanced chocolate orange flavored lava cake is an irresistible fare.

Mango and Turmeric raw cupcakes

Image source: ‘Raw Mango Cupcakes’ by Hana Mendes in onegreenplanet.org.

How often would you not find turmeric reserved in kitchen cupboards for savory dishes? Do you know that this earthy spice mingles perfectly well with sweeter flavors too! Incredible! But turmeric is just the thing to whip up a healthy treat. It’s loaded with curcumin, is amazing with antioxidant, anti inflammatory nutrients and livens up any recipe with a delicious earthy flavor and warm yellow hue.

Ever tried a turmeric laced dessert? From paleo turmeric ‘Cadbury’ Crème eggs to Mango-Ginger ice creams, turmeric adds an unexpected delightful taste that is simple but satisfying.

Spring is behind us and sunshine, blue skies and cool weather is around the corner. These bright, healthy orbs of sunshine make for an inspired dining anytime, every time! The unique touch of turmeric mingles seamlessly with the rich sweetness of refreshing mango, fresh turmeric, fresh ginger, lime and creamed coconut. The crust is a mix of almonds, sunflower seeds and medjool dates. Grain free and vegan, the recipe brings every bit of elegance to your table and tastes absolutely divine. Tweak it anytime! Fresh mango slices, flaked coconut or edible flowers; it’s a healthy and beautiful compliment to your search to eat savvy. And the possibilities are endless!

The more conscious you are about what you eat, the more you are likely to live longer!!

Here’s the thing about ‘tuck-away’ foods; They don’t have a black-and-white definition and you just can’t treat them like any other food. One way to go about them, is to eat them like Vitamins. Binging on these nutrient dense desserts would mean adding more protein, more fats and other foods besides sugar. This would of course have one wanting for more and if that’s you, it’s best you stay focused on ‘ just calories’. There is a time and place for enriched desserts, maybe; but your cheat day is not everyday, every time. Just remember that a mouthful could serve your half the recommended calorie intake!

Your craving for something sweet may rolls in and out and bother you persistently, but you don’t have to chill or deprive your sweet tooth completely. It’s still possible to indulge in without canceling all your hard fitness work. Everything in moderation” sounds OK, but the only problem is that if you are anything like me, you will have trouble stopping at few bites. Getting overboard is so easy and while sometimes it’s worth it, at others it pays not to go with so rich and super indulgent foods.

So! go ahead, freak out and ride a culinary rollercoaster with these best low pep tuck-away foods. You wouldn’t know but these calorie conscious foods could help you in shedding those pesky pounds without the worry of overdoing it!!

“I will find sunshine myself”- The hidden upsides of revenge eating and beyond!!

Food alone won’t make you happy if you cannot live by yourself.

Generally the word ’healthy’ and ‘revenge food’ don’t share space together. A late night ‘Jack in the box’ run or a quick cheeseburger on a road trip, each could hurt you if you cannot stay away from super-sized value options or settle for anything that is fast and easy, only because you are hurt bad and are on a trip to avenge blindfolded!!

But whatever you figure out to straighten things up, do keep an eye out for a food with plenty of nutritional value. Revenge or otherwise, you would do well to love being a winner in anger!

A romance with retribution is always bittersweet. It drives crime unashamedly; statistics say, up to 20% of homicides and 60% of random fatal killings!! And what more it shapes politics too. Even President Trump’s rush to Oval was nothing short of ‘revenge of working class”; those who felt cheated and abandoned had set the choice as an unforgiving sentiment.

Many of us would believe that vengeance against who have wronged us, is the only right choice to even out and the best way to avenge. In the heat of the moment it might feel relieving. This in fact is a powerful all pervasive emotion to get angry and wanting to hurt somebody who has harmed you. Have no doubts; the urge to avenge is all spiraling, reckless and self-inflicting. But then there is yet another one reason to celebrate its onset.

Post break up of revenge bout, the resulting lack of appetite will leave you slim n gorgeous in no time!! Who said I don’t care! A fitter, hotter, healthier and stunning you could make even your ex regret the heartache he caused you.

Revenge diet is not only about being depressed and ignoring food, all because of a weak or failing appetite. It merely adds to your woes. Revenge can never be your driving force and can never lead to anything worthwhile. On the contrary, it would make you look pale, weak and wasted. But the other side of the dime would nudge you to move on and be the eager beaver you had always wanted to be. So, be the live wire and give yourself some credit if you are a belly watcher and following a crash diet. Just don’t let that other person get away with all the credits. Love the break in the clouds and swap your anger with a pirated but healthy diet. After all, a revengicidal you is at best a vengeful jihadi on a crash diet. If you are on little Caesars diet, the ‘positive’ side of a revenge diet will walk you to losing weight in style.

But remember if you have chosen squirrel‘s diet just to make your ex jealous or uncomfortable to those who annoy you, the spite might be short lived and end once you have moved on. Close on heels will be your diet plan that would just go for a toss. If revenge was the sole motive you may gain more than you have lost! So stay positive and shed those extra kilos just for yourself. Nothing matters to anybody, once you or they move on even if you look a lot sexier after having lost weight. So who are you losing your weight for? Who could be your better audience than you yourself?  Go for treks, cycle, do yoga or simply meditate. And you are on your way to a healthier, slim looks. Just make sure that once out for revenge, the romance with anger stays positive for you and diet itself remains healthy. Depressed people usually tend to lose interest in food and shed weight in an unhealthy way that messes the scale once out of revenge. So if you are out for revenge and wish to fume with anguish and anger in a useful way without getting mired in vindictive rations, try on these foodstuff and overcome your spiteful frenzy without hurting yourself. Some of these are better served cold. Here are 10 of them to cheer up with and enjoy while crushing your enemies, etc., etc.

The lies we tell ourselves about revenge food: It’s healthy, it’s delicious!

“You would never give your child a can of beer but you don’t think twice about giving them a can of soda.” Dr. Robert Lustig .

Forgive those who have wronged you for they say this is good for your overall wellbeing! Who’re you kidding? How could you move on tied to some good, old-fashioned, intricately plotted revenge, served ice cold? This reminds me –some of your favorite food is best served cold! From screamin’ Sicilian Pizza to Bessie’s Revenge Cheese to spaghetti Bolognese, and from gazpacho to an icy martini, each favorite awaits to be eaten with a chilly disposition. Remember eating exotic is never considered a funeral food.

Ice cream sandwich

This one calls for baking one giant cookie. Try hard not to forget your revenge when you bake a giant cookie. Nothing would be more thrilling than eating a giant cookie in front of those who’ve wronged you, and not offering them a bite. No morsel would be just brutal and befitting.

Cucumber Soup with Mint, Watercress, and Feta Cheese

Fuming and feeling hot under the collar? Try this soup and feel your anger piping down to find you cool as a cucumber in a jiffy. Your luv for Feta though has just turned a tight corner! This is certainly not a recipe for weight loss, though it looks like one.

Image source: ‘Chilled cucumber dill mint soup with feta and red onion’ by Chef Andreia in dontask4rsalt. com

Time for a Regina George truly evil badass moment!!

Olive Oil Ice cream

Wondering if this frozen dessert is any good! “If it tastes really awesome?’ The answer is yes. It tastes as good as the aftermath of retribution!! What won’t taste good though is if you also push some sautéed onions and garlic in it and try it in a chocolate dipped waffle cone, sprinkled with cinnamon dust.

For the fun of it maybe you could just let that thought marinate with you for a while. The mirthful satisfaction of avenging silently is so brazenly gratifying that your stormy mood will find peace even if it is short lived. Choose a light-bodied fruity olive oil over its heavy peppery cousin and you will fall in love with the olive oil gelato, Great flavor and texture!! You just afford to miss the works.

Raspberry and Aperol Floats

This frozen delight will make you shut out all the insanity and ills for a while. And so would Aperol, that Italian bitter aperitif with a vibrant orange hue made of gentian, rhubarb, and cinchona, among other things. But what if you took your first sip of what seemed like some great creamy vanilla ice cream float, and instead you get to jab a straw into a monstrous frozen orb of ice? Call it a disaster that would be the worst, correct; the absolute worst. This edgy creamsicle, bittersweetly balanced and boasting of a crown of coral foam, is somewhat akin to Campari but is less boozy. Try it, you may end up admiring it for all the things gone wrong here!

Ajoblanco

A popular Spanish cold soup made of bread, crushed almonds, garlic, water, olive oil, salt and sometimes vinegar and usually served with grapes or slices of melon is essentially a more delectable version of white gazpacho. Traditionally made with green grapes the recipe is brightened up by adding green apple. It however, does little to your soothe your stormy mood as you dig in.

Feature credit:’ Ajoblanco- Spanish Garlic Soup Recipe’ by Happy Foods Tube in youtube.com on Aug 31, 2013.

The velvety texture is what makes it luscious for slurping, and atrocious to clean out of your favorite shirt!!

Watermelon Gazpacho

It’s pretty hard to be pathetic and be in a woeful mood when eating this bright pink, creamy and sweet soup—but this dish is exactly the kind of recipe that you could try for a perfect revenge food!

Feature credits: ‘ Watermelon Gazpacho’ by Currytrail in you tube.com on Jun. 19, 2019.

Light and refreshing, Watermelon Gazpacho is healthy, low fat and very easy to digest, sweet and spicy in taste. Perfect as a cold summer soup, Gazpacho is much like its tomatoey version but has a blend of watermelon, cucumber, bell pepper and tomato.

When you rake up gazpacho regularly, this soup improves overnight as the flavors get a chance to blend. It’s perfect for a light meal on a hot day. You can easily make a large batch and enjoy it for days!

Potato Salad with Pickles and Dill

Image source: ‘Dill pickle potato salad’ by Sue in theeviewfromgreatisland.com .

Creamy and chunky, this potato salad with pickles and eggs, tossed with creamy dill dressing is a perfect side dish for your summer rush for revenge foods. This is one of those foods which could give you some inspiration for a perfectly delicious revenge diet. So simple yet dreamily cruel, this is a different and delicious take on a not-so-traditional potato salad. If you are a dill pickle lover, this is the right revenge salad for you. Swap out the mayonnaise for low-fat mayo when you want this salad to be full of crunchy, dill pickle goodness!

If you find it hard to eat, try inviting yourself to this not-so-delicious call. Hey, let’s just call it water under the bridge; let’s try some delicious potato salad!” in an apparent attempt to bury the hatchet all within you. The stellar tang of fresh dill, sweet celery and pungent red onions that beckons you is always a flavorful way to troll yourself with a pop of flavors!!

Cakes and bakes: There’s a sweeter way to avenge

And it’s not always sugar’s fault. Indulge in those beer and wine blended cupcakes or stuff yourself with custard filled tarts, take a trip to a bar to create your own unique combination of frosties or rush out to your vacations with pies that could travel in a jar!; you just couldn’t blame that little bright crystals of sweetness, each time you couldn’t pull off your revenge! Try passing on a sweet revenge on someone else then.

People say bizarrely mean things that could make anybody go really mad. And if you happen to be the fuming victim, it’s time for some of these so-called trolls to get a taste of their own medicine. So how does it work? Begin by tracking down the physical location of the offensive person via the IP address. Whip up a retaliatory mini cake with said comment decorated in icing or edible letters. Box it and send to the person who wrote the vile comment, with a copy of the comment taped to the inside of the box. Trust me, nothing feels better to identify the tweet that spoke ill of you and tried to trump you as being the most insane person and then slam it in your own unique way. It’s heartwarming to name and shame the guilty. The shaming mini-cake in fact works almost like having a little parachute of sanity. Your greatest satisfaction will be just how weirdly awkward and embarrassing it gets for the wrong-doer. It works in no less the same way as a sweet savory recipe!

Still not convinced!! If you cannot avenge then take revenge on yourself. Pretty Italian cakes for instance make for a delicious revenge diet. Try cassata—a traditional Sicilian cake that uses sponge cake, sweetened ricotta, chocolate bits and candied fruit draped with a bright green marzipan fondant. The taste however is rather acquired and could leave you crest fallen, hungry and utterly dismayed. Pared-down version that blends all the familiar flavors—ricotta, dark chocolate, pound cake, almond liqueur and candied orange, is a better choice though. Then you are welcome to try horde of other delights. From moist dark chocolate cakes with layers of buttercream icing to tarts with vanilla layers soaked in sour cream, coconut syrup and whipped icing all wrapped in fresh coconut; these devil foods are atrociously tasty and await to incriminate you.

Pico de gallo

Image source: ‘Pico De Gallo Salsa Recipe’ by Teri Gilson in foodmeanderings.com on Ap. 28, 2021.

Pico de gallo or salsa fresca or salsa cruda, is a typical Mexican cuisine. Traditionally made from chopped tomato, onion, and serrano peppers, with salt, lime juice, and cilantro, Pico de gallo is used in much the same way as other Mexican liquid salsas.

Traditionally made with in-season, ripe, juicy tomatoes, if you wish to draw the strings harder for your sins, pull it together using hard, flavorless “winter whites,” you’re just asking for a bland, lackluster salsa. And this is one dish nobody would ever wish on his or her worst enemies…or is it? Call it food regret, food challenge or food jealousy, vengeance is always more satisfying when exacted in an unexpected way at an unexpected time. Wish you some luck!

Sushi

Image source: ‘Top 5 Places for Sushi on International Sushi Day in Kolkata’ by Madhushree Basu Roy in eazydiner.com on Jun. 18, 2019.

Elegant arrangement, enhanced simplicity and ethereal beauty is what turns Sushi into a work of genius. The preparation, shape, presentation and taste though somewhat differs from place to place representing tradition and characteristics so inherent to the locality. What more, the drama unfolds right before your eyes by the chef, and the enchantment that follows is simply irresistible. Traditionally sushi was prepared as pickled fish preserved in vinegar but nowadays it contains rice and is prep with sushi vinegar served with a white radish thinly peeled to a sheet like thingy and then julienned into fine strips. Few restaurants prefer to serve string Daikon (white radish) sans its spicy tangy taste.

Is it rude? How could you possibly draw blood for your offence if it’s none other than you? And especially when you don’t want to eat rushing with other things! My advice? Don’t feel offended, dine out alone and make sure that sushi is served with chili- all cold. Weird combo of food would simply overpower your sushi rush and might just as well ruin the evening for food being wildly off-theme. What a crass way to avenge yourself! You eat a lot or you simply couldn’t. Just one of the few things I can think of!

Let happiness find you!

I have never really understood what is meant by saying ‘Revenge is a dish best served cold. Does it mean trying gazpacho? – a tomato soup that everyone likes hot, but is served chilled on purpose, to be a huge disappointment and a rude shocker; especially if you think you are a sensitive-toothed person.

And what about Revenge being sweet’? Is it a revenge-gazpacho that needs sugar and the tomatoes are unripe – but just a pinch. Maybe revenge should never be themed desserty; it’s confusing enough dish as it is. And finally there’s that saying, “Revenge is a kind of wild justice”, Uh-Oh! No food-references here! But you might try some cured salty pork and plate it as a hearty, chilled, salty refreshing revenge-gazpacho. That’s just perfect for your pay back moments. Of course, there are ways to turn your food into a good healthy diet that will bounce you back to freedom and lose weight happily! What do you care, if your revenge diet reeks of rebounds of sorts!

So sit back quietly, eat well, grieve if you must and carry on with losing flabs!!

If only your pie could talk! :10 untold sob stories of best loved desserts that you missed.

When it comes to sweets, who would ever say never to those fleeting spikes of pleasure! But ever wondered how guilty, bittersweet or elusive their past has been? From frosted pies to sweet buns to cakes to Pop tarts, they all are winners and each one of them has an intriguing story to tell. It’s time we heard them. Like an impossible love affair let’s try and make the future of cheat food truly free and fair!!  

Imagine this. You drop by your neighborhood pâtisserie and decide to pick up one of those non-descript sweets that you have read so much about; but have not tried so far.

You decide on the right one and reach out to pick it up… and it screams!!

What the hell?!

That pud is talking, you are taken aback! No correct, screaming!!

Ok, so now you are getting a little panicky. What’s happening here? What’s going on with this dish?

Not for a moment would you believe that a future is in the making where the food is empowered to talk back and tell us everything about itself? Not yet! Not sure for now, but give or take another ten years down the line, your favorite food might mimic a ‘block chain’-adifficult to follow chain without any trail”, thanks to digital identity technologies sailing high these days. Everything will have an end-to-end encrypted log and our everyday pud will be able to tell us the full story of its existence!

Think of a future when we make a pick of dessert, scan a QR code and see the story of its life, and everything that owns a part of its story. Could you believe that trust apart, the power will be all ours to vote with our wallet in this moment!

This is when our food will ask us to listen, wanting us to trust what it has to say!  Sounds weird doesn’t it? But if and when this happens the stories we get told, might become the truth and the narrative a reality.

Truly free and fair: The ‘run clean’ truth

Ever wondered, why bakes especially cakes are synonymous with birthdays? Why stubs of wax standing deep down in the frosting of a sticky sweet chocolate cake, wink at you when lighted, to blow them and make a wish before eating the poor-me with a gusto? Funny but intense; the secret lives of goodies at your table leaves so much to explore! So, let’s begin by unearthing unheard of amazing life stories of 10 classic desserts that may have lost relevance over the time to more modern, processed favorites like Oreos and Pop tarts, yet remain as stunning and awesome as ever.

German Chocolate Cake

 “No, it is not named after the country Germany. With key ingredients like sweet baking chocolate, coconut, and pecans , this out of box cake drew its name from an American- Sam German (1802-88)-who first came up with a mild dark baking chocolate bar for Baker’s Chocolate Company in 1852. The company chose to honor him by naming the chocolate after him– “Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate.” The possessive form slowly faded away over the years, leaving behind the name German Chocolate Cake that we know of today.

A stupendous hit ever since it came into being, this cake filled and topped with coconut pecan frosting, stayed unapologetically decadent and indulgent for the larger part of 20th century but today this  not–so-German chocolate cake seems to have lost all charm and sweetness, and offers not much but texture to the cake. In fact, without the cream cheese frosting that tops it, it might actually taste quite bland to few. The texture is quite similar to coconut and renders the cake a German vibe. That apart, this cake’s appeal is nothing much to write home about!!

Revenge Cookie (Neiman Marcus cookie)

It’s unlikely that you haven’t heard that funny story about the woman lunching at the Neiman Marcus Café in Dallas, who loved the cookies so much that she asked for the recipe. For “only two-fifty” and the bargain was settled; but when the bill arrived, to her dismay she found out that she was being charged $250 for the recipe. The outraged woman and the story of enduring myth that followed, famed Neiman Marcus cookies as a delicious variation of chocolate chips confection.

The blended oatmeal in the dough is what gives these famous cookies the kind of tender, chewy, chocolaty texture and body that thrills every palate. Homemade and full of chocolate chips and nuts, this knockout bake is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser any time of day.  Add some more chocolate from a grated Hershey bar and you could woo even the most unrepentant naysayers to taste it.

The cookie story in fact, serves beyond a typical chocolate chip confection recipe. And it’s not difficult to know why!  The state of outrage of this woman had decided that no one was ever going to pay for this recipe again and it was shared in no less than a chain letter style. Fast forward! This bake story lately came to be reimagined and reinterpreted as ‘Revenge cookie tale’. Some even called it Urban Legend cookie!

So much for the story, but it left in its wake equally delicious and mouthwatering trail of Neiman Marcus cookies.

‘Gosh’! It did make a good story.

Jalebi

From ‘Zulbiya’ of ancient Persia to Bengal’s omnipresent ‘Jilapi’ the luscious swirls of this Indian dessert– Jalebi has travelled a full circle!

Try it on a frosty, finger numbing cold winter morning. A hurried walk to the nearest sweet shop, all trussed up in woollens, an impatient wait in the queue and finally you get to sink your teeth in a platter full of hot, swirled, deep fried sugary goodness, topped with that heavenly rabri (sweet, condensed-milk-based dish). Your soul sighs in contentment!

Already going gaga over this unrivalled dish! And why shouldn’t you? It has never failed to stir up an obsessed enthusiast in you. Eat it just plain after a humble breakfast or evening snack of Samosa and Chai combo, in milk or with curd, hot or cold, this syrupy yeasty batter is a delightful end to your meal; any time, every time.

But there is a dark side to this recipe too! This may shock you a bit, but Jalebi never originated in India. In fact, the one that has turned into a national craze and is a foodie-favorite elsewhere, is an evolved version of Middle Eastern ‘Zalabiya’ or the Persian ‘Zulbiya’ of the early 10th century. Finding mention in ‘Kitab al-Tabeekh’ a Persian cook book by Muhammad bin Hasan al-Baghdadi, the recipe also found space in another 10th century cookbook Kitab al-Ṭabīḫ, penned by Ibn Sayyaf al-Warraq- an Arab cook book compiler and author from Baghdad.

Popular in Iran even to this day, Zulbiya unlike Jalebi has an asymmetric floral coil pattern and mandates the syrup of honey and rose water instead of simple cardamom flavored sugar syrup.

Brought into the Indian subcontinent by the Persian traders and invaders alike throughout the medieval period, the shipped-in Zulbiya didn’t take long to weave itself into the traditional Indian cuisine like never ever. Today this syrup sweetness has invaded every menu. From road side eatery to country side fair to upscale restaurants this delightful cheat food leaves everyone ecstatic, indulgent and stoked with joy- always!

From heavy weight Jaleba of night markets of Madhya Pradesh and Chhanar Jilipi’ of Bengali kitchens to ‘Khoya Jalebi’ of Hyderabad to Jahangiri’ of Andhra Pradesh; call what is what; the lip smacking flavors from a hot, sweet, dripping Jalebi will never let you have enough. Allow yourself to burn for a while and this could be one more oomph on your table!

Rasgulla

To those who argue if Bengal has contributed to this country anything other than Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, spark to Indian nationalism and Well Spring Pharmaceutical Corporation (makers of Gelusil antacid), they must not forget that it is the Bengal that touched India with soft, pearly white balls of cheese, dipped in flavored sugar syrup that has endured a top pick frenzy ever since.

Just as much few claim foreign origin for Marx, some stand up for an extra Bengali source for the making of rasgulla. No beans spilled! But it stays; no reference to cheese is found in India till the end of 17th century. So how could the Bengal ever lay its hand on cheese?

After Vasco Da Gama ‘discovered’ India in 1498 via a route that the Arabs had in use for at least two millennia before him, it was not long after, that the Iberians had claimed the entire Indian coast stretching from Chittagong in Bengal to Bombay in Marathwada.

And it were the Portuguese that ended up introducing three different acid-curdled cheese to Bengal. One was obviously Chhana (milk split with citric acid). The other one was the more smoky ‘Bandel Cheese’; an all-time British favorite, and the last but not the least was more like a hardened ‘feta’ (a Greek brined curd white cheese made from sheep’s milk or from a mixture of sheep and goat’s milk) that could never take off or make big because of its tangy, salty and sharp flavors. Nowadays found only in Dhaka, it is fondly remembered asDhakai Paneer’.

Chhana subsequently spread to rest of India, where it was compressed into blocks and given the Persian name for cheese’ Paneer’; a name that even the Turkish had borrowed from elsewhere! The heavenly blend of milk solids and sugar that enraptures us today as ‘Rasgulla, owes its honeyed grace to an even more sugary soul from Bengal-Nobin Chandra Das. Few still argue over the brains behind the business and claim otherwise. Rude and shocking! But whatever the controversy; if he didn’t invent it in the first place, at least it was him who tweaked it, took it to the market and finally to your plate as an out of the box sweet.

To this day, this chhana ball boiled in sugar syrup that makes it spongier and gives it a longer shelf life, is unarguably one stellar pick of a dessert. Served cold makes it even more ravishing and overwhelming!

Baked Alaska

A cake that melts hearts and is a celebrations celebrity, baked Alaska usually ends up as a shared dessert in restaurant menus. This cake and ice cream dish enveloped in meringue and then brûléed on the outside, is an unlikely but wonderful outcome of the baking method that was conceived by an 18th century scientist Sir Benjamin Thompson whose way to prepare theOmelette Norwegge,” the treat’s name at the time, was later embraced by Charles Ranhofer, a Parisian chef working at Delmonico’s in New York.

This often ‘Go-dutch’ special dessert is said to have been invented to celebrate the US acquisition of Alaska in 1867. Carved out of velvety cake and tantalizing ice cream, topped with meringue and set on fire after adding Kirsch or liqueur, the tale, taste and drama of this classic cake is beyond a delicate acclaim!

Mud Pie

Rich, indulgent and gooey, this pie is made with flourless chocolate cake filling topped with whipped cream in a buttery chocolate crust, and looks and feels like the muddy banks of Mississippi river.  It is rumored that this delicate pie most likely originated in the U.S. State of Mississippi, hence the name. If anything said in ‘Our Fifty States’ is true, then the earliest confirmed mention of this legendary delicacy did come from Jenny Meyer, a waitress in Vicksburg, Mississippi. The melting frozen pie created by the Chef Percy Tolliver reminisced her of Mississippi mud that followed the great floods of 1927. Her remarks paved the way for christening this heavenly dish of Graham cracker crust, fudgey chocolate sauce, chocolate pudding, chocolate whipped cream and fluffy whipped cream; Baked Alaska! All in a sensational awesome blend of flavors, this recipe cares little or none for the waistlines. The gooey chocolate sauce sitting atop a crumbly chocolate crust and served with ice cream, ever screams indulgence and never has any mercy for potbellies!

With more than a dozen recipe variations, this pie nowadays comes with an Oreo cracker crust, a layer or three of chocolate pudding and a creamy topping of whipped cream, marshmallow fluff, or meringue. Honestly, I don’t think if it could get any better than this!

Doughnuts

“Who made the doughnut with the hole in the middle? Just how it got there will be always a riddle.” Guess why Cindy Hutchins – a celebrity singer of 20’s sounded so true to the convoluted past of the humble doughnut! The origin lay right there in the name, but was so easy to miss.

It is true that this meek recipe with a weird past, involved Dutch immigrants, Russian exiles, and French bakers and who else; celebs like Irving Berlin and Clark Gable!

Seemingly typical American in origin, doughnuts have been around so long that even the archaeologists have been prompted to rummage the history of Native American settlements. Fast forward to mid-19th century and you may come across Elizabeth Gregory, mother of New England ship’s captain Hanson Gregory, who dreamed of and created the first doughnut as a deep fried dough that used her son’s cargo of nutmeg and cinnamon and a bit of lemon rind. Some say she did this purposely so that her son and the crew could store the pastry for long voyages; one that would ward off scurvy and cold as well. She had put hazelnuts and walnuts in the center as an afterthought and in a literal-minded way called them doughnuts.

Few argue that it were the Dutch settlers who brought the olykoeks or “oily cakes”—to New Amsterdam or New York City of today sometimes in the 1800s. But few also credited Hanson Gregory, the captain for jabbing a hole in the middle of the pastry that created the first ever real doughnut meeting the ‘mortal eyes’. Cynics think otherwise and maintain that he did this to stint on ingredients or maybe he thought that the hole made it lot easier to digest!

You would agree that less is always more, but doughnut didn’t come to fore until World War I, when it was first fed to the French trenches in million. War over, and back home the natural yen for doughnuts invaded the supermarkets and home kitchens alike. But it was not until 1920 that Adolph Levitt -a Russian refugee’s doughnut machine that signaled the arrival of doughnuts as a gainful trade. Till then it was merely a taste sensation and a public spectacle. And it’s not so difficult to know why!

For generations people had stood behind those glass windows transfixed to shiny conveyor belts and racks filled with fresh glazed doughnuts, often half swooning at the warmth and sweet vanilla richness of it all and learning in the process that the hole is made and not cut out.  There right before their eyes, the dough, shaped like a perfect smoke ring, jumped  off into a vat of boiling oil, got turned over to brown on the other side, and came out from the oil on a moving ramp, one by one like ducks in a row.

Wars worked like a powerful stimulant that pushed the doughnut consumption. From Doughnut Dollies (the Red Cross women volunteers)to Irving Berlin to Smithsonian’s; by late 1950s, everybody had romanticized the doughnuts into a frenzy. Nobody was minding eating his or her way through some anxious waiting moments! Consumption figures though drew the ire of nutritionists.

Generally deplored and not encouraged by the waist watchers, the 300 calorie batter, derided mainly for its sugar and fat contents, bemoans the unsaturated fats of the glazed delight. But neither the science nor the culinary geniuses scoff at it or cry-wolf to its utter addicts. The Krispy Kreme‘s hot “original glazed” doughnut safely adverted as “angelic” or even “sugar-coated air” remains a top pick cheat food to stay stoked and ecstatic to this day!

Lady Baltimore cake

A specialty and a favorite wedding cake, this mountainous white cake topped with a “Seven Minute Frosting “is what makes it so distinctive. The combination of chopped nuts and dried or candied fruits in its frosting make this cake very unique and render it complex flavors.

Image source: ‘Lavender Lady Baltimore cake for Evelyn’ by Jennifer Teismann in flickr.com on April 21, 2010,

Culinarians and critics are unable to find any recorded mention or recipe for the Lady Baltimore Cake except that it was in 1906 that it first appeared in newspaper articles. So, who actually invented or first made this cake is a matter of dispute. Some say that Owen Wister (1860-1938), a popular romance novelist had modeled the central character Lady Baltimore-after one of the city’s former belles, Alicia Rhett Mayberry in his story line.  In the novel, Lady Baltimore created a cake also called “Lady Baltimore.” It is rumored that Wister’s description of the cake sent readers of his novel scrambling to find a recipe that was yet to be created.

Few chroniclers claim that it were the Florence and Nina Ottelengui, the longtime managers of  Charleston’s Lady Baltimore Tea Room for a quarter of a century, who had created a cake toward the end of the 19th century which was somewhat akin to common “Queen Cake” of that period.

And if Janet Clarkson of ‘The Old Foodie’ blog is to be believed, the first recipe surfaced in December 24th 1906 edition of the Daily Gazette and Bulletin newspaper of Williamsport, Pennsylvania. This classic delight created with white cake layers and a fruity and toasted nut filling of figs, raisins, pecans or walnuts and crowned with boiled marshmallow icing turns out as a much lauded southern belle cake of the early 20th century. Of course, the Lady Baltimore cake apparently had nothing to do with the city of Baltimore or a lady for that matter. From most accounts, its origin is a teaser.

Delicate and light in texture, this pillowy white cake enhanced by the syrupy sweetness of dates and raisins, is an anytime ethereal finish to your meal!

Lemon chiffon cake

Light and airy-thanks to the many beaten egg whites that are folded into the batter-the chiffon cake was invented by a Californian insurance agent turned caterer Harry Baker. Lighter than a buttery pound cake and moister than a sponge cake, the cake was an absolute hit overnight, but the recipe could gain some acceptance some 20 years later, only after it was sold to General Mills. A closely guarded recipe, the cake in the meantime kept on doing rounds in the Hollywood feasts and probably for Brown Derby in L.A.

Fast forward to 1947! once the beans got spilled, Betty Crocker shared it as a signature dessert in a pamphlet in 1948 along with 14 recipes and variations to it. Rest is just history!

Image source: ‘Lemon Chiffon Cake’ by Foodie Photography in foodiephotography.photoshelter.com.

Lower in saturated fat than most butter cakes, the light texture of the lemon chiffon cake comes primarily from beaten egg whites, which are folded into the batter and give it a high rise similar to that of an angel food cake. Tall with an airy, even crumb that promises every bite to be light and fluffy, this cake may not have multiple layers or snowy frosting, but never falls short as a crowd –pleaser either! Blissfully overwhelming and always a top pick, the cake is an inescapable addition to your repertoire for cake-bakes!

Chess pie

The name sounds a bit weird! But this pie certainly has nothing to do with the game of chess. Unlike the heady game, this pie is a simple but magical blend of butter, lots of sugar, milk, cornmeal, eggs and a dash of vinegar.

Little is known about its origin but most believe that the recipe descended from early English settlers in the Virginia colony. A recipe similar to it is found in the cook book by Martha Washington from mid-18th century. Few however disagree and claim that this could be a deviation of ‘cheese pie’ that is similar in texture to British cheesecake and lemon curd. Yet another belief is that it was named after the town of Chester, England or perhaps it drew its label after the pie chest’– a piece of furniture prior to advent of freezers in which the pies could be stored.

Plenty of guesses and a bit of folklore, but the origin of the name chess pie to this day is uncertain. The close one is, that since it resembled much to the English lemon curd pie, ‘chess ‘might have been a more ‘Americanized’ inflection of the word “cheese,” which basically meant curd pie.

A cheese-less cheesecake with variations ranging from lemon to chocolate to buttermilk and nuts to Coconut and orange; this exalted recipe has time travelled from the period when pecans and other nuts were hard to come by and a sugar pie merely meant combining eggs, sugar, flour or cornmeal and butter. With unrivalled storage qualities, this pie was one dessert that was crazily endeared even by the queens and bishops and knights alike.

To this day, this pantry staple classic made out of basic pantry ingredients is an up-the-sleeve surprise serve to friends and family alike!

Perhaps this all is a bit crazy or a little dreamy, but if sweet buns and cakes and those frosted pies could talk — tell us their real story — well, let’s just say, who wouldn’t want to listen? They may not be screaming yet but their story is screaming out to be told. So when they do talk someday, let’s listen…

Or at least, may be marvel at their awesome tale for now!

Even as more, stranger-than -fiction sobfest stories await to be heard!!

Sweet and forgotten: 15 old fashioned classic desserts from the decade I was born!

From the black forest cake you bring out at special celebrations to finger buns from the local bakery, the gen-x versions of retro desserts have a history to remember. And nothing hits the spot better than these vintage remakes. Reminisce and re-live the awesome goodness of these smash hits from the fabulous fifties. Just let go of yourself and don’t forget; you are never too old to enjoy!!

Few things endure, like fond memories of the foods we ate as children. They are pleasant and reassuring. If you are from the 1950s or 1960s, you would agree that life was no less complicated and imperfect then, as it is now. Those were the times when nobody would settle  for anything less, especially if it was about food. Yet it was all so simple and perfect! From frosted party sandwich loaves to tea sandwich treats, from ribbon sandwiches to their pinwheel and mosaic cousins; moist, frosted and vibrantly flavored classics ‘afters’ were everywhere. You just couldn’t have helped drool over those sensational dinner and dessert combos! Few of you might still be bumping into Spam loaf flashback now and then.

And remember those quirky ads plastered high and bright across the billboards and splashed over TV screens! ‘Try topping your mister’s Jell-O Chiffon Pie with whipped cream and shaved chocolate. He’ll love it!”. The years of fabled 50’s were the dawn of easy-to prepare foods. For the first time you didn’t need to make simple dish like pie from scratch. Jell-O had come out with new easy-fillings for favorites like Chiffon and Lemon meringue pie. Cakes and pies were the hot favorites for desserts. Every baker now knew that for Chiffon desserts, egg whites was to be beaten into the mix to produce the “fluffy” consistency. But with the new Jell-O Chiffon pie filling, only sugar and water whipped up a light and airy treat that was similar in texture to that of Chiffon fabric, another popular trend in the Fabulous Fifties!

The first thing that had stormed the center stage of desserts then, were the ads featuring Jell-O recipes. Jell-O was a big deal then and people were beginning to learn all the neat things one could do with it; Parfaits, Jell-O molds, even pies! Popping in a fruit into a Jell-O mold was the perfect sweet pot-luck theme. To the 1950’s, Jell-O was heaven-sent! It made things so easy to end up with people-pleasing treats. All that was then needed to satisfy a sweet tooth was a wrap of banana cream pudding, a frozen pie crust, and some whipped topping; simple, classic, and always a huge hit!

But, like all the subtler things in life, desserts too changed trends. Over the time the people have aced the art of making great desserts, but the missive is loud and clear; Golden desserts from fifties are still missed. You can’t time travel, but you can always remember the happy fulfilled days of poodle skirts, jukeboxes and diner foods of old fashioned recipes invariably flanked with assortment of delicious desserts to polish off.

Take a trip down the memory lane with these 15 long forgotten desserts and find out what second course everyone was talking about then and if any of those delights are still around or forgotten much like that exquisite chocolate fondue you were gifted on your wedding day!!

Angel Food Cake

This sponge cake was one dessert that made its place as the most popular sweet serve to the guests in the 1950s. Topped with sugary berries and no chemical leavener, this most ethereal of cakes drew its distinction from other kuchens of its time, for it ruled out  butter. First created in as early as the late 1800s, it gained wide acclaim because of a particularly light, fluffy, airy texture and mild flavor. “Food of the angels”, is how people knew it then. Traditionally baked in a tube pan or bundt pan (inspired by a traditional European cake known as Gugelhupf, the pan is shaped into a distinctive doughnut form), it was typically devoured plain, but preferred toppings were a fruit compote or sauce or a light glaze; flavors that turned it heaven-bound. Topped or frosted, these angels were delicious anytime of the year.

Baked Alaska

Feature credits: ‘ Baked Alaska recipe’ by Home cooking Adventure in youtube.com on Jun. 30, 2017.

Made from sponge cake and meringue topped ice cream, this decadent dessert, rumored to have been invented as early as 1867 in New York, is quick-baked in high temperatures. The meringue cuts–off the ice cream from the heat and prevents it from  melting while it sets.

Baked Alaska first found its way into print in Fannie Farmer’s 1896 Boston cooking school cook book, though some say that the idea of baking ice cream inside cake and meringue had been around for quite some time. This science defying pud vowed the masses when introduced in the 1950s. Made with a sponge bottom, a thick layer of jam, a dollop of ice cream and a perfectly baked meringue shell, this hot- outside-cold-inside dessert had quickly turned into an impressive potluck centerpiece. For a refreshing end to a rich meal, this freezer finale never failed to draw ‘oohs and aahs’.

Banana Split

First created in 1904 the banana split was the buzz word at soda fountains all the way up to 1950’s. There were lots of ways to make one, but the classic consisted of a banana cut lengthways, served with vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream, a drizzle of pineapple, chocolate and strawberry sauce, plus whipped cream and maraschino cherries or two. Chopped nuts or peanuts, fresh berries, and pineapple chunks were other traditional toppings that made this dessert stood out among the usual fare. Cool, creamy and with no last minute fuss since you pull it out from the freezer, this classic banana skillet dessert was something to look at and unbelievably delicious.

Served in a boat shaped dish, it features as a vintage throw back on diner menus even today.

Pineapple Upside down Cake

Image source: ‘Pineapple Upside-Down Cake’ by Betty Crocker Kitchens in bettycrocker.com on

This cake has a long history stretching over to may be Victorian or more. Nobody is sure! Easy as it were; fruit, sugar and other ingredients were first added into a pan, then cake batter was poured over it and cooked over medium flame; the stuff would then be dumped upside down. Times changed and so did the way it were made. Not long after a machine was invented that sliced pine apples into rings, it was introduced to this upside down cake concept. By the end of 1950’s this simple delicious dessert had made inroads on kitchen platters everywhere. Jell-O products though didn’t blink then and continued to fascinate many. But kitchens of 50’s were beginning to like to use pineapple. Dole and Del-Monte pineapple ads were showcasing ideas on how to infuse pine apples into desserts. “Pineapple upside down cakefound firmer grounds thereafter.

The 1950’s version of this cake hasn’t changed much today, but its popularity has waned over the time as the canned pineapple, once a favored convenience food – so new and easy to make desserts – also lost most in shelf space.

Unlike other dessert to many, it still tastes heavenly. If you’ve had a slice of sweet cream pie before, you would know how good it tastes. Super simple ingredients! Sugar, butter, and heavy cream…need anything more to be said?

This old-school one-plate cake is often baked in large cast iron skillet and pizza pans. Studded with diced pineapple and topped with glazed coconut and nuts, this one from a pre-boxed-mix times hums heavenly flavors to any fan of dump cake!

Peach cobbler

Winter desserts are everybody’s favorite for they make you feel warm and cozy and satiate on a cold night. This dessert is no exception. Made in three easy steps you could try all types of fruit combinations. From blueberries, apples, pear, apricot, to mixed berries, just everything makes it look stunning and insanely yummy.

Although the dessert of baked fruits topped with biscuit dough has been around for ages, it came to be associated with the culinary renaissance of the 1950s. This was the time when adverts for tinned peaches were everywhere. Refreshing as it were with a smooth and sweet topping of whipped cream and light ice cream, a layer of diced peaches in it balanced out everything perfectly. The crust held the perfect touch of saltiness with a slight cinnamon flavor. No wonder this dessert checked out perfectly on all boxes; crunchy, sweet and salty, creamy, fruity; it’s got all you would ever want!

Made with fresh or canned peaches, a classic peach cobbler is never a miss even to this day. Prepared with fruits or savory filling, all baked in a large dish, covered with nuts and glorious sweetened peaches on the bottom and cakey goodness on top, this delightful lazy day cobbler could become your re-treat in no time!

Banana Foster

Image source: ‘ Banana foster’ in cookist.com

Sautéed bananas floating in a dreamy sauce of caramelized sugar and rum and topped with thawing vanilla ice cream! Would there be a more romantic dessert than this? Then there’s a flame too, to bring in the hype.

This sticky caramelized dessert first appeared at Brennan’s restaurant in early 50’s and was named after the New Orleans Crime Commission chairman Richard Foster for whom it was created. This ready-in-10 minutes dessert made from bananas and vanilla ice cream, all trumped up with a sauce of butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, dark rum, and banana liqueur, was so easy to whip up after dinner. Firm, ripe bananas sautéed in a rum-infused caramel sauce were flambéed tableside and spooned over with vanilla ice cream. A pinch of cinnamon thrown onto the sauce as it flamed, forged a visual treat with an extra bit of drama!

An iconic delicious dessert of mildly cooked bananas bathed in a gooey spiced caramel sauce and drizzled over vanilla ice cream, this remains the most favored decadent rum laced treat since good o’l days. You can order it from the menu even today. Spoon it over French toast, waffles or crepes and switch peaches, pears or cherries, for banana and the twist in flavors is so magical and refreshing. But hell!. Then it won’t be a banana foster any longer!

Garlic pudding

Feature credits: ‘Garlic Kheer’ by Times food in youtube.com on May 05, 2021.

When we say retro, the first thought that crosses our minds is something exotic and classic in an antique way; some long forgotten decadent treat that has retained its culinary appeal; is of high quality and represents the irresistibly best of its kind.

Garlic pudding is one such legendary dessert from Awadhi kitchens, which was not given a name, because the chefs didn’t want to reveal the secret ingredient in there. Its remarkable and intriguing history dates back to Mughal royal kitchens. With an unmistakable touch of silky flavors and mesmerizing textures, this all Indian signature dessert has somehow weathered the changing trends and has not lost on its heavenly appeal.

 Lehsun ki kheer” is a rich concoction of milk, dry fruits, and of course -the quintessential garlic. Rice pudding has always been an integral part of Indian cuisine and this one, because of the secret ingredient garlic, was not revealed until the late 40s. Still nonplussed!! Wondering how can garlic be used in a truly amazing dessert when it smells strong and has pungent flavor?

The smell incidentally is washed-off as garlic cloves undergo a hot bath and pungency is only a faint hint as the pudding is served cold with a handful of dry fruits as toppings. The flavor is something out of the box! The thick consistency of milk, the creaminess and the taste of cardamom, saffron and dry fruits, all make it  taste more  like an almond pudding. That mild pungency of garlic essentially helps to make this extreme dessert more subtle and light.

Kabishambardhana Burfi (Fudge)

Image source: ‘Top 20 Vintage Food Of India’ by superadmin in crazymasalafood.com on Ap.13, 2017.

The word Kabishambardhana means “Honors of the Poet “in Bengali. This historic recipe was prepared by the niece of India’s greatest poet and writer, “The Bard of Bengal ” Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, to celebrate his 50th birthday. It was his favorite sweet dish. This recipe traditionally originated from Kolkata but failed to make much of a headway as it was closely guarded and only few knew about it .

All cauliflower!! Would you have ever dreamed of a sweet made out of mild tasting, slightly nutty and crunchy textured veggie? Today this unique fudge is nowhere to be found on the menu and you need to spoil yourself in the kitchen to make it and enjoy.

Easy and simple, this fudge requires only two ingredients, cauliflower and khoya or milk solids. Making the latter is simple but takes minimum two hours from scratch to finish. Switch to condensed milk, If you find that too onerous. Either ways you get a decadent dessert which is simply yum. Gluten free and mouthwatering, this barfi (soft fudge) doesn’t ask much of brain wracking and is a simple homespun fare. Adding saffron is optional and it will give a lovely hue along with the rich aroma. 

Ricotta Pancakes in cardamom syrup

Malpuas or ricotta pancakes share an unmistakable special seat in every Indian kitchen and is a delight for innate connoisseurs around the World. Gluten free, rich, tender and indulgent; every bite of this creamy dessert soaked in cardamom syrup and sprinkled with pistachios make for an ethereal dessert and is an extravagance in taste! Similar to American hotcakes-wonderfully thick and fluffy and with just the right kind of light texture from the ricotta- these pancakes never fail to spark the craving for more.

But unlike the American peers, their popularity dates back to an era, that is best remembered as Vedic times. In Rigveda, there is a mention of ‘Apupas made of barley flour and honey. Undeterred and densely influenced, these delightful pancakes have travelled through the times and have matured to this day to relive the awe of forgotten times.

Made using flour, spices and milk solids or paneer (fresh Indian cottage cheese) these pancakes get their golden hue after being deep fried in ghee (clarified butter) and then dunked in cardamom or saffron flavored sugar syrup. Just to remember you or if you didn’t know; saffron contains pharmacologically active compounds that render notably potent antioxidant activity.

For a twist, a stack of these gratifying crêpes comes with the cardamom scented blueberry sauce for an indulgent brunch or fruity dessert. Top them with seasonal fruit and a drizzle of maple syrup, if you want a more evolved ‘sweet-afters’. There are still plenty of variations to be found; some have fruits like banana and pineapple mixed to the batter, others blend rice or barley flour with honey as a sweetener. A combination of spices like pepper, ginger, fennel and saffron are also used both in the batter and sugar syrup. Served with a garnish of chopped almonds and pistachios, it gets a Shineroad twist when accompanied with a creamy non dairy layering.

Magic Jell-O Dessert

Feature credits: ‘1950’s Magic Jell-O Dessert’ by Recipelion in youtube.com on Dec.27, 2016.

When it comes to dessert, sometimes we like a bit of nostalgia. Take a step back in time and you will find that some of the very best desserts from way-back-when came from golden agers. Somehow, they felt so comforting and filling, yet remained inexpensive!

It was the decade of 50’s that some staples of cuisine like macaroni and cheese were swaying the food connoisseurs; some of them immensely popular. People were also head-over-heels in love with Jell-O. Magic Jell-O Dessert had turned super popular then and it’s not difficult to see why? It was a show stopper that tasted stellar. Besides, the families of the 1950s were no longer afraid of crazy creativity in the kitchen and had come to value comfort foods.

So much was happening to good o’l school treats that they fell in and out of favors, yet remained just as delicious as ever. With simple ingredients, vintage desserts were both visually appealing and crazy easy. Jell-O in fact was easily a must have at any dinner or potluck party. Because everyone loved it there was always something for every taste. Cool things like slushies, chocolate pudding cats, dirt cups, and lollipop jiggles were creating fun for those who knew how to indulge in a yummy dessert that’s also fat-free and low-calorie. The excitement was virtually contagious!

Boiling water and gelatin blended for 30 secs and combined with cold water and ice cubes, never failed to spin the magic. Some more gelatin was stirred in till ice melted partially. A few hours of deep freeze, and everything was set nice and firm to enjoy.

Plain Jell-O and sweet Jell-O salads are still widely consumed and are reminiscent of the desserts from fabulous fifties.

Boston cream pie

Image source: ‘Gluten-Free Boston Cream Pie’ by Betty Crocker Kitchens in bettycrocker.com.

The French pastry chef who created this pie at Boston’s Parker House hotel as early as mid 19th century, wouldn’t have imagined that well over a century later, this sponge cake layered with cream and iced with vanilla and chocolate fondant would still be doing rounds; even finding fame in doughnut flavor. The unwavering appeal of two layers of golden sponge cake sandwiching thick custard and all topped with a ganache glaze of chocolate, in fact owed its visibility to the Betty Crocker Mix from the 1950s. But traditional or not, it’s simply irresistible.

Moist and tender, this trifle is a very old concoction, but the variations since 50s have turned it into a classic occasion-ready centerpiece today. Even those loyal to traditional Parker house version are not going to miss eclectic flavors pinned down in this sublime dessert.

Red Velvet Cake

If only you could recall the onslaught of red velvet desserts that peaked in the 50s! A ruby red cake with cream cheese frosting and a storied history as old as Victorian, it rose to fame after being served at the Waldorf-Astoria in the 1930s. Red velvet’s origins are in fact mixed up with a more visually subtle dessert. This was America’s first chocolate cake that depended more on the science of baking for its color than a pinch of edible dye. A perfect throwback milk frosting had found everybody falling hard for it then in the 1950s.

Cream cheese frosting is the fun-fact hype on red velvet cake these days. Classic whipped cream frosting though is still everybody’s call for a more balanced sweetness. A cloud of meringue piled sky-high over lemon-curd filling makes this  meals-after a best seller.

Chocolate Chiffon Cake

Image source: ‘Chocolate Chiffon Cake with Cocoa Cream Filling’ by Jennifer in totallychefs.com

If you are keen for a potluck dessert that stands out from the rest, this is the cake you ought to be looking for. As adverted by General Mills “the first really new cake in 100 years”, the chiffon cake were everywhere in the late 1950s. Standing tall and elegant and put together in oil instead of traditional butter, this super soft rich textured kuchen was baked in a cake tin with a metal tube in the middle to help it rise high.

Drenched in a succulent chocolate glaze, with an airy texture and simmering flavors of coconut ginger, even to this day it’s a ravishing and unforgettable finish to your meals.

Coconut Cream Pie

Image source: ‘Triple-Threat Coconut Cream Pie. by Pillsbury Kitchens in pillsbury.com.

If you love pies, this one just got added to your list! Just think of it as a Samoa cookie in pie form. It’s easy pat-in rich grainy crust, fills-in old fashioned coconut cream and is topped with a fluffy meringue. Sporting airy texture and out-of-this-world coconut-ginger flavor, it’s a delightful end to meals each time, every time.

Whensoever you need an impressive potluck worthy dessert for a special occasion, turn to this one! Creamy and full of coconut flavor all confined within a delicious crust and topped with fresh whipped cream; it’s always a hard to resist favorite.

Bonus: Torch it, for even more drama!!

Classic finger buns

If there is one baked treat from 50s that could stir up nostalgia from childhood days, it is Finger buns aka iced buns. A sweet staple from Aussie bakeries, these yeasted buns, filled with raisins and coated with pink ice cream and desiccated coconut was every child’s idea of slice of heaven on plate. Made from enriched dough, the soft and fluffy delights were somewhat similar to French Brioche but were less buttery.

Up-market versions these days go all out and use a mix of raisins and dried currants. Even dried sour berries and cranberries find preferences sometimes. But make no mistake! these buns are popular for one good reason. The combination of fluffy sweet, sticky bread bun laced on the top with a thick layer of butter cream icing and a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar, is a celebration of flavors; once and always!

From potluck pies and box cakes of 50’s to cake pops and liquid nitrogen desserts of 90’s to trendy delights of this century, our preferences for sweet course have changed hugely. Yet desserts from bygone times continue to trigger some of the sweetest, happiest food related memories. If or not you grew up in the middle of the last century, as I did and feel some nostalgia stirring within when it comes to desserts, then perhaps you are curious to know which desserts had caught everybody fancy then. What fascinations romanticized platters and caught every family’s attention as they sat together for a quaint meal each day and finished it with a delicious fun filled sweet? Answers are many, but few are worthy of a rally. There wasn’t much of a health craze then, but home cooks from the 1950s had created some delicious treats that never lost their appeal and many are still around today. From Peeps to Peanuts M&M to Chocolate and Root beer Dumdums; every authentic bunch of desserts  has earned a comeback. For me, these were certainly some sweet discoveries that debuted in the best decade of all times. 

So sit back after a dinner soirée, relax and enjoy them. This is your moment for a fun-filled time travel to fantastic fifties with wobbly, gooey, frozen, silky wonders; all reborn with a twist!

15 potluck worthy dream desserts that will make you quit calorie counting!

From warm, moist and cinnamon flavored waffles topped with Nutella or Belgian pearl sugar to soft and spongy, melt in the mouth gulab jamun… is there anything better?

Like everybody else, a warm lazy day to me means hanging out and lots of outdoor eating. Guess I might find it easy to throw in a few sandwiches together or fire up the grill or dream of juicy BBQ meats and grilled veggies at tabletop spreads, but like everybody says, the best part of a meal comes at the end!

This is when the sweet tooth begins to throb! It’s time to break out tubs of chilly homemade ice cream or indulgent cakes layered with fresh seasonal fruit!  But more lip smacking options are equally tempting!!! From delicious green tomato pie and flavorful strawberry shortcakes that would look gorgeous on any table, to an icebox cake, a fruit-filled pie or even jello with toppings of fresh fruits like strawberries, cherries and peaches, all would seemingly make any backyard BBQ feel timeless. Abundance of choice is bewildering.

A classic comfort food always brings a delicious end to every meal. If you ever get stuck up with options for something sugary yet healthy, don’t despair! There are several taste easy and quick desserts to slake your sugar rush. Cool, innovative and plumb delightful, these fat-easy guilt free cakes, shakes, ice-creams, sorbet or waffles are so utterly delicious that you wouldn’t even know they were healthy if not told!

But should you be quitting calorie tracking before indulging? Is sugary binge so frightening after all? We all know it’s not sustainable long term but for waist watchers every bite matters! Let’s find out if this food freedom talk is anything but a weary prop!

If only you could ace binging: Easy and healthy!!

How would you know if your occasional overindulgence is not a serious binging issue? It’s likely that you may find isolated runs as normal but binge eating is something that needs to be watched over. More than food, it’s your changing mindset that could make you ditch your diet plans.

Of course, all of us are mindful enough to listen to our bodies and recognize when it is enough. Keep tabs though. It helps; but everything about it is simply exhausting. Stop or miss it even for a day and the scales become alive and threaten!

Eventually your ability to trust yourself turns punishing enough and would push you to eat much. This is when you need to stop. Don’t let counting calories turn into an obsession. Learn to live with yourself. Usually the weight that you eye or envy is always thinner than what your body wants to be. Besides, if you don’t binge with so many trigger foods around you and keep tracking calories, then it’s not worth it. It’s neither healthy for your body nor your mind. So, just let the fun happen. Life is just too short to miss it. 

And desserts are desserts!! It’s never over till you have sunk your teeth in some ‘Butter dainties’ or that timeless classic Tiramisu or a deliciously inventive and iconic Kheer, or that unforgettable fresh and thirst-quenching Lemon semifreddo.’ Social eating or not, these delectable summery treats would make anybody happy. You just cannot go wrong with these simple heavenly delights.

Tiramisu

Feature credits: ‘ Tiramisu Cake’ by Nino’s home in youtube.com on Oct.17, 2020.

Literally meaning “cheer me up” or “pull me up,” tiramisu is a timeless classic no-bake coffee flavored patisserie that has sponge cake ladyfingers soaked in coffee and liqueur and the mascarpone cream layer. Lady Fingers are essentially sponge cake batter piped into strips then baked and dried into biscuits. Also known as “savoiardi” these absorb the syrup well without getting soggy. Absolutely perfect for a dessert plate!

Mascarpone is essentially the Italian version of whipped cream cheese, stabilized with lemon juice or citric acid.  Smooth in consistency and mildly flavored, this cheese though has twice as much fat as cream cheese.

Blending the bold flavors of cocoa and espresso with savory mascarpone cheese and wine and layered with ladyfinger biscuits, this dessert is a lavish display of forgiving ingredients and unforgettable flavor combinations.

Try it for once and much the same way like English trifle, you may not wait for another time to dig in this treat again!

Blackberry cheesecake

Image source: ‘Vegan, No bake Blackberry Cheesecake’ by Eva in thehealthytart.com

Blackberry cheesecake is essentially a creamy vanilla cheesecake with a hint of lemon in it. With swirls of fresh blackberry sauce, it is baked on golden Oreo cookie crust. The baked cheesecake makes for a perfectly healthy dessert because of its star ingredient- the blackberry. Low on carbs, the sweet blackberry sauce topping paired with the rich cheesecake filling takes the flavors beyond delicious! Still looking for a twist!

Just swirl the luscious blackberry sauce and add crunch with a scattering of honeycomb. Or simply try with fresh blackberries and clotted cream.

There are so many versions of blackberry cheesecake. Crust comes topped with syrupy blackberries before filling is poured. Blackberries are baked right into the filling itself. A strained blackberry puree ‘is added to the filling to create a beautiful purple masterpiece.  Swirls of blackberry puree make lovely designs on the top of the cake and turns this treat irresistible.  Even the no-bake version with a crunchy biscuit base all covered in a delicate cheese cream and garnished with sweet and fresh blackberries will get you hooked to this delight. The ploy to keep you buried in this delight is simply awesome and thick!

 Lemon semifreddo

Image source: ‘Lemon and yogurt semi freddo’ in realfood.tesco.com.

If you’re looking for a fresh, thirst quenching dessert, this fragrant and delicate yet simple Italian inspired dessert is the perfect sweet treat for you.

Semifreddo is an Italian word meaning “half cold.” Light and airy with a texture of  mousse, this frozen layered terrine is an ideal dessert that is so easy to pull out, slice, and serve. Traditionally made by heating sugar to 248 degrees F. (this is when the sugar turns firm and flexible), then whisked into egg and finally folding the egg white mixture into whipped cream, semifreddo could also be made by using the French meringue method of simply whisking sugar into egg whites. Both inspire the same goodness.

Want to try something that comes with a twist! Light chewy meringue, crumbled into luscious whipped cream, lemon curd and Greek yogurt is a classic dish amongst the semi frozen desserts. Laced with a drizzle of honey and few fresh berries, this lush creamyhungry for more’ eat has an intensely lemony flavor and is super refreshing.

And don’t confuse it with ice cream. They are similar but different too! Ice cream is frozen first and then air is pushed in, whereas semifreddo is whisked first and then frozen which makes it feel like half frozen.

Matcha Green Tea Frozen Yogurt

It’s the frozen yogurt that shines better than ice cream and sorbet! The Matcha Green Tea Frozen Yogurt is stuffed with antioxidants and protein, made only with natural ingredients, is vegan and claims a modest 277 kcal for each serve (half cup). Packed with irresistible flavors, this exotic super food is a sure way to keep your days supercharged!

Matcha is the fine grounded tea leaves that speeds up your metabolism. The tea’s natural buzz makes this frozen dessert a natural energy booster. Heavy on green tea flavor, the vanilla vodka is optional if you want it to be soft and velvety. An awesome healthy alternative to ice-cream, you can devour it as flavored yoghurt too! Try honey vanilla flavored yogurt if you prefer mild.

Gelato

Image source: ‘The Easiest Homemade Strawberry Gelato ‘ by Gemma Stafford in biggerbolderbaking.com on Jun. 11, 2020.

Walk around any upscale business district and you’re bound to pass faces buried deep in creamy, frozen desserts, unaware that when it comes to eating healthy, it’s better to skip dessert or may be reserve a slice of Banana Split for cheat days. But probably everybody seems to have found out which dessert works best for them. Lower calorie ice creams and frozen yogurt treats like gelato have run rogue and are hot favorites now.

Although it is difficult to tell the difference from a distance, both ice cream and it’s more densely flavored cousin- Gelato, are quite distinct. Made with a base of 3.25% whole milk and sugar, gelato has fewer calories, less sugar and lower fat content per serving than ice cream. A typical 3.5 oz. serving of vanilla gelato contains 90 calories and 3 grams of fat, compared to 125 calories and 7 grams of fat in vanilla ice cream. Much silkier and less denser than ice cream, gelato comes in an array of flavors that include raspberry, pistachio, rum, and chocolate usually packing flavors from natural sources.

So, should you be breaking out your spoons now? Not so fast! gelato has a much lower fat content of around 4–9% but packs more sugar than ice cream  and often use of  real fruit or fruit juice increases the carbs . Since it is a fairly dense, calories stack up fast. Be wary! portion control is a must if you’re on a crash diet and yet want to dig in! Low fat ice cream could soothe your cravings but if you are a fan of flavors, a small serve of gelato is just great. It won’t wreck your diet plans and Probiotics in yogurt will have some pay-offs for your health too.

Belgian waffle

Alone and have a sudden rush for dessert!  Try Belgian waffle or better still a Nutella waffle. This deep pocket sugary treat is simply delicious!! Coming straight out of Belgian street food fame books, this buttery treat tastes best when eaten warm and topped with powdered sugar or Nutella.  Crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, Belgian waffles are reckoned a brunch superstar.  Cooked in a hot griddle with a grid pattern, the original Belgian version has bigger and deeper pockets than the regular ones which are a wee bit smaller in size. Sometimes the only difference between different types of waffles is the number of squares pressed. Light and fluffy, the authentic Liege waffles are made with dough and include bits of caramelized Belgian pearl sugar. Try them with maple syrup or fruit and be shocked with a delicious tsunami of flavors.

Gulab Jamun

Image source: ‘Gulab Jamun Recipe’ by TNN in recipes.timesofindia.com on Jun.2, 2021.

While some of you might not want to change their lifestyle or say ‘Yes’ to clean eating fearing it would mean giving up your favorite foods; desserts make things even harder.

Saying goodbye to your favorite foods has never been so easy. And I have to say, it definitely is not a small compromise. Fortunately you need not always be into fray to eat healthy. All you should do is opt for real, whole ingredients and adjust your favorite portions a little bit not to go overboard. And this definitely applies to desserts that quickly add up the calories. But then there are a few exceptions that are deliciously healthified.

Soft and spongy, gulab jamun is one such melt in the mouth desert made from milk solids that are reduced to the consistency of soft dough. Shaped into small balls, fried and then dunked in delicately flavored sugar syrup mixed with cardamom and rose water, it is a lip smacking insight to flavors of traditional Indian desserts, every time you dig in. Be wary though of how much of it you can polish off. Flavors do not betray calories!

Garnished with nuts such as almonds and served hot, each ball of gulab jamun contains about 125 calories. Of this carbs are 90 calories, proteins about 9 and remaining 25 calories come from fat. In fact each serve of 2 pieces provides about 6 % of daily calorie requirement of a standard adult diet of 2000 calories. So watch out for this silky sweet  dessert before it makes a kill of your diet plan !!

Lamington

Image source: ‘Lamington Cake’ by Kristina Vanni in thespruceeats.com on Sep.29, 2020.

An ode to classic Aussie cooking, these dessert squares consist of butter cake or yellow sponge cake coated in chocolate sauce and then rolled into coconut flakes. The thin mixture when absorbed into the outside of the sponge cake and left to set, gives the dessert a distinctive texture. Cut into small squares, this white cake delicacy is dipped in a sweet chocolate frosting and then dunked in dried coconut flakes. It would often remind you of a chocolate and coconut covered cake doughnut that has been crafted into a delightful masterpiece. Even its namesake Lord Lamington -Governor of Queensland from 1896 – 190l, would have been at his wits end had he foreseen how popular these dessert bites were to become.

Kheer (Indian rice pudding)

Image source: ‘Rice Kheer | Indian Rice Pudding (6 ingredients, gluten-free)’ in honeywahtscooking.com on Oct. 19, 2020.

The sweet and creamy cardamom scented Indian rice pudding often served as delicious side dish or dessert – hot or cold, owes its richness to a thick and creamy base of whole milk that has been reduced to half during the preparation of this decadent treat. 

Kheer, also called Rice payasam, is one peculiar dessert that traces back its history to many different cultures. Mexicans have Arroz con Leche, Lebanese call it Moghli, and the Greeks have come out with a similar dish, rizogalo. The English have their own version of this dish and call it porridge

So flavorful and yummy, the rice pudding first originated during Tudor period in United Kingdom with the recipe first documented in 1615. Variations over the period and regions however all agree on key ingredients rice, milk, cream, and sugar though differ in flavoring and techniques involved.

Rice pudding is at best one of the most underrated desserts. So, how it is made insanely irresistible? The secret is combining it with chia pudding, a staple that’s good for gut and is filled with healthy fats and proteins. Here it makes the rice pudding give you a stick-to-your-ribs satisfaction without being at all heavy. The mix of rose, pistachio, and cardamom add the rich yummy flavor combinations.

Fresh Pumpkin Ice Cream

Image source: ‘Pumpkin Ice Cream’ by Makinze Gore in delish.com on Sep. 11, 2019.

Whoever said low-calorie desserts are not as good as regular ones, has probably never tried fresh pumpkin ice cream. Full of warm pumpkin flavors and just the right amount of richness, this one could be your pick of a spot-on creamy, sweet and delicious dessert. It’s amazing how a cup of canned unsweetened pumpkin puree’ with all the toasty flavors of pumpkin pie in a chilly ice cream, could turn into a perfect fall themed clean-eating dessert with prep time of 15 minutes only.

Vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free, this is the dream ice cream for all the pumpkin spice fans. With 158 kcal per serve (125 gms),  this ice cream needs little garnishing though a grating of cinnamon stick would make a smart gig and add a bit more of spicy oomph. Drizzle of pumpkin shake with milk, maple syrup and bourbon and toppings of warm butter-pecan sauce or candied pepitas (pumpkin seeds) add some zest to the dish. So dig into a scoop of pancakes or waffles topped with this mushy ice cream and swoon over a decadent brunch! 

Peach Ice Cream

Peach Ice Cream is one summertime classic after eat, that has so often bowled over even the most impassioned food critique. Rich, creamy and so luscious, the peaches make it take on a deeper, richer flavor and become even sweeter. Roasted and cooled down before being added to the mix makes it easier to eat pieces of peach in the ice cream.

Yet another variant has maple syrup blended in to deepen the flavor. This actually enhances the flavor of peaches without tasting like if maple syrup has been added to it. Coming together in a matter of minutes without spending a lot of time prepping it, this vegan, gluten free goes easy with the calories at 87 kcal per serve.

 Lemon Blueberry Sorbet

Image source: ‘Blueberry Sorbet’ by Elise Bauer in simplyrecipes.com on Feb. 10, 2021.

Try this super easy, low-sugar, and perfect Lemon Blueberry Sorbet to muzzle your sweet craving. A delightful treat with great fruity taste minus the extra calories and refined sugars, this blend of wild Maine blueberries, lemon juice, zest and water, turn the sorbet into a wrap up of refreshing, light, any time dessert for health freaks. If you want a dessert option with still lesser calories than 98 kcals standard, try the one with a drizzle of honey. Lemons on the other hand add a bit of tartness and complete the whole flavor profile.

And for all we know, blueberries do wonders to our health. So, all you need is to grab a spoon and dig in!

Raspberry Sorbet

Image source: ‘Raspberry Sorbet’ in bhg.com.

Raspberry sorbet is a great option when you crave for a dessert but have no appetite for processed sugars and fats in traditional desserts. Made with raw honey, raspberries, lemon juice and water, this sorbet is one light, refreshing frozen treat that makes for one of the best easy healthy dessert.

Raw honey for added sweetness or lemon juice for a little pop of flavor  add punch to this fruity upgraded version of a fruit snack. And using good, fresh raspberries full of pectin make all the difference! A great choice, this fruit makes for a yummy, creamy, and almost ice-cream like delightful sorbet. 

Chocolate Banana Ice Cream

Feature credits: ‘Healthy 3 Ingredient Chocolate Banana Ice Cream’ by The Endless Meal in youtube.com on July 07, 2018.

Do you ever want a sweet treat but couldn’t without feeling guilty about eating it? This chocolate banana ice cream is just what could be the right choice for you. When it comes to healthy dessert options, I don’t think it gets any easier than this chocolate banana ice cream. Outrageously flavorful, this in fact is not really an ice cream; it’s a faux ice cream. With 2 simple ingredients and 110 kcals for 2 serves (0.5 cup each), this ice cream is definitely a health dream. The consistency is very similar to ice cream but it doesn’t contain dairy or sugar. When ripe frozen bananas and cocoa powder are blitzed together until smooth, you get to taste a creamy, guilt-free, scrumptious frozen treat. Besides, it’s gluten-free and vegan!

Raspberry Lemon Chia Cheesecake

Feature credits: ‘Raspberry cheesecake’ by Thy Than in youtube.com on May 07, 2021.

Just because you are in a healthy lifestyle or a cleansing detox doesn’t mean that you have to let go the desserts form your daily eats. Merely be a little wiser in your choices and there is no dearth of ways to slake your sugar rush without harming your health goals.

Besides, the good news is that are a host of dessert options that are healthy. You might say that what is healthy need not necessarily be good in taste and healthy ones usually do not taste as good as the unhealthy ones. But for once, I beg to differ. A bite of this nutritious scrumptious cheesecake will make you think twice.

With a nut-date base, cashew and coconut milk filling and raspberry chia jam topping, this dessert is your perfect rescue for healthy eating. And need you be reminded of how chia does wonders to our health? Pick this dessert when you crave for something sweet and you are good to go. Trust me; you won’t get overdosed with sugar either!

Feature credits:’20 best desserts around the world’ by the crazy trips in youtube.com on Jun.20,2019.

While it’s amazing no matter where you have it, desserts differ from country to country. Some are light and fruity, some rich and chocolaty. From Japan’s mochi to Poland’s poppy seed rolls, each has the punch to muzzle any sweet tooth.

Let’s face it—sooner or later you too could be hit with that craving for something sweet.  So, take a moment here to wax some admiration for those simple healthy desserts where sugar does not make the overkill!

It may be difficult to find a perfect classic dessert for your fancied sweet blast, but these ones are pretty close. Few are though served drizzled with sugar, honey or maple syrup, often dunked in chocolate sauce or where even yogurt is rather set aflame with vanilla vodka. If you find them deep on calories, you might want to be careful to have your pick and get it served with a whirl.

Whatever…get your back with a few of these jaw dropping healthilicious desserts to slake your sugar rush and spare yourself a knock -over in Jacob’s feast!

Five reasons why your pursuit of happiness may be flawed and elusive!!

Find out what bedevils your quest and learn how to get that twinkle-toed happiness back in your life.

We humans are complex life forms in a beautiful way. Put us in an intimate, passionate relationship and that seductive crush gets all hyped-up. We reckon awareness and acceptance as thumb prints and adore the quest for happiness, better still; most desirable. Perhaps spending more time with our kinds, getting a more fulfilling and secure job, or even improving our health is the reason we consider happiness a worthy pursuit. After all, being happy feels good. But do we build our lives on that reasoning alone?

Feature credits:’ Happiness with nature’ by Vigorswitch in youtube.com on Aug. 26, 2020.

Deep inside, we all treasure a fascinating tale of lifestyle and feelings, raring to be heard and appreciated. In fact, looking for an opportunity to engage and be recognized for that distinct wharf of ours, nourishes and strengthens us or at times weakens breaks or crushes us. Perhaps maximizing happiness is the only reason, we chase it. Still perceptions bump and make it so easy for us to get sad or depressed.

You think of yourself as a frightful and appalling person

We all have our insecurities. Nobody is perfect. You may wish for a better life; maybe much better of it. But it is not always perfect for you. Sufferings turn ugly once you mentally label them as a bad situation. The emotional trauma that follows cuts you off from the vigour of life. So, once you get mired neck deep in a miserly spot that sucks, your downhill spiral begins, howsoever much you shout to the World that you are perfect and the best.

This however, doesn’t mean that you throw your hands in the air and let that moment pass by when you could reach out and grab happiness. You can still be contented and happy. Just let go of that dreary thought of “If only I was richer… if only I was thinner” and so on. Accept yourself with utmost honesty the way you are and you will give others 10 reasons to envy you. Once the clouds of denial are gone, the magic of acceptance and contentment will unfold in your life. Just be the true rendition of self improvement and learn to love yourself.

You have sucked your soul out for long

I have a friend who never tires of talking and in most conversations he is the only one who seems to be interested in things he has to say. So, people tend to avoid his company and maybe he knows how uncomfortable sometimes it becomes. But I find him one happy person who has shaken himself awake and enthused his perspective from negative to positive outlook. Next day he could be found talking nineteen to the dozen in another gathering! I think he see the things in his life as a glass that is half full  rather than half empty, and never miss out on moments that tend to make him happy.

Happy or otherwise, we all have choice as to how we spend our live. It’s our perspective that does the picking. Nothing changes for us unless we decide to take pleasure from life and live every moment as a blessing. We all know that our moods are fleeting and their causes uncertain but we also appreciate that a life spent experiencing happiness, is in some ways a good life. The concern though, is not what happiness means to you, but instead why it eluded you and how to get it.

We tend to see happiness as inconsistent to sadness or depression, suggesting that being happy means few woes and fewer regrets. If we remain contented to see the things in our life as a glass that is half empty, rather than half full, we tend to miss out on the opportunities that may be present around us. Not accepting challenges and considering them as bad consequences would never let you grow out of your miseries.

 “Unhappy is he who depends on success to be happy,” Alex Dias Ribeiro.

As successful as you are or hope to be in your life and work, be sure that you will find happiness only in things that are deeply ordinary; enjoying a walk or a conversation with a loved one or plucking turnips and tomatoes from kitchen garden. For few who worship hard work or strive to outperform, this may sound like an admission of defeat. But accepting things as they happen and facing challenges head on makes you find meaning in them and move forward. So, get interested; it’s time you started living with gusto and made the most of today.

“Today is life– the only life you are sure of”.-Dale Carnegie.

You are yet to open up your mind and heart to life

Lately you have been torn up in your mind and heart. You have been questioning yourself quite uncomfortably. “Am I ill-mannered?”, “Do I always sound argumentative?”, “Do I talk too loud?”, “Does my breath smell?”, “Do I ever bore others when in company?”

Lending ears to comments and criticisms and not treating them with rejoinders like, “Don’t exaggerate! That’s just the way I am!” opens up our minds and hearts for good. It’s not how much we have in us but how much we appreciate for having it with us, rules our general state of happiness. After all life is made up of some great experiences and is a gift in our hands to nimble-toe through. Trust me; it makes the best out of inevitable for us. Each day shapes us and helps us to grow and change. So, get along, chose to be happy and live through every moment of life with grace and gratitude.

You are evasive to your ‘present’

The desire to be happy is instinctive to human nature, though it flirts and fleets. Naturally evasive, happiness is not a bad thing any more than a wine is. Both bring fun and sweetness to life when positive events like winning a lottery, promotions or even something as little as a gift from someone close to your heart, ring sweet bells in your heart or goose bumps all over.

Like it or not, being “present” for every moment shapes happiness for you. Your present is the moment where all reality is. The past is gone, the future is yet to arrive and the present is passing by. So, focus on living in and celebrating the present to the full. Live every moment of life as a blessing and you will have the greatest opportunity to experience happiness.

“When we are present and still and our minds are open, we will find that happiness is our natural state.”-Dr. Robert Puff.

The world doesn’t fall apart, every time you get hit!!

While many for us would be relieved and happy to have survived the pandemic in 2021, for others the global scourge may have caused stress meltdown and severe sufferings. The world for them would have felt like it’s upside down—literally.

We all know that anguish is an inevitable consequence of being alive. But if minimizing distress can bring happiness, it gets important to get hold of your emotional health. At least, if you can’t control it, you will always have the control over how to guard it!

Everyone experiences situations gone wrong one time or the other, but not everyone treats it in the same way. Of course, feeling stressed out sucks. It leaves you with two choices—let it suffocate you or bring the change and rewrite a new story. Remember life is a rollercoaster ride and stress will happen. So, master your sanity and good sense to ride through it. Feeling overwhelmed already? It’s time you did some soul searching and refashioned your perspective. Here are five ways to know if you do overreact to all that happens around you and wouldn’t allow yourself to manage a happy disposition.

Happiness has many faces

Our past uncannily keeps us tied down in turmoil and sadness; we are wired like that. Negativity rules over us and at times it hurts, even when you get moments of happiness in between. No denying; if you experience it, you are hanging on to the grudges and resentment of the past and could not get rid of them. Or maybe you have come up against different kinds of happiness, which do not always go together. Having too much of happiness of one sort could spoil your ability to have enough space for other. For instance, you could be butting heads how to balance career and family all together and in turn could be equally unhappy in both lives. This could be significantly damaging to yourself and those around you.

Empathy is one buzzword though, that could help. As Sadhguru puts it, walk away from your past wiser, not wounded”. A dire need for approval in the past has left you vulnerable and your fragile self esteem is weighed down.  Your chances of experiencing happiness have vanished.  So, declutter your past conflicts. Stay motivated and enjoy the life to the fullest; no matter what happens-good or bad. Help yourself to grow and change and chose to be happy. Of course, you cannot forget or wipe out your gloomy past but those very crises best increase your chances of success in pursuit to happiness.

Happiness addict’ prefer being special over being successful

In short, keep moving with life and see it as a blessing than be damned. Enjoy it and have a whale of a time while you can. Unfortunate things happen sometimes, but so do some great things. Try not to react much to whatever is happening around you. Don’t grind yourself and be serious about how others sleep on it. You are just not being authentic or legit. Even to put on a show could ruin your chances to be happy. Live life like an adventure, Explore and plan it the way you want to. Sometimes you may even need to laugh at yourself.

Feature credits: ‘Relax with the beauty of nature’ by the Whole Happy Life in youtube.com on Mar.21,2020.

So smile as much as you can, laugh often, hang out with mates and above all just try not to be fussy or play ducks and drakes. Make the best of what you have and keep growing.

“Don’t take life too seriously. You’ll never get out of it alive”-Elbert Hubbard

15 classic Asian comfort foods for the summery days you crave takeouts.

Miss the bite of extravagance and you wouldn’t know the ultimate joy of filling up!!

Sometimes we all need delicious comfort food! Like when life gives you lemon, make lemonade. Or get some good comfort food! Or maybe both! Doesn’t it feel good to reach out to a yummy comforting meal after a long hard day and enjoy it? Perched up nice and cool in a refreshing restaurant or sitting cozy in your living room and enjoying food; doesn’t summery nights and delicious takeouts truly sum up the day with a punch of happiness?

Besides, there’s nothing that a hot plate of comfort food can’t solve. Unwell, going through a bad break, work stress or just plain bad day? The aroma of freshly cooked veggie crumbles and sweet and spicy glazed mango sriracha or BBQ-flavored vegan waffle and naturally sweetened wholegrain brownie, all just make problems vanish away.

The knock out version of Asian food is a burst of bold flavors!

No more copy cat recipes!! Fun filled Asian cuisine come with a twist each time you reach out to them and are all full of hot ideas and inundating choices. From delicious bite size pizzas to chocolate croissants, it’s hard to tell if theburger with the works is better than “Peanut BBQ sweet potato burger with avocado”. So, catch up with some iconic Asian dishes and discover if the Friends of Pho in Kolkata or Once upon a bite in Dubai and Senn Thai Comfort Food in New York city or Soul Food Mahanakorn in Watthana Bangkok could make you get hungry just looking at the photos and blow your senses over once eaten!

Though a cross kitchen between Tokyo and Texas or Shanghai and New Delhi is an obstinate possibility, upscale restaurants do treasure rundown menus from edgy cookbooks, full of diverse Asian comfort food recipes. There is Japanese-Peruvian cuisine; French patisserie, Mexican tacos, and many more crowd-pullers. From fancy take away beaneries to countless neighborhood stalls, all serve from spicy gravies, saucy noodles to legendary chicken or vegetable Manchurian and much more. With names as scrumptious as China Bowl, China Pearl, Chung Wahor Zhangs, these delights- usually batter fried and doused in chilli garlic sauce- are quintessentially soul satisfying comfort food that always come with a kick.

In Asian style cooking, simple elements like rice, noodles, fruits, and veggies are recast, blended with unique herbs and seasonings and reinvented into stunning dishes. From Japanese noodles to Chinese stir-fry to Indian naan, you just can’t run out of options for Asian-themed dines. So, spicing your weekday dinners and weekend pleasures with all things, here are the tastiest 15 such Asian comfort foods to instantly perk up your platter!

Asian Slaw

Crisp, colorful, and wildly delicious: the Asian slaw comes packed with bright vegetables laced with an insanely good sauce that would trump any other rival. Crammed with bright vegetables like shredded cabbage, carrots, edamame, bell peppers and peanuts and flavored with scallions and cilantro, this slaw comes with a dressing of a thick, sweet-savory spicy sauce and is a perfect medley of flavors and textures. Can you imagine all those elements in one bite?

Korean popcorn chicken

Image source: ‘ Korean Popcorn Chicken’ by Julie in tastemade.com.

If you are looking for a starter that’s all fire and flavor, try this tangy, sticky and crunchy chicken popcorn inspired by the much hyped Korean street food Dakgangjeong and trust me, you just won’t have enough of these crazy fireballs! Deep-fried boneless sticky and tangy, these chicken nuggets are bite-sized salvos that’s all set to get you rolling! Made from boneless chicken fillet, this full-of-crackling food gets a typical Korean zing once tossed with tangy and spicy seasoning. The dripping hot sauce further amps up the heat  and turns these super-crunchy balls into a fiery feast!

Chicken Noodle Soup

Image source: The Ultimate Chicken Noodle Soup’ in tasteofhome.com.

A truly work of art, this soup is a bowl of chewy noodles immersed in a steaming savory broth, topped with meats and veggies. An ultimate definition of classic Asian comfort food there couldn’t be a better way to spend a balmy evening than by having a bowl or two of chicken noodle soup.

Thai Noodle Soup

Image source: ‘ Spicy Thai Curry Noodle Soup’ innheathercristo.com.

If you’ve never had it before, you’re in for a cozy surprise! A delicate mix of rice noodles, crisp veggies, and nutty peanut sauce, this soup is an insanely good dish.  It is not only about noodles cabbage, carrots and bell peppers that unfold the magic. The wizardry lies in the sauce. Thick, perfectly sweet, spicy and wonderfully nutty, this sauce is an ultimate count in finger-licking good indulgence! Bites of tender chicken, bok choy, rice noodles, cilantro, basil, lime juice and flavors of curry and coconut make this dish a perfect must-try deal.

Wonton Soup

Image source: ‘Red curry chicken wonton soup’ by Tara in tarasmulticulturaltable.com on Sep.7, 2020.

Getting tire of buffalo wings? How about a bowl of steaming Wonton soup loaded with silky flavors of seasoned chicken broth with filled wantons to ward off your worries!! An Asian equivalent of ravioli or tortellini, wontons are dumplings made with ground meat wrapped in a dumpling wrapper and steamed until cooked and tender. Served with hot broth, just one spoonful can quickly turn that frown upside down. If you’ve never have had them before, now is the time!

Gado Gado

A traditional Indonesian salad of mildly boiled, blanched or steamed veggies like carrots, red cabbage and hard boiled eggs, fried tofu, tempeh and lontong (which is a dense rice cake  wrapped inside a banana leaf. Rice is rolled inside a banana leaf and boiled, then cut into small cakes as a replacement of steamed rice). Served along with a thick spicy nutty peanut sauce, the real tweak  happens when sweet potato is used in place of carrots and green beans are switched for red cabbage. Since the salad is rice-based, it’s hearty and a full meal on its own. Build mainly on cooked veggies and meatless proteins with toppings like prawn crackers, this food is a super quick way to satisfy your craving.

Volcano Fries

Topped with spicy mayo, green onion, and a bit of seaweed, volcano fries is a sensory overload one cannot resist. Served with a generous topping of gooey cheese, crispy chicken cubes and sauce, sprinkled with Cheetos (cheese puff snack) – it’s a dish your nutritionist may frown upon, but trust me, every bite is a journey to heaven and back. With toppings of kani (crab meat) and seaweed salad, scallions, sriracha (fermented hot sauce) and Japanese mayo, the dish turns fiercer but you just shouldn’t get yourself cut loose without trying this one most indulgent food.

Crispy tofu broccoli stir fry

Feature credits: ‘Crispy tofu broccoli stir fry’ in myfoodstory.com on Nov. 16, 2020.

This 20 minutes stir fry dish is the perfect mix of protein and vegetables. Try it with quinoa when you want something light or with noodles if you want something hearty! Stir fried crispy tofu and fresh veggies like broccoli and spinach sautéed in a quick and easy garlic sesame sauce, give this dish all the markings of an easy and healthy food that you can turn to again and again. With firm and flavorful tofu, fresh and colorful veggies all drenched in just enough sauce to coat the tofu and broccoli so that crunchiness stays intact; this salty savory dish is one comfort food that you can always tag to your bucket list!

Vegan Cheesesteak sandwich

This vegan sandwich with mushrooms smothered in gooey cheese sauce creates a whole food that brings you a great taste, some protein and a great texture; all in 20 minutes. A low-calorie, easy to make mushroom cheesesteak sandwich is all you need when your sandwich craving hits the ceiling. Mimicking the meat base, slices of Portobello mushroom sautéed with a thicket of peppers and onions, then tucked into a toasted roll and drenched with a bit of melted provolone, mark it as a great vegetarian dish that wouldn’t decimate your diet plan. Eat this for seven days a week and you could still end up thinner than when you started. What more, you don’t even have to be a vegetarian to enjoy it!

Scallion Pancake

Feature credits: ‘kitchenstories.com.

Crisp on the outside, fluffy on the inside and wonderfully savory all over, scallion pancakes are a popular food that has a crispy, flaky texture and is a new twist on regular pancakes. Made out of an unleavened flatbread and stuffed with scallions or green onions or spring onions, cilantro and sesame, these pancakes are truly addictive. Crispy, flaky, and with the *slightest* bit of chew, when served with a hot and spicy dipping soy sauce, it’s easy to polish off a whole plate of this treat in no time. 

Biryani

Celebrating or just lazing! With over 50 different varieties, biryani  is one superfood that has never let anybody down. The combination of meat, rice and spices is unmatched and unparallel.  Long-grained rice flavored with fragrant spices such as saffron and layered with lamb, chicken, fish, or vegetables and thick gravy is then slow cooked in a Deg (special cookware) with lid secured with dough, preferably on a wooden stove to blend smoky flavors. It’s wholesome and starkly distinct from other fancy gourmet dishes. But what you can be sure of is that each variant is delicious in its own way. So, next time when you’re craving for fancy meals, just go for it. Having a taste of this comfort food will tell a story beyond words can. This stuff is seriously addictive!

Nasi Goreng

Traditionally served on banana leaves, this Indonesian street food is an easy and convenient way to truly satisfy and warm up your soul. With extra cooked rice stir fried with meat and addons like shallot, dark soy sauce and fragrant spices, make it a munchies delight. The real hit of flavour comes from the sambal sauce which is made by cooking garlic, shallots, chilies and shrimp paste in oil and then hand-grinding them to a fragrant and aromatic paste. Crushed anchovies and sugar then pitch in to create a delicious balance of salt and sweet. It’s a perfect take out call if you want to experience other people’s out of the ordinary comfort food.

Feature credits: ‘How To Make Nasi Goreng At Home’ by Banglar Rannaghor in Youtube.com on Nov. 6, 2020.

Teriyaki chicken

Image source: ‘ Chicken Teriyaki’ by Lena Abraham in delish.com on Jun.3,2021.

An awesome 30 minute recipe, this dish is here to change the way you fancy quick meals! Juicy tender pieces of chicken glazed in sweet and savory teriyaki sauce and served with steamed rice and assorted vegetables make up for a complete meal, one that you need to eat to experience the unparallel satisfaction. When sake and mirin are switched in the traditional teriyaki sauce for rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil and ginger, an iconic food is all set for you to catch up and make yourself a happy person.

Cashew chicken noodles

Image source: ’15-minute chicken, broccoli and cashew stir-fry’ by Emma Braz in taste.com.au.

Loaded with broccoli, bell peppers, zucchini, cashews and crispy chicken, this is an unmistakable call on your takeout. Simple, flavorful and delicious, one bowl of cashew chicken noodles is the perfect 30 minute fix for your take-out cravings. With crispy bits of chicken and noodles tossed in a super flavorful, spicy sauce and topped off with roasted cashews, this is just the kind of meal for you when you are hungry and in the mood for something out of ordinary.

Then there is nothing better than a sugary treat to finish off the meal, for your belly might be on fire for it. Here is one genius of a dessert that the world has just begun to catch up and once you try it you’d know why everybody calls it a super dessert.

Kulfi  Falooda

Feature credits: Hebbars Kitchen in Youtube.com on Mar.8, 2021.

Seriously for me, kulfi over ice cream- any day! Creamy kulfi is one delicious dessert that will leave you wanting for more. Made with simple ingredients, this eggless cardamom flavored, nutty and super creamy ice cream also has other variants such as saffron, mango, rose, pistachio, almond, orange and strawberry. It is usually made by slow boiling of milk till it reduces considerably and  then sweetened, flavored and frozen in small earthen pot molds known an “Matki“. It’s most uncommon to find this delight served in scoops like ice cream. Thickening agents like corn starch or bread crumbs give it still more creamier consistency. Served with brightly colored moist falooda (vermicelli noodles made from starch) and rose syrup, this sweet, icy cold, crunchy rich delicious dessert is here to enslave you and will soon become your go-to-kulfi dessert every time you get ready for a perfect comfort food.

From Momos to Chicken lollipops to spicy Papadams! From hot and sour soups, fiery Korean popcorn bites, crispy and tangy stir fries to gorgeous teriyaki chicken, the love for good food is universal. Mouth watering sauces, spicy schezwan magic, flavorful Asian noodles and no fuss crispy vegetarian food, the list of incredible Asian vegetarian bites has everything.

It’s time you gave your takeouts an Asian twist and experience the  flavors that will knock your socks off!!

What the heck! 15 Off-the-chart street desserts are here to wrap up your meals with a bash!!

“Life is uncertain.  Eat dessert first”.-Ernestine Ulmer

Image source: ‘Best desserts in London’ in visitlondon.com.

When you talk about street food you could just think of the main course alone; all from gourmet burgers, wood-fired pizza, fish tacos. However, street food is lot more than this. There is a whole range of delicious street food desserts on offer, to satisfy your sweet tooth. Old classics such as ice cream still rule, but there are some epic desserts that could enslave you like never before!

Much more unique than a typical wedding cake, street desserts are delectable, made all fresh, are healthy and take you on one helluva of culinary journey. From cookies, muffins, brownies, granola, cakes and come summer, delicious, sugar-free, gluten-free mango cakes, puddings and tartlets filled with healthier ingredients like almond flour, coconut flour, nuts and seeds- these show stoppers top the menu chart across small restaurants and street side eateries. If you ever feel the need to treat yourself without having to worry about which way your belly button goes, just dig into the unsung flavors of street side desserts! The chocolate sorbet on the road side could be just as delicious, super rich yet completely sugar free and vegan. And what of orange sponge cake with dark chocolate mousse or low calorie cheesecake with nutty crust! Delicious and sugar free, full of aromatic spices, topped with pistachios or soaked in rose syrup, there are plenty of insanely good delights  that could become your best snap eats if you are good at exploring flavors.

So, if you are looking for some dessert ideas and want something different than the usual, here are 15 incredible lip-smackingly good healthy street desserts that dig small in the pocket and definitely are not a diet disaster. Just be ready to get blown away by the blasts of flavors.

Mango sticky rice

In this popular street food dessert, sweetened coconut milk flavors the sticky rice, which is then served with fresh mango; a refreshing take on the traditional Thai treat. Mango toppings on the rice, drenched with delicately salted coconut sauce and a sprinkle of sesame seeds, this addictive Thai dessert is a unique twist to enjoy fresh mangoes.  When served with some more of coconut ice-cream, it adds to that extra indulgence. Try this gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan love-at-first-bite kind of easy peasy ripe mango dessert on any occasion! If you haven’t done so far and anyone tells you its awesome, you can certainly believe them!  

Thai roti

Image source: ‘Thai Banana Pancakes (Banana Roti)’ by Pailin Chongchitnant in hot-thai-kitchen.com on Nov. 30, 2018.

Thai roti or pancake is similar to a crepe and is highly addictive.  Paper thin, crunchy, crispy and topped with sweetened condensed milk and sugar, Thai rotis are a foodie’s every time delight. The combination of crispiness, sweetness and saltiness is enchanting. But the evolution doesn’t stop just at crispy frying, though it is a bit intimidating to stretch and cook such a thin flatbread and then griddle fry it. Quite forgiving in calories, its variant includes Nutella or jam filling, fresh fruit, cheese or even pizza toppings. The trick is to get the bread as thin as possible, which when fried and served with banana, chocolate sauce or condensed coconut milk and a sprinkle of cinnamon, turns this flaky street treat crazy enough to disarm you.

Egg Waffle

Egg waffle, sometimes called egg puff, eggette or bubble waffle, is a popular delicacy that is visually puffy with a pullapart texture. Made out of egg white and yolk, milk, butter, sugar, flour and salt, this tiny treat is made in special pans with small, round cell. The end result is a waffle with crisp edges and soft oval “eggs” or “bubbles” which can be easily broken off for snacking. Devoured plain or paired with fruit and different spreads, this seemingly unexceptional cheap street food dessert is crispy on the outside, and fluffy on the inside. The texture can best be described as a cookie and sponge cake hybrid. Have it served with a range of sauces and toppings such as dark chocolate or caramel sauce and whipped cream and you have a dessert that will muzzle your sweet tooth for good and yet is not off limits.

Carrot pudding

If you’re craving something sweet yet couldn’t resist a balanced diet, this is one treat that you must indulge in without worrying about your fitness needs. An awesome combination of carrots, nuts, milk, and sugar, this dessert is a mega source of beta carotene. Mimicking the butterscotch pudding, this yummy dessert tastes heavenly when served hot with condensed milk and serves best when accompanied with a cup of masala tea. Decadent, flavorful and ranking high on health index, this vegan, paleo, grain free and light dessert is exorbitantly satisfying.The golden hues of this rich, warm and nutritious dish made from baby carrots, will make your heart melt, just like that.

Rice pudding (Kheer)

Image source: ‘Rice Kheer | Indian Rice Pudding (6 ingredients, gluten-free)’ in honeywhatscooking.com on Oct. 19, 2020.

Most interesting in terms of flavors, texture and appeal, this dish only needs three simple ingredients: rice, milk, and sugar. Whole milk fares better for it renders the richest and creamiest consistency to the dessert. When flavored with additional spices, such as cardamom, rose water, saffron, and nuts, a flowery aroma and a tropical taste makes the dish mesmerizing. So, grab your spoons and dig in this yummy goodness. Served warm or cold, this deceptively delicious creamy rice kheer is easy to make and is a street side indulgence not to be missed. Go figure out for yourself and explore the lip smacking combination of simple staples that are so hard to resist!

Coconut ice cream

And who said ice creams were off limit for those on diet trip? Vegan and natural, the coconut ice cream is a hot favorite among those who wouldn’t settle for anything less than sonnets.  An ode to the toasted coconut donut hole, this tender, luscious and creamy treat with a mild tropical flavor is a scoop that any coconut lover would jump at. Your penchant for crunch could be like no other, your taste for sweetness is…awesome, but this great non dairy dessert, made simply from coconut milk, sugar and salt and served in coconut halves with toppings of peanuts and chocolate sauce, will sway you for a sugary indulgence. An incredibly tasty experience from a creation as simple as this ice cream, it is unbelievable!!

Gulab jamun

Image source: ‘Gulab jamun’ in kesarwala.in.

Soft, spongy and melt in the mouth, this dessert is made from milk solids that are reduced to the consistency of soft dough. Shaped into small balls, fried and then drenched in delicately flavored sugar syrup mixed with cardamom and rose water, it is one such street food dessert that is adored by all age groups. Garnished with nuts such as almonds and served hot, it’s a lip smacking insight to flavors of traditional cuisine every time you dig in. Just be wary of going overboard though! The calories in this dessert add up quickly so if you are watching your weight, treat yourself with only small servings at a time. Usually a gulab jamun contains about 125 calories out of which carbs comprise of 90 calories, proteins about 9 and remaining 25 calories come from fat. One single serve in fact provides about 6 % of daily calorie requirement of a standard adult diet of 2000 calories. So just watch out how much you polish off as dessert!!

Kulfi Falooda

Associated with summery climate, this refreshing treat combines thin falooda (vermicelli noodles) and kulfi, a traditional ice cream made out of slowly simmered whole milk and then flavored with pistachio and saffron. The dish is often elevated with various addons like sweet basil seeds, jelly or rose water and garnished with crushed nuts.

A treat to beat the heat, kulfi falooda ranks high on a legendary reputation due to its distinct taste, texture and richness and is among the top ten desserts on the menus of traditional street restaurants. Newer versions like mango and strawberry with a pinch of cinnamon, resemble spiced nutty custard and are similar to regular ice creams but a wee bit thicker and creamier.

So before you dive into any other crazy stuff, try this one and you won’t ever forget the heavenly taste of an unforgettable sin food!

Rasmalai

Image source: ‘ Rasmalai recipe’by Rachna’s kitchen in pinterest.com.

Melting right in the mouth, rasmalai is an explosive cheese dessert that tastes delicious, is simple. easy to make and involves a three-step process; from making chena (curded milk) discs, boiling them in sugar syrup, and then resting them in thickened milk. The secret to deliciousness lies in curdling the milk to right consistency right after it comes to a boil. This popular dessert shaves off about half the time it would take to make any other traditional dessert with similar silky texture. But no worries, your take is just as delicious with all the traditional ingredients like chena or paneer soaked in sugar, milk and spices like saffron and cardamom.

Banana cue

Image source: ‘Banana Cue’ in worldfood.guide.
 

If you’ve never before tried this one, you are in for a surprise! This popular street food dessert is pretty easy to make and will muzzle any sweet tooth! The dish derives its name from the combination of the words banana and barbecue, though bananas are neither marinated nor grilled. Their similarity in visual appeal and use of skewers to serve, is what coins that term.

Peeled bananas once deep fried until golden brown all over, are generously coated in caramelized sugar and then skewered onto a bamboo stick for ease. A hot favorite amongst street food enthusiasts, it is a portmanteau of banana and barbecue and resembles golden brown meat cooked in a style similar to Satay. (A Southeast Asian dish of seasoned, skewered and grilled meat, served with a sauce.). Sold at street stands and enjoyed as a satisfying quick afternoon snack, this delicious, must try and irresistible dessert will ring of subtle flavors through every bite!

Roti Pisang

Image source: ‘sweet roti with sweetened condensed milk on top’ in 123rf.com.

A close cut to banana cue, this traditional street sweet also makes use of bananas as the star ingredient. The unleavened roti dough is stretched until thin, and then the mix of sliced bananas, eggs and sugar is wrapped in and pan-fried until golden brown. Served cut into bite-sized pieces that are dusted with sugar and drizzled with condensed milk, it tastes heavenly and is next-gen best dessert fad. A classic street food, roti pisang is a tempting sweet and filling snack. Full of aromas, topped with pistachios or soaked in rose syrup, this traditional Malayan dessert is here to light up your taste buds if you’re looking for exotic sweets to satisfy your craving!

Candied Apples

Nothing else would catch you eye like those glossy, red and sweet candied apples, also known as jelly apples, so irresistibly displayed on street side cart and patisserie across the street. If you still remember those shining red treats in a shop window or grocery store from your childhood days, you would know how a bite into this healthy snackfeels like; perhaps the most exhilarating way to break a crunchy sugar shell coating of a nourishing snack!  Some of these attitudes might have worn off as you grew up, but surely not on the appeal of the shiny exterior and crunchy contrast of candy and apple; so irresistible and mouth watering!!

Feature credit: kitchenstories.com.

Simply dipped into a red sugar coating tempered with hot cinnamon flavor that has reached hard crack stage, you can taste and experience a fairground classic street sin food that works so well with grownups and kids alike. Every bite of candied apple is like a little party in your mouth. Wrapped in plastic and tied with a ribbon, they make a perfect take-home favors, too.

Bionico

Image source: ‘My bionico -obsessed life’ by Nathan Solis in lataco.com on Feb. 15, 2018.

A popular Mexican street fruit parfait, bionico is essentially a cocktail of a variety of fruits, chopped into small cubes, drenched with creamy sauce and then topped off with granola, pecans, raisins, shredded coconut and sometimes honey. Try it!! Visually appealing and delicious you wouldn’t think of anything more summery and tropical than a bionico tossed in a mixture of yogurt, Pina Colada smoothie (a delicious tropical treat that tastes like pineapple and coconut. Texture resembles smoothie when blended) and chia seeds. When topped with granola and coconut, this street food beats all surprises. Few even prefer the combination of condensed milk, sour cream or yoghurt, instant coffee and vanilla. A great snack, you just couldn’t get any better than this of a street side dessert!!

Seviyan

Image source: ‘Vermicelli pudding ‘ by Shazia in cookingwith shazia.com on Mar. 16, 2020.

A quick 20 minute dessert, seviyan is a perfectly creamy, delicious milk based dessert where primary ingredient is thin vermicelli; nothing like the regular one. The magic unfolds when whole milk, sugar, saffron, and roasted mixed nuts are mixed with it. Stirred well on low heat and then served once it pipes down, it turns into a delectable feast of flavors. Spices and toppings change hands as you like.

Kesari, closely resembling seviyan, is essentially lightly roasted broken vermicelli pieces that are slow cooked in milk and sugar and infused with cardamom, rose or saffron. A  kesari parfait when laced with light creamy custard and layered with crunchy almonds and chewy raisins, orchestrates a symphony of flavors once served in glass. Ask for a dollop of custard as topping and this insanely good sin food would jack up your senses roof high! 

Green Tea Honey Frozen Yogurt

Image source: ‘Paleo matcha green tea ice cream’ by Lauren Hood in pinterest.com.

If your idea of a fruit dessert is a can of packed fruits or a weary looking loaf of fruit cake, just take a moment off and think twice. Fruits are perfect in pie, work best when fresh and crunchy tucked away within layers of creamy cake or as a tasty topping on a crumb tart. And when combined with the right ingredients will satisfy any sugar fiend guilt free. Green tea honey frozen dessert is one such good bet. Easy to make, it has exactly the kind of flavor you would expect and is a tad lighter than traditional ice cream. A low key take on classic green tea matcha ice cream, this green tea and honey flavored frozen dessert is a surprisingly perfect summer treat. The honey and green tea do a great job of balancing all the flavors while the yoghurt packs a powerful protein punch that will see you through the day. 

Feature credit: kitchenstories.com.

When you want to cut down on sugar and still get your dessert fix, there’s a way to have the best of bonne bouche; from cakes and brownies to ice creams and cookies that use natural sweeteners or sugar replacements. All you need to do is believe and behave like the newlyweds for a while who do things a little differently. For once break away and think of treating yourself with the most indulgent and stunning but guilt free sweet street food and who knows this could be your special day! Don’t let those no bake no brainer organic, dairy and gluten free desserts fascinate you enough to bite let alone binge!! After all;

“Eating and living healthy is not always about punishment or sacrifice!!”

Five wonderful ways to make your life 10X happier and fulfilling!!

Image source: ‘5 Reasons Why Feeling Happy Depends on Your Viewpoint’ by Sally Stanleigh in bia.ca on Dec. 10, 2020.

That morning I woke up early. It was dark outside. The morning silence lay heavy. Crickets had stopped chirping and it was too early for the cock’s to cry out. Bleary eyed I peered closely at the bedside clock. It was 4.30 am. The weather already smelled of yet another hot summer day of May.

And then a fluttering noise startled me out of slumber! I propped up on the bed and strained to look for the source. There perching on the window sill and prancing around was my sweet little ‘angel’-cuckoo.

For a moment, I sat spellbound. It’s been almost a year since I last saw her in my courtyard frantically trying to troop in her two chicks, barely a month old; too agile to sit around, but too fragile to take care of themselves of their own. A flurry of thoughts woke me up nice and good. Outside the sky was beginning to pale as darkness slowly melted away.

Chores over, I sat in the veranda with a cup of tea in hand and wistfully gazed at the bird still perched atop the tree in the courtyard.

This time she was all alone!

Feature credits: Taryn Elliot in Pexels.com

Somehow she reminded me of my mom, hard gritty and courageous, always ready to face the world squarely. Vivid memories of life with her are as fresh as morning dew even today . She would often tell us that every man is a jack around you and won’t be in two minds to deluge you with advices on how to get the most of this world. But all this will be worthless if you do not respect your curiosity and give a patient listening to your gut instinct. Nine out of ten times people will laugh at you more to make you cringe with helplessness and feel small for it helps them to assume privileged and great. Simply put, these people cannot muster enough courage to get what they want out of life.

It’s only years later after she is gone that I realize what she had meant then . The moment you let others stop you from pursuing your dreams, is the moment to say goodbye to them. Wish I had given an earful to what else she had to say at that time.

Much like the bird on the tree , she raised her siblings and bid everybody farewell when the time came. Its only after so many years that I could share a few more facts of life with you I wish I had accepted sooner. Everything would have been so easy!!

I agreed to approve of myself the way I was!

Image source: ‘Want to Enjoy Life? Don’t ‘Do What Makes You Happy” by Wanda Thibodeaux in inc.com

Whenever we are in a dark space emotionally, we naturally pick up a fight with ourselves and damn us for not being in control of things. Everything seems to spiral out of control and the more we push ourselves to straighten things up, the worse they become. On the contrary, when we feel okay and alive and kicking, we are more inclined to accept ourselves and appreciate the wonderful little things that life has given us and how terrific our body rewards us.

This made me realize that being successful is not about getting it done all the time. Its about getting right things done. Its about doing less but better. For once, I decided to befriend myself and felt proud of my achievements, no matter how tiny they were .

Essentially my perception of doing right things the right way changed all by itself. I just worked hard on bettering myself.

From moron to self indulgent: I found the impunity comforting!

Whether it is taking a long bath, scheduling morning leisure walks, following a regular sleep pattern or something as trivial as putting on a face mask, shaving or trimming the beard, or even watching our favorite movie, anything that we do to look good and feel good puts us on the right path; so’s how she would counsel me often in quieter moments, though she was always quick to add that self care meant differently to different people. 

Feature credits: ; ‘ iStock’ by Getty images

The point that I gathered, is that once we take some active time out for ourselves, our journey to a meaningful day begins right then and there from that very moment.

I figured out my boundaries!

When we draw our boundaries, we actually define our needs and what others around us expect from us. I took time off to do a bit of soul searching. I found my circle , enlivened it and realized that pouring too much energy into other’s affairs was not fixing things for me. It’s only then I figured out that I actually needed to love myself a bit more than the others.

Left with enough time and energy, I felt less resentful and angry with myself for situations gone awry and happier with what was left with me.

Thought sharing never felt so bewitching!

For me the folly of one track idea of thought sharing slowly changed hands from a deceitful obsession to a vent to pour out my disquiet. I realized that once I dropped my guards and stop bothering myself with revved up emotions, things began to smoothen out and happen the way I wanted them to happen in the first place.

Feature credits: ; ‘ iStock’ by Getty images

Contemplating and doing nothing always weigh heavily on us. I raked up courage for once, voiced my thoughts strongly, stopped weathering and revealed myself. Amazingly life thereafter took a turn from inept to pleasant and fulfilling. Talking about what is bothering or upsetting you always vents your repressed emotions, soothes your stretched nerves and leaves more space to do better things.

I learned to talk turkey and bump heads

When replying to text messages, attending calls, meeting friends and family and buzzing through social media does not feel like a huge task, its time to ring the bells. This is one tell tale sign that your mental space has convalesced for good. So, if you do not cancel plans last minute and actually enjoy being in touch with friends, you are definitely over the fence and no longer a fly in the ointment! Stay connected and feel that dismay no longer rattling you. Awesome miracles will begin to change your day.

Remember it is you who alone can decide who you are not once but every time with every action that you take, every principle you value and every rule you follow.” 

Feature credits: ‘iStock’ by Getty images.

I must have dozed off for sure for I woke up with a start! Somebody had rung the doorbell. The empty cup lay beside the chair. The sun had climbed over the horizon and the day was warming up. Instinctively, I looked out for the little bird. She was gone like a summer breeze; may be never to be seen again.

Days later as I pen these lines, I envy that little songbird. Her resolute flight from nowhere to my courtyard had unnerved me for a while. and reminded me of purposefulness and determination that I had vowed to myself but over the time had pushed into a corner. It reminisced me of all that I learned from Maa while trudging along the way holding her hands swaying from side to side as I grew up.

It gave me a cue to do a bit of soul searching and brawn to rewrite what had begun to fade out. I am also now wary of the pride that comes before the fall.

Thank you from my soul maa #The Mothers Day, for bearing me, rearing me and helping me to grow up to be the one I am now!!

He didn’t realize that love as powerful as your mother’s for you leaves its own mark.  –J.K. Rowling

SWEET, NATURAL AND SINFULLY DELICIOUS – TRY THESE 12 SUPERFOOD DESSERTS FOR YOUR PEEPS THIS SUMMER!!

Creamy, gooey,  sticky and sweet desserts   with little or no milk, cream, butter or eggs? Sounds nightmarish for dessert lovers, right? But you couldn’t be more deceived! Decadent and simply delicious, these super food delights could be made without a hint of an animal product. Sparse in calories and dense in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, these foods have the punch to lift your mood besides lowering your cholesterol and reducing the risk of cardiac diseases and a host of health hazards.

New and improved lifestyle and eating habits have seen traditional desert favorites change into more appropriate versions. It is now possible for you to have your cake and eat it too”. These healthy desserts are here not only to satisfy a sweet tooth, but also be a energy packed fuel source to help you ride through the day.

Here are 12 top of the chart super food desserts that you can indulge in guilt-free.

Coconut Aquafaba Macaroons

Image source: ‘Simple Coconut Macaroons’ by Joyce Gan in onegreenplanet.org.

When you can’t throw-in some aged Parmesan or thick creamy burrata on any old traditional desert for an instant flavor enhancement, it’s time to get creative and think differently.

Of course, when it comes to decadent desserts, egg, cream and butter seem to make appearances all too often but would you believe that even a vegan dessert like cute looking coconut aquafaba macaroons, completely plant based, healthy, and high in protein could be just as flavorful and healthy? Aquafaba is the viscous water in which legume seeds such as chickpeas have been cooked. Due to its ability to mimic functional properties of egg whites, aquafaba is used as an egg  substitute in this vegan dish. To make these vegan macaroons, you need unsweetened, finely shredded coconut.  You want to reign in the sugar rememeber !! and finely shredded coconut  to hold together in whipped aquafaba. which works best with no more than two and a half minutes of beating when it starts to get foamy with stiff peaks.

Made without eggs, condensed milk, or any type of dairy, macaroons are a tasty treats and a visual delight. All the coconut provides healthy fats, which is good for hormone balance, skin, and energy levels. With base made of unsweetened shredded coconut, almond flour, Himalayan sea salt and pure maple syrup or coconut nectar, coconut oil and vanilla extract pitch in to take your bagel game to next level of flavors.

Strawberry & lime cheesecake

One of the most luxurious and delicious cheesecake, this cheesecake is packed with berries and super foods that are a warehouse of nutritional benefits.

Made with fresh strawberries in the summer when they’re in season, and frozen strawberries in the winter, this dessert is  light, fruity not too sweet either. You can pair it with strawberry sauce, chocolate, coconut, or pretty much any other fruit. A chocolate drizzle could be just as perfect for any occasion.  A fruity, dense creamy delight, you could indulge in this tangy lime accent dessert, where its weird sourness won’t let you turn away.

Shortly before serving, spread a little bit of whipped cheese cream on top if you couldn’t do without that silky delicate smoothness and decorate with the  strawberries. Sprinkle a bit of grounded cinnamon on top and serve with the raspberry coulis and you will stop frowning! It’s so light and refreshing.

Berry & Cashew Cream Dessert “Pizza”

Pizza for  dessert? Weird but you heard it correctly. Indulge your sweet tooth with this delicious, healthy dessert “pizza”. The fresh berries, hearty whole grains, and savory coconut make it a unique vegan dessert option that is full of so many nutrients to fuel your body. Layers of maple-cashew cream, toasted nuts and fruits make it the ultimate health dessert that has tones of awesome textures and sweet berry flavor full of frozen goodness. Try it for one of those summer barbecue parties and its sure will be a hot favorite to spice up the bash.

Yep! This tasty, healthy food packed with berry goodness, also happens to be vegan and packs in plenty of proteins from cashews, almond butter, and hemp hearts.

Grasshopper Pie

Image source: ‘Grasshopper Pie’ by Kristina Vanni in thespruceeats.com on 28/04/2020

This incredibly easy no bake dessert is packed with nutrition and is an indulgent treat that tastes more like a thin mint cookie in frozen pie form!

It’s super easy to make and boasts of a fudgy crust with a light-as-air minty cream filling which is fluffy with a  super fresh minty taste that’s not so overwhelming either!! Pair it with chocolate if you find the flavors too subtle and want that extra tartness to bring a zing of flavors- like in those addictive cookies.

And that gorgeous pastel green color is no food coloring but pops out of that super food protein medley! The protein powder is all organic, non-gmo, vegan and  gluten free. It  contains all the essential amino acids,18 grams of complete protein in every serving to be exact! Not to mention all the fiber, vitamins, minerals, omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants each serving carries.

Try a few spoonful of the mint cream straight to your mouth before you even get around to pouring it on the crust. You could be practically drinking the stuff!!

Blackberry Poppy Seed Crumb Cake

Image source: ‘Vegan blackberry poppy seed crumb cake’ by Ve eat Cook Bake in pinterest.ch.

If you love crumbles, try this healthy version of a classic crumb cake with a wholegrain shortbread made from spelt (hulled wheat), nut butter, poppy-seed filling, fresh and sweet blackberries and laced with cinnamon. You’d love this because it’s forgiving and you could use a mixed bag of fruits to add zest to the dessert your way; even summer stone fruits like sliced peaches, plums or cherries could perk it up.

With a buttery crunchy topping, juicy veneer of strawberries, blueberries and blackberries and a soft airy inside, this crumb cake looks stunning and it’s super easy to make!

Chocolate Brownie Dessert Hummus

Dessert hummus is a blissful way to muzzle your sweet tooth. Loaded with nutrients, naturally sweetened and totally guilt-free, this healthy chocolate hummus tastes surprisingly like actual brownie batter.

The recipe works great as a dessert hummus platter with fresh fruit like strawberries, bananas, sliced apples, and raspberries. You can also spread it on pancakes, use it as a frosting for cake or vegan brownies, mix it into overnight oats or chia pudding or eat it straight from the bowl. The main ingredient in this brownie batter hummus is beans, and you could even try black beans, cannellini beans, hummus chickpeas or garbanzo beans. This is one of those deserts that could bowl you over with its tang of flavors.

Petha

Image source: ‘Delicious food of Raipur’ by Aarushi S. in budgetindianvacations.wordpress.com.

Petha is made by cooking winter melon (also known by the less appetizing name of “ash gourd”) in sugary syrup. Eaten as is or dipped in yet more sugar syrup, this delectable treat is made with winter melon and comes in different flavors and with unique add-ons, too. Discover the delicate flavors and natural freshness that comes packed in this confection flavored with pistachio, coconut, mango, or even laced with silky saffron. Winter melon is slated to have several health benefits, including easing off acidity and digestion issues. This soft fruity desert looks like dollop of crystal and is as pretty as it is sumptuous.

Ela Ada

Image source: ‘Ela Ada’ in myfoodmill. in on Oct. 4, 2018.

This is a snack that originated in the Indian state of Kerala and is quite popular as an authentic traditional delicacy made with rice flour, jaggery and coconut. It can be served for morning breakfast or even for evening snack with a cup of tea or coffee if you are an avid foodie and love sugary treats .Grated coconut and jaggery are nestled inside rice flour dough before being steamed inside a banana leaf wrap. It looks deceptively simple, but the banana leaf wrap adds another dash of taste to the little dumpling. Lightly sweet with a distinct fragrance, this is one perfect vegan dessert to cap off a rich nosh.

Banana & Chocolate Bread

Image source: ‘Eggless Banana Walnut Chocolate Chip Loaf . Simple & delicious ‘ by Deba @PAB in passionateaboutbaking.com on Ap.29, 2019.

For those days when you crave for desserts but pull back for you are watching your weight as well, this all-time favourite cake made with ripe bananas & chocolate is your best bet. This dessert is an ideal eat on a day when all is not well or on a day you’re craving for comfort dessert! And, above all, it’s vegan and tastes just as good as a regular dessert. Combining the sweet flavor of ripe bananas with chocolate or cocoa powder, this dessert is very similar to walnut flavored banana bread. You could serve this dessert with a choice of frosting, but could also share it as a snack over a cup of tea or coffee.

Cinnamon Roll

Image source: ‘Cinnamon Rolls’ in bakefromscratch.com.

These pillowy soft and luscious homemade cinnamon rolls topped with a perfect cream cheese glaze are the quintessential deserts treat and so easy to make! A  delicious tasting cinnamon roll pairs in  raw nut and seed flours with  cinnamon spiced puréed figs and raisins- all pitched in. Roll up a batch or two and store them as a premade dessert in your freezer. They are so easy to slice when frozen and can then be dehydrated for a warmed “baked-like” texture.

Feature credits: kitchenstories.com

Always making for a perfect hit, this delight of a dish can lift a bleh day and carry it to a delicious end. So fragrant and not at all dry or crumby these cream cheese glazed rolls are simply delicious and make for an unforgettable flavor punch.

Coconut Cream Pie

Image source: ‘Coconut Cream Pie. The old fashioned way!’ by Barry C. Parsons in rockrecipes.com on Nov. 17, 2007.

A super food dessert version of the conventional coconut cream pie, this vegan recipe skips the cooking process and leaves out the eggs, milk, butter and cream too. Instead of dairy, rich almond milk and young coconut meat lend the dessert a cream pie-like consistency and is a perfect delight for those with big eyes for sugary treats when used with chia, coconut oil, cacao butter and Irish moss. In fact, this classic dessert is a hot favorite among those who love the earthy flavors. Coconut in the pastry cream filling gives it a refreshing burst of flavors. If you love treats with flaky crusts, thick and creamy fillings and a fluffy whipped cream topping then this pie is just for you!

Banana Cream Pie Parfaits

This vegan banana cream pie parfait is made with a buttery cracker and sweet coconut “crust”, layered with fresh bananas, homemade coconut pudding, and a dollop of whipped cream. Scrumptious, natural and low on sugar, this is one creamy dessert that you’d want to miss! You could top up your parfait with plenty of chocolate shavings for truly delicious afters. Simple and easy to make, this sweet, goodness loaded treat is any time delight especially during the spring and summer, when you’re looking for a yummy chilled dessert.

Feature credits: kitchenstories.com.

It’s never enough!!

The taste of sweetness is a completely natural inclination and reminiscent of our innate longing for gooiest, soppiest, mushiest and above all sugariest! While juicy ripe fruits could be our   first choice when reaching to quench this desire, there is no need to starve ourselves of sweetie delights that can spring a moment of happiness in our life. But then… there is always bias to abuse too much of a good thing. It would do some good if you could find a healthy balance between simple pleasures and excess, no matter how good sinking your teeth in a delicious dessert feels. All you need to remember; ‘too much of anything is bad and nothing works well if taken in excessive’. Going to extremes risks neck or nothing.

So, sit back after a hearty dinner, laze off and relish the magical sweetness of these delightful desserts – guilt free!!.

Looking for a good-for-me treat? Binge on these 12 delicious ‘cheat ‘foods and relish an ounce of goodness, guilt free!

For most of us cheat food‘ means ‘bad food‘ for it usually comes fat drenched, deep fried or oil soaked and with not so healthy breading that goes into its making. But that doesn’t mean that you can never have it. Enjoy it on days you plan to go easy with fat at other meals especially on one of those cheat days! Besides there are guilt free versions too that won’t play fiddle with your weight regimen.

For the most part, it is all about balance. Your nutritionist may confide; No matter what your fitness goals are, it’s not always a bad idea to indulge in good and rich food once in a while. May be this will encourage you to stay on your wellness track for long!”, And believe me, he couldn’t be more right! But simply switching to a burrito bowl from your regular deep pocketed meal and opting for rice and beans won’t do any good if you choose to keep the full fat sour cream and cheese intact. Instead this will turn into a nutrient dense ‘cheat’ and could leave you feeling the guilt over a nimble beef burger too.

It’s so easy to bite into myths and half truths about nutrition that in the end you are left with far fewer healthy choices than you would imagine. From fruit juices to canned veggies, from muffins to whole grain bread, it’s always easy-breezy to believe that we have chosen wisely and made healthier food choices than they really are. Sure, you may know which foods are healthy and which make a better sense when it comes to getting on with your day guilt free. But do you know which ones pack a powerful punch of more than one nutrient and is one of the healthiest feel fuller foods? Turning to those grab and go foods aren’t any good either. Real trick is to eat real food to stock up and yet be on track all the times.

Nonetheless, since filling foods with high fiber and high protein means fewer calories per gram, you can pile up your plate without packing on pounds and binging on healthy cheat foods on your cheat day could really keep you on the move!

Here are 12 such choices that have made to the top, to let you know what to stock up on. Eat to your fill without eating less. And remember, small changes do make a heap of difference.

Pan Cakes

Source: ‘Fluffy Pancakes’ in eggs.ca

Beginning your day with a hearty and healthy breakfast is all about a dish that’s packed with vitamins, and proteins. After all breakfast is a big deal. Eggs, fruits and whole wheat toasts are good choices but it’s easy for your nosh to go south if you prefer heartier options. Traditional pancakes with maple syrup butter and strawberries, crispy and delicious waffles or that fluffy French toast with egg, all add up to calories and carbohydrates fast, especially if you add more butter and syrup after preparation. Fattier breakfast meats are just as bad, unless you are a vegetarian and prefer vegan food. Since it’s an important meal, a few simple changes could make you less guilty about it.

Traditionally two pancakes and four pieces of bacon contain 480 calories, 26 grams of fat and 46 grams of carbohydrates. On the contrary whole wheat pancakes and turkey bacon in the same amounts carry 289 calories, 16 grams of fat and 24 grams of carbohydrates. So, begin your day on a healthier note once you have picked up on your restraint.

Black Bean Burgers

Image source: ‘ Best-Ever Black Bean Burgers’ by Lena Abraham in delish.com on Ap. 17, 2020.

There’s nothing wrong with having a burger every now and then, but what is important is meat you consume with it . Grass fed beef ranks lower in saturated fats and has almost 5 times more of omega-3 and higher contents of vitamin-A and E as compared to grain fed beef. Prefer to have a home-made burger or even a multigrain one will do. Mash boiled potatoes and shallow fry them in olive oil, add lots of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, cottage cheese, and even egg if you like. Your home-made happy meal with high nutritional value and moderate calories is ready. Add half a slice of cheese and a teaspoon of mayonnaise, and experience the flavors take a new turn.

Sweet Potato Fries

Image source: ‘Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries’ in tablespoon.com.

Eyeing fries means  junk food with a burger but when you think of it seriously, the dish adds up to potato slices that have been flash fried, are a bit higher on fat and calories but render carbs, fats, fiber and vitamins  as required for an overall healthy diet. The bottom line though is that if you choose proper cut fries, fried in lighter oils instead of fast food version, they won’ be as unhealthy as you’d think.

You may consider switching regular fries for sweet potato ones as a healthier option but the truth remains that when deep fried, both are equal in calories. One great way to cut the calories however, is to try baked or roasted version with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of paprika to pep up the flavors.

A burger and fries usually make up for a great brunch though alone they aren’t  great in taste but toppings like mayonnaise and lean meat kick the flavors once dipping sauce options pour in. To make it more wholesome, swap beef for turkey and you have already cutback to 269 calories, 11.7 gms. of fat , 20.3 gms. of carbs and 4 gms. of sugar for each helping. You could eat two of these and still be under McDonald version.

Tacos

Image source: ‘How to Make the Perfect Taco’ by John Surface in sweetkickinsalsa.com.

Tacos are delicious, but too many condiments and use of fatter cuts of meat, or deep fried battered fish turn it into a sinful chew. Grilling a white flaky fish like cod and seasoning it with herbs and spices, or lemon juice instead, would help you avoid thebad for you’ fats and render the dish into a guilt free healthy alternative. You could even swap the taco for a pita. Serving with a dark green leafy salad would add fiber to your meal. If you’re still apprehensive, just remember that it’s only the traditional drive-thru tacos that don’t do you any favors. Topped with sour cream and cheese, and sides like chips and nacho cheese, these are a diet disaster. But a lighter approach will give you the flavor you want without the extra calories, fat and carbs. And above all, it’s the meat alone that matters and there is nothing wrong with having tacos every now and then.

Nachos

Image source: ‘Beef Nachos Grande’ in unileverfoodsolutions.com.

Make no mistakes and get one thing straight right away; there’s no such thing as a zero-calorie food though fiber and water-rich veggies like cucumbers, carrots, zucchini, celery, broccoli, and cabbage come pretty close, for they come naturally very low in calories. Try 100% corn baked tortilla chips with a lean protein, low fat dairy and heaps of veggies  like peppers, olives, jalapenos, tomatoes, onions, refried beans. Top off your dish with guacamole, salsa, and cilantro and you have a delight on your plate that gives the satisfaction of chewing plus a full belly. Use the topping to bulk up your sandwiches or omelette if you have no tooth for raw veggies. 

Wild Salmon

Image source: ‘Grill, Poach, Broil, Roast: How to cook wild salmon ‘ in thechalkboardmag.com.

Chicken gets boring at times. And if this happens to be one such times, simply look around for a source of lean protein that comes with a fat-fighting advantage. Salmon is one such good choice which helps in weight loss by improving glucose sensitivity, reducing insulin resistance and inflammation and speed up the oxidation of fat. Pack more punch to the dish by having a pick of roasted vegetables like artichokes, spinach, or broccoli, served alongside which all provide at least 5 grams of fiber per serving. Above all, you don’t need a ton of it to feel satisfied; still don’t ignore the portion size!

Pepperoni Pizza

Image source: ‘Pepperoni Pizza’ in 360bistrobar.com.

Cheap, filling and easy to reach, this is one huge go-to cheat meal. What more it’s delivered right to your doorstep even in the middle of the night? And oh!! It’s so delicious. But be wary of the crust, for this breading could wreck your diet plan. Cheese and meat toppings too are guilty and so is the accompanying sauce. Getting thinner crust and less cheese works well though. Try for once and you will wonder how on earth could this unhealthiest of cheat meals come up with a nutritional value no less than other options? But trust me, that’s what you get when the crust in your pizza thins out to a true dietary good boy! A flat out simple pizza topped with turkey pepperoni, onions, mushrooms and peppers yields 328 calories, 13 grams of fat and 32 grams of carbohydrates.

Spaghetti and meatballs

Image source: ‘Spaghetti and Meatballs’ by Betty Crocket Kitchens in in bettycrocker.com on Dec. 19, 2017.

This dish is as close to traditional Italian cuisine as it could ever get though unfortunately, tradition comes at a price of high calories and carbohydrates. Choosing a healthier option like vegetable pasta and turkey meatballs however, could scale back the worrying numbers and would allow you to enjoy your meal and not feel bad about it later. Just be mindful of the portion size for each serving of zucchini noodle pasta with turkey meatballs enriches you with no less than 440 calories, 15 grams of fat and 42 grams of carbohydrates. Cutting everything even by half will make a huge difference, and you won’t be deprived of flavors in the process.

Macaroni & Cheese

Image source: How to Create Your Own Signature Mac and Cheese’ by Sarina Petrocelly in ourcommunitynow.com on JUn.11, 2020.

If you do not intend to dine out even after a hectic work day or simply want to laze around at home on a wintry afternoon, macaroni and cheese is one good dependable choice that could lift your spirits. What more, you will be doing your entire body a great favor by doing nothing for once!

Typically made with a lot of milk, butter and artificial ingredients, you have already sacrificed a lot for the sake of noodles and cheese. Just be mindful of how much more dairy you add. And remember, this time you are not making any vegetable pasta! Still anxious! try a baked version for you get more for less without sacrificing flavors. One serving of baked macaroni and cheese has 297 calories, 9.7 grams of fat and 34.5 grams of carbohydrates.

Fried Rice & Egg Rolls

Image source: ‘How To Make Egg Roll Fried Rice’ in allasiarecipes.com.

One of initial fears in pursuing a plant-based lifestyle is that most of us find it difficult to give up the foods that we have enjoyed all our lives. But reality is so different! You enjoy more by recreating ethnic cuisines than dining out.

So, for once put your foot down and step out of the box. You could start by tackling fried rice and tofu eggrolls. Sautéed diced tofu in canola oil until light brown is a visual delight. Add coleslaw (finely shredded cabbage with a salad dressing) mix for that extra crunch and sauté’ till wilting. This filling wrapped into an open egg roll like a burrito and then heated and deep fried until golden brown, makes for one great dish to enjoy without feeling the regret later. Oven or air fryers don’t do justice if authentic dish is your choice. You could switch the tofu with another high protein dish or add crushed seaweeds to your egg rolls or even swap deep fried egg rolls for non fried spring rolls, if you want this to be your signature dish!   Be wary of the portion size though. Each 200 grams (1 bowl) serve of cauliflower fried rice contains 108 calories, 3 grams of fat, 14 carbohydrates and 1 gram of sugar.

Chicken Nuggets

Image source: Fond of crispy chicken nuggets? Here’s how you can prepare it at home’ by TNN in timesofindia.indiatimes.com on May 24, 2019.

If you are the one who is on various diets, you would understand the struggle of “cheating” in moderation. And more so finding the right way to do it. This doesn’t mean that you cannot bite into your regular pizza or you cannot have a ball in your favorite Chinese buffet. All it requires is finding a way to enjoy your favorite cheat food in a healthy way.

While chicken nuggets aren’t the unhealthiest of cheat foods, they definitely don’t offer as much nutritional value as other options. Nuggets with the breading make things still worse.

Each helping from McDonald’s has six nuggets and regrettably carries 270 calories, 16 grams of fat, 16 carbohydrates and 15 grams of protein. Not so terrible sounding!! but most of the people don’t stop at only six chicken nuggets at a time.  So make a baked platter of your own and you could get rid of all those extras. 188 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 8 carbohydrates and 26 grams of protein in six baked nuggets is what you get when the dish is made only with meat.

Raspberry Thyme Granita

Image source: ‘Raspberry-Thyme Granita’ by Cheryl Mussatto in eatwelltobewellrd.com on Aug. 10, 2020.

When your sweet tooth aches, it’s time to reach for … dessert! There are so many healthy versions of it and you don’t need much of it to feel satisfied. There’s actually nothing wrong with having a little sweet treat during the day. In fact, satisfying yourself with something delicious and nutritious is the key to ace healthy diet .

Feature credits: ‘KItchenstories.com” .

If you’re looking for a healthy, dairy-free light frozen treat, this easy to make raspberry thyme granite is just the right choice for you.  A super refreshing, slushy this Italian ice dessert  is similar to sorbet and what more, you could use raspberries, watermelon, blackberries, or even strawberries for this a zero fat- zero sodium dessert. A good source of vitamin C and fiber and a perfect alternative to overly rich, sugary desserts, this dish won’t let you go overboard on the calories. One cup (150 gms) provides 8 grams of satiating fiber and sets you back only 60 calories. Not creamy or decadent, this food is a perfect way to end a meal.

Cheat Food: An occasional binge is not a bad idea!

Cheat foods aim to help you stay motivated throughout the day and in no way harm your weight loss plan. Besides, they gives you a break from the usual food that you have been eating daily without craving for it. But you just cannot go about bingeing through the day as it will only undo an entire week’s hard work. This will only stir up more cravings, eventually losing complete focus. Excessive indulgence incites craving for these foods and it will be difficult for you to go back to restrained eating over the next few days.

So, choose the cheat food that you enjoy enough to give up the ‘sinful part’ of it. Loads of meals and snacks come packed as nutritional powerhouses. Just look for whole foods as first ingredients that are as simple as possible. It will be easier for you to choose among better- for- me options without too many sacrifices. And don’t forget the reason that makes a ‘cheat food’ so special.

10 incredibly delicious guilt free street foods that Fetch a slice of heaven to your plate and are a joy to enjoy!!

It’s no longer simply food and drink sold in a public place, market or street! From a full time vegan to a diehard steak lover whatever you choose, you could find a whole range of eats that is full of good stuff and savory surprises- all natural with no added this, no added that.

All from a humble street side Hakka noodles loaded with crunchy veggies to Bad Brownies and Other Side fried chicken burgers to Truffle meatless burgers, the street foods never aced better and bigger.

It’s good to be Happy, Healthy and Hungry!

Fine! So you have decided to live a healthier lifestyle and gradually changing your ways- going to gym every other day and making healthy meal for yourself. You are determined to hold on to this change as long as possible and not think of it as a mere fad. But then sometimes not everything works out the way you want to. You may have chosen to eat at home rather than dine out with friends but then a situation has arisen and you couldn’t make it either way. You had always wanted to be sure of what you eat. You feel that you have had enough of recipes from internet and would want to try something new and exciting. And guess what!  Street side eateries come for your rescue. Appropriate to the kind of lifestyle you have chosen for yourself, you would want a taste of spices and flavors and meals without any guilt pangs. Street foods offer you choices straight from an epicurean paradise that are satiating and are actually healthy.

Feature credits:’13 Desserts from Around the World! | Popular Desserts and Frozen Sweets’ by So Yummy in youtube.com on Ap.27, 2019.

From mouth watering vegan Indian and Thai street foods, to Jamaican Jerks and American burgers, the recipe roll is enormous and sure could give you an unforgettable taste of spices, herbs and flavors. There are plenty of vegan low-calorie, keto, gluten-free street food dinners, as well as side dishes and snacks. Whether you’re vegan, plant-based or just trying to cut down on meat, street foods are just for you! From vegan burgers, hot dogs to a vegan lobster roll, the mildly seasoned, delicately spiced street foods are quick, easy and burst with flavors once in your mouth.

You can begin your gourmet journey by trying these ten tastiest street foods that are vegan, plant based and health some.

Tofu with spicy garlic prune sauce

Image source: ‘Asian tofu hashtag ‘ on twitter by Veg vegan meat on Jul 20, 2020.

A perfect vegan alternative to BBQ, the pan-fried Asian Tofu with spicy garlic sauce is quick, easy and packed with flavor! It’s a great midday eat and tastes heavens when paired with a Chinese sauce that’s sweet, spicy, salty and savory, all at the same time. Tofu is a great source of protein and contains all nine essential amino acids, iron and calcium…so great for your bones, teeth and blood. It is marinated in sweet spicy garlic sauce and once it has soaked up the sauce, then pan fried till crispy on the outside and soft inside. Prune juice gives a deep caramelly sweetness and works as marinade. Perfect with rice and stir fried green, it tastes exquisite.

Lentil Fritters

Image source: ‘Recipes from around the world: Bhajias (Lentil Fritters)’ by Ben Hinson in recipesaroundtheworld.com on Jam. 23, 2016.

Tasty and delicious these vegan version of Takoyaki balls,  are soft, deep fried fritters made out of split green gram flour and topped with spicy green mint chutney and shredded radish, melt in your mouth with a spicy, tangy aftertaste.  A sprinkle of some lemon juice and this combo will leave you wanting more. Insanely crispy and crunchy these fried lentil (dal) fritters make for a mouthwatering savory snack. Tamarind chutney evens out the spiciness of green chutney and pungency of radish. So don’t forget to have it added to your plate.

Vegan Corn Dogs

Image source: ‘Vegan Corn Dogs’ in vegannook.com.

These vegan corn dogs have no sausages or imitation soy meat in them. Covered in a maize-flour batter, fried and then served on a stick these gluten free corn dogs use a meat-free hot dog, or if you prefer-a roasted carrot. Yet another healthy version of two classic street foods, cornbread and vegan hot dogs, pair in to create the ultimate fun food you would love to eat and feel good. Soft, fluffy corn bread and delicious hotdogs make for a satisfying snack or side for your next nosh rush! 

Vegan Korean Cauliflower Wings

Feature credits: ‘Korean Fried Cauliflower’ by Jeramie Go in youtube.com on Ap.5, 2021.

Korean-style cauliflower wings, battered and drenched in a spicy, tangy glaze gochujang maple glaze and baked until caramelized, could make you forget the mushy vegetable that finds it way so often to your platter at home. You could have mock chicken version to make it vegan but cauliflower is a finger-licking good substitute for meat. Once baked or roasted, it gets a meat like texture that’s really enjoyable. This dish is also a visual treat, thanks to the vibrant red pepper sauce and cooling cucumber yogurt dip.

Sweet Potato

Image source: ‘Double Baked Sweet Potatoes ‘ in macheesmo.com on Sep.25, 2019.

Steamed or roasted and cubed this tuber when served hot with a generous sprinkle of chaat masala( snack spice) a dash of lime and a bit of star fruit for that extra tang, works as a high energy booster and is one good relief for those who go-to-street snack everyday and those who worry about the belly before the bite.

This popular tangy and savory street food is a guilt-free alternative to fried foods. Lengths of tubers are roasted on embers and then the smoky cubes are tossed in a special blend of ‘spices’ and tamarind chutney.

Interestingly, this sweet tasting root vegetable is now a millennial food obsession. Just one serving of this roasted potato could deliver a whopping 400% of daily vitamin A quota; essential for both eye and cardiac health. What more… despite its starchy rep, sweet potato is the new diabetic super food, thanks to its low-glycemic index .

Momos

Images source: ‘ Friends Of Pho In Kolkata Makes Colourful, Highly Exotic Dimsums That You Won’t Find Elsewhere’ by Suchismita Pal in curlytales.com

When it comes to street food, how could anyone miss out on such an essential dish? It’s surprising how something so small can be so filling! Momos are so exquisite that this food has turned synonymous with students to shoppers, to corporate workers. As street food banter goes, you won’t find a better hot steamed goodness that knocks up different versions all the time. From fried to tandoori and chicken to paneer, you get all kinds to satiate your craving for a hot plate of delicious food.

Pretty easy to make vegan; ask for those with veggies inside, or a mock-meat if you’re looking for a recreated meat dumpling. Served alongside some vegan-friendly soy sauce this is one go to dish for brunches and afternoon grub rush!

Som tam ( Papaya Salad)

Image source: ‘Supatra’s Green Papaya Salad Recipe (Som Tam Thai)’ in templeofthai.com.

A delicious Thai salad, Som Tam is a green papaya salad that combines all four tastes – sour, chili, sweet and salty. A healthy and tasty treat for brunch, lunch or a casual light dinner, this dish is all about sliced sour fruits, veggies like green papaya and tomatoes and other ingredients as lime, palm sugar, chili, garlic, dried shrimps, fried peanuts etc. which are all pounded together in a mortar and unleash an explosive blend of flavors once in your mouth. Yard-long beans, hog plums, eggplant, and the dish’s star ingredient unripe, shredded green papaya, all combine to create a celebration of contrasting flavors and textures. Delivering carotenoids three times the amount of tomatoes and carrots, this dish, lowers the risk of macular degeneration, is anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor and effectively lowers cholesterol levels.

Pho (Vietnamese noodle soup)

Image source: ‘Beyond Phở : 5 Other Irresistible Vietnamese Noodle Soups’ by Viet Doan in delishably.com on Feb. 6, 2020.

If you have no more 20 minutes for a quick bite, your best bet lies with this ‘bowl of medicine’. Experience the magic of this noodle soup where broth is everything.  It’s light  full of flavor, deceptively beefy, savory, complex, has a delicate richness and is filled with a dense aroma of spices like cinnamon, star anise and cardamom. The fragrant broth is fortified with vermicelli rice noodles, strips of lean beef or chicken or mock meat, crunchy bean sprouts, and topped with heaps of greens like basil and coriander. The soup is utterly addictive and every spoonful leaves you wanting more! A storehouse of essential amino acids and minerals, this is one wholesome dish that is anti inflammatory and helps in building up a healthy gut.

Jamaican jerk tofu skewers (vegan)

Feature credits: ‘Sweet & Spicy Jamaican Jerk Tofu Rice Bowls’ by Tasty in youtube.com on Jan.7,2020.

Experience the tropical flavors of the Caribbean with spicy, flavorsome jerk seasoned and fruity, sausage-laden skewers served with rich and creamy coconut rice, if you fancy food that doesn’t have meat, but is a brilliant alternative that can satisfy your taste buds. This street food isn’t really about heat- it’s about creating a delicious combination of organic vegetables and eye smarting spices. Allspice, cinnamon, thyme, onion and garlic all come together to make a tasty yet easy marinade for the tofu. With tossed veggies on the side, these skewers taste great and are ready in 15 minutes flat. Grilled on the barbecue, grill pan, pan fry or bake, this easy vegan dish is a great way to your round off your snacking rush!

From Chops to Chows: The delicious fun comes wrapped in health and happiness!

Are you on a diet regimen?  Or maybe you are a buff person! Whatever…your bid to have a flavorsome, exciting and healthier lifestyle should not be foiled just because you could binge on the limited food options available for you? You should be creative enough to come up with healthier menus, and street foods are an excellent option for you. There are a lot of healthy street foods which you can try and which won’t wreck your fitness when you bite into them. Think about this next time you rush out of your home without a scrumptious breakfast, or your Office when you have no more than 20 minutes for a quick grub for lunch or your college when your canteen menu despairs you. For sure, you’ll be able to find more dishes on the street that fit to your healthy lifestyle!

Sounds strange?  But trust me, this food works! Just dig into an inspired salad or side and experience layers of delight and happiness on your plate!!

Miss snacking on a crash diet ? binge on these insanely addictive yet healthy street foods without a spin!!

If you believe that street eats guarantee only unhealthy and boring food, then it’s time you fine-tuned yourself.

Street foods these days are getting past the predictable vegetarian menu, and becoming adventurous as they play with different ingredients while putting together some lip smacking food items. Love them or hate them but you definitely cannot turn a blind eye to a plateful of steaming juicy savory delight. It’s either love at first sight or it may take a while before you grow fond of those singing flavors and delicate textures. But once you get past your inhibitions, there is no dearth to discover and cheer about. Give your day a joyous spin with the punch of comfort foods that are packed with nutrients, have the knock to ignite your metabolism and give an edge to your diet regimen.

Besides it’s cheap, quick, accessible and tasty. It just couldn’t  get any better than that.

You’re probably thinking…street food, is it safe? You’re not alone. Little apprehensions start doing rounds in your head. Is that infamous ‘Delhi belly” really true? What’s the worst that could happen? Food poisoning? Are road side eateries safe? If the food is cooked right, are all the bacteria really dead? Whatever… if you are not much of a foodie and listen to those voices in your head then you are missing out on some damn shiok food. “shiok-ness” of street food is pretty consistent and envied even by the five star dining restaurants. And the fact that it’s wholesome and cheap totally brings up the level of satisfaction. Sink your teeth into when you get the chance and you will agree that smorgasbord of street foods is better than any guidebook to safe snacking.

Think of a rollicking platter of butter fried bread (Pav) sporting lightly spiced sweet hillocks of finely chopped tomatoes (bhaji) on downtown Mumbai streets. Think of fried mantou (Chinese steamed bun) with chilli crab sauce on the wayward lanes of Shanghai – similar concepts but way cheaper and both packed with finger licking good flavors. Imagine the best curry in the world, laced with a dollop of butter, onions and lime to enrich your culinary experience and freshen up the party. Then what if you chance upon a buttery pan-fried bun that soaks up all its flavors like a good sponge, and bring all the goodness to your mouth intact. This is what miracles of street food are made of.

But street food doesn’t just mean an easy way to fill our bellies. It does two things for us- entertain us and create a healthy public space about the same time. It’s just as much about theatrics; from the fizz of a softly poured soda and the smell of mint while walking past a line of juice sellers, to the clanging sound of a steel masher of a pav bhaji stall to the soft buzz of people talking while standing in line at your favorite chicken roll joint.

Feature credits: ‘ 5 Healthy Street Food Recipes’ by Goodful in youtube.com on Jan.12, 2020.

Think of food and a faint tingle runs through your taste buds! A hot seitan roast stuffed with shitake and leeks could make you salivate. The idea of hot roasted peanuts would turn you ‘snacky’. Street food, then, is not just about food—it’s about the experience. And street side joints are ‘no strings attached ‘ places for public mingling where you could have conversations that give vent to your emotions so much better than those water coolers in your Office; probably the best place to take a break from those boring excel sheets! The joint near your  college  where instant noodles work as brunch for those with lighter pockets and even the excuse for a romantic interlude, are after all a busy public space- open to all at all times. You may not know the person digging into egg sandwich next to you or sipping tea while reading a newspaper for hours, you not even glance over to a guy rushing through his chicken rice before hurrying off to Office, but it’s just as easy to strike a conversation with them- and no holds barred!

Curry-licious and appetizing -Comfort foods that bring layers of happiness to your plate and are actually healthy!

People all over the world, however much they love meat, like veggies, greens and fruits adore snacking. Figure this out!! It helps if you interact more with your neighbours, but even if you don’t, you still learn a lot by frequenting street side eateries and exploring local food. Sometimes you just get lucky and get to taste what even mocks five star dining.

With vegetarianism and veganism no longer considered amateurish, a whole new genre of street eateries are now serving fusion food that could make even the most resilient of foodie go weak at knees. And not all of them run off the mill. Few of these novel ones serve mock meats (ones that have the texture of meat, but are made from mushrooms and/or vegetables), while others tow the line by having a wide list of comfort food on their menu and could get your favorite meal to your doorstep. Both ways, you get the best bang for your buck in the bargain!

So, if this happens to be one of those days when you crave for something that tastes bold  and is preferably veggie, it’s time you took a stroll down that cobbled street right next to that chaotic weekly market and you will get hit by that mesmerizing smell of potato croquette simmering in butter over a large flat griddle-the patties that are deep-fried to create a crispy outer layer while still remaining melt-in-your-mouth-soft on the inside. A little further down and you could lose yourself drooling over the king of street food- the mouthwatering spicy roadside Momos.  Running riot at roadside stalls to food centers and food courts in all hot-shot Malls, these tangy  spicy red sauce and steaming hot dumplings loaded with veggies or chicken are simply irresistible. No matter how fussy you are about street foods, but when it comes to these spicy delights almost every day temptation becomes difficult to reign in.

But which one of this colorful fusion of flavors dishes is truly healthy and tasty? No worries–you are not the only one who gets intimidated easily. There are so many people who fancy street foods but occasionally run short on ideas to match their diet regimen.

If you are on the run and hungry and a quick bite is your only choice, then reach out for some mouth watering street foods without worrying about your waist line. These are not only fast but usually hit the spot each time. Besides, they are cheap, tasty and above all not a diet minefield!!

Here are 10 such finger foods that are refreshing and healthy and could let you escape an expensive restaurant each time you rush out for a bite! These must try amazingly addictive street foods are real delights and could actually keep your diet plan intact. So, dig in, experience the sips and slurps of flavors and ‘ruin’ yourself like never before.

French toast

Image source:’ Quick and Easy French Toast’ in mccormik.com

No eggs? No problem. This easy vegan French toast is a delicacy made out of  almond milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, maple, nutritional yeast, and a little bit of flour. Chia seeds aren’t just a thickening agent in this breakfast classic. Packing in a nutritional punch of proteins, calcium, fiber and omega 3s, this fluffy yet chewy nosh becomes irresistible once you top the toast with peanut butter, blueberries and sugar syrup or an airy coconut whipped cream!

Avocado melt sandwich with Coconut bacon

Image source: ‘Vegan Avocado Melt with Coconut Bacon – The Vegan Food Blog’ Elena Arellano in pinterest.com

This scrumptious avocado melt sandwich is filled with roasted red peppers and a zesty cilantro-lime avocado mash. Packed with creamy avocado and savory coconut this vegan sandwich is crispy and grilled to perfection! Mashed avocado browned in a skillet not only gives this sandwich its “melty” factor, but beef up its nutritional value with fiber, potassium, and monounsaturated fats. ‘Coconut bacon’ (essentially seasoned and toasted coconut flakes) add the crunch and morphs the dish into a unique and wholesome eat. Eat it not to miss the fun!

Chickpea flour omelet

Image source:’ Vegan chickpea flour omelette – Made easy!’ by Chef Jana in chefjanapinheiro.com on Aug 14, 2017.

This vegan, soy free chickpea omelet is one lip smacking dish that is loaded with protein, dietary fibre and nutrients. A silky chickpea flour batter once flavored with ginger, garlic, spinach, onion, tomatoes and bell peppers turns into a crispy on the outside but buttery inside pancake when slow fried on a flat griddle that resembles an omelet and makes a great vegetarian option for those who do not consume eggs. 

Looking no less than a greasy-spoon staple, this fresh, veggie-packed street food is actually gluten free and masquerades beaten eggs so well. Get it customized with anything from spinach and mushrooms to onions and tomatoes. Sure, this doesn’t taste exactly like a typical omelet, but with its subtle crunchiness and savory bite, this is a tasty lunch time treat in its own right. This could be your eat if you have got 20 minutes and no more for your nosh.

Tofu Benedict

Image source: ‘Tofu Benedict With Mushroom Bacon’ by Heather Poire in onegreenplanet.org

Nothing cries comfort more than a platter of this ultimate vegan brunch dish that proves that you really don’t need dairy to glue all the ingredients together. With greens, tomato slices, tempeh bacon and spices all cooked to perfection, the dish is drenched with a dairy free hollandaise sauce (which is an emulsion of egg yolk, melted butter, and lemon juice usually seasoned with salt, and white or cayenne pepper).You can have it topped with a slice of avocado for a pop of green or a little bit of homemade cashew “cheese” for a healthy fat. Enjoy this quintessential street side brunch delight when you are running short on time and yet crave for a meaty bite.

Vegan BLT Sandwich

Thinly sliced eggplant masks so well as bacon for a meat-free version of this deli classic!! The rest comes together quickly and easily. Mayo or hummus on the toasted bread slices ride with one piece of eggplant or coconut bacon. Onion and tomato make up for a sandwich that’s forgiving and flexible, but still so, so good. This BLT is a delicious simple lunch or dinner for those who are always on the rush, half-walking half-running and at best could only stop at the next food cart for a quick morsel.

Mashed Chickpea salad sandwich

Image source: ‘Smashed chickpea salad sandwich’ by Katyrex in graceinthecrumbs.com on Mar.1, 2018.

Nothing beats a simple but fulfilling sandwich for lunch and this one- reminiscent of a brown-bag staple, more than fits the bill for it’s cheap, easy to reach and tops the menu in most street side eateries. The low-glycemic chickpeas are mashed with hummus or tahini, carrots and celery for a filling that’s both smooth and crunchy at the same time. If you fancy satiety, ask for an extra generous layer between slices of thick whole-wheat bread for a hearty finger licking good midday meal.

Kebabs

Image source: ‘Delicious Vegan Kebabs’ by Rajesh Padmanabhan in theflamingvegan.com on Mar. 29, 2017.

At street stalls, you’ll find staggering variety of kebabs that are aflame with tangy spices like nutmeg and cloves. You could try those most favored satin-soft  kebabs made from lamb pounded with lentils that’s boiled, then ground with onions and mint, shaped into patties, and finally pan fried. Be wary though!! These flavor bombs don’t go easy with your diet plan and could bulk you up in no time.

Other most indulgent varieties are an ingenious combination of grounded veggies, seasoned, delicately spiced, griddle fired and served wrapped with whole wheat paratha lightly oiled and crunch fried off  the back of an inverted tava (griddle). Served with mint and tamarind dip and spicy pickles, this wrap tastes heavens and wouldn’t let you stop at one

Kathi Roll

Image source: ‘Vegetable Kathi Roll ‘ in manjulaskitchen.com

Surly Chipotle burritos are bae, your favorite snack and all that, but have you ever bitten into a Kathi roll in the middle of lunch hour on the side of a busy intersection? Kathi rolls might be considered a close equivalent of a burrito or Frankie or even the shawarma. The flavor of a Kathi roll is truly a savory sensation with its flat bread exterior enveloping tender pieces of seasoned and spiced soy chunks or paneer or chicken in addition to toppings from scrambled eggs to mixed raw/cooked vegetables. The final garnish before everything is wrapped up, is a variety of sauces, a squeeze of lemon or lime and a sprinkle of snack spices. Every time you sink your teeth into this mélange of flavors you get to taste a bit of culinary nirvana.

Pav Bhaji

Image source: ‘Pav Bhaji’ by Dhwani Mehta in cookingcarnival.com on July 30, 2017.

If you could remember that one deep-fried dish your mom used to make all the time growing up that you watched from the sidelines, salivating as you eyed those mouth watering sauce dripping oomph pieces, waiting for them to cool enough to gorge on, you are somewhat close to the flavors this dish carries.

Originating as an Indian street comfort food, this vegetarian version of Sloppy Joe is a blend of mashed vegetables in a tomato-based gravy cooked on a tava (flat griddle) and served with a buttered bread roll. A spicy mashed vegetable dish, served piping hot with a dollop of butter, diced red onions, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime; this is a perfect finger food for anytime anywhere snacking. Variations could carry ground meat and/or paneer.

Tibb’s Frankie

Image source: ‘Tibbs Frankie’ in swiggy.com

The Tibb’s Frankie is an egg-washed paratha that’s tightly wrapped around craggy pieces of chicken or mutton if you love meat and paneer, or vegetables, spangled with onions, chilies, chutneys, and the secret Tibb’s spice mix that elevates it all. It has much in common with the Kathi roll, but meat in the latter comes wrapped in a paratha of refined wheat flour, while Frankie uses whole wheat and the masala mix is wetter than that used for Kathi roll.

Off beat yet an appetizing delicacy meant exclusively for you!

All this bounty means that a truly comprehensive catalog of street food could actually fill up several encyclopedias about the vibrant street food culture around the world. There’s just so much to experience across the street with so many food options! These ten delicacies are merely like skimming through one single page of a colossal street food catalogue! There’s so many more delicious eats that stall holders will yell at you to – “Take it, and Go”.

Whatever…fuss-free and flavorful, street side snacking is an adventure and it sure makes that rush to food cart all the more satisfying for a tummy that’s been on a roll for a while

Feature credits: ‘What Street Foods Look Like Around The World’ by Food Insider in youtube.com on Feb.8, 2019.

Besides who would want to miss a crunchy road side re-treat to tummy-licious food anyways?

9 incredible ‘meatless’ dishes that would leave you longing for more of these savory delights.

If you were to earn a dime every time you heard someone persuade a vegetarian to eat meat, by making him or her think of it only as paneer, I am sure you would have had a lot many of them. With only a distinct texture and nothing to boast of as flavor, paneer like chicken turns sumptuous once you put some sauce on it. Then there is butter paneer for those raring to attend a butter chicken night only to make eyes roll. You won’t feel deprived for a butter paneer or paneer kebab platter would keep the vegetarians on the table quite busy. Even McDonald’s has a paneer burger coated with cream sauce and shredded lettuce that won’t let you miss the chicken, for it look exactly the same. You could even imagine yourself as a vegetarian who after window shopping in upscale market and across food courts finally settles down for a baguette stuffed with tomato, cheese and half a green leaf. Not that they aren’t delicious but you would feel better if you fed yourself with a paneer stuffed naan.

Good news is that the world is finally opening up for fleshy, juicy meat alternatives that even  outsmarts paneer, tofu or chunks of soya. These flavorsome plant based proteins could often make you check out twice with the chef; “You sure there is no chicken here in this sandwich?”

Restaurant menus have also begun echoing the trend. From sandwich and wraps stuffed with fake meats to spaghetti served with mock meatballs you can lay your hands on trending meat analogues anytime and every time hunger pangs hits you. Chunks of mock fish in Sri Lankan curry and ‘chicken wings have all become a most sought after entrée’ dish across all Yauatchas and Hakkasans. Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are now household names.

While soy based products are meant to taste and feel like meat, veg. proteins has moved far and beyond. For starters there is Tempeh, the Indonesian fermented beans that come wrapped as condensed bars or blocks with a dense texture and flavor. It tastes better for those who find soya chunks too chewy. The ache for variety is gaining momentum and market size for mock ducks, vegan burger and kebabs is growing steadily. Vegetarian meats like chicken, mutton, prawns, and even meat liver made out of soya have found favor with connoisseurs and food lovers. Vegicken and ‘Super bean’ are the most fancied and trending foods today.

Interestingly, even if your idea of eating vegetarian meat is only an attempt to extend your meatless Mondays into a life style or simply to add variety to your spread, the trend of alternative meats is only going upwards and onwards. Faux meats are the newest amongst the drift foods and have quickly turned a hot favorite amongst food lovers and new age flexitarians.

How good are the mock meats?

Walk into any mid size super market and you will find a bizarre array of vegan food products lining the shelves, never seen before. From pastries to imitation “chorizo” sausages to Quorn –a fake meat made of mycoproteins,  from vegetarian “ham” to nuggets, from fake turkey and stuffing to steak and gravy pies, all are neatly stacked in the chilled vegetarian aisle Then there are plant-based “meatballs”, “burgers” and “deep fried chicken”. You could virtually wear yourself out making all the finger quotes that go into explaining these vegan “meats”.

It’s not that that the concept of imitation meat is anything new. Meat versions nuggets and hot dogs have merely found substitutes. For as long as people prefer vegetarian or too poor to buy meat, mock meat of one kind or another is there to replace the meat versions. Thanks to food techs many of these fake meats are uncannily realistic both in texture and appearance. From “flaky’” fish to burgers oozing with beetroot juice to textured pea proteins, all nail it pretty well.  It’s tough though to mimic the texture and mouth feel of ground beef, but meat alternatives also come loaded with coloring and textural additives. Eating these hyper processed meat alternatives is akin to a healthy diet, when accompanied with simpler side options like beans and high protein veggies.

Technology used to make fake meat has broken all fences, and so the products available today look, taste and feel more like the real thing than, say, the soya nuggets of the ’90s that retained their spongy texture and flavor no matter what you did. Most mock meats use soya protein, wheat gluten or vegetable substitutes like jackfruit and are considered to be healthier, offer more nutritive value, more fiber, lowers fat content, and no animal fat (which means no cholesterol). However, for those not big on eating red meat, the lack of cholesterol is not as significant a plus as it sounds. However, be wary of sodium content in fake meats. You merely need to balance out your daily consumption of salt and that should be okay.

The rise of ‘meatless’ meat

Meat alternatives are clearly having a moment and offering a clear vision of a different future for meat. Every year, billions of animals are raised and slaughtered on factory farms across the world (a staggering 9 billion plus in the US alone). You may have reservations about the alternative meat products and their leap to mainstream dining, but I think it’s time to sort the hype from reality. Meat alternatives aren’t new, Meant to feel and taste like meat these products are aimed to be marketed to meat lovers and replace some of those cruel meat purchases. Perhaps this is what makes them so different from veggie burgers, which have typically been aimed mostly at vegetarians.

There is no denying that veggie burgers are a niche product aimed to satiate vegetarians. But today the makers of meatless meat are betting they can find their way onto everyone’s plate. Whatever…finding animal-free versions of your favorite meats are a great way to recreate nostalgic dishes without horrid animal suffering and environmental degradation. Feeling adventurous? Give these meaty meat-free alternatives a try and may be you could find vegan friends in your town!!

Jackfruit ‘Chicken’

Image source :’Kentucky Fried jackfruit’ by Veg life staff in theveglife.com on May 5, 2017.

Vegan meat made from jackfruit comes as a ready to eat alternative with texture and looks identical to chicken. Microwave it for a couple of minutes with half a cup of water and you are good to go. This fake meat is pitched as high in fiber, seasoned, and evenly spiced. It pairs well with flat bread or could be used as a filling in grilled sandwich or tossed into a salad.

Soya ‘Duck’ and ‘Fish’

Image source: ‘Vegetarian Spiced Duck’ in https://everbest.my/vegetarian-duck/veg-spiced-duck.

Mock duck, mock fish fillets and mock pepper salami are sold as a pre processed faux meat that can be eaten grilled or sautéed. The products are made using soya, soya oil and soya protein, milk, wheat and wheat protein, and starch. High in fiber, some of these products do contain cholesterol from the milk and need to be frozen, and defrosted before use.

Wheat ‘Meat’

Image source: ‘Basic Seitan – Wheat Meat (Vegan Meat Substitute)’ by Deborah Mackenzie in allrecipes.com.

Quite a few crowd pleasing niche’ dining restaurants with a modern twist are  these days serving  burgers, sandwiches, salads, biryanis and a number of other ‘mutton’, ‘beef’, ‘duck’ and ‘chicken’ dishes made with mock meat created using wheat gluten, chickpea flour and flaxseeds

Vegan Fried Chicken

Image source: ‘ Fried ‘Chicken’’ by Yana Chistyakova in onegreenplanet.org.

Seriously! It’s meaty, it’s flavorsome, moist inside and super crispy outside. A seitan recipe this one certainly does not work like one of those ‘spongy fake meat’ recipes doing the buzz around. With no sponginess and just a beautiful tender meatiness, this chicken is of next level. Gram flour and plant milk is used to make the egg mix ‘clone’ and flour mix is gently spiced with old bay seasoning. The whole dish carries a vibe of buttermilk, thanks to added acidity of cider vinegar. This dish is a staple for most restaurant pantries serving vegan cuisine.

Shiitakes and Leeks stuffed Seitan Roast

Image source: ‘Seitan roast stuffed with Shiitakes and Leeks ‘ by Heather royal in Yummly.com.

A perfect centerpiece for your holiday table, this vegetarian roast is made from seitan (a soft ‘meaty’ food made from wheat gluten) which soaks up the flavours and juices of the seasoning and gravy. This easy and sumptuous roast is the perfect option for those who don’t want to miss a Thanksgiving classic dish. Flavors of fresh herbs and garlic and spilling meaty shiitake mushrooms and leeks would steal anybody’s heart. Throw in a handful of pinto beans and you could give the seitan a thick, juicy texture. The bread crumbs will help to keep the stuffing from ending up all over your plate

Perfect Homemade Seitan Steak

Image source: ‘Vegan steak with the happy pear’ in https://www.bosh.tv/recipes/vegan-steak-with-the-happy-pear.

Exquisitely spiced and remarkably resembling the ‘real thing’ these vegan seitan steaks are deliciously textured, super high in protein and carry heaps of oomph! Fry these steaks in a regular pan, while brushing extra marinade sauce each time you flip them. Within minutes, you have a perfectly charred, caramelized and utterly delicious steak to dig in. It’s super quick!

Vegan Turkey-Style Deli Slice

Image source: ‘ Vegan deli sliced turkey breast’ in 86eats.com on Feb. 7, 2020.

Bring your sandwiches to the next level with these homemade vegan deli meat slices! Moist, flavorful with perfect chew these slices are packed with flavor, easy to put together and cheap. Serve your holiday main course with gravy or sliced as deli meat for your favourite veggie sandwich. You could even enjoy a whole vegan turkey loaf with all the vegan fixings like potatoes, scalloped potatoes, mushroom gravy, stuffing, roasted veggies and Brussel sprouts, butternut squash, Mac and cheese, fresh buns, green salad and cranberry sauce.

This vegetarian turkey dish is made using vital wheat gluten and chickpeas, not tofu. Yes! Real meat turkey roasts are good, but even this one too has texture of a turkey and chews awesome!

Spicy Tempeh Breakfast Sausage

Image source: ‘Spicy tempeh breakfast sausage ‘in yummly.com/recipes/tempeh-breakfast.

This is a great vegan, cholesterol-free alternative to pork breakfast sausage. It’s very easy to make and can fill you up fast on a quick weekday breakfast. The secret of this sausage lies in it’s the spice profile. Don’t be fearful of that intimidating list of spices. Just reach into the spice rack and begin creating a master dish. In fact, savory tempeh breakfast sausage patties are the perfect way to kick start a new day. One great way to start the morning!!… snacking straight out of the fridge or routine busting ‘breakfast for dinner’.

This healthy, oil free food yields the perfect no oil ‘fried’ patties. Yet another thing that makes it so distinctively smart and tempting is the tempeh base which is processed with onion and mushroom using the binding of seitan.

Chicken-Fried Seitan Cutlet

Image source: ‘Best vegan chicken’ by Edgy Veg in theedgyveg.com on Aug. 4, 2020.

Crispy Vegan Chicken Cutlets that taste just like the real thing! These vegan chicken-style cutlets are made with chickpea seitan, which combines the chickpea with wheat gluten for a tender yet chewy and almost flakey cutlet. Pair them with a carb and a veggie for a hearty “meat and potatoes” dinner plate. Easy to make, this comfort food is perfect to use in any recipe that calls for chicken!  A complete plant based, protein packed nutrition, it is an easy meatless way to a ‘meaty’ meal that you will love to sit back, relax and eat happy.

‘Meatless’ alternative: Is this end of road for big meat?

The ubiquitous presence of faux meat in departmental stores could probably make you wonder what meat really is. Is our love for real meat really all about a set of nutrients? A certain flavour or texture? Or the desire for shared meals on special occasions, such as Christmas turkey and Easter lamb? Howsoever you judge things; one thing could weigh heavy on the way you look at things. Increased longevity and reduced disease risk comes from plants instead of animals.

As it turns out switching from animal based protein to vegan protein could have a positive effect on your wellbeing and health. The good news is that there are lots of protein rich alternatives to regular meat to experiment with. Besides you could do your bit in taking off the edge from a mindless cruelty to those miserable animals being slaughtered as fast as they are bred for a morsel of real meat, when surprisingly key amino acids are made by the plants and not animals? Real meat provides essential amino acids because the animals acquired them from plants at some point along the food chain. It simply doesn’t make sense to say we can’t get essential amino acids from plants—it’s where they come from. If we can replicate some tastes and textures that are free of pain and harm to someone or anyone, well why not?

So, get acquainted with the best meat alternatives out there for these can work in any meal where you look for meat based protein. Sliced, diced or whizzed -vegan stews, curries, soups and salads, a host of these tasty meat free alternatives will keep you feeling full.

Above all, pat your back for you can now be ‘meaty’ while being nothing like ‘actual meaty’.

This super food is all grass and funky but has the magic to power you through life!!

If you are wondering how to bring some oomph to your plate with a pep-up dish that is thick and flavorful and packed full of goodness without having to worry about the belly size, a plat du jour created out of this wonder grass could be the right choice for tonight’s menu.

Yeah, It’s the bamboo shoots and they hymn health and wellness only!! Looking for flab loss or following ketogenic diet, packed with good amount of fiber, potassium, manganese and antioxidants these wonder shoots are your best bet when it comes to bone to brain health.

A plant with a thousand faces, this green gasoline of life is ranked among the five healthiest foods that are rich in nutrients, high on bioactive compounds, low in fat and calories and free from residual toxicity. Considered delicacy in up-scale markets, specialty restaurants and five stars dining, shoots from this golden grass are a common sight in Asian dining.

We all know that what we eat has a huge impact on our health. Eating poorly can lead to disease or shortened life span. “I’d say that 50% to 70% of suffering could be eliminated by what people eat and how they move. Heart disease, diabetes, cancer, hypertension all can be impacted,” sounds Elizabeth Somer, nutritionist and author of “The Essential Guide to Vitamins and Minerals.”

There are so many aspects of bamboo that make it different from other veggies and organic super foods, all well thought out and orchestrated by both chefs and nutritionists who extensively study health. Considered complete food because of the rich contents of proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, fibers, and minerals and very low fat, bamboo juvenile shoots herd in more punch than usually believed. Phytosterols in young shoots when consumed are meant to make you feel sprightly and feisty and lend longevity to regular consumers! Phytosterols are similar in structure to cholesterol and are extensively found in plants.  Their presence in fresh or fermented bamboo shoots is very prominent.

Freshly collected these shoots also have good amount of thiamine, niacin, vitamin A, vitamin B6, and vitamin E. The bamboo shoot based diets are rich source of dietary fibers, less cholesterol contents and contain 17 amino acids, 8 of which are essential for human body. Very little amount of fats and its low content makes them ideal to provide healthy nutrition to people with diabetic and cardio thoracic diseases. Low on glycemic index, the fermented bamboo shoots are also a hot favorite among those with GI and sugar related debility.

Here’s a magical food for your skin!!

Bamboo leaves, shoots and roots are a unique source of natural silica and vitamins B and C. Bamboo leaves used topically or consumed as tea, boosts healthy hair growth and skin collagen. Using regularly would ensure young, firm and smoother skin tone! You could even try one of these remarkable remedies to rejuvenate your skin and looks.

Bamboo leaf solution pack

Brew bamboo leaves in a cup for water for 5 minutes. Sieve and apply once cooled. Wash off after 15 minutes. Great source of natural silica, bamboo works wonders in collagen production and skin cell renewal.

Bamboo and rice water pack

Mix boiling rice water in brewed and sieved bamboo leaf solution in equal proportions and use over face and neck once cooled. Wash off after 10 minutes. Rich in silica and vitamin-C this pack has high anti aging property and is extensively effective in reducing fine lines and age spots.

Bamboo water toner

One tbsp of bamboo leaves boiled in a cup of water and sprayed once cooled works as a quick and nutritious hydrating agent, just anytime on the go. A perfect skin toner, this  is your best bet when you are looking for a quick remedy for tightening face pores and brightening dry and dull skin.

Bamboo honey mask

Mix some honey in brewed bamboo leaf solution and allow it to cool down. Apply it over the face and neck and wash it off after 15 minute. The difference will leave you wondering why the heck you didn’t try it before.

This super grass is a wellness warehouse!!

Bamboo tends to be much more than a restaurant. This weekend you have seen fresh bamboo shoots arriving at grocery counter in your neighborhood and found yourself wondering what one could do with these! Or, looking at a big pile of bamboo shoots in Produce department, you aren’t even sure what they are meant for.

Bamboo shoots are young, edible parts of the bamboo plant that spring out of the ground in the same fashion as asparagus. While some varieties are bitter and tough, a few others are sweet, tender, and much more abundant. Fresh bamboo shoots have a very delicate flavor, which is why it is often fermented first before being used for cooking. A storehouse of fiber and energy, these wonder shoots are extremely beneficial to strengthen the immune system and fight bad cholesterol, aid the digestive system, help lower the blood pressure and has an extra punch for those looking to shed some extra pounds.

Extremely low in calories and sugar and high on health benefits, bamboo shoots top the chart for many nutritionists as one of the most favored super food! You might have tried out canned bamboo shoots, but nothing compares to the fresh stuff. Some varieties are quite faintly bitter while others may be stronger. Blanch them in boiling water for a while and then soak in clean water for hours. Change water twice or three times before they are rid of bitter taste and are ready.

So, if you want to experiment with a new ingredient in your kitchen, here are a few delicious finger licking good bamboo shoot recipes you can try.

Bamboo shoot stir fry

Image source:’ Stir Fry Bamboo Shoots” in cooktube.in.

This recipe is prepared from the stemmed out bamboo shoots. This stir fry dish is a simple one that can be prepared on a weekday for dinner or packed away for lunch boxes. Serve flat bread as a side dish with rice and curry, they all pairs so well with this nouvelle cuisine!

Braised bamboo shoots with soy sauce and sugar

Image source: ‘Braised bamboo shoots in sweet soy sauce’ by Wendy Kiang-Spray’ in wendykiangspray.com on Ap.22, 2017.

Spring is round the corner and fresh bamboo shoot will be out soon. It’s one magic ingredient that is used in soups, stir-fries, stews, hot pot, salad and pickles. You can’t image how popular it is in the Far East. Add some to your pickling jar or to a pot of healthy meat analogue soup and I am sure you would love it. Try it in salad or fry with vegan meat and almost everyone in the family would love it.

Stir-fried mushrooms and bamboo shoots

Image source: ‘Stir Fried Mushrooms and Bamboo Shoots’ in pininterest.com.

This is a quick and easy dish that combines tinned oyster mushrooms, tofu puffs, bamboo shoots and bean sprouts in a light sauce. Yet another variant is oyster and soy sauce enriched mushrooms served with stuffed bamboo shoots and cabbage that could leave you wanting more. You could even try stuffing bamboo shoots with the pumpkin or the winter melon and cut horizontally into 4 -5 portions before the serve.

Braised bamboo shoots soup

Image source: ‘Bamboo shoot miso soup recipe’ in misosoup.site on Feb. 14, 2019.

Fresh bamboo shoots make incredibly flavorful, clear soup with few ingredients. The flavors and natural sweetness come straight from the fresh bamboo shoot. With fresh ones you can even play around with shapes. They are easy to cut out and will even please the youngest of your family. Children tend to eat more or at least try their favorite shapes; a heart or bunny actually tastes better than a rectangle or round piece!!

Sometimes a simple recipe tastes best when you’re exploring a new ingredient in the kitchen. This one could be a good introduction of an amazing grass to your Wok.

Seasonal salad with bamboo shoots

Image source:’ Bamboo shoot salad’ by azianswagz in pininterest.com.

A simple salad is always a good way to enjoy fresh, local food. This one has just a few ingredients, and allows the flavors of the sweet peas, kale, and bamboo shoots to really stand out.

Talk of flavors; fresh bamboo shoot has a very delicate one, which is why it is often fermented first before being used for cooking. During the fermentation, pungency builds up which when paired with chilies, oil and other ingredients creates a moreish salad dish. You could use this to create curries pickles and stir-fries of your choice as well.

Vegan dumplings with bamboo shoots

Image source: ‘Around the World in 7 Vegan Dumplings’ in onegreenplanet.org.

These little parcels do deliver – and they’re fun and so easy to make! When finely diced, bamboo shoots add the perfect bit of crunch to steamed or boiled dumplings. Serve these up with some spicy chili sauce and a light side salad or edamame or with a dipping sauce such as black vinegar, soy sauce, plum sauce, sweet and sour sauce or sweet chili sauce.

Bamboo Spring rolls

Image source : ‘Bamboo Shoot Spring Rolls’ in unileverfoodsolutions.co.id.

Stuffed with a mixture of bamboo shoot, carrot, string bean, mushroom, shallot, garlic, ginger, celery, and leek, these spring rolls so fashioned out that there can’t be leftovers even for a single-bite.

Edamame bamboo shoot stir fry

Image source:’ Edamame Bamboo Shoot Stir Fry’ by Melissa Tedesco in onegreenplanet.org.

The balanced flavors and ingredients give this 10 minute edamame bamboo shoot stir fry all it needs to replenish your body. It is a great alternative to getting takeouts on busy nights, for this one travels fast from pan to platter. Fill your home with the amazing aroma of ginger and your belly with a wholesome dish.

Fried rice with bamboo shoots

Image source: ‘ Bamboo shoot fried rice’ by J Sujatha in beta.lekhafoods.com on Dec. 20, 2012.

This dish can also be made with leftover rice and whatever veggies you have in the fridge but stir fried celery, mushrooms and green capsicum  seasoned with soy sauce and then mixed with pre cooked chilled rice elevate this dish to one bursting with flavors. Mix in the onion, garlic and cottage cheese or eggs and you have an indulgent dish at your table. ‘Boil in bag’ rice and a bag of stir fried veggies could even cut back the prep time. If you don’t have snow peas, even regular frozen ones wouldn’t tweak the taste. Add a bit of extra soy sauce at the end and enjoy!

Bamboo shoot curry

Image source: ‘How to make Bamboo Shoot Curry – A Sikkim Delicacy (Vegan – Gluten and Dairy Free)’ by Jyoti in youtube.com on Aug. 31, 2019.

Bamboo shoots aren’t just for pandas anymore! In fact, fresh bamboo shoots are considered quite a delicacy. Stir fried minced garlic, onion, red chili, mustard seeds and curry leaves, once mixed with bamboo shoots and coconut paste and then simmered on medium heat for 15 minutes leave behind a thick, bright colored mouthwatering curry with a leafy aroma. Add rice flour/ powder for an earthy texture to this delightful flavorsome curry.

Bamboo shoot n’ pumpkin flower curry

Image source: ‘Bamboo shoot n’ pumpkin flower curry’ in delightsum.com on Mar. 4, 2020.

One of the revered traditional family recipes, this one tastes delicious and is ready in flat 20 minutes. The combination of pumpkin flower and bamboo shoot with tangy mustard flavor makes the dish more rich and heavenly. It goes well with flat bread, paratha (type of South Asian flat unleavened bread resembling a small naan that is pan fried or  baked in a tandoor ) or steamed rice.

From harvest to table- The super food effect is unmistakable

From vegan chops and cutlets to chicken red curry, fish curry, beef and bamboo shoot curry, shrimp curry, pork and bamboo shoots recipe; this wonder veggie pairs so well  with a flexitarian diet, when it comes to eating for your wellness being. With just 13 calories in a single cup, bamboo shoots are a great choice if you’re looking to lose weight. Fiber in shoots moves through the body slowly and promotes satiety between meals to curb cravings. Low in calories and high on fiber, this grass does support weight loss.

Besides, eating more fiber improves digestive health too. In fact, it helps in preventing acid reflux, hemorrhoids, diverticulitis and stomach ulcers. Adding bamboo shoots to your diet could potentially reduce cholesterol levels too. Some canned varieties, though may be high on sodium. So, if you’re following a low-sodium diet, look around for low-sodium products whenever possible or rinse off the shoots thoroughly before consuming. For the uninitiated, bamboo shoots are the power kegs that come loaded with nutrients and are a healthy alternative to rice and wheat.

Whatever… for once try these Woks of Life recipes. It’s hard to believe but these shoots could actually be good for your wellbeing. Dig into a savory, umami filling of shiitake mushrooms, bamboo shoots, and carrots wrapped inside layers of bean curd skin, steamed, pan-fried or braised. When sliced, you could almost swear it looks like slices of Chinese roast duck!

But just because this “duck” is vegan, doesn’t mean it’s any less super special to be on your dinner menu tonight!!

These diet friendly low calorie vegan curries could bring singing flavors and layers of happiness to your plate!!

If you are wondering how to bring zing to your plate in 20 minutes with something that is thick and flavorful, is packed full of goodness and is free of heavy animal products, delicious vegan curries could be the right choice for tonight’s menu. If you’re counting on calories, these guilt-free curries all come under 400 calories and still pack flavors. So put down that take-away menu and try one of these low-calorie protein rich curries instead. Vegetarian and low on spice these incredible curries will leave you bewitched!!

It’s hard to believe but curries could actually be good for your wellbeing. From easing arthritis to protecting from Alzheimer, the list is surprisingly overwhelming. If you look at the medicinal effects of spices that go into curry making; turmeric, cumin, allspice, cardamom, ginger, garlic and capsicum all are fired with strong anti-bacterial properties. Working as good preservatives garlic, cinnamon and cumin could even get rid of 80 percent of meat borne bacteria while ginger slows down bacterial growth by as much as 25 percent.

So what’s there that make vegan curries so good when it comes to minding your health. Why are these respected as an all time pepped up feast that never falls flat?

Let’s find out;

Ginger

One of the main ingredients in a lip smacking vegan curry, ginger contains antioxidant zingerone that reacts with radicals which cause tissue damage and joint inflammation, Works well to relieve the arthritis pain! The other two antioxidants viz. gingerol and shogaol are traditional cold remedies and works best when consumed as raw ginger extract.

Curcumin

This is  a primary active compound of turmeric found in curry powders, and often used neat, it slows down the plaque formation in the brain, the primary cause of Alzheimer. Strong on anti inflammatory properties it pairs well with GI tract, guards against heart attacks and prevents cancer of the colon.

Onions

Onions contain an agent called diallyl sulfide that encourages the body to make more of the cancer-fighting molecule glutathione-S-transferase. These enzymes work to detoxify the harmful stomach bacteria and promote digestion.

Garlic

Besides helping in lowering cholesterol, garlic also contains a potent anti-cancer agent called Allicin that shields stomach from cancer by pushing the production of protective enzymes.

Cumin

Cumin contains phytochemicals that combine with vitamins and other nutrients in food to prevent cancer and heart ailments by blocking various metabolic pathways. Caravel and Limonene, two major anti carcinogen agents retard the growth of prostate cancer.

Allspice

Allspice also known as Kabab Chinni is a berry-based spice used in a lot of Indian cooking and contains eugenol, an antioxidant that builds up trypsin a digestive enzyme and so are all friends to GI tract.

Capsicum

Capsicum the main phytochemical found in red peppers is an anti inflammatory agent  which helps reduce cholesterol formation and also a major constituent in topical formulations for arthritis relief. Eating it raw though doesn’t always work the same way.

Cardamom

A strong antiseptic and antimicrobial spice, cardamom comes in seeds, is a mild aphrodisiac and helps in soothing an irritable intestinal tract.

Coriander

Considered a strong anti-inflammatory agent this spice is capable of reducing symptoms of inflammatory GI tract diseases.

These one-pot curries know how to pep up your menu!

More often coming in bright golden hue and complex flavors, curry is an amazing choice for so many reasons. It warms you up, make you feel full and adds some zing to your plate. And there is a bonus too! It’s quite healthy and wholesome. Scoring big over Paleo recipes, curries could probably win you over if vegan diets become more your thing. Yep, there are whole lots of plant based curries that are easy to make and quickly leave the cooker. Just one pot or pan and flat 30 minutes could whip up flavors that may leave you looking for more!

If the thought of ethnic food stirs you up and if the idea of stepping out of the box no longer intimidates you; its time you tried a perfect Indian curry dish. If you have experienced Indian food, you know just how delicious a vegetarian dish could be! If you haven’t, curry is the perfect recipe to start with at home. Yeah!  And if you do Meatless Mondays, this could work up a terrific fare. It is so healthy and there are so many vegetarian variations you could do with it; just about any veggie works well.

Here are 12 crazy delicious vegan curries to tickle your fancy and tempt you to fix some space for one of these on tonight’s dinner table !

Red Lentil ( Masoor dal) Curry

Image source: ‘Healthy Low-Sodium Red Lentil Curry’ by Susan Edelman in onegreenplanet.org.

No one wants to spend the evening washing a pile of dirty dishes. No worries!! You can cook this curry in only one pot. Even better, you can have this flavorful curry on the table in less than 30 minutes.  I can’t think of a better way to eat dinner than this quick, healthy, and delicious one-pot curried lentil recipe!

With 126 calories per serving of 1 cup (100 grams), this curry has 6.2grams of protein, 4.2 grams of fats, 416 mg. of sodium, 15.9grams of carbs, vitamin A and C, fatty acids, amino acids, 28 mg calcium and 1.9 mg of iron.

Pigeon pea Curry

Image source: Cumin-Scented Pigeon Peas with Mango (Mango Curry with Toor Dal)’ in tastespace.wordpress.com on April 21, 2012.

Pigeon pea( Dal in Hindi)  is easily known and referred to as split pulse (lentils, beans or peas). This curry bets on yellow peas, blending alongside the flavors of cumin, mustard, onion, chilies and fresh ginger. A brilliant go-to dinner recipe on lazy, gray days, this curry is cheap, healthy, flavorful and heavy on protein and goes easy on fat. Complete with exotic flavors a bowl of this warm filling curry tastes amazing and is good enough to become your daily staple food. Each 100 grams serving contains 3.3 grams of fat, 16.9 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fiber and 6.9 grams of protein, < 0.1 gram of salt and 439 mg of potassium. What more could you ask for?

Coconut Quinoa curry

Image source: ‘Vegetarian Green Coconut Curry with Quinoa’ by Kristen Stevens in foodandwine.com in Feb. 2014.

This recipe requires one pot only; your slow cooker. Just pitch in some sweet potatoes, broccoli, quinoa, chickpeas and coconut milk into your slow cooker along with some spices, and turn it on. Flat 30 minutes active time in kitchen and a delicious aromatic treat is ready!. Each 100 gram serve carries 140 calories, 4.00 grams of proteins, 5.70 grams of fat, 14.40 grams of carbs, 2.50 grams of fiber besides 2.90 grams of sugar and zero cholesterol.

Curried Quinoa with Butternut squash and Chickpeas

Image source: ‘Squash, Spinach & Chickpea Curry with Turmeric Blend’ by Lisa Turner in cleaneatingmag.com.

Butternut squash is a hearty and super healthy way to add some oomph to plant-based recipes like this one. It’s a perfect 25 minute star dish for weeknight dinner and great for getting rid of any veggies hanging around your fridge. Once done garnish the dish with fresh parsley and you’re good to go. Try this curry with rice and naan, though brown rice particularly tastes good with this curry. Each portion (245 grams serves 4) carries 236 calories, 36.5 grams of carb, 6.5 grams of protein, 8.2 grams of fat, 105 mg of calcium and 3 mg of iron besides 602 mg of sodium and 683 mg of potassium.

Coconut Chickpea curry

Image source: ‘Easy Chickpea Coconut curry soup’ in cearaskitchen.com on Jan.24, 2018.

This curry is one healthy source of fat that could leave you feeling full and satisfied. Throw in some chickpeas, coconut milk and fresh veggies and you’ve got a super healthy meal to tide you over. If you are searching for a curry recipe that is heavy on proteins but light on the heat – look no further. Each 100 gram serves 148 calories and brags of 6 grams of fat, 17.6 grams of carbs, 6 grams of protein, 3.3mg of iron, vitamin A and C and 51 mg of calcium.

Spicy Chickpea -Cauliflower Tandoori

Image source: ‘Spicy Chickpea and Cauliflower Tandoori’ by LiveKindly in livekindly.co.

If you are a protein buff then a bowl of this savory curry could be the right choice for you. Easy and colorful this recipe contains a whopping 23 grams of protein per portion. It’s also got heaps of fiber and serves you yummy nutrients. Drop in a pinch of asafetida and bit of dried chili to push the flavors without burning your taste buds off.  ‘Are you sacred of chilies? Not always hot, capsaicinoids in chilies add great flavors, work as metabolic enhancer and are rich in vitamin- A & C and minerals like iron  potassium. And what’s not to love about this devilish fruit that pips in anti oxidant stuff too?

Thick and flavorful, this recipe packs in enormous goodness and could leave you a lot happier and contented.

Thai Noodle Curry

Image source: ‘Spicy Vegan Thai Curry Noodle Soup’ by Jalisha in eatingveganwithme.com.

This curry is more like a cross between a Thai curry dish and a Thai noodle dish. Rice noodles, red curry paste and coconut milk all come together to stir up a deliciously creamy noodle bowl; and it all comes together in less than 30 minutes! If you’re looking for a protein to pair with this then Thai Coconut curry tofu would blend perfectly with it.  Naturally vegan, gluten free, creamy and packed with veggies, coconut milk and spices in this curry turn it into a gleeful warming family meal. Loving the sound of that? I ‘m sure your guests will too! Nutrition wise, it fares evenly. Each 100 grams serves 58 calories, 1.50 grams of protein, 10.70 grams of carbs, 0.60 gram of fat, zero cholesterol, vitamins and minerals that include essentials like iodine, zinc, potassium, sodium and calcium.

Sweet Potato, Chickpea, and Spinach Curry

Image source: ‘Sweet potato, Chickpea and Spinach Jalfrezi curry’ in supervalu.ie.

If you think that vegan food equals bland food, then this curry will prove you all wrong and it‘s so simple to make! Low on fat and calories, this one-pot curry is full of sunshine flavors and could make you long for more. With all the goodness of sweet potatoes, chickpeas, spinach, and coconut milk, it is seasoned with Indian spices like garam masala, turmeric, cumin and dried chilies and cooked into a creamy, rich, fragrant and hot treat in under 30 minutes. It’s mild enough for the kids to enjoy, but still packs a punch! Each one bowl serve (245 grams) packs 293 calories, 5.1 grams of protein, 22.3 grams of fat and 515 mg of sodium.

Chana( Garbanzo bean) Masala Curry

Image source: ‘Super Easy Chole Masala / Chana Masala recipe’ by Bharat Wadhwa in bharatzkitchen.com.

Authentic Chana masala curry is typically made with grounded whole spices and dried mango powder. These are cooked in some oil to bring out the best of flavor and fragrance. Garam masala options are the traditional ones and you could actually experience a delightful sensory overload. Blended mix of coriander, cumin, cardamom (green and black), cinnamon, black pepper, cloves, and other spices lends an unforgettable tone and turn the curry into a quality bite in under 30 minutes. If you are looking for shortcut to a rich, long simmered flavor, use whole tomatoes crushed in the curry. Diced tomatoes give more chunky results. And what more! If you add some baby spinach, your dinner bowl turns all colorful and nutritious!

Nutrition wise, a 245 grams one bowl portion (serves 4) carries 443 calories, 12.1 grams of fat, 74 grams of carbohydrate, 15.2 grams of protein , 65 mg of sodium, vitamin A, B , E , K1 and C, folic acid, niacin, riboflavin, calcium, iron, magnesium and host of other nutrients.

Citrus Pumpkin Curry

Image source: ‘Tangy Tamarind Pumpkin Curry Recipe’ by Pooja Thakur in archanaskitchen.com on Nov.7, 2016.

If you’ve been to a grocery store lately, you probably have figured out by now that the pumpkin spice fetish is these days bigger than ever. 

Pumpkins are a type of winter squash (like acorn and butternut) and a part of the gourd family and the Indian way of cooking it leaves a mesmerizing tingling aftertaste.

A unique gluten free curry it combines the sweetness of the winter squash with the savory-spiced flavor of curry. it is an enchanting display of bright colors – orange, yellow, and red – infused with citrus accents which are a due change from potatoes and chickpeas. It’s as beautiful as it is delicious and offers a unique blend of veggies -both sweet and savory.

Pumpkin curry in fact is a warming match appropriate for the crisp days when pumpkins and other winter squashes come to harvest. It is best cooked until just tender but not mushy. Baking and braising (or sautéed until lightly browned) are the best ways to cook it.

The nutrition profile of pumpkin is pretty stately too .  It’s packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals—including more potassium than a medium banana! One-cup serving of pumpkin curry has 50 calories, 2 grams of protein, 12 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fiber,  vitamins and includes minerals like potassium, zinc and phosphorus. The show grabber though, are the carotenoid compounds that give the pumpkin its bright orange color. One of these- the anti oxidant beta carotene- potentially reduces risk to quite a few major diseases.

Mushroom Matar ( Pea)  Masala

Image source: ‘Restaurant Style Matar Mushroom Masala’ by Neetu Suresh in cookpad.com .

Mushrooms bring different texture and earthy flavor to this vegan, gluten free, soy free Indian curry where they pair well with peas and make a rather unbeatable combination that is hearty and healthy. You could make the sauce even creamier by adding cashew nut paste and tangier with more tomatoes. A dash of spinach makes it a satisfying flavorful meal that is up for grabs in flat 20 minutes . Pumpkin seeds, silken tofu or plain unsweetened yoghurt could make it even more delicious. One cup serve (230 grams) carries 156 calories, 9.4 grams of fat, 17 grams of carbs, 5 grams of protein and vitamin A and C, calcium and iron in significant amounts.

Red Kidney bean curry

Image source: ‘ Red kidney bean, chili & ginger curry’ in taste.com.au.

Imagine buttery soft kidney beans simmering in a curry base flecked with lightly caramelized onion and garlic with rich coriander and tomato aroma assaulting your senses!! This curry is perfect served with fragrant basmati rice garnished with cilantro and minced red onion. You could add a bit of mint for that extra freshness. Blending spiced tomato sauce with fresh coriander turns the dish a beautiful bright red orange color. This curry tastes heavenly when freshly grounded black pepper in it, builds up as you eat. Nutrition wise, each 100 gram serve carries130 calories and contains 14 grams of carbs, 6 grams of fat, 5 grams of protein, 410 mg sodium, vitamin  A (2%)and C ( 6%) and calcium and iron ( 8% each).

If only there was a better way to eat for your well being!

Not many meat lovers find meat curries healthy either. Kormas and pasandas (a popular meat dish from the Indian subcontinent) for instance though delectable contain frightening amounts of cream. The average chicken tikka masala contains about 1,500 calories. Dishes such as rogan josh, madras curry, jalfrezi and sags (with spinach) are no less creamy but make it to the plate for carrying just as many healthy spices.

This leaves the least fattening combination of one of these vegan curries with steamed and lightly garnished rice, or anything oven baked (tandori) coated in yoghurt and spices but not fried.

To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art

Yeah, you have heard this before! For many of us the insufficiency of a vegetarian diet and hazards of non veg foods is both in a way accurate and inaccurate at the same time. Besides the verdict varies  between us. If you think that ditching meat or switching to some other source means you will automatically land up with equal or better source of nutrition, then you are off target.

That ethical take on vegan vs non- veg issue aside, if you were to swear off the meat and animal products, would that mean a ‘magical’ weight loss and a healthy you? Certainly not. Very few of us get to choose between vegan, vegetarian / non vegetarian way of food habits. Everyone in fact just keeps eating what their family chose for them since childhood.

So, it’s for you to choose between fried meaty treats and healthy delicious plant based foods. You could always brush aside that buzz over taste, smell and texture and dig in what you like most. After all healthy food doesn’t have to be boring. But you would do well if you sleep on this; if your co worker is noshing heavy meat burgers and fries every day, is he or she likely to be healthier than you?

And don’t forget….we become what we eat.!!

18 incredible plant based super foods that are packed with more punch than animal protein!!

Good plant based foods are out there that could feed your muscles with more proteins than you would have thought!

You wouldn’t have dreamed of turning from villain to warrior in one bound? Or have you thought of turning yourself into a protein powerhouse?  Sounds more like a feat hard to come by for many of us who are riveted more to mindful eating and intensely deliberate over food choices. We regularly search for nutritional benefits in food we eat and look around for ingredients that are impressive with macronutrients.

Clearly buzz of years means differently to different people. A vegetarian diet can be nutritionally superior to any other way of eating,” says Tallmadge. It can be one of the healthiest ways to eat, because we know plant foods are loaded with nutrients to protect our health.”

So does ditching meat automatically mean equal or better source of nutrition? Will it help us to  live longer and be healthier overall?

Let’s find out.

Proteins go to polls!

Proteins, like fats and carbohydrates are the most enviable energy source and are found in every cell. When viewed as a ‘nutrient of interest,’ protein wrests with other macronutrients for first place in vitality.

Human body is known to require 20 different amino acids and our body synthesizes only 11 of them (usually non essential ones). So, we must get remaining 9 essential amino acids from other sources. Traditionally animal proteins like meat, eggs and milk are considered complete proteins, meaning they provide all of the essential amino acids our body needs.

But there are plenty of plant based proteins sources out there as well. Beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, quinoa, leafy greens such as broccoli and kale and whole grains are excellent sources of protein. Some of them like Quinoa contain all the 9 essential amino acids that we need. Besides plant proteins run lower risk of causing carcinoma and type 2 diabetes.

As winter drags on and social distancing remain an unavoidable annoyance everywhere, we all look around for that little dose of happiness. While reaching out for a pint of ice cream or grabbing that extra slice of red meat might make you feel good in the short run, the rush you get from these caloric choices could leave you at the disappointing end of rush and nothing to show for it.

However, there are plant based foods that could make you feel happier, typically by lifting your mood or help in staving off depression or anxiety without having a negative impact on your waistline or health.  For those among us who wish to avoid animal-related food product and look for more health-conscious options, vegetarian substitutes are a great way to make the real cut.

Besides, it is also an easy way to save the animals and the cruelty that goes with it. Vegan, vegetarian, or a meat eater; if you look around for healthy super food options, these protein surrogates are a great way to swap meat without settling for less.

Black Beans

Image source: ‘Comforting Black Beans’ by Lola Milne in splendidtable.org

Packed with fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin- B6 and phytonutrients, black beans are a good source of anti oxidants and work hard on anti inflammatory properties. You could replace shredded beef or chicken as the main ingredient or use these beans as a base for veg burger Pattie. Each one cup serve carries 15 grams of protein which is equivalent to 50 gram of pork loin or 80 gram of chicken drumsticks.

Butter beans

Image source:’ Southern Style Butter Beans – Baby Lima Beans’ in ddepsouthdish.com on Jul.26,2016

Delicate in texture and starchy yet buttery in consistency, these beans are one serious ingredient for  great many recipes. Excellent source of minerals like iron, copper, manganese, calcium, magnesium and potassium, each one cup (128 grams) serve measures equivalent to ½ cup (64 grams) of scrambled eggs. One of the favorite substitutes for meats in homemade veg burgers, this bean is also the vegan option for soups that share meat in their recipes.

Soybean

Image source: ‘8 reasons why you should add soya to your daily diet’ by Mohsina Dodhiya in totallyveganbuzz.com on May 28, 2020

Soybean sources nearly as many essential amino acids as animal proteins. Fresh version is available as edamame while yellow ones are the mature beans. A good source of protein –one cup serve is equivalent to 75 gram portion of salmon or 180 grams of cottage cheese- soybeans also lay out a happy dose of B-vitamins. Considered as a main stream meat substitute, it’s a good aromatic swap for chicken and to a variety of dishes, from Asian stir fries to BBQ and even as a vegan substitute for scrambled eggs.

Replacing animal protein with soy protein is a smashing way to reduce body weight, manage blood sugar and get rid of bad cholesterol and triglycerides. One serving a day (one cup soymilk, ½ cup tofu or soybeans) is also effective for cancer prevention. The phytochemicals in soy prevent tumors from creating blood vessels and thus impede tumor growth.

Buckwheat

Image source: ‘How to Cook Buckwheat: Learn About the Versatile Grain’ in masterclass.com on Nov. 8, 2020.

This is a gluten free energizing and nutritious alternative to carbs like white rice. One cup serve of this super food has 6 grams of protein which is equivalent to one large egg. Buckwheat granola or pancakes could be a breakfast favorite if you pair them with coconut milk. Great to taste when added to raw deserts, cereals and home-made muesli bars, buckwheat is an incredibly healthy and nutritious food. You can also toss them through soups, salads and well practically any dish you like, as the taste is mild and slightly nutty.

Quinoa

Image source: ‘Is Quinoa Good for You? Everything You Need to Know About the Superfood’ by Katie Robinson in everydayhealth.com on Jul. 8, 2019

One among the few plants that could provide you with all the 9 essential amino acids, one cup serving of this gluten free, high protein food has ‘more bounce for an ounce’ value and measures up to one slice of non-fat mozzarella cheese. High on fiber, quinoa is good on manganese, B-vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin-E and whole lot of anti oxidants. Quinoa tastes heavenly in soups and stews. Since it has low glycemic value, you could swap it for ground beef in burger or BBQ sandwich. Try a vegan quinoa scramble for breakfast and you would be bowled over by its flavorsome tang.

Tempeh

Image source: ‘How to make tempeh with white beans from scratch’ in maricelsvegancrush.com on Sep. 18, 2018.

Tempeh, a rich source of complete protein, is a traditional Indonesian fermented food. It is made by cooking soybeans and fermenting them with a starter culture or mold called rhizopus oryzae for at least 2 days. Fermentation over, the soybeans get stuck together into a dense cake by a white mold. It then becomes sliceable and could be pan fried like tofu. Fermented and easy to digest, tempeh is an excellent meat substitute and looks and tastes incredible. Sweet & sour chicken, BBQ sandwich or chicken nuggets; you could replicate all with vegan and vegan friendly tempeh. Each 100 gram of this wonder food contains 20 gram of protein and is equivalent to 30 gram protein in 100 grams of chicken breast.

Hummus

Image source: ‘Hummus With Tahini’ by Anita Schecter in thespruceeats.com on Ap.7, 2019.

Surprisingly one of the easiest dishes, you can make this high fiber, low glycemic super dip all by yourself by blending chickpeas, a garlic clove, extra virgin oil, tahini (a paste made from sesame seeds, olive or vegetable oil and salt), lemon juice and salt. This amazingly tasty dip is an ideal vegan swap for traditional meat pate’. It also pairs well with sandwich as delectable spread and could replace meat, cheese and other calorie packed spreads and dressings. Each 100 gram serve has 8 grams of protein and is equivalent to one cup of skimmed milk or three spoonful of minced beef.

Ezekiel bread

Image source: ‘Why Ezekiel Bread is the Healthy Bread Everyone is Obsessed With’ by Lindsay D. Mattison in tasteofhome.com on May 30, 2020.

Ezekiel bread is a delicious, flourless loaf made from sprouted whole grains and legumes including millet, barley, spelt, wheat, soybeans and lentils. It’s named after the Old Testament verse Ezekiel 4:9, which reads: “Take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and spelt; put them in a storage jar and use them to make bread for yourself.” Rich in flavor and dense in texture, one slice of this bread contains 4 grams of protein. A complete source of all essential amino acids it goes easy on the gut since sprouting process breaks down starches and releases enzymes that rejig carbohydrates. Sprouting also unlocks vitamins and minerals that turn them savory too.

Lentils

Image source: ‘Herbed Lentils with Spinach and Tomatoes’ by Ellie Krieger in foodnetwork.com

Typically legumes, lentils are high in fiber, magnesium, potassium, iron, folate, copper, manganese, and various other nutrients. These are among the best sources of plant-based protein and an excellent choice for vegetarians and vegans.  Each serve of one cup (200 grams) of boiled lentils contains 18 grams of protein. Other high protein legumes that serve equally well include soybeans, kidney beans and chickpeas.

Brussel sprouts

Image source: ‘Roasted Brussels Sprouts’ by Jaqatac in .allrecipes.com

Bursting with vitamin-C and cancer-fighting glucosinolates, Brussels sprouts are one of the most potent cold-weather super foods. Mere half cup (78 grams) of this high protein veggie could provide you 2 grams of protein.  “No! You wouldn’t gag over the offensive smell of cruciferous veggies cooking or mushy middles”. Simply season the sprouts with salt, pepper and olive oil or you could add 2 cloves of crushed garlic and slow roast at 425 degrees for fifteen minutes until darkest brown. You could even splash a bit of balsamic vinegar on top to make it more exciting. You will love them!!  Even picky eaters won’t say no to this amazing cook.

Jackfruit

Image source: ‘What is jackfruit and how do I use it?’ in wtop.com on Nov. 7, 2019.

This could turn out to be your vegan favorite. Jackfruit might be huge in places like Philippines, India, and Indonesia. A single fruit can weigh up to 100 lbs.  Resembling meat in texture( flesh is all fibrous) with somewhat similar looks, it has mild flavors and is easy to spice and cook. It is all rage for vegan tacos, nachos, pork sandwiches, curry and a number of Asian recipes. Do try it as it’s a unique experience and packs nearly 3 grams of protein per cup. It’s also up there in vitamin-C and fiber and rivals bananas for potassium.

Guava

Image source: ‘Pexel free media library in wordpress.com.

With 4.2 grams of protein per cup, guava definitely tops the list of high protein fruits. If that’s not enough, guava serves 4 times your daily vitamin-C needs in a single serving!! Eat all by itself, add it to sweeten a smoothie, pair it with Greek yogurt or simply mix with fruit salads for a perky and protein-rich new taste. Packed with antioxidants this fruit is an excellent source of fiber.

Avocado

Image source: ‘The avocado craze’ by Dr. Phil Maffetone in philmaffetone.com on JUl. 9, 2019.

A close second to guava in the protein stakes with an impressive 4 grams per cup, avocado is a perfect breakfast that is genuinely delicious and could turn a simple toast into a healthy flavorsome meal. A show stopper in salads, avocado is also one versatile food that pairs well with your nutrition requirements.

Dried Apricot

Image source:’ 15 Health Benefits of Dried Apricots (and Nutrition Facts)’ by Martha Piccolo in dryingallfoods.com

Dried?” This could put you off, but surprisingly  this one is  far more loaded with protein than a ripe wet one with 2.2 grams per one cup serve.  You could munch them down straight from the pack or mix them into your breakfast cereal.

Almonds

Image source:’ Almonds Aren’t Nuts, They’re Fruit‘ by Holly Van Hare in thedailymeal.com on Oct. 16, 2017.

Each ¼ cup serving of this wonder nut contains 12 grams of protein or equivalent to one cup of full fat milk if you choose one tbsp of almond butter. Energy rich almonds also contain nutrients, minerals and antioxidants and source protein, calcium, magnesium and iron too. Since the almond butter pairs well with fruits like apple, pears or banana, you could stir a spoonful in your smoothie, spread on toast or lick straight out of jar.

Kiwi fruit

Image source: ‘8 facts about Kiwi Fruit’ in fruitrunner.co.uk on Jun. 21, 2017

Savor a Kiwifruit if you haven’t done so far and experience a magical sensory explosion of flavor that would leave you searching for more.  It contains a fairly respectable 2.1 grams of protein per cup, not to mention nearly twice your daily requirement of vitamin-C.  Simply cut one in half and dig in. You won’t regret it!

Blackberries

Image source:’ Blackberry Plant Profile’ by Jamie McIntosh in thespruce.com on Sep. 25, 2020.

With 2 grams of protein per cup serving, we could be staring at the bottom of the protein vat, but blackberries still have more to offer which is enough to make to our favorite’s list. They pack in plenty of fiber, vitamins and minerals for a good healthy snack.

Pumpkin seeds

Image source:’ What are the health benefits of pumpkin seeds? ‘in medicalnewstoday.com.
Image source:’ What are the health benefits of pumpkin seeds? ‘in medicalnewstoday.com.

Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, can be tucked away with or without shells. Once scooped out of the pumpkin and freed of flesh, this super food turns into a delightful snack when light spices are added and then roasted for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees. Whole roasted pumpkin seeds in their shells contain about 5.2 grams of fiber per serving, while shelled one contain just 1.8 grams.

Rich in other nutrients, including magnesium, a quarter cup of pumpkin seeds pack nearly 42 percent of a person’s recommended daily intake of magnesium and 9 grams of protein.

That’s not meat protein yet is dependable and so easy to cook!!

For someone who doesn’t eat meat, it’s exciting to try Beyond Meat Burger and to see if it really lives up to its name. The plant-based burger looks, cooks and makes the grade like beef. Carrying all the juicy, meaty deliciousness of a traditional burger, this super food comes with the upsides of a plant-based meal. If it does fit in to your choice, the elegant burger that looks and tastes like meat will actually have 20 grams of delicious fatty plant-based protein that could leave you wondering if it’s made out of plants!

To every meat lover who asks you where you get your protein from – the answers could be confusing and may sound a bit thick. For meat lovers anything vegetarian or vegan has little nutritional value, is ridiculously bland and not a perfect meal for those who are always on the go.

Vegetarians  on the other hand associate their foods to a lower risk of heart disease and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol which could help in managing blood pressure, hypertension and type 2 diabetes. These are the people who buck the trend to have lower body mass index, lower overall cancer rates and lower risk of chronic diseases.

Whatever…Good taste or easy protein, there is certainly no call for veg vs non-veg. What matters most is, how you choose between sustainable foods that are flush with proteins especially when there is no one protein like “one size fits all”.

So, choose smart, make peace with your plate and eat healthy!! 

You could actually unjunk your favorite junk foods into healthy delights !!

Inexpensive, mouthwatering and widely available, junk foods laced with craving whipping ingredients, are incredibly irresistible and make for an obscenely tempting sweet or savory food.

It’s not uncommon that just about everyone of us who has live through that upsetting endless ‘diet-getting-horrified’ resolve to cut out the junk food may have stayed on course  for a short while, begin to binge again –feel the guilt once more and then start all over again. But is it that impossible to step away from junk food for all the wrong reasons it carries?

Sometimes, just having an alternative could steer you clear of all those empty calories; “empty” because there is either no nutritional content or it is so low, it might as well not even exist. May be keeping some healthy snack options handy could help you next time that craving hits. But for quite a few however, suppressing those stomach urges may not be easy to cope with.

So what do we do about it? Is there a way to steer clear of those junk treats? Not many of us would know how to go about it. But you could do just fine by approaching this whole junk food issue from a different angle. Instead of cutting out the junk completely and stamping out your cravings, try recompensing your ultimate temptation with junk foods in their unjunked <