Tag Archives: #Health

Feeling stuck and lost in life? Five reasons why it’s a great place to be in!

If you’re reading this with some indifference and don’t feel inclined to hear what’s about to come next, then odds are that your life has lost sparkle and you don’t think of yourself as good enough to thrive or at least start from timidly flat to something more exciting!!

Does this mean no “sweet spotsfor you ?

Yup! You certainly are stuck somewhere in life or at work.

That’s nothing strange; to find asking yourself if this is how you’d imagined your life; if this was the kinda job you really wanted. You are feeling low, restless with nothing to wink at; all sad and alone in your world. But then it’s Ok to be like that! This is your moment to gather your wits and push forward. Besides it’s nearly an universal experience . We all get our share of anguish of being alone and glued to the past once in a while. Career, relationship or even what’s coming next! – most people do get frozen at some point or the other!

Image source: Getty images.

So, what being stuck looks like! How’d you know life‘s been mugging you? Wouldn’t something new – a new job, relationship or tweaked health for instance, put you in the stride and shine up your life?

For me being stuck and feeling peevish means really wanting something and then losing the motivation to get it! It’s like you put your finger onto something that looks exciting and then you talk yourself out of it. It would also mean endlessly thinking about what could be better or different; if it could be done in a more gainful way .

If you’re mired in any of these; it seems indecision, worry and over thinking has robbed you of everything terrific and likable in life. In fact life has lost all sheen for you.

The truth about being stuck

Being stuck is like quicksand. The more you try to get out, the deeper you sink. Your insecurity is on overdrive and asking your mind to push, control and manipulate. You just want to feel secure, loved, appear remarkable and admired everywhere. You think that if you could control everything, all would be swell. But it’s not until the reality hits you right in the face that misadventure happens for you. You get stuck because you think you should be something you are not and when you think life ought to be different than it is.

What of me! At times when I feel truly stuck, I write.

As I write this, I find myself in a stuck period as well since the last few months. But I don’t cry foul!  I struggle less because I’ve learned to let it be. I try not to do something silly when words like “should,” ”have to,” or ”must” fluster me. When I relax and surrender to the quietness of life, things seem okay. Restless!…I see I can’t control life. I can only notice things what life brings to me.

Feature credits: ‘ 10 Things To Remember When You’re Feeling Stuck In Life’ by The Law Of Attraction in youtube,com on Jul.28, 2016.

Being stuck sometimes is all about growing naturally. It’s the time when not much happens when you think it should. These are the moments when you begin to grind yourself to come up with ideas to make things happen.

And when you couldn’t get anywhere, I call it being stuck!

Let’s find you a happy place

Remembering good ol’ days is harmless but becoming stuck there completely? That’s an entirely different story. This means you don’t feel inspired and find it difficult to get excited about things that used to earlier!

Maybe you’re ghosting a failed relationship; maybe you haven’t forgiven yourself for something awful of your past. You’re continually going over that and wondering if you could have done things differently. Maybe you’re holding onto something terrible from your childhood that doesn’t serve you.

Or maybe something else….

Regardless of how you are stuck, you at least earn yourself the agony of not enjoying your present! And that’s awful and sad!

So, why does this happens in the first place?

Missing amour proper, sinking self worth, clueless and FOMO; all are the core reasons why people feel stuck. Unhappy with present life, nerves raw and taught over some issue or perhaps fearful of future…any or all may stand in your way to be more comfortable, safe and predictable!

If you suspect that you’ve cronied your past long enough to be anything but comfortable, these five mindful tips could help you to climb out of the slump and start moving forward again!

Image source: Getty images.

Dismiss the noise

You can hardly miss this one. It’s silent; its impact powerful and it’s savage enough to keep you stuck in the same place. I often see people who have surrendered to this dear emotion willingly; the voices that they allow in and let them collide with their judgment. It could be your mom’s who loves you dearly but won’t want you to risk anything for something; it might be a dear friend who with all good intents steers you away from a great opportunity because he doesn’t want to see you fail.

Sometimes we let the voices of the people we love and care about, impact our choices. And it’s Ok!…so long as you can decide which one matters most in the situation before you let it sink in; what voices are going to help you get unstuck and which one would make you go bust. Ignoring those who love you most and could help you get you unstuck fast, though is the worst mistake you could ever make.

It’s a weird world out there and they are your best options to ride through safely.

So, simply choose carefully how much you should weigh their thoughts and opinion. Filter out what doesn’t serve right away and hang on to the voice that does!

Change your mind about anything and everything

Standing at the base of the mountain you’re about to climb and looking upwards…that looks formidable but only until you’re half way up. Looking down then doesn’t seem that disastrous. Your perspective changes and suddenly you’re excited about having won half the battle.

When feeling stuck, something close to this happens; your perspective gets stuck. You may be assessing and trying to salvage something from your past experiences, but sometimes you just couldn’t do much to give it a new look; the fear of failing the heights is frightening! You’re easily scared to hell to experiment!

But what if you chose to dig in instead of being a dead meat and try to learn of something new? The moment you begin to think differently, the stuck feeling begins to fade. It doesn’t melt altogether, but it starts to feel soft and yielding.

And now you can figure out what to do next!

Those nightmares are dreadful!

Unease and the shakes are all part of growing up normally. But being buried in them for long, isn’t. So when you’re uncertain and fear the unknown- take a moment off, breathe in long and sift through the snag. Search, what’s causing the sulk? Is it real or some phantom playing in your head? Is it actually trying to tell you something?

Fear, for most of us works like a catalyst. It startles our intuition awake when it’s time to take action; when we need to do something we haven’t done before or in a long time and we sense that something better lies out there. All we need is to go to the other side and find it.

So, what if instead of stepping back from fear, you walk towards it and push through? Take control of your worst nightmares for they are the one who have held you back. Once you do that all those moments of screwed up craziness –so dismissive or cruel– wouldn’t dare mock you. Suddenly you won’t be feeling valley low any longer!

And when that happens; you are all prepped to define yourself once again.

Isn’t that what you were looking for in the first place?

Talking to someone you love, helps

At one time or the other, we all get stuck and it doesn’t help either to know that this will not be the last time. So whenever your present freezes in your past and everything sucks…try talking to someone who loves you; not just anyone, but someone who’s close to heart. No one else would give an earful or could provide a safe space for you.

Being seen, heard and understood is something we all would die for; only an adoring admirer could remind you of your strengths and dreams.

We are tempted to change tracks in our stuck today when someone we love, looks us in the eye and shares and celebrates our dreams. It’s then the haze lifts and the picture of what lies ahead begins to take shape.

Hold tight and think easy

That will give you some more room to grow!

We all want good times, sunny successes and happy relationships to come easy even when we all know that that’s not entirely true. Dismay and chagrin usually fluster our attempts to be happy all the times. So, instead of wondering why things happen with difficulty, learning how to overcome them, matters! Nothing worthwhile comes without a struggle and you can gain so much wisdom in trying times than in ease!

See…It is the edge of our discomfort zone that lets us find our greatness.

And don’t forget… every failure is a lesson and every mistake a moment to learn!! 

Image source: Getty images.

Like I said, we look to others to help us get unstuck, but search yourself!…isn’t that a complete waste of time? The only person who can liberate you –is you. Even when the empathy and generosity of others feels like a gift, the action for the win – all starts with us. No one else but you have to do the works to light up your life.

So, sit back, take a hard look at what’s making you feel grounded and promise to push yourself no matter what!

Believe me –stuck is a good place to be in, for it gets you to know that there is something better on the other side!!

It’s monstrosity! More than half my body is not human and I’m a walking Zoo!!

Image source: ‘Bacteria: The miracle microbes that could fix planet’ by Collin Barras in sciencefocus.com on Sep.02,2020,

This is freakin’ crazy!…Am I more microbe than human and never alone?  Is it really freak’n true? Sounds nuts!…. but I think I did read somewhat on these lines in my graduation; like human cells make up only 43 percent of body’s total cell count and the rest are microscopic colonists; our cells are outnumbered by 10 to one…blah-blah-blah whatever. It’s creepy, but understanding the other half of our selves might be the key to even stranger mysteries!

“Why, our body isn’t just us and never alone? Why genetically we are more outgunned than believed? What it means to be “human” if we are only half of what we really are?

From simple allergies to spooky Parkinson’s, every nook and cranny of our lives is hostage to these teeny-weeny nano-sized creatures. And we just couldn’t get rid of them, no matter how well we wash ourselves. Every crevice, every fissure and every chink on our bodies is swarming with these intrepid life forms.

We live by and stay surrounded by these tiny suckers even when we cannot see them with naked eyes. And….they are everywhere; on our keyboard, on our pillows on our favorite chair,stuff and above all, inside us!

The smallest living organisms ever known, some live on us and some within us. And know what, it’s considered Ok! So long as these critters are inclined and obliging, we could stay healthy, but once tables turn and a microbiome shift happens, our bodies become a battleground of sorts.

Do you have any idea why these bugs live in our body? Are there any hostile micro biomes too? What are those 20 odd million microbial genes doing in our body? In fact who lives most on our bodies?

A ghost safari to the battleground!

Our body is an enormous ecosystem hosting different biomes swarming with microbes and helps them flourish. Many of these invisible warriors are good for our health. Not only that; this army from microbial mecca abets droves of viruses, fungi and archaea (a kind of single cell organism) living within us as well. Together, they uphold the key to a longer flourishing life for us!

So if you thought you were some kind of epitome of sterility, think again. Your gut is home to some of the smuttiest of pathogens and your skin, mouth, lungs and even genitals shelter their diverse communities. The biggest of these rhyme zones lies deep in murky depths of your colon where trillions inhabit in union with their surroundings. Here they break down dietary fiber, produce crucial nutrients like butyrate and keep your gut up, clean and healthy 24/7.

Always in a curiously creepy relationship, these teeming pathogens have peacefully evolved over the time and have been our most lovable companion ever since, executing all important role in rallying digestion and shoring up our immune system.

Feature credits: ‘ Nearly half of you is not human, it’s made of microbes’ by Hashim Al-Ghaili in youtube.com on Jul.04, 2020.

Living with an attitude!

There are lots of places on our body for them to live. It’s like a jungle to them. Right from skin and tooth, nostrils and tongue, tonsils and lungs and belly button to dark corners of your gut and genitalia; it’s a home to every one of them!

Many species live in harmony live with us and within us and promote health. For instance our gastrointestinal health is right in their hands. Any dysbiosis or slightest shift in the gut microbiome and all hell breaks loose.

And guess what? …this is true for other areas of your body as well.

This is where it gets confusing

An over indulgence into burgers and chocolates in all likelihood affects your risk of obesity and the type of microbes that grow in your gut. So how would you know if it is a bad mix of bugs breaking down and soaking up your food and wouldn’t add inches to your belly?

Seriously; nobody has the right answers to this. “Bugs for Drugsmight take some time to happen. Till then if you’re really interested in finding out what haunts your belly and bowels, a microbiome test (Ohmygut®) test might get an overview of who you’re living with. If you could follow personalized food recommendations, this might of some help in enhancing your microbial well being!

 But then there are lots of places in you for bugs to live and thrive in….

Image source: ‘Bacteria on green background. Prokaryotic microorganisms. Bacillus. Illustration’ in unsplash.com.

And I thought I was pristine and clean!

The bugs on my skin

Good ol’ skin or the integument is home to some meaningful bugs that protect us from invaders and marauders amongst them and support our immune system. Some produce molecules to drive off potentially harmful microbes from colonizing the skin making it a physical barrier. A few others like Staphylococcus epidermis produce anti microbial compounds to stave off something serious like skin cancer. Acne linked bacteria however don’t help much.

My eyes don’t shine alone

Like skin, eyes do not fare any better when it comes trading benefits. An ideal habitat, microbes find comfort in my cornea and the tissue on the inside of the eyelid. Relatively small, any imbalance in this microbiome results in dry eye disease and endophthalmitis or bacterial conjunctivitis.

I could smell them!

Dark warm and damp,my nose is just the perfect place for microbes and is very sensitive to faltering microbial homestead. Shaped by different factors just like gut bugs, nose microbiome is re-engineered by changing environment of the host and is affected by medical conditions. Dysbiosis here could be the reason why asthma, chronic rhinosinusitis, influenza, and bronchiolitis happen headlong and yet are curable with certitude.

Keepers to my tonsils

Tonsils, when invaded by stray bugs-fight infection by trapping assaulting microbes that enter through mouth or nasal passage and producing antibodies to kill them. A diverse ecosystem of microbes at their disposal helps them do this job. Adenotonsilla microbiome may have different contagions for children and adults; but why it couldn’t ward off bacterial tonsillitis, is yet to be discovered.

Wax, bugs and infections- my ear is home to each one of them

The middle ear is a safe haven to a diverse community of thriving microbes which when out of buggy could wreak havoc in ear; infections, inflammations and other hard pushed complaints. Both genetics and microbiome could add considerably to the risk of middle ear infections and consequential painful days.

But what happens inside me is more bewildering!…

Lots happening here!

Right from my school days, I’ve been stuck up with some good dental hygiene regimen. I brush twice a day…no smells, not hooked to any addictions and I check scrupulously if it smells bad in my mouth before going to bed! Yet at times my belly too groans, sharp pain pangs from toothache would send me into an overdrive and sometimes I get laid with fever from tonsillitis! I’m not spared…And I thought I knew everything about sterility.

But certainly not this!

My mouth is a den to plenty of microbes, some good, some not so good and could explain things like inflammation and tooth decay.

The oral cavity or the muzzle- as geeks call it, is a perfect  territory for microbes to thrive; all warm, moist with an endless source of nutrients pouring in, plus plenty of structures and hiding places to stick to; the tongue, pockets between the gums and teeth and of course the teeth themselves. Let them have fun and Streptococcus mutans would run amok and devastate your ivory while Porphyromonasgingivalis could have your gums bleeding and crying foul!

Sometimes these bugs travel down elsewhere in the body like gut and lungs and when that happens dysbiosis strikes hard.

When it comes to bugs, my breath is no different

Once thought of as a sterile environment, lungs are now known to have their own small microbiome; much smaller than the one that the gut holds because the lungs do not have the same kind of hem or sheathing to adhere to. Rather they ease oxygenation through a surfactant that is designed to facilitate the transfer.

Red flags! It’s time to see an urologist

Like the lungs, bladder too is not as sterile and bacteria-free as I believed it to be. While little is known about the mysteries surrounding microbiome here in urine pouch, there is still no evidence if bugs here could rig out a protective barrier for my health. Visible haematuria, spinal cord compression or progressive neurologic dysfunction, well… these are of particular concern since I wouldn’t know what I’m fighting with; rampaging bugs or some cross purpose therapeutic condition!

Image source: ‘Your body is mostly microbes’ by Tina Hesman Saey in sciencenews.org on Dec.20,2013.

So, next time you get anxious about your well being and have an urge to inspect yourself, start with your belly button; the soft spot. Though there a number of places you could begin with,the center of your stomach could reveal much offhand.

Remember…! “The Incas believed that Cuzco was the navel of the universe”.

For instance, if it smells a bit ripe, it’s the umbilical microbiome –passed on to you with your first breath, that has found itself a  cozy homestead and is likely to stay with you till you live. Weirdly, it could be any or many of the 2368 different species that inhabit your navel, reacting and interacting with your body and not always in battle with it.

It’s incredible to think that the DNA of these superbugs carries more information than it would take literally a ton of DVDs to store for medical accomplishments.

See… didn’t I say, you are never alone in an eerie world of microbes!!...

Good to Whoa! 8 pleasure foods to put brakes on your unhealthy eating- the healthy way!

Are you a fitness freak working for a rawbone or losing sleep over a lean sylphlike waist and seeing no results? What about those crash diets; still no gains?

You’ll probably hit the most success when you junk sin foods from your routine and start your day with healthy foods that do not cut out anything important. What kind of benefits you’re looking at here? Well…these slimming super foods are good at melting away that last inch of belly bloat like whoa…

Some days, you’re a kale smoothie-guzzling, bok choy-chopping freak, while on others you’re drooling over a candy bowl. But adding these incredible foods to your diet, don’t help much in getting toned and tight!

Interestingly…the way our body works is bit confusing. Hunger is what decides for it to holler for energy, but by the time it tells you that, it’s already deficient and gone wild.  That emptiness and growing pangs are in fact it’s last ditch attempt to convince you to eat.

Many of us consume the bulk of our food in two or three large meals a day and go long hours with nothing in between. This reduced–calorie- three- meal plan sounds good but you can’t make your body burn fat any more efficiently than it does of its own! Every core exercise you try isn’t always a do-gooder. Your abs may refuse to grow and your potbelly may just decide not to give up!

So, does this mean that you should stay ahead of the curve and eat even before your belly starts growling? What kinda food would work best? And what if you running short on  time? Is a four-ounce chicken breast, a small baked potato and a jumpy salad good enough to craft you a winsome body?

Hard to tell…Huh!

Sometimes my gut also screams, “feed me nice and good!”; especially on holidays and weekends. Honestly I love vegan food more than anything else but I balance my love for eating plants with need to keep my body equally supplemented, so that something wholesome and nutritious always finds its way into my belly.

If you too are looking for some healthy food without giving up on your winning routine; check out on these eight simple super eats that can thaw away that last bit of your beer belly in 2022!

Here’s the sticky widget though;

While spot-reducing belly fat is not exactly possible, eating fewer calories than you burn might earn you an overall weight loss—and that includes your belly.

But what the heck!… consider this as your go-to list for good health; at least.

Roasted   mushroom and bean soup.

Image source: ‘White bean and roasted mushroom soup recipe’ by Amy Johnson in shewearsmanyhats.com.

This white bean and roasted mushroom soup- an ageless classic- has ruled the charts on She Wears Many Hats ever since originally published in October 2011. The magical partying of pureed white beans and broth base instead of cream and roasted onions, garlic and herbs, is a guilt free gratification for those chasing a simple  wholesome stuff!

I don’t think anything else could warm you more than this savory, drool-inducing tang of this consommé.

And it’s so very worth it. Served alongside a simple salad with crusty bread, it makes for a perfect day. Looking for a vegetarian version? Simply swap veggies broth with chicken one. Bonus here!…You also get to substitute one part to three of dried herbs as you head into colder months when seasonings are hard to get by.

Black Bean Omelet

Image source: ‘Black Bean Omelets with Salsa Verde’ in goya.com.

Coffee sure does perk you up in the morning. But if you pair it with sugary cereal, bagels, or donuts, you’re very likely to stay starry eyed and listless for the rest of the day. These empty carbs taste good on the tongue, but do little for your body. Instead fill your morning meal with some healthy complex alternative that would leave you feeling energized!

Simply put, it’s all about picking a high protein fiber packed food that would promise good nutrients to your body.

I begin my day with a wholesome breakfast; be it the one that’s on-the-go list for rush days or a more relaxed oversized gut bomb for weekend brunch. Which would you prefer; a pricey spinach omelet, packing nearly 1000 cals or a simple affordable 330 cals high protein, fiber packed omelet sandwiching black beans and cheese? 

A black bean omelet is sure to make you feel satisfied and keep you full for hours. The soluble fiber helps lower your cholesterol, keep you regular and set your taste buds a –jingling! Refried black beans set off by chunks of ripe fried tomatoes, savory onions and cilantro, leave one smacking good after-taste that would have you wanting more of it.

Try it! Your palate will thank you.

Grilled Chicken Pineapple Sandwich

Image source: ‘Teriyaki Chicken Sandwich’ by Shelly in frugalfamilyhome.com.

This grilled chicken and pineapple sandwich is your best bet if you are a health freak. Not even the healthy genre of grilled sandwiches that beckon you invitingly each time you pass by the neighborhood rotisserie, are a close match to it.

Packing a mouth watering punch in every bite, this sandwich is a sweet-spicy combination of teriyaki glazed chicken, juicy grilled pineapple, fiery jalapenos and is a great reduction in your days’ saturated fat and sodium intake. An end to all flattering chicken sandwiches, this one with 400 cals and 640 mg of sodium gets you the best of both the worlds; a little sweet here a little spicy there! The sandwich with a whole wheat bun comes to you super balanced with lean proteins and high fiber carbs.

Trust me; take a shot and surely you won’t miss the fried version at all once you sink your teeth into this blast of flavors.  

Chicken Tikka Masala

Image source: ‘Authentic chicken tikka masala recipe’ in nishkitchen.com.

Traditionally cooked in clay tandoor and then served in a subtly spiced tomato cream sauce with a dash of dried herbs, coconut milk, ginger and lemon and greek yogurt; this marinated boneless chicken dish is an absolute belter and is a popular fare in curry houses from right across the East End bistros of “Curry Lane” in London to Cumins in Chicago,Indigoin Budapest to Le Palaise de Raja Maharaja” at rue d’Ouessant Paris. This all time fan-favorite is a must dig for diners all across South and South East Asia.

The creamy spicy sauce made with Greek yogurt instead of full fat cream, is insanely good and the soft marinated chicken tastes just divine! The meal gets complete with some turmeric rice and fresh naan.

It’s simply… cozy , fabulous and finger lickin’ good!

Grilled Caesar Salad

This perhaps is the most misleading food; it’s kinda dish that you order when you want to go easy with your food, only to find out that you have ended up eating almost half of your day’s calories in one serve!

Feature credits: Kitchenstories.com

A classic eat, this salad boasts of a savory combination of crisp romaine (a variety of lettuce), rich and garlicky dressing, crunchy croutons and an enticing pungent tang of Parmesan cheese. High calorie dressing however,transforms into lighter vinaigrette packing an awesome substance, flavor and nutrition of sun dried tomatoes and olives in it. Char- grilled lettuce brings some happy change and perk up everything.

 The salad preps quickly and easily with simple ingredients like boneless and skinless chicken thighs that stay juicy all through and cook quickly.

To think of this as volte-face nutrition!  410 calories, 29 gms fat and 610 mg sodium per serve! What more could you ask for?…

Try it and surely you won’t be digging into anything else anymore!

Rajma Dal

Image source: ‘Rajma masala’ by Kiran Afzal in curiouscuisiniere.com on Dec.12, 2020,

If actionable tips  and cook videos from ‘The Spruce Eats-NY are any cue then this high and hearty red kidney beans curry with a mesmerizing blend of spicy masala, ginger, garlic, chilies and tomatoes is a rustic vegetarian dish that comes cheap, is nutritious, comforting and one satisfying comfort food that could easily humble any menu item any time. A delightful vegetarian curry dish, it savors great over rice and pickled vegetables.

If you’re looking for some indulgent healthilicious  dish that could come together in less than half an hour, this one-pan cook makes for an excellent choice. Served with kachumbar salad and pickle as sides, this 232 calories unsophisticated eat has managed some space in Stock Images and Shutter stock collections too.

Palak Paneer

Another hot favorite among foodies! This mildly flavored super food is super healthy and tastes great when served with a side of basmati rice. The star of the dish is the creamy sauce, which is made out of blanched spinach blended with an amazing medley of spices. Complimenting the sauce are shallow fried cubes of paneer (Indian cottage cheese). The healthy spinach gravy is sautéed with finely balanced curry spices in aromatic ghee to up the ante!

Image source: ‘Palak Paneer’ in awesomecuisine.com.

Simple but irresistible, this dish has the punch to satisfy absolutely all taste buds! If cheese is not on hand or you’re looking for a dairy free option, tofu or veggies like cauliflower or potato will taste just as good. You may even ask for whole yogurt in place of heavy cream for the sauce to make it lighter.

This food may not be totally main stream yet, but there’s one good reason to incorporate this extremely nutrient rich leafy gem into your regular diet. Packed with high levels of carotenoids, Vitamin-C, Vitamin-K, Folic acid, Iron and Calcium, it’s a warehouse to some amazing compounds like lutein ( improves eye health), kaempferol( reduces risk of cancer and chronic diseases) nitrates( promotes heart health), quercetin (wards off infection and inflammations) and zeaxanthin( helpful in impaired vision).

So, next time you get hungry and crave for a scrumptious healthy meal, dig into a warm comforting bowl of spinach paneer curry with equally delicious garlic naan or jeera rice or plain basmati rice. Side of a red onion salad  adds zing to a super delicious hearty happy fill.

Italian Stuffed Artichokes

There is really nothing quite like an artichoke.  Whether you’re eating the hearts as part of an antipasto platter or in a spinach artichoke dip, their flavor is quite unlike any other food.

Image source: ‘italian stuffed artichokes’ in garlicandzest.com.

Tender, herby with perfect amount of zest, stuffed artichoke is  one prebiotic food that helps keep things moving through your gut. Trimmed and stuffed with garlicky breadcrumbs and baked in a buttery lemon and white wine sauce until tender, this super eat is an all time favorite and admired as an interactive food that has a distinct start, middle and an end! Like onions and leeks, artichokes also carry acetate that spurs the fat-burning activity in the body.

Need more of greens and taste? Roast artichoke hearts and asparagus with olive oil, Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, and a spritz of lemon. And if you’re any good at experimenting, try stuffing your ‘choke with quinoa, tomatoes and herbs and see some fascinating taste unfold on your platter.

Considering people at all phases of life are under-consuming iron and fiber and proteins and other lesser known serious nutrients, the benefits of cruising through your day with all-natural version eats, goes beyond these eight delightful melt-off foods. There are hundreds of sin food recommendations to cut back on your calorie consumption heavily. But there is no super eat that could increase your lifespan, help you feel full, clear up your complexion, control your cholesterol and reduce your risk for cancer, diabetes and heart disease?

All you could do is to mix and match foods to meet your daily quota without going easy on your weight loss plan.

And you’ll definitely have to let go of that Achilles heel; the one food that you can’t seem to help yourself digging into!

Aren’t you tired of wishing you had more? Be careful; there is little difference between your dreams and desires!

Like Drake, sometimes I wish if I could go back in times, not to change anything but to feel couple of things twice! I would want more of this dangerous, jazz-shaped immortality for myself!

Life sucks and it definitely is not a cakewalk. If it were, wouldn’t we all be rich, sipping a classic mimosa on our ocean front property? But even when it’s true that I don’t or ever will own a beach house, doesn’t mean that my some 50-ish years have been hard-only. Loads of little things have inundated my life- improving everyday of it without totally breaking the barriers. From miniature vacuums to bedside night lights to heated lunchboxes, shower liners with handy pockets, and even a shampoo brush to massage my scalp, these endless options haven’t failed me few clever moments of sweet happiness. But the phantom in me, pines for more. There’s this stain remover that works so well on red wine, that I forgot; I think I can hear it calling my name.

Let’s face it; Life isn’t easy and glee and all that; but you know what is?

It’s almost a year since I started to catalogue list of things that I wished I had lots of them in life. I called it ;“Things I wish I had more of them”. I initially came up with some boring things about life, career and relationships; things that I’d learned over the years and gathered from mentors, books, friends and people close to my heart. But later some better stuff filtered in; good choices like love, happiness, contentment trumped everything else.

I created it to remind myself of useful things that mattered; probably more so because it kept my hope alive to relive them someday.

A year later I still read it a few times each day and wait for crazy things to happen!!

What do I wish I haven’t had enough? What could I offer myself back again with what I have learned over the past years? Of course, this is an idea that people play around with in their minds; and quite often realize that an upbeat past has the genius to turn things around for some good in present as well. So, why not wish for it?

Unable to warp back in time? Fear not! You’re not scammed…

If you are someone like me, let me recommend a few out of my own list that I wish for more. It’s Ok if I couldn’t wake up to a wish fulfilled each morning. I know desires have a cranky way to keep you thinking for the rest of your life about an even stranger scenario; you returning back and reliving them.

Image source: ‘Woman leaning on her table’ by Marcus Aurelius in pexels.com

Wish I could do exciting things once again

Funnily; it’s not about success or even remotely about happiness! It’s about doing things that are exciting. In my declining year, I still want to be a 25yr old jaunty good looking beau, gleefully chasing some haute’ damsel from neighborhood. I want us to climb the trees, jump the wall and beat up all the bully boys when feeling pissed off! I want to live my share of one heartbreak, one true love, one success and one moment of despair again. I don’t want the creaking knees or cringing eyes falter me or the loosening skin shame me. I want to be reminded of all the battles that I survived and the ones that I won.

I want me to be excited. I want to be nubile and mercurial. I want to be foxy, short, sweet and crisp; all at the same time!

Could there be anything more desirable than this?

Image source: ‘Old dirty sneakers on tree’ by Chris F. in pexels.com

Wish I had saved more

Like any young boisterous nerd, when young I was quite mindless about money. I did save and invested but I couldn’t manage to hoard it. Not that I was letting the thought pass by me but I had more exciting things crowding my days. I was getting carried away by the whims of the moment. A few simpler things could have made my present more bullish and upbeat. I could have done so much but didn’t pick up; I simply whizzed past in the fast lane!

See…when you are young you ride the wave of youth. You feel you’re gonna stay young forever. Behaving like a teenybopper I too was equally less impressive and less receptive or perhaps more distracted by less meaningful things! I thought the opportunity to save more will keep on endlessly coming and kept on spending the dime on utterly trivial things.

Why don’t we ever listen to a good advice when we are young? Somehow I feel though that I wouldn’t have listened even to my older 50-ish self then.

Today I wish I could travel back in time and save myself the pain, effort and trouble that I was going to earn for myself later.

If you’re in your mid-20’s and reading this, do yourself a favor;  don’t burns the candle at both ends; heed when some good advice heads your way.

Image source: ‘Signboard’ by Monstera in pexels.com.

Wish I had worried less about changing jobs that I didn’t like!

This surely applies to everyone but is more prevalent when you’re a young rookie and Waterloo moment stares you in the face every day of your nine-to-five life. You’re easily intimidated and influenced by peer pressure, authority and roles models expecting you to behave or not behave in a certain way!

Many of my decisions including the one of staying stuck with one job-it hurt most; was influenced largely by the presumption of how it’d look like to others if I did jump the fence and whether everybody would approve of it.

Today, it all reeks of nonsense…

If I couldn’t get out of my fears or shake off influences then, did I miss something important? Have I lose out on living a happy authentic life? Hell no!… but I could have saved myself from endless hours in a dead-end job that failed my purpose and skills.

For the same reason, I admit that being present in the moment with unfulfilled desires is more difficult than when you are in your 20s. You just can’t fathom the value of being present at that age.

#I wish if I were more present then, so many things would have cut fine today!

Image source: ‘Travel items’ by Nataliya Vaitkevich in pexels.com.

Wish I’d read Wayne Dyer earlier or perhaps get to watch Lady Gaga in concert

Years later, I could begin to understand the power of simple intentions only now. I wish I could size myself with Wayne Dyer…Umm! for no particular reason; but living a life of unlimited abundance and getting into your life the right people at the right time; Well…I’ll be damned if I couldn’t pick up the idea; something that I needed  so much when I was young. So much time, energy and money I wasted on things that only clutter and complicate our lives. I wish I had learned to co create my World my way when young.

Gee whiz!!…I could have done more with so much less.

Okay! Perhaps Wayne had not hit the stands then yet and I’m not sure about the latter; maybe she took to stage sometimes in late 1980s or what… I never got the opportunity to read him on the SoNet and neither could I get the chance to see her perform live.

Imagine my 20s!! I couldn’t fathom that they were going to change my life so much later on…

Amid all uncertainties, I wish I ought to have read all the enlightening things being taught in the books then or perhaps seen her perform on screen at least!

Today I watch Lady Gaga getting love from fans for sweet moments with Liza Minnelli at Oscars 2022 on flickering screens. I wish someday I’d get the opportunity to watch her perform live at Dolby’s.

But for now I guess, she‘ll have to stay in my list of should haves.’

Feature credits: ‘ Run!’ by Proper films in Youtube.com on Sep. 02, 2019.

Life is all about what’s happening in the present moment. While we wish, want and dream, our real lives are already happening. For me there has never been anything more terrifying than the prospect of dying out and missing out on all of it, because I have been way too busy wishing what more I wanted instead of appreciating what I have.

I wish…

Someday, if I could ever get to meet my younger self face-to-face, the first thing I’d want to say;Hey, stop worrying. It’s useless. Life will turn out just fine. But you can make it better by following your heart. And know what… everything you hope to feel when you get what you wish for, is with you right here, right now”

If you think that one day you might find yourself saying; “I wish, I had” then by all means do that thing right now! Hopefully you’ll never have to look back for things you wish you had accomplished more.

Trust me; it will pay off so long as you consider your wishes as no more than a little vacuum to clean up your everyday mess!!

Three ways to know if the time is right for a good bye; burning slow doesn’t help!!

From moments of pure bliss to “badass togetherness”, relationships sometimes flinch. Between valleys and peaks, you are never certain whether or not it’s meant to be what it is. Sure you could work around to fix the rough patch somehow. But will that hold? Will everything be the same as before? At what point should you draw the line between rough times and simply giving up?

Or is it time to say enough is enough?

Like everybody else, I could realize the spoil only when it was too late. But  I spared myself the anguish, for I knew it’s never too easy to see it from the inside. Sometimes it’s blindingly true, yet we couldn’t see the red flag or smell the rot.

And surprisingly you couldn’t get to start over again…

Bad things do happen in relationships and the rot might ruin the romance, friendship or just about anything familial. Sometimes it hurts and in your  anger or inconsolable grief you feel like lashing out, cursing or yelling to let the world know how bad the hurt is. You may even get to the state where you want everybody to be hurt no less; to make everybody feel the misery no less.

The edge happens only when you find there’s no time left to reveal your love; to let others  know that over the last few months they made your days a bit brighter and helped you heal better from the hurt that others left behind; that they sank into your heart and stayed put. In the midst of impossible, somehow they became your favorite.

But like good and bad times, there are moments when things begin to get out of control. You are clueless; not sure whether to go with it or away from it. You just can’t hug harder any longer.

If any of these signs are persistently a part of your relationship, you have a serious problem to consider. It might have reached a dead-end and this could be the time to let it go peacefully.

Remember though, every tragic of something is the beginning to a fresh start.

Image source: ‘Sad in railway stock photos and images’in 123rf.com.

When enough is enough

Criticism is good; it gives you an opportunity to find your misplaced positives. But even that has a quota. Negative comments feel cruel and so does one nasty word that can silence a million applause. See…even the SoNet community works the same way; your fans may have cheered you a thousand times but you’d only remember one single message that tried to run you down.

However, if someone in your life always jumps in to say something about your wins all the time, you have a red flag there too!

I say… life sucks! but that’s how it is.

If criticism and negative comments begin to corner your attention… you need a deeper look into what’s happening around. Is getting out of a messy relationship worth the anguish of parting ways? Sometimes it gets dismissive but severing ties peacefully is more impactful than inflicting emotional damage on yourself.

See…there is a pattern of narcissism specific to each one of us. But even that doesn’t work right all the time. If somebody keeps pushing you constantly and tells you that it’s for your own good so that you may improve; don’t jump for it. If you fall for it you’ll always be looking for doses of approval from others which will never come even if you gave your 100%. Some may even pin for your attention and time!

Criticism and negative comments lower your energy and distract your attention. If you do not want to turn yourself into a junkie looking only for approval and adoration, allow yourself a course correction. Simply let go of a relationship that has  constrained you all these years.

And remind yourself…you deserve to live free! So, just let go of the decay.

Feature credits: ‘Letter to a Friend’ by Eddie Pinero in youtube.com on Jul.02, 2019.

No crooning or cocktails!

There is never any dearth of time to change your ideas about the future. It’s Ok if you are not where you thought you’d be today- you have many tomorrows ahead of you. But the journey is never straight; you’d sometimes outgrow what you once wanted in your connections. It’d feel  good if you could realize the extent of your responsibility in the context of relationship, today.

This is your journey and yours alone. So, be wary of the people close to you who would not hesitate to throw in your face the things they did for you. They may have lend you a thousand bucks and say that they saved you from penury; more to make you feel wretched than to value kinship.

I know it’s a profound statement and maybe incorrect for some of you; but that’s the truth. If the other person needs to hang the medals for having helped you, it’s time to start over afresh. You can’t turn back the clock or delete memories, but you can choose to live quietly  in present.

So, it’s time you bid adieu!

Image source: ‘Here Is How You Say Goodbye To Your Forever Person’ by Ariel Quinn in herway.net on Mar.01, 2022.

In the hustle and bustle, trust walks off

When the bad outweighs the good, it usually means hard times have arrived and are likely to stay for a while. If you can’t remember the last time you were happy…surely the problem is deeper than meets the eye!

Arguments in a relationship come with a territory. You are sad and neglected and could sense that something is seriously off, yet couldn’t pin point why. You find a pair of hoop earrings that definitely don’t belong to your mate or wake up each morning staring vacantly at the ceiling fan and think, How the hell did I get here?” He’s off to another business trip or you come home to an eerie silence everyday; your phone used to ring off the hook and now all you hear is crickets! You hang in there hoping things to turn around somehow. But with explosive fights, mascara running down the cheeks duels, you know something terrible is waiting to happen.

Essentially, you both have morphed into nasty dinosaurs for each other. You may try to convince yourself that what matters is to live in here and now; but the truth is more savage- you just cannot hide from it.

So, when at the end of the day as you lie down and pat yourself, “Wow! We made it a day without fighting,”, it’s time to get out of the fracas.

Don’t be blind to the obvious and wait to get your heart pummeled. It’s time to dump those dingy rose colored glasses and get yourself a terrific new pair.

Believe me…if you can’t stay civil on vacation in a gorgeous hotel with gorgeous spreads and cocktails and room service…it’s time to say quits.

Image source: ‘Why is it so hard to say goodbye?’ by Richard in richardcollison.net on Oct.22, 2017.

Many times you’d be tempted to make excuses and stay put in a relationship that has reached its expiration. You keep on hitting the reboot button, frantically hoping that everything will be Ok again. This continues to happen until the next time when the not so funny emotional roller coaster starts all over again. Eventually it’s a Joe No-Show and you could feel the cold feet. This means that both of you have flaked out and lost each other for good.

You may not be ready to face it…but that’s fear talking. Don’t let it rule your life. So listen to your instincts, trust your guts and stop working for a relationship that has jumped the fence. It’s time to admit that your future with the other person isn’t on the radar.

Should this happen, start taking care of you and break into a happier life. Value your needs, wants, and most importantly, yourself. Without depleting yourself, step out into a life that you truly deserve. Think of yourself twenty or thirty years from now and merit yourself by doing the right thing.

Above all stay away from people who will sooner or later leave you stranded.

Trust me, your future will thank you!!

Three simple life hacks that helped me find my Atlas of happiness!

Everybody loves a happy ending, especially when it’s the story of their own life. I have begun writing that ending today. After roughly couple of months in it, lots of scratchy notes and 2000 odd words later I have finally researched my way to be happy forever!!

Image source: ‘7 Simple Ways To Be Happier’ by Seth Symond in lifehack.org.

If you are someone who believes that one doesn’t always need to stay happy and hopeful through difficult times and seriously think that recluse in vulnerable spaces is enough to ease off your discomfort, then it’s time you come out of your therapeutic feel good irrationality!

Imagine yourself 10 years ago. Were you happier or less happy than you are today? It’s not inappropriate if you think that you were happier. But 10 years hence, things are likely to be a lot less rosy. And it’s no fun to rake your brains over it now.

Happiness tends to decline as we walk through our lives and bottoms out at around 50. Then something strange happens; it races uphill again till people get split into two groups; those who get a lot happier and those who couldn’t be any less unhappy.

Right around the“I’m so hype!”age, most of us would rush to make few good financial decisions, plan ahead and are more likely to be able to support themselves in comfort and be alive always; rest who wouldn’t, just couldn’t.

Something similar happens with happiness. As we grow old, we begin to see things differently. The excitement and fun of adolescence gives way to brutally negative jibes of adulthood. By now most of us have experienced bittersweet pleasures of life; but little do we realize that these tiny time specks can make us appreciate more and encourage us to be on cloud nine, when the going gets tough.

Tough!!… is it a bad word? It certainly sounds dismissive and cruel. We all have had our fair share of moments when wits got thrown to wilds. It hurt… but prepped us for some plucky life moments ahead!

­­­If you ask me good things happen more often than the bad ones, but often we miss opportunity to stay connected to happiness. We easily forget that age is like some fabled sycophancy that allows us to fly high in the real World. At 50 you could still be the same adorable pig tailed gal or some jaunty good looking knock-out beau. Both of you could still climb the trees, jump the wall and beat up all the boys. Young and raunchy, fiercely ambitious you both have had your share of one heart break, one breakdown, one true love, one success, one moment of despair and gloom – you have had mountains of them.

Cringing eyes, creaking knees and despairingly loosening skin, need not make you falter now. There is no shame in growing old and struggling a bit; it’s a reminder of all the battles that you have survived and the ones you won!

Once you have learned how to love your lines and folds and aches and pains, begin looking for some honest happy moments, few of which you could save for grey years.

Here’s what I did to make my life stay as full and happy as possible when I reach my later years;

Does age equals happiness?

Image source: ‘This is how to find joy: 4 simple secrets to the good life’ by Eric Barker in theladders.com on Mar.17, 2018.

Like everybody else I too will grow old. But I don’t see myself climbing mountains every day to be happy or live in a landscape where that’s an option. I would rather go for a walk or sit in a stretch of green watching the birds feeding. Doing so would give me something to look forward to each day.

For me the sweetness of doing little or nothing’ is all about savoring the moment , having joy in the present and saving a bit for declining years.

When I was young, the happy–well person in me learned well to accumulate resources and habits in pursuit of happiness. Few of these, like generational wealthso difficult to control, happy childhood-that descended from long lived ancestors and sometimes spots of depression-again a formidable enemy; all have been there to teach me about late-life happiness.  

Elders would mock, “Only handfuls heed; rest count on being lucky!”

I picked that up rather seriously!

I thought that being passionate about something that I could pride later on, won’t hurt anybody. So, I chose the best way of maximizing my chances of being happy in my autumn years.

I have made some big investments in my disposition-smoking, drinking, body weight, exercise, emotional resilience, education, and relationships ranked high in my judgment. I have dug deep, chosen the hackneyed lane and I believe that I’ve done the right thing! To some varying degrees, I have kept all of them under my fold since then.

Surprisingly simple, it’s perhaps the most reliable way to see yourself smiling forever!!

Love doing what makes you happiest

Image source: ‘Being Creative Can Make Your Golden Years More Enjoyable’ by Jim Pietrangelo in healthline.com on Oct. 19, 2017.

It didn’t take me long to realize that the best way I could tweak my chances of happiness, is to pursue that one thing that could make my heart race in high octane. Not that I would let any of dopamine, adrenaline or norepinephrine run out of control.

So, I chose…

One small deed; one overwhelming gesture that when I lock my eyes onto, would make me feel all pumped up; one simple action that would make  me smile every time I looked back.

I strongly willed to improve upon my ability to weather stressful and unexpected turn of events in life. And I chose to pour my heart into it, letting it to be the last! 

Ever since, I have realized that one single most important thing for wellness in life is to raise and foster warm relationships; one that would make you quit small sins; one that you’d have to hold on to if things go south; one that would let you fit the bar pretty well even in a squeaky wrinkled frame.

I’m no die hard biophile. It’s a mean old world and we all have scars but for me happiness is no longer a matter of the heart. I know that I won’t necessarily be doomed to misery if I could work my way to few good, warm relationships.

I just want to be happy and successful. To look back on my life when I’m all old and grey, and think to myself;

“See! I totally nailed it. I have zero regrets.”

Life is surprisingly simple

We hear about success and happiness everywhere we look. We get all sorts of tips and advices about life and about things we should and shouldn’t do.

But it never really works that way every time!

Like most of us, I wasn’t sure what these words actually meant or how to get there. I might already be there and wouldn’t know it yet!

So, I looked around… What could I do to make sure I’m not getting waylaid in my pursuit of happiness? How would I know for sure that I am working towards joy and happiness that right now doesn’t feel tangible?

It’s hard to reconcile everything. Wish for an everlasting happiness and it would usually contradict ways to a successful life. The hard part is that there is no clear answer to this and all those wisdom bombs are only part truth, part value.

I needed to find the right balance for myself.

I took an inventory of all my habits and behavior and judged myself where I needed to invest a little more time, a little more energy and a little more silver to start moving in the right direction. I worked ‘smarter not harder’ so I’d still have some fun left to myself and not be exhausted or miserable when I turn 70s.

I’m no goofball; I’m hopeful and see opportunities differently. I’m sure I’ll find my  perfect grin soon.

Feature credits: ‘The Seed’ by Andy Matthews in youtube.com on Aug. 24, 2017.

As I sit quietly, I reminisce one premier episode of Grey’s Anatomy; normally a few laughs, sometimes some tears; one dialogue in particular that really hit home for me. Somewhere a patient had said something along the lines of;

“Well of course you are happy, but is there really a cap on happiness?

Lately I think I’ve been very happy; maybe I’ve maxed out. But then I remind myself; there is always room for more of happiness… there’s so many miles to go.

I also know that not everyone feels the same way. I see people battling with misery and anxiety every day and this touches me to appreciate my happiness all the more.

All this has drawn an empath in me and I know that everyone deserves to be as happy as I am.

I wish, if only you’d do just one small close to your heart thing, to bring a difference in your World and empower yourself to be happy always.

It’s unlikely that you’ll follow everything that matters and that’s Ok. Just pick and choose the one that sounds easy and worthwhile and take your first step slowly!!

Someday you’ll find yourself lucky… blessed if you may!!

13 foods to try when you are pissed off and want to set something on fire!!

Anger is a nightmare and not without consequences. Many a times we reach out for stuff that does nothing to relieve our hideous mood while we endure. But one thing is certain… anger is something that few of us can control and the rest can count on having major issues dealing with it. To calm down all you’d do is either count till 100 –this does not work for me- or sip on some green tea to save yourself from going back to those peevish emotions.

But yup! … There’s another way out too.

If you are in a snappy mood, yelling and overreacting to anything and everything, then you definitely need to work on your cranky attitude. It’s hard to rationalize but you really aren’t yourself if you are angry and without realizing it neither are your well controlled self.

Hopping mad and hormones in you upping the ante! Between snapping at everyone in sight and angry at the entire world, your stomach rumbles and you get more irritable. Maybe you are hit by Hanger- the ugly-romantic expression for mash up of anger and hunger. Shaking, feeling weak and fatigued, you continue to boil while the fight-and-flight hormone (adrenaline) continues to race through your veins, pushing your mood to limits and making you behave ugly.

This is when even small things feel like the end of the world!

If there is nothing happening outside your body for your irrational behavior, then probably you are not getting enough glucose to your brain and it’s struggling with energy intensive tasks. Your blood sugar has dropped and you are fighting yourself not to flambé your surroundings.

But you are not alone…

As much I hate to admit, I love to think of myself as calm, level headed fellow but deny me food for a few hours and the going gets tough for just about  everything! I have had my fair share of anger management but crying for food? ….everything would fly off the handle. And I ain’t sorry for what I say or do.

This I believe, is the point when extra snacking helps even if the next eat was a while away.

There is a lot in the world that could make you angry, stressed or worried all the time. So, when times get tough and moods tougher, navigate yourself to some squeaky clean food to calm yourself down. A box of donuts or a bag of chips is what you’d jump for, but be wary…they will also quickly push you back into throes of anger.

So, here are a few eats that may not exactly relieve you of incendiary emotions but would help you channel that fuming energy into something blessedly trivial. Besides no matter how cross you are, you still have to eat! Why not something that would ease off your thumping pulse?

Chickpea and pomegranate Greek salad

Fifteen minute prep time and this salad is a go-for meal after a ‘not-so-healthy’ day, when you’re looking for few good things that you couldn’t find in 4 champagne cocktails, cheesy dip or a late night pizza.

There are many smart ways to a pomegranate only if you knew how. Help yourself to a quick, simple almost vegetarian stuff. Of course you’d have preferred something more elaborate, but now with a nasty busy day staring you in the face, you’d better settle for something inane.

Feature credits: ‘Greek Marinated Chickpea Salad’ by Recipe Tin Eats in You tube .com on Jun.03, 2020.

This salad is straightforward enough but the appeal lies in texture. Chickpeas as always are dense and mushy but meaty crunchy cucumbers and pomegranate seeds, creamy salty feta cheese and bright herbs, all woven together in a simple tangy dressing of olive oil and tart red wine vinegar, come to your rescue in fighting off your misery.

Smacked cucumber salad

Image source: ‘Smacked Cucumber in Garlicky Sauce (Suan Mi Pau Huang Gua)’ in blog,seasonwithspice.com.

Wake up your therapeutic feelings by smacking a cucumber into bite-size treat. It’s a delightful salad, right down to its salty, slightly spicy sauce and a perfect food for short outbursts or when you suddenly find yourself about to explode right in the middle of something important.

Lentil and macaroni soup

Image source:’Lentil Soup with Macaroni’ in eatsmarter.com.

Isn’t it exciting and euphoric to clench something tightly in your fists and crush it into tiny bits? One perfect fix for your pent up irritability and you let off some steam in a jiffy! Crushed canned whole tomato soup with tantalizing fresh macaroni pasta with a dash of olive oil is your best spin of the day. Believe me; nothing would better a bowl of this refreshing nourishment. Leftovers would keep well for a few days. Leave out the pasta and you can freeze dry it for quite some time.

Banana-almond-flax smoothie

Image source: ‘Banana almond flaxseed smoothie’ in footprintstofitness.com on Aug.7, 2016.

Is your boss giving you some tempers off late? Somebody close getting onto your nerves? Slurp down some of the hostility on the go with a banana-almond-flax smoothie that works great both to your mental health and your taste buds. Ward off anger and depression with nuts and flax seeds that are good sources of omega-3s.

Greek yogurt with honey and granola

Image source: ‘Greek Yogurt With Honey, Fruit And Granola’ in recipebook.io.

Packing-in a few happy ingredients, this positivity parfait is one easy way to curl up your spooky madness on the go. Friendly probiotics slackening your depression and easing off those buzzing sounds in your head make full fat Greek yogurt a tasty way to fight the blues.  Add a spoonful of honeyed sweetness and you get a punch-up to fight off irritability; in part by reducing inflammation in your brain. Pitch in some berries to score one extra health point!

Quinoa, spinach, and shiitake salad

Image source:’Shiitake Quinoa Salad Recipe’ by Stephanie in iamafoodbog.com.

This super-food-packed salad’s has all the awesome goodness of vegan protein. A complex carbohydrate, it reins in depression and anger by pushing up levels of neuro transmitter serotonin in your brain. Besides the mood-boosting spinach comes loaded with B vitamins. Pair it with mushrooms- a good source of selenium and give a tough fight to anger and depression.

Poached eggs and asparagus

Image source: ‘Poached Eggs With Asparagus And Tomatoes’ in incredibleegg.org.

These stellar protein orbs are any time epic food even for jaded gourmands. A good source of vitamin D, eggs provide mood-boosting vitamin B. Paired with asparagus that contains tryptophan, the combination is an ultimate bite on a cold wintry morning. Frayed tempers, godforsaken tantrums!… increased levels of feel-good serotonin in your brain would do the trick and sizzling arguments would never get past your  plate.

Brown rice and black beans

Image source: ‘Black Beans with Brown Rice’ in tasteofhome.com.

Eating when you’re angry or riding low is usually not recommended. But certain foods have the power to ease anxiety and fight anger. Beans aren’t just good enough for your heart— they work wonders to your brain too. Selenium in them picks you back up when you’re feeling low. Plus, brown rice helps to lift your mood by regulating serotonin levels.

Walnut-miso noodles

Image source : ‘Walnut Miso Noodles Recipe’ by Heidi in 101cookbooks.com.

If you feel like a raging bull, all seething, stormy and blustering; this food is your best bet to keep your frenzy in check. Everything about this dish yells health, happiness and moreish. The whole wheat pasta is a complex carb to nurse your serotonin levels while walnuts come with the punch of Omega-3s to help grapple with your anger and grouchiness.

Whole-wheat pasta with cauliflower and collards

Image source: ‘Sicilian-Style Cauliflower with Whole Wheat Pasta’ in foodnetwork.com.

If you are reeling with anger and frustration, chances are your brain is not getting enough fuel to manage normal cognitive functions. Don’t beat yourself up over some stale cracker or lint covered protein bar. You may have come across touted versions of this dish elsewhere but the one with cauliflower and collard greens is your best cinch.

Generous portions of cauliflower not only make it taste gorgeous but also provide vitamin B-6 and folate.

Chocolate Chia seed pudding

Image source: ‘Chocolate chia pudding’ by Lisa Bryan in downshiftology.com on May 09, 2019.

If you notice people around you are slowly backing up and turning indignant to your mood, it’s likely that your hanger’s ugly head has turned menacing. Not only you are frightening to people around you but also you are vulnerable to mistakes you wouldn’t otherwise!

So, cool off a little with classic scoops of Chia and Chocolate pudding! A more sustaining alternative to standard tapioca, this one is a double whammy food to fix your mood swings.

Chia seeds have all the goodness of depression and anger fighting omega-3s, and dark cocoa powder helps keep bad moods in check.

Coffee with cinnamon

Image source: ’10 reasons you need to add cinnamon to your coffee’ by Heather Fishel in food-hacks.wonderhowto.com on 14 Mar.2016.

No Red Bull for you if you have the urge for a war cry in the thick of a long afternoon. Coffee is a natural stimulant, boosts your energy and perks up the metabolism so you can face the day without berating much. A hot one kicks you alive by raising levels of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. And a sprinkle of cinnamon is all it takes to pep up your slurp.

Green tea and honey

Image source: ‘Lemon Honey Green Tea’ in godrej.com.

Angry and hungry!… you’re more likely to pick up  an argument with your sweetheart for no particular reason. Since you may in all likelihood act awkward or be aggressive towards the people you’re closest to, it’s not uncommon that both of you will share the ignominy together.

Green tea is one great source of L-thiamine to relax your mind and sharpen your wits. Sip through a cup of the green stuff at breakfast, before bedtime or… during a brawl break.

Does this all mean that food is the cheeky stuff that could alter your mood and probably back-off your pyromaniac blues? Is it something that we should depend on for our mood swings and anger control? Aren’t we happy enough when we go for pizza or head straight to ice cream buckets and cakes and cheese induced snacks? 

Not to place judgment, I just wish more people would see how detrimental it is to their well being to be hamstrung by anger and not doing enough to let it go.

Not that I’d know anything about them!

 

Want to be eternally happy? Being miserable and thinking of negative thoughts helps!!

Seeing the glass as half empty might inspire you to fill it up!

Image source: ‘Skinny dancer jumping over sand’ by Andrew in pexels.com.

Happiness for me is an elusive virtue and for the most part ‘think positive’ belief fails me as a miracle fizz for mental wellness; one that you could pop in and instantly make half empty glass turn half full and everything around is suddenly bright and sunny. But just because I generally don’t eye the world from behind those rose tinted glasses, doesn’t mean that something’s wrong with me!

Sounds weird…doesn’t it? if this rings freaking odd to you, then you could actually be the one who is ecstatic and all pumped up about happiness, but is more miserable within!

How many times have you been told that great things happen so long as you believe them possible to happen and think positive? From pop psychology to improv classes to self improvement blogs; hype surrounding the advantages of positive thinking never leaves the din.

Sure, it’s good to be positive. It reduces stress and probably tweaks health. And it makes me vote for one profound statement that usually proves naysayers wrong; optimism bags you rewards most of the times including your well being!

But what about those who tend to see glass as half empty rather than half full? Does that mean that they cannot keep your sunny side up all the time? Is being a pessimist that bad?

I would say that only a handful recognize that our unhappiness lies in overly high expectations and too little struggle to overcome snags early on. Damned!…the millennials always get shamed as a ‘burnout generation’ that’s left with few choices to make.

Because we couldn’t make time for happiness; we are busy, confused and sad.

Fortunately a grim outlook doesn’t need to be a permanent one. You may get scattered from mildly pessimistic to relentlessly optimistic. But if you get hunkered down at the perilous end, you could still reap some benefits of being downbeat without burning yourself out.

And it takes only a few changes. Small and gradual; they are nothing like what you’d expect;

To begin with here’s a few of them;

You’ve been pushing yourself too hard to be happy.

Negativity sometimes works as a great defense ammo. You don’t get always crushed when things don’t work out your way. It never distracts you from a pessimist’s favorite past time; brainstorming. 

But it’s not always good to beat a dead horse! When you are ruminating; it’s not just another bad day, it’s always a bad day in a bad life of a bad person!

Besides, pessimism loves to blow even a minor problem to a billboard size one.

I couldn’t easily overcome that valley low feeling whenever I get stormed loud and messy. It’s overwhelming. I get screwed up fast because I couldn’t burn the bridges behind my back! Maybe my octopus teachings are not profound as it goes.

Do you think you would be left with any room to focus, if it soaks up so much of bandwidth? It’s no surprise why dreamers never fail to outsmart the pessimist in you on happiness index.

So, find yourself some quick distraction you can use whenever you realize that you’ve been stuck up with same negative thought for long. Pitch yourself into activities that ask for your full attention. Yoga, aerobics, calling a friend or even absorb some music. It might help you to avoid falling flat on your face.

And don’t be some eternal jaded jerk; it never feels epic. It’s perfectly alright to get depressed. Just stop trying to be happy. Stay in your lane and you may end up making more money and win over a happier marriage!!

It feels so good to blame someone else for your woes

“I’m lousy at tennis”; “My opponent has a killer serve.”

If you are the one whose way of interpreting life’s ups and down is dismissive and begins as an inane story with petty perspectives, then you could be failing in giving some basis respect to your self. When good things happen to you, you dismiss it as a fluke; when bad things happen you jump to blame yourself and brace yourself for a long spell of silent sufferings!

But you are not like some textbook dingbat who would wake up each morning wondering which and what went wrong. Are you?…

Bad events are like one time problems and disappear quickly. And optimists too get their dark afternoons. Cancer patients among them are just as badly depressed as their pessimistic counterparts.

So, when you catch yourself being dark, glum and all that, re-frame the problem so that it doesn’t sound like yours alone. Instead of standing all by yourself and thinking “No one is interested in me — I am pathetic!”, try something more bright; “Where’s the hostess? How could she let a newcomer fend for herself without making introductions? I most certainly wouldn’t allow that to happen”!

No scapegoats of course! But it helps to recognize that you’re not the problem, even if your behavior could use some pinch.

Besides, it feels good to keep practicing your tennis serve even if you’re not sure how would you rally against someone at your level. It’s always promising and worthwhile to throw a bad serve than drop the racket.

Feature credits: ‘The Optimist’s Creed -‘Denzil Washington’ by The Motiv8 in YouTube.com on Dec.18, 2015.

If only you’d imagine the world is coming to end.

Another thing that darkens your prospects to be happy is your penchant to make a mountains out of a molehill. You are always hyperlinked to yourself, rewriting grim possibilities until they blow off and turn into something of a doomsday screenplay. A simple cough turns into pneumonia; not the kind that would let you recover from ever! One missed deadline and it’s fast forward into permanent unemployment!

“Am I really to live beneath an underpass in a freeze box because I’m a day late on a project?”

Worst case scenarios are usually absurd but rewinding and playing them over and over again, makes illogical appear inevitable!

And it sucks!

So… just think of the outcomes that’s most likely. Chances are you are gonna miss the executive suit, but it won’t be under the freeway either!

The stunner of all this messing around is, that you do get to feel a bit of power over your thoughts and situation. The sense of nursing pessimism each morning works fine, for the world is not going to get shrunk in one day.

Keep trying and you’ll get what’s coming to you!

Do you know why your opponent at tennis court ends up with so much to feel good about at the end of the day? Long after you have given up and gone home still thinking suckers!… he keeps trying to unscramble impossible- to-solve mind benders!

There’s a lot of payoffs in this. Persistence is the cutting edge and it means what !…success at school,fatter paychecks at work and wider social acceptability. Who wouldn’t want to make some brilliant win sometimes?

If you are looking for the quickest way to get yourself in the loop, then act like the person you want to be; It’s only about changing the way you feel and the way you think that would define you.

When recognition is the only inspiration, act like you have triumphed some crazy big match battling it out with confidence and hard work.Fake it till you make it’ for this can have surprisingly strong and immediate impact on your emotions. But then, it works only when you correctly identify something within yourself that’s holding you back.

Get surrounded with upbeat people

Yawns like smile are contagious. Positive vibes work the same way. Hanging around with people who aren’t so grouchy about anything and everything, could be your one-way ticket out of an unrelenting pessimism. And if you are not feeling particular chatty, you don’t have to talk about what’s troubling you or put around the word that your mind is in a negative tizz. No need for anybody to know exactly what’s bothering you.

But simply being surrounded with positive minded people is usually enough to trigger a grin all around and shift your mood.

Image source: Vlada Karpovich in pexels.com

So, keep your frown right where it is, for some form of pessimism actually heals when not taken too far. Ignored and unforgiving;it in fact is protective and sometimes rewarding!

Whatever…

Someone’s telling you ‘no, is always a problem.

Small choices! Yup…but encourage yourself to smile, smile…and smile for this world is only about solutions; not problems.

And happiness is a journey where so many things make you happier, #guaranteed.

Do dreams freak you out? Your brain might be trying to tell you something!!

And it doesn’t mean that a downright naked-in–a-crowd nightmare is waiting to happen!

Here’s what happens after you nod off.

Image source: ‘Can lucid dreaming help us understand consciousness?’ by David Robinson in theguardian.com on Nov. 14. 2021.

Did you have a dream last night that has left you bonkers? Is it the one that drops in on you day after day?

Spooky!…Maybe it’s trying to tell you something.

Or perhaps it’s our brain’s way of communicating while we sleep. It’s wired like that but…

Oddly our mind isn’t. It’s as recklessly restless as ever. In fact it stays as active as it is while we are awake. Of course it doesn’t work like a neon sign, flash momentarily and do away with the dreaming business. But while awake it gushes around analyzing things happening around us…feel, touch, emotions, events; just about anything that we bump into.

Strangely enough, all of this can turn into dreams, though it’s not always obvious what dreams try to tell us. Sometimes we get freaky ones that stick out. At others, these could be downright frightening.

What does it mean when you dream you can’t find your shoes? What if you go blind in dreams? What if you dreamed of getting divorced? Right from abysmal fall to a frightening abduction by ETs, every moment of your dream has something to speak of about yourself that you wouldn’t realize otherwise.

So…read on for some startling revelations! Here’s to few common dreams and what they might be trying to tell you!

You are running like hell

You definitely are mobbed by some insecurities. You worry too much about what people at work think of you; how’d they react to anything new happening in your life. Just about anything and everything disquiets you.

I wouldn’t wait for anything steroidal happening, if I were you. I would let go anything and everything crazy and creepy.

You can’t find your shoes

You couldn’t make up your mind over some important decision you have to make or some cracking position you have been asked to assume.

If you find you have misplaced something of value in dreams; it’s just that you don’t think much of yourself and value yourself a little less in real life. You could be steaming low on self esteem in waking life.

You are falling into an abysmal depth

It’s a huge red flag for you! It’s a sign that you have some major issues in life; work, relationship, just about anywhere. You would feel as if things are running out of control and there is very little you could do about it. You are rather hanging too tightly to something particular in waking life. So simply relax and let go of it.

You dream of your loved ones suffering

Would there be anything worse than to wake up from a dream where you watched your loved one suffer. It feels valley low. Guilt pangs have hit you hard for having done something wrong in your relationship with this person. Atone it and feel wonderful.

You dream of death

If you die or feel like dying, it might be that something in your life is coming to an end. It doesn’t necessarily mean foreboding death or you having some terminal illness you didn’t realize you had. In your waking life this signifies that a part of you is changing. How you react to the event in dreams is the only way to know if the change is a welcome one or has been forced upon you.

You are late

…And you couldn’t find ways to make a rush for some very important date! You are not a White rabbit yet you have panicked for being late! This simply means that you are overwhelmed and inundated with work stress. Being late makes you feel as if you’re making promises that you can’t keep. Don’t leapfrog but strap your boots tight!

You have become stinking rich

You have struck gold! You have won the lottery and you are feeling at the top of the world. This sudden richness in dream reveals your deepest desires- from being rich to traveling the world and mean that you have become more wiser in waking life. Not so much material as spiritual wealth, it would also mean elevation of your worth to others. No pep talk this one! It’s the beginning of a new you.

This is great! Now that you know of it; chase them.

You’re in love

This is serious! If you bump into a passionate date in dreams and feel as if you are about to fall in love, then kick yourself!! You lack this kind of intimacy and passion in your waking life. Your love life, if any is all flattening and your uniqueness is being ignored.

You have missed the ride

You find yourself stranded on a platform or tarmac for having missed your flight or the train has departed. It’s a sign that you are weighed down by too many commitments. Maybe you are pushing yourself too much in waking life and fallen from grace one time too often. It hurts. But you can get to redeem yourself once you become intensely aware of your deep seated priorities. Just leave unnecessary baggage behind and be friends to your internal vibes. Remember; you cannot beat the clock!

You have done horrible things

You dream of having committed some satanic crime and trying desperately to cover it up. This could mean that there’s a problem inside you and you need to address it fast before you get a meltdown. Besides a whole host of other wild dream-crimes might leave you feeling evil.

You’re unable to speak

If your voice fails you in your dream, this could mean you are bedeviled with some unresolved tension in your waking life. You really want to be out with what’s in your mind and to speak and be heard. Begin with addressing issues in waking life if you feel ignored and have found no way to make your opinions heard.

There’s always a better way to shoot the breeze!

Image source: ‘The serious health consequences of not dreaming’ by Derek Beres in bigthink.com on Mar.25, 2018.

You’re flying

Flying in a dream is extremely freeing. It encourages you to let go of things you couldn’t handle and let things happen the way they should. It’s a sign that you have freed yourself from something frustrating and difficult to overcome. Good times or mere coincidence?… may be; but even this feels only when you have managed some weighty decision or whacked through some serious responsibility.

That’s a dream I wouldn’t miss to get onboard with!

You are being intimate with a coworker

Strangely enough, intimate brush in dreams isn’t as straightforward as it sounds. If you dream of being physical with a coworker, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a crush on them. You could actually be looking for an inner connect with that someone having ‘positive traits you admire’ and would ‘welcome in your own life’.

You showed up for an exam but weren’t prepared

You have showed up for an exam and suddenly your heart sinks! you realize you are totally unprepared for it! You feel weird. Bile is swelling in your throat and a sour taste fills your mouth. You fear, maybe you have prep for the wrong subject or just can’t make anything of pages before you.

This dream is a sign of something positive in you; you are a high performer, hard worker and believe in doing things right. So, no heavy hearts! Simply put, it’s your fear of being unprepared that keeps you stoked to be totally ready to perform.

You need to pee, but couldn’t find the wash room

You need it badly, you’re trying but couldn’t find a toilet! If you get bogged down with this dream, may be you’re not addressing your own needs rightly in your waking life .

You literally want to let the crap out of your life. You want to declutter and let go of something or someone you couldn’t hold onto any longer. But you just couldn’t!

Of course!… you might actually do need to go to wash room because your subconscious is tipping-off with dreams of you looking for bathroom in vain.

Search yourself and get rid of dark afternoons!!

You’re getting married to a stranger

A sense of unawareness about your partner to whom you are getting married, is a manifestation of untold fears. You are not totally sure of yourself, what is expected of you and that you might be committing to something that you are uncertain of. You doubt if you will have enough time for yourself if you commit.

You’re getting divorced

You are crass enough to have filled your schedule with too many things and are overwhelmed if you dream of this. Should you despair?

No! this one is trying to tell you that you have failed to balance your commitments and keep up the promises you made to someone close to your heart. You are succumbing to perils of your obligations and everything feels going murderously berserk.

You’re standing stark naked in public

Have you ever woken up in a dream to find yourself completely naked? If you feel at ease being buck naked, you probably couldn’t be more comfortable in your own skin. However, if you are scrambling for cover, it could just be that you feel vulnerable and not happy with who you are right now.

It’s a relief that it’s a dream only, but it might be time for you to find ways to get comfortable opening up to others. An improv class might just be the right choice to begin with.

People from waking life keep showing up

It’s perfectly normal to find friends and family in your dreams, but it’s confusing when you stumble upon an acquaintance. This may mean that someone has left impression on you and might turn important to you in the future. If you dream of someone you like (or love) with someone else, it would mean that you’ve lost the fire and aren’t so passionate about them as the other people around you are!

You’re in an empty room feeling trapped and scared

You’ve got untapped talents for sure. But if you are in an empty room with closed doors or barred windows and feeling spooky and all, it could be about something old that you haven’t look at before; anything related to your life—your job, a relationship—that you’ve shut the door on.

But…no need to be eternally skeptic. It’s only about trying to open that door, even if you’re scared. Take your gloves off and do your bit. If you can’t switch up something major, it wouldn’t hurt to go on holiday for a bit.

Image source: ‘Lucid Dreaming’  by Daviona Plowright in driveforwardfoundation.org on Jun.22, 2020,

You’ve gone blind

If you suffer blindness in dream it could just be that you’re overlooking something in life or worry that you aren’t able to see something. You are in a situation in life or your personality where you have hit a blind spot. You debility in dreams may be expressing areas in your life that you have been dismissive and cruel to.

In waking life you need to go beyond what the eyes see and find out ways to respond in a legit way.

You’re searching for someone

If you dream you’re searching for someone, it would mean that you are trying to reconnect with your own identity that you haven’t touched for so long. Dear me!…nothing to do with that particular person.

You’re lost in sea and drowning

These ones are pretty scary!! You are lost somewhere mid-ocean and you’re boat is sinking fast. This tells you that you’re feeling overwhelmed or unsupported somewhere in your life –either by your loved ones, friends, or at work.

You have found heaps of yummy food

Did you went to bed hungry? If not, this could be something deeper. Food symbolizes energy, knowledge, or nourishment. So, when you dream of it it could mean that you long for more knowledge or somebody or insights about something.

Demons have scared you to death

Whether or not you’re the one of them, if you dream of running around in their midst, it tells that you are secretly feeling as though you should change your behavior. You’re worried stiff about it lately.

It’s time you get rid of that garbage ways and earn some basic respect for yourself!

You’re paralyzed

This is the scariest thing that can happen to somebody in dreams. Dreaming of paralysis indicates that you have a lack of control in your waking life. Sleep paralysis though can occur at the moment between REM sleep and the waking stage of sleep.

Your teeth are falling out

Events in your life are in upheaval. You’ve probably lost something of value in life; maybe a job and with it, your feeling of being in control. Your teeth are the symbol of your confidence and how powerful you feel. So if you dream like this; something is definitely causing your confidence to crumble in waking life.

You’re accused of a crime

If dreams where you find yourself an accused or actually having committed a crime, torment you then probably you’re hiding something from yourself in your waking life—and it isn’t always have to be negative.

The hate dreams where we commit or stand accused some crime usually mimes a conscious choice that we make in waking life to gain wider social acceptance.

Worrying for a lifeline! Ignore some of your personal needs; purge yourself of any guilt and try fitting in. It’s perfectly alright to stay in your lane and redefine yourself.

Feature credits: ‘Interesting Facts About Dreams’ by Kendra Cherry in verywellmind.com on Feb.11, 2021.

So, does this all mean that you should worry! Are your teeth actually going to fall out?

Hell no!!…

Don’t psyche yourself out!

If you are all worked up and fear losing sleep over what your dreams might be trying to sell you, you need not dwell over it for long for one simple reason…

You are not alone!!

We all share more or less the same fantasies and nightmares and rummage for the meaning behind those strange way of messaging. It’s only the way we interpret them that matters.

What dreams speak of is not always as undisguised as you would want to; but you would sleep a little more soundly tonight if only you knew what your mind’s trying to tell.

Besides who said everybody is #perfect?

Six #egg-centric breakfast ideas to make you skip the snooze button!!

It’s seven in the morning and you have just slammed shut your bedside alarm clock##@@**

It goes off again; you press snooze but it wouldn’t mind.

With the next shrill buzz, you hop out of the bed and hustle to get ready. A quick head -out- of -the- front -door is what’s uppermost in your mind.

And then you realize that you haven’t thought of anything for breakfast.

Yup!…You do need a good one to ride you through supper.

Again thinking of skipping it? Running short of time, rushed morning or simply not hungry!! If you are missing out, then you definitely are one of those 37% of young working people, who would rather hop breakfast than be put off by Boss’s disapproving glare, for the rest of the day

Pity…if it happens daily!

Morning cuppa java is fine to ease out of your sleep, but to kick starts your body, you need enough of breakfast to break” the overnight “fast” quickly.

So, are you doing enough to outsmart the ‘four pillar’ challenge everybody is talking so much about these days? Are you good with nutrients? Do you savor your first tuck of the day and get enough of it without going overboard? Have you ever tried new food combinations to expand your palate or checked on some new healthy delicious choice?

Search for answers and I’m pretty sure, you wouldn’t fare any good on those healthcare indices when it comes to taking a delicious, sporty healthy breakfast to fuel you and get you moving in the morning-quick!… if you couldn’t manage some.

It sucks!!… you need to dig deep.

After all, it’s nutrition that you require each day, is what we are talking about.

So, how about swapping your egg benedict with something more exotic? Cereal and toast; bagel and cream-cheese; bacon, eggs and hash browns; you have had enough of these old timers. It’s time you re-imagined what your platter should look like, if a jump-to breakfast is your only option.

From warm noodle soup to fluffy steamed bao, from cottage cheese to black beans to flavorful veggies; some savory, some bold and pungent, some mellow and natura fare; look up for some delicate heart-matter inspiring new-to-you alternatives to your standard breakfast that would lit you up enough to become a breakfast believer!

If you know how to weigh-in your food choices and get yourself some good taste to experience without rushing into a diet disaster, upgrade your morning meal with some healthy, inspiring favorites.

Here’s to what to eat when your day begins all rushed-up…

Egg Hopper

Image source: ‘Sri Lankan egg hoppers with chilli and coconut sambol’ in coop.co.uk.

What is this mysterious pancake clutching my eggs and toast?” you ask yourself as you struggle with your senses over breakfast.

Flaunting a fiery mix of sambols (mix of freshly grated coconut, chili pepper and red onion ), some coconut gravy and a spoonful of creamy dhal (dried, split pulses), it wouldn’t be long before you fall in love with your first Egg Hopper Sri Lankan style for breakfast.

A simple affair of fresh chilli, onion relish and pol sambol mix, this delicious satisfying oomph dish has the punch to make you come alive in no time. Yeast raised coconut and rice flour pancakes sporting luscious yellow of egg yoke in the center and cooked in a small wok with lid, are a spicy delight and exciting to tuck. Lacy, crisp with slightly steamed texture, it takes less than five minutes to cook from start to finish. When served with exotic add-ons like fried mushroom, bacon, sausage and fresh fruits. it sets out a profound rendition of English breakfast.

Greek-Style Scrambled Egg

Image source: ’10 Traditional Greek Breakfast Recipes’ by KIm in insanelygoodrecipes.com on Jun. 09, 2021.

You’ve heard it before; your first meal of the day is the most important! But you wouldn’t care if it doesn’t come with a caveat; something with short cook time and no major meal prepping.

See…you have hands full mornings!

Easy to make and low in saturated fat, salt and sugar, this one is yet another great way to jump start your day. Heaps of protein will keep your energy up without spiking blood sugar.

Throw in some spring onions, shallots, dried thyme or herbs for a little extra punch of flavor. Swap ½ cup of tofu for the eggs and use any combination of vegetables, cheese, and spices. Stir in some feta cheese before serve; better do that in a whole grain pita pocket and with some fresh cut fruit, to perk up this energy boosting food to help you get a heap of extra fiber and load of antioxidants.

Oatmeal with spinach and poached egg

Image source: ‘Healthy Homemade Savory Oatmeal with Eggs Mushrooms and Spinach’ in gpembrace.com

When you need something in a snap for breakfast, oatmeal is one easy way to go. No refined flour or unnecessary fats, it’s an excellent source of fiber and carbs, and would give you the energy push you need first thing in the morning!

But it’s not uncommon of you to turn shy of it. It would slip into your failed menu item list in no time, if it stays bedeviled for long!

Try combining it with spinach and poached eggs with a dash of hot sauce and fresh grounded pepper. A heaping full bowl of this comfort food will just be the right choice to begin a perfect week day.

If the idea of quick sugar fixes like cereal isn’t your thing, then a good portion of this nourishing recipe is your answer for an easy, warming and incredibly hearty morning meal.

Egg Quesadilla

For all that; not sure what to have for breakfast today? Since egg breakfast ideas are the name of the game, a simple Quesadilla is my pick for a grab ‘n go breakfast for busy mornings.

Stuffed with scrambled eggs, green peppers, freshly grated cheddar or Monterrey Jack cheese and veggies, all enveloped between two crispy tortilla shells; this food is sure to leave you smiling on busy mornings.

Wise fillings only please; no watery veggies like tomatoes, cucumber! Check out for preheated meat only since the cooking time may not be enough to render it soft. The addition of toppings like guacamole, salsa, and sour cream would simply spin this food to perfection!

If I were you and looking for ways for some easy tasty breakfasts, I would whip up a few of these in no time for sure.

Weekday breakfast or weeknight dinner, quesadillas definitely do the trick!

Green Shakshuka

You have worked late and have slept fitfully. Now you’re standing in the kitchen, eyes still halfway open, sipping on coffee like a living-dead! And then the aromas of sizzling tomatoes, onions, red pepper, greens and spices waft into the air. You wake up wide and good to a hot ‘n’ spicy tomatillo-spiked brekkie, that is ideal to dig in with some crusty bread.

Image source: ‘The Mess Free, One-Pan Flavour Bomb!’ in bondiharvest.com.

A flawless, versatile and a delicious hearty cache of protein, eggs can be poached, fried, hard-boiled, whisked into a frittata, and served with anything sitting in your freezer; somehow, they always work.

Cloud-Egg Croque Madame

Have you ever given cloud eggs a try?

When the sink is already full of dirty dishes and morning rush is on you, go ahead and prep yourself an epic breakfast sandwich out of some creamy lemony eggs!

This egg-cellent croque dish is a mash-up of vintage French croque madame and a classic rally of cloud egg. At heart, with a toasted cheese and ham sandwich topped off by a simple fried egg, this dish is actually easier to make than it looks. The fluffy texture makes it even feel like you are devouring a cloud. With a runny yolk oozing and cascading down the sides of a crispy cheesy-peasey sandwich and an insanely fluffy egg white sitting atop, this lip smacking spin-off is an insane invitation to polish it off straightaway!

Feature credits: ” How to make Cloud Eggs(Eggs on a Cloud)’ by Happy Foods Tube in Youtube.com on May.18, 2017.

Look!… I love pancakes and waffles for breakfast as much as you do, but honestly; both are more of a dessert than a sumptuous healthy food.

And when you start rubbing “red velvet,” or “Brownie” waffles, it’s like;“OK”. But “I won’t”.

Indulgent, lot more traditional and…no kidding! I too live for some great sun-up breakfast ideas but not as wild as those blinking calorie pushers or sugar scammers.

Morning rushes or not, I am not the one to skip breakfast!.

How could anyone ever think of missing it out or settle for some lame one!”

Whatever…

If you are the one who hustles each AM between putting last minute touches to today’s presentation; to finding where you took off your shoes the day before; to figuring out some good explanation for being late, it’s easy that you will miss a good brekkie before you rush out of the door.

But it doesn’t have to be!

Mornings are hectic but you don’t need to flip omelets or bake fresh granola for a not-so-quick breakfast every morning.

Build up a breakfast menu from the likes of these easy yummy ideas. You’d find them good enough to fall back to each day of the week. And I wouldn’t worry much for a whole new menu each week either, if I were you!

Feeling inspired?

Next time you wake up feeling peckish, try one of these scrumptious deals to take your first bite of the day to next level.

Wake up your senses with a humble Cup o’ Joe! : Hustle your Coffee upgrade my way!!

Just like wine and whisky the world of coffee is intense and complex. With endless versions and infinite ways, learning every trick, every brew method and every mix sounds like a serious cliche’ but you’re never late to stoke your passion for those easy peasy beans.

Tune in to coffee making -the complex Indian way for a start. A stellar coffee experience, it will turn you a connoisseur — in less time than you may think.

Image source: ‘How to tap into the health benefits of coffee’ by Amanda Loudin in nbcnews.com on Dec. 05, 2019.

If you’re creative, shy and introvert kinda morning person, then odds are you prefer  coffee over tea.Rather I would say, you are a typical coffee loving person who looks for it’s zing first thing in the morning!

And, what if it gets you to make more money and more pay raises? People in Britain and elsewhere now rally behind the notion that your fondness and choice for morning cup could actually uptick your personality. It pushes you more as a productive, significant and an affordable hand at work!

…in turn your pockets get deeper alright!

More than the ‘tea people’ who are usually pensive and look for tea’s relaxing qualities…. coffee fans are easily likely to say they’re “always” on time.

Latte, Mocha, Italian or American…Like most ‘Coffee persons’ do you also fancy morning cuppa to be black, plain and simple?

Myself a coffee aficionado? No!

I am not a coffee buff nor I eagerly look forward to it. I would rather have tea over coffee. No particular reason… don’t get me wrong! I do like coffee and espresso, including lattes and cappuccinos, but my morning go-to favorite is a steamy cup of sweet fragrant tea.

I have been a caffeine skeptic for quite some time but it doesn’t mean that I have no nose for it. It’s just that becoming a coffee weirdo takes time. It’s equal to becoming a wine or a whiskey sommelier. I think that it takes passion, love for the beverage and the desire to know everything there is to know about it.

And with so much happening in the atlas of coffee making, it’s no easy feat!

I know I have the rush to appreciate the magic of beans and might some day start working my way forward. Still, I respect those who take me for acoffee snob’. And I understand that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being a coffee geek at heart!

The point as I see it, is that till you get to explore the world of coffee making and learn the ways to brew it the correct way, people will frown and the cup you think you love might not be even cutting it close.

Image source: ‘Natural Mountains Coffee Archives’ in iddukivalley.com.

Hand beaten or frothy- I wasn’t too fond of it until…!

Like everybody else you know much about coffee. You are aware of the different roasts. You know of the different types of beans, where they come from. You know various flavor profiles and you know of all the fêted ‘decoctions’. In fact you are on top of every new coffee trend that comes your way!

But if you know the beans, flavors, and brew styles so well, are you aware that there are more than one ways to beef up your brew’s flavors and aroma?

No!.. I am not talking about some plain simple morning pick-me-up kinda drink any more, but a hand crafted brew of tropical roasted grounded beans that has enough richness, flavor and complexity to shame even the Starbucks’ favorite.

An overall caffeine sceptic, for long, I was confident of my health when the people talked about anti oxidants and balanced diets. No.. I am no health quirk but it never occurred to me that I was missing anything nutrition wise. Good healthy food, stimulating beverages…just about everything! Tea was also doing fine, till I fell seriously ill in the fall of 2017.

I was diagnosed with acute pancreatitis!

And nobody could actually determine the cause for this mortal condition! Everything changed thereafter. The recovery was slow and painstaking. The attending surgeon was fussy and stern…and warned me to go easy with tea.

So I started looking around for shortcuts to improve my gut health. Like many things that I loved to eat and drink but had to let go, I decided to go blind with tea as well. I had realized that it was merely worsening my infirmity.

To cut it short, eventually it all ended up with me becoming a black coffee drinker! Of course I get to add a teaspoon of sweetener (usually white sugar) to my coffee.

It was while I was convalescing and looking ways to less complicate my caffeine intake, that the story that went into coffee making caught my attention.

Search me… it’s interesting!

Legend has it that the 9th-century Ethiopian goatherd Kaldi was the first to discover the stimulating effect of coffee when he noticed how excited his goats became after eating the beans from a certain bush. Curious, he too chewed on the bright red berries himself. Roused and exhilarated, he brought the berries to a nearby monastery. But the monk disapproved of their use and threw them into the fire. A seductive enticing aroma billowed out that drew others to come and investigate. The roasted beans were quickly raked out from the embers, grounded and dissolved in hot water thus yielding what was World’s first cup of coffee!!

The story is largely believed to be apocryphal; probably because it surfaced some 800 years from the time when it supposedly took place.

Whatever…

Okay, so maybe you already prefer a dark roast brew…

That’s good, but if you were to ask me, you ought to experience every type of blend that exist before you get to decide which one you love most..and which ones a tad less! Once you learn to savor your drink, you’ll have a newfound respect for your local java shop.

Spoon into your perfect coffee bliss: It’s not blah anymore!

While the beans you grind are essential for the flavor profile of your cup, how you brew it is just as important. To call yourself a coffee barista, you need to know all that there is to different brewing methods from different parts of the World and how they affect the taste.

So, here’s to some lip smacking ways to whip yourself a cuppa good coffee.

Pour-over, hand made and without machines, try it the way they do in India! Smooth frothy and beaten up, the Indian cappucino is a powerful espresso that comes topped with a sweet foam laced with some fresh cream and a sprinkle of bitter cocoa.

My pick however is a more trendy go-to-spice one. I tried the spice-laced one once and got hooked up instantly; flavors aside I thought-the benefits are worth it. Now I almost always add cinnamon to my coffee. The zing of this piquant candidate perks up my mood in no time, whenever I don’t feel like using cocoa powder straight.

High on antioxidants and anti-fungal properties, even cayenne pepper, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, lavender, star anise, clove, pumpkin spice and gingerbread spice mix-all in small quantities- are inching out that square of dark chocolate from coffee these days!

Am I asking you to take a blind shot at this unusual blend? Is this an easy way to stomach those beneficial spices and fiber right through your coffee cup without having to open multiple containers?

Probably ‘ Yes’.

Spices work just great when added to grounded coffee or to dark beans and have significant health benefits.

And it doesn’t taste gross either!

The ways of Beaten coffee

I think this whole coffee craze is a bettered version of a new beverage trend that has coffee recipes popping all over social media.

The Indian filter coffee-southern style is one bodacious rage that is getting heads turned and attentions arrested!. Simply put, it is an easy and absolute fad among the coffee lovers who have chanced upon it.

This decadent Indian style coffee is somewhat similar to cappuccino in that it uses both espresso and steamed milk. The name ”beaten” comes from the process of whipping up the silky smooth and thick mixture that sits atop the brew. By hand beating instant coffee, sugar and water you always end up with the delicious brief.

Making it is simple and takes little to prepare. Brewed coffee using standard drip maker or French press is topped off with the mix of steamed milk (no scorching hot one please!), instant coffee, sugar and warm water, all beaten earlier till the mix turns golden brown and thickens into a smooth frothy mixture.

The aroma and flavors are simply a coffee connoisseurs’ delight and absolutely irresistible!!

Image source: ‘Coffee That Smells Like Freshly Ground Heaven’ in paramparai.store.

South Indian filter Kappi: What an utter delight!

Filter kappi, filter coffee, South Indian filter coffee; call it by whatever name, it is easily every coffee lover’s sigh of contentment.

Do you know why?…

It has one single characteristic that caffeine fanatics love to lust over; the unmatched blend of taste, flavor and the aroma. Even if you are not a coffee addict, nothing would better your mood than to wake up to a cup of freaking good, steamy, aromatic coffee- filtered and made traditionally the South Indian way!

Am I getting ahead of myself?

No… you wouldn’t dare rip through me, once you get to taste a pour of freshly roasted, grinded and filtered punch. Every cup’s a delight and the proper way to awaken your senses first thing in the morning! You’ll love the aroma as you sip away the traditional Madras belter.

For not long ago, I wouldn’t know anything of how to brew a good cuppa! I wasn’t eager enough to rush for it either. Not until I figured out how to make a humble brew into something so atrociously good and overbearing.

I got to travel down South last year on vacation. And there the curiosity trumped me.

I somehow got hooked to filter coffee!

Till then whenever I had attempted to do something with those dark beans, the brew would always end up being too watery. Every time I attempted, it turned out dreary; so much so that I could easily pour half a cup of brewed coffee into half cup of milk and still wouldn’t get it to be as strong as I’d like it to be.

It’s only from the by lanes and streets of Chennai (erstwhile Madras) that I learned the trick to make some really good stuff. It was some serious technique that led to some seriously good coffee in the end!

South Indian coffee requires only an indigenous coffee filter to make it right. You might think that plenty of them are lying around or one could be fashioned out; but this one is different; nothing like the regular ones! To taste authentic South Indian coffee it needs to be brewed through this unique stainless steel contraption; believe me; filtering effects are nearly impossible to replicate.

Consisting of two nested cups sitting atop each other; the one at the top holds the grounded coffee and has pores to allow the coffee to pass through while the other one is meant to store it.

Filter kaapi when served in a traditional tumbler-davaraa, all swished a couple of times between the two to produce delicious foam on the top, smells and tastes heavenly. A davaraa is a small cup shaped like a jug with a curved lip. (In some Udupi joints it is fondly called Meter-Kappi and is poured into the glass from a meter’s height to perk up maximum foam).

But you really don’t need one for a genuine Indian filter coffee. Any pair of mugs or cups would do. I wouldn’t approve of swishing though, for those who love it steaming hot. The disadvantage of swishing is that your coffee gets cold easily.

Feature credits: ‘Top Coffee Countries | The Best Coffee in the World 2021’ by Revel in You tube .com on Jul.09, 2020.

Heads-up! A storm of #coffee stories might be coming your way.

If you are with me just for the coffee and earnestly care about how your cuppa coffee should taste, then jump for a traditional Indian percolator with a clean filter, put 2 heaped tbsp of coffee powder and press it down with a spoon. Gently pour fresh water brought to a rolling boil and get an even concentration of decoction in the end. Mix a little bit of chicory and fill milk to 3/4th of the glass. Stir constantly and you have just made yourself a unique filter style complex and aromatic smooth cup of coffee.

Mild or strong- you get to enjoy the aroma and flavors with every sip. Add sugar if you wish and enjoy!

If I were you I would figure out ways to hold back things for tomorrow and start fishing around for a percolator ASAP -just the right one and get my coffee fix each morning-the Indian way!! Believe me, every cup is a delightful and legit way to awaken your senses first thing in the morning with an intense sensual kick.

Still unsure if that would be anything close to a third wave coffee shop?

Make no mistake- you are no pinhead; you’re right there. Just remember, ‘You can never be a wine connoisseur without ever being to a vineyard.

So, reach out, grab a perfect cup of that bold Indian filter coffee and feel a huge uptick happening right away!

Yup!…I won’t judge you!!

“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!!

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!

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!!

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.!!