Tag Archives: #Healthy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Asian Slaw

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

Korean popcorn chicken

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

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

Chicken Noodle Soup

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

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

Thai Noodle Soup

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

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

Wonton Soup

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

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

Gado Gado

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

Volcano Fries

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

Crispy tofu broccoli stir fry

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

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

Vegan Cheesesteak sandwich

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

Scallion Pancake

Feature credits: ‘kitchenstories.com.

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

Biryani

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

Nasi Goreng

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

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

Teriyaki chicken

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

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

Cashew chicken noodles

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

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

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

Kulfi  Falooda

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mango sticky rice

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

Thai roti

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

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

Egg Waffle

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

Carrot pudding

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

Rice pudding (Kheer)

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

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

Coconut ice cream

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

Gulab jamun

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

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

Kulfi Falooda

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

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

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

Rasmalai

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

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

Banana cue

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

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

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

Roti Pisang

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

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

Candied Apples

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

Feature credit: kitchenstories.com.

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

Bionico

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

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

Seviyan

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

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

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

Green Tea Honey Frozen Yogurt

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

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

Feature credit: kitchenstories.com.

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

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

12 high protein delights where serving size scores big over portion size

Your serving size might be the reason you are getting Fat. Or maybe you are over-indulging in ‘healthy’ food one time too often. May be you have missed the good ones and everything that followed is devastating your diet plan. It’s time you learn to get fewer spoons in your food and discover which nutriment could just work great for you.

Should you have too much of good food!

“Anyway, it’s healthy.” If this is how you would react then in all probability you are eating too much of a good food and may be one time too many. Needless to say we fall prey to temptations sometimes and often cheat ourselves for the fun of it. Over the years food portions and servings have grown in size and so have the waistlines.  A bagel that sized 3 inches and carried 140 calories not so long ago, has fattened to 6 inches and a whopping 350 calories.

When we look for healthy foods we are suddenly beset by the misbelief that we can have as much of it as we want without the consequences. Sometimes we even find it thoughtful that we can eat our way to negative calories and a promising health.

So what to eat and how much to eat?  Let’s clear the air.

Are you indecisive about nutrition?

Nutritional studies usually run aground for the simple reason that it’s pretty hard to figure out what people actually eat. Sizing a tomato before eating is difficult to remember than how many times you ate it last year. Nutrition judgments could go awry and be distressingly inexact for the same reason.

For this simple relatable reason you just couldn’t do any better by sticking to a one particular diet and size. Eating a variety of fresh food and cutting back on processed ones is the simplest way to ensure that you get what you need most, even if the reality isn’t as exciting or new as you might wish it was. And then you may also wonder how the microbes in your GI tract will behave. Will it somehow change you whole nutritional plan?

No way, this is more about your personalized nutritional response than anything else. Micro biome science doesn’t carry necessary evidence to back up its use. For now, it’s wait and see and then wait and see more. It turns out science is often wrong on the way to being right.

Most roads lead to fineness proteins that strengthen bones, cartilage and skin and could improve your mood swings by regulating body hormones. With some health rewarding combination of these impressive foods, all equations work just fine without sabotaging weight loss goals!

How many times you have returned home exhausted, and either grabbed whatever you could on the way or called that local takeaway joint? Probably many more times than you wish you didn’t remember.  

It’s not so uncommon to find those who rush out of home for a 8-10 hr job each day and for whom a quick cup of coffee is the only choice to kick start their day.  A rush to street joints and a hasty bite of those street foods without fretting over the food value is a poor choice. The unfortunate part is that these people miss out on the importance of having high protein foods each day 24/7. Even high protein snacks fail in hitting your macro goals that range from reducing appetite and increasing muscle mass to healthy bones, cartilage, skin tissues and blood. For every kilo of bodyweight you need 0.75 gram of protein each day; that sum up to 56 gram daily if you are of an average built.

If you are keen on being lean and sinewy and alive outside, you need to up your protein intake by all counts. Just how much of what that will keep you stoked all day without worrying about the waistline? Let’s figure out here;

Egg

Image source:: ‘Go (over) easy on the eggs: ‘Egg-cess’ consumption linked to diabetes. in Newsletter of 14 Nov.2020 Univ. of South Australia.

An average 50-gram chicken egg provides approximately 70 calories of food energy, 6grams of protein and approx. 5 grams of fat. More than half the calories found in egg comes from the fat in the yolk which in turn contains 2/3rd of the recommended daily intake of 300 mg of cholesterol.

On the other count the egg white consists primarily of water (87 percent), protein (13 percent), little fat and virtually no cholesterol. Once boiled these miracle orbs provide you significant amount of several vitamins and minerals that include vitamin-A (19% of daily value or dv), riboflavin (42 % of dv), pantothenic acid(28% of dv), vitamin-B12 (46 % of dv), choline (60 % of dv), phosphorus ( 25% of dv), zinc ( 11% of dv) and vitamin-D ( 15% of dv).  But remember, how you cook an egg affects its nutritional value. Packed with nutrients, calorie for calorie, an egg is pretty much like any other food and makes portion control easy even for the most unwilling.

Just boil two of these, cool and dig in!

Cheese

Image source: ‘The 9 Healthiest Types of Cheese’ by Lizzie Streit in healthline.com

The protein content in cheeses varies between Parmesan, Swiss, Pecorino, Edam and Gouda but offers the most bang-for-buck. A 100 gram serving provides between 26-35 grams of protein with around 1.3 grams of carbohydrate. Paired with anti oxidant grapes or blue berries it could make you jumpstart even after the 3 pm slump.

Yogurt- Greek or Regular?

Image source: ‘Strawberry Yoghurt Recipe’ by Meghna Wani in parenting.firstcry.com

Regular and Greek yogurt are made from the same ingredients but differ in nutrients. While regular yogurt tends to have fewer calories and more calcium, Greek yogurt has more protein and less sugar — and a much thicker consistency. Both types pack probiotics and support digestion, weight loss, and heart health.

Let’s find out which scores most on nutrition;

Protein 

A typical 170 gram serving of Greek yogurt contains 15 to 20 grams of it, the amount equivalent of 2 to 3 ounces of lean meat. That makes it particularly appealing to vegetarians, who sometimes struggle to get enough of the nutrient. An identical serving of regular yogurt, on the other hand, provides just 9 grams which could make you may feel hunger pangs sooner.

Carbohydrate 

A smart choice for those who watch their waist lines Greek yogurt carries half the carbs as the regular kind – 5 to 8 grams per serving compared with 13 to 17. Further, the straining process leaves this yogurt less likely to hurt those who are lactose intolerant. No matter which one you opt for, just go for the one that is less sugar added.

Fat

Be wary here. A 200 gm serving of Greek yogurt packs 16 gm of saturated fat – or 80 percent of recommended daily allowance if you’re on a 2,000-calorie diet. On the other side, regular full-fat yogurt has 5 grams of saturated fat in a typical 225 gram serving. Saturated fat raises total and “bad” cholesterol levels.

Sodium

An average serving of Greek yogurt could provide you as much as 50 mg of sodium, about half the amount most brands of the regular kind carry. Too much salt spikes BP and increases the risk of heart ailments. Recommended intake puts cap at 2300 mg a day or 1500 mg if you are older than 50, have hypertension, diabetic or suffer from chronic kidney disease.

Calcium 

Regular yogurt serves 30 percent of your daily requirement while Greek yogurt sheds some of its calcium through the straining process. A 170 gram cup of Greek yogurt nonetheless provides at least 20 percent of your daily need. Still worried about your calcium intake? Just add another serving of milk or stir almonds into your serving each day.

Edamame beans (Immature soya bean)

Image source: ‘Edamame-Black Bean Salad’ by Betty Crocker Kitchens in bettycrocker.com

Green soybeans certainly don’t sound inviting, yet they’re a great source of protein. Like meat and dairy, these greens provide all of the essential amino acids your body needs. One 50 gm serve contains around six grams of protein and four grams of carbs.

Fish

Image source::’Why Is Fish Good for You? Because It Replaces Meat? ‘ by Roni Caryn Rabin
 

When you pick up one of the packaged tuna, salmon or mackerel options you indulge yourself in the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. You can choose from various options – with or without dressings and other ingredients like bulgur wheat, lentils and quinoa.

Tofu

Image source:: ‘ Deep-Fried Tofu With Dipping Sauce’, by  Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee in latimes.com

Meatatarians may be skeptical but this could very well make them sulk no longer. With 8 grams of plant based protein and 1.9 grams of carbs, each 100 gram serving of tofu could be a delightful addition even to most eclectic non veg spread. Its smacks great when chopped into cubes, pan fried with spices and then dunked into onion tomato ginger gravy. Take a bite of this portable protein and I’m sure you wouldn’t find it super weird any longer. It’s great at sucking up the flavors of the dish it is prepared in and is a versatile addition to a meal. After all it is curdled soya milk and is made pretty much the same way most cheeses are made. Firm tofu (soya bean curd) contains about 10 grams of protein per 100 grams of serving.

Lentils

Image source:’ Madras Lentils’ by Linda in thewanderlustkitchen.com

A great source of protein, cooked lentils carry about 8.84 grams of protein per 100 gram serving. Red or green, lentils can be added to stew, curries salads or rice to give that little extra punch of protein to a lunch or dinner spread. Apart from protein and fibre, lentils carry key nutrients including iron and potassium.

Chickpeas

Image source: ‘how to make espinacas con garbanzos here’ by Lauren Aloise in spanishsabores.com

Highly versatile with plenty of recipes you could relish chickpeas by adding them in stew or curry or even enjoy it oven roasted and spiced with paprika. Even hummus which is again made from chickpea paste is your healthy, protein rich mouthful alternative to butter. High in protein, each 100 gram serving of cooked chickpea contains about 7.25 gram of it.

Peanuts

Image source: ‘Eat Peanuts: You May Live Longer’ by Jennifer J, Brown in everydayhealth.com

Protein rich, brimming with good fats, peanuts are your complete protein snack. An 8 gram tablespoon of peanut butter spread over your sandwich could leave your gut feeling happy. Each 100 gram serving carries about 20.5 gram of protein.

Quinoa

Image source: ‘How to cook Quinoa (and what to do with it!) ‘ by Kylee in kyleecooks.com

Quinoa is a complete protein grain. A cooked 100 gram portion contains about 8 grams of protein. It is also rich in other nutrients, including magnesium, iron, fiber, and manganese. You could relish quinoa as a fill-in for pasta, in soups and stews or even choose to sprinkle it on a salad. It just savors great with any combination.

Protein-rich veggies

Image source: ‘8 High-Protein Vegetables You Must Start Eating Right Now! by Sarika Rana in food.ndtv.com

Eaten alone many of these dark-colored, leafy greens  are not enough to meet your daily protein requirement , but a few vegetable snacks can increase protein intake, particularly when consumed along with other protein-rich foods.

A single medium stalk of broccoli has about 4 grams of protein while kale gives you 2 grams  per 100 gram serving. 5 medium sized mushrooms likewise contain about 3 grams of protein. For a happy eat you could try a salad of baby greens with some quinoa sprinkling for a protein rich nutriment.

Seitan (Wheat meat)

Image source: ‘Instant Pot Seitan’ by Liz in zardyplants.com

Seitan is made from mixing wheat gluten with various spices.  This complete protein however is best avoided by people afflicted with gluten intolerance because of its high wheat content. It turns into a protein-rich wholesome meat substitute for you when cooked in soy sauce. One 125 gram serving could supplement you with as much as 24 grams!

Foraging for bottom line!

If you feel that your jeans are hugging you tighter than usual, don’t blame all that food. It’s your personality that actually make you decide how much and when should you eat. Most extroverts are more likely to eat out with friends and tend to have bigger portions of less healthy foods. Conscientious ones who abide by the rules are unsurprisingly the healthiest. These are the ones who would rather nibble on a carrot stick instead of chips when the urge to eat hits. Then there are those also who are prone to emotional eating and are disoriented enough to usually eat dense and high calorie foods.

This eating awareness may discomfort you but it’s not meant to make you self conscious or feel scared of food. It’s here only to make you realize that what and how much you put into your body might not be right choice. May be it’s not what your body actually needs. May be you are eating more out of habit than want.

So, take a break between those bites and remember that some 20 years ago, people were just as satisfied with one half the size. You would or wouldn’t be, is uncertain but at least you will know what and how much you have eaten. Meanwhile keep servings in mind when looking for a quick bite.

You may find an easy way to avoid over-doing but be on guard for times when it’s not so easy to count.

Lip smacking street foods that are not a diet disaster and are actually healthy!!

If a quick bite is your only choice then reach out for those sumptuous street foods without worrying about your waist line. It’s no big deal! You could even escape the trip to an expensive restaurant with your diet plan intact and find healthier options among the street foods that are notorious as diet disasters.

An ideal food that does not derail the diet is one that is not loaded with high fat and high salt or flaunt high calorie  items and essentially carries a plate that is half fresh fruits or veggies, a quarter of whole grains and the rest lean protein. Look out for grilled, baked or boiled options veggies preferably and then add sides of salad or a fruit salad. This could be your spread  if you look for healthy options every time you rush for a quick bite.

A third of people who eat at food joint three or four times a week are obese. More often we forget that for almost every meal that we take, smart choices are there for our picking. That doesn’t mean that you should avoid fast food entirely if you are looking for a few healthy options to order each time you eat out. If you are on the run and hungry, street foods are not only fast but usually hit the spot each time. They are cheap, tasty and above all- so convenient.

The key however is self restraint- both in how often you frequent these street food joints and what you eat leaning on side rails. Street food menus are tricky if you are watching your belly. Finding safe and healthy food at these wayside joints is always a challenge, but there are always choices that you can make that are healthier than others. Just learn to keep your entire meal to 500 calories or less …no more. The average adult eats 836 calories per tuck-in each time and usually underestimates what he or she ate by about 175 calories. So… no wild guesses-  nutritional info on various food items is available at number of websites and franchise locations. Take advantage of this info. Opt for foods that are lower in fat and high in protein and fiber. Look for items with more good stuff like fiber, whole grains and high quality protein. Look out for spreads that are low in saturated fats and steer clear of dishes that carry trans fats.

But then you could be wrong if you assume that healthy sounding dishes are always the best bet. Many salads turn into a diet minefield once they get smothered in high fat dressings and fried toppings. This is where learning before ordering could make a huge difference. Remember what you eat is your best bet to live a healthier lifestyle.

Here’s how;

Pin on to zero calorie beverages

Soda, a huge source of hidden calories packs in around 300 calories in a large pack. Shakes are even worse and have about 800 calories stowed in – that’s a day’s worth of saturated fats. And don’t be fooled by lemonades or fruit drinks. These add calories and sugar and definitely lack much in the way of nutrient. Be wiser about sides and ask for water, diet soda, or unsweetened tea instead.

Those side dishes are evil and mean no good to you

Beware of items that come with side dishes. Sides like fries, chips, rice, noodles, onion rings, coleslaw, macaroni and cheese, biscuits, and mashed potatoes with gravy, could set the calories flying. Better bets are salads with light dressing, baked potato that are easy on the toppings, fresh fruits, or corn on the cob (a cooked ear of freshly picked maize).

And pass on those French fries for you could do without them. A sandwich or burger has plenty of filling of its own.  Still if your meal doesn’t sound complete without this ravishing evil choose the smallest size. This could be a whopping 400 calories lesser than the large serving.

Even lean meat could wreck your diet plan

Adding meats- even the lean ones to sandwiches and salads is always a tempting thought. But these have very few nutrients and are high in fat and calories. Ask for extra pickles, onions, lettuce, tomatoes or mustard to add flavor without the fat. Even skipping high fat toppings like cheese, noodles and croutons could save you from adding hundreds of calories!

And if you could, avoid salads that have deep fried sea food, cheese and sour cream that make them high fat, high calorie diet-chart busters.

How promising are the diet plans

Diet plans are time consuming and could make you often wonder if fast food is the only way to cram a meal into a busy schedule. May be you just couldn’t let go of those spellbinding McDee burger! Either way it’s all too easy to overload on fast food items with high counts of trans fat, salt and additives that could bring some serious harm to your health.

But did you know that there are healthy food options too on the food menu of these street side joints? While most nutritionists would reject the idea of eating fast foods that are on best weight loss tips, there are plenty of street foods that are loaded with nutrients and go easy with calories at the same time.

A lot many sidewalk joints are offering these options now. Some of these are sure to surprise you if you are apprehensive about the scary ingredients hiding in your favorite dish! Save yourself the trouble. You could always check with 20 odd nutritionist approved menu items on the Net you can trust. These joints serve you far less spooky stuff than you could have imagined; more as a margin trimming exercise than any afterthought on food’s nutritional value that is served. Whatever… you win either way. Less ingredients and still lesser trans fats means your worst fears have the bottom knocked out.  

Once you decide on living a healthy lifestyle, you need to gradually change the way you look at what comprises a healthy meal.  Be determined to make this change for the long term and not because of any urge to make this a fad.

Looking for something refreshing and healthy!

If you think that you are done with the recipes doing round on the internet and want to try something new and healthy- these street food items might tickle your taste buds right. Not only these could be appropriate to what you consider as flavorful and healthy but you could also have a taste of savory cuisines- literally.

South Indian Food : You can start by trying South Indian healthy street food items that bet on strong flavors, go easy with fats and are finger-licking good! Needless to say the cuisine has set firm roots all over the world. Soft, steamed idlis are not only extremely healthy, but are absolutely delicious with coconut chutney and sambhar. Crispy fried dosas are an anytime snack favorite and can compliment practically any gravy. Though traditionally made with coconut, the chutney can also be made with onions, tomatoes, chilies and coriander!

Palak Paneer: Healthy, delicious and innovative, Palak Paneer essentially made with spinach and farmer’s cottage cheese (paneer), is nearly always the star of the table when it comes to vegetarian fare. Add a few naans or rotis (flatbreads) to it and you have a complete nutritious meal.

Biryani: This classic concoction of rice and chicken has more variants than any other dish! Modifications specific to various regions is what keeps this dish interesting. While some keep it classic, many street side eateries mix the rice with a pre-cooked gravy for the moist flavorsome appeal and then add the meat.

Corn on the cob : Another widely adored street food is corn on the cob (also known as bhutta). The corncobs are roasted on a hot coal stove and then rubbed with some lemon juice, salt and spices. A variant of this is the boiled American corn that is sold in small plastic cups. Beware of the amount of butter that goes into it, though!

Sandwich : The toasted sandwich is a particularly popular snack, Stuffed with tomato, potato, cucumber and onion and lathered with some chutney; sandwich can be eaten plain or toasted. The fillings vary and may include vegetables such as capsicum and beetroot. Most sandwich vendors now offer the option of brown bread as well, although mass-produced brown bread is hardly the healthy variety.

Momos : Always very popular as a savory dish, these steamed dumplings are a healthy and filling snack on the go. Vegetables or meats are stuffed inside parcels made of rice flour. These are usually served piping hot with spicy sauces.

Pav bhaji: Infinitely popular this Indian street food is generally made spicy, loaded with veggies and lugs a generous amount of butter. Though it is loved throughout the year, winters are the best time to relish this for all the vegetables that can be added to it. Just take a look at those peas on top, you will understand what I am saying.

McDonald’s Grilled Chicken Classic Sandwich: Grilled chicken sandwiches generally make better healthy lunches than hamburger patties. Pair yours with a salad and light dressing and low-fat milk or water to drink. This fast food is not meant to expand your waistline for calories may be far below 500, but your blood pressure may take a flip because of high sodium contents, if you gorge on it regularly. So, don’t bite it too often!

Burger King Whopper Jr. : Burgers could be a smart choice if you load yours with veggies like onions, tomatoes, lettuce, and pickles for added flavor without additional salt or fat. Skipping cheese and settling for barbecue sauce or ketchup instead of mayonnaise saves on calories. You could try the garden patty option too. Regardless of which burger you pick, skip the bun and you could slice off another 140 calories.

Singapore Chili Crab: If you have a knack for spicy meals, schedule your next rush to a roadside eatery for lunch grab where crab finds prominence in the menu ! This dish is healthy because it contains 45 grams of protein and only 9 grams of fat. The micronutrients that this dish offers are essential for keeping your weight on track.

Korean Fried Chicken Burger: The perfect combination of fried chicken and burgers into your plate is created to not make you feel guilty about eating it. This dish contains 19 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber. The recipe could be a bit tricky because it combines ingredients that are meant for the chicken with the kimchi-style sauce.

Tandoori Chicken: Chicken is one of the best sources of protein, and is naturally low in calories. The only concern is that it’s preparation  require oil which compromises on the health factor. Tandoori chicken is however, prepared without any oil, from a paste made of chicken, spices, and a little butter. Just make sure your vendor doesn’t use artificial colors and you’re good to go,

Sweet potato: Potatoes are ever woefully accused of being unhealthy and leading to weight gain. On the contrary potatoes are good for health. Sweet potatoes are loaded with a number of nutrients like vitamins A, B, and C, and minerals like manganese, potassium, and iron, along with a good amount of fiber. Topped with lemon and spices to enhance flavor there is nothing wrong with having sweet potato, even regularly.

Stuffed Parantha : This version of Indian flatbread is satiating, contains the richness of butter, and is delicious. Street joints usually offer stuffed variants ranging from vegetables, boiled potato or paneer  all mixed with assortment of taste enhancing spices. These fillers are needless to say, good for health. What more, it is prepared on the spot, so you could watch and ensure that the person making it uses less oil. The paratha itself is made of wheat flour, so nothing wrong over there. Butter, which in low quantities is perfectly healthy, and the pickle is also none too bad for your guts or health.

A hot bowl of Soup: Whenever the time is of the essence and is running short, instant soup is a quick fix for eating on a time crunch and getting respite from the stress conditions. It works as an easy and comforting snack for people of all ages.

Spiced lamb and Feta gozleme : Who says you can no longer eat a single pizza when you want to live a healthier lifestyle? Turkish Gozleme with Lamb are savory homemade flatbreads filled with ground lamb, spices, herbs and feta cheese. You won’t be able to eat just one! They’re incredibly delicious and full of great flavors! Each serving contains 65 grams of carbs, 4 grams of fiber and 38 grams of protein.

Shawarma: Shawarma is a dish from Middle Eastern cuisine consisting of meat cut into thin slices, stacked in a cone-like shape, and roasted on a slowly-turning vertical rotisserie or spit. Originally made of lamb or mutton, today’s shawarma may also be chicken, turkey, beef, or veal. However, shawarmas typically run in the 600-calorie neighborhood, once you’ve added in the pita and sauces. So if you wish to maintain your toned flat stomach, try only once in a while or only to make good your calorie shortfall. Whatever… it’s delightful, divine and knock-out tastyall at the same time.

Get the best in health and wellness

Your attempt to have a healthier lifestyle should not be harmed just because of the limited options for food available for you. You should be inquisitive enough to search for healthier meals around you, and street foods could become an excellent option for you. And there are a lot of healthy finger foods which you can try and that won’t break your teeth when you bite into them.

Think about this in your next internet search and I am sure, you’ll be able to discover more food cart dishes that fit to your healthy lifestyle!