Tag Archives: protein

Cooking with this versatile Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt caught my fancy when I was living in London a decade ago and my love affair with it continues. Sadly, there was no proper equivalent to it in India till Epigamia came along recently. Rich, creamy, luscious and yet, low fat. The perfect protein and calcium fix, I need at my age.

 

I have been picking up and devouring various flavours of Epigamia, Banana Honey and Vanilla bean and strawberry being my favourites.

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Of course while many of us cook with dahi or curd at home especially in Indian food, as amrinades or in masalas for gravies, I was intrigued when invited to Bastian. Famed for its food, helmed by maverick Chef Kelvin Cheung, Chef was going to serve dishes created using Epigamia, Greek yogurt, I was informed. Wow! That sounded exciting.

And exciting it was. The strawberry smoothie served at the outset wowed my palate with the flavours- thick, creamy and the touch of balsamic, I think, did the trick. Was refreshing alright.

Roasted spare ribs with mango yogurt, sounded enticing. Chef Kelvin used the yogurt as a marinade and left this overnight to absorb the yogurt and tenderize the meat. The result, melt in the mouth fare, well-spiced and balanced.

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The truffle mushroom sweet potato pappardelle took me by surprise. It is one of the best dishes I have ever tasted. The creamy texture imparted by the natural yogurt was a delight for the taste buds. In the non-vegetarian version, caramalised yogurt was used for the lobster. The flavour profiles matched perfectly and the textures were stuff dreams are made of. The crunch, bite, creaminess was a roller-coaster ride for the palate, which it gladly embraced. No, I did not miss being a Carnivore today.

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Chef Kelvin Cheung’s mastery over his craft is undisputed and his clever and skillful use of Epigamia Greek yogurt was ample testimony.

The dessert, expectedly was a treat. The honey banana yogurt was used to make a creamy custard and served with banana bread and black pepper honey it surpassed my expectations. The natural sweetness of the yogurt accentuated the other flavours and made it a delectable dessert.

A delightful afternoon of discovery, this meal turned out to be. And with Rohan Mirchandani, one of the founders for company, the afternoon was certainly memorable.

The versatile ingredient that Greek yogurt is has set me thinking. Time to do embark upon my experiments in the kitchen with Epigamia. Not just going to wolf these down but shall put them to sue in cooking too.

 

 

 

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Light and Healthy Eats

Now that the festive season is over, and we have begun a new year,  may be we all want to eat light and healthy for a few days at least. I sure am trying. It is a healthy winter soup each night for dinner- pumpkin, cauliflower, spinach, and so on. I also tried an interesting turkey lentil soup recently. Aromatic, flavourful and warm. A soup is meant to be an appetiser, but sometimes ends up becoming the meal itself.

Not that I am feeling guilty for the over-indulgence. But it’s just nice to give the body a bit of a rest before we start again. Salads, soups, wraps, sandwiches can be varied and healthy. A low calorie meal can still satisfy your hunger.

And trust me, these need not be bland or boring.  Can be carefully planned and jazzed up. Who can ever tire of the classic soup and salad meal? Not me for sure. I love it. Only make sure your salads are varied and have many colourful ingredients, so that boredom does not set in.

A hearty soup stock with winter vegetables is satisfying  enough or at best pair it with a sandwich made with leftover chicken or ham. And yes, wholewheat bread. When eating a salad, try and avoid heavy salad dressings or dips. I prefer a lot of mustard instead, or even lime, for that zing in a salad.

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A salad with mixed leafy greens, crunchy celery, carrots and tomatoes makes for a delicious meal. For a heartier salad, add tuna or salmon, croutons and cheese. Yes, a bit of cheating is allowed, if only to pamper your taste buds a bit. Jazz up your salad with seasonal fruits. Nothing like apples and oranges in salads. A sea food salad is a good bet too.

Pasta salad makes a filling, but still light, meal. Add veggies to your pasta, as well as some chicken, and a dash of olive oil and you have a tasty meal ready.

Wraps with smoked chicken are one of my favourites. The wraps should be of whole wheat though. Or a falafel wrap maybe?

One must keep in mind that more of protein and less carbs is ideal these days. And of course fatty foods and fried stuff should be completely avoided. Red meat is best stayed away from. After all you have had enough of sorpotel and sanna during Christmas. Haven’t you?

Steamed vegetables, legumes and beans are again a wonderful way to detox your body. Keep away from those sausages, burgers, nuggets and pate. Those may be handy and easy to consume, but are heavy and far from healthy. Processed food is a big no-no for me.

Exotic Mushroom Ramen  - The Fatty Bao - Photo Courtesy Kunal Chandra-

Consciously add green leafy vegetables, whole grains to your diet. Hummus chicken with brown rice pilaf is a treat and yet, light. The brown rice chicken pilaf at Nothing But Chicken or their Bistro salad are great options too.

So keep eating light and healthy meals the next few days, to ease off your system. Stay fit, Stay healthy. Tell me how January goes.

Wonder food soya!

I am a great fan of soyabean. Not only because of its nutritional value, but really enjoy it in various forms. The high quality protein with minimum saturated fat in soya bean is undisputed. It tastes good too. It is the safest bet for vegetarians for their protein quota.

Soybean and soy protein is beneficial in managing diet related degenerative diseases such heart diseases, cancer, diabetes etc.  Studies conducted at leading health institutes in India have shown that soybean and soy protein consumption can significantly reduce cholesterol levels and improve the heart health, as well as manage blood sugar levels in diabetic patients. Plenty of reasons to befriend soya actually.

Soya bean nuggets are great along with peas. Soya bean keema if made well with garam masala et al can be a good substitute for chicken or mutton keema. I make an interesting pulao using this soya keema too. Soy protein being a vegetarian protein has quality equal to milk and eggs. Soy products such as soybeans, soya bari, soymilk, soy flour, etc have a tremendous role to play in improving the nutritional and health scenario of Indian society.

Chefs are taking this ingredient seriously as are home makers in their kitchens. A lot can be done with soy. Oriental cuisine of course uses it more liberally. Soy paneer, soy ice-cream, soy yogurt (Dahi) are an economic and healthy alternate to milk.

A friend of mine even uses soya bean flour to make ladoos. Be innovative and include soya in your diet. Soya tikkis, chillas, pulao, koftas….the list is endless.

 

Here’s my fav  soyabean rice recipe:

 

  • 1 cup soya chunks
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons soybean oil or ghee
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 2 large onions chopped fine
  • A pinch of haldi
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • A few cloves, cinnamon stick and elaichi
  • 1 cup basmati rice washed
  • salt to tatste

Method :

 

  • Soak soya chunks in warm water for a few mins till soft and spongy.
  • Pour oil in a pan and sauté onions till brown. Add, ginger-garlic paste, cloves, cinnamon stick, cardamom and garam masala powder.  Add rice. Fry for a few mins. Add hot water and salt, cook on slow fire with a lid on the pan. Later, add soya chunks and mix.