Friday, December 22, 2017

Chickpea (Garbanzo Beans) Salad Spread for Sandwiches & More

Chickpea Spread is a wonderful in so many ways - not just on regular sandwiches and wraps but as a salad and filling for a cool lettuce taco or as a dip to scoop with your favorite veggies or chips! Stuff pretty little peppers, tomatoes, lettuce cups, endive, celery, etc. for a delicious and easy snack or starter.

Cook your own chickpeas or use canned; I cook a big batch so there is enough for a couple of different recipes as well as freeze a portion or two for another day as they freeze well.

1. I do the whole thing using the food processor; if you like the veggies chunkier, the carrots and celery may be finely chopped with a knife and added at the end and pulsed once or twice just to mix.

2. Homemade or purchased vegan mayo works quite well.

3. Other herbs like basil, cilantro, chives, etc may be added instead of or in addition to the parsley.


1 Handful raw or roasted Almonds, around 1/4 cup
2 ribs Celery include leaves, coarsley chopped
1 carrot, coarsley chopped
1 Handful Parlsley, tough stems removed
2 cups cooked Chickpeas
1 Tbsp prepared Mustard, any kind
1/3 cup Vegan Mayonnaise
1/4 - 1/2 tsp Cayenne (optional)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Fresh Lemon Juice, as desired

Optional Add-ons:
Kosher Dill Pickles
Sweet Pickle Reslish
Hot green Chiles, Jalapeno/Serrano, chopped
Fresh Coriander/Cilantro or other herbs
Other Nuts, roasted and finely chopped


If the chickpeas are freshly cooked, drain (reserve cooking broth for soups or other uses) and cool.

Place the almonds in the bowl of the foodprocessor fitted with the metal blade. Pulse until the nuts are coarsely chopped or according to your preference. Pour into a bowl and set aside.

In the same bowl of the food processor, add carrots and celery; pulse a few times until coarsely chopped.

Add the parlsley and pulse again until parsley is chopped.

Tip the drained chickpeas and pulse a few of times until chopped but not pureed or to your desired constistency.

Add the rest of the ingredients and the reserved almonds; pulse a few times just until mixed well. Taste and adjust seasonings, add a little more carrots or celery, etc. Mix well.

Scoop out the Chickpea Spread into a clean container and store in the fridge until needed.

The spread is better if it is made a few hours ahead to meld the flavors. Chickpea spread may be made a couple of days ahead and reserved in the fridge until needed. The spread tastes best for 3 to 5 days.

Serve cold or cool on toast, as filling for sandwiches or wraps, or as a dip with veggies and chips.


Thursday, December 21, 2017

Autumn Muesli II (Warm & Creamy Steel-cut Oats Porridge With Fruits, Nuts, & Spices)

Autumn Muesli II
Warm and creamy Autumn Muesli II is a much loved porridge in our household; the aroma of the spices and fruit cooking with the steel-cut oats wafting through the house entices everyone out of their hibernation even on a cold and rainy day! Made with fresh cranberries, delicious apples, almonds, persimmons (when available), and wonderfully warming cardamom as well as other spices, it is indeed a delight! If you use a slow/rice cooker, a pressure cooker or Instant Pot, it is very easy to prepare!

Adjust the spices according to your taste. Any leftovers can be reserved in the fridge and warmed up for the quick comfort of a steaming bowl of muesli anytime you want one! Oats thickens upon standing; you may have to loosen it with a little almond milk.

Do try the muesli with the cardamom; it adds a bright fragrance! I like uing freshly ground  cardamom seeds; lightly crush the pods, remove the seeds, and crush/grind into a powder. 

Dried Cranberries may be used instead of the fresh. 
Mix fruits & Nuts into soaked Oats
Autumn Muesli Ready to cook
4 - 6 servings


2 cups Boiling Water
1 cup Steelcut Oats
1/4 cup toasted unsalted Almonds, chopped
1/2 tsp Salt
1 McIntosh, Granny Smith, or a favorite Apple, finely diced
1/2 cup Fresh Cranberries, chopped
1 cup Almond Milk
1/4 tsp Ground Cardamom Seeds (about 2-3 pods)
1/4 tsp ground Cinnamon
1 pinch ground  Nutmeg
1-2 Tbsp pure Maple Syrup or Brown Sugar
Extra Almond Milk, as needed

Toasted Pecans, Almonds, or Walnuts, chopped
Maple Syrup or Brown Sugar
Persimmon, diced
Dried Cranberries
Pomegranate arils


In a heat-proof bowl combine the boiling water, salt, chopped almonds, and oats; stir well, cover and let sit for a few hours or overnight.

Combine soaked oats, apples, cranberries, Almond milk, spices and brown sugar or maple syrups in a pan and bring to a boil; cook stirring until oats are cooked to your liking - about 6-8 minutes for chewy or a little longer if you like it softer. Add a little almond milk if the porridge is too thick. Stir in the spices and maple syrup/sugar.

Spoon the prepared muesli into individual bowls, top with more milk if you like, add desired toppings of fruits, nuts, etc and serve.

Any leftovers should be stored in the fridge and reheated as needed; it may need more milk or water to loosen to desired consistency.

Autumn Muesli II 

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Autumn Muesli I (No-Cook Oatmeal With Fruits, Nuts, & Spices)

Autumn Muesli
 Autumn Muesli is very much a part of my muesli repertoire; though I don't wait for autumn to enjoy it! Made with delicious apples, persimmons (when available), pecans, and warming spices, it is a delight any time. Prepared ahead of serving, it is good to go whenever you are!

This muesli is very similar to Basic Muesli but has autumn spices redolent of pumpkin pie! Adjust spices according to your taste. If you would like a steaming bowl of muesli on a cold morning, Autumn Muesli is great warmed up also!

Do try the muesli with the jewel-like and juicy pomegranate arils; I really love the bright burst in each mouthful! The muesli is sweet enough with all the fruits in it that I don't add any sweetners at all; maple syrup or brown sugar add to the fabulous taste if you like it sweeter.

2 - 4  servings


1 Apple, finely diced
1 Persimmon, finely diced
1/4 cup Dried Cranberries
4 Dates, finely chopped
1 Pinch of Salt
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Ginger
1 pinch Nutmeg
1 pinch Allspice
1 cup Regular Oatmeal (not quick or steel cut)
1-2 Tbsp Maple Syrup or Brown Sugar (optional)
2 cups Almond Milk
1/4 cup Pecans, Walnuts, or Pumpkin seeds, toasted
Extra Almond Milk, if needed

Optional Toppings
Extra Fruit - Apple, Persimmon, Cranberries
Pomegranate arils
Maple Syrup or Brown Sugar
Toasted Pecans, Almonds, or Walnuts


Prepare the fruits and nuts.

Combine fresh and dried fruits and salt in a bowl. Stir in all the spices and maple syrup/sugar.

Tip in the oatmeal, nuts/seeds and milk; mix well. Add a little extra milk if muesli is too dry; there should be enough milk for the oats to soak in. After trying a time or two, you'll figure out the exact amount of milk you like.

Spoon the prepared muesli into individual containers such as mason jars, cover with lids, and put in the fridge to soak overnight. Autumn Muesli will last in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Top with your favorite toppings; eat!

Autumn Muesli

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Quick Caramelized Brussels Sprouts, Indian Style

Cooking Brussels Sprouts this way could not be simpler or any quicker! Easy and delicious as well; according to Keeshu: "tastes a lot better than I anticipated". Use small sprouts when possible - they cook very fast and are ever so tender; I cut them in half - the increased surface area aids in cooking faster as well as absorb all the seasonings better.

The dals add toasty flavor as well as a nice bite without being hard on teeth - they soften while the veggies cook; they may be used in smaller quantities or omitted altogether if you wish. Dals not only add taste, but also protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber too.

I often make a double batch to have enough left over; they are great warmed or cold or on salads.


1 lb Brussels Sprouts
1 Tbsp Oil
1/2 tsp Brown Mustard Seeds
2 tsp Urad dal
2 tsp Chana dal
1-2 dry Red Peppers
1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1 pinch Asafetida
1 stem Fresh Curry Leaves, minced
1/2 tsp Turmeric

Fresh Lime wedges (optional)


Wash, trim the cut ends of the Brussels sprouts, and cut in half lengthwise (top-to-bottom so that all the leaves are attached to the stem on both pieces).

Heat the oil in a kadai/wok/skillet and add the mustard, chana, urad dal, and peppers. Stir a minute or so until mustard seeds pop.

Reduce the heat, stir in the pepper flakes if using, asafetida for a couple of seconds - I really mean seconds - otherwise it will burn and turn bitter!

Immediately add the sprouts along with the curry leaves, salt, and turmeric; stir well and cover.

Cook over medium to low heat stirring occasionally; a tablespoon of water may be sprinkled if the sprouts dry out.

When the sprouts are still bright green (about 7-11 minutes), I remove the cover and cook them on higher heat turning them occasionlly so they just caramelize but not burn.

The sprouts take just a few minutes to cook; remove from heat as soon as they are done to your liking.

Serve hot/warm with rice/roti, any dal or beans, salad etc. Pass the lime wedges.  Enjoy!!