Perfect party appetizers!

Whipped feta and marinated tomato crostini

Whipped feta:
1/4 cup of feta (room temperature)
1/2 cup of plain cream cheese (room temperature)
1 tbsp of Olive oil

Using a fork or a small blender, mix all the above till soft and smooth.

Marinated tomatoes:
1 cup of cherry tomatoes (halved)
2 Tbsp of fresh chopped basil leaves
1-2 cloves of garlic smashed and minced
1/4 cup of good quality Olive oil
Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Mix all the above gently and let rest in the fridge for atleast 1 hr. Keep on the counter for atleast 30 minutes before serving.

Serve over some warm and crispy baguette slices.

Cantaloupe and mint Gazpacho!

2 Cups of chopped Cantaloupe
1/2 Cup of cucumber seeded and chopped
1 Heaping Tbsp red onion chopped
1 Tbsp of fresh mint leaves
1/4 Cup of good quality Extra virgin Olive oil
1/3 cup of water

Sea salt, fresh cracked black pepper to taste

Blend all the above without the Olive oil. Once the veggies are blended, slowly strain the oil in till the mixture looks shiny and well blended. Chill for atleast 3-4 hrs before serving. Garnish with mint leaves before serving.

"Uptown" fried green tomatoes!

You will love these so much, you may never think of eating them any other way!!

To serve 2;

For the tomatoes;

1 firm green tomato slices about 1.5-2 cms thick

1/2 cup of seasoned all purpose flour( salt, pepper, garlic powder)
1/2 cup of cornmeal

1 egg beaten

Dip the tomato slices in the first bowl of flour and shake off the excess.
Dip in the egg and then into the second bowl of cornmeal
Make sure all the tomatoes are coated on both sides.

Heat about 1/4 cup of canola/vegetable oil on high heat for about 2-3 minutes. Fry the tomatoes in the oil for 2-3 minutes on each side till a light golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

Chicken salad;

1/2 cup roasted chicken (or leftover rotisserie/grilled)
1/2 cup of chopped roasted veggies(I used onions, zucchini, peppers, jalapenos, and garlic)
Handful of blueberries roughly chopped
1/4 cup of Lite mayo
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
1 Tbsp of chopped basil
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

Fold all the above and let rest in the fridge for atleast 1 hr in the fridge.

Rest about 2 Tbsps of the chicken salad on each tomato slice. Serve with some sriracha mayo sauce(1 Tbsp mayo to 1 Tsp Sriracha)

Cha Ching!! Chia summer cooler!

Yes, I am having way too much fun with my Chia seeds! Try my Chia summer cooler today! You will love it!!

To serve 1

A glass of filtered water
1 Tbsp Chia seeds
1 Tbsp Honey/ sweetner of your choice
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1-2 Tsp of grenadine

Mix all the above and chill for atleast 30 minutes!!

Try adding the lemon rind and some fresh basil for a refreshing twist!

Cha Cha Chia!! "Tropical" Chia kheer (pudding)

Growing up in India, Sabja (Chia seeds) were a summer staple. Known for their high fibre content, they are not only filling but can hold water upto 10 times their weight so they are great for hydration.

Perfect for a snack before working out and all in all, a summer essential.

You can add Chia seeds to smoothies, juices, yogurt and even lentils! The best way to consume Chia seeds in my opinion is in a summer cooler! Recipe up soon!

However, Chia breakfast pudding is the most popular recipe you’ll see out there in the recipe world.

My recipe below is my humble homage to this ancient powerhouse. Hope you all enjoy it!

1 can of lite coconut milk
2 Tbsp of sugar
2-3 Tbsp Chia seeds
1 Tbsp fine chopped Basil leaves

Bring the coconut milk to a boiling point and add the sugar. Dissolve the sugar completely on low heat and take it off from the stove top.

Add the seeds in the coconut milk mixture and add the basil leaves. Pour in serving dishes and let chill overnight.

Serve with chopped up mangoes, kiwis and pineapples.

Parmesan and chicken pop bites!

To serve 2-3 generously
2 Chicken breasts cut into 2-3″ pieces
Crumb mixture:
1 Egg beaten
1 cup of panko breadcrumbs
1/3 cup of parmesan cheese shaved/crumbled
1 Tsp of Garlic powder
1 Tsp of dry oregano
1 Tsp of cumin powder
Salt, Black pepper to taste
Mix the “Crumb Mixture” ingredients and drop the chicken in it.
Gently toss to coat well. 
Lay the chicken in a single layer in a greased cookie sheet.
Pop it in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes.
Toss the pieces midway to cook all sides. 
Cut a couple of pieces.
The chicken should be cooked all the way through.  (No pink!)
Serve with home made Maple Mustard ( 5 Tbsp Yellow Mustard and 2 Tbsp Maple syrup) sauce! 

Warm lentils and spinach salad!

1/2 cup of your favorite lentils (I used french lentils)
1/2 an onion chopped fine
2 cloves of garlic smashed and minced
1/2 cup of chopped mushrooms
1 cup of baby spinach

Salt, black pepper to taste
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup of crumbly feta

Cook lentils in a pot of salted water (approx 12-15 minutes, maybe longer based on the lentils)
Drain the lentils.

Sautee garlic, mushrooms and onions in 2 Tbsps of Olive oil on medium heat till the onions and mushrooms wilt. Add the spinach and cook some more till the leaves wilt. Season using salt and pepper. Add the lentils and toss the mixture. Remove from the stove top. Add the lime juice and feta. Gently fold the salad and serve warm (or chilled).

"Skillet" chicken and mushrooms with a sweet marsala sauce

Dredge pieces of chicken in seasoned flour (1 cup of all purpose flour, salt and black pepper to taste). Shake off the excess flour.

Sear the chicken in a single layer in 2-3 Tbsp of heated Olive oil. Don’t crowd the chicken in the pan. Cook for about 4-5 min on each side on medium to high heat.

Add 1/2 a cup of sliced sweet onions and 2-3 cloves of garlic to the pan. Toss everything well. Continue cooking for another 5-7 minutes till the onions turn pale.

Add 1 cup of sliced mushrooms of your choice. I used baby bella to add some depth to the dish. Toss everything well. Continue cooking for another 5-7 minutes.

Add a couple of bayleaves and 1/2 cup of sweet marsala wine. Season with salt, black pepper and red chili flakes. Cover and let simmer for 18-20 minutes on low- medium heat. Toss the chicken in the sauce in between and continue cooking till the chicken is cooked all the way through..