Pumpkin Chai Spiced Mug Cake

ArvindasChaiPumpkinMugCake3.jpg

When in a pinch for a delicious, moist and quick dessert try a mug cake! It only takes a few of ingredients and can be ‘baked’ in literally one minute!

For a Thanksgiving themed mug cake, I used Arvinda’s Chai Masala and pureed pumpkin. The touch of turmeric in the batter lends a nice pumpkin-like hue to the cake.

To add a level of indulgence, consider adding a dollop of whip cream as a garnish! Happy Thanksgiving!


PUMPKIN CHAI SPICED MUG CAKE ~ vegan

Method of Preparation:

1) Place ingredients in a heat proof mug. Mix well.

2) Microwave on high heat for 1 minute or longer until cooked. Allow to rest a few minutes before serving.

Ingredients:

1/4 CUP unbleached all purpose flour

1/4 CUP pureed pumpkin

3 TBSP. almond milk (OR milk of choice)

2 TBSP. avocado oil (OR oil of choice)

2 TBSP. raw cane sugar OR coconut sugar

2 TBSP. raisins

3/4 TSP. ARVINDA’S CHAI MASALA

1/4 TSP. baking powder

1/4 TSP. pure vanilla extract

1/8 TSP. turmeric powder

pinch sea salt

Kale Broccoli Curried Broth with Paneer

Curry broth soup, you heard me right! Infusing a bit of ARVINDA'S CURRY MASALA into water to make a broth can give it depth and flavour.

To make this soup a complete meal, I added navy beans and paneer (Indian pressed cheese). It was the first time I added paneer in a soup and I was pleasantly surprised! Normally paneer is enrobed in a delicious curry sauce to give its texture a lot of flavour so I doubted its application in a soup. Surprisingly its texture is interesting enough to add some depth to an otherwise light and simple broth.

KALE BROCCOLI CURRIED BROTH with PANEER

Method of Preparation:

1) In a large pot, gently heat oil. Add onion and cook for a couple of minutes. Add ARVINDA'S CURRY MASALA and mix. Add broccoli and kale and cook for another couple of minutes.

2) Add vegetable stock. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add turmeric powder, navy beans, paneer, green onions and coriander. Serves 6-8.

Ingredients:
1 TBSP. olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 TBSP. ARVINDA'S CURRY MASALA
1/4 broccoli, cut into florets
1/2 CUP kale, chopped
10 CUPS vegetable stock
1 CUP navy beans, cooked
1/2 CUP paneer, cubed
1/4 TSP. turmeric powder
4 green onions, chopped
1/2 CUP coriander, chopped

Detox: Turmeric Tonic Water

I find in the winter I sometimes forget to stay hydrated, as in the cold weather I find it harder to keep track of my thirst level. And without sufficient hydration we can feel worn out and lethargic. 

Overall we experience higher stress levels and feeling drained during the holiday season. This Turmeric Tonic is both cleansing and detoxifying and feels really great to drink after a night of over-indulging, something we're prone to this time of the year!

I don’t like to add any sweetener to this, but feel free to add agave or liquid honey to your preference.

DSC_0177.JPG

TURMERIC TONIC WATER

Method of Preparation:

1) In a large heatproof jug, brew herbal tea. Add the remaining ingredients with the exception of the garnish.

2) Serve warm with a garnish of blueberries or cherries.

OPTION: Chill in refrigerator and serve on a hot day.

Ingredients:
1.7 L water
3 herbal tea bags
1 INCH piece ginger, sliced
1/2 TSP. turmeric powder
1/2 TSP. ARVINDA'S CHAI MASALA
1/4 lemon, juiced
1/4 CUP blueberries or cherries, to garnish

Routine change: Chai Spiced Breakfast Quinoa

It's too often we easily slip into routines. Eat the same thing everyday without thinking, or do the same thing day-in-day-out just like being on a treadmill.

Mine is oatmeal for breakfast everyday. For many years Monday through Sunday I have the same morning oatmeal ritual, more or less, give or take.

Earlier this week I ran out of my usual stock of organic oats and my morning was just not the same. Opening the cupboard to find quinoa I followed my same recipe and made a breakfast quinoa.

How refreshing it was to have a change! Realizing I can add about 6g of protein to breakfast for 1/4 cup of quinoa (almost equivalent to that of an egg), that's something I’m going to do more often!

Here’s the recipe…

breakfastquinoa.jpg

CHAI SPICED BREAKFAST QUINOA

Method of Preparation:

1) Rinse quinoa and soak in a bowl for 15 minutes. Drain and rinse again until water runs clear.

2) In a pot, add water and soaked quinoa and gently boil on medium-high heat. Add remaining ingredients (except Arvinda’s Chai Masala).

3) Put lid on and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in ARVINDA'S CHAI MASALA, fluff with a fork and enjoy. Serves 1.

Ingredients:
1/4 CUP quinoa
1 1/2 CUP water
2 TBSP. raisins or cranberries
1 TBSP. sesame seeds or sunflower seeds
1 TBSP. flax seeds, ground)
2 pieces crystallized ginger, chopped
1 TSP. ARVINDA'S CHAI MASALA
pinch turmeric powder

Winter Warm Up: Curried Celery Soup

I tossed celery, a carrot and a couple of potatoes in a pressure cooker for the easiest soup ever! No oil, no onions to fry and lots of good curry flavour, this was an easy, healthy winter warm up dish.

DSC_0061.JPG

CURRIED CELERY SOUP

Method of Preparation:

1) In a medium pot, boil celery, potatoes and carrot with 2 cups of water. Add salt. Cover with lid and gently boil until vegetables well cooked (approximately 15-20 minutes). I cooked mine in a pressure cooker to save time.

2) Using a hand blender, purée vegetables until smooth. Stir in ARVINDA'S CURRY MASALA and bay leaves. Simmer for 5-10 minutes. Stir in skim milk. Thin out with more water and add salt to taste.

3) Garnish as desired.

Ingredients:
1 celery head, washed with tops trimmed, cubed
2 small potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1 TSP. salt
2 TSP. ARVINDA'S CURRY MASALA
2 bay leaves
½ CUP skim milk
water

Optional garnishes:
light cream
truffle or hazelnut oil
ARVINDA'S GARAM MASALA
celery leaves (or tops), for presentation

This soup recipe may not have all the bells and whistles you’d expect in a 5-star soup, but it's meant to be quick, easy to prepare and healthy. I was debating whether to strain it out to make the soup nice and smooth but then thought to myself, why get rid of all the good fibre!? 

Feel free to add garlic and onions infused in oil at the beginning of the recipe and substitute cream for skim milk if you’re feeling more indulgent. Choose one or more of the optional garnishes to add more layers of flavour to this soup. You may find the curry flavour is just enough.

Turmeric Kale Protein Smoothie (CHAI FLAVOURED!)

DSC_0165.JPG

The benefits of turmeric are endless–anti-inflammatory, reduces swelling, aids in digestion, purifies the blood, relieves a cough…I could keep going! But sometimes I have to remember there is more to life than just turmeric! Eating a rainbow of foods and flavours is a good approach to get a range of vitamins, minerals and health benefits from the foods we eat.

So with this recipe, Turmeric Kale Protein Smoothie it has it all! A rainbow of colours and flavours, everything from bananas to chai spices, cocoa nibs to coconut...and of course, turmeric! :) A whole meal-in-one, it's perfect for a post-workout recovery.

Here’s what the TURMERIC KALE PROTEIN SMOOTHIE contains:

  • avocado – a superfood and healthy fat, avocados contain antioxidants that protect against eye disease, lowers cholesterol and makes you feel satiated. (1/2 ripe avocado)
  • banana – high in potassium, bananas strengthen bones and reduce muscle cramping. (1/2 banana; use whole banana for added sweetness)
  • berries – a superantioxidant that helps reduce belly fat. (1/2 cup)
  • raw cocoa nibs  – contains flavonoids lowers blood pressure levels, reduces cholesterol and improves blood circulation. (2 tsp.)
  • coconut oil – a healthy saturated fat, it helps regulate blood sugar levels. (1 tbsp.)
  • flax seeds, ground – fibre rich, flax is a vegetarian source of Omega-3s and boosts immunity. (2 tsp.)
  • kale – high in Vitamins A and C, fibre rich, antioxidant and anti- inflammatory. (1 cup)
  • protein powder (vegan) – gives you 20g of protein per serving…wow! (2 tbsp. or 30g)
  • turmeric – superspice, need I say more! (1/2 tsp.)
  • Arvinda’s Chai Masala – this is my signature addition to the smoothie! Contains healing spices like ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and black pepper. I add a lot, about 1 tsp. to make this smoothie taste good. (1 tsp.)
  • water– for hydration. (add enough to get the desired consistency)

Cheers to good health!

Turmeric Til Ladoos: Sesame Seed Sweets

Makar Sankranti is a harvest festival celebrated in northern India to mark the beginning of the growing season and the joyous kite flying festival celebrated in the central India (which comes around in early-mid January). 

A typical sweet that is made on auspicious day is called Til Ladoo, 'til' meaning sesame seeds. I spike mine with a touch of turmeric for a beautiful golden hue. I tend to make these all year round because they are so easy to make. 


TURMERIC TIL LADOO: SESAME SEED SWEET

Method of Preparation:

1) Gently roast sesame seeds on a baking rack in the oven set at 200F for 10 minutes.

2) In a skillet, heat ghee and add in jaggery (or brown sugar) and stir to combine. Stir in ARVINDA'S CHAI MASALA and turmeric. Fold in roasted sesame seeds and coconut.

3) Allow to slightly cool and roll into small balls

Ingredients: 
1 CUP raw sesame seeds
1/2 CUP unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 CUP jaggery (or brown sugar)
1 TBSP. ghee (or butter)
2 TSP. ARVINDA'S CHAI MASALA
1/4 TSP. turmeric powder
 

tilladoo4.jpg

THAI TURMERIC TOM YUM SOUP

DSC_0024.JPG

Many of our customers were asking for an easy recipe using Arvinda's Kafir Lime Leaves. The easiest one that comes to mind is Tom Yum Soup—Thai Hot & Sour Soup. In hot weather and cold cold weather equally, a Thai soup feels so right when you're craving those fresh and spicy flavours. 

Kafir lime leaves are native to Southeast Asia and come from the knobby small kafir lime, lending a delicate fresh, citrus bouquet to Thai and Malaysian curries and soups. Fresh kafir lime leaves are available in Asian grocery stores, however keeping the dried ones on hand come in good use on the days you’re shopping your pantry for inspiration and recipe ideas. They’re a pantry must-have!

 In Indian cuisine, we almost always use dry turmeric powder however it can be used fresh in Asian flavoured soups. If you cannot find fresh turmeric, substitute with fresh ginger. Another great way to boost your uptake of turmeric!


THAI TURMERIC TOM YUM SOUP

My version of this soup is vegetarian but feel free to use fish sauce instead of the mushroom sauce and add shrimp, fish or chicken for protein. You can also add rice stick noodles so this is a more substantial soup.

Method of Preparation: 

1) In a medium pot, add stock and simmer. Add mushroom sauce, lime juice, soy sauce, sugar, ARVINDA'S KAFIR LIME LEAVES, chilies, turmeric (or ginger) and lemongrass.

2) Add tofu. Simmer and cook on low heat for 15 minutes. Serve in soup bowls and garnish with green onions and cilantro. Serves 4.

Ingredients:
6 CUPS vegetable stock
½ CUP firm tofu, cubed
2 TBSP. oyster mushroom sauce
2 TBSP. lime juice
1 TBSP. light soy sauce
1 TBSP. palm sugar (or add more to taste)
4-6 ARVINDA'S KAFIR LIME LEAVES
2 red chilies
½ inch fresh turmeric or ginger, finely sliced
½ stalk lemongrass, cut into 1 inch pieces
4 green onions, chopped, to garnish
¼ CUP cilantro, finely chopped, to garnish

A Food That Helps Focus: Banana Turmeric Almond Shake

DSC_0013.JPG

After racing out the door a little bit frazzeled, I made it out to one of my favourite fitness classes albeit a few minutes late. I was off-beat and couldn't get into the groove. As the instructor barked out commands from the front of the room, I found my mind wandering causing me to lose control of the sequences. Feeling disoriented I realized I wasn’t feeling it, but instead thinking about the next day’s meeting.

After making a few clumsy mistakes, I pulled my focus back to the class and all those sequences came back together as smooth as silk. And then something amazing happened...I started to have fun!

Acting in the present isn’t always easy but by training the mind to keep focus on what you’re doing can do wonders for enjoying all of life’s little details. Meditation is one way of training the mind to do this so I’ve added a morning and night meditation routine in my daily regimen.

After that class I was thinking about the foods that help with clarity and focus of the mind. Almonds came to mind as I was reminded about Ayurvedic remedy I would have when studying for exams to improve mental sharpness–an almond spice infused shake. Perhaps this may help before your next presentation, exam...or even fitness class! :)


BANANA TURMERIC ALMOND SHAKE

Ingredients: 
1 CUP almond milk
1 ripe banana
12 almonds, soaked in water
1 TSP. almond butter
½ TSP. ARVINDA'S CHAI MASALA
¼ TSP. turmeric powder (for some good measure!)
2 TSP. cocoa powder (optional)