What is the first thought that comes to mind when we think of eating healthy – unappetising/boiled food, right? Be it a health freak looking for that perfectly balanced diet or a mother who wants her child to get all the possible nutrition, the healthy food many a times equals boring/unpalatable.
In some cases, it is the working professionals looking to adopt a healthier diet in their daily lifestyle while in some others; it is the kids cribbing about their mothers trying to cut their intake of junk food. In the rest of the cases, it is the husband constantly complaining that home-cooked food is monotonous and uninteresting. The challenge in each of the three scenarios is that eating healthy can oftentimes become a dull and drag affair that nobody looks forward to. The result: a few days of a healthy diet and you just want to go back to that delectable piece of chocolate cake and not worry about the whole health fad.
Well, it is time to for the cooks to put on their thinking hats and sprinkle a bit of flavor and spice to the regular ‘Ghar-ka-khana’. And what can be better than to be able to eat something that is not only delicious but also healthy?
Almonds can be a simple yet tasty addition to daily dishes which can go a long way in adding that quirky twist to your food. And what’s more? Almonds contain nutrients like Vitamin E, fibre and proteins. Just the magic ingredient you needed to be the rockstar cook in your home!
Here are some cool ways by which you can add almonds to a dish to add a touch of magic to everyday food:
1. Almond & Chicken Momos (without shell)
These shell-less momos are easy-to-make, are healthy and will get the glutton in you smacking lips before you are through preparing it. The innovation of this dish is sure to make you a star amongst your friends and/or family circle if you serve it steaming hot!
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Chicken mince – 250 gms
Garlic, chopped – 1 tbsp
Carrots, finely chopped – 3 tbsp
Spring onions, finely chopped – 3 tbsp
Ginger, finely chopped – 1 tbsp
Soya sauce – 1 tbsp
Oyster sauce – 1 tbsp
Sesame oil – 1 tsp
Pepper powder – 1 tsp
Egg – 1 no
Blanched & chopped almonds -1/2 cup
Oil – for greasing
Place the chicken mince in a bowl. Add all the ingredients except almonds and divide it into equal-sized balls.Roll these balls in the blanched and chopped almonds and carefully place these small balls on a greased plate. Get the steamer ready and steam these on high heat for 15 minutes. Remove and serve the momos hot.
2. Chonkey Badam
A simple way to stop yourself and/or your family members from reaching out for that bar of chocolate or packet of unhealthy fried goodies, this recipe gives your taste buds a reason to salivate while keeping you steady on your mission to eat healthily. Chonkey badam is a preparation that is easy to carry to work, school or even to the gym.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Oil -2 tbsp
Jeera – 1 tsp
Heeng – 1/2tsp
Dry red chilli – 1 no
Kasoorimethi – 3 tbsp
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Coriander powder – 2 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Tomato puree – 3 tbsp
Almonds blanched and peeled -1/2 cup
Green peas -1/2 cup
Salt – 1 tsp
Soak kasoorimethi in half cup of water. Heat oil and add dry red chilli, sprinkle jeera and heeng. Sauté till jeera crackles. Add ginger garlic paste and sauté for 2-3 mins. Now add turmeric, red chilli powder and coriander powder. Sauté on low heat for a minute. Remove water from methi and squeeze it. Add the fenugreek and cook for 3 minutes. Add little water so that masala does not stick to the bottom.
Now add the almonds, peas and salt. Sauté and add the tomato puree. Add little water and cook on low flame.Cook for 5 minutes and remove from fire and serve hot.
3. Gluten free almond cake
And finally, we bring to you a recipe that is, well, not the cherry on the cake, but the cake itself! Who doesn’t love cakes and pastries and how delightful would it be if we added a bit of innovation to our cake! A glutton free almond cake is yummy, healthy and will get you pining for more as soon as you polish the delectable cake off. There never was, and never will be, a better combination!
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Baking time: 20 minutes
Almond Powder – 350 g
Egg (Separated) – 200 g
Honey – 100 g
Baking Soda – 10g
Vanilla Essence – 10 g
Salt – 5 g
Honey – 20 g
Sliced almonds – 50 g
Preheat oven to 180°C. Coat a 9-inch pan with Butter and flour. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Beat 4 egg yolks, 100g honey, vanilla, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined. Add the almond powder and beat on low until combined. Then, beat 4 egg whites in another large bowl with the electric mixer on medium speed until very foamy, but not stiff enough to hold peaks. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the nut mixture until just combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake the cake until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan and gently remove the side ring. Let cool completely.Carefully transfer the cake to a serving platter. To serve, drizzle the top of the cake with honey and sprinkle with sliced almonds.
Tip: Make sure that the almonds are toasted a little before you make a powder and there is absolutely no moisture in the grinder jar to avoid any lumps in the cake