Spicy Mexican Chicken Bean Soup with Cheesy Herb Soup Sticks

Wholesome, hearty, protein packed, spicy Mexican bean soup

Did you hear the sound of that? Delicious eh?

Gotta love Mexican cuisine for the beautiful colors, flavour, freshness/crunch and spiciness that it brings to the table

I decided to make a big pot, of this delicious, spicy, tangy, wholesome, hearty, protein packed soup and quickly baked some cheesy soup sticks on the side with my leftover puff pastry dough

A complete meal in itself, this Spicy Mexican Chicken bean soup was so filling and no less than a delight, drool worthy!

Also, the rainy day today in Toronto made us eat a little more. Its a super easy, healthy, satisfying recipe that will leave you asking for more, so I recommend you make a big batch, just like I did

To make this bowl of one pot goodness you’ll need:

3 tbsp olive oil

3-4 cloves minced Garlic

1 medium yellow onion finely chopped

1 stick celery chopped

10-12 baby carrots sliced/chopped

½ cup black beans, I used canned

½ cup sweet corn kernels, I used canned

½ cup Crushed cooked tomatoes, I used canned but you can make yours at home by blanching ½ kg plum tomatoes and crushing them in a food processor/blender

500 ml Chicken broth, I used Campbell’s

1 medium chicken breast – cooked and shredded

Salt and Pepper

1 tsp Cayenne pepper

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp Cumin powder

2 tsp Cholula hot sauce

¼ cup chopped scallions

¼ cup chopped Cilantro

3 tbsp Lime Juice

Dried Oregano

Instructions:

Lets start by heating a large spacious pot/ pan

Once hot, add the olive oil and let it heat for about 30 secs on medium low flame. Add in the minced garlic, chopped onion and celery

Toss well and let it cook for about 2-3 mins on medium low flame. Now add Salt, Pepper, Oregano, and all the spices. Mix well and let it cook for another two mins

Now add the crushed tomatoes, mix everything thoroughly and cook on medium heat for 3-4 mins stirring continuously

Now add the chicken stock, black beans and corn kernels. Cover and simmer for 30 mins on low heat

After 30 mins, add shredded chicken, lime juice, cholula hot sauce, chopped scallions and cilantro

Mix everything well and ready to serve!

Serve it in a big bowl generously, top with grated cheese, tortillas, cubed avocados, scallions and more cilantro with a lemon wedge on the side

Pure delight that will totally FILL YOU UP! I also served up some puff pastry soup sticks on the side and I think it was a great idea

Happy Souping!

Drool worthy, healthy, deliciousness!

Strawberry Maple Cheesecake – No bake and Eggless

1st July, Canada Day, we celebrated this beautiful and inclusive country, Canada, with this fresh Strawberry Maple Cheesecake

Making no bake cheesecakes is super easy. Requires simple ingredients and minimal effort. Putting this one together was quite literally a cake walk!

Now let’s dive into making this pretty and pretty lush cheesecake!

You’ll need:

9-inch tart tray
345 gms softened Cream cheese @lovemyphilly

1/4th cup Heavy whipping cream
2 tsp Maple extract
5-6 tbsp powdered Sugar
8-10 Graham crackers
1/4th cup Melted Butter
15-17 Fresh sliced strawberries

Instructions:

Let’s start by crushing the Graham crackers, till they have a powdery consistency. I did it in a food processor, you can do it even by putting the crackers in a zip lock plastic bag and crushing them with a rolling pin

Now add melted butter to the crushed biscuits and mix thoroughly till it has a crumbly texture. It should come together when you press some in your palm

Grease the tart tray with butter and add in the biscuit crumb. With the help of your fingers, press firmly and evenly at the bottom of the tray and freeze for at least an hour

Now let’s work on the cream cheese. In a big bowl, add softened , room temp cream cheese and whisk till its nice and smooth. Add whipping cream, sugar, maple syrup and whisk till its nice, light, airy and fluffy. Takes about 5-7 mins. Set aside

Now slice some strawberries thinly. I love the slicing part, almost therapeutic!!

Tart tray out of the freezer and cover the whole thing with thinly sliced strawberries and sprinkle some sugar. Should look like this. Pretty right?

Sliced strawberries over the biscuit tart base

Pour over the cream cheese mix and with the help of a spatula evenly spread it out till it reaches all ends perfectly

Cream cheese mix over the strawberry layer

Chill in the fridge (not freezer) for atleast 2-3 hours. Top with sliced strawberries, choco chips, or literally whatever you like

Top with fresh berries, fruits, chocolate chips

Serve as a dessert or with some evening coffee!

Look at that hefty rich slice!

Grilled Herb Chicken on Creamy Mushroom sauce

Pan grilled Chicken breast on Creamy Mushroom sauce

This recipe never gets old for me and is kind of a classic! Simple herbed chicken grilled to perfection and served on creamy mushroom gravy and a side of stir fried veggies + rice. Pretty much a snooze fest!

To make this perfect meal, you’ll need:

1 chicken breast, sliced lengthwise to half (makes it easier to cook)

2 tsp Italian herb mix

100 gms sliced cremini mushrooms

Salt and Pepper

3 cloves Minced Garlic

½ medium chopped Yellow onion

¼ cup table cream

2 tbsp salted butter

2 tbsp parmesan

2 tbsp Olive oil

1 tbsp AP flour

½ cup water

Thyme leaves – optional

Instructions:

Lets start by marinating the chicken breast in salt, pepper and Italian herb mix atleast for half an hour

Chicken breast sliced lengthwise, flattened and marinated

To prepare the sauce in a pan, add butter, 1 tbsp olive oil and minced garlic. Sautee for about a minute on medium-low flame and add chopped onion. Once the onion turns translucent, add the flour and roast for about a minute

Add sliced mushrooms, salt and pepper. Let the mushrooms sweat, it takes about 3-4 mins and then add ½ cup warm water, mix and cover cook on low flame for 5 mins

Then add cream, parmesan and thyme, mix well and simmer for 2-3 mins. Turn the heat off

In a skillet/cast iron pan, add 2 tbsp olive oil and let it heat on medium high. As soon as you see the first wisp of smoke, place the chicken breast. Enjoy the sizzling sound and as soon as the sides whiten, takes 2-3 mins, flip it over and let the other side cook for 2-3 mins

Turn the heat down to low and cook for another 2 mins. Your grilled chicken is done, Its important to let it rest for atleast 2 minutes off heat before you cut into it, otherwise the juices will run out making it dry and tough

In a plate, place the mushroom sauce and top with juicy chicken breast. Serve with choice of sides like steamed rice, stir fried veggies, mashed potatoes, wedges, etc

Keto/Low Carb Sheet Pan Pancakes

I ate pancakes for lunch, THERE, I said it!!


My love for pancakes is unparallel and lucky enough, I came up with a recipe that makes pancakes Low Carb, 8 servings at a time in a Sheet Pan, and can be frozen for a week’s breakfast, in my case, Lunch!

These take under 30 mins and are only 3.5 gm net carbs per serving. So fluffy, airy, delicious, pillowy, you wouldn’t even know these were keto/low carb if I wouldn’t let you in on that info! I bet you won’t get enough of them.

Without further ado, let’s make a guilt free, low carb pancakes’ batch!

For 8 pancakes, you’ll need:

3 large eggs – room temp

1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 and 3/4th Cup blanched almond flour, I use Kirkland signature @costco
4 tbsp melted butter @gayleafoodscoop
2 tsp Vanilla extract
5 tbsp Swerve sweetener

3/4th tbsp baking powder
3 squares chopped dark chocolate @lindtcanada
Sugar Free organic maple syrup @pyureorganic
Strawberries chopped/whole
½ tsp Salt

Instructions:

Lets start by preheating the oven to 400 F and lining a baking tray with parchment paper.

In a bowl, let’s mix wet ingredients. Add eggs, almond milk, melted butter, vanilla extract and whisk thoroughly

In another bowl, mix dry ingredients, add almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder, swerve sweetener and salt. Mix together

Now add the dry ingredients in with the wet ingredients and whisk well till nice and smooth. Pour it in a 9 x 13 inch lined and greased baking tray. Add chopped dark chocolate chunks on top

Ready to be baked

Toss it in the preheated oven for 12-15 mins or till the sides are golden and the top of the pancakes is firm. Remove from the bake and let cool for 5 mins before cutting in.

I served them with Chopped strawberries, Sugar Free Maple Syrup and Butter, you can choose to serve them with wee bit of honey, sugar free berry compote or anything that you like!

These pancakes freeze really well and stay for 4-5 days. Thaw in the microwave whenever needed.

Hope you enjoy these low carb pancakes as much as I did!

Dig in, already!!!!!
Fluffy, Pillowy, Perfect Sheet Pan Pancakes

Lemon Butter Garlic Shrimps with Charred Beans

This recipe is perfect for days, when you feel you’re short on time, need a light lunch and want to whip something up with minimal ingredients. I put these delicious Shrimp with charred beans on a plate in under 20 mins

I like using raw frozen shrimps, that are peeled and deveined, saves a lot of time, come in handy whenever required and I personally don’t like cleaning shrimps. Let’s dive into making this beautiful bowl full of health and flavour, Shall we?

You’ll need:

20-25 Raw frozen Shrimps

1 cup Green Beans, ends chopped off

6-7 Garlic cloves finely chopped/ minced

4 tablespoons room temp butter

Salt and paprika, you can also use pepper

2 tbsp lime juice

5-6 leaves of Basil, finely chopped

2 tbsp olive oil, 1 each for green beans and shrimps

1 tsp Italian seasoning – Optional

Instructions:

Lets start by thawing the frozen Shrimps under running cold water in the sink for about 10 mins. Once tender, rinse and add a quick squeeze of lime juice, helps mask any fishy smell

Then, heat a non stick pan and add 1 tbsp olive oil at medium high heat. Let the oil heat for about 40 secs and add green beans, salt, Italian seasoning and pepper. Stir Fry until those look nice and charred. Mine took about 4-5 mins. Empty into your serving dish/bowl

In the same pan, add 1 tbsp olive oil, and add the shrimps. Using a pair of tongs, constantly keep tossing them till they look nice and pink on both sides takes about 2 mins each side

Now turn the heat to low and add in your minced garlic, salt, paprika, chopped bail leaves, butter and lime juice. Keep tossing for about 2-3 mins till they’re nicely glazed in the buttery gravy and your Shrimps are done. Immediately remove in the serving bowl to avoid any overcooking

Add in some more lime juice if needed and serve hot with choice of sides. This bowl goes really well with some Italian bread or fried rice!

Enjoy a healthy, delicious bowl of Buttery Lemony Garlicky Shrimps

Curried Roasted Cauli Bowl with Tahini Sauce

Curried Cauli Bowl with Tahini dressing

Can you tell we’re a little obsessed with Cauliflower? It is sucha versatile vegetable and is a suitable option in so many diets

Today we made a Curried Roasted Cauli Bowl by marinating Cauli, Red Peppers and Beans in a spicy tahini dressing and roasted them until Golden brown. Served on a bed of lemon coriander couscous and topped with a Tahini sauce

Simple flavours, delightful creamy veggie bowl full of health and deliciousness. I promise this bowl will warm your heart and soul. So let’s dive into whipping it

You’ll need:

For Roasted Veggies

½ medium cauli head cut into florets and thoroughly washed

½ cup Red pepper sliced

½ cup beans

2 tbsp Olive oil

2 tbsp Tahini

1 tsp Salt

1 tsp Pepper

1tsp Paprika

1 tsp Curry Powder

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tbsp lime juice

For Tahini Dressing

2 tbsp Tahini

1 tbsp Olive Oil

1 tbsp honey

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

½ tbsp lime juice

1 tsp pepper and salt

For Couscous bed

½ cup whole wheat/semolina couscous

¾ th cup boiling water

Pinch of lemon zest and a squeeze of lime juice

Chopped coriander

Instructions:

Lets start by preheating the oven to 400 F

On a baking try lined with parchment paper, add cauli, red peppers and green beans. Add Tahini, Olive oil, Lime juice, Salt and all the spices mentioned above. Using your hands, really work the dressing into the veggies till they’re nicely covered. This is how mine looked.  Already delicious right?

Seasoned and curried, ready to be roasted

Let rest for 15 mins with the dressing and then toss in the oven for 35-40 mins till they look golden brown

For the Tahini Sauce, mix all the listed ingredients thoroughly with the help of a whisk

For Couscous bedding, add the couscous to boiling water, mix with a spoon and let rest for 10 mins. After 10 mins fluff with a fork, add lemon zest, juice and chopped coriander

For the assembly, start with the couscous, top it up with curried roasted veggies and the tahini dressing. You’ll enjoy it more than you think!

Simple flavours, incredibly delicious

Keto/Low Carb Bagels – 2.5 gms net carbs/bagel

Embracing the low carb life has been a journey in itself and it has taken me months to come to terms with it. I have days, when I really want some bread or a bagel or a donut and I give in. But I thought what if I can eat all that I want minus the guilt of dirtying my low carb diet?

I have been at this bagel recipe for a while now and with numerous hits and misses, I finally have a result that I’m so proud of. I can eat these bagels for breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner

They are delicious, so satisfying, crusty on top, soft and chewy on the inside!

Its a fat head recipe and is 2.5 gms net carbs per Bagel. Let’s make these Unbelievable little pillows of Joy

For 5 small bagels you’ll need:

 ¾ th Cup Almond flour, I use Kirkland Signature

¾ th Cup Shredded Mozzarella cheese

1 tbsp Cream Cheese

½ tbsp Baking Powder

1/2 Large Egg, lightly whisked

Salt and seasoning as per taste, I use garlic powder and Italian seasoning

Instructions:

Start by preheating your oven to 350F

In a bowl take mozzarella and cream cheese and microwave for 30 secs. Then with a spatula mix together and microwave for another 15 secs till completely melted and incorporated

Let it cool for about 15 secs and add almond flour, baking powder, salt, seasonings and whisked egg and mix well till everything gets nice and doughy. It is ok if the dough gets sticky

Now in a baking tray lined with parchment paper, make 5 equal parts of the dough, circle each part between your palms and dig a hole gently in the middle with the help of your thumb or just simply use a bagel form if you have one, I didn’t

Sprinkle choice of topping, everything bagel seasoning, or sesame seeds, or just flax seeds are good too. This is how they look before going in for the bake:

Ready to be tossed in the preheated oven

Toss in the preheated oven for 15 mins and then broil on low for 2 mins to get them nice and golden

Golden Bagels – Fresh from the oven

Let cool completely once they’re out of the oven. Enjoy toasted with your choice of toppings or make a Bagel sandwich with some cream cheese, cucumbers and salmon!

Cheesy Loaded Baked Potato Skins

Double baked Potatoes

As I always say, we love our potatoes and this simple double baked potato recipe is a crowd pleaser and a game night favorite!

We just decided to eat them for Monday lunch and give ourselves a little”Pick me up” on this gloomy day. Crispy garlicky on the crust and soft loaded in the center

If you love potatoes, you’re going to be obsessed. Let’s dive into making these roasted beauties

You’ll need:

2 Medium Russet Potatoes

1 tbsp Olive oil

Salt and Pepper

2 tbsp Table cream

2 tbsp Butter

½ tsp garlic powder

Tzatziki/ Sour cream

Basil leaves/Scallions

½ Cup shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 400F

Take two prewashed Russet potatoes and rub olive oil to completely coat them. Top with salt, garlic powder and toss it in the oven for 45 mins to 1 hour till tender. Let cool once they’re out so they get easy to handle

Cut lengthwise into two parts each and scoop out the flesh in a bowl leaving very little on the skin. Now brush the potato with butter, sprinkle salt and pepper. This is how they should look:

Potato skins, flesh scooped out

Toss the potato skins in the oven at 400F for 10 mins

In the meantime, lets prepare the stuffing. To the potato flesh, add cream, melted butter, salt & pepper and chopped basil leaves. Mix thoroughly to combine

Add the filling to the baked potato skins and top with shredded cheddar cheese. Broil in the oven for 10 mins

Once out, top them up with some Tzatziki or Sour cream and some chopped scallions. You can also fill these potato skins with Shredded chicken or Mushrooms and top them up with crispy bacon

Loaded and How!

Please find the Tzatziki recipe below:

Now you can enjoy some incredible Cheesy loaded potato skins with a side of a nap!

Basil Garlic Foccacia – Italian Bread – 100% whole wheat

Basil Garlic Foccacia

Don’t we all associate making breads with arm workouts and tedious kneading processes? Not anymore!!! My bread baking has been a journey in itself and this 100% whole wheat foccacia has been a lot of hits and misses before I could perfect it. It is ready in 3 hours (including proofing time) and can be done in many Herb and Pepper variations.

Pro tip – Serve it with a soup and your guests will be left asking for more. Ready? Lets Dive into making this Italian bread

You’ll need:

For the dough

2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

½ Tbsp Active Dry Yeast

½ tsp salt

½ cup warm water to proof the yeast

½ tsp sugar

¼ cup water to combine the dough (this may vary so pls add little at a time)

For the herb oil infusion

4 tbsp olive oil

7-8 chopped basil leaves or you may use a herb of your choice

5-7 Garlic cloves pressed and sliced

Salt

Instructions:

Let’s start by proofing the yeast, in a bowl or a cup, add ½ cup warm water and add the active dry yeast and sugar. Mix well until combined and cover with a lid or a cloth, leave in a warm place for 15 mins

In a big glass bowl/ non stick kadhai, which has sufficient room, add the whole wheat flour, salt, olive oil and proofed yeast water (this should be bubbly on top which confirms the yeast has proofed)

With the help of a silicon spatula, scraper or oiled hands start combining everything together. Add additional water little by little at a time to bring it all together to a sticky dough. Now take some olive oil in your hands and cover the whole dough in it. Cover with a cloth and let sit for 2 hours in a warm place

For herb oil, warm your olive oil, add chopped herbs, garlic, salt and let infuse for 2 hours

After two hours, this is how the dough should look, almost double in size. Ahhh, looks fun right?

Proofed Dough, doubled in size and bubbles on top

Again with the help of a spatula lightly fold the dough inwards a couple of times, lightly coz we don’t want to release all the air. If you’re using your hands, make sure to oil them so the dough is easy to handle

Now in a baking tray, place a parchment paper and transfer the dough. Again, with light oiled hands spread the dough working from the center to the ends on the tray till the bread has reached about 1.5 inch thickness

With the help of your finger tips, make indentations on the dough and top the entire thing with herb infused olive oil and let sit for 30 mins. This is how it should look

Foccacia spread out and topped with herb infused oil

Preheat your oven too 400F and bake the Foccacia for 30 mins. Remove on a cooling rack or let sit out for atleast 30 mins before cutting in and serving

Freshly baked Foccacia

Bread baking is so rewarding that it has now been 8 weeks that I haven’t bought a loaf from the store. Hope you enjoy your bread baking process as much as I did!

Banoffee Pie – No bake and Eggless

I used to be and still am a fan of Banoffee pie from @theobromapatisserie in Mumbai, they used to call it Banoffee High, and rightly so!

Banoffee is made of Bananas, cream and toffee caramel on a pie tart. Incredibly delicious, incredibly easy to whip up and I can promise it’ll leave you wanting for more. Perfect as a dessert, perfect with your evening coffee!

So lets make Banoffee Pie – 6 servings

You’ll need:

10 inch baking tray/tart dish

400 ml Sweetened condensed milk I used @carnationmilks

12-14 graham crackers

1 tsp ginger juice (optional but highly recommended)

5 tbsp salted melted butter

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 tbsp sugar

2 medium bananas

Dark chocolate shavings to garnish


Instructions:

Start with boiling water in a sauce pan and once it boils, drop the condensed milk can inside the pan, making sure the can is completely submerged. Reduce the flame to the lowest and let it cook for about 2.5-3 hours, basically forget about it, post which you’ll get caramelised condensed milk aka, Dulce de leche aka, toffee

In the meantime, let get the base ready. Toss the Graham crackers, melted butter and a wee bit of ginger juice into your food processor and pulse till you get a nice powdered consistency

Grease your baking dish and empty your biscuit content in it, using your fingers, firmly press this mixture till it evenly covers the tart and freeze for atleast 2 hours

In a chilled bowl, pour your whipping cream + sugar and whisk it till it has soft peaks

Now lets get to the most exciting part, the assembly

Pull out the baking tray/tart, start by pouring the caramelised condensed milk right from the can (if it has stiffened a little bit, remove it in a bowl and lightly whisk) over the graham butter tart base

Thinly slice bananas and cover the entire condensed milk layer, please don’t cut bananas in advance as they tend to blacken

Top this up with whipped cream and chocolate shavings and freeze for atleast 2 hours. Then just slice and serve.

Sure to sweep you off your feet!!