Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Red, White and Bean minestrone soup


1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil1/4 cup Italian turkey sausage, in small pieces, 2 tablespoons tomato paste, 1 cup chopped onion, 1 cup chopped celery, 2 tablespoons minced garlic, 1 cup chopped carrots, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 16 ounces chopped canned tomatoes, 5 cups chicken stock, 15.5 ounces cannellini beans with liquid, 8 ounces red kidney beans, drained 2 cups zucchini cut into 6-inch pieces, 2 cups baby spinach1 1/2 cups baby spinach, 2 tablespoons pre-packaged pesto, 2 tablespoons fresh grated Parmesan cheese


Heat olive oil over medium heat in a medium sauté pan. Add sausage, brown well.
Add tomato paste, cook 5 minutes until brown.
Add onions, celery, garlic, carrots, and oregano. Cook until garlic is aromatic, approximately 5 minutes.
Pour into a 4-quart slow cooker. Add tomatoes and chicken stock.
Cook on low setting for 6–7 hours or until the vegetables are tender.
Stir in beans, zucchini, spinach, and cooked pasta. Cook on high setting for 8 minutes or until beans and pasta are warmed through and spinach has wilted.
To Serve: pour the soup into a bowl. Top with a little pesto and fresh grated Parmesan cheese.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Thai chicken coconut noodles recipe

Crunchy green beans work really well with these Thai flavours
Serves - 4
Ready in about 30 minutes

  • 2 x 250g pack dried medium egg noodles
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Thai red curry paste (we like Thai Taste, from major supermarkets)
  • 400ml can reduced-fat coconut milk
  • 600ml chicken stock, hot
  • 4 small, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, bruised
  • 150g green beans, halved lengthways
  • 2 carrots, cut into thin sticks
  • 1 tsp soft brown sugar
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lime, plus lime wedges,
  • Good handful fresh basil leaves


How to make thai chicken coconut noodles
1. In a bowl, cover the noodles with boiling water and set aside for 5 minutes, to soften. Drain, refresh in cold water and drain again. Toss in half the oil.
2. Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the curry paste and stir-fry for 1 minute. Stir in the coconut milk, stock, chicken and lemongrass, cover and simmer for 12 minutes, until the chicken is cooked. Using a slotted spoon, lift the chicken out of the pan and onto a plate, and roughly chop.
3. Return the chicken to the pan with the beans and carrots. Simmer for 2 minutes, then stir in the noodles, sugar, lime zest and juice, and most of the fresh basil leaves and heat through.
4. Season and ladle into bowls. Garnish with lime wedges and the remaining basil leaves.
Wine note: Gallo Family Vineyards Turning Leaf Shiraz Rose. Turning Leaf Shiraz Rose pairs wonderfully with all the beautiful fresh flavours of Thai cuisine and the mildness of the coconut sauce.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Over 100 Super Foods for a Super You

Include These Foods for Maximum Body Benefits

  • Faster than a speeding bullet…
  • More powerful than a locomotive…
  • Nutrient-packed with health enhancing properties
Here come the SUPER FOODS!

These foods benefit your body in so many ways. They power your brain, and correctly and efficiently fuel your body. Super foods fight infection, enhance your immune system, and protect against diseases such as osteoporosis, heart disease, certain cancers, diabetes, and respiratory infections.

While this list of super foods may be longer than most, it shows that great things do come in small packages. These foods are not only healthy, but they're also affordable, familiar, and readily available at regular grocery stores and farmers markets. With so many choices, you'll discover just how easy it is to eat super healthy every day…even when on a tight budget.

This is an all-inclusive list, but some foods might not be right for your tastes, preferences or health goals. Remember that no single food can provide everything you need to be healthy. That's why it's important to choose a variety of super foods from each category to meet your daily nutrition needs.

Bell peppers
Brussels sprouts
Collard greens
Crimini mushrooms
Green beans
Mustard greens
Portobello mushrooms
Rainbow chard
Romaine lettuce
Shiitake mushrooms
Summer squash
Sweet potatoes
Swiss chard
Turnip greens
Winter squash

Calcium-Rich Foods
Almond milk
Cheese, low fat
Cottage cheese, low fat
Milk, skim or 1%
Orange juice with calcium
Rice milk
Soy milk
Yogurt with active cultures, low fat
Black olives
Honeydew melon

Arborio rice
Brown rice
Jasmine rice
Wheat berries
Whole grain breads, cereal, pasta
Whole wheat breads, cereal, pasta
Wild Rice
Beef, lean
Black beans
Chicken, skinless
Egg whites
Fish, unbreaded
Garbanzo beans
Hemp seeds
Kidney beans
Lima beans
Navy beans
Peanut butter, natural
Pinto beans
Pork, lean
Pumpkin seeds
Salmon, canned or fresh
Seafood, unbreaded
Sesame seeds
Sunflower seeds
Tuna, canned or fresh
Turkey, skinless
Veggie burgers
Wild game, skinless

Canola oil
Dark chocolate
Green tea
Olive oil

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Designing The ‘Perfect Meal’ With Your Hands

We're celebrating Healthy Eating at Foodathon this week and to start with, let's talk about how to make the perfect meal.

The Perfect Meal takes the complexity out of creating healthy, and goal orientated, meals. It follows a simple system of portion sizes (using your hands) that will help ensure that you consume all of the nutrients required to keep your body happy, healthy, and lean.
So how does it work?
Well, it works on the simple premise that every meal must have a few components, and each of these has a serving size that’s determined by your hands. These components are –
  • 2 palms of protein – the building blocks of muscle
  • 2 fists of veggies – for vitamins, minerals, and fibre
  • 2 thumbs of healthy fat – to improve testosterone levels
  • A big glass of water – because you’re probably dehydrated, and as Dan John would say ‘water is the most anabolic thing on this planet’.
That’s a pretty simple way of setting things out, right?

Friday, February 14, 2014

High on Desserts – Chennai Style!

It’s the Valentines week and how else can we celebrate it without some sweets? I know the sweets and bakery market shoot up during Valentines day and here’s Foodathon suggesting few of the best desserts and have a sugar overdose peeps!

That Tiny Chocolate Cake

Don’t you feel it’s tiny? Oh yes, this Tiny Chocolate is definitely a MUST for everyone.  I know you’re writhing in chocolicious ecstasy right now.

This is available in the famous Sandy’s in Chennai and it’s just not this tiny in real, MIND YOU!

Rainbow Cake
Bored of one flavoured cakes?  Then please do try Rainbow cake. This cake which is filled with different colors is not just eye-catchy but equally yummalicioussss!

You get Rainbow cake in Cupcake Company, Chennai. Try out their cupcakes too. Truly blissful!

Ice Cream Cannelloni
It's easier to resist at the beginning than at the end, but where does this begin?!

"Leave the gun. Take the canneoli." 

Try these truly delicious canneolis at Amadora Gourmet Ice Cream and Sorbet, Chennai.

A definite must visit at least once in two weeks for the dessert lovers.

What other way to treat your loved ones than desserts? So foodies, STOP DROOLING and it’s time to GET HIGH ON DESSERTS!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Places to eat out on Valentine’s Day - Chennai style

Here are our top picks for Valentine’s Day this year – be it candle light dinner by the pool, some elegant wine, romantic music or irresistible desserts – we have it all covered.

The Taj Club House presents an exotic Chef’s special 5-course Dinner under the starlit sky at the rooftop Mediterranean restaurant, Kefi.

Prego by Taj offers a poolside venue, candle lit dinner, a gourmet handcrafted menu, and the finest bottle of Champagne and a starry sky above make for a memorable evening and dinner.

On the nights of February 13 and 14, Upper Deck and Bay View at Fisherman's Cove have a unique do for Valentine's. Four-course menu, dance floor, music bands... its attractions galore.

At Taj Coromandel, it's Aphrodisia at The Patio and Cupid Nite at Matchpoint. Besides live music, dance floor and a mugshot corner to freeze those romantic memories, a four-course meal (champagne) is on offer at The Patio. At Matchpoint, it's going to be candle-lit dinner.

The Hilton offers alfresco dining experience with a set exclusive dinner menu, a bottle of sparkling wine, strawberries and chocolates, and unlimited soft beverages and alcoholic drinks. Guests will have the choice of dining at the rooftop bar, with a view of the cityscape, or share a romantic evening at the cabanas on Vintage Bank's patio.

Courtyard Marriott has drawn up elaborate Valentine’s Day special plans across its best restaurants. Rhapsody brings to you the ultimate romantic Valentine dinner - an exotic Valentine menu with Italian cuisine, wine, live-band, roses and everything romantic. At Paprika there is an elaborate buffet spread; live counters with a mouth-watering dessert menu.

Hyatt’s Valentine Day package that includes multiple experiences starting from pre-dinner beverages at the bar, followed by dinner at Stix and to end the evening on a sweet note they have a special dessert buffet at the pool side in specially decorated cabanas.

The Residency Towers hosts a sumptuous Buffet, Candle light dinner comprising 35 dishes bearing names inspired by romantic heroes and places with Live Music at the Main Street. Key Board artiste Francis will sing your favourite romantic songs. The roof top restaurant The Crown Deck that serves Indian and continental cuisine has a chef handcrafted Valentine’s Day special menu and also Heather & Ashley Playing Live romantic music to dine alfresco at the deck with a breath taking panoramic view of the Chennai City.

Radisson Blu GRT, GST Road offers romantic candle light dinner by the Poolside and Garden Café coupled with flowing wine, live romantic music and a special menu with cupid's favourites on the specials.

At GRT Grand, a special a la carte menu by chef David Kao is an attraction at Oriental Pearl, while a special mock tail will be offered to guests visiting Copper Point.

The Westin promises a special Valentine themed evening at Seasonal Tastes the 
city’s most elaborate dinner buffet specially crafted for families and couples. Signature dessert buffet spread of macaroons, chocolate and strawberry themed delights.

For those who are madly in love, Mad over Donuts has introduced <3 shaped donuts. The love specials come in three exciting flavours:
1. Sweetheart: Dipped in white chocolate. Filled with strawberry jelly. Topped with chocolate sprinkles and drizzled with strawberry jelly 
2. Berry MOON: Dipped in white chocolate, topped with strawberry butter cream rosette and a drizzle of strawberry jelly 
3. I Love Hazel: Filled with hazelnut and milk chocolate ganache, dipped in dark chocolate and topped with chocolate chips. So go ahead and experience pure bliss that’s not only in the air, but on your plate too! 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Valentines Day special !!

We believe the way to a man's heart is definitely through his stomach!! Celebrate the season of love with the universal language of love – Food. Try cooking some exotic, yet simple recipes for your valentine this season.  This is our guide to surprise your spouse with this quick romantic three-course meal this Valentine's Day !! 

Love Potion
·         Champagne
·         2 tablespoons fruit puree (raspberry, passion fruit, blood orange, peach, pomegranate)
Spoon the puree into a champagne flute and pour champagne on top. How easy is that!

Stuffed With Love-Shrooms
·         12 gourmet stuffing mushrooms (Washed with stems removed and set aside)
·         1/2 cup white wine
·         2 tablespoons minced garlic
·         1 tablespoon olive oil
·         1 chopped onion
·         Half a bunch spinach
·         1 cup breadcrumbs
·         1 tablespoon dried parsley
·         1/4 cup fat-free mayonnaise
·         3 slices cheese
·         salt and pepper
·         Arrange Mushrooms in a large glass casserole dish, set aside.
         Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
·         In a pan, sauté mushroom stems, spinach, garlic, and olive oil for about 3- 4 minutes.
·         Add wine and continue to sauté for about 5-10 minutes.
·         Remove mixture from heat and place in a bowl.
·         Stir in bread crumbs, chopped onions, parsley, mayo and cheese. Mix well.
·         Scoop small amounts of mixture into each mushroom cap. Bigger caps will need more of the mixture.
·         Sprinkle tops with salt and pepper.
·         Cut  cheese slices into fourths. Place small pieces of onto each mushroom cap.
·         Cook in oven uncovered for 20-35 minutes. The bottom of the casserole dish will be wet when mushrooms are ready, and the cheese on top should be brown and bubbly.

Shrimp Alfredo
·         1 lb large shrimp, shelled and deveined
·         1/4 cup minced shallot
·         2 minced garlic cloves
·         1/4 cup butter
·         1/2 lb fusilli pasta, cooked al dente
·         4 large egg yolks
·         1 cup half-and-half
·         1/2 cup freshly-grated parmesan cheese
·         2 teaspoons minced parsley

·         In a large skillet, cook the shrimp, the shallot and garlic in the butter over moderate heat, stirring, for 3-4 minutes, or until shrimp are just firm to touch and opaque.
·         Reduce heat to moderately-low and stir in the pasta.
·         In a bowl, beat together the yolks, half and half and the Parmesan.
·         Add the egg mixture to the shrimp mixture and cook until the sauce is thickened, tossing all the while so the egg doesn’t curdle, about 3-4 minutes.
·         Do not let sauce boil.
·         Stir in parsley and salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with Love!!

Strawberry dipped chocolate
·         6 ounces semisweet chocolate
·         3 ounces White chocolate
·         1 pound strawberries with stems (about 20), washed and dried
·         Wax Paper
·         Microwave safe bowl to melt the chocolate
·         Optional:  Nuts, sprinkles or small chocolate chips to dip them in.
·         Wash and dry all the strawberries.  Make sure they are completely dry before you start melting the chocolate.
·         Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl.  Be sure to only heat the chocolate for 30 seconds at a time so you don’t burn it.  You will heat the white chocolate in a separate bowl.
·         Lay out a long sheet of wax paper.
·         Holding the strawberry by the stem, dip the fruit into the dark chocolate, lift and twist slightly, letting any excess chocolate fall back into the bowl.
·         Optional:  Dip them in Nuts, Sprinkles or small chocolate chips.
·         Set strawberries on the parchment paper.
·         Repeat with the rest of the strawberries.
·         Finally, dip a fork in the white chocolate and drizzle the white chocolate over the dipped strawberries.
·         Allow about 30 minutes for the chocolate to set and then enjoy!