Reginette in spinach-tomato sauce

Reginette in spinach-tomato sauce

Reginette in spinach-tomato sauce

I have used reginette here; you can choose any pasta of your choice.

Ingredients:

Reginette-2 cups
Spinach (blanched and finely chopped)-2 tbsp
Tomato (blanched, peeled and chopped)-4-5 tbsp
Garlic-1/2-1 tbps (finely chopped)
Chilli flakes-1/2 tsp (or as per your liking)
Onion (cut)-2 tbsp
Black pepper-1 pinch
Oregano (dry)-1/2-1 tsp
Salt-to taste
Soy sauce-1-2 tsp
Olive oil-1-2 tbsp

Method:

* Boil reginette till 95% in salted water. Drain and run through cold water; sprinkle some oil, mix well and keep it aside.
* In a wok heat oil and add chopped garlic. Fry for 1 minute (we don’t want it to turn brown).
* Now add chopped onion in it, fry till translucent.
* Add blanched and chopped tomato; fry it for 3-4 minutes.
* Add salt and blanched-chopped spinach. Cook for 1 minute.
* Now add soy sauce, black pepper and the boiled reginette. Give it a toss. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
* Switch off the stove and sprinkle the dry oregano and chilli flakes; mix it well.

Serve hot! 

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Tooth Sensitivity: Causes & Cures

Tooth sensitivity is the sensation (or in the worse case, pain) that one feels while eating/drinking something hot, cold or acidic.

Healthy tooth Vs. Sensitive tooth

Healthy tooth Vs. Sensitive tooth

As you can see in the figure, in the healthy tooth (left hand side), the dentin of the tooth (the layer that surrounds the nerve) is covered by the enamel and the gum. While in the sensitive tooth (right hand side), the dentine of the tooth is exposed to environment either because of receding gum line or loss of enamel and causes sensation or tooth sensitivity.

There are various factors that can lead to sensitivity of the tooth:

* Receding gums due to age, improper brushing techniques or any gum disease.
* Fractured tooth that can lead to dentine exposure.
* Plague in the mouth.
* Using various teeth whitening products, many of them contains peroxide which can lead to teeth sensitivity.
* Using hard toothbrush, brushing incorrectly or brushing more than thrice a day that can cause thinning or loss of enamel.

How to prevent tooth sensitivity:

* NEVER use hard bristled toothbrush, it can lead to enamel loss or erosion.
* NEVER brush aggressively. ALWAYS brush gently with soft hand. Here is Colgate teaches you how to brush correctly- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzXRehGBEOg
* AVOID brushing just after tea/coffee etc as at that time enamel is in its weak form and can be eroded easily.
* DON’T brush more than twice a day, you don’t need to. Go the Indian way, gargle with water after every meal.
* MAKE the habit of gently massaging the gums with index finger towards the tooth (downward for the upper teeth and upward for the lower teeth) after brushing your teeth. It helps in preventing the gums from receding.

Some home remedies for curing sensitivity:

* Take 1 tbsp of mustard oil and mix it well with 1 tsp of salt (preferably rock salt). Apply on your teeth, massage for 5 minutes and then leave it for another 5 minutes before rinsing it off with water.
* In a glass of lukewarm water, add 2 tsp of salt and rinse your mouth with this salt-water solution twice a day.

If you still can’t find any relief, visit a dentist!

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Healthy oatmeal cubes!

By Shivani Varma

Honey oatmeal bar is one of the recipes that tastes great and is healthier as well. Pediatricians also suggest to include oat meals and exclude extra sugar from you kid’s daily diet.

Oatmeal Cubes

Oatmeal Cubes

Ingredients:

Rolled oats-1/2 cup
Raisins (or any other dry fruits of your choice, cut into half)-1-2 tbsp
Self-raising flour (preferable wholemeal)-1/4 cup
Raw sugar -3/4 cup
Coconut (desiccated or shredded)-1/4 cup
Butter or margarine-80 gm (4 x 20 ml spoon)
Honey-1/2 -1 tbsp (I have used very little sugar, substituted it for more honey and increased the quantity of oats to more than half cup but less than 1 cup)

Method:

* Take all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix them well.
* In another bowl take butter and honey. Mix well.
* Now pour this butter-honey mixture into the first bowl and mix well.
* Spread and press evenly the mixture into a greased baking tray.You can pat 2-3 times after pouring this mixture so that it will spread evenly.
* Preheat oven to 180 180ºC/350F. Now bake the mixture for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown, keep checking at regular intervals. I kept in on convection mode for about 20 mins untill it turned golden.
* Cut it into small cubes while hot.
* Remove the cubes from the tray when it cools down.

It is all ready to be eaten. It can last upto 4-5 days if stored in an airtight container. Hope you’ll liked it! 🙂

190419_513599498676468_1430566478_nShivani Varma is “a young Indian mommy” from Chandigarh. Formerly worked at ‘The Deccan Herlad’ and ‘Franchise India Holding Limited’ as a senior sub-editor, she left her job to take care of her sweet daughter, Aaditri. She loves to cook and is very much concerned about calorie counts in her recipes. ‘I prefer to cook my food (for two) in not more than a spoon of oil’, says Shivani.

{DIY}-Make your own beetroot lip balm

Apply this balm daily at bedtime and you’ll wake up with soft and smooth lips. And the beetroot makes your lips look pinkish over time. Lets see what all things are required to make this balm.

Ingredients:

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Glycerine-2 tsp
Vaselline-2 tbsp
Beetroot- 1 big or 2 small
A container

Method:
* Peel beetroot and cut it into small pieces.
* Now in a double boiler melt vaselline.
* Now add glycerine and beetroot.

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* Let it cook for 20 minutes.
* Now strain it and store in a container.

Homemade lip stain

Homemade lip stain

Apply daily. I am using this for a week now and I wake up with super soft lips 🙂 I feel like one can use desi ghee also instead of vaseline (though I need to try that, will try with ghee and will update you’ll about that).
Till then take care! 🙂
xoxo
Shivani

Oat and whole wheat flour bannock!

Oat and whole wheat flour bannock

Oat and whole wheat flour bannock

You can also use some other flours (like oat flour, barley flour etc) or wheat flour in it instead of whole wheat flour in this recipe, but I am on “maida chodo abhiyaan” these days 😛 , so it is whole wheat flour for me.

Here goes the recipe!

Ingredients:

Instant oat-1/2 cup
Whole wheat flour-1 ½ cups
Egg-1
Milk-1 ½-2 cups
Baking powder-1 pinch
Sugar-1 tbsp (or to taste)
Vanilla Essence-1/2 tsp
Butter-1-2 tbsp
Honey & nuts-for garnishing

Method:

* In a bowl take whole wheat flour and baking powder mix well. You can also take them in strainer and strain down, it helps in mixing them well too.
* Now separate egg into egg white and yolk. Beat egg white well (till frothy).
* Now in the whole wheat bowl, add the egg yolk and mix well. And add oat, sugar, vanilla essence and milk.
* Then pour the egg white in the batter. Turn with gentle hand and only in one direction.
* Now heat up a pan and spread butter in it.
* Pour 1-2 tbsp of the batter and let it cook.
* Cook both sides til golden brown.
* Take it out and garnish it with honey and nuts of your choice.

Serve hot! 🙂

A funny incident…

2355228-326683-illustration-of-kids-at-bus-stop-waiting-for-school-busA funny incident happened to me few days back. I was waiting at my colony gate for my office cab and few steps apart, there was a small school-going girl waiting with her dad for her school bus. Suddenly, she pointed her finger towards me and started shouting “papa udhar dekho”. She was so scared and about to cry. I felt so embarrassed and said to myself “oh gosh, do I look so horrible that the girl is scared of me”. At that time, I had lots of pimple on my face and a day prior to this incident even I was wondering by glancing at the mirror “yaar, ye kitna darawane lag rahein hain”. But not had the slightest idea that I am looking so horrible that a kid will get scared of me and would start to cry by my appearance. I was cursing the cab, “jaldi kyo nahi aaraha yaar..” and I started looking here and there just to curb my anger and embarrassment. Suddenly I looked back and was like “Oh no”! There was an about 5 ft 8 inch tall cow with almost 2 ft long horns and she was just 1/2 ft away from me. I ran from that place and felt like shouting at that girl’s dad “aapki beti itni der se chilla rahi hain, par aap ek baar bol nahi sakte ki mere pichhe itni badi aur itni dangerous gai khadi hain..#$%%^&&$#@” 😡 and more of it. But then my cab arrived and I left. I was a bit relieved, not because I survived that long, sharp-horned cow, but because I get to know that I don’t look that horrible to make a child scared of me. And later I was smiling at the whole incident throughout the day 😛 😛

P.S: I wrote this post few years ago in my personal blog (shivani-blahblah.blogspot.com, which is dormant now).

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Fluffy veg. pancakes!

Fluffy pancakes

Fluffy pancakes


This is very great breakfast option as it is full of veggies which makes it healthy plus it is super-quick to make.So let’s move on to its recipe-

Ingredients:

Semolina-2 cups
Yogurt-1/2 cup
Salt-to taste
Mixed veg. of your choice-1 cup(chopped)
Eno-1/2 sachet
Oil-1-2 tbsp

Method:

-> Mix semolina, salt, curd and add little water to make a batter. It shouldn’t be runny.
-> Now add all veggies and 1/2-1 tsp of oil.
-> Heat up oil in a pan. And JUST BEFORE start making pancakes, add eno in the batter and mix gently with light hand(don’t over-mix it).
-> Now pour 2 tbsp of batter/pancake in the pan. Let them leave the edges, then sprinkle little oil around the edges and on the top of them and then flip them one by one.

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-> Cook well the other sides too. It should be golden brown in colour.

Now take them out and serve with chatni/raita/sauce etc 🙂

20 minutes tasty baby corns!

Tasty babycorns

Tasty baby corns

This is a super-quick recipe which you can serve to your guests in no time! So let’s get down to the recipe super-fast. Here it goes!

Ingredients:
Baby corn-15 nos.(cut into 2-3 pcs.each)
Capsicum-1 tbsp(cut into small pieces)
Onion-1 tbsp(cut into small pieces)
Garlic-1 tsp(finely chopped)
Black pepper-a pinch
Spring onion-for garnish
All-purpose flour-2 tsp
Cornflour-1 tbsp
Soy sauce-1-2 tsp
Salt-to taste
Green chilli-1/2 tsp(chopped)
Oil-for frying
Sugar-1/4 tsp(optional)
Tomato ketchup-1/2-1 tsp(optional)

Method:
-> Take baby corns in a bowl and add salt, 1/2 tsp of soy sauce, black pepper, little bit of garlic, 2 tsp of all-purpose flour and 2 tsp of corn flour. Add little water, just to make a paste. Cover the bowl with a lid and keep it aside for 10 minutes.
-> After 10 minutes, deep fry them till golden brown and take them out on a kitchen towel or a tissue paper.
-> Heat up oil in a skillet and add chopped garlic in it. After 10-15 seconds, add chopped green chillies.
-> Now add onion and fry till translucent.
-> Add capsicum and cook for 2-3 minutes(we want then crunchy, not soft). Add salt.
-> *Now in bowl take cornflour and mix water to it to make a solution. Add this solution into the skillet, a little at a time to get the desired consistency.
-> Add soy sauce and sugar or tomato ketchup(you can add both-sugar & tomato ketchup or you can skip both depending on your liking).
-> Now give it a stir and bring it to a boil before switching off the stove(if you want it totally dry you can skip step* or you can cook it for few more minutes to dry up the gravy)
-> Now garnish it with chopped spring onion and serve it hot as a starter or as an evening snack!

Happy serving/eating 🙂

{DIY}-Home-made body scrub for soft and smooth skin!

I made this body scrub a month back and using it since then. It really makes the skin soft and supple. If you have an extreme oily body, you can skip adding oil. So lets start with the method!
You would need-
* Almond powder
* Crushed oats
* Red lentil/Masooor dal powder
* A bowl
* Almond oil
* Body wash

Mix crushed oat, almond powder, masoor dal in the ratio 1:2:3. You can mix good quantity of it and store it in a box and keep it in your bathroom shelf.
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Now you can use this scrub while taking shower. In a bowl take 1-2 tbsp of the powder,

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add 1-2 tbsp of body wash

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and 1/2 tsp drops of oil(since the body wash I am using right now is already having olive oil so I am skiping the oil part).
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Now add little water to make a paste.
Wet your body and then apply this paste all over it. Keep it for 5 minutes if you can and now scrub very gently with loofah and then wash with water. Pat dry with towel and apply body lotion. Do it twice or thrice a week.

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Veg. chila with amla-dhania chatni..

Vegetable Chila

Vegetable Chila

When it comes to breakfast, muesli, cornflakes and oats are the things I consider at last. I like to feed my family with fresh hot Indian breakfast. Until the morning is good and satisfactory, we can’t expect an energetic, high mood day. But my hubby leaves for office really early at 7 am. And I have to do hell lot of things before that-cook his lunch, cut a big bowl full of salad and another big bowl full of fruits which he carries to office and then make breakfast. And sometimes, my 2 years toddler wakes up at the same time and clings to me. Making him engage in some activity also takes away some time. So because of the time constraint, I can’t indulge into lengthy breakfast option, but I try to incorporate the maximum nutrients I can in the quick breakfast I make. Here is the recipe of one of those quick, easy breakfast options, veg. chila & gooseberry chatni.

Ingredients for veg. chila:

Gram flour/besan-2 cups
Veg. of your choice-1/2-1 cup(finely cut)
Green chilli-1/4 tsp(chopped)
Black pepper powder-1 pinch
Dry fenugreek/kasuri methi-1 tbsp(roughly crushed with hand)
Salt-to test
Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
Oil-1 tbsp
Water-1 ½-2 cups(approx.)

Method for making veg. chila:

-> Mix gramflour, turmeric powder, salt and water.
-> Beat them properly to avoid any lumps plus to aerate the mixture.
-> Now add rest of the ingredients and mix them well (if time permits, keep aside for 5 minutes).
imagechila1
-> Now grease a pan and keep it on the stove.
-> Pour the batter(we don’t want a very hot pan while pouring the batter because it resists the spreading of batter properly).
-> Now when you find that the batter is leaving the edges, sprinkle a bit of oil around it and on its surface and give it a flip.
-> When both the surfaces are cooked properly, take it off the pan.

Now the Chatni. Amla is so rich in Vitmain C, I think everyone should try to have it daily, be it in any form.

Ingredients for goosbery chatni:

Gooseberry/Amla-2
Garlic-6 cloves(if small)
Green chilli-1
Coriander leaves-5 tbps
Extra virgin olive oil or mustard oil-1-2 tsp
Lime juice-1 tsp
Salt-to taste

Method for chatni:

-> Mix all the ingredients and run the mixer.
-> Adjust salt, oil and lime juice as per your liking.

All ready!! 🙂