Tag Archives: breakfast

Mexican Breakfast

8 Feb

I am in love with Mexican cuisine. As a self-proclaimed foodie I am ashamed to say that the extent of my exposure to Mexican food before I came to the UK was restricted to four things – Salsa (like the dance), Nachos (like Senõr Pepito’s masala triangles), Tacos with black beans (as in, rajma, right?) and Tortillas (don’t pronounce the ‘r’ ), none of which I truly liked. Yes, I had tried jalapenos and of course I loved chorizo, but in my mind these individual things didn’t map up to make ‘cuisine’. At most, they were snacks that you bought at the movies and avoided at restaurants.

Until, that was, the evening when I saw this programme on the Food Network channel. I was bored with eating the regular stuff, and was looking for something easy and exciting when I saw Thomasina Meirs make this simple Mexican breakfast dish.

My version of Mexican breakfast

As I watched, I realised that I already had most of the ingredients at home. I didn’t waste time in putting knife to  red pepper, and soon, this amazingly tasty dinner-breakfast was ready.

Fried egg replaced with goat’s cheese

Truth is, I had been waiting for this ‘intervention’ all my life, and immediately followed it up with a meal at Taqueria where I tried

Flautas deep fried rolled tortillas filled with refry (v) or chicken, with tomatillo salsa, crema, lettuce, sliced onion, queso fresco. The sauce on this one is super awesome

and

Quesadillas toasty corn tortillas folded around melted cheese with mushroom and house made Mexican chorizo. Woah. Died and went to food heaven, and was glad to be alive to be able to try it before going to heaven

and some other things I don’t remember.

And then of course, I went to Wahaca, where I tried

Fish a la Pimienta Grilled mullet with a melting onion, black pepper, fresh lime and pumpkin seed sauce, served with green rice and salad. It grows on you till you cant get enough

and

Tostadas with Chicken guajillo Chunks of marinated chicken, lettuce,
guacamole and a smoky guajillo oil. *Want to out of the house at this moment and sinking my teeth into some *

You can find the original recipe for Mexican Breakfast  here.

If you want to make my version though, replace the egg with some goats cheese or semi-hard cow’s milk cheese (I usually use the plain Apetina), and switch the Worcester sauce with sweet smoked paprika.

If you’ve had great Mexican food experiences elsewhere in London, I’d love to know, so drop me a line with your suggestions!

Healthy for 2 weeks and counting…

10 Aug

For the last two weeks, I’ve been on this somewhat-diet that I made from a hotchpotch of advise from women’s magazines, some serious examination of calorie charts and titbits of common sense. Just for fun (and I’m not advocating ANY of this) I thought I’d share this diet with you. I still don’t know how well I’ve fared on the weight loss front, but I am feeling a lot less “loose” and a bit more “tight” if you know what I mean  🙂

So up first, Breakfast. Most important meal of the day for me, and I like to think the most healthiest as well. I never have meat in the mornings anyway, so it wasn’t really that much of a struggle. I usually have bran flakes and a cup of coffee. Although fruits do get a bit heavy on the student pocket, they are totally worth it.

Bran flakes with raisins, blue berries and watermellon

In between breakfast and lunch. When I was in boarding school, they used to call this period between breakfast and lunch “juice break” where we used to get a glass of juice (if we were lucky to get there before everybody else did) and two biscuits. When my parents first heard about this, they found the idea ridiculous. How can one eat so much and constantly? But the idea behind it was this – to keep your metabolism going, so you wouldn’t go overboard at lunch time (not that it stopped us :P). So mid-morning, when the breakfast effect has worn off, I have a few almonds (about 6 to 8) and some swigs of a yoghurt drink. Its both refreshing and nutritious!

Lunch. I discovered this really cool, cheap and tasty option that would leave me feeling full AND help me lose some of that extra flab. Its called Rye Bread. Tada!! My friend Shuli who I suggested it to (and who is a willing consumer of it) fondly calls it “cardboard”. It is. But its healthy, fibrous, nearly no calories cardboard. Now for the fun part: go crazy on the dip that accompanies the rye bread. There’s a whole host of flavours out there that I didn’t even know about! In 2 weeks I’ve discovered 3 types of hummous (all low fat), tzatziki (which is so wonderully like raita), and an aubergine dip that has a lovely smokey flavour combined with a smooth texture. Along with the rye bread, I have stalks of celery or carrots, or some fruit to give me a break from the bread. And sometimes sometimes when I’m feeling really generous with myself, I throw in a stick of cheese 😛

In between Lunch and Dinner. At about 6 in the evening, I get really hungry, and its usually for things like chocolate and chips and other fattening stuff that I should stay far away from. To placate my pangs at this hour, I usually whip up some tea which is usually loose-leaf Assam tea and have it with 2 ginger-nut biscuits (only) and perhaps a handful of peanuts. This combination usually keeps me covered until dinner time : )

Dinner. This is probably totally anti traditional diet, but I let myself go slightly over the top for dinner as compared to my other meals during the day. I don’t know why that is. Maybe I’m used to this pattern because I’ve followed it for most of my life. Even back at home in India, dinner was always the heaviest meal because at the end of the day, you could just relax and enjoy it (plus the family was all sitting together!). So for dinner, I’ve come up with a few options that range from grilled fish, to boiled vegetables and noodle soup (with only salt and pepper!) or just a vegetable stir-fry with egg (sometimes I eat the yoke, at other times I don’t).

Sweet chilli roasted salmon (from Tesco, absolutely delicious) and Noodle soup with celery

So that’s it. Don’t know how long I’ll be able to keep this up, but I’m hoping it’ll be long enough to get fit!

Lazy Latif’s Leftover Brunch

6 Mar

Its one of those Sunday mornings when you barely want to move an inch. Its close to afternoon. Breakfast doesnt make sense and the idea of a heavy lunch is off-putting. So you take last night’s left overs and whip up some lazy Sunday brunch.

Like I did.

With 2 eggs, salt, pepper and chilli powder…

…Chopped corriander…

…last night’s Red Beans…

…and gobbled it up…

…with some fruit, cookies and a mug of steaming coffee.

Hungry to Bliss in 5 minutes.

A Dose of Oestrogen

26 Feb

All of us women need that extra bit of oestrogen once in a while. Here’s an account of my most excellent pajama party with friends Anjuli and Shuli. Comfort food had to feature, of course!

1 – Dressed up (for ourselves) in our best outfits, we headed for a scrumptious meal of Honey BBQ chicken, Spicy Arabiata and a juicy Burger. Then off to the Pub for a drink. By this time I was so full, I was bursting through my clinched vintage dress. Huff. Puff.

chit chat

2 – There I discovered  Double Archers and Coke  with a wedge of lime-  its my new favourite drink. Yum!

 

3 – A bit buzzed and very happy, we left the Pub and bought ourselves some fatty, junkie grub for the sleep over. Which reminds me, do try the Doritos Lime Flavour. Its quite awesome. You don’t even need the salsa dip.

 

sungar-fat-salt yum

4 – After we’d changed into our comfi pajamas that Anjuli surprised us with a box of cookies she bought us in Copenhagen. There was oatmeal and raisin, Chocolate chip, Butter, Sugared Vanilla and Plain. Bloody brilliant.

Cookies from Copenhagen!

 

As you can see, it came in a very pretty pastel blue box that reminded me instantly of this scene in Marie Antoinette:

 

5- We watched Disney Movies and sang along till the wee hours of the night (morning). And the next day, it only got better.

We made a trip down to the swimming pool where I learnt to dive and do somersaults in the water! We ended the morning with a large lazy breakfast of mushroom and cheese buns, almond croissants, coffee,  juice and fresh gossip. Crunchy 🙂

cheese and mushroom breakfast bun at Costa

I had such an awesome time, I can’t wait to get my next dose of oestrogen! Read more about it on Shuli’s blog http://thingsididmyself.blogspot.com/2011/02/pyjama-party-outfit-9-and-barely-10.html

 

Di’s to-die-for Pancakes

3 Feb

Today is going to be a good day, because good days begin with good mornings and good mornings begin with good breakfast.

As I dragged my groggy self to the kitchen this morning to drink my lonely coffee, I was surprised to see a bustle of activity. From the smell of eggs and the whirring of the electric beater, I suspected pancakes, and to my utmost *delight* I was right.

My flatmate Diana was making her silken, yet paper-thin delights on the pan and the whole place smelled of a satisfied soul and a happy stomach.

I had to get you guys the recipe of course, so here it is. But its important that you follow the tiny little details, because that can mean either ending up with Silk or with Rubber. So.

What you need: (serves 4)

3 eggs

1 lt *warm* milk (to avoid lumps)

1 cup flour

sugar (to your taste. Note, however, that the more sugar you add, the more it’ll caramelize and burn the pancake. Best not to put too much)

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup sunflower oil

1/2 tsp salt

butter for the pan

What to do:

Whisk eggs until you get a nice foamy layer on top. Add sugar, salt and whisk till consistent. Then add the vegetable oil, baking powder. Whisk, whisk. Then the milk and whisk. Whisk away till you get a nice smooth consistency.

On a medium flame, heat a non-stick pan. Once the pan is hot, add 1/2 tsp butter (for every pancake) before you pour the batter. Once the pancake is cooked on the other side, the batter will start releasing itself from the pan, so you’ll know when its time to flip it over (usually a minute or so)

Flip over and heat up for about 30 seconds, not too much.

Done!

The best part is that they come out paper thin. More like crepes. So stack em up and enjoy them with jam/honey/butter or whatever else you want.

butter makes it better

Here’s wishing you a Good morning, and merry sunshine.

 

 

Mushrooms: Spreading the joy

14 Jan

[This post is dedicated to my good friend Nattu, who sent me a really pretty card (she herself made) all the way from India. See that  lovely Radha-Krishna stamp?

Despite my sickness and state-of-mind, it instantly cheered me up 🙂 Nothing quite compares to physical letters and cards, wouldn’t you say?]

Easy Mushroom Paste and why it spreads so much joy


The reason it spreads joy is because,

  1. Its very easy to prepare
  2. Its versatile (I’ll explain how later)
  3. Its cheap and does very well for a student budget
  4. It lasts really long, so it works well for student schedules too

What you need:

(Nb: the following ingredients are in proportion to 250gms of Button mushrooms. Double it if you want to use 500 gm mushrooms)

250 gm Button Mushrooms

2tbsp slightly salted butter

1 tbsp ground black pepper

salt to taste

What to do:

Wash and chop mushrooms into squarish pieces as finely as possible. The finer you chop, the smoother your paste.

In a medium sized pot, put the mushrooms and the butter and heat on medium flame. The mushrooms will start releasing water.

So you’ll probably start with something like this…

 

Then go on to something like this…

 

And then this.

The whole process will take a good 20 minutes or so, so have patience. The trick is to let all the water evaporate so in the end you have this luscious thing that’s swimming in butter (i never said it would be healthy!)

Once all the water has evaporated, turn off the gas and set aside to cool. Once cooled, add salt and pepper.

Its done.

Now comes the fun part. Remembering I was telling you how this paste is really versatile? The thing is, it can be used in as many ways as you want.

You can have it by itself; or toss it in your salad;or mix it with rice to make pilaf; or eat it with nan bread; or add it to boiled pasta.

I have myself tried it as a filling for roles, croissants and also for samosas, and they’ve turned out to be big hits with all my friends and guests.

Just to give you an example, I’ve mixed it here with Garlic and Herb La Roule’ cheese, to make it a breakfast spread for toast.

The best part is that you can store it in a container in your freezer for at least a week and keep using it as and when. That’ll save you both time and effort, especially if you’re running around attending classes and doing your assignments!

 

Thank you God, for this Breakfast

7 Dec

Its weird how even after so many years of being told that breakfast is the most important meal, a lot of us just skip it in the name of being busy.

A few years ago, I would gulp down some tea and polish it off with a few biscuits and that would be my breakfast. But that was before I discovered the true happiness of having a wholesome and healthy breakfast. It made me realise that it wasn’t just a meal. It was a lifestyle choice. (I also discovered my stomach was an endless pit in the mornings. I’m serious. I can eat any amount. Any amount.)

Eating a heavy breakfast, simply makes your day better. It helps improve your focus, attention, gives you stamina and most importantly, it arms you with the stomach to stomach the day ahead.

Also, a good breakfast never lets you down, ever.

Here at Warwick, I have two types of Breakfast – my own; and the University House breakfast. Mine consists on a cup of tea/coffee, cereal and some bread with either jam or Nutella. Quite so-so, right?

The Uni House breakfast however, simply blows my pants off. So here’s what the Uni breakfast consists of:
Button Mushrooms, lightly tossed in oil
Scrambled egg
Hash browns (my favourite)
Beans or Tomatoes

And to wash this down, I usually choose a Hazelnut Latte.(Just this morning, I was discussing with a friend how important it is to have a regular intake of milk. If you aren’t too fond of plain milk, why not go for a latte or hot chocolate or something?)

It pumps me with fiber, proteins, vitamins, calcium, folic acid and other cool sounding nutrients, and it totally makes my day.

So I just want to say Thank You to God for this Breakfast.

My favourite breakfast, here without tomatoes/beans