Friday, 28 July 2017

5 Delicious Things You Can Make With Quinoa

The gluten-free super food has taken the world by storm and our Instagram feeds as well. Quinoa may have come in to the spotlight for us recently but this little dose of nutrition has its origins more than five thousand years ago. In the Inca Empire, it was considered “The mother of all grains”. 
They realized early on what we know now, that quinoa is a complete protein having all the essential amino acids our body can’t make on its own. But what truly amazes us is how versatile it is to cook! 

Variety of Quinoa

There are lots of different varieties of quinoa that make perfect accomplices to various dishes.
If you are a salad junkie, a sweet tooth or a bread lover, there are countless ways to incorporate this super grain in your favorite recipes and we will show you how. Let’s Quinoa it!
1.White Quinoa

White Quinoa

White quinoa has a delicate taste akin to white rice and a subtle, mild flavor. It is generally sweeter than its darker variants and has a fluffy texture which makes it a great substitute for rice. White quinoa is just as nutritious as its other variants containing lots of fiber, iron and manganese. But as it has an easy going taste, it is the best variant to start with if you have never had quinoa before.
Try this creamy mushroom and thyme Quinoa Risotto:
Creamy mushroom and thyme Quinoa Risotto

•1 1/2 cups chopped onion
•1 garlic clove, pressed
•3 teaspoons chopped fresh  Thyme, divided
•1 cup dry white wine
•Grated Parmesan cheese

•Bring 2 cups salted water. Add the quinoa, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until tender and the water is absorbed, just about 13 minutes.
•In the meanwhile, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until the onions begins to brown, for about 5 minutes. Add garlic; stir for 30 seconds. Add mushrooms and thyme. 
•Sauté until the mushrooms are tender for about 6 minutes. Add wine; stir until wine is reduced and the liquid has a syrup consistency. Mix all the quinoa into the mushroom mixture; season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle on some cheese shavings separately.

2.Red Quinoa

Red Quinoa

Red quinoa has a luscious crimson color and adds a delicious ruby hue to green vegetables and salads. It is slightly chewier than white quinoa, has a richer taste and is somewhat nutty. It is best for cold salads as it holds it shape better after cooking. 
Go for this crunchy Red Quinoa and Avocado Salad:
Red Quinoa and Avocado Salad

•2/3rd cup of water
•1 cup Exotic Cherry Red Tomatoes, halved
•½ cup diced cucumber
•¼ cup diced onion
•2 tablespoons lemon juice
•2 cups Exotic Baby Spinach leaves
•1 Avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced

•Immerse the quinoa in water, to boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender and all the water is absorbed for about 15 to 20 minutes. .
•Once the quinoa has chilled, gently stir in the tomatoes, cucumber, and onion and garnish with lime juice, cumin, salt, and pepper. Divide the spinach leaves on the salad plates, and top with the quinoa salad. Garnish with the avocado slices.

3.Black Quinoa

Black Quinoa

Black Quinoa is a hybrid variety of quinoa and is slightly sweeter than other variants. It has an earthy flavor and is crunchier in texture. It has just as many proteins, fibers, antioxidants and iron that are available in red and white quinoa. With its gorgeous onyx color it is great for soups, salads, stews and makes a scrumptious side dish for meat and fish.
With this delicious yet healthy Mexican Quinoa Stew, you can achieve your health goals in a tasty way.
Mexican Quinoa Stew

•1 medium onion, chopped
•2 Exotic Celery stalks, chopped
•3 carrots, chopped
•4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
•2 Jalapenos Slices, seeded and chopped
•3 ½ cups water
•795 grams diced tomatoes
•1 ½ cups cooked Whole black beans 
•2 teaspoons Sea Salt
•¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
•Freshly ground Healthy Alternatives Organic Black Pepper Whole
•1/8 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

•In a medium soup pot, warm the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, carrots, garlic, and jalapeños. Sauté until the vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes.
•Add the water, tomatoes, beans, cumin, salt, quinoa, cilantro and cayenne pepper. Season with extra salt and pepper and bring the soup to boil.
•Once it starts boiling, lower the heat, cover the pot, and let the soup simmer until the quinoa is tender, just about 15 minutes. Add more salt and pepper to taste, if necessary.
•Divide into bowls and serve with any of your favorite garnishes.
4.Quinoa Flour

Quinoa Flour

With this gluten free quinoa flour, you don’t need to guilt trip yourself for gobbling all those crumbly chocolate chip cookies.  It is very versatile in baking and can easily improve the nutrient value of your baked goods. Substitute half of the all-purpose flour in your recipe with quinoa flour and substitute equal amounts for wheat flour in cakes and cookies.  
With the Healthy Alternatives Quinoa Bread Squares, you can enjoy a healthy and hearty toast for breakfast every morning.
Or better yet try this gluten free two minute chocolate mug¬¬ brownie for a quick sweet treat to fulfill your chocolate cravings.
Quinoa Flour Chocolate Mug

•1/4th Cup Brown Soft Sugar
•2 Tablespoon Cocoa Powder
•A pinch of  Organic Rock Salt
•2 tablespoons milk, coffee or water

•In a microwave safe mug, stir together all the dry ingredients till there are no lumps then add in the milk and the oil.
•Microwave for a minute or two and keep checking every 30 seconds. When it’s spongy on top yet slightly gooey, your brownie is ready to devour. 

You can also add Quinoa to your meals using our salad recipe.

Get the best value ingredients at your nearest Nature’s Basket store or get your ingredients here

3 Exciting Ways To Cook Up Scallops

Tender, delicious and oh so, buttery! What’s the best thing you like about scallops? We know, it’s so difficult to just pick one! But one of the things we love about scallops is how versatile they are to cook! You can bake them, grill them, sauté them, serve them as a side dish along with your entrée or as a light, crispy salad. You can even ladle them up in some hot, spicy soup on a chilly Monday afternoon!

Scallops Platter

With so many options out there, it can be confusing. But don’t fret, we have some exciting ways for you to cook up this true seafood treasure!

1. Hazelnut-Crusted Scallops
Turn a simple weeknight dinner into an unforgettable seafood affair! The subtle flavor of the scallops goes well with any palate the nutty texture of the hazelnuts makes this shellfish delicacy extra scrumptious. Simple and easy to cook, this is a must-try dish for any seafood lover out there!

Hazelnut Crusted Scallops


•5 tablespoons of butter
•1/2 cup of dry white wine
•1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream
•1 teaspoon of fresh thyme
•1/4 teaspoon of Healthy Alternatives Organic Rock Salt
•1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground Healthy Alternatives Organic Whole Black Pepper
•A pinch of nutmeg powder
•1-pound of Frozen Scallops
•1/4 cup of panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
•1/4 cup of finely chopped hazelnuts
•Hot cooked Healthy Alternatives Multi-Grain Gluten Free Pasta


•Preheat oven to 375°.
•Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a cast-iron skillet. Stir in the wine, heavy whipping cream, thyme, salt, pepper, and nutmeg powder. Add the scallops, turn them around to coat them properly and remove from heat.
•Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in a small bowl in the microwave, and stir in the panko and the nuts. Sprinkle the mixture over the scallops. Bake at 375° for 10 to 12 minutes or until it turns bubbly and golden brown. Serve with some hot cooked pasta. Garnish, if desired.

2. Seared Scallops With Grapefruit And Brown Butter Sauce

These seared scallops are creamy, mouth-watering, and full of buttery goodness! The three ingredient homemade grapefruit and brown butter sauce takes just a few minutes to whip up and when combined with some tender cooked scallops, it’s a match made in seafood heaven for sure!

Seared Scallops


•1 large grapefruit
•1/4 cup of unsalted butter
•1 teaspoon of all-purpose flour
•1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
•1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground Healthy Alternatives Organic Whole Black Pepper
•450 grams of Frozen Scallops
•1 tablespoon of Healthy Alternatives Pure Olive Oil
•1 tablespoon of chopped chives


•Peel the grapefruit, and cut it into sections with a knife. Squeeze the rind and the remaining pulp to yield 1/4 cup of juice.
•Cook butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes or until it turns golden and starts to smell nutty. Stir in the flour and cook, whisking constantly, for about 1 minute. Gradually stir in the grapefruit juice. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until it thickens. Stir in the grapefruit segments and 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt and black pepper each. Pour it into a bowl. Cover the bowl and keep the mixture warm.
•Sprinkle the scallops with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt and black pepper each. Heat some oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the scallops, and sear for 3 minutes on each side or until the scallops turn brown.
•Drizzle the scallops with some grapefruit sauce and sprinkle some chives on top.

3. Scallops And Vegetable Gumbo

Brighten up your day with this seafood delight! For a hearty, wholesome meal on a cold rainy day, this scallop and vegetable gumbo is like a warm hug in a bowl. The tender tasking scallops along with the spicy gravy from the gumbo make up a delightful surprise for your taste buds.

Scallops And Vegetable Gumbo


•6 slices of bacon
•2 tablespoons of Healthy Alternatives Pure Olive Oil
•1 cup of all-purpose flour
•5 celery sticks, chopped
•2 medium onions, chopped
•2 green bell peppers, chopped
•2 garlic cloves, minced
•2 (32-ounce) containers of chicken broth
•1 teaspoon of chopped fresh rosemary
•1 1/2 teaspoons of chopped fresh thyme
•2 bay leaves
•3/4 cup of fresh or frozen baby lima beans
•1 1/2 cups of sliced okra
•1 1/2 cups of peeled, seeded and chopped tomato
•1 cup of fresh or frozen yellow corn kernels
•1 large potato, cubed
•1 package of mushrooms, sliced
•1 tablespoon of butter, melted
•2 pounds of Frozen Scallops
•1 to 2 teaspoons of hot sauce
•1 3/4 teaspoons of Healthy Alternatives Organic Rock Salt
•1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground Healthy Alternatives Organic Whole Black Pepper
•Hot cooked rice


•Cook the bacon until it is crisp, crumble it, and reserve the bacon drippings in the pan and set it aside.
•Add some olive oil to the pan drippings; whisk in the flour. Cook it over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until it is caramel colored for about 25 minutes. Add the celery, onions, bell peppers and cloves and cook, stirring constantly, for 10 minutes or until they turn tender.
•Stir in the broth with the rosemary, thyme, bay leaves and the lima beans and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally and skimming as necessary. Stir in the okra, tomato, potato, and corn kernels and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, and simmer for 30 minutes.
•Sauté the mushrooms in the butter over medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes or until the liquid evaporates and add to the broth mixture.
•Add the bacon, scallops, hot sauce, salt, and pepper to the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes or until the scallops are done; discard the bay leaves. And Serve over some hot rice. Sprinkle with pepper.

Are you ready to start cooking up some scallops? Get your Ingredients here:
Guilty of being selfish for shellfish? If so, check out these 3 easy appetizers you can make with squid.

3 Easy Appetizers You Can Make With Squid

For all you seafood lovers out there, we have a mouth-watering squid mania for you to try! Go crazy over some spicy salt and pepper squids or some crunchy deep-fried calamari. With these to-die-for squid appetizer recipes, you can impress your dinner guests with your savvy culinary skills. Let’s talk about squids!

Crunchy Calamari

1.Garlic Parsley Grilled Squid Tapas
Give your taste buds some love from Spain with these flavourful seafood tapas. These squid appetizers are quick to make and will go well with any salad or bruschetta. Bite into these spicy and crunchy tidbits while sipping on some rich Spanish wine.

Garlic Parsley Grilled Squid Tapas

•500 grams of Frozen Squid Rings
•1 tablespoon of oil
•1 tablespoon of chopped parsley
•2 cloves of garlic
•1 tablespoon of bread crumbs
Healthy Alternatives Organic Rock Salt and ground Healthy Alternatives Organic Black Pepper Whole
For Marinating:
•1 tablespoon of Healthy Alternatives Pure Olive Oil 
•1 tablespoon of Healthy Alternatives Apple Cider Vinegar
•A few sprigs of fresh thyme
•1 pinch of ground Healthy Alternatives Organic Black Pepper Whole

•Defrost and put all the pieces in a large bowl. Add a tablespoon of olive oil, salt, and pepper.
•Coat all the pieces and cook on a cast iron grill. The squids will first lose their water and then start to color. Meanwhile, gather all the chopped garlic, the parsley and the breadcrumbs in a bowl and mix them up.
•Add the breadcrumbs onto the flavored squid rings, stir and leave to brown for a few minutes.
•Place the squids in a large bowl and season with some oil, vinegar, and pepper.
•Sprinkle some fresh thyme on top and leave it to cool. Refrigerate until it’s ready to serve.

2.Salt And Pepper Calamari
This seafood delicacy is real simple to whip up and is just the right side dish for your cocktail dinner party. But you can even serve them at a luncheon or just to satiate your squid cravings.

Salt and Pepper Calamari

•1-pound of Frozen Squid Rings
•1/2 cups flour
•1 egg (lightly beaten)
•1/4 cup of milk
•1 and a half cup of bread crumbs
•2 teaspoons of sea salt
•1 teaspoon of lemon pepper
•1/2 teaspoons of Healthy Alternatives Organic Black Pepper Whole
vegetable oil
•1/2 cup of mayonnaise
•2 cloves of garlic (minced)

•Preheat the oven to 300°F.
•Lightly dust the squid rings with some flour and shake off the excess. Combine the beaten egg with the milk then dip the squid rings in the mixture to coat. Combine the breadcrumbs, sea salt, lemon pepper and black pepper in a shallow bowl and coat the squid rings. Transfer to a plate and chill for about 20 mins.
•Deep-fry the squid rings for 2-3 mins in a large saucepan, until they change color and turn golden.
•Meanwhile, to make the aioli (dipping sauce) combine the mayonnaise and the garlic in a small bowl. And serve with the squid rings.

3.Chilled Calamari Salad With Lemon And Parsley
A light, refreshing salad with some tender tasting squids, tangy lemons, and fresh parsley. It’s the perfect dinner for any health junkie. Get your source of protein for the day with a seafood twist!

Chilled Calamari Salad With Lemon And Parsley

•1/4 cup of onions, minced
•1/2 cup of celery, chopped
•1/2 cup of roasted red peppers, chopped
•1/4 cup of fresh parsley, minced (no stems)
•1 clove of garlic, sliced
•2 and ½ slices of lemon
•1 1/4 teaspoon of red wine vinegar
Healthy Alternatives Organic Rock Salt and ground Healthy Alternatives Organic Black Pepper Whole
•500 grams of Frozen Squid Rings

•In a medium bowl combine the onions, garlic, celery, red peppers, parsley, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Prepare a bowl of ice as well.
•Bring a medium pot filled with water and add a pinch of salt and bring it to a boil. Add calamari all at once and cook until they are tender and cooked, for about 45 – 60 seconds. Quickly drain them after that and add to the ice bath and let them cool, for about 4 – 5 minutes.
•Combine the squid rings with the salad and toss well. Add some salt and any additional seasoning along with some lemon juice if needed. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Grilled Squid

Are you ready to start devouring these squid appetizers now? Get your ingredients here:
Looking for some more appetizer recipes? Check out, Easy 5 ingredient party appetizer

Thursday, 27 July 2017

What’s The Deal With Microgreens?

Word on the gourmet street is microgreens are all the rage! So, what are microgreens exactly? Microgreens are nothing but essential seedlings of edible vegetables and herbs like basil, kale and cilantro. Read on to get a total breakdown on these flavorful, nutrient packed, leafy little buddies.

Microgreen Food Pairings

The 411 About Microgreens


They are young vegetable greens, usually harvested after around one to two weeks when they are just about one to two inches long. Consider microgreens as a super healthy version of their grown counterparts.  They are best consumed quickly after they are cut before they lose their freshness and colour.

Flavorful Greens Packed With Nutrients

Microgreens - Powerhouse Nutrients
Don’t go by their size. Tiny as they may be, microgreens are powerhouses of nutrients and vitamins such as Vitamin C, E and K, Lutein and beta-carotene. Red cabbage leaves contains vitamin C and K while cilantro has lutein and beta-carotene. If you aren’t convinced yet by microgreens you should know that they are absolutely delicious! Get ready for some intense zesty blast of flavor!

How To Use Them

Microgreen Garnish

Microgreens are very vibrant and can make your dishes pop.  Use them to garnish savory’s like your pizzas, pasta and salads or even sweets like your  pies, soufflés and open tarts or simply blend them to make beautiful dressings and sauces. Microgreens are also a great way to add a crunchy element to your soup.

How To Pair Them With Your Dishes

Microgreen Salad

 A peppery mustard cress and arugula are great for salads while pungent radish greens go well with fish vegetables. Try some basil to add some mild flavor to your desserts.  Add a bit of mustard or a rocket green to your soup as a delightful seasoning. Young broccoli has a spicy taste whereas amaranth has a mild taste and a lovely red hue, perfect to top off a salad.
Indulge in their delectable taste and dig in to some microgreens now!

Get your microgeens at Nature's Basket online store.

Looking for some salad recipes, click here.

5 Must Try Hot Soups To Brighten Your Monsoon

Beat the monsoon blues with some hot soup and a good book by your side. Warm your soul with lip smacking flavours that will give your palate a taste of the season. Indulge in these 5 hot soups that are easy to whip up with the freshest ingredients.

1.Ginger Goodness
Enjoy a delicious bowl of ginger soup while you enjoy the weather.Ginger is a powerful ingredient that helps soothe all your digestive and nausea problems. To relish the soup in the right way, make sure you add a pinch of salt and black pepper.

Ginger Soup

This Ginger Carrot soup is like a warm hug in a bowl, perfect to sip on a rainy day.

•2 Tablespoons of Healthy Alternatives Olive Oil
•1 medium onion, chopped
•4 cloves of garlic ,minced
•1 teaspoon of ginger, grated
•900 grams of Carrot, peeled and diced finely
•6 cups of vegetable broth
•Fresh Exotic Flat/ Curled Parsley to garnish

•In a large stockpot or a saucepan with a big bottom, heat olive oil and sauté the onions. Add garlic and ginger and sauté for 1- 2 minutes until the garlic becomes tender.
•Add the carrots and the broth and bring to boil. Reduce to low heat and cover. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
•Continue to cook until carrots can be easily pierced with a fork and are tender enough to eat.
•Blend soup with an immersion blender or transfer to a blender and blend till it gets a smooth texture like a puree.
•Garnish with some fresh parsley on top and serve with a side dish of bread.

2.Mushroom Marvel
Add a twist to the classic creamy mushroom soup with mouth-watering toppings. Complement your tasty mushroom soup with truffle oil, fresh chives and a ton of parmesan cheese shavings. What’s more? Indulge in a beautiful warm baguette to give your soup company!

Mushroom Marvel Soup


•2 tablespoons of  onions, diced
•2 Shoots of  fresh Exotic Thyme
•225 grams of fresh Box Mushrooms - chopped
•945 ml of  chicken/ Vegetable Stock
•1 cup of heavy cream or Whipping Cream
•8 teaspoons of White Truffle Oil 

1.In a heavy bottomed soup pot or a saucepan, sauté the onions and the thyme in the olive oil for 1 or 2 minutes.
2.Add the mushrooms; season with salt & pepper and cook till they soften up for about 3 to 5 minutes.
3.Add the stock, bring to a boil, skim, then reduce to low heat and cover the sauce pan. Let it simmer for 45 minutes.
4.Add the cream, bring to boil, lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Then remove from heat.
5.When the soup cools, puree it either in a blender or with a hand mixer.

To Serve
1.Warm the soup over medium high heat.
2.Pour in the white truffle oil in the serving bowl.
3.Pour the soup into individual cups and garnish for adding extra flavour.

3.Avocado Appeal
For the avocado addict in you, this hot soup is sure to cheer you up this season! The creamy consistency and delectable taste will leave you wanting more. To make your soup intensely flavorful add broccoli stems to it. Garnish a pinch of salt and devour it with a dollop of cream.

This creamy broccoli and avocado soup will warm you up instantly! Garnish with the broccoli florets to add a refined touch to your soup.

Avocado Soup


•1 tablespoon of Healthy Alternative Olive Oil
•1 medium onion, diced
•2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
•3 stalks of Exotic Celery, diced
•4 cups of Exotic Broccoli, peeled and chopped
•1 teaspoon of Exotic Thyme
•½-1 teaspoon curry powder
•½ teaspoon of Sea Salt
•4 cups of water
•1  medium sized Indian/ Imported avocado
•3 teaspoons lime or lemon juice
•1 ½ tablespoons of Healthy Alternatives Roasted Pumpkin seeds for garnishing

•Heat some olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
•Add the diced onion, stir and cook until they soften up for about 4 minutes then add the garlic and cook until the garlic has browned a little.
•Add the diced stalks of celery and cook for another 3 minutes. Add broccoli and cook for 2 minutes.
•While stirring the broccoli mixture, add thyme, curry powder and the sea salt. Mix well.
•Add water and bring to boil and cover the saucepan and continue to cook until the soup turns bright green and tender for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, and let it cool slightly.
•Transfer the soup to blend in a blender and puree while adding the avocado and 3 teaspoons of lime or lemon juice.
•Pour the blended soup into serving bowls and add the garnish.

4.Tomato Temptation
If tomato soup is your all-time favourite, we know just the thing to add a refreshing twist to it. Churn up a tantalizing tomato and basil soup. The tinge of spice will bring out the flavor of the fresh tomatoes. Some crunchy cheese toasts accompany the smooth, creamy soup well.


•450 grams of  Exotic Cherry Red Tomatoes
•1 kg Roma tomatoes cut in half
•1 medium onion, cut into chunks
•7 cloves of garlic
•3 large carrots, cut in half
•⅓ cup  Healthy Alternatives Olive Oil
Organic Rock Salt and Healthy Alternatives Organic Black Pepper Whole, grounded
•4 cups of vegetable/ chicken broth
•2 tablespoons of Balsamic Vinegar
•½ teaspoon of Red Chili Flakes
•2-3 tablespoons of Wingreens Farms Basil Pesto

1.Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375ºF. Place the cherry tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, onions, garlic, and carrots on a large baking sheet.
2.Drizzle some olive oil over them and sprinkle salt and pepper, toss to mix. Place the baking tray in the oven and allow the ingredients to bake for 1 hour.
3.Check on the ingredients every 30 minutes and give them a gentle toss.
4.Transfer the ingredients along with any tomato secretions from the baking tray to a blender and blend the vegetables until they are completely smooth. For a smooth texture strain run the puree.
5.Transfer the puree into a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the chicken broth and allow the soup to heat all the way through for about 5-7 minutes.
6.Add the balsamic vinegar, red pepper flakes. Add two tablespoons of the basil pesto for an extra punch of basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with some cheese toasts.

5.Pumpkin Paradise
There’s nothing better than the lingering scent of fresh thai ingredients! Mix up your pumpkin soup with thai ingredients to deliver a soup that is one notch higher to the classic pumpkin soup. A few chucks of tofu or peas will be the perfect twist to your soup.

Pumpkin Soup with Thai ingredients


•2 tablespoons of Red Curry Paste
•4 cups  of chicken or vegetable broth
•850 grams of  pumpkin puree
•1¾ cup of Coconut milk
•1 large red chili pepper, sliced
•cilantro for garnish (Optional)

•In a large saucepan cook the red curry paste over medium heat for about one minute. Add the broth and the pumpkin puree while stirring.
•Cook for about 3 minutes or until the soup starts to bubble. Add the coconut milk and cook for about 3 minutes.
•Serve in individual bowls and garnish with a drizzle of the reserved coconut milk and sliced red chili with additional cilantro leaves.

Are you ready to start souping? Get your ingredients here

Friday, 21 July 2017

5 DIY Healthy Salads You Must Try

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring and bland. If you are sick and tired of chewing on celery sticks then we have got some savory greens to rejuvenate your diet menu.  With these lip-smacking crunchy DIY salads, you can beat the calories and the carbs with a scrumptious twist!

1. Shrimp And Avocado Salad

Shrimp And Avocado Salad

All you seafood lovers out there, you are going to devour this fresh, flavorful shrimp and avocado salad drizzled with some cilantro lime vinaigrette. Garnish the shrimps with your favorite seasoning and add jalapenos to the vinaigrette dressing for a spicy kick in each bite.

•1 large fresh Exotic Romaine Green/Red Lettuce, chopped
•2 pounds boiled or steamed shrimp, peeled and deveined
•2 Indian/Imported avocados, chopped into large pieces
•2 cups sliced tomatoes
•2 tablespoons diced onion

For the Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette Dressing
•¼ cup Virgin Olive Oil
•¼ cup lemon juice
•1 clove garlic, minced
•1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
•1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Rock Salt and Healthy Alternatives Organic Black Pepper Whole to taste

1.Add chopped romaine lettuce as a base in a large bowl. Top with some shrimp, avocado, tomatoes and onion.
2.Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, cilantro, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to evenly distribute the dressing and serve.

2. A Fruity Delight / Quinoa Fruit Salad

Quinoa Fruit Salad

A tangy yet sweet salad packed with proteins. Try this quinoa fruit salad loaded with fresh fruits like mangoes, cherries, strawberries, bananas, etc. Drizzle some honey lime dressing on top and garnish with some salt and pepper. A perfect nourishing meal to start your day with.


For the Quinoa:
•1 cup Healthy Alternatives Peruvian Red Quinoa, rinsed
•2 cups of water
•A pinch of Rock Salt

For The Honey Lime Dressing
•Juice of 1 large lime/lemon
•3 tablespoons Healthy Alternatives Floral Blend Honey
•2 tablespoons freshly chopped mint

For The Salad:
•1 & ½ Cups of Blueberries
•1 & ½ Cups of Sliced Strawberries
•1 & ½ Cups of Chopped Organic Alphonso Mangoes
•Extra chopped mint for garnishing

1.Add quinoa, water, and salt and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 5 minutes. Turn the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let the quinoa cool to room temperature.
2.To make the Honey Lime Dressing, whisk the lime juice, honey, and mint together until combined.
3.In a large bowl, combine quinoa, strawberries, and mango. Pour honey lime dressing over the fruit salad and mix until it is combined well. Garnish with additional mint. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

3. A Lebanese Spread / Fattoush Salad

Fattoush Salad
Craving for an exotic platter for your palate? Try this Fattoush Salad made of fresh tomatoes, cucumber, mint, parsley and more seasoned with Zatar- A traditional Middle Eastern spice blend. Serve it with some pita bread and voila! Salad has never been so exciting.

2 medium cucumbers, with skin
3 cups chopped tomatoes (Grape, plum and Exotic Cherry Red Tomatoes)
2 Exotic Red Capsicums
1 large onion
3 spring onions
1 cup chopped Exotic Flat Parsley
¾ cup chopped mint 
Flatbread or toasted pita

For Fattoush Salad Dressing
¼ cup Virgin Olive Oil
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon 
1 tsp. Healthy Alternatives Floral Blend Honey 
2 – 4 cloves garlic, minced
2 pinches of Sea Salt
A pinch of grounded Healthy Alternatives Organic Black Pepper Whole

For the dressing:
Put all ingredients in a jar with a light-fitting lid and shake.
For the Salad:
Wash, prepare, and chop all the vegetables. Wash and dry herbs and chop. Place everything in a large bowl.
Pour the dressing over the salad, stir, and let it sit for at least 30 minutes at room temperature to allow the flavours to blend.
Right before serving, sprinkle generously with Nature Smith’s Zatar Powder, add the flatbread or pita bread crumbles to the salad.

4. A Cobb Crunch / Cobb Salad

Cobb Salad
A healthier version of the American dish, this Cobb salad is loaded with chicken, eggs, bacon and avocados lovingly spread on a base of fresh green lettuce leaves. Top off this colorful salad with a dash of some tangy dressing and if you are willing to indulge a little, add a sprinkle of blue cheese.

For the dressing:
•3 tablespoons White Wine Vinegar
•2 tablespoons finely minced Spring Onions
•1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
•1 teaspoon freshly ground Healthy Alternatives Organic Black Pepper Whole
•¼ teaspoon Rock Salt 
•3 tablespoons Virgin Olive Oil

For The Salad:
•10 cups mixed salad greens
•225 grams shredded cooked Boneless Chicken Breast
•2 large eggs, hard-boiled, peeled and chopped
•2 medium tomatoes, diced
•1 large cucumber, seeded and sliced
•1 Indian/Imported avocado, diced
•2 slices cooked Pork Bacon, crumbled
•½ cup crumbled Danish Blue Cheese

1.Whisk vinegar, spring onions, mustard, pepper and salt in a small bowl. Whisk in oil until combined. Place salad greens in a large bowl. Add half of the dressing and toss.
2.Divide the greens among 4 plates. Arrange equal portions of chicken, egg, tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, bacon and blue cheese on top of the lettuce. Drizzle the salad with the dressing.

5. An Asparagus Feast / Argula Egg And Asparagus Salad

Argula Egg And Asparagus Salad
This arugula, egg and charred asparagus salad is a delicious way to fill up on your greens. The charred medium stalks of asparagus blend well with the slightly runny yolks. Get some whole milk Greek yogurt to add to your lemony dressing for a mild tang. Spice up with some herbs and you are good to go!

•4 large eggs, boiled and peeled
•3/4 teaspoon Rock salt
•1/2 teaspoon grounded Healthy Alternatives Organic Black Pepper Whole
•1 tablespoon Virgin Olive Oil
•340 grams medium green asparagus, trimmed
•1/4 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
•1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
•1 tablespoon water
•250 grams Exotic Arugula Lettuce

1.Combine some olive oil, salt, pepper and asparagus on a baking sheet and spread on a single layer in the pan. Boil for 3 minutes or until lightly charred. Remove asparagus mixture from pan and cut into 2-inch stalks.
2.Combine some salt, pepper, yogurt, juice, and 1 tablespoon water in a medium bowl, and start stirring. Add arugula and toss. Arrange arugula mixture on a platter with asparagus mixture and the eggs on top.

Add a fresh spin to your weekly diet with these DIY Healthy salads. Get the freshest ingredients from the nearest Nature’s Basket or click on

Know your rice

types of rice

Whether it’s an aroma rich chicken biryani or a Goan fish curry and rice, it’s the one must have staple food in every Indian’s home cooked entrée. But let’s face it, not all of us can gobble up carbs like free candies on a daily basis. Fortunately, there are many more healthy variants of rice out there that we can feast on without feeling guilty. What’s your bowl of rice? Let’s find out!

Black Rice

Black Rice

An odd variant when it comes to rice, black rice is considered a rarity in the food world. It has a deep, dark purplish color due to high levels of Anthocyanin, a very powerful antioxidant. Which is why black rice is revered as an extremely healthy staple food.

It has a subtle, nutty flavor and its texture is akin to white rice. For a pop of colour and flavor in your dishes, go for a black rice bowl or pilaf. Black rice has scores of health benefits and is absolutely heavenly as a pudding. Don’t believe us? Read all about it here.

Brown Rice

Brown Rice

Brown rice is considered as a healthier alternative for white rice because it still has its side hull and bran.  The side hull and bran provide an element of natural wholeness to the grain and are enriched with proteins, thiamine, calcium, magnesium, fiber, and potassium.

With a slightly chewy texture and a nutty flavor, brown rice comes in short and long grained variants and can be substituted for white rice in any dish but you simply must try the brown rice Chinese stir fry or the Mexican brown rice and beans.
We also have a decadent Buddha bowl recipe that’s simply mouth watering. Read the recipe here.

Red Rice

Red Rice

Red rice has a more distinctive nutty taste which makes a red rice pilaf with mushroom, a scrumptious hearty delicacy.

Red rice has a high fibre content and a low glycemic load while the manganese helps your metabolism. So, in all, red rice can make quite a difference in your diet as compared to the polished white version. Or better yet make yourself a healthy bowl of some Chinese red rice.

Cooking Ratios

cooking ratios of various types of rice

Brown, red, or black rice fairly have the same cooking ratios that is two cups of water for one cup of rice. And one cup of dried rice should yield about three cups of cooked rice or three serving portions.
The cooking time may vary a bit but on a low simmer, brown rice takes about 50 minutes while red and black rice take about 30 minutes to cook.

There’s more to rice than just colour. Indulge in the fluffy home cooked goodness and find your bowl of rice at a Nature’s Basket near you or click on

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

How To Cook Tender Pork Ribs

tender pork ribs

When it comes to pork ribs, we like ours to be soft, juicy and oh so, tender. But cooking such slide off the bone, tender pork ribs can be quite a task. Having a hard time hitting that sweet spot where your ribs are succulent and juicy and not dry and chewy? Don’t fret, we have just the thing for you. Read on to learn how to make the perfect barbecued pork ribs.

Oven-Baked Goodness

Oven-Baked pork ribs

To get those deliciously, mouth-watering tender ribs, you need to cook them slow and steady for a long time. This is because the meat on them is quite tough and takes a long time to break down which is why baking them in the oven is your best bet.  Keep the ribs on a rack above the baking sheet so that the heat circulates evenly through all sides. Time to get ribbed!

Glaze And Rub

glazed and barbecued pork ribs

This oven-roasting technique can be adapted to any kind of barbecued ribs recipe so you can get that moist, luscious texture right every time. Sprinkle on some mustard paste on them along with your favorite spice rub. To get a hint of that spectacular smoky barbecue flavor, add some smoked paprika to your spice rub.  Paprika your way to barbecued ribs!

Remove The Membrane

membrane-less tender pork ribs

Have you ever noticed the thin membrane that coats the rack? If you want to bake the most tender ribs ever that membrane needs to be gone! Slide a knife gently under the membrane and pull it off with your fingers from the bones. Use a kitchen towel to get a hold of it if you find it too slippery. You can even buy spare ribs without the membrane to make your job easier.

Fall-Off-The-Bone Oven Baked Ribs Recipe

 Fall-Off-The-Bone Oven Baked Ribs

Make your very own lip smacking pork ribs in a sweet and spicy barbecue sauce.

For The Ribs:
•2 to 2 1/2 pounds of pork ribs
Salt and Healthy Alternatives Organic Whole Black Pepper

For The Barbecue Sauce:
•1 tablespoon of Healthy Alternatives olive oil
•1/4 cup of onion, finely diced
•1/2 teaspoon of ground Healthy Alternatives Organic Cumin Whole
•1/2 cup of ketchup
•1 tablespoon of sriracha extra hot chili sauce
•2 tablespoons of Organic Brown Sugar
•1 tablespoon of Healthy Alternatives Apple Cider Vinegar
•Salt and Healthy Alternatives Organic Whole Black Pepper, to taste
•1 teaspoon of Smoked Paprika

To prepare the ribs:
•Heat the oven to 275 degrees F.
•Season both the sides of the ribs with salt and pepper then place them, meat-side up, into a large roasting pan or on a rimmed baking sheet.
•Cover tightly with some aluminum foil, and then bake until the meat falls easily off the bones, for about 3 1/2 to 4 hours.
To make the barbecue sauce:
•While the ribs bake, make the barbecue sauce. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they turn translucent. Add the cumin and stir.
•Next, add the ketchup, the hot chili sauce, the brown sugar, and the apple cider vinegar. Stir to combine, season with some salt, pepper, and smoked paprika and then cook for another 2 minutes.
To Finish:
•Remove the ribs from the oven, discard the aluminum foil and generously brush both the sides with the barbecue sauce.
•Turn the broiler to high and broil the ribs for 3-4 minutes, just until the barbecue sauce begins to caramelize.

There you have it, your very own home-cooked perfectly tender, sweet, and spicy barbecued ribs. Be a pro at ribs and get your ingredients from the nearest Nature’s Basket or click on:

3 Ways To Enjoy Ham

ham delicacies

Every ham lover knows that instant spark of happiness when you cut through a piece of beautifully smoked ham and catch a glimpse of that delicious pink meat on the inside. A ham that’s roasted to perfection, served with some piping hot scalloped potatoes with onion and cheese can make any foodie’s mouth water instantly.

Hungry for some ham? Then we have just the thing for you! Check out these ultimate ham delicacies to be enjoyed at breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

1.Ham And Mushroom Quesadillas

Ham And Mushroom Quesadillas

Buenos días! Time to wake up and shine. One bite of these cheesy ham and mushroom quesadillas will make your taste buds scream ‘gracias’! Put a Mexican spin on your day by serving these stuffed babies for breakfast with some salsa, sour cream, or guacamole.


Cooking spray
•1 cup of chopped ham
•2 tablespoons of chopped green chilies
•1 packet of sliced mushrooms
•4 (8-inch) flour tortillas
•1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese


•Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add the ham, green chilies, and mushrooms; and sauté for 5 minutes. Set them aside and wipe the pan clean.
•Place 1 tortilla in the pan. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of cheese over one half of the tortilla; arrange ½ a cup of the ham mixture over the cheese. Sprinkle over them with 2 tablespoons cheese and fold the tortilla in half. Cook for 1 minute on each side or until the cheese melts. Repeat procedure to make more quesadillas.

2.Ham And Arugula Salad

Ham And Arugula Salad

This fresh, light salad is the perfect meal to devour at lunchtime. Tossed in red wine vinegar, the sweet, tangy oranges balance the salty, crisp ham creating some lip-smacking flavor combinations. The arugula adds a pop of green to this tender, juicy afternoon snack.

•¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon of Healthy Alternatives olive oil
•¼ kg of baked ham, sliced and cut into 2-inch pieces
•1 orange, separated into slices, with its juice
•2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
Sea salt and Healthy Alternatives Organic Black Pepper Whole
•2 bunches of arugula, thick stems removed (about 8 cups)
•1 small onion, thinly sliced

•Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ham and cook until it crisps, for about 5 to 7 minutes.
•In a large bowl, toss the orange segments with the orange juice, vinegar and the remaining oil, with ¾ teaspoon of salt, and ¼ teaspoon of pepper. Add the arugula, onion, and ham and toss to coat.

3.Honey Mustard Glazed Ham

Honey Mustard Glazed Ham

This shiny, crisp-edged ham will make a luscious centerpiece for your dinner table. Serve with a side dish of herb garden potatoes with fresh spinach and lemon and woe your dinner guests with your scrumptious culinary skills.
Be sure to leave just enough fat on the ham to get that perfect balance of sweet, crunchy crust on the outside and soft, juicy meat on the inside.

•1 smoked ham
•1 cup of Healthy Alternatives Floral Blend Honey
•1/4 cup of L’exclusif whole-grain mustard
•1/4 cup of brown sugar
•4 tablespoons of unsalted butter

•Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the lower third section. Trim away any excess fat from the ham, leaving about a 1/4-inch layer of fat all over. Set the ham aside to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
•Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the ham on the baking sheet and cover it with a piece of parchment paper. Tightly cover the ham and parchment paper with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes.
•Meanwhile, combine the remaining ingredients in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter melts and the brown sugar has completely dissolved, for about 3 minutes. Set aside and let cool to lukewarm temperature.
•When the ham is ready, remove it from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 425°F. Discard the foil and parchment paper and, using a sharp knife, carve a 1-inch-wide diamond pattern (don’t cut more than 1/4-inch-deep) over the entire ham.
•Brush the ham with a quarter of the glaze (about a generous 1/3 cup), return it to the oven, and bake uncovered for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, brush with another quarter of the glaze, and repeat every 15 minutes until all the glaze has been used and a dark golden-brown crust has formed, about 55 to 60 minutes total. Let the ham rest 20 to 30 minutes before slicing.

Ready to ham away? Get your ingredients from the nearest Nature’s Basket or click on <Link>
Add some veggies to your ham mania for a rich, wholesome meal. Check out these 5 DIY Healthy Salads You Must Try

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

All About The Tea Cleanse

We all know the struggle when we get out of bed, bleary-eyed, and immediately reach out for our daily dose of caffeine to kick-start the day. But your morning cup of tea is good for more than just jolting you awake from a half-asleep daze.

detoxing tea

Certain teas have high amounts of antioxidant cleansing powders that help flush out toxins, aid digestion and keep you hydrated as well. Put a healthy spin on your lifestyle with a DIY cleanse by sipping on aroma-rich and flavorful teas throughout the day and by indulging in a nutrient-rich diet and regular exercise. So without further ado, let’s find your cup of tea.

Japanese Matcha Tea

Japanese Matcha Tea

We all know how effective and beneficial green tea can be. But did you know that drinking just one cup of matcha tea is equal to drinking ten cups of green tea? Now, that’s what we call a nutritional overload! This famous beverage from Japan can help prevent heart disease, cancer and burn fat, too. It’s time to matcha your way to health!
Traditionally, matcha tea is made in a tea bowl using a bamboo whisk. Sift one or two teaspoons of matcha in the bowl, add hot water and whisk vigorously in a zigzag motion until the tea is frothy. And there you have it, enjoy your cup of matcha tea straight from the bowl.

Fenugreek Tea

Fenugreek Tea

For all the tea-lovers out there who are burdened down by bloating or indigestion, your knight in a cup and saucer is here! Fenugreek tea can help you keep these irritable problems at bay and also reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure and support your livers ability to flush out toxins.
Keep in mind, that fenugreek tea is also a powerful laxative, so you don’t want to go overboard on this tea. To make a rich cup of fenugreek tea, lightly crush the seeds and add to a pot of boiling water while making black tea.

Cilantro Tea

 Cilantro Tea

This herb is not just for garnishing or whipping up a fresh salad dressing or guacamole. Cilantro is rich in phytonutrients, flavonoids as well as active phenolic compounds. The linoleic acid and cineole found in this fresh green herb contain powerful anti-arthritic and antirheumatic compounds. It also helps to remove heavy metals from your body. Just another reason to get your dose of caffeine with a cilantro twist!
To make a cup of steaming hot cilantro tea, fill a tea infuser with fresh chopped cilantro leaves and place it in a teacup. Next, add boiling water and steep for 5-10 minutes. Add honey or sugar to sweeten the tea. For a flavorful twist, try adding some mint leaves or orange peels to the tea infuser.

Ginger Tea

 Ginger Tea

An existing staple in loads of Indian tea concoctions, ginger is one of the world’s best detoxifying herbs and a superior cleansing root that stimulates digestion and improves circulation. Ginger can be a bit too strong for your taste buds but is quite gentle on your body, so you can sip several cups of ginger tea in a day.

For a delicious blend of ginger in your tea, add some grated ginger stalks to a pot of boiling water and make your tea as usual.

Are you ready to start your tea cleanse? Get your ingredients here to make yourself a piping hot cup of tea