Yogurt Dip Grilled Zucchini & Eggplant

SERVES: 2-3

GLUTEN FREE-Good source of vitamin A and vitamin C, plus potassium and fibre.

QUICK TO MAKE

COOKING TIME: 8-10 Minutes

INGREDIENTS

2 Zucchini
2 long eggplant
100 grams sliced mushrooms
1 big tomato chopped
50 grams grated cheddar or mozzarella cheese
2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon red chilli flakes
PREPARATION
Make diagonal cuts on zucchini and eggplant without letting them break.
STEPS
STEP 1. For pan cooking- Place zucchini and eggplant in 1 teaspoon of heated oil, sprinkle salt and red chilli powder. Add tomatoes and mushroom. Close the lid of pan to cook for 4-5 minutes on high flame.
For oven/grill cooking- Sprinkle salt and red chilli powder on zucchini and eggplant. Place on the baking tray/grill,  add tomatoes and mushroom. Grill/Bake for 10-12 minutes.
STEP 2. When zucchini and eggplant are tender, add dollops of yogurt dip, spring onion and cheese and let it grill/bake or broil( for pan cooked method) for 2-3 minutes.
STEP 3. Serve it with sweet potato fries smeared in yogurt dip and green coriander chutney.
HANDY TIPS:thumb_IMG_1400_1024
1. Using the pan method saves electric/fuel energy used in oven/grill and has reduced cooking time as it uses water from tomatoes to cook the veggies faster.
2. Be creative and throw in other veggies like cauliflower, broccoli, sweet potato or turnips.

 

Quick Spinach Stuffed Chicken Picks

SERVES: 3-4

GLUTEN FREE- Loaded With Proteins and FIBRE -QUICK TO MAKE

COOKING TIME: 10-15 Minutes

INGREDIENTS

2 Chicken breast fillet
100 grams Baby Spinach leaves
12 Pecan or walnuts halves
6 dried apricot or dates cut into half
50 grams grated cheddar or mozzarella cheese
1 fresh green chilli or 1 inch of frozen crushed green chilli
1 inch of frozen or fresh grated ginger
1 inch of frozen or fresh crushed garlic
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon all spice powder
12 Bamboo picks
PREPARATION
Cut Chicken breast into thin layers and make long stripes
STEPS
STEP 1. Mix ginger, garlic, salt and all spice and make a paste.
STEP 2. Place chicken stripes on a cutting board and rub the garlic ginger paste,. Now you need to place rest of the ingredients to cover the surface of each stripe and roll the chicken stripe.  (Suggestion- start with placing spinach leaves, then grated cheese, one half of pecan/walnut and then one half of dried apricot/date on top end of the stripe).
STEP 3. Stick in a bamboo pick/toothpick making sure you take the nut/date into the pick and place all chicken picks on a baking tray or on the grill on barbecue.
STEP 4. Bake for 5 minutes at 400 degrees C and broil for 2 minutes at 550 degrees to give it the golden colour. If using barbecue, grill on high heat for 5-10 minutes.
Serve it with one of the delicious and healthy Yogurt dips
HANDY TIPS:thumb_IMG_1435_1024
1. This can be cooked in microwave also with convection option.
2.Put a dollop of  yogurt dip to give it a moist feel.
3. Always cook chicken breast on high heat as it cooks very fast and short time of cooking retains all its juices.
4. Be creative and replace spinach with basil or other herbs of your choice or roll a bacon strip outside to give a dramatic look.

Avocado Chive Yogurt Dip- अवोकाड़ो दही का चक्का चटनी

thumb_IMG_1382_1024Gluten Free, quick and nutritious
Ingredients:
500 grams greek yogurt
1 ripe large avocado
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoon all spice powder
10-12 strands of chives chopped
Preparation:
If you do not use greek yogurt, you will need to extract water from regular yogurt.For this put yogurt in a muslin cloth and hang it for 1-2 hours for the water to drain out.
STEPS:
Step 1. Mash Avocado
Step 2. Add salt, mashed avocado, frozen crushed green chilli, chives, lemon juice and all spice powder to greek yogurt or block of yogurt in muslin cloth.
Step 3. Mix everything thoroughly and it is ready to enjoy.
AvocodoHandy Tips:
1. You can be as creative as you want to be , replace  chives with other herbs like spring onion, dill weed, rosemary, basil, mint, coriander or spices like red chilli pepper, black pepper.
2. You can also add finely chopped bell peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms or cucumber.

Juicy Baked Pork Ribs in 40 minutes


GLUTEN FREE

REALLY QUICK TO MAKE

Why this recipe? How is it green? How am I contributing to making this earth green by following four steps or less recipes?

A similar conventional recipe takes 3-4 hours in oven or grill. Using Pressure Cooker will take 20-25 minutes on stove and 15 minutes of oven time. Meat comes out as tender as a marshmallow and falling off the bone.

You save: 90% of fuel energy and 3 hours of your precious time that you can spend doing something more productive with your loved ones.

SERVES: 2-3
PREPARATION TIME: 20 minutes
COOKING TIME: 35-40 Minutes

INGREDIENTS:

For Tenderizing and Marination
25 ml lemon or lime juice (one lime or lemon)
1 teaspoon salt
½ kilo Pork ribs/riblets
100 grams yogurt
50 gms frozen or fresh crushed ginger
50 gms frozen or fresh crushed garlic
2-3 finely chopped green chillies
1 tablespoon all spice

For Basting
50 ml barbecue sauce
20 ml thai sweet chilli sauce
20 ml Teriyaki sauce
1 teaspoon oil

For Cooking Ribs
1 teaspoon oil
8-10 black pepper corns
2 bay leaves

For Side
½ kilo baby potatoes

PREPARATION:
Put lemon juice and salt on ribs to tenderize for 10 minutes
Add all marination ingredients to yogurt and smear it on ribs to marinate it for 10-15 minutes

COOKING STEPS:
STEP 1. Put black pepper corns and bay leaves in heated oil in pressure pan, and place marinated ribs to cook on slow heat for 20-25 minutes..
STEP 2. Open cooker lid when all steam is released and place ribs on a foil tray to be put in the oven preheated to 550F maximum heat (Broil option)
STEP 3. Mix all Basting sauces and baste ribs with it before putting it in the oven for 5 minutes. Repeat basting every 5 minutes for 2-3 times
STEP 4. When ribs are baking in the oven, put baby potatoes along with all ribs broth/juices from the pressure pan under the ribs tray. Both ribs and potatoes will be ready at the same time.

Serve with one of the delicious and healthy Yogurt dips

HANDY TIPS:
1. Always wait for the steam in pressure cooker to release by itself. This is a safety precaution as well as retains all flavour of the food.
2. You may want to put baby potatoes in the ribs broth/juices from the pressure pan at the time of preheating the oven, this will give additional time for potatoes to cook. This will maximize the use the oven heat.

Cheesy Spinach Mushroom Side-पालक अखरोट खुँभ

SERVES: 2-3

GLUTEN FREE- LOADED WITH NUTRITION -QUICK TO MAKE

COOKING TIME: 5-7 minutes

INGREDIENTS:
1 tablespoons oil
250 grams baby spinach
100 grams cut mushrooms
100 grams grated cheese
2 inch of frozen ginger or 50 grams of fresh grated ginger
2 green chilli chopped
50 grams walnuts
1 teaspoon salt

STEPS:
Step 1. Put all ingredients in heated oil, cover lid for 4-5 minutes
Step 2. Open lid, add grated cheese sauté for 1-2 minutes

IMG_0821HANDY TIPS:
1. Goes well as a side with any barbecue preparation or by itself to quench the hunger.
2. Be creative to add or take away any ingredients that please your taste buds.

हरी भरी धनिआ मिर्च चटनी- Hot Coriander Chutney

INGREDIENTS:

1 bunch of fresh coriander leaves
10 frozen crushed green chilli chopped
½ small raw green mango chopped fresh or frozen
½ lime squeezed
1 pinch asafoetida powder
2 teaspoons Cumin
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon mango powder

THE ONLY STEP:
Put everything in a food processor and grind it all up together till you get a fine smooth chutney.

HANDY TIP:
If you do not have raw green mango, replace it with handful of dried roasted chickpea, or peanuts or cashews or any other nuts. Raw mango gives the right density and sour flavour to the chutney. The flavour will vary if you replace with another ingredient, you may want to add a little more of mango powder or lemon juice to get cover the sour side of the chutney. Just be creative..IMG_0706

CHICKEN TIKKA-जला भुना मस्त मुर्गा


Grilled/Barbecue/Sautéed

SERVES: 3-4

GLUTEN FREE- LOADED WITH PROTEINS -QUICK TO MAKE

COOKING TIME: 10-15 minutes
INGREDIENTS:

750 grams chicken breast cut into pieces
100g yogurt
4 inch frozen garlic or 8 crushed cloves
4 inch frozen ginger or 50 grams freshly grated
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
1 tablespoon meat masala powder
1/2 teaspoon orange food colour
For stove cooking: 1 tablespoon of sweet chilli sauce or 1 teaspoon of sugar

STEP 1 .Mix all ingredients and add boneless chicken except sweet chilli sauce and/or sugar (if using stove method). Leave it for 30 minutes, to get best flavours, you can choose to marinate it for lesser time or just cook right away.

STEP 2

  • On the Stove: Put marinated chicken on a heated pan with one tablespoon of oil, cook for 5 minutes on high heat with lid on and then add one tablespoon of any sweet chilli sauce or half a teaspoon of sugar. Cook for about 5 minutes with lid open on high flame. Chicken will be dry, little burnt and crisp with smokey flavour.
  • On the Barbecue: Put chicken pieces on BBQ sticks and put them on high fire for 5 minutes turning in between.
  • In the Oven-To bake place chicken on silver foil (poke holes in foil cause the chicken will let out water) and put in oven for 20 minutes.

thumb_IMG_0157_1024

Serve with one of the delicious and healthy Yogurt dips

HOT CORIANDER CHUTNEY-हरी भरी धनिया मिर्च चटनी

INGREDIENTS:

1 bunch of fresh coriander/cilantro leaves
10 frozen crushed green chilli chopped
½ small raw green mango chopped (fresh or frozen)
½ lime squeezed
1 pinch asafoetida powder
2 teaspoons Cumin
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon mango powder

THE ONLY STEP:
thumb_IMG_0825_1024

Put everything in a food processor and chop it all up together till you get a chutney

 

 

 

HANDY TIP:
If you do not have raw green mango, replace it with handful of dried roasted chickpea, or peanuts or cashews or any other nuts. Raw mango gives the right density and sour flavour to the chutney. The flavour will vary if you replace with another ingredient, you may want to add a little more of mango powder or lemon juice to get cover the sour side of the chutney. Just be creative..

Spicy Roasted Nuts-चटपटा भुना मेवा


Why this recipe? How is it green? How am I contributing to making this earth green by following four steps or less recipes?

Using microwave and stove cooking in place of oven cooking for this recipe will take less than 10 minutes in all whereas it will take 20-30 minutes otherwise. 

This recipe saves you : more than 70% of fuel energy and 20 minutes of your precious time that is about 16 to 20% of the total time you spend in kitchen on an average (assuming you spend a total of 2-3 hours in a day in the kitchen)

Allows you to explore your creative side. Add any nuts, herbs and spices or no spices as you like. 

COOKING TIME- 8-10 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

200 grams Almonds
200 grams Cashews
200 grams Pistachos
1/4 glass of water
1 table spoon melted butter or oil
1 teaspoon salt
2teaspoon red chilli powder
2 teaspoon all spice -garam masala powder

STEPS:
1. Mix all nuts together in a microwaveable plate and put it in microwave for a total of 2-3 minutes moving it every minute.
2. Move all nuts into a pan with heated butter or oil. Add salt, spices and water. Cover the Lid.
3. Move nuts in 2-3 minutes once, replace the lid. After 5 minutes remove the lid and sauté for another 2 minutes with lid removed.

HANDY TIPS:IMG_0777
1. Be creative and add other nuts or spices or herbs that you like.
2. Crushed dry mint tastes very good on nuts.
3. Try using Maple syrup or fresh orange juice instead of water. It will give a distinct flavour to the nuts and very few people will be able to find out the secret behind the unique flavour.

Reason to be here..

lavina masand mehraIt’s taken me weeks and days to finally put these thoughts down. This is about a recipe that is THE reason why I endeavoured to start my blog Four Steps or Less. This simple recipe first hit me hard and then motivated me to do something about what struck me most. Looking at it positively, this recipe for चटपटा भुना मेवा – Spicy Roasted Nuts – that I will be posting later today is the source of inspiration for me to think about, and talk about green cooking or being energy smart. This started when a TV cooking show hosted by a popular chef was running in the background and my subconscious self was possibly paying attention to it while I was actually doing something else. I was dismayed and shocked to see that a conventional recipe of roasting nuts suggested that the oven needed to be preheated  to 300 to 400 degrees then left running for another 20-30 minutes to roast nuts. Considering that we are becoming mindful and feeling responsible about making the earth green and reducing our carbon footprint, this much oven time for the simple pleasure of enjoying roasted nuts seemed criminal to me. This subliminal viewing of a cooking show made me pay attention to the amount of oven cooking happening in this part of the world. After some research and observing more conventional recipes for most popular dishes I discerned that most recipes that asked for an average of 30-45 minutes of oven time could actually be prepared using alternate cooking methods in less than half the time that oven cooking took. That would mean if we are really serious about saving energy and time and genuinely trying out alternative cooking methods, we could reduce the carbon footprint of our cooking by half.

I fully recognize that oven baking is popular as it is convenient, it gives that scrumptious golden brown colour and a delectable crisp crust to savour. To add to these reasons, all of us are so used to conventional oven cooking that it seems like it is the only way to cook a particular dish. However, I honestly feel that the colour and crust both could still be achieved by using alternate green and smart cooking methods. I am determined to try out some conventional oven recipes by replacing the energy-sucking oven cooking method with alternate smart cooking methods or a fusion of green cooking being used for most of the cooking time with some time on the oven, if needed. I sincerely hope that this will contribute to minimizing damage to the environment. This recipe will be the first one in the series that I will try my hands at and post them on my blog in the days to come. If it makes even one of you try this energy efficient method, I would have achieved my purpose of starting this conversation about green cooking.