Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Recipe: Vegetable and Chicken Stir Fry with Buna Shimeji Mushrooms

This post was sitting in my drafts since a long time, about time I published it. I made this stir fry last year when the awesome folks at Godrej Nature's Basket sent me some fresh produce - beautiful buna shimeji mushrooms, pak choy, lemons and rosemary. I used the first two in this recipe.

Isn't it facinating that there are so many varieties of mushrooms. So far I have tried the button mushrooms, cremini, shitake, portobello, oyster, morels, truffles, porcini, and buna shimeji. From reportedly 10,000 variety of mushrooms, this is not even scratching the surface. You can read more about different types of mushrooms here.

This was my first time trying the shimeji mushrooms - native to East Asia - so I tried a simple recipe. These mushrooms are slightly bitter when raw and develop a crunchy texture and nutty flavour after cooking. Add them to stir fries, soups and stews. You can cook them whole with the stem, just remove the extreme end of the bunch.

200 gms boneless chicken (sliced)
200 gms buna shimeji mushrooms
1/2 yellow and red bell pepper (cubed)
100 gms bean sprout
1 head of pak choy
100 gms baby corn (sliced lengthwise)
2 stalks of shallot (chopped)
200 gms rice noodles
2 tsp sesame seeds (toasted)
4 cloves of garlic
2 tsp soy sauce
3 tsp sweet chilli sauce
1 tsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Salt to taste

  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and throw in chicken peices. Add 1 tsp soy suce and stir the chicken till cooked through. (you can also pre-cook chicken and keep it in the fridge a day before to speed the process)
  2. Remove the chicken from pan and keep it aside.
  3. Pour remaining oil in the pan and fry the garlic cloves on slow flame till they turn light brown, make sure you don't burn them.
  4. Add bell peppers and cook. When the peppers are half cooked add shimeji mushrooms and cook for another five minutes. Add baby corn, pak choy and shallots and cook for another minute.
  5. Mix in the sauces, chicken and bean sprouts and toss everything together. Taste it first and add salt if needed.
  6. Place the noodles in a bowl, pour the stir fry over it, garnish with sesame seeds and serve.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Product Review - Snackosaur (healthy snacking)

For those who are trying to control what they eat but are forced to give in to that 4pm hunger, life is tough. Office canteens don't serve anything that doesn't have greasy and fried written all over it. Get out on the streets and you're tempted by masala dosa, sandwich and vada pav. In short, diet aur weight loss ki band baj jati hai. The alternative could be carrying your own homemade healthy snack but honestly, who goes through that much trouble unless pregnant or seriously unwell.

A few weeks ago I heard about this new website which makes healthy snacks and delivers it to you. Snackosaur is a Bangalore based startup and is currently delivering in Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi. A team of chefs makes the snacks with taste and health as priority. You can pick from two assorted boxes of sweet and savoury items: Regular Box and Trial Box. You can  also make your own box or order the snacks individually. The delivery is free for orders of Rs 299 and above.

I tried the Trial Box (Rs 299) which had small packets of five snacks. My favourite was the Strawberry Wasabi Peas (Rs 120 for 150 gms) with a nice hit which is followed by sweet flavour. The Dried-Fruit Mix (Rs 50 for 50 gms) – dried papaya, pineapple and mango – is ideal for sweet cravings. Use them as toppings and make your oats interesting. The Almond Prune Oat Granola Bar (Rs 90 for 70 gms) is ideal filling and loaded with oats, nuts, prunes and flax seeds and is rich in dietary fibre. The BBQ Roasted Edamame (Rs 160 for 150 gms) is one of the most interesting snacks - salted, crisp and full of flavour.

The products might come across as little expensive but if they save even 50 per cent of my medical bills, they are completely worth it.

Logon to www.snackosaur.com to place your order.
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