Sunday, September 30, 2012

Keukenhof, The Netherlands

It seems a Herculean task to get back to blogging after a long gap. Yes, this time, it has been a very long break and I must say, I didn't regret making it. However, I'm glad to be back again and have already started peeping into fellow bloggers' updates. Now, I wish to share with you all some of the beautiful memories we had during our unforgettable trip to the Netherlands.

It was in the Spring of this year that we visited the flower paradise on earth :) I should say, it was a long cherished dream fulfilled for me. I had been waiting for more than four years for this trip. Every year in Spring we planned visiting the Netherlands and somehow it would get cancelled. So, until we stepped into our car and half way through, I didn't believe we were really making it.

We were four in number, along with another couple and we started from home on a Thursday morning. We had booked an apartment for four days in Noordwijk, a coastal town in the South Holland province. Noordwijk was a pleasant surprise for us. We were initially concerned if it would turn out to be a boring place. We were completely wrong there. After checking in to the hotel around 4 in the evening and little refreshing, we walked straight to the beach in front of the hotel.

Sunset over the Atlantic at Noordwijk beach

I must admit, it was the best beach I had ever seen till date. It was sheer tranquility. A vast stretch of fine sand. A thin film of crystal clear water over the fine sand for a few feet followed by the waves of the ocean. At that evening time, we had the beach almost to ourselves and we witnessed a very beautiful sunset. A few kids were flying kites in a distance. There was a gush of cold wind on one side and the mild warmth of the golden setting sun on the other side. All we could hear were the waves and the songs of the sea gulls. We spent a good hour enjoying the serenity and taking snaps. After the sun has set, we took a long walk along the beach and returned to the hotel.

Lighthouse at Noordwijk beach

It was a beautiful morning the next day. We had a hearty breakfast at our hotel, where they served at our table in person (not like the usual buffet breakfast). There were huge spongy black breads  and I was wondering how black bread could be so soft ;). And, it was soon time for the highlight of our trip. We headed to the Keukenhof. For those who do not know, Keukenhof is just a big park, where beautiful flowers of the Netherlands are put in display during Spring and visited by thousands of tourists every year.

The Keukenhof is located in Lisse, a small town in South Holland, south-west of Amsterdam. It is a good 30 mins drive from Noordwijk to Lisse and the way goes through the renowned bulb region of Holland. Tulip is my favourite flower and naturally, I was super excited to witness vast farmlands cultivating Tulips. It is only a few weeks in April-May every year during Spring and we were there at the right time to see the flowers beautifully blooming in every farm in rows of different colours. Some of our friends who have visited the region before have told that when they went the farms were empty or that the Tulips were still buds, etc. So, it is very important to be there at the right time.

Tulip farms in the bulb region of the Netherlands

Here, I must not miss to tell you the charming country the Netherlands is. We were seeing the rows of beautiful Dutch houses with typical red bricks as the outer walls. Each house has a small garden in front, which is being passionately maintained by the owners displaying colourful flowers. Also, most houses have big french windows and a small platform before the curtains would sport an array of artistic Deco items, which kept me ogling at every house.

Beautiful pink tulips at the Keukenhof

Enjoying these scenaries, we reached the Keukenhof. Right from the entrance, we were busy taking photographs. We were filled with awe on seeing the hundreds of varieties of Tulips in different sizes,  shapes, and colours.They were beautifully arranged along with other flowers and we spent the entire day there at the park. The weather was gloomy for about one or two hours and then it was fair and sunny. My favourite were the pink and purple ones.

Daffodils at the Keukenhof

Rows of purple Hyacinth at the Keukenhof

It is not only Tulips which steal the show. Other Spring babies like Daffodils and Hyacinth are also to be witnessed in full bloom almost in every farm. I have learned Wordsworth's famous poem "The Daffodils" at school and it was then that I saw those in real life. Hyacinth was completely new to me. They were small sized flowers compared to the other two, but also to be seen in many colours like Tulips. The significance is their enchanting smell.

The Keukenhof

We could never get tired of witnessing thousands of flowers, but then they were about to close the park and we had to leave. I had a good night's sleep, dreams full of flowers.

As this post has become unexpectedly long, I'm saving the rest of my narrative for the next part. Hope you have enjoyed my experiences till now ;)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Healthy Morsels - Baby and Toddler Foods Roundup

Dear Food Bloggers, We, Healthy Morsels Team is really happy to get connected with you all through this roundup after a long gap. Our sincere apologies for the delay in the roundup, due to unavoidable circumstances we postponed this roundup for a few weeks. We are now here to thank everyone who have been with us all through this journey.

Our Healthy Morsels began with the most exciting part of every woman’s life, pregnancy and then continued as one of the important responsibilities of women, feeding the baby. No matter whether she has one kid or five kids,  every mum cares and takes responsibilty for every single food which a baby intakes. As we all know, the first food and the food which is given in the early years for a baby or toddler plays an important role with the health of the baby.

Our wonderful food bloggers and experienced mums have shared some of their fantastic recipes and useful tips with us. Please don’t forget to go through all the recipes which we received for the event.  We hope that these recipes will be a treat to your baby and toddler and it’ll also make life easier for all new mums. To view all the entries for Healthy Morsels - Baby and Toddler Foods click here.

We would like thank again to each and everyone who supported us through this event and making it a grand success. We sincerely hope that we would receive the same support and enthusiastic participation in our future events too.  Every single contribution lies behind the success of this event.  As a token of appreciation and to express our gratitude we would like give this badge to all the participants of Healthy Morsels - Baby and Toddler Foods. Please accept our heartfelt thanks by collecting this badge.

We would also like to thank our non blogger friends, who were kind enough to share their recipes with us.

Souha has send us a rich creamy dessert Keskul and here she explains the recipe to us 


Keshkul (KEŞKÜL) is a Turkish dessert made of milk ,rise flour , corn starch and almonds these are the main ingredients, some Turkish people add one egg yolk others don’t but this recipe has more rich flavor because off apple and cinnamon I think this recipe is suitable for Baby and Toddler. 

 1/3 cup ground almonds 
 4 cups milk (1 liter) 
 4 tablespoons granulated sugar 
 3 tablespoons rice flour 
1 tablespoon of corn starch 
5 apples 
½ cup granulated sugar 
½ cinnamon 
Preparation : 
1-Peel the apples, Put in a pan , add sugar put the lid on and cook apples with its own water on a low heat when it is semi cooked add cinnamon continue cooking with the lid off until tender put aside to cool.
2 -Put the milk in a dip saucepan , Add powdered sugar , rice flour and corn starch and cook until the consistency is thick ,add ground almonds, stir well.
3 –put half of the cooked apples in 4 serving pots pour the pudding let to cool completely ,decorate with the rest of apples.

Thank you Souha for coming up with this delicious recipe !

Please check out some useful tips from a mom who took time and effort to document her still fresh experience with her darling daughter even after 12 yrs ! A special thanks to you Fathima for contributing to this event. We are sure your daughter would love to read this to her little ones in the future :)

A special thanks to Jemini for her contributions by sending many recipes like Mung Bean Porridge, Sweet Ragi Kazhi, etc. Also, check out some of her tips for Feeding your baby.

Now, the most awaited moment to see the nominees for Healthy Morsels - Baby and Toddler Foods. It was really a tough job to select only 3 out of 80 beautiful entries. We have nailed it to 3, based on the following

  • the close relevance to the theme Baby and Toddler food 
  • bringing out the nutritional benefits in the posts and finally, 
  • the number of entries contributed. 

Our three nominees are Swasthi, The Health Freak has really wowed us with her eye catchy recipes, her recipes like Carom Flavoured Potato Rice will definitely glue your kids to their seat.

As a token of appreciation from the Healthy Morsels team, she is getting this

Jaleela Kamal shared with us many yummy recipes like Ginger Syrup for Cold and some useful tips too, which would be definitely handy for all mums.

As a token of appreciation from the Healthy Morsels Team, she is getting this

Finally Asiya Omar, who came up with wholesome and healthy ideas like Banana Curd Rice.

As a token of appreciation from the Healthy Morsels Team, she is getting this

Congratulations ladies and thank you for sharing your recipes and tips with us. Once again on behalf of our Healthy Morsels Team, we would like to thank everyone for making this event a successful one and we would love to have your support all through this journey.

Healthy Morsels is taking a break in Ramdhan, we'll continue the journey after Eid with a new theme.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Nethili Vadai - Anchovies Fritters

As you might have noticed, I have just vanished from the blog world for quite some time now. Reasons have been many. Loads of work and then I have taken off from work for a few months on health grounds. These few days I get away, I wanted to relax and rest my body and soul. Right now, I'm in India with family and just enjoying the serenity. Though I'm busy all day, I have no stress now and I like it very much. In the meantime, I have finished my German Driving Theory Exam - which I kept postponing for about one year.

Coming to driving, after having learnt the many rules and regulations, traffic signs and how to behave in different situations, coming here to India and noticing the traffic, I just feel shocked. Nobody obeys rules!! The bitter truth is that, most of the people do not know about traffic rules. However, the traffic flows and functions in some kind of understanding against one another. And, it has been so for ages!! It is indeed a wonder.

Well, now, I just want to share quickly with you, one of my favourites at my in-laws place. My husband hails from a town located in the southern most part of India and famous for its culinary specialities, which are mostly a tasty blend between the Tamilnadu and Kerala cuisine. Located relatively close to the sea, there is never a shortage of sea-food at home. My mother-in-law prepares wonderful varieties out of them and Nethili vadai (Anchovies fritters) is just one simple delicacy which is sure to please anyone's taste buds.

Preparation Time: 30 mins
Makes: 15 pieces

Anchovies - 250g
Gram flour - 3 Tbsp
Curry leaves and cilantro - a handful, chopped
Salt - to taste

To grind:
Grated coconut - 1/2 cup
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Sombu powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric - a pinch
Green chillies - 2 long, slit lengthwise
Ginger garlic paste - 1 Tbsp
Small onions - 10

Clean the anchovies. Take the anchovies in a heavy bottomed vessel, add some salt and a little water and cook them.

Grind the ingredients given under "To grind" to a coarse paste.

Drain the water from the cooked anchovies and add the ground masala paste to them. Add the gram flour and the chopped green leaves to them. Mix them all together like you would for preparing vadais or other fritters.

Heat oil in a kadai. Take small balls out of the mixture, tap them lightly, put into the hot oil and fry them golden brown.

Crispy Nethili vadai (Anchovies fritters) are ready.

You may enjoy these crispies as such with ketchup or as a side dish for meals. :)

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Healthy Morsels - Baby and Toddler Foods

The excitement, the careful planning, amidst the underlying fear when you introduce the first morsel to your toothless baby, is an unforgettable developmental milestone of the still fresh parents. The joy and the enthusiasm with which this ceremony began slowly starts to fade when your fast growing tiny tot gets pricky about eating and you have less control over his/her eating habits. It is quite a common scenario that the kiddo reluctantly takes in the food, takes 10 minutes to swallow down that morsel, starts spitting just because he/she is not in a mood to eat or throws away the food, being hooked up with a new toy lying around, messes up the floor with those grains or half eaten vegetables and your dinner table suddenly becomes a battle ground, a rather sweet tender one!

An ancient tamil poet Thiruvalluvar has beautifully captured this scenario in two lines

அமிழ்தினும் ஆற்ற இனிதேதம் மக்கள்

சிறுகை அளாவிய கூழ்.

meaning, the food that has been messed up and scattered by the tiny hands of a child is sweeter than nectar!

It is a sweet challenge and a huge responsibility for every mother to feed the baby healthy, for it is the first three years of life that are very important in the development of a child. Nourishing the baby with the essential nutrients, slowly planning the introduction of every type of food, checking against possible allergies are all very critical.

Amidst this, making the toddler eat is a very big challenge. What not she does to make the food more interesting? From selecting the child's favorite food, cutting it in more interesting shapes and forms to presenting it on his plate colorful and attractive!! Apart from these, there needs to be stories told, songs sung and birds or animals shown!! It indeed takes a lot of patience, time and creativity to handle a child. Especially, if there is more than one child at home, then it adds up to her thought process of providing all the essential nutrients to satisfy everyones palates. The joy when your "mission" is accomplished is indescribable!

With this theme in mind, we, Healthy Morsels, are embarking on our next series "Baby and Toddler Foods". So, let's share our experiences, tips, advices and knowledge especially with all those new mothers who are new to this challenge and let's get benefitted from each others life experiences! Maybe your own child would some day love to hear about the fuss and foodie pranks he/she created and how, not the baby but rather you, managed to win this battle with the food! We love to hear all about your experiences.

The rules for sending your entries have been consolidated here:
  • Food items (breakfast ideas, mid-meals snacks, soups, purees, etc.) that can be given to babies and toddlers until the age of 3 years can be sent.
  • Vegetarian and non-vegetarian entries are allowed.
  • Bloggers are requested to link your entries through the linky tool given below.
  • Non-bloggers are requested to link your entries to our FB Healthy Morsels group page or send per e-mail to: healthymorsels at gmail dot com
  • Your recipes must be linked back to either one of our announcement pages.
  • We highly appreciate the use of our logo, so as to spread the word.
  • Archived posts should be updated with the link back to the event announcement.
  • Strictly avoid linking recipes which include pork, alcohol and gelatin.
  • Last date for sending in entries: June 20th, 2012.
Rush in your entries! Share with us your experiences with your little prince or princess and make this series as exciting as the previous one.

Healthy Morsels Team

Taste of Pearl City
Lecker and Yummy Recipes

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Healthy Morsels - Pregnancy Roundup

A BIG heartfelt thanks to everyone for your invaluable contributions to Healthy Morsels - Pregnancy. We are extremely happy about your overwhelming response, amazing tips, interesting facts about pregnancy & postpartum diet. We thank each and everyone for sending your recipes relevant to the theme and making it a grand success! As said, Healthy Morsels is an event with u all for us all ! We really felt connected and enjoyed your company during this entire sail.

Also, we are extremely pleased with the lively interactions, question-answer sessions, useful tips being shared in our Healthy Morsels Facebook group. We highly underestimated its role when it was created. But thank you buddies for your enthusiasm, involvement and sharing your thoughts with us :)

Now it's time for the most awaited round-up of Healthy Morsels-Pregnancy. Our special thanks to the non-bloggers who have joined us with their mouthwatering recipes.

Simi Ethiraj has sent a healthy Avocado spread ! She says....

"We have heard a million times that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But not many of us have the time in the morning rush to prepare a good breakfast, sit down at the table and enjoy it. Here is a recipe that takes hardly any time, yet tasty and nutritious.
1 ripe avocado 
4-5 walnuts (chopped) 
4-5 cherry tomatoes (chopped) 
1 tbsp olive oil 
Freshly crushed black pepper 
Herbs of your choice (cilantro, parsley, chives, etc.,)

Cut the avocado into half and scoop the flesh out with a tablespoon. Mash it with the back of a spoon. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Spread on warm toast and enjoy.

The buttery taste of avocado with crunchy walnuts and sweet cherry tomatoes makes it a tasty spread. According to, avocado is a good source of folate and walnuts of omega-3 fats. This makes it an ideal breakfast or snack choice for expecting mothers and others alike."

Yasmin has sprouted mung beans for us.

2cups sprouted mung beans
1tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp canola oil or maize oil
Salt pepper to taste
1cup diced red bell pepper
1cup grated carrot
2 spring onions
1/2 cup fresh minced coriander leaves
Juice and finely diced zest of 1/4of a lemon
1/2 tbsp vegetable stock powder

Boil the sprouted mung bean with veg stock till just done.
Do not over cook as sprouts get cooked faster than the unsprouted beans and just use as much water just to immerse the sprouts.
Mix cider vinegar with oil to the cooked mung sprouts after it has cooled down.
Add lemon zest,salt and pepper to taste and mix carefully so not to break the sprouts.
Add capsicum ,spring onions , minced coriander and carrot.
Give a slight toss to mix all the ingredients.
Garnish with fresh coriander.

One of our facebook group members, Souha Kamand has sent a Syrian Tabouli Salad with parsley.

Ingredients : 
3 bunch fresh parsley 
4 tablespoons fine bulgur (cracked wheat ) 
2 medium onion 
2 medium tomato 
½ teaspoon all spice 
1 teaspoon salt 
¼ cup lemon juice 
¼ cup olive oil 
½ tablespoons dry mint or fresh mint leaves 

Preparation : 
1. Wash the parsley well . 
2. Chop the onion finely ,add ½ teaspoon salt and all spice rub onions with your fingertips ,set aside for 10 minutes, soak bulgur in lemon juice set aside until softened. 
3. Meanwhile chop parsley very finely ,put in a deep bowl ,chop tomato finely, add to parsley add mint , the rest of salt ( keep some diced tomato for decorating ). 
4. Squeeze chopped onion with your hand ,add squeezed onions to parsley, olive oil and bulgur , Stir to combine ,taste Tabouli add more salt and lemon juice if necessary. 
5. Put Tabouli in a serving dish decorate with tomato . 
Tip : Tabouli is best made as close to serving time as possible.

Thank you Simi Ethiraj, Souha Kamand and Yasmin.

Well now, lets take a look at the collection of our dainties in Healthy Morsels-Pregnancy. Your knowledge and wisdom are safely preserved here, here and here.

Please take time to go through the blogs for foods advisable for increasing the milk supply, foods that strengthen the pelvic muscles and the backbone, veggies that help lowering blood pressure during pregnancy or traditional healthy treats for the new moms. They are just a few examples from many other interesting recipes we received.

We would like to thank you all once again for your love and support, without which we definitely could not have achieved this success. Please accept our sincere and heartfelt thanks by collecting this badge.

Congratulations all, you are now a member of the Healthy Morsels crew !! Hope and wish you continue your contribution and support on the oncoming exciting themes as well :)

Without much waiting, let's now get straight to the nominees for the Healthy Morsels Finals. For those of you who are new, please refer our announcement page for details. It definitely was a tough job in selecting three nominees from a whole batch of 170! We had zeroed in to 3 entries based on
* the close relevance to the theme Pregnancy
* bringing out the nutritional benefits in the posts and finally,
* the number of entries contributed.

So working it out carefully, we came up with the following nominees for the finals, who are honored as a "Member of Hall of Fame" in our Honors Board page in all our three blogs and also in our Facebook group page.

The Hall of Fame members in alphabetical order are.....

Archana Vivek of My Culinary Endeavours for sharing useful recipes related to Postpartum diet like Milagu Kozhambu

and as a token of appreciation from the Healthy Morsels Team, she is getting this:

Asiya Omar of My Healthy Happy Kitchen for sharing her wealth of knowledge, documenting her pregnancy experience and sending recipes like Moringa Flowers Egg Fried Rice

and as a token of appreciation from the Healthy Morsels Team, she is getting this:

Jaleela Kamal of Samaiyal Attagaasangal for sharing essential tips and recipes like Mutton Soup

and as a token of appreciation from the Healthy Morsels Team, she is getting this:

Many many Congratulations Asiya, Archana and Jaleela !!!!!! Cant appreciate your efforts and your involvement more!

On the whole, it was a most exciting journey with the theme Pregnancy. Stay tuned for the next event very soon!! :)

Healthy Morsels Team
Lecker and Yummy Recipes
Taste of Pearl City

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Palak Lamb

Wow, can you believe? This is my fiftieth post. Ok, ok... I agree I write a post once in a blue moon. Nevertheless, my blog in fact keeps growing slowly and I sooo love it for that. Fine, over to the post... ;o)

Recently I got a craving for lamb, since it was quite a long time that we had lamb meat in our diet. So, we purchased lamb from our favorite butcher and on that Sunday when we planned to cook it, I was not in a mood for an elaborate Lamb Biryani. Neither did I want to cook the same old curry. Wanted to try something different and suddenly this idea of Palak Lamb popped up. Believe me, I had tasted this dish in some Indian restaurants here. Though the curry would be decent, the lamb would always be a big failure. So, there I got the trigger for an adventurous ride of making my own.

My husband suggested that I look for a recipe somewhere on the net, but I was bent on making my own and did not refer anywhere. I had the exuberant taste in mind - how it must taste and just went on doing myself. I have noted down the recipe I used and have given below.

Serves: 6
Preparation Time: 45 mins


Lamb - 1 kg
Fresh Spinach Leaves - 400 g
Onion - 2 big, finely chopped
Green chillies - 2 to 3
Tomatoes - 2, finely chopped
Ginger garlic paste - 2 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Red chilli powder - 2 tsp
Coriander powder - 2 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Corainder leaves - fresh, a handful, chopped
Whole gram masala - Cloves, Cardamom, Cinnamon - a few pieces each
Lemon juice - juice of half a lemon
Salt - to taste
Oil - 3 tbsp


Remove the visible fat from the lamb completely. Cut it into bite sized pieces and clean thoroughly. In a bowl, add the lamb pieces, 1 tbsp of ginger garlic paste, 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder and the juice of half a lemon. Sprinkle some salt and mix them well with your hands. Cover with a fresh foil and refrigerate for about 1/2 hour.

In the meanwhile, chop the onions, tomatoes and chillies and keep them ready.

Heat oil in a pressure cooker and add the whole gram masala pieces. When hot, add the cumin seeds, chopped onions and a pinch of salt and sauté well till the onions turn translucent. Now add the remaining 1 tbsp of ginger garlic paste, chopped green chillies and 1/2 tsp turmeric. Sauté for a few minutes till the raw smell goes off and add the chopped tomatoes. Give a stir and let the tomatoes cook and become soft and mushy.

Now add the red chill and coriander powders and sauté for about a minute. At this stage, add the marinated lamb pieces and chopped coriander leaves. Mix them all well and adjust the taste if necessary. Close the lid of the cooker and put on the whistle. We have not added a single drop of water till now as it is not necessary. The meat would cook well in its own juices and from that of the tomatoes. Let it cook for about 5 - 6 whistles.

In the meanwhile, clean the spinach leaves and chop them roughly. In a broad pan, heat about 1/2 cup of water and add the spinach to them and close with a lid. This is to blanch the spinach. Please do not overcook it. Once cooked, drain the spinach leaves, let them cool a little and with an electric blender, puree it to a thick consistency.

After the pressure is out of the cooker, open the lid and there you find the most delicious curry. The meat would be cooked well and it must be so soft that it could easily be removed from the bones. This is the perfect stage. Now add the pureed spinach and give a gentle mix. Done !!

This goes well with pulavs, cooked white rice, naans, rotis and turkish breads.

You know what, this was the best Palak Lamb that I have ever tasted anywhere. I have now taken an oath never to order this dish in restaurants anymore. The curry smelled so fresh with spices, the meat so well cooked and soft. We had it with hot white rice and every spoonful was delicious and yummy. My husband too appreciated it a lot and we both took ourselves extra servings. Home made is always the best!! Well, being a foodie is more of an advantage. Just follow your taste instincts and you will get to eat what you want. :)

Tips and Health Info:
Lamb meat is a rich source of protein and contains a high amount of unsaturated and Omega 3 fatty acids, folates and vitamins. So, it is not all that bad. However, one third of the fat from Lamb are saturated. So, a moderate amount of consumption is recommended. Take care with the selection of fresh lamb meat while purchasing and with the hygiene while preparing.

Spinach, as we know is a good source of plant iron and rich in folic acid, vitamins and calcium. So, this delicious and healthy combo is a real treat to pregnant women and to others too.

Toxoplasmosis is a condition, caused by a parasite called Toxoplasma. Most of the human population is susceptible for infection with the parasite, though the effects are not so dramatic. For a pregnant woman, it is of special concern because there is a chance that the baby gets affected from the mother, which might result in severe consequences for the baby. Only a small percentage of women of child bearing age is actually immune. In Germany and many other countries women are tested during the early stages of pregnancy. If the mother is found to not have enough immunity against Toxoplasma, the doctor advises to take the precautionary measures. Whenever consuming meat, it must be thoroughly cooked. Raw or undercooked meat including sausages, where the parasites are more probable to occur, must be completely avoided. Also, only pasteurized milk should be consumed. For more info, please refer here and here.

Such meat preparations where we cook the meat thoroughly is advisable for pregnant women, where one can enjoy the delicious richness of meat along with their health benefits without any worries :)

Sending this as an entry to Healthy Morsels - Pregnancy and Gimme Green by Chef Al Dente.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Thoughts to munch on - Healthy Morsels

Dear Foodies,

This is a quick and short post to thank you all for the support which you give for our group event Healthy Morsels. We are really happy and excited to see all the entries flowing in this short period, so thank you again.

We would also like to take this opportunity to inform you about our humble group which we have created in Facebook. Earlier in our announcement post,we have given a small note about our Facebook page, Healthy Morsels- Food Blogger's Event. This page has now been transformed into a group with the same name as Healthy Morsels- Food Blogger's Event.

The core theme of this group is to have many interactive sessions among both bloggers and non bloggers. The discussions would be related to the current theme of the event. We would like to invite you all to Healthy Morsels group, join in our discussions and share the knowledge with us. Please visit our group by clicking the link here and let's start our healthy interactions from here... Feel free to also invite your elderly family members and friends to our group, so that they can also benefit by participating in the discussions and sharing their thoughts and wisdom.

A kind request: Bloggers please do not post any recipes in the Facebook group. You can continue to link your entries for the event, as always, in the Linky given in our blogs. Non-bloggers are welcome to post their recipes related to the theme in the Facebook group page.

Looking forward to your continued support and encouragement....

Healthy Morsels Team

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Green Beans Salad

A long gap again since my last post. For the past few days, I have been busy with my first event on blogspace, Healthy Morsels - Pregnancy. Praises be to the God, it is going well and I'm thrilled and excited about it. Apart from that, work has been very busy, paired with travel and I hardly get any "me" time. Just wish to take a long long leave and relax. Well, it is time again for Blog Hop, an event by Radhika of Tickling Palates, something I have been ceremoniously doing and enjoying as well.

This time, I got to visit Sweatha's blog - Tasty Curry Leaf. You know what, the very first post that popped up as I opened her space attracted me and I made my mind - this is it what I'm going to try. Nevertheless, I browsed her space good and I found lot of interesting and different dishes. She has posted a variety of food from international cuisine and I'm sure everybody would get something to their liking there.

Coming to the salad, this is a very simple, easy to prepare warm salad. For the original recipe, please look here. I pepped it up a little, so providing the recipe here.

Preparing Time: 15 mins
Serves: 2


Tender Green Beans - 200 g
Cherry Tomatoes - a handful
Fresh Basil leaves - 2 stalks
Garlic - 2 pods
Butter - 1 Tbsp
Walnuts - 4 to 5
Pepper - to taste
Salt - to taste


Cut the beans to bite sized pieces. Blanch them in hot boiling water until just cooked and tender. This might take about 7 to 10 mins. Take care not to overcook them.

In the meanwhile, heat the butter in a heavy bottomed pan. Slice the garlic pods to thin slices. Wash and tear the fresh basil leaves. Add the garlic and basil leaves to the pan and sauté a little.

Wash and halve the cherry tomatoes. When the basil leaves wilt, add the tomatoes and walnuts to the pan and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add required salt now.

Drain the beans, add to the pan and give a stir. Done !! Garnish with freshly ground pepper and serve warm.


I prepared this lovely salad for an evening dinner and we both really loved it. It was light, healthy and tasted fantastic with the light note of butter, basil and garlic. It can be pepped up with different types of nuts or cheese. I'm sure this would make a good show as a warm salad in party buffets. Thank you Sweatha for this comforting salad recipe.

Health Tips:

Green beans are a rich source of dietary fibre, helps reduce cholesterol and a good source of vitamins and minerals. Fresh beans are rich in folates, which is very essential for the cell division phase and hence a must in the preconception and early pregnancy periods. For more info, refer here.

Carrying women can prepare such simple salads, which does not take much effort and at the same time helps in the healthy development of the foetus. Care should be taken not to overcook such vegetables so as to maintain their nutritional values.

Sending this healthy salad as an entry to Tickling Palate's Blog Hop Wednesday Week 15, Taste of Pearl City's Anyone can Cook Series 43 and to our own event: Healthy Morsels - Pregnancy.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Healthy Morsels - The journey begins...

We, Lecker and Yummy Recipes, SchmetterlingWords and Taste of Pearl City, are happily announcing the launch of the much awaited "Healthy Morsels", a joint venture from us. As some of you would have already guessed, the idea behind is very simple - to nourish ourselves healthily. We are faced with different nutritional needs at different phases of our lives. Through "Healthy Morsels", we aim at identifying these needs and to enrich our knowledge how best these needs could be adressed. This is an event with you all for us all.

"Healthy Morsels" would be a running program, with every cycle focussing on a particular theme. Each theme would roughly signify a particular stage of human life. Our beloved readers, bloggers and non-bloggers alike, are all invited to cook or bake something, which you consider is best suitable with the theme. That is, you could prepare a food item which is best consumed during that period, write about it and share it with us. Since the objective is to benefit from the wisdom of each other, it would be great if you could share useful health tips and the nutritional benefits of your food in accordance with the theme. At the end of each cycle, we would post a round up of all the shared entries for the theme, which would be a reference source for everyone in the future.

Excited with the idea and wish to be part of "Healthy Morsels"? Of course, you would be having questions. We love questions!! We have tried to answer some of them below.

What do I share?

You can share with us a recipe for a food item, which could be a starter or a beverage, a main meal or a dessert, even cookies or other goodies. We accept both vegetarian and non vegetarian recipes.The only criteria is that it should match with the theme in focus. Sharing of additional information about the health benefits along with the recipe is appreciated. Archived recipes are accepted too, if you think it matches well with the theme. There are no limits to the number of entries you would like to share.

When do I share?

A new theme for "Healthy Morsels" would be announced every two months, on the first day of a month. You could share your recipes from the day of announcement till the 15th of the following month (totally 45 days). We would be preparing the round-up and posting it in two weeks time. At the start of the next month, a new theme would be announced.

How do I share?

If you are a blogger, after posting your recipe in your blog, you can link your post with the help of the Linky tool found at the end of the announcement post. Since it is a team event from the three of us, you can link it to any of our blogs. It would be automatically linked to all the three blogs.

If you do not own any blog, of course, you are still entitled to be a part of the fun. We have created a Facebook page specially for you where you can share your recipes and photos with us. If you are not a big Facebook fan, you can still send your entries to our gmail ID:

Any constraints?

Yes, we have thought out a few simple rules, which would just help us to better organise.
  • Your recipes have to be linked back to either one of our announcement pages.
  • We highly appreciate the use of our logo, so as to spread the word.
  • Archived posts should be updated with the link back to the event announcement.
  • Strictly avoid linking recipes which include pork, alcohol and gelatin.
  • Bloggers are requested to refrain from posting your recipes at the FB page and use the Linky exclusively. This would give room to other readers who do not have a blog to share their ideas too with us.

What do I gain?

Apart from the implicit benefit of getting to know about different ideas, new recipes and useful infos, "Healthy Morsels" does come with a fun factor. At the end of every cycle, we would be publishing the round up of all received entries. Among them, we would select three entries, based on the relevance to the theme and the beneficial content provided. These special entries would be finding their place in our "Healthy Morsels - Hall of Fame" - an appreciation to the ones who have excelled. The "Healthy Morsels - Hall of Fame" would be published in our blogs as well as in our Facebook Page and it would remain there forever. Members entering the "Healthy Morsels - Hall of Fame" would receive a special Logo as an acknowledgement.

At the end of six cycles, we would be having totally 18 members in the "Hall of Fame", three for each theme / category. We would be conducting a poll for public voting for these nominees, where one winner for each category would be selected based upon the number of votes received. These 6 winners would be receiving a special recognition, which remains a secret at this moment.

I have another question!

At any time, feel free to contact us with your queries or concerns at our gmail ID: We would try to answer as soon as possible. Apart from that, you are heartily welcome to share your suggestions and likes in our FB page too.

Well, what is the first theme?

Our first theme goes "Pregnancy", an extra-ordinarily special phase of human life. Carrying a new life within, the most beautiful moment for a woman, is exciting as well as thrilling. Our taste buds start right from the mother's womb. A woman is clouded with different thoughts and emotions during this time. The physical and emotional balance of a woman is very decisional for the healthy development of the child within. So, you mothers and mothers-to-be, share with us the sweetest moments you have experienced before, during and after your Pregnancy, how good you nourished yourself, what did your mothers advise you to eat and how beneficial was the food intake for you. All men out there, feel free to share your experiences like what you cooked specially for your carrying wife / partner, how excited are you about your new arrival, etc. with us. Please link your entries from March 1, 2012 to April 15, 2012.

More Information on Pregnancy?

Good nutrition should always be a priority, but when you're having a baby it becomes even more important. After getting pregnant the first thing that a woman thinks is to eat well so that she and her baby have a healthy and relaxed pregnancy time. While in pregnancy, all the nutritional needs are increased in order to meet the needs of the developing baby, it is vital to stick to good health habits. She needs lot of stamina to deal with the early pregnancy symptoms like fatigue, nausea and morning sickness and also for enduring the various pains and to have a safe delivery. Also, pregnancy is the time when her eating habits during these magical 40 weeks directly affects another life.

The decision to incorporate wise food choices into her eating plan before and during pregnancy will give proper strength to her uterus for holding the fertilized egg, will help to promote a healthy environment for her baby, normal birth weight for the baby, improved fetal brain development, a speedy recovery of the body after delivery. We all want to give our children the best start in life, so it’s not surprising that a lot of pregnant women get a little panicky about what they should and shouldn’t be eating. It is also this time, the people who love and care for her will also advise what to eat and what not to eat. She enjoys this special attention for the next nine months and even after that :).

Some important steps to a healthy pregnancy include eating a balanced diet; gaining the right amount of weight; enjoying regular physical activity; taking a vitamin and mineral supplement if recommended by a physician; and avoiding alcohol, tobacco and other harmful substances. It is better to eat healthy rather than eating anything!

A well-balanced diet should include the following foods:

Folic Acid: It is essential for the normal development of the baby's spine, brain and skull, especially during the first four weeks of pregnancy. It is, therefore, important to start taking vitamin supplements with Folic Acid before one gets pregnant to reduce the risk of neural tube defect. Sources include fortified foods like cereals, pastas and breads, supplements and natural food sources of folate. Celery and Spinach are great sources of folic acid and iron. It is advised to consume spinach in its natural form without overcooking and thereby not destroying the folic acid. Other folic acid rich foods include Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, parsnips, eggplant and asparagus, fruits like papaya, kiwi, dates, figs and even bananas. The best way to get the most of the folic acid is without cooking, just to fix up a bowl of salad with a tasty dressing and enjoy.

Whole grains: High-fibre breakfast cereals, brown or wholewheat breads and rolls, maize meal or oats porridge, brown rice, pasta, cereals, and brown rice.

Whole fruits: Apples, pears, peaches, nectarines and melon. Since acids can cause heartburn, caution should be taken with the amount of acidic fruits intake like oranges, pineapples, lemons and limes.

Vegetables: Leafy greens, bell peppers, eggplant, squash and mushrooms, spinach, broccoli, zucchini, dark green lettuces, green beans, asparagus.

Healthy fats: Extra-virgin olive oil, walnuts, almonds and avocados.

Protein: Chicken, fish, beef, red meat, turkey, tofu, nuts, legumes (beans), milk, eggs, cottage cheese, whole grains, wheat gluten, soy cheese.

Iron: Maternal iron deficiency anemia is a pregnancy risk. High-iron foods include spinach, leafy greens, beans, fortified cereals, red meat, chicken and fish.
Vegetarians can increase iron absorption by combining plant-based sources of iron with vitamin C-rich foods. For example, spinach salad with mandarin oranges or cereal with strawberries.

Calcium: During pregnancy, calcium is needed for the healthy development of a baby’s teeth, bones, heart, nerves and muscles. When a pregnant woman does not consume enough calcium, the developing baby takes it from her bones. Calcium-rich foods include low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt or cheese or calcium-fortified cereals and juices.

Magnesium: Whole grain breads, cereals, brown rice, nuts, tuna,eggs, spinach, whole-oat oatmeal, black tea, strawberries, avocados.

Foods that could be avoided: It is better to avoid extra calories from added sugar and fats, which can lead to unhealthy weight gain. Cutting down on foods like regular soda, sweets and fried snacks is advisable. Some cheese are unsafe during Pregnancy. For details, please refer here.

Post Delivery: A mother's diet immediately after delivery not only determines which nutrients her little one gets, but her food choices can also affect her entire breastfeeding experience. Her diet impacts the amount, taste and quality of milk she produces. Zinc, calcium and iron are some nutrients critical to breastfeeding. Drinking atleast six to eight cups of liquids like water, milk or juice helps with milk production and prevents dehydration and constipation; limiting caffeinated beverages like coffee, tea and soda which pass through the breastmilk causing the baby irritable and fussy; avoiding alcohol,smoking and second hand smoking which interfere with the milk flow and is dangerous to the health; taking a multivitamin supplement thats is specially formulated for breastfeeding moms are some of the things to be taken care of.

Sources of information:

For Postpartum(After Delivery) Nutritional information:


There are many pregnancy diet recommendations, but we believe a diet should be individualized to a person’s unique physiology. Please always consult a registered physician before planning on any diet as pregnancy affects every woman differently. This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE.

We eagerly await your enthusiastic participation in the "Healthy Morsels" journey. Bring along your experiences and expert tips and advices from your moms and grandmas. Lets make this sail more eventful and fun-filled and leave a legacy ! :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Healthy Morsels - Coming Soon...

Three girls, three different personalities, crossed their ways in Germany. They had one special thing in common among others - they are great foodies!! The trio, Umm Mymoonah of Taste of Pearl City, Reshmi Ahmed of Lecker and Yummy Recipes and Aysha of SchmetterlingWords, got inspired by each other, to learn about food and healthy diet, different dishes, different cuisines, from cooking to baking, started blogging and sharing our culinary expeditions with the world. We have tread a good way so far, but being the lady of the house, the quest to consciously feed the family with healthy yet tasty food has always been a sweet challenge to us.

The human body and mind, when it comes to food, are faced with different needs at different stages of our life. A balanced diet is essential for a healthy body and a healthy soul. Our ancestors have understood this simple mantra very well and laid importance in the art of food making and healthy diet. A Tamil proverb goes, 'Unave marundhu', meaning 'Food is medicine'. A proper nutrition itself is a medicine and works preventive against diseases. This shows how important food is for a healthy life. Today's life is more complex than the life some 50 years back. The fast pace of today's life just makes it more important than ever to take care of our eating habits.

With just this goal, we as a team, are now embarking on a "Healthy Morsels" journey, carrying along with us, you foodies on our board, hoping to run a tight ship and aiming to benefit every member of the family at all ages. The whole idea of "Healthy Morsels" is about sharing the wisdom of good nutrition and healthy life style with the global community. Not everyone of us is a doctor. Neither are we all dietitians. But still, we can learn from each other - from the hidden treasures of family traditions, from the hearths of learned professionals and from the indispensable expertise that comes with experience - the key to a healthy life.

Knowledge shared is knowledge gained. Are you all ready for this exciting ride with us??

About the hows, whens and whats, just stay tuned for a few more days…