Mexican flavors galore


I don’t know about you but I am one of those people obsessed with Mexican food! I think we eat a full Mexican feast in our home at least once a week! Usually a Mexican feast consisting of tacos, enchiladas, fajitas…..can really throw away your new clean and healthy eating habits! I know it did for me when I moved here and I was probably consuming a 2000 calorie meal filled with zero nutrition and not even realizing it!

After a month long holiday of going crazy and not sticking to my new lifestyle, I woke up this week with a new agenda to healthy-fy all my favorite foods so I don’t derail again.

Firstly, I made batches of this Mexican seasoning that you can use however you want! Just a tablespoon of this as a dry rub and you can grill or stir fry any protein you like. 

Mexican flavors galore

1 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp chilli powder 

1 tsp paprika 

1/2 tsp red chilli flakes

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp salt 

1/4 tsp black pepper

Mix together in a bowl, this should yield about 2 tablespoons but I made like a cup full and stored it in an airtight jar. 

Having made this, I wanted to try and see if I could create Fajitas at home and boy did it work! yay! 

Fabulous Fajitas 

With any fajitas there are a couple of components; chicken strips (or any other protein of your choice), guacamole, tortilla, pepper/onion stir fry, grated cheese and salsa. 

For the chicken strips:

3 chicken breasts cut in thin strips 

2 tbsp seasoning mix (from above)

Handful of chopped cilantro

1 Lime

Salt to taste

Mix together the strips, seasoning and cilantro and set aside for 15 minutes. 

In a non stick pan or grill cook the trips about a minute to minute and a half on each side giving a squeeze of lime all over each time. Set aside covered with foil. 

For the guacamole:

1 avocado; mashed 

1 tsp chopped onions

1 tbsp lime 

1/2 tsp of cumin (add more to your liking)

1/2 tsp of salt 

1 tbsp of chopped cilantro 

Mix together and serve. You can of course adjust the above to your liking! 

For the tortilla: 

You can buy flour tortillas from the store but I just used regular durum wheat ‘atta roti.’ Its a lighter and much healthier option. 


Since I made this dinner completely unplanned, I used a store bought salsa but you can definitely make your own!

12 small-medium tomatoes chopped

1/2 large white onion chopped

1 clove of garlic 

1-2 green chillies chopped and deseeded 

1 handful cilantro

1 tbsp lime juice

dash of sweetener either stevia or brown sugar

salt to taste

In a food processor, pulse all the above together to desired smoothness. I kept mine chunky and of course you can adjust each ingredient to your liking. Adding some roasted red chili is also delicious!

Lastly, I cut some onions and yellow pepper lengthwise and grilled till soft and fragrant! I also served some grated cheddar cheese on the side!

Serve each item separately and allow everyone to make their own fajitas or have some hard shell tacos if you are treating yourself! Another great way to enjoy this is to create a fajita on a bed of lettuce! That’s what I’m taking for lunch tomorrow with the leftovers!


Simply simple: Roasted tomato and garlic soup in many ways!


I used to think I had to make every meal on the day until I discovered the art of freezing! Especially with soups and sauces, you can use them interchangeably and voila! you have a fresh and healthy meal too!

I made a huge batch of roasted tomato soup and had it as a soup the first evening with shredded chicken! Protein overload! Next afternoon, I used that same ‘soup’ and turned it into a pasta sauce with whole wheat pasta!

You can do countless meals with this versatile sauce, I am even thinking of baking chicken with it as a healthier version of chicken parm…hmmmm!

Not only is this recipe useful, tomatoes are packed with nutrients! They are known to support heart health, bone health and has anti-cancer benefits while being backed with anti-oxidants! Tomato-containing diets have also been linked in a few studies with reduced risk of obesity. Convinced?

So, this recipe should yield about 4 cups of soup but honestly it depends on how soupy you want it!

Roasted tomato and garlic soup with poached/stir fried chicken!


Here we go:

Ingredients: 6 tomatoes, 12 plum tomatoes, 12 vine tomatoes
1/2 cup of celery
1/2 cup of white onions
1 whole garlic to roast and 2/3 cloves chopped
1/2 cup kidney beans
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp brown sugar
2 cups of water
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Place half the tomatoes and whole garlic cut through the middle in a roasting pan with a tablespoon of olive oil and salt. Roast till blackened and roasted. Depending in size of tomatoes.

2. Steam the remaining tomatoes and place into blender to purée.

3. Take roasted tomatoes and roasted garlic and purée them together and mix with purée from step 2. Set aside.

4. Take the juices from the roasting tray and blend together with basil leaves. Mix this to the tomato purée.

5. Sauté chopped celery, onions and garlic with olive oil until softened. Add salt and pepper to taste and chili flakes for heat (optional).

6. Add in the tomato and basil mixture into the sautéed mixture. Add in the water and let this simmer under low heat.

7. Add the cinnamon, sugar and kidney beans and stir occasionally until desired consistency is reached.

8. I didn’t do this as I like a hearty soup, you can choose to mash the veggies and put the soup through a sieve for a smooth consistency.

9. To make the chicken: Poach chicken breast in water and salt. Shred the chicken and stir fry in a non stick pan with cilantro for flavor.

So this afternoon, I turned this soup into a delicious pasta dish. I wish I had some mushrooms in hand; there’s next time!


1. Sauté any protein/veg of your choice. I would use mushrooms!

2. Add in a cup and half of leftover tomato soup to the sauté.

3. Add in 3 tbsp of starchy water from the pasta.

4. Simmer till warm and add in the pasta!

Its simple, low calorie and you know every single ingredient in your meal! No excuses to buy store bought pasta sauce anymore!!


Whole wheat banana pancakes and fruit platter


I made this for my husband’s birthday! I have to admit that it doesn’t taste like buttermilk IHOP pancakes but they are light, delicious and good for you! No guilt!

What do you need?

1/2 cup wholewheat flour 

1/2 tsp baking soda 

1/4 tsp salt 

2 ripe bananas 

2 eggs

1/2 cup skim milk or almond milk 

Oil spray 

Fresh fruits 


Unsweetened fat free greek yoghurt 


Mix the eggs, milk, banana, flour, baking soda and salt in a blender 

Under medium to low heat, spray pan and place 3 tablespoons of the mix in pan. Let the bottom set and then turn the pancake and cook the other side. 

Spray the pan in between each pancake. 

Do not try to do this on hight heat! Trust me! I had to throw about 4 away! 😦 

Place fruits and yoghurt in between layers and drizzle with honey! I served this with a fruit platter with pretty much everything I had at home! Mix together honey and yoghurt for a delicious dip! 



Honey dijon citrus whole roast chicken


This dish is one of my favorites! Seriously, all you have to do is marinade it and stuff it in the oven! It also really makes the table beautiful with the whole chickens and colorful vegetables!

What do you need?

4 poussin/ baby chicken with skin

5 garlic cloves, chopped

1 cup of cilantro

Juice of 1 orange and rinds

Juice of 1 lime and rinds

2 tablespoons of olive oil

salt to taste 

This is what you do either the night before or 2/3 hours before putting the dish in the oven.

Wash and dry the chicken and coat completely with olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, orange juice and salt. Stuff the rinds of orange and lemon. 


Cover the chicken and leave overnight. 


Take the chicken out of the fridge about 20  minutes before putting it in the oven 

Preheat the oven to 250 C ( I use a fan oven) and place the chicken in. 

For the glaze:

1 tbsp honey 

1 tbsp course mustard 

1 tbsp water 

Let the chicken cook for 30 minutes then brush half the glaze on it. 

Let it cook for a further 25 minutes and when you poke it, the juices should run clear. 5 minutes before taking it out brush the remaining glaze. Take the chicken out and let it rest under foil paper till you make the jus.

Take the drippings from the pan and throw out the oil floating on top. Reduce it under low heat, add cornstarch + water to thicken it or reglaze with some white or red wine. 

I added some corn, tomatoes and more fruits for garnish. 


It’s definitely a crowd pleaser! 


Sweet & spicy and garlic & lime chicken dinner


Planning dinner really gets me frustrated! There is no room for cheating or mistakes and when you are as exhausted as I am at the end of the day a one dish oven chicken dish sounds just about perfect!

Chicken breasts are a great source of lean proteins and with the availability of cleaned and cut chicken breasts this is easy peezy! I did add in boneless chicken thighs in my dish, feel free to use whichever pieces you like but remember this recipe is measured for boneless pieces!

 What do you need?


You can adjust the measurements if you are cooking for 3 or more people. I made enough for 3 persons.

4 boneless chicken breasts and thighs

1.5 tablespoon of olive oil

A mix of chili sauce, honey and whole grain mustard, a tbsp of each. However if you have made the amazing sweet chili sauce you can use 2 tbsp of that and add a tbsp of mustard of choice. Also in that case decrease garlic to just one clove as the sweet chili sauce contains garlic. (I hadn’t tried out the sweet chili sauce when I cooked this!)

2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

2 – 3 red or green chilies, chopped

Juice of half a lime

Roughly a cup of chopped cilantro

2 tbsp water

Salt and pepper to taste

 Wash the chicken pieces and pat dry

Make sure to place a cling wrap over your cutting board when cutting raw pieces of meat. The juices get soaked into the boards, especially if they are wooden and basically the bacteria harvests in there and you do the math! Ech! Always remember to cling wrap your boards, may it be plastic, granite or wood when handling raw meats or fishes!

Cut the pieces into equal sizes, this completely depends on you! But make sure they are roughly equal so that they cook evenly.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper

Mix sauces together with the juice from the lime and add 2 tbsp of water. Mix and set aside.

Under medium heat, put half of the oil and sear the pieces to give some color and lock in the juices


Preheat the oven to 250 C ( I use a fan oven)

Place the remaining oil, cut chilies, cut garlic and half of the cilantro into an oven proof dish


Transfer the pieces into the prepared dish, try not to crowd them too much and then cover each piece completely with the sauce. Leave some to add on after the cooking process.


Place it in the oven and watch the cooking and caramelization happen!


It should take 30 – 35 minutes before its done. Turn the pieces half way through. The chicken is cooked when you insert a toothpick and the juices run clear! You can even take a piece and cut it to make sure! No one’s judging here!

Transfer the chicken into your serving dish and cover with foil.

Take the drippings from the dish and reduce it down. You can add in a tsp of cornstarch mixed with water to get a thicker sauce but honestly it’s not necessary!


Serve the chicken in slices or whole, smear it with the remaining sauce and garnish with cilantro.

Serve with a side of steamed crunchy vegetables!


This is easily a dish you can make for many people, its hassle free and you can really skip the searing part if you are feeling extra lazy!











Sweet chili sauce: Just the way you like it!



It’s been 4 months that I’ve been following this new cleaner lifestyle and I realized that I was constantly looking for the sweet and spicy flavor in my dishes. You might have noticed in my recipes that I was constantly making the honey + chili combination!

Before that I was using store bought sweet chili sauce which has a shelf life of more than 1 year and obviously full of the ‘bad’ stuff. One of the major hurdles of leading a healthy life is the addition of condiments, most of them are full of sugars and preservatives! It’s such a necessary but unnecessary addition!

So, while trying to come up with a new chicken recipe, I thought out the way I could bottle this sweet chili sauce! And it worked!!

I ordered these jars even before trying it out! 😀

What do you need?

1 cup honey
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 tbsp vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar it’s healthier)
1 tbsp lemon juice
Red and green chilies ( the amount depends on how spicy you want it)
3/4 cloves of chopped garlic
1 tbsp of cornstarch with 1.5 tbsp of water

You will make 6 110ml jars!


Sterilize the jars by placing them in a hot oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Be careful when taking them out!


On low heat, bring the honey and water to a simmer and add in the chilies and garlic

Continue to simmer for 5 minutes then add in the vinegar and lemon

Simmer for a further 5 minutes and add in the cornstarch and water mixture. Keep whisking slowly until sauce has thickened.


Fill the jars with the sauce and keep open to cool completely.



Once cool, you can refrigerate and enjoy for up to a month! I doubt it will last that long!

I gave these jars as favors for my husband’s birthday lunch! I was happy to share this healthy change with my loved ones!




What do I do with chia seeds?



In my last post, I mentioned the benefits of these tiny, relatively inexpensive seeds!

Why chia seeds?

In Bangladesh, a substitute for these seeds is basil seeds or ‘tokma.’ They are usually taking during the month of Ramadan to keep feeling fuller for longer. They have the same properties as chia seeds whereby they swell up upon contact with liquids. 


You can make these cups for a week at a time and they are really delicious for that afternoon pick me up snack or dessert cravings. They are slow releasing so they also work really well as a snack pre work out giving you the fuel to push through, thats when I usually take it. 

Everyone needs that bit of chocolate in their lives, I know I do! This is a great dessert packed with nutrients and satisfies that sweet tooth. 

What do you need for chocolate chia pudding cups?

2 tbsp chia seeds (black or white)

1/2 cup of fresh almond milk or skim milk or unsweetened coconut milk

1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder or baking cocoa powder 

1.5 tsp honey, you can increase it to your liking 

Shaved chocolate for garnish 

Mix all the ingredients together, fill cups and chill overnight. Serve with fruits and shaved chocolate. 

You will make 6/7 shooter cups 


What do you need for vanilla chia puddings?

2 tbsp chia seeds (black or white)

1/2 cup of fresh almond milk or skim milk or unsweetened coconut milk

1 tsp good quality vanilla extract 

1 tsp honey 

You will make 6/7 shooter cups 

Whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl and fill shooter cups. Refrigerate overnight and enjoy! You can add more honey or nuts or fresh fruits on top when enjoying this cup of deliciousness. 

I also add them directly to my morning smoothie. You can sprinkle them over your salad or soup. There is no one way to enjoy this superfood! 


Why shouldn’t you mix Carbohydrates and Proteins?


This food plan that I follow is the one devised by Harvey and Marilyn Diamond. Their bestselling book “Fit for Life” was first published in 1985, and was re-released in 2010 and contains information in details. Buy the book

Here are the basics:

Till 12pm

You must only eat fruit, homemade smoothies in this period.  No coffee, tea, toast etc.  You can drink herbal teas, and water.  This works as fruits have their own digestive enzymes and only takes 20-35 minutes to digest. Fruits also contain fructose which will aid you to give up sucrose, refined sugar! 


Carbohydrate + Vegetables (preferably steamed as it holds most nutrients)

(30:70 ratio)


Protein + Vegetables (preferably steamed as it holds most nutrients)

(30:70 ratio)

 Do not mix carbohydrates with proteins. Protein is digested by acid and carbohydrates are digested by alkaline. Alkaline cancels out acid and so the food consumed is not properly assimilated and is very difficult to digest.

 Do not eat fruit after a main meal as it will ferment your meal.

 Add a tablespoon of olive oil or coconut oil to main meals.


Why Whey Protein?



What is Whey Protein?

Buy whey protein

Whey protein is a protein that is easier and quicker to absorb than protein found in most foods. While this is convenient, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is better than foods. Protein is required to repair the tears in muscles from strenuous and intense exercise. When you put stress upon your muscles, you cause tears that actually break down the muscles. And yes this means that technically by working out you are causing your muscles to become weaker.

When you consume protein, whether it be whey, soy, etc, the tears get repaired. Not only do these tears get repaired to their original state but rather the tears become more adapted to exercise, thus leading to strength gains.

Taking Whey Protein After A Workout

 After a workout, your body is starved for energy, or at least is looking for where it can get some to refuel. Typically when your body is searching for sources of energy either from exercise or prolonged stages of under-consumption, it absorbs nutrients much easier.

The time after working out is important, how long do you have to capitalize on taking the protein? Roughly 40 minutes is the best time to chow down.

After your post-workout protein, it is best to eat at least every 2 hours for 6 hours afterwards. Just because you had your post-workout meal does not mean that your body is done searching for energy to recover. This is also the perfect time to take your multi vitamins as it gets absorbed the fastest!



Why Chia Seeds?


Buy chia seeds

Chia seeds are native to South America and have been a staple in Mayan and Aztec diets for centuries. Today, they draw the interest of many people for their health benefits and uses in cooking. It turns out the South American staple is a rich source of nutrients and antioxidants.

In Bangladesh, a similar seed is called ‘tokma’ or basil seeds. 

Their benefits are: 

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Chia seeds are rich in polyunsaturated fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds’ lipid profile is composed of 60 percent omega-3s, making them one of the richest plant-based sources of these fatty acids — specifically, of alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA. The omega-3s in chia seeds can help reduce inflammation, enhance cognitive performance and reduce high cholesterol.


Fiber is associated with reducing inflammation, lowering cholesterol and regulating bowel function. Chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber, with a whopping 10 grams in only 2 tablespoons. That is one-third of the daily recommended intake of fiber per day.


Chia seeds are rich in antioxidants that help protect the body from free radicals, aging and cancer. The high antioxidant profile also helps them have a long shelf life. They last almost two years without refrigeration.


Two tablespoons of chia seeds contain 18 percent of the DRI for calcium, 35 percent for phosphorus, 24 percent for magnesium and about 50 percent for manganese. These nutrients help you prevent hypertension and maintain a healthy weight, and are important for energy metabolism and a part of DNA synthesis.


Satiety is the feeling of being full and satisfied, which helps lower food cravings between meals. The combination of protein, fiber and the gelling action of chia seeds when mixed with liquids all contribute to their satiating effects.


Chia seeds contain no gluten or grains. Therefore, all of the nutritional benefits of chia seeds can be obtained on a gluten-free diet.

Egg Replacer

The outer layer of chia seeds swells when mixed with liquids to form a gel. This can used in place of eggs to lower cholesterol and increase the nutrient content of foods and baked goods. To make the egg replacement, mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water and let sit for 15 minutes.

Can Be Digested Whole

Unlike flaxseeds, which are also high in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and minerals, chia seeds do not need to be ground in order to obtain their nutrient or egg- replacement benefits.


A study published in the “British Journal of Nutrition” showed that chia seeds as a dietary fat source can lower triglycerides and cholesterol levels while increasing HDL or “good” cholesterol. The study also found that when substituting chia seeds for other fat sources, such as corn oil, the ALA was able to prevent high triglyceride levels and reduce central obesity.

Blood Sugar Regulation

Chia seeds can play an important role in regulating insulin levels. They can reduce insulin resistance and decrease abnormally high levels of insulin in the blood.