The nation-wide lockdown imposed in India to halt the spread of coronavirus disease has certainly changed the way people plan their daily routines, be it working from home, doing household chores, keeping kids entertained, caring for senior citizens and well, even eating habits.
Yes, due to most restaurants remaining closed with concerns of social distancing, disinfecting and hygiene practices, cooking at home has become an integral part of people’s lives, be it for a working couple, restless kids and teenagers, or even a single young adult.
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Nevertheless, one thing that has not changed despite the “new normal” lifestyle involving face masks, hand washes and sanitizers is people’s love for comfort food, no matter their age.
Whether it is a clear day with blue skies and blazing hot outdoors or an overcast grey atmosphere with a spate of summer rains, most of you would fancy a bite into a slice of cheesy pizza laced with your choice of yummy toppings. Agreed that even basic pizzas and burgers, leave alone customized with your preferred flavours are indeed a luxury in these chaotic, uncertain times of total shutdown. But hey, you can still spruce up your simple, home-cooked comfort foods like khichdi and curd rice with fresh, nutrient-rich ingredients, all the while enhancing their taste and gastronomical appeal. Read on, to discover some easy culinary hacks to enjoy an upgraded version of your go-to continental sandwich, masala noodles or traditional desi khana.
Unique Ingredients To Make Standard Comfort Foods More Nutritious And Delicious:
Sauté some finely cut spinach leaves and boiled corn in a bit of rice bran oil, along with red chilli and coriander powder. Add this to a warm pot full of khichdi, to provide a fiery flavour and refreshing green colour to this otherwise bland dal and rice preparation.
Spinach leaves are a storehouse of nutrients such as iron, folate and vitamin A, that promote red blood cell synthesis and transport in the body, besides preserving optimal eyesight. Corn provides ample calories, carbs, proteins and fibers, to energize the system, improve digestion and regulate appetite. Also Read: Corn Kernels: 2 Nutrition-Rich Recipes You Can Make in Less Than 30 Minutes
Dry roast some flax seeds along with some cinnamon powder in a bit of ghee. Toast whole wheat bread, along with cheese and veggies wedged in between two slices, sprinkle a generous portion of the cinnamon flavoured flax seeds on top to introduce a crunchy texture to the good old sandwich.
Being a treasure trove of nourishing components, flax seeds supply omega 3 fatty acids for augmenting heart health as well as beneficial lignan class of antioxidants that prevent cancer.
Instead of stuffing this all-time favourite evening snack, often served with a cup of hot masala chai, with potatoes, try filling it with boiled, salted and mashed rajma and moong dal. Enjoy the crispy samosas with a side of tamarind, mint or coriander chutney.
Rajma and moong dal contains abundant reserves of proteins that offer key nutrients namely the essential amino acids. This is required for proper growth and development of all body tissues, besides strong, robust muscles and stamina for intense physical exercise.
Warm rice mixed with fresh, creamy curd, accompanied by a side of citron or pickle is more than enough to satisfy anyone’s appetite, as well as to stimulate digestive processes in the body. Include some juicy, sweet grapes and pomegranates for a burst of fruity flavour in this evergreen south Indian staple meal.
Grapes possess significant amounts of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, that bolsters immunity, besides enriching skin texture. Pomegranates are packed with several vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, that function in synergy to help lower blood pressure and manage diabetes. Also Read: 5 Reasons Why You Should Relish The Queen of Fruits
These 2-minute instant noodles have certainly become a common snack for kids and adults. Make some scrambled eggs with salt and pepper, add it to a bowl of hot maggi noodles, season it with garden-fresh, moist coriander and mint leaves and enjoy on a lazy weekend evening.
Eggs confer various health benefits, such as improved nervous system function, enhanced memory, tough, flexible muscle development due to their noteworthy quantities of proteins, healthy unsaturated fats, vitamins and minerals.