Tandoori Paneer ( Indian Cottage Cheese )

Tandoor literally means a cylindrical clay oven inside which wood or charcoal is burnt and the food is cooked inside this oven. The temperature in the oven can reach up to 450 degrees F. The oven is kept continuously lit to maintain these high temperatures. Food is thus cooked on live coal, cooked also with convection heat and also gets the smoky flavour from the juices and fats from meats and vegetables dripping on to burning wood or coal.

This type of cooking is popular in southern, western and central Asia. Breads , meats and vegetables they all acquire a distinct smoky flavour from the Tandoor.    Most people identify Tandoori cooking with the artificially coloured Tandoori chicken ( not the best representation of such a traditional healthy way of cooking!!! And off course who can forget the buttery soft Naan bread and Rotis.                       

 I have brought  you today another popular dish called tandoori paneer off course not made in the tradional clay oven but an easier version made in a toaster oven or a big oven. I find a good toaster oven very versatile.  This dish was a hit at the latest family dinner.hope you will enjoy it as much as we did. You can buy paneer in indian grocery stores and also some big mainstream grocery stores. You can also subsitute the paneer with exra firm tofu.   

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1lb. Paneer or tofu cut into 1”cubes

1 red onion cut into big pieces

1 green pepper or yellow pepper deseeded and cut into big pieces

4 tbsp. thick strained home made yoghurt or thick store bought natural yoghurt

1tsp. nigella seeds

1tsp. sambal oelek orr masala

2 tbsp. finely chopped mint and cilantro or ground paste chilli garlic sauce

2- 3 tsp. karahi Paneer masala ( available in Indian grocery store )


1. Mix all the above ingredients except the oil and let it sit either overnight or even few hours so that the flavours soak in.

2. Mix the oil in the mixture.

3. In a baking dish or a tray spread the paneer mixture evenly and bake at 350  degrees F  for a 15 – 20 minutes stirring occasionally. 

4. Once baked, the vegetables are tender crisp and edges start to brown you can broil it for another 5- 7 minutes. 

5. Please adjust the baking time depending on your oven and your personal preference as to how grilled you want everything to be.

6. Once grilled the paneer should be moist and vegetables sweet and juicy.

7. Serve as an appetizer or over steamed rice or make a wrap. You may serve it with a green chutney. 




Using diet soda as an alcohol mixer increases drunkenness

  1. Artificially sweetened sodas, when used as cocktail mixers, make the drinks more potent, according to an “early view” of a study released in the journalAlcoholism: Clinical & Experimental ResearchFebruary 4. Specifically, researchers found that mixingalcohol with diet (sugar-free) soft drinks resulted in a higher blood alcohol concentration (BAC) than mixing alcohol with a regular (sugar-sweetened) soft drink.

Researchers gave college students vodka drinks with regular soda and with diet soda, and the diet soda group got more intoxicated – almost 20 percent more – than those who mixed regular soda with liquor. The sugar actually slows down the effects of alcohol, researchers say.

Sugar-containing drinks stimulate the stomach, delaying stomach emptying and, as a result, delaying absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream. Diet beverages, since they contain no sugar, do not trigger the stomach to delay emptying, allowing alcohol to reach the bloodstream more quickly.

Though it was a very small study, only eight women and eight men, the findings closely match previous research linking diet drinks and increased BACs. “The results were surprising,” said Cecile A. Marczinski, assistant professor in the department of psychological science at Northern Kentucky University, and one of the lead investigators of the study. “We are talking about significant differences here,” Marczinski said, adding that there may even be potentially harmful consequences for those who regularly request a diet soda with their spirits.

“In the long run, it’s more harmful for your body to be exposed to a higher alcohol concentration than a few extra calories,” she said. This could increase the incidence of alcohol abuse and the disease of alcoholism.

The students also completed computer tasks testing their reaction times afterdrinking, mimicking what they might face while driving. Those drinking the diet soda were slower to react.

No difference was noted between the genders, but the students said they felt the same no matter what they drank, even though tests showed the diet drinkers were about one-fifth more intoxicated. To put that in perspective, you’d have to add almost another shot of vodka to the sugar-sweetened drink to equal the potency of the diet drink mixture.

“Marczinski’s findings are very consistent with what we’ve found in the field in a natural drinking environment. When the mixer is diet soda, the bar patrons tend to have somewhat higher intoxication levels than when they consume regular soda,” says Dennis Thombs, professor and chair of the Department of Behavioral and Community Health, School of Public Health at the University of North Texas in Fort Worth.

Drinkers often mix diet soda and alcohol to save on calories. Calorie-counting drinkers might do better simply to limit their alcohol intake, since alcohol itself is packed with calories. (See this related examiner.com article on alcohol calories.)

Sugar talks

Great information!!




  Hey everyone,

  Today I would like to talk a bit about sugar stuff. I don’t want to write large posts describing  how bad it is for our health, I honestly feel that I need to write just a few lines about amount of sugar that is recommended for us, some of plausible consequences of its over consumption and provide  a list of products that contain high amount of this product. Just simple facts in order to make information to be clear and straightforward.

 Overall,  the current situation with sugar consumption in the US looks not in the best possible light. According to recent estimations, an average american consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar everyday, while american teens have even a worse situation consuming closer to 34 teaspoons. We all should take into account that eating too much sugar can lead to obesity, high blood pressure, high…

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Love, Life and Happiness – Heart Healthy Leafy greens and Strawberry Salad with Almonds and Hemp hearts

Valentine’s Day is celebrated all over the world as a day when you express love for your loved ones, be it a man’s romantic love for a woman, mother’s selfless love for her child, or your love for your best friend. Some people argue why do we need a designated day dedicated to expressing our love for the people we care for deeply in various relationships.

My personal view is that everyday we need to live and celebrate our life to the fullest, cherish and treasure our relationships.

In honour of the Valentine’s  Day which was celebrated yesterday or if you treat everyday as a special day this heart healthy ( no heart no love!!! ) salad is for you. It is a simple, beautiful lip smacking salad loved by one and all. Hope you will love it as much as we did.  

This salad uses strawberries which have been long associated with love, greens which signify life ( hence the name Greenzgrains for this blog, no greens no life!!!! )  topped with hemp hearts and slivered almonds full of omega 3’s vital for the optimum functioning of the heart. 


2 cups of organic mixed salad greens

5 – 6 strawberries sliced

2 tablespoons sliced and peeled almonds

2 tablesoons hemp hearts


1 1/2 tsp. good quality balsamic vinegar

1 1/2 extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp. maple syrup

pinch of salt or a herbal salt – optional

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1. Mix the dressing thoroughly and put aside.

2. In a salad bowl toss the greens with the dressng.

3. Arrange the greens in a tray, top with strawberries

4. Sprinkle the hemp hearts  and the almonds on top. Because of the dressing the    nuts and seeds will stick to the greens.

5. Serve fresh and Enjoy !!!!

TAWA SABZI (vegetable cooked in a cast iron skillet )

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Sometimes we are in the mood for something simple not fancy ( but healthy) which does not take hours to cook but still tastes good and is comfort food.

This TAWA ( cast iron skillet) SAbzi is one such vegetable dish. I personally love using cast iron cookware, it is a great conducter of heat ( makes for faster cooking time). It is also reactive to many foods but in a positive manner, it leaches iron into foods making them iron rich. Lot of restaurants serve blackened fish which has been cooked in cast iron pan. Acidic foods like apple butter soak in more iron  when cooked in the cast iron cookware. Hope you will enjoy it as much as I did


1 japanese eggplant cut into small pieces

1 cup baby spinach finely chopped

1 tomato finely chopped

1/2 tsp. five spice blend ( whole fennel, mustard, fenugreek, cumin and nigella seeds )

1 tsp. ghee or extra virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp. red chilli powder

salt to taste


1. Heat a cast ron griddle add ghee and the five spice blend.

2. After 30 seconds once the spice blend changes colour and sizzles add the eggplant, mix and cover on medium high heat for few minutes.

3. Move the eggplant gradually on to one side simultaneously adding chopped tomatoes so form a bed of tomatoes ( eggplant lying on top ), layer spinach on top of the eggplant. Sprinkle chilli powder also and cover and cook for another few minutes.

4. You will continue to hear the sizzle.

5.After few minutes the tomatoes in the bottom would soften and spinach and eggplant cooked.

6. Mix well add salt and serve on a bed of brown rice,quinoa or with tortillas.

7.Enjoy a simple quick dish delicious and beautiful in its simplicity.