Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Baked Onion Pakoras

Are you feeling bombarded and mass guilt by all the friggin' cleanses and detoxes being pushed in your face right now?  Ya, me too!  My Instagram feed is basically non-stop smoothies or those Skinny Tea Detox ads, Oi!  I'm not really a big New Years resolution maker, but I do believe in a healthy lifestyle...with treats too!  Balance y'all!  That being said, I am about 3 weeks away from heading out for a wee cruise vacation.  I cannot wait!  I have been working my butt off for months now, and not getting ANYWHERE on the scale, so to say the least, I am feeling a little frustrated.

Have you ever heard the term, "you can't out train a bad diet"?  I have decided it was time to listen to that phrase. I mean, I was working out twice a day, and getting nowhere, so it's time to switch it up.
I got really spoiled this Christmas, and received a Fitbit, which is great for tracking my workouts, heart rate, and steps I take in a day.  I actually had to get a new phone to accommodate the Fitbit (oh darn;)), as my old one couldn't upgrade to OS 8.  But the most valuable thing I've added to my routine, is the My Fitness Pal app, which is available for free, with the option to upgrade.  With the My Fitness Pal app I'm able to input everything I eat in a day, and the app breaks it down into calories, fat, carbs, protein, macros etc.  I always thought I was eating really healthy, and once I log it into the app I can see I really I DO eat healthy, for me the big culprit turns out to be it those little bites in-between meals that's taking me over my daily allotment.  Especially those "healthy" energy balls, which I should just have one of, instead of 3!
Between the Fitbit and My Fitness Pal, I am accountable for all the energy I expend, and all the food I take in, so I'm hoping this is what makes a difference for my 2016.  If I was to make a new year's resolution, it would be to feel more comfortable in my own skin...or at least my skinny jeans!

One treat I have been having mad cravings for is Indian food!  I want all the butter chicken, naan, samosas and pakoras!  Once I thought about it though, pakoras aren't all that bad an option, if you take away the deep frying.  They're filled with yummy spices, and the use of chick pea flour means they're also gluten-free.  I have made these both by oven baking them, and just dolloping the batter onto a pan as you would a pancake, and I really enjoyed them both ways.  While not as crisp as the traditional deep fried Pakoras, they at least have all the flavours I crave, without the guilt...just have like one or two at a time...not the whole plate!

Baked Onion Pakoras

1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted
2 medium onions, sliced
1 cup chick pea flour Chana/besan
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 green chili thinly sliced ( or 2, depending on how spicy you like it)
1 teaspoon ginger, minced
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (or 1/2 for more flavour!)
1/2 - 3/4 water

Preheat oven to 425.  Lightly grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper, and set aside.
Add to a medium-high heat pan the cumin seeds, sautéing to prevent burning.  Add to the same pan the sliced onions, cooking until just soft.
Removed from heat and allow to cool slightly, 5-10 mins, enough time to prepare the batter. 
Using a Medium sized bowl mix chickpea flour, baking powder, chili, ginger, garlic, salt, and cilantro.  Next add water little by little, until a thick batter is achieved. Add cooled onions and cumin seeds, and stir into batter.
Add pakora batter to prepared baking sheet, in large drops, as you would cookies, and bake 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway.  The batter also works great, pan fried, as you would a pancake!  Serve alongside a yummy chutney, with a cup of slightly sweetened chai yummmm