Thursday, October 27, 2016

Quaker Feed A Child Campaign + Vikas Khanna's Healthy Oats Recipes

Being a relatively new mommy on the block, I am going through the issue that most moms face these days - how finicky kids are about eating nutritious food! Now that Aryaa has turned two, her palate has also developed quite a bit and she is getting very particular about what she wants to eat. Due to this, I have to be very thoughtful about how to get her to eat dishes with the correct nutrition value. I personally have been eating oats in its regular form for a long time, but never experimented with recipes with oats and that is something I discovered thanks to Vikas Khanna and the 'Quaker Feed a Child' initiative that he hosted in association with Quaker India and Smile Foundation on World Food Day.


On the occasion of World Food Day, Quaker India came up with a new initiative called Quaker Feed a Child program with the tagline ‘Ek Muthi Quaker' to bring a fistful of nutrition to thousands of underprivileged children in India during this festive season. Quaker Oats are are high on energy, protein and carbohydrates which is what kids need for their proper growth and adding ‘Ek Muthi Quaker’ not only ups the nutrition value of the food but also retains the taste of your recipe. As Indians, 'Ek Muthi' is a concept which has been a practice since ages and nearly every household in India uses to understand how much portion of a particular cereal or pulse needs to be added to make a dish. When my mom was giving me cooking lessons, Ek Muthi was a regular term and that is what made learning cooking so easy. To mark the launch of the program, Quaker India, along with celebrity Chef and PepsiCo’s Nutrition Ambassador, Vikas Khanna, hosted a long table brunch with oats-based dishes that he curated for children from the Smile Foundation. Accompanying him was Saiyami Kher who has just made her debut with Mirzya and has been associated with the Smile Foundation since earlier.




For every pack of Quaker Oats purchased on BigBasket.com this festive season – between World Food Day, 16th October to Children’s Day, 14th November – Quaker will provide a meal to an underprivileged child in India. Through Quaker Feed a Child program, Quaker has pledged to provide a minimum of 2,00,000 meals to children in India via the Smile Foundation during this period. If all of us contribute 'Ek Muthi' for the social well being of those suffering from malnutrition, thousands of kids will have a meal to eat. Ek Muthi Quaker Oats is equated to approximately 16gms, that is, one-third of a person’s daily wholegrain requirement.




For this event, Chef Vikas Khanna had created recipes using ‘Ek Muthi Quaker’ where he made Pink Beetroot Idlis, Pizzas, Burgers, Spaghetti and Chocolate Brownies. Yes you heard it right - Chocolate Brownie using oats! I had a chance to taste all of these and trust me they were absolutely delicious. It was very hard to believe that all of those were made using oats, as we generally just follow the instructions on the pack to cook them.

Talking about the initiative and the special brunch prepared for the kids, Chef Vikas Khanna, said, “Whether I’m in New York or in India, it pains my heart to see news and sights of children in India who are less fortunate. The problem of hunger and malnutrition in India cannot be solved in a day, and certainly cannot be solved by one person or entity. If we all make an effort to bring a smile to even one child, I think we’ll get the true blessings we yearn for in the festivities. That’s the core of Quaker Feed a Child and I am happy to be a part of it. The brunch today marks the beginning of the initiative, and aptly so on World Food Day. To make this a special brunch for the kids, we have created healthy Quaker Oats based pink beetroot idlis, pizzas, burgers, spaghetti and cookies. What better way to celebrate the festive season than by feeding a nutritious meal to kids.”

After the kids were fed, we got a chance to interact with Chef Vikas Khanna and he as always was so adorable. He shared some of his life experiences and how the 'Ek Muthi' ideology was taught to him by his grandmother while he accompanied her to lend a helping hand in cooking for the Langar at the Gurudwara. This is exactly what made him feel so connected to this cause, that if just one fistful of grain can make a difference then why not gift a meal to the hungry. While interacting with us, he also gave us a glimpse of his 25th book "Essence of Seasoning", a detailed book on spices and their usage in different recipes. He gave me a personally autographed one and you pretty much can guess how lucky that made me feel!



Since I loved the Pink Beetroot Oat Idlis and the Chocolate and Oat Brownie so much, I made sure I got the exact recipe from him so I could go home and make them for Aryaa. So here is how you too can make them too at home!

Pink Beetroot Oat Idlis


Ingredients 
  • 1 cup of rated beetroot
  • 1 cup of Quaker Oats  
  • 2 finely chopped green chillies
  • Few coriander leaves finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds 
  • 1 tbsp roasted and peeled groundnut  
  • 1 tsp Urad Dal 
  • Salt to Taste  
  • 1 Bowl of Idli Batter 

Method
  1. Heat the oil in a pan. Once heated add mustard seeds followed by roasted groundnuts and urad dal
  2. Add the grated beetroot, oats and salt to the mix
  3. Mix the ingredients well and allow it to cook for a minute
  4. Remove the mixture from the flame and mix it with the Idli batter
  5. Add coriander leaves and green chillies to the Idli batter and mix thoroughly
  6. Grease Idli plates and fill the cups with the batter that you mixed
  7. Steam them for 10-15 minutes
  8. Remove the Idli from Idli plates and serve them with tomato ketchup or green chutney

Chocolate and Oat Brownie

All of us are addicted to chocolate in some or the other way and what better way to eat chocolate with a pinch of nutrition in it.


Ingredients
  • 1½ cups of Quaker Oats
  • 1⁄3 cup of sugar
  • 1⁄4 cup of melted butter/oil
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3⁄4 cup skimmed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1⁄3 cup chocolate chips
  • Egg white from 2 eggs

Method
  1. Mix all the above mentioned ingredients together
  2. Preheat the Oven to 180°C
  3. Grease the pan or the cupcake liners 
  4. Add the mixture to the pan and bake it for 20-25 minutes or until the sides are golden brown
  5. Once it cool, remove, garnish with chocolate chips and sprinkles, and serve.
How interesting are these recipes! Aryaa loves them and I hope your kids will love them too. Do log on to BigBasket.com and purchase your pack of Quaker Oats to contribute to the cause! :)

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