Food & Recipes

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Baby food chart and recipes: From 6th month onwards

As your baby completes 6 months, it is time to start the solid foods or semi-solid foods. So far she would have gained all her essential nutrients from mother’s feed or formula feed. It is a big milestone for her as now she can taste and enjoy the solid foods and relish them. Now you can also introduce water as well to your baby as it is also introduced at 6 months. 6 Month Old Baby Food Chart/Meal Plan You can prepare a meal plan or a chart for your baby’s food routine and follow it as much as possible to incorporate a variety of healthy options. You can use the chart below to design your own 6 month baby food schedule according to your baby’s food preference: Day of the week   Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner   Monday Breast milk/formula milk Apple puree Nap time Vegetable soup Breast milk/formula milk Rice porridge Breast milk/formula milk before nap time Tuesday Carrot puree Any fruit puree cereal gruel Wednesday Rice porridge Sweet potato puree fruit puree Thursday Ragi porridge Mashed banana stewed apple Friday Stewed apple with cinnamon dal water suji kheer Food Recipes for 6 Months Old Baby Here are some interesting baby food recipes for 6 months old that are a blend of different tastes and flavours for your baby to try and explore. 1. Apple Stew with Cinnamon Ingredients: Apple Water Cinnamon powder How to prepare: Cook the peeled and diced apple slices, in boiling water. Alternatively, you can also cook the apple for two to three whistles in a pressure cooker. Take the steamed apples and mash it in a blender or a mixer jar. You can also forcefully sieve it through a filter with slightly bigger holes. To this apple stew, add a pinch or less of cinnamon powder and mix well. 2. Mango Puree Ingredients: Mango How to prepare: Peel and cut out the pulp of the mango Blend the pulp into a coarse paste in a mixer jar or a blender or sieve it forcefully through a filter. The fruit has a natural sweetness to it, and it can serve as such without any additional flavouring agent. 3. Oatmeal Ingredients: Oats powdered Water Breastmilk or formula milk Banana How to prepare: In a pan, boil the 2 cups of water Once the water reaches boiling, add a cup of powdered oats slowly to the water and stir continuously without lumps Once the oats are cooked well, add 2 tablespoons of milk. You can add banana paste to give flavour to the dish. 4. Sweet Pumpkin Puree Ingredients: Sweet pumpkin Water How to prepare: Deseed a small pumpkin and peel off the skin. Dice it into small cubes. Boil water (2 cups) after which you can add the pumpkin. Cover the lid to cook it well for a few minutes. Mash or blend the cooked pumpkin to a fine paste and feed. The natural sweetness of the vegetable gives a good taste to the dish.     Content source Featured image source

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Kid-friendly Baked Chicken Lollipops

If your child likes chicken and you are looking to provide some healthy variety, chicken lollipops can add some variation. Chicken lollipops are great as snacks, but not very healthy due to the addition of color and that they have to be deep fried. Here is a simple recipe of chicken lollipops, made with very few ingredients, no color and it is baked and it tastes delicious. These will become favorites with your family, kids and adults alike. Ingredients Chicken lollipops – 12 pcs Oil to brush For Marinade 2 tsp ginger-garlic paste 1 tsp apple cider vinegar (Use white vinegar if you do not have apple cider) 1 tbsp soy sauce 1 tsp sweet chilli sauce ½ tsp brown sugar/ white sugar 1 tsp pepper powder( You can also add chilli flakes, if your child likes it) Salt to taste 1 tsp oil ½ tsp chicken masala 1 tsp corn flour Recipe In a large bowl, Method - mix all the ingredients to make a thick marinade. Add the chicken lollipops to this mixture and coat them well. Leave covered to marinate for 1-2 hours. Preheat the oven to 200 deg C. Line a baking tray with aluminium foil. Lightly drizzle or brush little oil on the foil. Place the marinated lollipops standing on the prepared tray. Roast for 20-25 minutes. Give them resting time of 5-10 minutes within the oven. Take out and serve with a dip of your choice. Content Source: http://www.shishuworld.com/protein-rich-recipes-for-kids/ Feature Image Source: https://drhealthbenefits.com/food-bevarages/snack/health-benefits-of-chicken-lollipop

Chicken and Vegetable Broth/ Soup Recipe

This is an easy to make broth or soup, which can make a nutritious snack or meal and a perfect comfort food. If you have a sick child at home, whose taste buds are getting revolted at the sight of food, this soup could be your best bet. Ingredients 1 Chicken leg piece ( You could use some other piece as well, preferably with bone) 1 cup chopped vegetables( cubed carrots, chopped green beans, peas or any vegetable your child likes) 1 small onion chopped ½ teaspoon finely chopped garlic 1 teaspoon olive oil 2 cups water or as needed Salt and pepper to taste Recipe. Method In a pressure cooker, heat the olive oil. You could also do this in a wide saucepan, but it is faster in a pressure cooker. Add garlic and sauté for a few seconds. Do not brown them. Add onions and sauté till they become soft and translucent. Add vegetables and sauté for a minute. Add chicken piece and sauté slightly till sealed. Add water and salt and pepper. Cover the pressure cooker, turn the heat to simmer and let it cook till 3-4 whistles. Let the cooker cool on its own and check. The meat should be falling off the bone. Before serving, remove the meat from bones and mix with the broth. Adjust the seasoning and serve hot. Content Source:  Feature Image Source: 

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25 Foods to increase your breast milk: How your body produces nature's perfect baby food

After you become a mother, all you are worried about is your baby's food. That is, breast milk. Some women are lucky, while some struggle to produce the right amount of breast milk. But thankfully, there are certain foods that increase breast milk and enhance lactation. Breast milk contains all the prime nutrients required for an overall growth and brain development of a newborn. Here is a list of the top 25 foods that you must include in your diet to increase breast milk and also keep you healthy. 1. Oatmeal: Oats are easy to prepare as a meal. 2. Fennel Seeds: Fennel seeds boost the quantity of your breast milk. 3. Fenugreek Seeds: Fenugreek seeds are known for boosting breast milk supply. 4. Unripe Papayas: Unripe Papayas are part of the South Asian cuisine. 5. Spinach And Beet Leaves: Spinach and beet leaves contain iron, calcium and folic acid. 6. Garlic: Garlic is considered the best food to increase breast milk, as it is well-known for boosting lactation in nursing mothers. 7. Black Sesame Seeds: Black Sesame seeds are a rich source of calcium and believed to increase milk supply. 8. Carrots: A glass of carrot juice with breakfast or lunch will work wonders in lactation. 9. Water And Juices: Drinking water and juices is supposed to boost lactation. It increases the total milk volume per feed. 10. Barley: Barley not only boosts lactation, it also keeps you hydrated. 11. Asparagus: Asparagus is considered a must-have food for nursing mothers. 12. Brown Rice: Brown rice enhances breast milk production. It has hormone stimulants which boost lactation. It also gives nursing moms the extra energy that is required post delivery.  It also helps increase the appetite so as to enable the mother to eat nutritious food. 13. Apricots: During and post pregnancy, there are hormonal imbalance that takes place in your body. Dried apricots have certain chemicals which balance out the hormone levels in your body. 14. Salmon: Salmon is a great source of EFA (Essential Fatty acids) and Omega-3. 15. Cumin Seeds: Cumin seeds boost milk supply. Make sure you have them in moderation though. 16. Basil Leaves: Basil leaves are a great source of anti-oxidants.   17. Dill Leaves: Dill leaves look like a bunch of fine, dark green, silky hair. They have a distinct odor. 18. Bottle Gourd: Bottle gourd is generally not a preferred vegetable, but is high on nutrition. 19. Sweet Potato: Sweet potato is a major source of potassium. It has energy producing carbohydrate which is needed to fight the fatigue. 20. Almonds: Almonds are rich in Omega-3 and Vitamin E. 21. Chickpea: Chickpea is a protein snack and lactation booster for nursing mommies. 22. Drumstick: Drumstick has high iron and calcium content. 23. Poppy Seeds (Khuskhus): It is very important for nursing mothers to relax completely during lactation. Poppy seeds have sedative properties that help you relax and calm down. 24. Cow Milk: Cow milk has calcium and EFA. It promotes lactation. In fact, by consuming cow milk during lactation, you will help your child avoid developing an allergy to cow milk. 25. Oils And Fats: It is recommended to keep fats and oils in your diet to a minimum, post pregnancy. All the above foods have been traditionally used to improve milk flow in new moms. However, while some have scientific backing the others don’t. Consume the foods in limited quantities, and note the side-effects, if any. Also, go for organic products as the pesticide residue in the foods and herbs can increase the lead content in your milk. Feature Image Source

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Your pregnancy diet guide (week 33-36)

The wait is about to get over and soon you will be holding your baby in your arms. That’s awesome! But since you are in your ninth month, still your baby is completely dependent on you for nourishment. Baby’s growth is almost through except for the brain and lungs which will keep developing post delivery also. Now your baby’s focus is on steady weight gain. Some vital nutrients that are required include: Protein: Responsible for body building and repairing, protein is an energy giving nutrient. It is a must to take enough protein currently since baby is gaining weight and development is still on. Make sure you take enough protein in each meal to ensure healthy growth of the baby. Ignorance here may mean a low birth weight baby. Protein rich sources are Beans, lean meat, whole pulses and legumes, milk and milk products, egg etc. Healthy fat: Since your focus right now is weight gain of your baby, energy dense foods are essential. Take enough fat in diet to help the baby accumulate fat in the body. But over eating of fat is also to be monitored. You may indulge in consumption of unhealthy fats like margarine, vanaspathi etc. which should be avoided since these fats are only calories which will only lead you to gain unnecessary weight. Instead, opt for healthy fats- a combination of ghee 1-2 tsp, mustard oil 2-3 tsp, olive or canola oil 1-2 tsp, vegetable oil 1 tsp can provide you with enough healthy fats essential for your baby’s brain development, and over all growth. You may even like to have healthy nuts like walnuts, almonds, pistachios as source of healthy fatty acids. Complex carbohydrate: Complex carbohydrates are ones with fiber which is super important at this stage for proper digestion, consistent release of energy, relieving constipation, and healthy weight gain. With so many benefits, complex carbohydrates like fruits and vegetables with edible peel, whole cereals- dalia, brown bread, whole wheat noodles, bran rich roti, brown rice, bajra etc are your resorts to good health. On the contrary, simple carbohydrates like sugar, refined wheat flour may lead to increased release of glucose and may cause gestational diabetes, unhealthy weight gain and related problems in the baby. Folic acid: Still essential, this nutrient can be derived from dietary sources like green leafy vegetables, broccoli, kiwi, citrus fruits like orange, sunflower seeds etc. Iron: Iron is one essential nutrient at this stage since baby’s circulation is fully developed and additional blood volume needs to be compensated for. Iron supplements are continued by the doctor at this stage, but dietary iron is also essential. Sources include Beetroots, Dark green leafy vegetables, red meat etc. Make sure to have vegetarian sources of iron with vitamin C rich foods like lemon and orange for better absorption of iron in the body. Calcium: An important nutrient for the development of strong bones and teeth of the baby, calcium is also required by your body for avoiding osteoporosis at a later stage. Calcium can be received from milk and milk products, bony fish, meat, spinach, banana, ragi flour etc. Try to consume 3 glasses of milk during this time or and equivalent milk product. Some general dietary tips for 33-36 weeks: Drink a lot of water to prevent or relieve constipation Along with food, exercise is important too. A half an hour normal walk is important for easy labor and for keeping other health problems at bay Having 5-7 servings of lots of colorful fruits and vegetables will help you maintain a healthy weight, provide you with essential micro-nutrients, relieve constipation and give you satiety Fruits like papaya can also be freely consumed for ninth month to induce labor if the baby’s growth is normal Spicy food should be avoided since it may lead to acidity to which body is prone during this time Small frequent meals at a gap of 2-3 hours can help with healthy weight gain, and proper growth of the baby Some dietary restrictions during this time are: Sea food (due to high mercury content in it), unpasteurized milk and milk products like soft cheese, raw egg and undercooked meat, unwashed fruits and vegetables, food from outside, excessive sugar and salt, saccharin, caffeine (not more than 2 cups coffee or tea in a day), tobacco and alcohol. These items if consumed, may cause harm you and your baby. Some may even lead to still birth, small for date baby, low birth weight baby, mentally and physically retarded baby and worst consequences. So best is to avoid these temptations! Some healthy snack ideas for your ninth month: Recipe 1: Avacado mint smoothie Ingredients: ½ avocado pulp 3-4 mint stems 1 tsp-soaked chia seeds 1/4th cup curd 1 tsp honey Method: Blend all the above listed ingredients to a smooth paste. You may add some crushed ice to it. Nutritional value: This recipe provides enough omega 3 fatty acid, fiber, calcium and protein to you. Recipe 2: Egg pizza Ingredients: 1 egg 1/4th cup Chopped vegetables like capsicum, sauted mushrooms, bell peppers, spring onion 40 g minced paneer Oregano, salt and pepper 1 tsp pomace olive oil Method: In a heated pan, heat olive oil. Once hot, break open the egg into the pan at a low flame. Sprinkle all the vegetables, paneer, and seasoning to it. Cover the egg with a lid and cook for-3 -4 minutes. You may remove the lid to check if the egg is completely cooked or not. Don’t flip the egg. Let it completely cook. Once the yolk is set, turn off the flame and serve it hot with 1 brown bread toast or with your favorite healthy beverage. Nutritional value: This recipe is rich in protein, calcium, mono-unsaturated fatty acids, and folic acid. We know your baby is on the way to your arms. Make sure you hold a healthy baby in your strong arms! Eat healthy, be healthy.  

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What foods to avoid during pregnancy that cause bloating

Pregnancy brings about n number of changes in your body. These changes are super essential for the growing fetus and for you as well. But as rightly said, change is important but not always easy, so is the case with the body. Some changes in the body lead to discomforts like bloating, flatulence and burps. Though this could be embarrassing for you sometimes but knowing that it’s very common during pregnancy may relieve you a little. The main culprit for bloating is the production of progesterone, one of the pregnancy hormones that supports baby’s growth by strengthening the walls of your uterus and giving your baby the right kind of environment for proper growth and development. This hormone relaxes the body muscles, which holds true for intestinal muscles too. Because of decreased intestinal motility, food stays longer in the intestines causing more formation of gas. As pregnancy progresses, production of progesterone is taken over by the placenta from ovaries and placenta produces large amounts of progesterone increasing the problem of bloating. Apart from this, constipation further adds on to the production of gas. Some pregnancy supplements like iron tablets increase constipation problem further. Bloating can also be caused by some food items that you consume. These could be different for different people. Some common gas causing foods are cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, radish, Brussel sprouts etc. You must observe your diet and bloating patterns to rule-out foods that lead to discomfort. Though, various well-established home remedies are available for helping subside bloating and its underlying cause, constipation but don’t just jump on to follow anything without consulting your doctor or dietician because you are pregnant, and pregnancy has some special needs and contraindications too which do not apply in non-pregnancy state. Below are some easy and safe remedies that may help you with bloating and flatulence: Have lots of fiber: During pregnancy, per days fiber recommendation is around 25 to 35 g which you can get from salads, whole pulses, oats, green leafy vegetables and fruits, figs etc. Fiber not only helps with mobility of food in the intestines but also absorbs water in the intestines making the stools soft and smooth. This even protects you from developing hemorrhoids. Consuming these dietary sources daily will help you with constipation and, hence bloating. Drink enough fluids: Fluids are extremely important during pregnancy, not just to replenish body’s water and electrolyte losses but also to combat acidity, constipation and bloating. Have minimum 2 to 2.5 liter of water and fluids per day. Do not take sugary or starchy fluids in large quantities as sugar itself ferments in the intestines causing flatulence. Fluids like plain water, vegetable juices, fresh home-made fruit juice without added sugar syrup, coconut water, soups, sattu water and fresh lime are some healthy drinking options. Eliminate gas causing foods from diet: Keep a check on repeated consumption of which food/s lead to flatulence in your case. Eliminate those from your diet. You may have to introduce some other foods in their place if the foods eliminated from the diet are amongst the very few sources of some nutrients you require during pregnancy. Consult your dietician for better clarity on what to replace with what.  Stool Softeners: In case you have a severe problem of constipation, discuss with your doctor. Your doctor may prescribe you a stool softener or laxative. This help relieve constipation and bloating too. But do not just buy any over the counter laxative since some laxatives may not be right for pregnancy, always ask your doctor to write one for you. Take it in the dose prescribed by your doctor. Manage your stress: In case you are working outside your home or a homemaker, stress comes easy to all women. But, you must remember that stress and anxiety are not good for you and your baby. So, stay calm and relaxed! Stress, anxiety and pressures may increase may also increase constipation and bloating. So, exercise the stress out. A half an hour of physical activity like a normal pace walk can really help relieve stress. Take proper sleep, listen to soothing music and read your favorite books to stay calm. All these will ultimately aid in better digestion and thus, bloating and constipation. Managing bloating and flatulence sounds simple but should not be taken lightly if the problem is intense. If you experience severe symptoms like severe abdominal pain or constipation which is not improving, visit your doctor immediately. Feature Image Source

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When can you start giving Finger Foods to your baby?

Any bite-size, easy-to-eat pieces of food that your baby can easily pick up and eat on his own can be described as finger food. Eating finger food is fun for your baby, and an important step towards independence that also helps him develop his fine motor skills and coordination. When you can introduce finger foods to your baby? When your baby is between 8 and 9 months old, she'll probably let you know that she's ready to start feeding herself by grabbing the spoon you're feeding her with or snatching food off your plate. How should you introduce finger foods to your baby? Simply scatter four or five pieces of finger food onto your baby's highchair tray or an unbreakable plate. You can add more pieces of food as your baby eats them. Feeding your baby in a highchair rather than in a car seat or stroller will reduce the risk of choking and teach him that a highchair is the place to eat. Which foods make the best finger foods? When choosing the best finger foods for baby—whether you’re starting at 6 months or 9 months—experts suggest that it’s best to begin with small pieces of soft food that dissolve easily. Your baby may have a good appetite, but she probably doesn't have many teeth, so start with foods that she can chew or that will dissolve easily in her mouth. As she grows into a toddler, you'll be able to give her bite-size pieces of whatever you're eating. Remember that your baby is learning about food's texture, color, and aroma as she feeds herself, so try to offer her a variety. Resist the temptation to give your baby sweets like cookies and cake or high-fat snacks like cheese puffs and chips. Your baby needs nutrient-rich foods now, not empty calories. Here's a list of finger food favourites: Small pieces of lightly toasted bread or bagels (spread with vegetable puree for extra vitamins) Small chunks of banana or other very ripe peeled and pitted fruit, like mango, plum, pear, peach, or seedless watermelon Well-cooked pasta spirals, cut into pieces Very small chunks of soft cheese Chopped hard-boiled egg Small pieces of well-cooked vegetables, like carrots, peas, potato, or sweet potato Small well-cooked broccoli or cauliflower "trees" Pea-size pieces of cooked chicken, ground beef or turkey, or other soft meat   Content source Featured image source    

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Healthy diet plan for breastfeeding mothers

Most Important Tips for Successful Breastfeeding 1. Have Lots of Porridges Why? Because they are easy to digest. According to Indian traditional method, nursing women are given kheers/soups more than usual food, though your dietician will tell you, eat whatever you want. You have to eat a lot and digest it too. These special porridges prepared for Indian women by their moms has many galactogouges like Cumin, fenugreek seeds, poppy seeds, Ghee, almonds etc. You will not get bored of eating. 2. Stay Away from Spicy and Oily Foods Though they say whatever you eat has no direct impact on baby, it is not true. Your baby will show you how your eating affects him/her. The spicy and oily food upsets baby’s stomach, and provides no significant amount of nutrients. 3. Eat Short Meals Frequently If you eat heavy 2-3 meals, your digestive system will suffer. so take small meals with increased frequency. 4. Early Morning and Late Night Kheer Take one bowl of kheer at night just before sleeping and also one more just after getting up. The Date Kheer/Almond Kheer/Aliv Kheer are best for nursing mothers. List of Foods Must to Have: Secret of Successful Breastfeeding Below are the foods you should include in your diet. For details on Healthy Foods for Breastfeeding these 1. Fenugreek Seeds Indians are lucky to get fresh fenugreek Leaves and Seeds, in rest of the world nursing mom take fenugreek supplements. The sprouted seeds are blessing for you during 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding. Add fenugreek sprouts to your regular subzi everyday. Or just try stir fry of it with onion and garlic. They do not taste bitter due to sprouting. 2. Garlic Use Garlic in all your curries and soups 3. Cumin Seeds, Poppy Seeds and Fennel Seed They are Galactogogues 4. Bottle Gourds Gourds help to boost milk production. 5. Dill Leaves Healthy for you and baby 6. Almonds Soak them in water overnight and have them in morning, make your baby more intelligent. 7. Coconut Water Full of nutrient and keeps you hydrated 8. Milk and Desi Ghee Desi Ghee for DHA and Milk for Calcium. You must have these to avoid any knee and back pain in future. 9. Edible gum/ Dink (Gondh) They make yours and baby’s bones stronger 10. Water After whatever you eat, water is must to digest and to make milk from it. 11. Whole Grains Sprouted Sprouted grains are much more healthier than usual dry grains. Try Wheat/Ragi/Bajra/Jowar. Make flour of sprouted and dried grains. Use it for making porridges. Moringa Leaves They are super healthy. Try Shatawari Kalp after first 3-4 months of exclusive breastfeeding. Let your body make milk from the healthy regular food before you try any supplements.  

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Eating well in your third trimester: 37-40 weeks

Some women do not prefer eating at all at this stage but there are women who face the first stage for very long period; so, they need snacks and drinks from time to time. Here are few tips that can help you through. Eating Healthy With Your Baby In The First Two Weeks Once the baby is born, it’s not over yet. You still need to continue to have healthy food to recover and to breastfeed your baby. However you cannot cook alone; so, take help of your relatives or cook and keep it in your fridge. You can use it for a week and eat in batches. If you don’t have enough support or you are living just with your husband then you may want to hire a cook and a maid. Let them look after the kitchen till you recover and are able to do the household works. Some also prefer to order food from reputed restaurants. So, think about it and choose an option appropriate for you. Breakfast As always keep your breakfast simple yet healthy. Prefer a bowl of milk with cereal like cornflakes or sandwiches with lots of veggies. Salads are also good to start but make sure to have a glass of milk for energy. Keeping your breakfast simple will help you a lot by saving time and energy. Lunch Soups can be a good idea to go for. Beetroot is rich in folate, magnesium, potassium. Avoid adding cream or yogurt while preparing beetroot juice and freeze it so that you have it in batches. You need beetroot, carrot, celery, potato, onion, olive oil, vegetable stock, bay leaves, etc. to prepare this. Once you peel the beetroot grate it or process it and cut carrot into small pieces. Add celery and potato pieces and blitz it. Heat some olive oil in a saucepan and stir in some chopped onion. Once it turn light brown add vegetables, stock and bay leaves. Boil and cover the lid. Let it boil over low flame for 25 minutes and then blend it to smooth liquid using food processor. If you add cream or yogurt then do not store it. Snack Try having fruity flapjacks in the evening as oats present in it is rich in fibre. It can be stored in the freezer for few days. You will need sunflower margarine, demerara sugar, golden syrup, porridge oats and chopped dates. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C and heat margarine and sugar till they melt completely. Stir in the golden syrup, oats, dates and mix the ingredients well. Take a greased baking tin and press into it and bake for 12 to 15 minutes until it turns golden brown. Remove and keep it aside to cool down. Cut the flapjacks and leave it to cool down. You can also have fresh fruit juice, smoothies like mango smoothie, tomato apple juice, baked banana chips, etc. Dinner Have you ever tried ragu sauce before? On freezing it, ragu sauce will can be stay for a couple of days. Have it with pasta, lasagne sheets and cheese sausage. You need lean minced beef, finely chopped onion, crushed garlic clove, smoked bacon pieces, chopped tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, red wine and oregano. Take the beef in a non-stick pan and heat it; keep stirring while breaking up this mixture. Add chopped onion, bacon, garlic and heat it to fry. Keep stirring and cooking till onions turn soft. Chop the sundried tomatoes and add them to the pan along with chopped canned tomatoes, herbs and some wine. Let this boil for some time and then reduce the flame. Cover the lid and leave it for 35 to 40 minutes and then stir well. Alcohol in the wine you added will cook off slowly. Take it out and let it cool down before you have it. This was easy to prepare this; similarly, you can try many simple yet healthy recipes to get nutrients from the food.   Feature Image Source  

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