It has been raining a lot this winter. Rain is good. Particularly for California this year.
One such rainy morning I was sitting next to a window overlooking the early spring flowers and leaves getting a nice good soaking while listening to the steady pounding of rain on our windows, and I found myself deliciously reminiscing of my favorite foodies things for rainy days over the years. And that's how this compilation was born :)
I hope the next time rainy gloomy weather strikes, you can add just a bit of sunshine and spice to your days with these rain friendly yet healthy foods! (notice no deep frying or sugar laden recipes below)
1) A steaming hot cup of your favorite beverage with spice!
First things first, one thing rain de-facto needs is a steaming hot cup of your favorite beverage just a little spiced. For us it is spiced mulled apple cider and spiced coffee or spiced chai.
Both are really simple. For spiced apple cider, I warm regular apple cider. Add to it a cinnamon stick, a couple whole peppers and cloves, a star anise, few cardmom pods, 2 slices of lemon and orange and some lemon juice. Warm on low heat for 20-30mins until the spices have thoroughly flavored the apple cider. Strain if serving to kids. And serve warm!
Spiced chai/coffee is made by adding clove, cinnamon, cardamom (some or all of these) in boiling water and then make tea/coffee as usual. Strain before drinking.
|Steaming hot cup of pumpkin spice coffee!|
2) Hot bowl of soup with crusty garlic bread
Rains and soups are a match made in heaven - don't you think! My favorite rainy day lunch is a bowl of hot soup with some crusty garlic bread to dip in - like the hearty lentil soup or roasted red pepper and tomato soup or leek and potato soup or noodle bowl. And I have a great trick to turn any regular bread into garlic bread!
|Roasted red pepper & tomato soup, hearty lentil soup, (bottom) curried butternut squash soup & leek and potato soup|
3) How about some snacks to go with that tea/coffee?!
A good cup of chai/coffee on a rainy day can also use some of rain's favorite snacks! Our rule of thumb is to not deep fry at home, so we stay away from fritters/bhujias... but that doesn't mean we have any the less fun! Baked samosa puffs, baked sweet potato fries, kande pohe or pinwheels are all great options which are great for your belly too!
|Sweet potato fries, baked samosa puffs, kande pohe & paav bhaji|
There is something so therapeutic about baking.. the warm aromas drifting off of the oven or watching the joys of a bread rising - baking is a food for the tummy and the soul. And if you are stuck at home while it's pouring outside, who wouldn't like a slice of freshly baked quick banana bread or pumpkin cranberry muffins or the apple crisp to go along-with it!
|Banana nut bread, banana muffins & apple crisp|
5) Chocolate covered strawberries!
Now if you have a daughter to entertain on rainy afternoons, then a great idea is to make some chocolate covered strawberries together!
You can either just drizzle chocolate to create pretty effects or go all out and spend an hour trying yourr hands at Mr. & Mrs. Berry! Get your creative juices flowing! They are really not as complex as you would think. Read about them here.
|Mr. & Mrs. Berry!|
Dark & white chocolate strawberries
I hope next time the rain strikes, other than the cozy blanket and the movies, you will try out one of your favorite rainy day foods too!