Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Coconut Oil - Miracle or Debacle?

Coconut Oil has been touted as a "Miracle Food" and a cure for everything from Makeup Removal to Tackling Body Odors to Improving Insulin Sensitivity. While I was convinced about the external use of coconut oil as an excellent cleansermoisturizer and even acne controller, I had my doubts when claims were made that taking it internally, reduces cholesterolboosts metabolism,  helps in weight management and increases insulin sensitivity.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Breakfast Mushrooms - Mushrooms Sauteed with Garlic and Parsley

Sid is in love with Mushrooms. He has, since the time he used to call them MAASHUMS!

There was a small phase when he had started to call it "Fungus", after a science class in school. That grossed me out completely and I had stopped buying it, until Sid started to call it by its original name. 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Orange - Rosemary and Smoked Salt Roasted Almonds

"There are few aromas that are as enticing as the smell of freshly roasted nuts!"

I had this thought while sipping my Soothing Caramel Bedtime tea and contemplating where I should or should not start a batch of Roasted Almond at 10 PM. 

Post 9:30 PM is a sacred time for me. Its my 'alone time', my 'quite time', my 'me time'; call it whatever, it is my most precious time of the day. 

Friday, December 4, 2015

Kate's Baby Bok Choy in Oyster Sauce

"Oh dear!"

This's such an old post. I dug it out from under a pile of unfinished posts in my "Drafts Folder". Now my back hurts... Ouch!

Fine! I clicked a couple of times on the "Next Page" button,  and landed on this post.

I have so many posts lying unfinished, that my "Drafts Folder" comes with a "Next Page" button!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Garlicky Green Beans with Caramelized Onions

Thanksgiving is over. But here I am with an amazing Green Bean recipe!
Yet again I am late with my posting. 

But being the optimistic person I am, I would say I am just a little early for next year.

Okay! Waaaay too early!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Garlicky Brown Lentils with Pearl Onions

A hearty dal, store bought whole wheat tortilla (or soft homemade rotis) and a quick salad of cucumber, onion, carrots and tomatoes makes a healthy, fuss-free, nourishing dinner.

And dinner like this have sustained us quite a few times, this past summer.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Curried Sweet Potatoes

Thanksgiving ~ My most favorite holiday of all. 

It's just the 5th year I am celebrating Thanksgiving, but every year I fall  in love with it, all over again.

I love celebration of any kind - be it my bright and colorful Indian festivals; creepy Halloween or the jolly Christmas. But Thanksgiving has the most special place in my heart. 

Being the non-religious person that I am, I love the fact there is no religious bindings on Thanksgiving. My friend Mili, puts it across beautifully. She says, "there is no ulterior motive in Thanksgiving. No gifts involved. Completely unpretentious. Its all about food, friends and having fun."

All my favorite "F - words" - Food, Family, Friends and Fun. No wonder its on top my "Favorite Holiday List"!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Oven Roasted Zucchini Spears

My plans have a strange way of going awry.  
Do you remember my Superfood Burgers post? 
This recipe was supposed to be published the very next day, because it is sort of a continuation of that post.
But it took 45 more days for me to hit the publish button!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Black Bean, Quinoa, Kale and Sweet Potato Burgers... or lets just call it The Superfood Burger!!!

My carnivore family never ceases to surprise me. While they salivate at the mere mention of meat or fish, they are equally happy chomping down veggies. Surprisingly, when it comes to burgers, both the dad and  his son prefers veggie burgers as opposed to meaty ones. Specially,when it's homemade. It might also stem from the fact that I invariably overcook my meat patties, making them dry and flavorless. But the bottom line is all three of us love... love... love a good veggie burger.

And we also love the word 'LOVE'. We say it often.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

DIY Craft - Painting Mason Jars with Mod Podge and Food Color - Step by Step Tutorial

A couple of months ago I posted a DIY craft where I painted random jars with school glue, Mod Podge and food color, mainly to organize Sid's school and craft supplies. I got some really positive response and it made me feel so good about myself because I am not at all crafty.

Some of you wanted to know exactly how I did it and I had also promised a 'step by step' tutorial at some point. However, I took me another few months before I could get my hands on another jar, that can be converted in to beautiful stained glass vase. And I remembered to take pics too.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Dal Makhani - the diet version

Dal Makhani - the diet version. This was supposed to be my very first post on the blog!  And I have no idea why it took me almost 4 years to post it. I have made this countless time. Just for the three of us. And for our guests too. 

This was the very first low calorie 'restaurant style' dish that I learnt. I still don't believe that I actually paid for the recipe! I am talking about the early 2000s... much... much before blogosphere happened. Those were the times you had to a 'paid member' on cookery sites, to access their recipes. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Roasted Red Pepper and Garlic Hummus

A 23,520 pounds plate of hummus was made in Beirut in 2010 and it holds the Guinness world record for the biggest plate of hummus to ever exist.

I should have been there. Along with Sid. And I assure we would have completely taken on ourselves to polish that humongous plate off.

That's how much we L-O-V-E Hummus.
We LOVE it...
And we LOVE it....

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

DIY Cleaners - All Purpose Cleaner

If you remember my "The summer that was!" post, you'll know that we moved into our new condo this summer.

The new house though cute came with a lot of work. The property was not in use for a long time. The landlord did replace the carpets and gave it a fresh coat of paint, but it still need some TLC... actually a lot of TLC. The appliances were filthy. The oven had a thick layer of grease. The counter was spotty and the cabinets dusty. And lets not even start on the bathrooms and the backyard weeds. It required a lot of work to make this house habitable. Since every cloud has a silver lining, some good came from this extensive house cleaning operation.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Fresh Tomato Marinara Sauce - A great make ahead sauce to have in your fridge or freezer

You know you are truly blessed when friends drop by for a casual visit with fresh vegetables straight from their yard! We now have fresh Karela (bitter melon), Cucumbers , three different kinds of chili pepper ranging from mild to HOT and Tomatoes.... lots of tomatoes! Sweet and juicy heirloom ones and mildly tart but incredibly flavorful cute Cherry tomatoes. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

DIY Craft - Puzzle Artwork

Sid is obsessed with TRAINS. And Thomas and Friend for as long as I can remember. I thought eventually his craze with Thomas will wean off. But it seems to grow stronger every day. The six year old is eagerly waiting for the next Thomas movie to be released this September. I bet not many of you knew that there are Thomas movies and they release (DVD release) a new movie almost every year.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

DIY Craft - Painted Mason Jars with School Glue/ Mod Podge and Food Color

In my last post I told that we recently shifted to our new condo, a town-home to exact. Decorating our new abode on a budget means repeated visits to IKEA. That store has never failed me. This summer we often found ourselves eating Swiss meatballs and Najad Salmon (smoked salmon) for lunch there. After our lunch, I would deposit Sid at the Småland (Småland is a play area where children can feel Swedish forest atmosphere. While they are playing, you can enjoy your shopping experience knowing your children will be safe and cared for.) and enjoy 60-minutes of me-time and retail therapy. The retail therapy was not limited to just me. Sid grabbed some color pencils, markers, water colors and paint brushes too.

The summer that was!

I have been planning my to-do list for summer since March. 
     - Yogurt dots and pops
     - Homemade, preservative and dye free Jello
     - Diabetic friendly sorbets and pops
     - summer soups and salads
     - No cook summer dinners....

I was brimming with ideas for the blog and fun activities for the kid. But nothing happened. The closest thing I did was to freeze store bought fruit juices in popsicle molds.


We moved to a new house. We are still renting but its a bigger place and a better school district. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

An All Weather 'Murg Yakhni' Inspired Chicken Stew

This is a stew like no like no other. Mildly spiced but mighty flavorful, it will make you go bonkers. Promise. Light enough for those summer(y) dinners; yet cozy enough to warm you on a cold winter night.

Its my "All Weather Stew"!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Sugar Snap Peas Stir Fry with Indian Spices

I am a hardcore foodie and love trying out different cuisines, often recreating them; tweaking them to my perfection. But what gives me utmost joy and satisfaction are the simple, home cooked meals I grew up eating. No fancy ingredients. no complicated procedure. Just simple wholesome goodness.

One of my go-to Indian blogs for simple, homey recipes is Kitchen e Kichu Khonn by Sharmila. Her recipes are quick to make, pretty simple and absolutely down to earth just like the person that she is.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Pico de Gallo - My Favorite Mexican Condiment

Every year, I plan to make a recipe specifically to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. And I fail to do so every time. Though Cinco de Mayo is observed to commemorate the Mexican army's unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, over the years it has become a celebration of the rich Mexican culture. 

Mexican cuisine, though utterly delicious, has quite a bad rap due to its high calorie food. Cheesy enchiladas and nachos, re-fried beans, deep fried chimichangas.... sounds familiar!

Personally, I love the Mexican flavors but cannot handle the grease that comes along. We rarely frequent Mexican restaurants here. But Mexican food need not be calorie heavy.  The basic ingredients in Mexican cuisine is actually good for you. Thinks about the great array of beans, the fresh tomatoes and corn, the salsas and the spicy peppers. You can get all the great smoky and earthy flavors minus the calorie, by making the right choices. Choose lean meat like ground chicken or turkey instead of beef. Using fat free yogurt instead of sour cream. Go low on the cheese or opt for the low-fat variety. Top your tacos and burritos with low calorie salsas. The options are endless. 

Pico de Gallo is by far my most favorite Mexican condiment. I make it all the time and I love topping my Chili and my burritos with it. I am not of a out-of-the-jar salsa person. I like making my own. And the fresh variety always triumphs over the cooked version. Pico de Gallo is also called salsa fresca, which means Fresh Salsa

The freshness of tomatoes , the crunch from the onions, the kick from the jalapenos, the fragrant cilantro and zippy lime juice - what's not to love about it! 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Turkey Chili with Pumpkin Puree

After just a couple of gorgeous warm and sunny weeks, Cincinnati is back to being chilly. And that means soups and stews are back with a vengeance in my kitchen.

One of my go to one-pot meal to make on a weekday is Chili. It is fuss free, very nutritious, delicious, Sid approved and I daresay pretty quick to put together. I agree, that there is a whole bunch of cans involved. Personally, I am not a big fan of canned products. But for a hearty chili, I prefer to go the can way. Mainly because most of the time, it is my last resort. There is hardly anytime left to soak and cook the beans and tomatoes beforehand.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Tofu and Mushroom Soup - The Thai Style Version

Before this post embarks on any controversy, let me give the following disclaimer:

I  make no such claim that this soup is authentic Thai. It does contain Coconut Milk but no curry paste. Sid had one sip of it and said it tastes a lot like the soup we get in Sukhothai, our most loved Thai restaurant in Cincinnati. Since then, I call it Thai Style Tofu and Mushroom Soup!

This gorgeous soup came together as a result of a fridge raid operation. My fridge looks pretty desolate on Fridays. Putting together a decent lunch is a challenge. Scrambled Egg Quesadilla is pretty much our go-to lunch situation on most Fridays.  But not today, as I am out on cheese and really low on eggs.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Changua, the Colombian Egg and Milk Soup - Our newest breakfast favourite

This is weird. Even by my standard.

A couple of weeks ago, I didn't even know the name Changua.
And now, thanks to the generous Jordan and her Shared Meal, I can safely say that it is quickly becoming a new breakfast favorite, especially on weekends.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Rajma Salad (Red Kidney Bean Salad) - Simple and Basic

Last Monday was pretty hectic. By the time I picked up my kindergartner and came home, it was way past lunch time and we both were famished. A super quick Grilled Cheese Sandwich and a breezy 4-ingredient Strawberry Smoothie satiated his little tummy, while Mommy was left scrounging the fridge to find something instant to eat.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Jicama Carrot Purple Cabbage Slaw and a Stunning Sunrise

Pic Courtesy: Uttara Banererjee, who had taken mobile photography to another dimension. Thanks a ton for your kindness.

The only thing I like about these long nights and short days is that I get to see a sunrise every day! It's a sheer marvel of nature how a pitch dark night gets transformed in a glorious sunny day in a matter of minutes. The various shades of blue, the pinks and the orange... the day break... It mesmerizes me every single time. Today was one such day. It was a golden sunrise. It felt as if the sky was on fire. It was ethereal. 

Isn't this a perfect way to start your day? Witnessing a nature's magic first hand. As I bathed in the first rays of the golden orange sun, the morning glory filled me up with its its positive rays. I felt a surge of energy that I haven't felt for a long time. 

However not all my morning as as poetic or magical. 7:15 to 8:30 is not a very peaceful time in our house. I have breakfasts to make and lunches to pack. Today Sam has a team lunch and has also volunteered to drop off Sid. A relatively low pressure morning and a stunning sunrise to boot. Maybe it was God way of compensating of all the hurried sunrises, that I could not enjoy as I would have liked to. Or so I would like to assume.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Super Moist Banana Muffins with Pecan-Brown Sugar Crumble

A lot of people, when they come to know that I am a diabetic and a food blogger, ask for diabetic friendly dessert recipe. More often than not, this is my standard reply: "Instead of using sugar substitute and compromising on taste and getting depressed, enjoy a proper dessert once in a while, with all its sinful glory by incorporating it in your meal plan." My profound wisdom comes from bucketful  tears I have shed, after repeated botched attempts at diabetic friendly desserts. I-will-eat-a-proper-dessert-when-I-want-to has been my mantra ever since. But when a 'healthy' Banana Muffins with Pecan Crumble tastes like this, you swallow your words, make puppy eyes and wolf down a couple with just a teeny bit of guilt!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Pinto Bean Chili with Chicken and Kale

The red-green-gold or the blue-silver decoration has given way to the orange-black in the supermarket aisles in and around Cincinnati. The Roaring Tiger graces every cap, jersey , sweatshirts, mugs and watches.

Yup! The Superbowl fever is here and its raging. The Cincinnati Bengals are on every conceivable merchandise.

Trivia: The Cincinnati Bengals are a professional American football franchise based in Cincinnati, Ohio. They are currently members of the North division of the American Football Conference (AFC) of the National Football League (NFL). Their home stadium is Paul Brown Stadium in Downtown Cincinnati. Their current head coach is Marvin Lewis. Their primary colors are orange and black. The team's official mascot is a Royal Bengal Tiger named Who Dey.

While I still don't understand the nuances of the game, I kinda like the frenzy associated with it. It reminds me of home. It reminds me of cricket. It reminds me of the mass hysteria that comes with cricket. In short, I love madness! Of any kind....

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Sid's Latest Gastronomical Crush: Tofu Bhurji - Scrambled Tofu with Assorted Veggies

How can a five and half year old be so in love with Tofu? I mean I am also very fond this amazingly bland soybean curd, but Sid had taken it to the point of obsession. 
(When I say "amazingly bland", I mean it in a good way. It absorbs any flavors very well and hence I find it very versatile and utterly delicious.)

Packed with protein, iron and calcium and extremely low in calorie, tofu is a weight-watcher's dream super food. I should feel blessed that my son is making healthy choices so early in life. But try eating it every other day and you'll understand what I mean. I am running low on ideas. Ideas to make tofu a little more interesting to ME.... My freaking fussy palate! Any suggestion?

Monday, January 12, 2015

Warm and Cozy Curried Sweet Potatoes and Carrot Soup to welcome the New Year

We are 12 days into a brand new year and it seems a little silly to with greet with a broad Happy New Year grin! But then again this is my first post this year. So here is a little prayer for all of you out there.

Happiness deep down within
Hope with each sunrise
Success in each facet of life
Family by your side and close friends too
Health all the way and Love that never ends
Precious memories of Yesterday be with you always
A Today to be Thankful for...
With a Promise for Better Tomorrow!
Have a wonderful year ahead!!!

For us, 1st Jan 2015 was like any other Thursday. Ever since we came to the US, Sam works on New Year's Day. Its his financial year end. He works like a maniac. So no cakes and champagne and no crazy New Year's Eve Party for us. At the stoke of midnight we raised a toast. Drank some limited edition Scotch to good health. I went to bed and Sam to his reports. That's how the year arrived for us. But he made up. Took us for a late night ice-cream treat over the weekend. Late night ice-cream always does the trick!