July 17, 2014

Recent Eats

Its been a good couple of weeks in trying to get the changes going in my eating habits. Though I am not noticing any changes, its been good to be working out on a regular basis and watching my diet. It is not easy to cook at home in the weekends with really long days out at art festivals. We did indulge in sushi & tempura last weekend, but most week days I finish making dinner by the time S gets home and we go for long walks after eating.

Last week, I made chapathis using some of the leftover cauliflower soup (instead of water / oil) and they came out very soft. Side dish is a mushroom & bell pepper curry adapted from 1000 Indian Recipes. Another dinner was Dal with rice and plantains.

When I don't want to eat rice, we are using quinoa for carbs, and it was served with a crustless quiche with mushrooms & peppers, and roasted brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes & onions in a harissa sauce. Last night, it was comfort food with mixed veggies sambhar, yard-long beans with rice.

Tonight I made a minty chapathi with chole & yogurt. I am hoping to make rotis at home at least twice a week. It is interesting that though I have cut down my portion sizes by less than half, it is not really affecting my hunger frequency or energy levels. May be my motivations levels have changed a lot in the last year. I am finally able to focus & commit on my physical health since most of last year was trying to stay emotionally healthy after the loss of my dad. 

July 8, 2014

Trip to Door County

As S and I celebrated our wedding anniversary last week, we took a trip to the Door County for fun over the long weekend. We decided on Door County so Kalki can also go with us. One of the best decisions we made since he had so much fun!

Before the trip we loaded on good home-made food & a wonderful anniversary dinner at a friend's house. I made a red-lentils & Cauliflower soup topped with chickpea sundal.

One of the nice meals we had during the trip was a Roasted Vegetables quesadilla & a Black-bean burger at The Cookery in Fish Creek, WI

 I have not seen my baby be this happy ever, though he is always a happy baby. He spent an hour in the water for two days and another 20 minutes the third day. Though he gets to swim quite often, he has never seen waves before! He tried to catch the waves and refused to leave. 

And he also got to eat an ice-cream everyday! When we got back home on Monday night, I made a simple buttermilk gravy with zucchini &  sautéed red cabbage for the side dish. I also got a lovely, new bowl from the trip. Supporting other artists :) 

June 30, 2014

Healthy Eating

As life gets busy with other things, the first thing to get ignored in my list of things seems to be this blog! Its been a crazy few months with the summer art festivals season and catching up on painting almost every day. Also, my health has not been in the best condition this last year and I am struggling a little bit to stay motivated to take care of myself. We have also been eating out almost every weekend when there is a show and week day meals are not fancy, but simple and comforting.

As part of my healthy eating these days, I am trying to reduce the amount of food I eat, especially simple carbohydrates; also reducing the amount of spices that I cook with. And instead of a regular plate, I am switching to a small bowl -- one of my friend's used to eat in a bowl and it is a fond reminder of him. Tonight's dinner was 1/2 cup of rice, swiss chard cooked with ginger, onions & tomatoes, and eggplant sautéed in olive oil. 

Even if I don't get to post recipes, I am going to try & catalog my eating habits here, along with other tit-bits of everyday life!

February 24, 2014

What's in your Hummus?

I just made a big batch of hummus, to be eaten with crackers as an evening snack & for that 4 pm hunger pang when S is at work. Its such an easy thing to make and I am sure everyone has their favorite recipe. I like mine with a bite to it. Here's how I made it today:

In the food processor went in a large can of chick peas, 2 cloves of garlic, 1/4 tsp of chipotle chili powder, 1/2 tsp curry powder, 1/4 tsp salt, 2 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp lemon juice. Processed to a paste, a dash of coarse ground pepper for garnish and it is yum!

February 20, 2014

Recreating a Restaurant Favorite

We just completed a big move last weekend to the Greater Chicago area and our last night in Madison we went to Himal Chuli, a Nepalese restaurant with a couple of friends. Its one of our favorite restaurants in town and we hadn't been there in a long time. Food was good as usual and S got their seasonal special - Eggplants with Potatoes. It took us by surprise - it was a simple saute of asian eggplants with boiled potatoes and spices, and was bursting with flavor. It was so good, I had to try making it at home.

Ingredients: Potatoes - 2 medium - boiled and crumbled; Japanese Eggplants - 2, chopped; Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp; Red Chili Powder - 1/2 tsp; Curry leaves & Coriander leaves - 1 tsp; Green chili - 1 diced; mustard seeds, cumin & lentils - 1/2 tsp.
  • In a pan, add olive oil and once hot, temper the mustard & cumin seeds, lentils, green chili , curry leaves and saute till translucent
  • Add the chopped eggplants, chili powder, and turmeric. Cook for a few minutes till the eggplants are tender.
  • Add the potatoes, salt, adjust seasoning. Let it cook for about 5 minutes
  • Garnish with cilantro & serve!
I am sending this to In my VEG BOX ~ Potatoes event by citrusspiceuk.com, hosted by Give me some spice.

November 17, 2013

Dessert Planning

I am having guests again this year for thanksgiving and I have been so happy the last couple of weeks since finding out! And of course, trying to figure out what to make for the big dinner. So many different dishes are being considered and finally I decided on the dessert today! Yay!

I made this Coconut - Orange -Caramel flan in 2012 April for a party. Version 1 was made in small ramekins in the microwave. It was slightly dense as I forgot to add the milk, but still very delicious.

The bigger piece was made in a quiche plate in the oven and was perfect. Almost everyone had at least 2 pieces and one friend had 5 :) Hopefully it will turn out as well when I try it the week after next! Now I have just got the soup and a couple more dishes to decide...

November 11, 2013

The Perfect Gift

I am celebrating yet another trip around the sun today and look what you all got me this year. Since I am so close to my target I went ahead and got this wonderful set up. Even managed to take booth shots yesterday before the snow here today. Thanks again and keep sharing my art with your world! 

Trimline Canopy tent & Flourish mesh panels that even include the set up for a french door, weights and 2 tall director's chairs are already here!


November 6, 2013

Kelekosh from Azerbaijan

As I cook my way around the world, here is yet another recipe that I adapted from the AZ Cookbook - a Creamy Yogurt Soup! I like to make this soup in the fall, though in our house we love to eat yogurt anytime. I also used some Quark in this which made it even more delicious. This reminded me of thick kadhi from Indian cooking.

Ingredients: Yogurt + Quark - about 3 cups; Onions - 1 yellow - diced; Garlic  - 2 cloves minced; Mint - 2 tbsp chopped; Walnuts - 1/2 cup chopped; All-purpose flour - 2 tbsp; Egg - 1;  Salt & Pepper - to taste; Water - 2 cups, as needed. 
  • In a bowl, whisk together the yogurt / quark, flour and egg.
  • In a pot, add the walnuts, toast for a couple of minutes. Add a tbsp of butter or oil and add the onions and garlic. 
  • Once the onions are soft, add the yogurt mixture, turn down the heat and cook for a few minutes. Add enough for desired consistency. Cook for another 5 minutes. 
  • Season with salt & pepper. Garnish with mint. 
  • Serve warm!
The original recipe called for using a tablespoon or so of rice in the mixture and cook till the rice is soft. You could always add a tablespoon of cooked rice towards the end. 
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