November 18, 2014

Spicy Sweet Delicata Squash

One of my favorite fall / winter squashes is the delicata squash that I got introduced to a few years back at the Oshkosh farmer's market. This week I quick cooked it in the microwave for a salad topping - with harissa, maple syrup and miso paste. In a glass bowl I mixed 1 tbsp Maple syrup, 1 tbsp white Miso, 1 tbsp Harissa. In went two of the squash cut to small bite sized portions with the skin on. It was microwaved for about 5 minutes, mixed in between a couple of times. It turned out to be more spicy than I expected, but good spicy :) With some of the juicy mixture still left in the bowl, we didn't need salad dressing. It was yummy and we had leftovers the next day with eggs & toast for breakfast. 

October 23, 2014

2015 Art Calendars

2015 Art by Bala calendars are almost here and will be shipped starting Nov 4! It is Animal Paintings themed, with high resolution images of 14 of my henna style textured animal paintings. Printed on high quality premium glossy card stock paper and measures 8.5" x 11". There is also room to write on the dates. Only $15 + $3 shipping within US. Get yours today!

You can now purchase them directly from my website!
Click the link here:

September 23, 2014

Vegetarian Ramen

With the summer art season in full swing, its been a while since I was able to post anything here. As we are starting to wind down from the weekend shows, I got a chance to make delicious veggie Ramen last night! In the hot pan went 1/2 water + 1/2 Miso -Ginger Broth (from Trader Joe's), 1 pack of maggie + 1 pack of Ramen (without the flavorings), 1 tsp of my spicy garlic pickle, salt.

In spicy chili oil were sautéed shiitake mushrooms, tofu, eggs, Napa cabbage with a little more salt

Into the pot they all went, along with roasted nori, avocado and cucumbers..

and now I got to eat leftovers for breakfast :)

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, hosted by Give me some spice.
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