Easy and Healthy Breakfast – Steel Cut Oatmeal

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I recently read a very thought provoking quote. It is a bit long but worth putting it in its entirety here: I actually attack the concept of happiness. The idea that everything we do is part of the pursuit of happiness seems to me a really dangerous idea and has led to a contemporary disease in Western society, which is fear of sadness. It’s a really odd thing that we’re now seeing people saying “write down 3 things that made you happy today before you go to sleep”, and “cheer up” and “happiness is our birthright” and so on. We’re kind of teaching our kids that happiness is the default position - it’s rubbish. Wholeness is what we ought to be striving for and part of that is sadness, … [Read more...]

Poached Pears Coconut Milk Ice Cream

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I still remember the day my dad brought a chubby little baby to me at the hospital, and told me that she was my sister! My parents had been getting me ready to welcome a baby girl for months, but it all got so real when she was in my lap. I didn't know what to think of this baby with big brown eyes and no hair! For some reason, the moment she was in my lap she started crying on the top her lungs. I was sold on the idea of a beautiful, happy little baby sister. I was so upset with her crying that I started crying hysterically too. My little sister, Lopa, is all grown up and we are celebrating her birthday today! Ice cream has been one of her absolute favorites ever since she was a baby! … [Read more...]

Vegan Dessert – Papaya Mousse

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I consider myself a flexitarian - I mainly eat vegetarian food with some poultry and meats. My diet has evolved over the years as I have learned more about nutrition, and have grown older! Lately, I have been a fan of raw foods - smoothies, salads and even raw desserts. The basic premise of eating raw is that it retains most of the nutrients in the food. Our bodies can digest raw foods much more easily compared to cooked foods. I like to throw in a few raw-foods-only days every month which helps me cleanse my system. Raw dishes are also easy to put together, so on the days I am eating raw I have more time to do the things I love - like blogging! I have seen some of my friends start … [Read more...]

Butternut Squash Soup with Yellow Moong Lentils

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There was a movie released a couple of years ago - The Grey. A plane carrying team of oil workers crashes in Alaska in the middle of nowhere. Some days, I feel like I am in that movie because "The Grey" is how I would describe Vancouver in these winter days! For us Canadians in the Northern Hemisphere, the winter solstice - the shortest day of the year, is this Saturday December 21st. It has been snowing in Vancouver for the past week and it has been getting darker sooner each day. Some days, we don't even see the Sun at all! There are two things that keep me upbeat during the winter days - green tea with lemon and warm hearty soups! While the cold winter days scream meat and … [Read more...]

Almond or Peanut Brittle made with Jaggery

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Sweets is the currency of celebrations in India. We have a custom of sending sweets to our loved ones whenever there is any good news. When a child is born we distribute peda, a sweet made out of condensed milk. All the guests at weddings receive a box of sweets as a gift. Our festivals invariably involve cooking, eating and distributing sweets and other delicacies. It is also common in India for neighbors to share their food and recipes. Our neighbors would send out samplers to us when they tried a new recipe or made a special dish. The next day, my mom would fill their empty plate with something she had made that day. Us kids got to deliver these treats back and forth and we kept the … [Read more...]

Lentil Salad – Beluga Lentils with Eggplant Relish

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India has changed a lot in the last 12-15 years that I have been out of the country for. Back when I was living there, we had no cell phones, most families had no cars and made do with lot less compared to now. For young kids, fashion generally meant permutations and combinations of the two pairs of jeans and 3 t-shirts they owned. I remember my dad had two pairs of shoes - sports shoes and formal shoes. Formal shoes were leather shoes he wore at work or at social gatherings, and sports shoes were the utility shoes for the day-to-day use. My mom never wore make up, the only day she put on lipstick was at my wedding. When I arrived in California in 2001, the first thing I noticed was how … [Read more...]

Roasted Carrots with Cauliflower Couscous

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It is much easier for me to be active and healthy in summer than in winter. In the summer the days are long in Vancouver, and I frequent the farmer's market to pick up the freshest local produce and make healthy dishes. When its sunny outside, it makes me want to go for a run, play tennis or do anything that makes me sweat! Now that it's winter, the days are getting shorter. It gets dark by 4 pm and it is getting harder to motivate myself to be physically active. Most of my outdoor activities have ceased, so I try to hit the gym at least five times a week. For me, being healthy is all about being in a positive cycle. If I work out and stay active, it makes me want … [Read more...]