Roasted Smashed Potatoes

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It is said that you can take an Indian out of India, but you can never take India out of an Indian. Many of the habits and passions we develop back home stay with us for the rest of our lives, no matter which corner of the world we end up in. One such passion that every Indian carries in his heart is the game of Cricket. A single game of cricket can last anywhere from 4 hours to five days. Yes, that's right, days. And the country of 1.2 billion people suspends itself in a unison every time the men in blue step out on the ground! My early memories of cricket take me back to the days when the only access to the game was through a transistor radio. My dad would intently listen to the audio … [Read more...]

Coleslaw with Coconut Milk Mayonnaise

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Eat Real Food. This is the best advice I have received in my 15 year journey towards a healthier me. It has taken me years to know what real food is, and I admit it, I am still learning and discovering new things every day. The industrialization of food, along with the media sending a new fad diet our way every couple of months has made it so complicated to know what "real food" is! Let me give you an example, I was at the store buying eggs and instead of a quick in and out, I felt as if someone had asked me to solve a complex puzzle - Brown or white? Medium, large, extra large or may be jumbo? With omega-3? Pasteurized, all-natural vegetarian or Organic? Cage-free, free-range? Do you … [Read more...]

Quinoa and Lentil Bowl

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Anup and I always end every year in style! We celebrate our marriage anniversary on Christmas Eve (13th this time!) followed by the Christmas Day celebrations with friends and family. My sister's birthday is on December 26th, and then there is the New Year's Eve! Because I preach natural foods on my blog, I stick with 100% natural Tequila shots that night! So after this last hurrah, the first week of January makes me feel like the vacation is over and it is time to go back to school. January brings with it the plethora of pressure to create the "New You". The television ads reminding you of the need to detox, eating healthy and shedding those extra pounds you might have gained over the … [Read more...]

Crispy Chickpea Polenta

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India is a land of storytellers! From the religious stories of Ramayana and Mahabharata to the ancient Indian collection of animal fables Panchatantra, we grew up listening to various stories as kids. My grandma used to tell me stories about India's independence movement; how people would come out and throw their gold ornaments on the streets as a donation for the freedom fighters. She would tell me about her early years with her husband, and how her life changed when she became a widow in her twenties in a society which had no place for widows. She had a way to explain things to my young mind, and with her words she could take me to a different world as if I was traveling back in … [Read more...]

Baked Quinoa Fritters

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One of the most overplayed jokes in the western world goes like this - "If you don't like the weather in {your city} now, just wait a few minutes!" The people saying it also invariably act like they just made it up. The joke implies that the weather in that particular city is very unpredictable. The weather in Vancouver changes so much though, this joke is more like a fact of life. Vancouver's coastal location moderates its temperatures, but the sea breezes and mountains all around the valley make Greater Vancouver a region of microclimates. This translates into quite a bit of local variations in weather. Vancouver also gets a lot of rain because of the mountains, and I am yet to identify a … [Read more...]

Cucumber Salad

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“A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policies and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.” ― John Steinbeck Anup and I just got back from a two week vacation in Toronto! My sister and her husband Nikhil were great hosts and we had an absolute blast! Both of them have been in Canada for about four months and they don't drive yet. So it was more like all of us exploring Toronto together. Between all the things we did in Toronto, Anup and I freed ourselves up for a day so we could drive to his old graduate school, State University of NY in Buffalo. Anup was excited to visit the same … [Read more...]

Turmeric Pickle

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May be it was because I was so little, but while growing up in India our small house looked like an ever-expanding empire to me. From the backyard garden where my dad carefully tended to the flower plants to the terrace with a swing that made a unique sound when more than two people sat on it - there are so many little memories scattered all around that place I called home not too long ago. I have spent many afternoons in India cooking and eating some amazing homemade food with my family. Our kitchen was about a hundred square feet, but oh did we create some wonders in that little space! The thing I remember the most is making mango pickle with my sister and my parents! Making pickle was … [Read more...]

Gluten Free Snack – Healthy Amaranth Flour Crackers with Cauliflower Dip

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May be it is just Vancouver, but I feel like everyone around me is turning into a foodie! Vancouver has always been a foodie town, but lately, I find people here are super conscious about where they buy their produce, what they cook and what restaurants they frequent. Being a food blogger is like being a drug dealer in a town of addicts. May be that's not the best example, but you get the idea - it is good to be a food blogger in Vancouver! When I am not cooking or eating, I like to research and read up about ingredients I can use in my recipes. I recently came across a super food I had never cooked with before - Amaranth seeds. The more I read about this ingredient, the more excited I … [Read more...]

Baked Samosas with Sprouted Moong Filling

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Every culture has a version of samosas - fried or baked pastry with savory fillings like potatoes, peas, or ground meats. My mom used to make samosas from scratch, and they were always served hot for the guests. Our little family would turn into a small commercial enterprise. I would roll the pastries, my little sister would put the filling in, and my mom will fry the samosas. Dad was the floor manager taking out the hot fried samosas to our beloved guests. Traditionally, samosas are deep fried, but I think the baked version tasted even better! Guilt free samosas? Count me in! When the issue of obesity in the western world is discussed, the media is quick to point out … [Read more...]

A Healthy Snack – Roasted Lentils with Green Mango Salsa

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Jugaad (Hindi: जुगाड़) - Jugaad is a term applied to a creative or innovative idea providing a quick, alternative way of solving or fixing a problem. Jugaad literally means an improvised arrangement or work-around, which has to be used because of lack of resources. Jugaad sums up a lifestyle of millions of people in India. I saw my parents buy a dress for me, which got passed on to my little sister. When she outgrew the dress, it was turned into a pillow cover. When the cover started showing holes, it was turned into a cloth to clean our bicycles with. Poor dress. Jugaad is most visible if you are traveling in India by train. Four people might be sitting on a berth that's meant for … [Read more...]