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The Spice Who Loved Me

Updated: 2018-03-13T09:30:04.413-02:30


Comfort Foods-Dumplings in Yogurt Gravy (Kadhi-Pakoda)


This is NOT a paid review! I came across a special Kadhi masala on my travels in Philadelphia a few weeks ago. So of course, I bought some! Its a Roopak brand masala, probably my favorite Indian masala brand of all time. I had never tried this one so I was really looking forward to making this. You will need the following:2 and 1/2 tbsp. besan2 tbsp Roopak Punjabi Kadhi masala - optional but seriously try this one if you can find it. :)1.5 cups beaten sour yogurt - whisk until smooth and lump free1/4 onion (chopped) 2 big, ripe tomatoes (chopped)1 small jalapeno- choppedGinger- grated to your taste or ginger-garlic paste if you prefer the taste of that.1/2 tsp. each of jeera and dhaniya (cumin and coriander) seeds1/4 tsp. Methi dana - Fenugreek Seeds1 tbsp. oil or ghee. I used Ghee Turmeric and chilli powder, salt,a pinch of sugar or more- to tasteKasuri Methi (dried methi ,leaves) and Cilantro (both for garnishing)Make the yogurt-besan mix first. Add water and besan to the yogurt and whisk until smooth. Set aside. Add some ginger-garlic paste, chopped Jalapenos, cilantro and leave it in fridge for an hour or two to let the flavors blend in. Trust me this is a great tip to make the best kadhi ever. I usually make it in the morning before I leave for work so all I have to do is temper the kadhi when I get back.Heat oil and add jeera, dhaniya, methi-dana  (in that order). Add onions and saute, followed by half of the tomatoes.  Stir well and cook till soft. Add turmeric and chilli powder (add only 1/4 tsp.turmeric-the color gets darker as we cook). Stir to make the base and add rest of the tomatoes. Now add the Kadhi masala and stir well. Lower the heat and slowly add the yogurt-besan mix while stirring to prevent curdling. Add more water and bring to boil. Cook on low heat to allow the kadhi to thicken a bit. Add the kasuri methi,cover the pot and let sit for 5 mins. Garnish with cilantro and serve hot with rice.For the Pakodas ( my addition):1/2 cup: Besan (chickpea) flour1 small onion- chopped finely1 small chili pepper or jalapeno - chopped finelyCilantro leaves- chopped finely ( to your taste)1.4 tsp: turmeric powder1 tsp: red chili powder1 tsp: Salt or to tastea pinch each: ajwain seeds and cumin seeds ( crushed slightly)1 pinch of: eno or other fruit saltwater- to bind, as neededMix all the ingredients together and let it rest for 10 minutes. Add a small amount of water and make a thick batter, making sure it isn't too lumpy. Heat oil in a deep pan and fry small batches of pakodas till they are golden brown. Drain well on some paper towels and add to the kadhi while it simmers. Enjoy. Serve with Hot Rice!Comments OFF.-TS[...]



Life Lesson Learned This Week!!

Grateful to learn another important life lesson this week. After all, this how you make progress, right? On with the next chapter......



Coconut Yogurt is actually not bad.....!


(image) This is not a paid review.😊 

 I thought I would share what I have been having for my breakfast recently that has kept the chocolate and caffeine cravings the hell away from me. I recently discovered Liberte Mediterranean Coconut flavoured yogurt! I tried it at one of the sampling centre at my local grocery store and I can't stop eating it! I can't endorse this as a completely healthy product because of the fat content in it but it is SO delicious and so filling. I have it for breakfast with some muesli. I let the muesli soak for a good half hour in the yogurt so it softens and is much easier to eat. If you are looking for a quick breakfast full of protein and the goodness of muesli, this is a nice pair. 
I am just happy to be back on a normal eating schedule after a few last months of craziness. The effect of not eating properly and on time had started to show on my face. To the point that even my kids and my staff commented that I looked tired and old. The "old" comment of course came from my cheeky teens. I just hope I can keep it up. I find that I usually start a healthy trend and it starts to dip low. I need to get some motivation from somewhere and really get moving again. Eating breakfast and sipping hot ayurvedic water has helped recently. Now if anyone has tips on how to get rid of under eye circles so I don't look like an Indian raccoon, I welcome them!

Excuse the background photo my current Netflix Bingewatch- 'How to get away with Murder'. Damn Fantastic Show by the way.

Comments OFF but you can still send a private comment. I read them ALL.

Be Good To Yourself...


(image) Today has been a chilly of those days where it's wet,damp and just plain cold. I don't want to complain about it too much because, well, there is nothing I can do except make the most of it. As in life!

While driving to work this morning, I had planned my entire day out as I normally do. I don't know what happened around mid day and all of a sudden, the elaborate meal planning and activities didn't appeal to me. All I wanted to do was get home and just sleep off the exhaustion of the last few weeks. I felt a sudden pang of guilt as I mentally crossed off stuff I was still finishing up. Half an hour later, I decided I would just be a little lazy, a little self indulgent and I ended up taking a 45 minute nap when I got home. The nap was exactly what I needed. Surprisingly, I had no phone calls,texts from work or elsewhere to distract me. It was meant to be.
This evening, dinner plans went to hell and I just made do with the ultimate of comfort foods- Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Tomato Soup and a Salad.

The best part is I don't and didn't  feel guilty! The old me would have felt bad for hours for serving such an effortless meal to the kids. Not today! The kids were happy, bellies full and off they went in their own directions leaving me content. This is a beautiful thing- it's called being good to yourself. 
I always used to sign my posts and hand written letters with "be good to yourself" to my loved ones. I finally took my own advice!
Now onto a good cup of Lemon-Honey tea and some fluff Danielle Steele Novel to finish off the day!

Comments OFF,


Long Weekend Treats: Tea Review - Tetley Ayurvedic Balance and a Movie.


This is NOT a paid review.It is the May long weekend here in my part of the world but the weather leaves a lot to be desired! It is wet, windy and NOT warm. All this makes me want to just keep sipping hot teas and coffees all day. So as much as I would like to drink coffee all day, I opted for a nice cup of herbal tea - an Ayurvedic one too nonetheless!I has this sitting in my collection for quite some time now and am really glad I bought it! It is reminiscent of the Ayurvedic teas that I usually concoct on my own in the Winter season. This was pleasantly tasty along with the warming ginger and tulsi. I had this tea on its own without any addition of milk or sugar.If you are into Ayurveda, I recommend you give this a go accroding to your Doshas. Tetley teas are available in the following flavors:Tetley Vigour-Kapha - Ginger, Spearmint and TulsiTetley  Poise-Vata - Cinnamon, Chamomile and Cardamom - NEXT to try!Tetley Cool-Pitta -Lavender, Peppermint and HibiscusMore Info on Tetley Ayurveda Teas HereWhat am I talking about? Here, follow this link to Monica B's wonderful site about Ayurveda and you will see what I mean!So of course, I paired this with a nice movie :) I finally had some time to myself without any work or social obligations so I decided to forego a night of paperwork to catch up on some Indian Netflix. I came across this gem - Incomplete - Asampta on Netflix Canada. Use English subtitles as I did because I cannot understand Bengali.Okay, so as slow as this movie was and that too in Bengali- (a language that is definitely sweet on the ears)- I quite enjoyed the whole thing.I really only got into the movie about 20 minutes in. As soon as the character of Tuki was introduced, I was hooked. Her presence on the screen is lovely! Look at the photos here and you will see what I mean. Its not hard to empathize with this character and her crass but still an endearing husband of hers. The main Character Indra is a bit annoying, only because he doesn't seem like he does anything important except look depressed throughout the entire movie. He is supposed to be in search of his childhood memories but NO such thing is mentioned except once. How disappointing!The movie starts off with Indra's character coming to his friend Malay's home in the gorgeous Himalayan Foothills. Malay is a University Professor who has completely cocooned himself with his books, his blanket and whiskey in his humble home. We later find out that he is married to Tuki, who he has frequent troubles with. There is no mention of her name until twenty minutes into the movie. The constant bickering between Malay and Tuki are quite something, and a bit disturbing especially if you can relate to such things.As Indra meets Tuki,his ex girlfriend, and the ex girlfriend's sister in law by sheer fluke, he begins to wonder about his own personal life and his decision to remain unattached. What happens after that? Well.....go watch the movie! If not for anything, watch the movie for the beautiful Himalayan Foothills, the misty cottage and most of all Tuki and her beautiful presence. I have to admit, I will probably watch this again!Have a lovely day, I will update again this week.Comments are OFF and Unpublished.-T[...]

Back to blogging.....I think.


Wonder if there are any of my readers left! I thought to come back to this and update at least something atleast! Things have been busy for but good. I have learnt a lot lately about my health as I approach the big 40. The biggest hurdle has been maintaining my weight and I am doing a pretty good job of it. I would say in the last 7 years, I have lost around 25-30 lbs in total. I really do feel a lot better about myself! My self esteem has soared since the weightloss and having more energy is always a lovely bonus. I still would like to lose the last 7-10 lbs though. I aim to lose that in the upcoming warmer months. Summer is a term I use loosely for Newfoundland ;) I hope to keep this blog updated so if anyone else wants to follow my diet plan, you are welcome to follow along!
I have my comments set to unpublish but you are still welcome to post privately if you like!





25 AWESOME TIPS FOR BEAUTIFUL LIFE!!!Found this on Facebook.....HAD to share.1. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. & while you walk, SMILE.It is the ultimate antidepressant.2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.3. When you wake up in the morning, Pray to ask God’sguidance for your purpose, today.4. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less foodthat is manufactured in plants.5. Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, broccoli, and almonds.6. Try to make at least three people smile each day.7. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past,negative thoughts or things you cannot control.Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.8. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like acollege kid with a maxed out charge card.9. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.10. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Forgive them foreverything !11. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.12. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.13. Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present.14. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea whattheir journey is all about.15. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.16. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: ‘In five years,will this matter?’17. Help the needy, Be generous ! Be a ‘Giver’ not a ‘Taker’18. What other people think of you is none of your business.19. Time heals everything.20. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.21. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Yourfriends will. Stay in touch.22. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.23. Each night before you go to bed ,Pray to God and Be thankfulfor what you’ll accomplish, today !24. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.25.Share this to everyone on your list to help them lead a happierlife…!!!!Be good to yourselves,-T[...]

Spring Salad with Berries and Goat Cheese......


This is a great light salad for warmer days! The recipe is easy enough and pretty much speaks for itself.
I just added some Spring mix, fresh goat cheese, strawberries and blueberries.  For the dressing, I just added some Balsamic Vinaigrette. You can add so much to it though...some suggestions would be candied nuts,fresh onions, fresh baby spinach- whatever you like!
I hope you're enjoying the warmer weather wherever you are. :)

Be good to yourselves,



Spring is officially here.....not so much in our neck of the woods but its coming! That in itself is something to look forward to. I neglected this blog yet again- but with good reason! My computer crashed and I lost four months of business data which I had to re-enter....and that up a LOT of my sweet time. I've managed to get through that fiasco but the trouble is that I will have to catch up with the new year. FML.

I've been pretty good about eating healthy. I have also been going to the gym but not as much as I would like to. I made it there yesterday because the chipmunks are out of school for Easter holidays. Plan is to go again today after work, for atleast 40-45 minutes!

Other than that, things are good....I am keeping myself busy and am really looking forward to Summer. I am also working on decorating my house - Tuscan Style. I will do a post on that too as I go along. So far the house has already been painted in Earthy, Warm Tuscan colors. I have my office that I am currently working on now which has been painted a nice olive green color. SO much to do and I do not have the time to do it. I'd say this home project will take me all summer. If I have any readers left, I hope you're all well! Thank you for always supporting the blog.

Be good to yourselves,

Tuesday February 12th 2013


Hello again! What a bright sunny day today in my neck of the woods! It was so pleasant, it actually brightened my mood up a lot. 🌞
Here is today's recap of meals:🍴

☕Breakfast: toasted English muffin with strawberry jam and tea.

Snack: a delicious whole blood orange and boy it was so good! 🍊

Lunch🍛: spicy Mexican wrap with just onions, tomatoes, green peppers, cheese and some low fat sour cream and hot sauce. I tried the white wrap this time and I felt totally okay! No pains or bloated feelings in the belly.

Dinner🍔🍟: ugh...had to run around before hockey practice with the boys so ended up going to Burger King and had a veggie burger and some fries. I was so turned off from the meal that I think I'm going to stay away from this joint for a good while.

I only drank teas today. Today has been a long day with work starting super early, hockey practice with boys and I have yet to go home as I write this blog post at my sons hockey rink. No plans tonite except to finish a bit of laundry and crash for the night haha. it may even be a snow day tomorrow!? here's hoping so I can sleep in a little! Till tomorrow,

Be good to yourselves,
-T 🌳


Monday February 11th 2013


Hello!! Hows the winter so far for you all?it is seriously cold in my town and I'm just trying my best to stay warm. hot teas and coffees help. :) I had a busy day at work but here is a quick breakdown of today's meals:

Breakfast: coffee with nonfat creamer

No snack today, too busy!

Lunch: green giants garlic pasta with broccoli, carrots and corn.

Tea time: fresh baked chocolate chip cookies :( ugh I could not resist!☕

Dinner: a spoonful of moong daal khichdi and potato peas curry.

I feel okay today, no reaction to the pasta as I had expected. I also drank some hot water to keep the belly running smooth and i think it may have helped. Next post, ill take pictures because I found the blogger app on my iPhone, yay!! No exercise today unless you count my busy day at work or busy cleaning day at home, haha. Talk to you guys soon.

Be good to yourselves,


Back after a long spell....


It has been such a long time since I ventured back into this space. I have been meaning to do so for many weeks now. Just a quick update, I will try to post regularly on here because I have missed it so much! What has been happening? SO much! I am now officially a single mom, and won't get into that into too much detail. I am happy though. My kids are doing well and are getting older and bigger each day- I am thankful for the support of my family and friends. I am going to the gym regularly!! I joined the gym in December 2012 and am still going, I am quite proud of myself!  :) I had braces for the past 2 years and they are OFF!!! yay!
I hope to post on here each day. I am busy as ever, even more than before but will make an attempt at least.
I have noticed that I am getting some food allergies lately. Certain foods are causing some strange reactions and I haven't been able to pinpoint exactly what food(s) could be causing it. I hope I can make a food diary again and maybe help whoever is going through the same thing.

Today is Sunday, and plans are to go into work for a bit and then to the gym for at least 45 minutes if not an hour. I have been doing the treadmill and the elliptical. I also add some spurts of running on the treadmill and it feels just great. Diet has been pretty great lately except for certain days when I have heavy food and I literally feel like I have a ton of bricks in my belly. Not a good feeling. So far this morning, all I have had is some Indian Masala Chai. Even that feels heavy in my stomach. I really hope I am not lactose intolerant as well. I hope to figure it out and I also hope that you will join me here for support in my goal to get fit and healthy. :)

Update of today's meals:
Breakfast- Masala Chai
Morning snack- Tim Horton's small coffee
Lunch- Quesadilla with grilled sweet potatoes
Supper- Amy's frozen palak paneer and rice. Only me tonite for dinner, kids are away at a hockey game.

Workout: 35 minutes at treadmill. :)
All in all, a good day.

Be good to yourselves,


Veggie Lo-Mein in a Peanut Sauce


A very quick recipe today for all of you. Veggie Lo Mein is also one of my most favorite foods on the planet. I could eat this

Here is the very easy, and a delicious recipe!

You will need:
1 packet- Chinese Noodles or Whole Wheat Spaghetti
Assorted cut vegetables- celery, peppers, onions, carrots, cabbage, bok choy, baby corn, broccoli, spring onions and whatever else you want in there! Use frozen stirfry mix if short on time!

Sauce Mix: *adjust to your taste*
1-2tbsp Peanut Butter
1 tbsp- Soy Sauce
1 tsp- Sriracha or any hot chili sauce.
Some Shredded fresh ginger, garlic ( to your taste)
Dried red pepper flakes (optional)
~Mix all of the above sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

You will also need some oil, use whatever you have on hand, a mix of peanut-sesame oil is delicious.

Chop all the veggies, and cook the noodles until tender. In a stir-fry pan, heat the oil till very hot and add the onions. Saute for a minute and add the rest of the veggies, tossing them quickly. Now add the sauce mix and stir well. Add the noodles and let them coat nicely. Add more soya or hot sauce as needed. Season to taste and serve hot! Thats it! A simple, yet quick and healthy meal, serve it with a side of some Hot and Sour soup and you'll be good to go. Enjoy!(image)

Homemade Goodness of Marinara.......


(image) I *love* to make my own Marinara sauce. There's just something about the thick tomato sauce simmering on the stove that makes my day. There's nothing better than a pot of pasta with some garlic bread for a hearty weekend supper, pure comfort indeed.
I usually make my own sauce over the weekend when I have more time to really prep for it, and when you simmer it for as long as you can, it is worth it.

Here is my recipe.


  •  3 (14.5 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 4-5 fresh Basil leaves, and some parsley leaves-chopped
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced ( use less if you'd like) Reserve 1-2 cloves aside.
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 finely diced onion, 2 diced celery, 1 diced green pepper
  • I also added a couple pinches of sugar to cut down on the acidity

In a blender, place Italian tomatoes, tomato paste, chopped parsley, oregano, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth.

In a large skillet over medium heat saute the finely chopped onion and garlic in olive oil for 2 minutes. Add the celery and green peppers and let it cook until you see the oil leave the sides of the pan.
Add the blended tomatoes and stir well. Check for seasoning and add some sugar. Let it simmer for 30 minutes and add some fresh Basil which has been chopped finely to the sauce. Grate the reserved 1-2 cloves of garlic straight into the sauce. Omit this if you don't like the taste of garlic.
Cover and let the sauce cook for another 30-45 mins or even more on low heat.  Serve over your favorite recipe! I serve this with Spaghetti and Penne most of the time.

For a change, add a 1/2 cup of good quality red wine to the sauce for a deeper flavor. You can also make this sauce without the green peppers, celery and onions. Just use oil and garlic for a lighter sauce. Blend some heavy cream and fresh Parmesan cheese at the end to make a blush sauce. You can experiment with whatever you like and come up with your own favorite recipe!
Enjoy it.(image)

From Your Blogs: Green Beans with Coconut (Green Beans Thoran)


French beans or green beans are a favorite of mine, I love them in my soups, stews and curries.
This time though,I wanted to try out a new way of making them. I stumbled upon a South Indian recipe that was so easy and sounded just delicious! So, for a quick supper last week with rotis,  I made some Green Beans with coconut.

Here is the recipe verbatim from the blog "Denufood". 

I didn't add the onions, but the rest was the same, and it was delicious! 

French Beans Bhaji:
3 cups green beans, chopped
1/2 cup onions, chopped (optional)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp green chilies, chopped
3 –4 curry leaves
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp grated coconut
pinch of turmeric
salt to taste

1. Heat oil in a pan or skillet
2.Add the mustard seeds, as they crackle, add onion, curry leaves, and green chilies and saute
3. Add the chopped beans and saute for couple of minutes.
4. Add in the turmeric, salt and fresh or frozen grated coconut and keep sautéing for 7 –10 minutes.(I like the beans to be crunchy in this type of recipe so I don’t prefer it cooking with lid covered)
5. Garnish with coconut and the serve as side or with chapati.


Quick Eats: Tomato- Cashew Pilaf


(image) This is a quick fix pilaf, and so filling! I soaked the rice in the morning before I left for the day, and by the time I came back, it was ready to go. All I had to do was saute the veggies and let it cook on its own. This is a great supper time recipe, and a delicious one at that!

Here is the very simple recipe for a very exotic sounding dish!

You will need:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or any that you use
  • 1 red onion,chopped
  • 1 cup Basmati rice-soaked in water for an hour or so
  • 1/2 can chopped tomatoes OR 1 small can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon each of turmeric, garam masala, mustard seeds, cumin seeds
  • 2 cups water or stock
  • Any vegetables of your choice- I used bell peppers and peas.
  • Handful of cashews
(image) Soak the rice for at least an hour. Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Add mustard and cumin, and wait till they pop. Add the onion and sautè it until it becomes fragrant. Add the other chopped veggies, the cashews and continue to sautè. This should only take a couple of minutes. Next add the tomatoes,or sauce, whatever you are using, the rest of the spices and water. Stir it all up and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and now simmer over low heat for about 45 minutes, or until the rice is tender and fluffy. That's it! Serve hot with a side of your choice.

There are so many variations to this recipe, add veggies, nuts, paneer or even meats of your choice to make it interesting. Omit the tomatoes, and add spinach or mint puree for a gorgeous green pilaf. The taste of Spinach or mint with rice is incredible. Experiment and enjoy!(image)

Ayurveda Series: Ginger!


This has to be one of my favorite ingredients of all time. I use fresh ginger upon waking in my Masala Chai, I shred fresh ginger in my kadhis, daals, curries and lassis....I even eat raw shredded ginger mixed with fresh lemon juice to give my digestive system a lift. This is one ingredient that should be on your 'must-have' list!

According to ancient Ayurvedic texts, Ginger is thought to be the 'universal medicine'! Ginger boosts circulation and digestion and also helps alleviate Joint pain.(Source: 'The Sweet Smell of Success', by Dr. James Geiger).
Since it is a 'warming' spice, it is advisable to have it in smaller amounts each day for a "Pitta" and "Vata" constitutions. Those with a "Kapha" constitution can use it freely since it aids digestion! For an in-depth explanation of the Kapha, Pitta, Vata and Tridoshic constitutions, I suggest reading Monica B's Ayurveda website in order to familiarize yourself. I have been a fan of Monica B for a long time now and her knowledge of Ayurveda and using it in the daily routine inspires me greatly. A must read if you are into this as much as I am!
Here is the recipe for the Ginger tea that I drink daily in order to keep my metabolism in check. You will find this recipe on my home page as well.

Roast equal amounts of Cumin, Fennel and Ajwain Seeds and powder them in your coffee grinder. You may omit the Ajwain seeds if you like. Add an equal amount of Ginger Powder to it and mix well. For variety, I also add some cinnamon, black pepper or cardamom.

Store in an airtight container.

To Prepare: Boil some water and add some of this mix and let it sit for 5 minutes and sip slowly. You may add some lemon juice or honey for flavor. Be sure to add the honey when the water is warm. Drink throughout the day to keep snack cravings away and when your digestive system seems sluggish. I add this mix along with the fruit teabags to create new flavors and keep it interesting!

Please Consult your physician before taking any supplements or trying out any remedies.

Cheers to Good Health!(image)

Tealicious.......Comfort in a Cup!


This winter has me craving warmth and goodness to chase the chills away, what better way to end the day than a cup of some herbal tea? I've been drinking some Ayurvedic teas to not only keep my digestive fires going, but also to calm and relax at the end of the evening. One such tea that I've become attached to is the "Celestial Seasonings- Vanilla Strawberry Rose" tea. The combination of such exotic flavors in a tea form had me intrigued as soon as I saw the package in my local tea shop. I couldn't wait to brew a cup! It was as good as I had imagined! Once I opened the packet, I could smell the fragrant strawberries, with a hint of vanilla and a heady flavor of rose petals! This has to be bliss in a cup!

Of course, I am still partial to the Indian Masala Chai, it does wonders to wake me up in the mornings....but different herbal teas have certainly caught my attention. Here are some suggestions of the various herbal teas to try!

Chamomile tea: promotes calmness especially at bedtime.

Ginger Root tea: A digestive aid, calms an upset stomach and is a great option with the pregnancy sickness and queasiness.

Dandelion tea: made from the leaves of the dandelion plant. Dandelion leaves contains more beta-carotene than carrots. The leaves contain iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc, as well as vitamins B-1, B-2, B-5, B-6, B-12, C, D, E, and P. A great tea overall!

Other specialty teas to try: Peach and Berries,Lemon-honey,Lemon-ginger, blackcurrant tea, raspberry or choose a variety of them from a local tea shop!


image courtesy: google.(image)

The way Rajma is supposed to be.......


I came across an article recently on making a very simple Rajma. I was intrigued! Nothing but onions, tomatoes,salt and a little chili powder into the Rajma?? I had to try it out as I read up more on this recipe. I decided to give it a go last night for dinner. I have to say, I woke up craving it....I am SO glad I have leftovers for lunch today! Now, I've made Rajma before, but being a typical Gujju, I have it with parathas instead of rice...which I am sure many would consider blasphemous.

Getting back to the recipe, I think I've found a keeper, I don't think I will be making it with ginger-garlic-masalas at all from now on. This simple recipe does it for me, and yes, it will be accompanied with some jeera or plain basmati rice from now on. I hope you will try this, here is the recipe link once again. try it and you'll be glad you did!(image)

Healthy Eats: Spinach Omelet with Havarti


(image) I can't take credit for this recipe because this one was made by my husband on a Sunday morning for our brunch. Now, I am not a big fan of cooked eggs for breakfast, but this one was just too awesome to pass up. Baby Spinach, Havarti, onions and fresh pepper turned the boring old eggs into something hearty and healthy!

Here is what you need:

Fresh Eggs - 2 per person or depending on your appetite and taste
1-2 slices of Havarti Cheese, you can substitute just about any cheese you like here.
A handful of washed baby spinach leaves- chopped coarsely
1 medium red onion- sliced or chopped
salt, pepper- to taste
1 tbsp of milk- to make the eggs fluffy

Non stick spray or butter ( I used Pam)

Optional Ingredients: tomatoes, jalapenos, peppers and any protein that you might like to add.

Here is what you do for the perfect Omelet:
  1. Break the eggs into a bowl, and add the milk, salt and pepper and chopped onions.
  2. Beat the eggs gently with a fork, just until they combine together. Do not over beat.
  3. Put the frying pan on the stove and warm the pan over a moderate heat before spraying it.
  4. Spray the pan and turn the heat up.
  5. Carefully add the eggs to the center of the pan, tilting the pan so that the eggs spread out evenly over the bottom.
  6. Cook over a moderate heat. As the eggs begin to set, very carefully lift the edges of the omelet upwards with a spatula, ensuring that the omelet does not stick and also allowing the uncooked eggs to run underneath. Rotate the pan as you do so, making sure that all sides have been moved. Add the baby spinach and the cheese now.
  7. Cook until the eggs have set on the bottom but the top is still a little moist. Lift up the edge of one side of the omelet and fold this half so that is covers the other half and sits neatly on top. 
  8. Loosen the omelet away from the pan and tip out onto a warmed plate. Serve immediately. 
Enjoy it with a slice of toast and some fruit for a healthy start to your day!

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Rustic Gujarati Series: Bell Peppers with Peanuts and Sesame Seeds


(image) Ground peanuts and sesame seeds make up the base for this colorful, and delicious dry curry. I had many bell peppers on hand and wanted to make something different than the usual. I am so glad I tried this....and the great thing about this is that you can add any other veggies that you like to give it your own touch. Here is what you need:

3-4 bell peppers, any color you like!
1/2 cup peanuts, dry roasted and ground
3-tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
ginger-garlic-chili paste ( to your taste)

1 tbsp-Oil, 1 tsp each-cumin seeds,mustard seeds
Turmeric, Coriander powder, Garam Masala - to your taste
Salt, and a pinch of sugar - to taste
lemon juice, and cilantro (optional)

Dry roast the peanuts and sesame seeds until golden. Let it cool and grind to a coarse powder. Mix the ground mixture with the ginger-garlic-chili paste, garam masala and salt.

Meanwhile, wash and dry the peppers. Cut them into chunks.
Heat the oil in a wide pan, add the cumin/mustard seeds and let them pop. Add the bell peppers and quickly saute them, coating them with the oil. Sprinkle the peanut-sesame mixture on top and stir well so that it coats the bell peppers nicely. Add the seasonings, adjust the taste and let it cook on medium heat until cooked through. Stir often, and sprinkle with lemon juice and cilantro at the end if you like!
Serve hot. I had this as a side dish because it is quite dry. It make a great accompaniment to any meal though.

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Spiced, Tempered Lassi-An Ayurvedic Favorite


(image) Spring is a glorious time for change and renewal....I do look forward to Spring even though I love Winter! Its a perfect opportunity to mend the old ways and try to start afresh.
One of the things I do like to do is change my diet according to the season. This spring, I'll turn to 'lighter' foods to shed the few winter pounds! Salads, fresh fruits, and teas are something I try to have at least several times a week. Gone are the heavy soups,breads, and comfort foods; until next winter anyway.
One such item I like to have in the Spring-Summer months is Lassi. I like all kinds, sweet, salty, fruity, spicy, flavored.....they're all good! Yogurt when mixed with water is a "channel-opener" for all the body types. I did not know that until just recently. Lassis, when had at lunch time especially helps with the digestive process. The active cultures in the yogurt lubricate the stomach lining and aids in smoother digestion.

I have a perfect spicy tempered Lassi recipe today, that I am sure many of you might be familiar with already. This is good on its own or served along with a meal.....its up to you.

LASSI, Tempered and Spicy:
1-2 cups water
1 cup fresh homemade yogurt or store bought
1 pinch ground ginger (optional)
1 pinch ground cumin
1 pinch salt 

To temper: 1 tsp Oil, cumin seeds, fresh chopped jalapenos, curry leaves, coriander/cilantro leaves

Blend the yogurt and the water with the ginger, ground cumin, and salt.
In a small pan, heat the oil, add the curry leaves, jalapenos and the cumin. Let it sizzle until the cumin starts to turn dark brown. Add the blended yogurt mixture and top with coriander/cilantro leaves. Taste for the seasoning and serve. I drank some of this on its own right before dinner and had the rest with peas pulao. A delightful combination.

Variations: Sweet Lassis- Add honey or sugar and spices such as cardamom, or saffron, add mango pulp for a nice change too.


Jaipuri Vegetables-Sabzi Jaipuri


(image) what I said when I made this. I had noted this recipe down from somewhere on the "net" a long time ago....long before the days of the food blogs. I decided to try it, and I am so glad I did. Even though this sounds like a "Vegetable Korma", the fresh taste of the spices and masalas make it worthwhile! This has fennel and nutmeg which is just divine and goes so well with the other dry spices.
The recipe is simple, just grind the spices, do the tadka and add the boiled veggies...and presto, you have a fragrant,delicious curry. well, you know what I mean!  :)
I made this just as is and served it with whole wheat bhaturas.

Here is the recipe, and I apologize, I do not know the source. Try it and you'll be glad you did!

Jaipuri Sabzi: 

1-cup green peas,
1-cup chopped potatoes,
1-cup chopped carrot, you can add any other veggies you like, you can also add tofu or paneer like I did. I also added bell peppers, zucchini and some crookneck squash.

Boil all together for 3 minutes, or you can steam them.Steaming is a better choice in this case.

Fresh Paste:
2-tbsp grated coconut,
1-cup chopped onion,
1-cup chopped tomato,
1-long piece ginger, Cilantro
5-6 pieces garlic.
Mix and grind into paste.

Ingredients for dry masala:
5-pieces cinnamon,
4-pieces cloves, 1 tsp-fennel, 1/2 tsp- nutmeg
6-pieces black pepper corns,
1-tbsp coriander seeds,
1-tbsp cumin seeds and poppy seeds
Mix and grind into dry powder.

Ingredients for curry:
2-tbsp chilli powder,
1-tbsp haldi (turmeric) powder,
1-tbsp sugar (optional),
2-tbsp oil,
1\2-lemon juice (optional), I used unsalted tomato paste.
Salt to taste,
Coriander leaves for garnish.

Step 1: Heat the oil in tava and add the ground paste in it.
Step 2: Then add the dry masala powder and heat for 2-minutes.
Step 3: If you want red color then add chopped beetroot in it. (I left it out)
Step 4: Then add turmeric powder, chilli powder, salt, and sugar.
Step 5: After that add boiled vegetables and heat for 2-3 minutes.
Step 6: Mix well and turn off the flame.
Step 7: Decorated with coriander leaves and tomato. Garnish with cilantro.

Hint: Add a splash of cream, evaporated milk or plain milk for a slightly richer taste!

Serve hot.
Hope all is well with you all! I'll be back soon. :)

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Healthy Eats: Chickpea and Spinach Salad


(image) This is one of my favorite ways to have a salad....with lots of Chickpeas and mixed greens, Spinach especially.

I had this for lunch, and it kept me full for a long time, I didn't even need a snack! This is SO easy, and you can put just about anything in it to keep you satisfied until dinner time!

 Here's what I put in it:

2-3 handfuls or more of Baby Spinach leaves
1/2 cup- Canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed really well
1 small sliced red onion
A handful of shredded carrots
Few slices of fresh mushrooms, green peppers, tomatoes, and any other veggies you like!
Few wonton strips ( any flavor you like, and completely optional)
Few croutons, again any flavor and completely optional ( I like my salads to have a little crunch)
A handful of torn romaine leaves, I just threw them in there because I needed to use them up.

Optional add-ins: pineapple, broccoli, corn, cauliflower, cucumbers etc etc! ( have it your way!)

For the dressing, I used a low fat balsamic vinaigrette and added some of my addictive SRIRACHA sauce!
that stuff is amazing on anything! Toss everything together,and NOSH away!

Headache update: I've been Ok with headaches, they are still there, but ever since I have cut down my dairy products by 50%, I find I am better. So, I haven't been having any raw cheese, cold fruit yogurts and milk in large portions. It seems to have helped. The only time I have milk is in my morning tea, the rest of the time, I am sipping on Green teas and my everyday herbal ayurveda teas......lets see if it makes a difference in the long run.
As for exercise, I am still doing Yoga every chance I get, the kids and I had been pretty sick last week so that took a backseat, but I kept up with my "Kapalbhati" breathing everyday. Its been a rainy, wet winter here so walking outside is OUT of the question at this point. Oh well.....Spring and Summer are around the corner anyway!

Thanks for the lovely and supportive emails! I love reading them so keep them coming!  

Until next time, be well everyone. Enjoy the weekend.

Comments OFF. Please email me for any questions/concerns regarding this or any post in this blog.(image)

Colds, Coughs and Fevers Oh My............


(image) This cold and flu season had certainly caught us in its grip, and we are still dealing with these's been like that for the past little while. Its getting better though! None of the over the counter medicines were doing any good to us so I decided to go with the `gharelu`or home remedies, and they work!

In case you're dealing with such nasty symptoms, here's some help:

Use honey! Honey mixed with dry ginger powder, black pepper and lemon juice is a wonderful and a natural "cough" syrup, without any side effects.

Warm milk mixed with turmeric is a sure fire cure to keep the coughing spells down.

Avoid cold foods, and sip hot water or warm liquids frequently, some suggestions are hot lemon tea, green teas, honey-ginger tea or plain hot water with some lemon and honey. This will keep the nasal passages clear and thin out the mucus.

Be well! Talk to you all soon.I`ll be back with a post and more updates!

Pic courtesy: Jan etching(image)