Thursday, 10 April 2014

Baby Food - Rava Kanji

My son is 1.5 years old and he is relatively an easy eater. 

Whereever I go parents of young kids ask me what he eats and I thought I would share his routine diets. I am a big fan of eating the same thing each day! I know most people would get bored but my son seems to share my liking... I have a set routine and he eats the same stuff every single day... Of course, he would eat a little bit of my dinner/ breakfast / lunch as well but his meals are the same, taste the same, and prepared the same way each day. This routine helps me so much because I cannot afford to waste time thinking over food early morning while getting the kid ready, and myself ready to work.... 

I would like to pinpoint this is a blessing because when I go to work , I feed him breakfast in 10 min and drop him off with the nanny - I know how much more difficult it would be if I had a fussy eater :) 

So today - I share to you my son's breakfast on most days! Rava Kanji.

He is old enough to eat dosas/ idlis/upma/ oats. I have fed him all of those and usually I experiment on weekends when I have the time and luxury. But on weekdays, when I am pressed for time, I make this and I consider this a filling breakfast for a 1.5 year old. It 's made of milk and sugar and for a one year old - milk contains all the nutrients they need plus he has veggies for lunch and dinner so I am not concerned if his breakfast is just carbohydrates!
Watching baby apps after completing his breakfast of rava kanji ...yes I cleaned the sofa after wards..

INGREDIENTS
Chiroti Rava - 2 Tblsn
Ghee - 1 Tblspn
Water - 1/2 cup
Milk - 1 cup
Sugar - 1 tblspn



METHOD
Roast rava with ghee.
Add water, milk, sugar - bring to boil until it forms a semi solid paste (similar to how you would cook oats)
Switch off. Transfer to vessel. Add more milk to bring to right consistency if it's too think.
Serve.

If you are my son, you would eat this in 10 min :)

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Healthy Simple Vangibath - with raw veggies


After years of reading health blogs and wanting to eat healthy, and a lot of trial and error later I have devised what works for me! Like most things in life, whatever I share here is what worked for me and I am willing to listen to your side of the story if you have some tips to share as well. 

I am a south indian. Which means I eat rice 4 times a day. No I am not kidding. I grew on a diet of dosas / idlis (i.e. fermented rice) for breakfast, rice with rasam/sambar/curd for lunch, masala avalakki/ gojju avalakki/kuttu avalakki(beaten rice) for tiffin, followed by rice /sambar/curd for dinner. You see my mom made chappatis/ puris/ gojjus / hasi hullis/ tamblis etc... But what I have listed above was the staple. No I was not overweight after consuming all of that rice... My body was used to that diet and I do not want to reiterate what I have written here.

So when I decided to start eating healthier, I was going to change my way of life. What I was used to eating and we have all been there. There's the enthusiasm on Day 1 and I would eat my big bowl of salad without any issues. Day 3 my mind would start negotiating with me about how rasam rice and aloo fry was so much more comforting that the raw veggies I was consuming and by Day 5 I would be back to square one with my mind asserting that "raw food is for rabbits".

If you are anything like me, then you would know that the above exercise has happened way too many times for me / you to trust ourselves that we would stick to the diet... My weight loss journey was an eye opener to me on how I could eat all of the same things but watch my portion control... 

It's funny how most people state "everything in moderation". Which literally means - have cake in moderation and it won't hurt you... but it look me a while to realize that it also means have raw veggies in moderation as well... 

I have read several posts where people talk about replacing one meat in the sandwich to raw tomato - and you are eating slightly healthier... And it finally struck me what I had done wrong all those times.

Of course I am not going to eat salads as it's not part of my daily diet, but I could include raw veggies into my daily diet of rice. And so, I have been doing this for a week now where I include raw veggies to traditional dishes.

Vangibath is a traditional kannadiga dish. I have already posted 2 recipes on my blog - 
vangibath with assorted veggies that my mom had prepared with recipe for vangibath powder

Traditionally Vangibath is made with brinjals and I am using brinjal/eggplant today with raw veggies..

INGREDIENTS

1/3 cup rice cooked with 1 cup water in rice cooker
2 tblspn MTR vangibath powder, salt for taste
1/4 cup diluted tamarind water
veggies of choice(brinjal + raw veggies (if using - optional))
oil for tadka.

TADKA
I used Mustard.
Traditionally Tadka (seasoning) is done with Mustard seeds, jeera seeds, bengal gram seeeds, urad dal seeds and a little curry leaves.
I am trying to keep the ingredient list simple and so I listed the absolute essential stuff.

METHOD
Heat oil, add mustard seeds. When it starts spluttering add brinjal
Add diluted tamarind water, vangibath powder, salt.
When it's done - add raw veggies and switch off the stove.
Then add rice and mix.

Serve with raw cucumbers as shown/cucumber raita









Homemade Muesli - the best muesli I have every eaten (Sugarless)


When you are living alone, it makes sense to eat outside... It's easier on one hand but when raising a child along with you, one cannot often afford that luxury... I would anyhow need to cook for the kid, so I might as well cook a little more and eat the same food... Thank fully my son has reached the toddler age and we kinda eat similar food with his food a lot more mashed up than mine... I will write a separate post on what I feed my son now... but this is all about making breakfast easy!

You see - its simple to make dosa batter during the weekend. It would last a week for me if I were to make 2 dosas per day... But the idea of eating dosa and chutney podi / pickle gets boring and the dosa batter is no longer fresh on thursday morning inspiring me to add some veggies to make adai... Well long story short, when you are living alone - taking care of one's health is of primary importance. I can't afford to fall sick with a toddler depending on me and eating dosa made of old batter is guaranteed to make me go into depression over sour dosas if not make me sick! Plus I have DH's orders for me to eat healthy in his absence!!! 

And so - I decided that I would eat dosas for some days of the week and since I am a huge fan of make ahead foods Muesli is something else that I make on a routine basis.

Because I promised DH that my ingredient list would be fairly simple I am sharing my super simple, tasty and filling muesli recipe.

INGREDIENTS
Oats - 2 cups
Honey - 1/2 cup
Coconut Oil  - 1/2 cup
Add Ins (2 cups)

ADD INS
I have used the following add ins. Feel free to browse your pantry and add what ever catches your fancy. I have added 
Nuts - Almonds/Walnuts
Dried Fruits - raisins / fresh apricots
Soulful ragi bites
Kelloggs Corn flakes , wheat flakes, honey loops.

METHOD
Take one cup of oats in a bowl, add honey and oil and some chopped fresh apricots.
Mix.

USING OVEN  (OTG)
I used the oven as shown in the picture.
Spread the oat-honey-oil mixture in a tray and cook till roasted (it took me 10 min).
Stir half way.

USING MICROWAVE
I have used the microwave many times and it comes out equally well.
Use a microwave safe bowl, microwave for 4 min, stirring every 1 minute to ensure equal roasting.

USING TAWA/KADAI
Do not have a microwave or an oven? How do you think indians used to cook? Take a thick bottom kadai and roast the mixture the way we are traditionally used to roasting in sim flame. Keep roasting for 10 min and it will be done.

ASSEMBLY
In a large airtight container, assemble the roasted oat mixture, remaining one cup of raw oats, and all the add ins. No need to add what I have added. DH loves Kellogg chocos, whereas I love my ragi bites... So it s all about what you wanna add   eat.

EAT
Take a bowl of your home made muesli, top with banana if using, and milk and enjoy your guilt free sugar free muesli. 

Stay healthy! There's a reason why they say "health is wealth".

Of course, no one is going to judge you if you eat store-bought muesli than take the trouble to do it all 
:)
I have been there, done that as well.... We all have one of those days!












Monday, 7 April 2014

Cooking for One - Beginners Guide to South Indian Cooking

And so, somehow life pans out in ways, and you end up alone! So now I am raising my child as a single parent with DH no longer living in Bangalore with me and let me say life is tough! Every part of my day or week is well planned and I do not spend any more than 1 hour per day in the kitchen. This is because I have work issues, home issues, family issues, nanny issues, baby issues and plainly put I cannot afford to have "what do I eat" issues... 

And of course, I love to cook, so take out is not an option for me! I love my cooking :D

But DH doesn't know how to cook! So this is my way of teaching DH how to cook until he returns home, which will be a long long time anyway... So hopefully he picks up one or two of these dishes... 


But this series should ideally really help anyone starting out. I wish I had something like this explained to me when I was starting out... But over the years, after 5 years of marriage, and a hungry toddler later - I do know my way in the kitchen and I will share basic cooking with ingredient lists that are not more than 5 ingredients for all of you who have neither the interest in cooking nor the expertise - this should get you started.

Of course - we are going to cook rice today! One of the staples of south indian cooking... When DH left for his abroad trip that would last the next 10 months - he asked me to give him instructions on how to cook rice... And that's when I knew that my concept of teaching him bisibelebath was too complicated for the poor soul...



Without further ado, starting indeed with the basics!

HOW TO COOK RICE

Cooking rice is all about measurements. It really depends on what you are going to use that rice for! If it's about what you are using it for. The ratio of rice to water varies for plain rice, curd rice / pongal or pulao.

For plain rice : 1 cup rice - add 3 cups of water
For Pulao/biriyani/vangibath/mixed rice : 1 cup rice - add 2 cups of water
For pongal/curd rice/bisibelebath : 1 cup rice - add 5 cups of water

INGREDIENTS
Rice - 1/3 cup (depending on how much you eat)
Water - 1 cup

METHOD
Add 1/3 cup rice to a bowl that you would use to cook rice
Wash rice twice with tap water.
Add 1 cup drinking water to the washed rice

USING PRESSURE COOKER
Keep the bowl in the pressure cooker and cook for three whistles.

USING RICE COOKER
The steps mentioned in the METHOD section to be carried out in the rice cooker bowl and then switch on the cooker, it will automatically switch off when rice is done!




Wednesday, 2 April 2014

taking charge...

Life is like that. Things happen. Something happened. But this time I am going to react differently... Not because I had a great overview of how I am going to pan life from now on. But I can at least try to change. 

Change is something we are all afraid of. So here I am, bearing my soul, sharing my story. You might know me, but there's a chance you don't so I will spare ugly details that you would rather not want to read apart from my realization of the kind of person I have become.

 For the last few years, I realize I have become emotionally needy. Not in a bad way, but in a way most of us become subconsciously. Perhaps it s to do with pregnancy, child birth, child rearing, managing work, home, life in general etc. but deep down I know that 's just an excuse to what it is really... I want someone else to make me feel happy, and I blame others for my unhappiness.. This is because I hold expectations. Expectations that don't get met, and I would be unhappy because of that causing relationship problems.I am helpless because I believe other people are responsible for making me happy and if they did not behave as per my ideal then I am going to get hurt.

That doesn't mean I am a bad person. Just that I have issues. Issues that need to be addressed by foremost taking charge of my life.I have played the victim long enough. What if I am indeed not the victim of my situation, what if there's a chance for me to change stuff that will lead me to take charge of my life. Why should I not explore that angle?

And so, I am done. Done complaining. Done being needy. Done being dependent. Done blaming. 

From this day, I take responsibility for my actions. I want to walk as a happy person, needing nothing, self reliant, being independent. Not because I don't want to depend/ to love/ to need.. but because I need to love me first before I can expect someone else to love me. This is me. This is what I want to achieve. And so I choose today, this month of April, to make a change - to slowly turn my life around - to lead a life of self reliance.




Monday, 24 March 2014

What I wore - jeans and Chemistry top


Top - Chemistry
Jeans - Denizen
Bellies - Miss Bennett

How do you buy jeans? How do you get that one pair that fits you perfectly :) I admit I have fat thighs... This is how I buy jeans for myself. I end up buying the pair of jeans that fits my thigh area well and then I have the waist, length and butt tucked in. Sorry for being explicit! But it got me wondering if there is another way to buy clothes :)

I do this for all my tops / kurtas as well. For example a Large size would be loose for me and a Medium size kurta would fit just right but it would be tight at the bust area (My excuse : I'm still feeding my son). I would thus buy a large size and then have the waist tucked in... 

This top is thus a favorite for me. I snatched it at a clearance sale in Show Off. It is flowy at the bust area and the lace pattern on either side helps define shape and it clinches at the waist making it really awesome at hiding leftover flab from the pregnancy ! 




Saturday, 22 March 2014

Potluck

This is a catalog blog after all... A catalog of my life ! So I had to share with you all that I ate as part of the potluck yesterday... I have already discussed in detail how I prepared my contribution for the potluck - beetroot chocolate oreo cake. There were 12 of us who enthusiastically agreed to cook delicious food and I ate way more than I should have throwing into the wind the diet that I am currently in...


The cast of characters in no particular order :)





And of course a pic of my plate before I dug in !