Real Food

I believe the heart of the family beats in the kitchen. Food fuels our body and nourishes our soul.

I share here real food made using whole ingredients with big flavour, fresh herbs and health-boosting spices, all influenced by my roots in India and my travels. That’s what you will find here. But I’m also not one to spend hours in the kitchen, as you can tell from my healthy shortcuts and tips in every post. My kitchen is a little complicated — we have a number of food sensitivities in the family — so I tend to make food that is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free and tomato-free. Often but not always.

Good Food, Healthy Planet book

New cookbook to help people choose low-waste, good-for-us food.

Good Food, Healthy Planet

Your Kitchen Companion to Simple, Practical, Sustainable Cooking  

Homemade Baked Beans {Instant Pot Beans}

Baked Beans make for a delicious quick meal or an even better side dish. Here is my version of traditional, English Baked Beans, made somewhat speedily, in an Instant Pot. My Dad loved Baked Beans on toast. It might have been his English boarding school upbringing or perhaps because the beans straight out of a can made an easy and portable dinner and fit right in with his military habits. Whatever the reason, Baked Beans was one of his favourite dishes. Growing up I can barely remember a time when there wasn't a can of baked beans in the kitchen...
Read more > about Homemade Baked Beans {Instant Pot Beans}

Golden Salmon Patties with Oats

Canned Fish is a pantry staple in our home for a number of reasons. Tuna, sardines and of course salmon, the options are endless. These salmon patties are imho the most delicious and easy way to use canned fish. It is my version of a traditional shami kebab made with canned salmon instead of meat. With oats, turmeric and veggies this dish makes for a well-balanced weeknight dinner. Why Canned Fish?Canned fish makes for a healthy, sustainable and delicious meal. It is great for so many reasons. The cans have a long shelf life, and when grocery visits are occasional...
Read more > about Golden Salmon Patties with Oats

Lentils: What’s the Deal with Dal?

Millions of us grew up eating dal or lentils on the Indian subcontinent. Lentils are such a huge part of the staple Indian diet that no meal is complete without them. But when you eat something everyday, how do you make it interesting? I wondered aloud while writing this post. And pat came the reply, "By making it with love...and adding some ghee." And that is dal in a nutshell. This most humble of ingredients is the bowl full of goodness I turn to when I want home-cooked food. There are no frills to dal, no pretensions. This is simple food,...
Read more > about Lentils: What’s the Deal with Dal?

What’s the Deal with Canned Fish

Canned fish is one of those polarizing ingredients — people either love it or hate it! There are so many negative connotations associated with the word "canned", right? If at all possible, most of us prefer the fresh variety of food anyway. So why should fish be any different? But this is one food group that might actually benefit from being canned. Here's the case for canned fish. Always Choose Fresh, Right? Depending on the type, fresh fish ranges from mildly expensive to wildly exorbitant. And you wouldn't mind indulging in this nutrient-rich food every once in a while. The...
Read more > about What’s the Deal with Canned Fish

The Granola Un-Recipe

I fell in love with granola during a hotel stay a lifetime ago. The chef had served his homemade granola for breakfast and I tried it...reluctantly. I have been trying to recreate the recipe ever since and therefore the Granola Un-Recipe. In other words, granola made easy! Hear me out. I can explain. Puneeta recently shared her family’s favourite homemade granola recipe. You can see it here. https://youtu.be/FpB-z-2s36Q I am not a breakfast cereal person. Growing up, I could not stand the idea of dalia — broken wheat cooked in milk, flavored mildly with sugar. I didn’t know what the...
Read more > about The Granola Un-Recipe

Honey Ginger Chicken Recipe

Do you have a dish that's comfort food AND super healthy at the same time? And one that your kids ask for again and again? That's the dream, right? Honey Ginger Chicken is all of that and more. This easy chicken recipe for dinner is full of flavour, packed with veggies and you may even have all the ingredients for it already. Enjoy! Years ago I found an old edition of Australian Women's Weekly where I found a beef stir-fry recipe that used a combination of honey and ginger. This piqued my interest because the honey and ginger combo has,...
Read more > about Honey Ginger Chicken Recipe

Easy Chocolate Chip Cookies with Pecans

Self-isolating at home? Here's a recipe for easy chocolate chip cookies with pecans. This version uses few ingredients and standard pantry staples that may already be available in your home. Enjoy! Baking is a comfort activity in our home. I usually turn on the oven when I have an afternoon free with the kids or when company is expected. With communities self-isolating around the world and people staying at home as much as possible, baking has taken on a new meaning. The other thing that has changed recently is our shopping routine. We are making less frequent trips to the...
Read more > about Easy Chocolate Chip Cookies with Pecans

Homemade Black Lentils {Instant Pot Dal Makhani}

Looking for interesting ways to add lentils to your diet? It doesn't get any better than this dish. Instant Pot Dal Makhani aka Black Lentils made at home checks all the boxes. Dal Makhani is not an everyday food in India. Named after its more famous cousin Murgh Makhani (Butter Chicken), this dish is often considered a treat that you order when you go out to eat in a restaurant. Decades ago my brother decided this was his favourite dal, and so my mom tested and came up with her own version of homemade Dal Makhani. This recipe, my mom's...
Read more > about Homemade Black Lentils {Instant Pot Dal Makhani}

Kheer — Indian Rice Pudding recipe

Indian cuisine is famous for flavour, its use of spices and most of all for its variety of sweets. From all the amazing choice available, my favourite is simple rice kheer. Slow-cooked milk that is reduced and sweetened to a dense texture and then cooked with rice and spices. A decadent, mellow, UNFORGETTABLE rice pudding, Kheer is the quintessential Indian dessert. A celebration of milk Over years of writing and researching about food, I have attended a number of events hosted by the Dairy Farmers of Canada and the Ontario Dairy Meeting dairy farmers, learning about Canadian Dairy and how...
Read more > about Kheer — Indian Rice Pudding recipe

Shortcut Turkey Biryani

Lazy weekends always call for slow and special food, right? But what about hectic weeknight dinners? Those often get pushed down to the end of a long list of things-to-do. Sometimes, I find shortcuts to recreate a showstopper of a complicated dish to turn around for a quick, school night dinner. That's what this Indian biryani is. A traditionally slow-cooked "dum" dish, my version of this shortcut turkey biryani can be pulled together on any day you please. Traditional Indian biryani is made with marinated meat that is cooked with spices. The dish is then layered with tomatoes, onions and...
Read more > about Shortcut Turkey Biryani

Meal Prep Ideas + Golden Turkey Salad

November is my buffer month. Sandwiched between the colourful days of October's fall and the glittery excitement of December, November is often just blah, right? School routines have somewhat settled down and days are getting darker and shorter. This is the time I prepare hearty and wholesome meals that my kids will eat without complaining. Meals that I can make without spending hours in the kitchen. Meals like this Golden Turkey Salad, and more. Recently I have started marinating and cooking turkey strips and storing them in the freezer to simplify weeknight dinners. They often come as boneless breast scallopini....
Read more > about Meal Prep Ideas + Golden Turkey Salad

Rock Weeknight Dinners Like a Super Star

I am always worried about how well my kids eat, it's part of being a parent, right? Especially on weeknights when we are all pressed for time and dinners are often the last thing to do on an already long list. Enter Rotisserie Chicken! This versatile and convenient food is packed with flavour and nutrition, and will help you manage weeknight dinners like a rock star. I was recently invited on CHCH Morning Live to share tips on how to rock those hectic weeknight dinners. The conversation went from tips to ease weeknight dinners to the pressure that is on...
Read more > about Rock Weeknight Dinners Like a Super Star
Staying Grounded logo

Inspiration for living an abundant, delicious and doable life that brings people and planet closer together.

Please enter your name.
Please enter a valid email address.
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.
Tree--Pledge_01--Maple_and_Marigold

Use what you have, reuse what you can, reduce what you throw away, and repurpose the rest.

Staying Grounded logo

Subscribe to the newsletter

Sign up to receive our weekly-ish newsletter about food, people and stories, and the science behind it all. You'll also receive excerpts from Puneeta's debut cookbook, Good Food, Healthy Planet.

Please enter your name.
Please enter a valid email address.
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.