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

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Good Food, Healthy Planet

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Quick and Lovely Candied Pecans

Nuts are plentiful in grocery stores around this time of year. They are good for our health and contain high levels of antioxidants and omega-6 fatty acids. The science of Ayurveda also says that nuts warm our body from the inside and that's exactly what we need during the long cold winter months. So I end up usually with jars of nuts on the kitchen counter so that the kids can reach for a handful whenever they want. Pecans, in particular, are one of our favourites. They are high in protein and fibre, phosphorus, and manganese. Pecans also make lovely...
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Wake-up Your Tastebuds Cranberry Chutney

Cranberries are some of the last crops of the season before winter freezes the ground in the northern hemisphere. Despite being a true berry, cranberries are often tart and bitter. I do love their colour though and their distinctive taste. They especially wake up the palate and the dinner table in this family favourite recipe, cranberry chutney.   Cranberries are quite a robust fruit and can handle a whole lot of flavour. They are also high in Vitamin C and manganese and perfect for the cold and flu season. That's why they make a great addition to the holiday dinner table. Did...
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Celebrating New Traditions Around The Table {Turkey Makhani Recipe}

Do you like Butter Chicken? This recipe has all of that warm comfort but is made with turkey strips. Interested, yet? This turkey makhani recipe is my take on an Indian classic, reworked for our Canadian kitchen. I have a confession to make.  I love Christmas! From a dressed-up tree to shiny ornaments, the caroling, even the late-night present wrapping doesn’t thwart me. I’m one of those people who get excited when decorations go up in stores in late October!  I take it as a sign that our lights can go up.  Who am I kidding…our lights have been up since...
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16 Practical Tips To Get You Loving Your Instant Pot

 Are you a new owner of an Instant Pot? Are you looking at the unopened box and freaking out just a little? Then this one's for you! 16 Practical Tips To Get You Loving Your Instant Pot I bought my Instant Pot last year during the Black Friday sales and I didn't open the box till well into the new year. That's how much of a chicken I was. It took me months to open the box and then another week to plug it in. And all this after I really, really wanted an Instant Pot. I still couldn't dive in....
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Instant Pot Review: 14 Reasons You Need An Instant Pot

I have a thing about kitchen appliances including the Instant Pot. It takes a lot for me to like one, and there's a reason for it.    My kitchen is tight and storage is limited. So if I buy a kitchen appliance it has to meet atleast these two criteria: 1. Space to store. 2. ‎Fulfil multiple purposes.    You already know of my love for multipurpose kitchen utensils and that love stretches to electrical appliances as well. So when I first heard of the Instant Pot, I was sceptical.   What is the Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker It's the...
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Easy-Peasy Peach Chutney

What I miss most about summer is the bounty of local fruits and vegetables. Thankfully I can hold on to that summer feeling through my cooking. Like this delicious peach chutney that has become a family favourite. It works beautifully as a dip or a spread. It feels like summer was a long time ago. Time flies with kids around. I blinked and we are well into autumn. Every year a big part of our summer vacation is spent visiting my family and friends in India, and this year was no different. It's a lot of fun reconnecting with our...
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3 Wholesome Snack Ideas for After School

Snack time is tough in many homes. Making healthy choices requires work but with some preparation, you can not only offer wholesome after school snacks you can also help older kids learn to be independent.  September always feels like an out of control train going at breakneck speed. Kids go back to school, the routine cranks up as do the kids' activities. The season is also changing and you can almost smell the coming of the winter. That's why it's important to hang on to balance, that between stress and calm, and busy and slow. As a mom with my kiddos...
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Gluten-Free Banana Bread with Orange {Dairy-free}

I like baking. Even more so since the kids are getting older. Turning on the oven means they like to get in the kitchen with me. In the winter season baking fills the house with delicious aromas and is an easy way to get dinner on the table. In the summer though it is even better. Roast vegetables - check. Baking with fresh summer fruits - check.  I also enjoy setting the timer and then stepping away to enjoy the warm summer breeze. This gluten-free orange banana bread is one that I bake often. Over the past few months cooking...
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The healthiest (and only) way to cook Broccoli

I hear it all the time. My mom said it, every health guru says it, there's even a million hashtags devoted to it. "Eat your veggies." I say it to my kids every day. Sometimes, that's three times a day. "Your body needs 5-8 portions of fruits and vegetables a day." But there is another side of this conversation. Did you know that over-cooking or wrongly cooking a vegetable leaches away all its nutritional value? Research has proven that many vegetables are sensitive to the cooking process and broccoli is top of that list. So when I make all the...
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Gut Health For Kids: Longterm Habits with #HansDairy

I have two school-going kids who remain mostly healthy. I say "mostly" because for many months in the year between school and after-school programs they are immersed in an unavoidable cesspool of germs. And those germs eventually wind up home to infect the rest of us. Despite being a staunch feminist I admit I am also the primary provider of meals in the family - read *homemaker.* That means I need wholesome nutritious recipes that will boost my family's immunity. That's where dairy products come in. Gut Health For Kids If you follow my writing (thank you!) you know that...
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Whole Roasted Cauliflower With Coriander and Mustard

It's a wonderful feeling to be surrounded by friends and family.  As a result, when festive days like Easter and Diwali come around, I like taking the time and relaxing with my loved ones.  However, before one gets around to the good part, there is the setup, cleanup and the food.  Being a host is not easy and I don't always get it right.  So, when glamorous AND easy dishes present themselves I owe it to myself (and you!) to test them out.  Whole roasted cauliflower rubbed with crushed coriander seeds and mustard is one of those dishes that I...
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Maple Syrup & The Best Chicken Marinade Ever

I did not know much about maple syrup when we moved to Canada 15 years ago. I grew up in India where if you needed sweetener you reached for cane sugar in it's raw form (gur or jaggery) or as white crystals. If there was a need for syrup, honey was always available. It was only when we moved to North America that I started to experiment with different varieties of sugar. And then in our very first year in Canada on a visit to Ottawa I came across maple syrup. Sticky, flavourful, aromatic and very Canadian maple syrup. Maple...
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