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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Coconut and Cornmeal Pancakes

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. When I was young I heard this often from my mom. Today I find I echo my mother in so many ways, and this is just one of them. "Make time for breakfast!" Early mornings in our home are quite rushed though, and it's a little tricky with school, work and picky eaters. But we make it work. Most of the time. Pancakes are always popular but they take a little more coordination and that means they're on the weekend breakfast menu. Since I took wheat out of my diet I am...
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Thandai Recipe – Indian Festive Drink & Ice Cream {Using Almond Milk}

Celebrating Indian festivals in Canada takes some adjustment, especially in the case of food. This Thandai recipe is my take on a traditional Indian classic cold drink made kid-friendly and dairy-free, served during festivals that fall around spring and fall. Like everything else, festivals are also big and colourful in India. With at least 4 religions of significance, it often feels like there’s a celebration every month. I love how people of different religions come together at festival time to celebrate each other’s traditions, and food and drinks are always a big part of that celebration, including this thandai recipe....
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My Food Story & Salmon with Masala Onions

"Is this Canadian food, Mama?" My 6 year old asked just as I was packing her lunch this morning. In the tiffin, I had packed whole wheat pita with homemade hummus, snap peas and cucumber, along with a couple of strawberries on the side. While a normal lunch menu in our house today, this box was nothing like the packed lunches my mom used to prepare when I was a child. Lunch time In India As children in India, my brother and I would carry a homemade lunch to school, Most days it would be parantha and sabzi rolls (Indian flatbread...
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Flavourful and Easy Coconut Curry

Curry invariably gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling. And even though there are thousands of variations of this one dish across Asia and Africa, it brings the flavour every time. Korma or vindaloo, Thai or Panang, I have yet to try a curry that I did not like. My favourites though are the recipes that use coconut milk. It mellows out the flavour of spices and makes it kid-friendly. The other reason to love coconut curry is how it makes a delicious blank canvas for other flavours. Depending on what is available in my pantry, I tweak this recipe...
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Classic Homemade Hummus With A Twist Of Lime

I have an 80:20 rule. If 80% of what my kids eat can be homemade and healthy, then I go easy the remaining time. Looking at this like the math nerd I am, that's almost 17 meals and 11 snacks per week that need to be wholesome and nutritious. As a result I am always on the lookout for foods that that can meet this criteria, and be delicious and EASY to make. Tall order you think! Not so much with a little bit of preparation. This homemade hummus checks all those boxes and is one of those foods that...
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Mini Lentil Pancakes With Cauliflower {Dal Fritters}

Lentils are the original superfood. They come naturally packed with fibre and protein, are low in fat and have amazing cholesterol lowering properties. With these nutritional qualities coupled with a low carbon footprint, one would think that lentils would be a part of EVERYbody’s daily diet. But somehow that isn’t case. Instead of the recognition they deserve, lentils have instead garnered a “hippie” reputation, considered delicious only by the people who don’t eat meat. Adding lentils to your diet is an easy way to incorporate healthy foods in your meals.  So last year much to the despair of my family...
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Indian Spinach and Chicken Curry {Saag Chicken}

I'm a fan of delicious, nourishing and FAST meals so much so that I've written about them here and here and here. I admit, that's what most of us need on those fright nights during the week when we're juggling and hustling. But once every blue moon, especially on cold evenings when I'm missing my mom's cooking, FAST doesn't quite work. That's when I need food that is comforting AND hearty. When I want the smell of spices to envelop me and fly me to my parents' home in India. And this slow-cooked Indian chicken is just the recipe for...
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Flu-Fighting Beet and Ginger Soup

I like being in the kitchen but only as long as I am pulling together something easy and delicious that I KNOW THE KIDS WILL EAT! But that's not how this day started.  That day I was wondering how to feed my kids something wholesome that would also ward off their scratchy colds (and mine!). And I may never say this again but that day beets - delicious beets - were the answer. Health Benefits Of Beets Beets are a health powerhouse. They have proven effective in increasing stamina, reducing inflammation, and appropriate for this holiday season, a great detoxification agent....
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Homemade Hostess Gifts

End of the year means holidays and entertaining, and friends and family. With all this going on festive time can get expensive. Last year I started a new tradition - homemade hostess gifts using candied nuts and flavoured sugar. These were so well received by my friends that I decided to make it an annual tradition.   When Lindt Chocolate invited me to meet with one their Maîtres de Chocolatiers and learn about chocolate I knew I had to say YES! The experience was amazing. I learnt that not only does Lindt Chocolate make glorious chocolate, they are also committed to a...
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3 Easy Tips To Jazz Up Your Holiday Baking

Time-saving holiday baking tips? I'm always up for that especially in this frantic festive time at the end of year. While I like to entertain and cook for my friends and family, I am not one to spend hours in the kitchen. I like shortcuts that will save time AND help me in serving delicious food to my loved ones. And if these shortcuts can make it all look elegant and easy, that's a winner right there! Over the years I've discovered shortcuts that I can prep for beforehand so when there's a googly thrown at you - acurveball if...
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DIY Flavoured Sugar

Homemade DIY Flavoured Sugar? Sounds difficult, doesn't it? But these delicious, delicate sugars are easy to make, and they make even simple dishes shine. For the seekers of shortcuts (that's me) you can make these homemade flavoured sugars weeks, sometimes months ahead of time and enjoy a more relaxed festive season. Step 1: Get your ingredients together. Consider flavours and aromas that you like and will have use for during the year. Cardamom, cinnamon and vanilla will see the most use. Though lavender and rose are so delicate that they add an elegant finish to my simple shortbread cookies. Step 2:...
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Easy and Mellow Mulled Wine Recipe

For those of you who follow my writing (thank you!) you know I love Christmas. From the lights to the shiny ornaments, even the late-night gift-wrapping on Christmas Eve doesn’t thwart me.  What I love most of all, though, is yummy festive food. Like this mulled wine recipe - a warm blend of spices, dry wine and orange slices that transports you to the Christmas markets of Europe. Traditional Mulled Wine Recipe My hubby and I have travelled a lot over the years. Early in our marriage, before kids came on the scene, and when I still worked for British...
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