Sunday, November 20, 2011

Cracked Wheat Upma With Cherry Tomatoes

Cracked Wheat Upma With Cherry Tomatoes

Finally it's here the week I wait for the whole year, looking forward to the short week and much needed break, last few days at work have been quite stressful not to mention very busy. Looking forward to winding down this week. Had a fabulous dinner with neighbors this saturday  chatted till the wee hours of Sunday and Sunday was perfectly relaxed one spending time with a very dear friend had lovely tea and yummiest  snacks one can ask for.  Some friends are such though you don't catch up on a regular basis but when you do you feel the connection and the warmth instantly.

Today's recipe comes from my doctors inspiration/suggestion. We here have a provision to go for a yearly check up via my insurance yet I am always lazy to find time to go get one. Eventually had to force myself to get one after years.  So doctor gives the standard advice eat healthy, exercise for 20 min every day, no sweets and fried food and blah blah and blah and she ends with the statement "remember you are not getting any younger " that struck hard and realized that the advice she gave is supposed to taken seriously. That said she gave a comprehensive list of food and portion control to be eaten . One such suggestion was cracked wheat, as a kid I would throw up with the thought of having to eat cracked wheat and that stuck with me for a long long time until I slowly making it a part of my diet.


1 cup cracked wheat
about a cup or two of vegetables  ( peas, carrots,beans, corn, cauliflower florets,tomatoes)
1 cup of cherry tomatoes slit length wise
For seasoning
1 tbsp channa dal
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp jeera
10-15 curry leaves
2-3 green chilies
handful of peanuts/cashews/blanched and sliced almonds
2 tbsp of oil
salt according to taste

1, Heat two tbsp of oil in pan that can be pressure cooked,when oil gets hot add all the seasoning ingredients and saute for 30-45 secs.
2. Add two cups of water and vegetables and allow water to come to full boil, add salt.
3. Add cracked wheat to boiling water, mix well. I usually spray pam this allows upma to be dry rather than sticky goop.
4. Now transfer to the pressure cooker and allow the cracked wheat upma to cook  till two whistles.
5. Allow cooker to cool and once cooled  mix the upma well and serve piping hot.

Serve with a drizzle of lemon juice. According to my doctor this is an excellent source of protein,iron and fiber and keeps you full for a long time which I have to agree.

Try quinoa version of the same here 

So here's to short week and wishing a happy week !!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Split Pea Soup Loaded With Vegetables - Perfect for Brrrrr Weather

Split Pea Soup Loaded With Vegetables - Perfect for Brrrrr Weather

We are almost a week into Thanksgiving, looking back into the year so far some months just seem blur can't remember when they came, what I did and when it was over. This weekend was a very dear neighbor's birthday , she is the kind who has patience of mother earth, I feel blessed to have people like her in my life for the simplicity they bring to life, the groundedness they posses and sheer heart of gold. She is a sister that I never had, after a hectic day when you sit down for just a couple of minutes with her for a cup  tea  boy that brings back the energy full on. Her son and my elder one were born few months apart and both of them have been classmates, playmates since the time they started school and given the fact that we share a fence both of them hang out at each others home come weekend gives us a chance to catch up too. So here is wishing her a very very happy birthday once again.

We have a farmers market every sunday , once thing I realize is if I go to the market I feel enthusiastic to experiment with cooking be it the same old vegetables, the fact that you get to pick fresh produce of the vines, buy in rustic kind of atmosphere and fact that you get many heirloom/home grown varieties that I am sure will fail the look department in the concrete stores makes it inspiring. This week was no different kids and I enjoy this routine of ours every sunday. This week market was full with fall/winter vegetables fresh greens and root vegetables were everywhere.
Picked up a bunch of fresh carrot, can't even tell you how delicious and sweet they were, just wash and eat. The color on these carrots was gorgeous.

With weather this cold decided to make split pea soup with vegetables from farmers market.

Ingredients  Serves 5-6 people
1 cup of split peas
1 zuccini peel and cubed
couple of carrot peeled and cubed
2 celery stems chopped fine
1 potato peeled and cubed
1 cup of green onions finely chopped - split peas and green onions are one terrific combination
1/2 cup tomatoes chopped - totally optional I had cherry tomatoes lying around so added them
1 cup parsley finely chopped
for seasoning
tbsp of crushed red pepper
pinch of freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
salt according to taste.

1. Pressure cook split peas until three whistles, if not using pressure cooker then I would suggest microwave for about 8-10 minutes till peas turn soft. Remove from heat drain the water and keep aside the water to use it later.
2. Now heat a soup pot over medium heat add olive oil and when oil gets hot add crushed red pepper flakes, add celery, half the green onions, half of the parsley, carrots, potatoes, zucchini and tomatoes.
3. Add salt and add water saved from the boiled split peas.
4. Using a hand blender blend peas into a soft paste.
5. Add the peas paste to the vegetables and add water and salt to the desired consistency.
6. Allow to boil on low heat for about 10-12 minutes.
7. Remove from heat and add the reaming parsley and green onions and serve warm/hot.

Serve with rustic sourdough or some French bread makes for a hearty, soul satisfying ,guilt free and healthy meal.

As mentioned earlier all my posts this month would follow the theme of vegetarian thanksgiving and this soup will add so much more flavor to the table you would share with people that matter.

 So send in your stories and recipes ...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Color Burst -Seasonal Bounty Persimmon,Apple, Pomegranate & Cherry Tomato Salad

    Color Burst -Seasonal Bounty Persimmon,Apple, Pomegranate & Cherry Tomato Salad

This weekend has been the kind I crave absolutely no agenda kind, with bayarea weather skipping a season and jumping right into winter the weather was anything but cold and the kind that makes you hate getting out of the bed. That said we took on the mountainous task of getting our garage organized and anyone who has done this knows what a task it is,  we have accumulated so much junk over the years that it's not even funny mentioning about it. Promptly created three sections in the garage Donate, Keep & Toss and all I can say is our house is a truck load lighter literally. A well spent Saturday indeed.

Husband came home friday with a bag full of ripe Persimmons which were given by his colleague.I love Persimmons specifically the Hachiya it reminds me of the fruit thats a cross between Chikoo and Palm fruit or tati munjulu as called in Telugu. However today's variety featured  Fuyu make for excellent snacks because of it's crunchy texture.

We have a Pomegranate tree at home and it's at it's peak fruiting season, not bragging but the fruit it just amazingly sweet and has big seeds, so pluck few and made a salad with all the fruits.

Made simple salad dressing and tossed in the fresh fruit and it was delicious.

For salad dressing for 1 serving(  enough to coat  1 Persimmon , 1 Apple about 1/2 cup of Pomegranate seeds and about cup of cherry tomatoes)

3tsps of olive oil
1 tspn on honey mustard
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 sweet red chili pepper cut into the finest pieces you can
1 tbsp of freshly ground pepper
and salt according to taste

1. Mix all the salad dressing ingredients and whisk till all of them are well mixed
2. Peel the skin of Persimmon and cut into cubes of about an inch.
3. Add cubed Apples ,slit cherry tomatoes in half and Pomegranate seeds and toss in the salad dressing and mix  till well coated.
4. Serve at room temperature.

Makes for one delicious and healthy salad, as we approach thanksgiving this could make an excellent replacement for usual potato salad.

As a host of Healing food series- Vegetarian Thanksgiving series next few posts will be in accordance to the theme. Have you sent your entries yet ?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Meet Your Hostess for Healing Foods Series - Vegetarian Thanksgiving !!!

I am officially the host of healing food events this month, I am very excited as this is my first ever event hosted on my blog. Siri asked me to choose a them for the event and what else could be appropriate given the time of the year than “Vegetarian Thanks giving”. After living in US for more than a decade you learn to imbibe the culture and customs , I have always loved Thanksgiving whatever the origin are, it’s the time to remember the blessings and bounty you enjoy and take a moment to thank people that make it a blessing be known.

As we get closer to thanksgiving I would like to invite you to share your thanksgiving vegetarian recipes, traditions and stories and any dishes that make a part of your celebration, any dish that evoke found memories of family and togetherness , any dish that you would want to sit down with friends and share. So bring on your traditions,your stories and yes recipes too .

Here are some basic rules of participation for the event

1. Create a vegetarian dish, based on this month theme which is vegetarian thanks giving and post the same in your blog. Non-Bloggers can send their recipes with the details mentioned to

2. Please link this announcement and my announcement page in your posts. Usage of the logo is optional.

3. Multiple entries are more than welcome - more the merrier!

4. Send your details - Name, Recipe URL and Photo (any size, optional) to before end date of the month, midnight, well since I am late I can take in entries till the 10th of Dec to, I will respond to your entry via email/comments and acknowledge. If you don’t hear from me within three days, feel free to ping me again.

4. You can send previously blogged entries, provided they are re-posted!

Gorgeous Siri has announced special giveaways - beautiful books by Jigyasa & Pratibha of Pritya Books and two lucky winners (randomly selected by the me) will win the following award-winning books as give-aways.

Click on the link for more info on Healing foods event.

Awarded Best Vegetarian Cookbook in the World 2006, this book features traditional recipes by documenting the culinary legacy of an illustrious Indian grandmother.

Winner of Best Health & Nutrition Book in the World 2009 – Second Place, this Indian cookbook is a guide to healthy eating & has been researched at Kerala Ayurveda & Yoga retreat near Pune.

The books will be shipped across the globe. So, no matter where you are, you will get a chance to experience the love of Pedatha's cooking and goodness of Ayurveda Cooking.

Looking forward to your entries ...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Charles Schultz Philosophy

Stumbled upon this article , I couldn't resist sharing with my readers ...

Charles Schultz Philosophy click here for source

The following is the philosophy of Charles Schultz , the creator of the "Peanuts" comic strip. You don't have to actually answer the questions. Just read the e-mail straight through, and you'll get the point.

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world .
2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America Contest.
4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.

How did you do?

The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. They are not second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Here's another quiz. See how you do on this one:

1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school...
2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.
5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.


I love this!
The lesson: The people who make a difference in your life are NOT the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones who care.

Share this with those who have made a difference in your life.

I just did  !!

"Don't worry about the world coming to an end today.
It's already tomorrow in Australia ..."
Charles Schultz

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