Dinner Idea: Try To Beet-It Salad

When I think of salads, I think Fresh, Colorful and Awesome! There are many benefits of eating dark colored foods like spinach, beetroot and blueberries, high nutrient content, antioxidants, vitamins you name it, they have it. I like to mix up textures, flavors and colors.

For the awesome Try To Beet-It Salad, I buy fresh organic beetroots, you could use a can but would be best to use fresh. I begin with boiling the beetroot a night before, just like a potato (I pressure cook it with one whistle) you could boil water and add the entire beetroot without peeling or chopping and leave it in for 15min till its softer. Once the boiled beetroot is room temperature, I refrigerate it.

On a hectic weekday spending a ton of time cooking a special meal for yourself is the last thing I want to do so I keep my meals super-simple. For most salads I will ask you to take a huge salad mixing bowl, and to mix up the ingredients before plating, but this one I just let it be. So take a salad plate, lay a bed of baby spinach, add diced boiled beetroot, 1 diced peach, a handful of blueberries, a handful of pecan nuts and half of a chopped jalapeno. There’s something about jalapeno and beetroots that creates a magical explosion, the sweetness and the heat are an amazing combination.

While salads enjoy the reputation of being healthier than most other dishes, its often that the salad dressing beats the benefits of having the salad completely due to very high saturated fats and sodium content. For this salad, I simply add a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and enjoy! I will share some interesting and healthy salad dressing recipes as well that can practically go with any salad.


Weekday Lunchbox Idea – Sauteed Vegetables with Kimchi and Rice

It’s funny how the strongest of our beliefs change as we move through life stages. When I was in college, my mom was always keen to pack a fresh home cooked meal for me and I thought it to be the most uncool idea and now miles away my lunch box is a thing of joy and celebration for me every day… well almost every day!

I have a simple way of deciding what to pack for lunch, if a dish passes the BED test, it’s on my lunchbox list. It should be Beautiful, Easy and Delicious! With a bit of planning you open a host of possibilities, I plan about 3 weeks of menu and let them rotate till we get bored and then I refresh. I will be happy to share weekly menu samples if you feel it would be useful, please let me know!

So back to today’s recipe, its a much healthier and cheaper version of a Kimchi Fried Rice that you would find in a restaurant, where a single dish would be around 650+KCal here your entire dish would be about 300KCal and way more nutritious. You could make it the night before but I like to make it fresh, I ensure I keep 1/2 a bowl of leftover rice and a jar of kimchi at home the night before.

Get a few florets of cauliflower, half and onion thickly sliced, half a carrot – roughly diced, cabbage – large cuts, a handful of frozen or fresh peas and three tablespoons full of kimchi. With all the goodness and satisfaction that these vegetables offer I just need a tiny bowl of rice to complete this dish. You can see the proportion of rice and that is the key, if you want to go even more healthy use brown rice. For me the mantra is BALANCE – between taste and health, carbs. and vegetables 😉

Once you have the ingredients ready it’s a 5-7min job! Heat a large wok on high heat, put in 1tbsp oil, add onions saute for 30sec add cauliflower, carrots, peas, add a pinch of salt saute for 2min. Add kimchi and cabbage, mix around saute for a min add the rice, mix well. Let it heat through should not take more than 2-3min. Voila! you have your uber healthy lunch ready.

I’d love to know your thoughts if you get a chance to try this dish. I will try to get the format of the posts such that a printable version of the recipes is available, for the more complex recipes.

The daily ritual…

In many cultures a prayer is offered to god before a meal is prepared, while I am not a religious person and for sure do not offer prayers, I feel gratitude when I eat and I think that is important.

As mentioned in previous posts I am not following a diet, it’s a lifestyle. I shared the guidelines earlier and sharing the details with you in this post. So let’s begin:

7.30am – Within 10mins of waking up I eat almonds that I soaked the night before. The idea is to begin the day with a fruit – fresh or dried.

8.00-8.30am – I am a breakfast person. Usually I would eat 1 slice of whole meal bread with 1 egg omelette and black coffee. This could be a breakfast you’ve grown up eating a small bowl of porridge, oats, 2 Idlis, 1 dosa, a bowl of poha. This should an energy packed fulfilling meal that satisfies you.

10.30am – small snack, I usually would have a handful of nuts, I am very busy at this time at work, usually running in and out of client meetings and nuts are the only thing that’s easy to carry and consume. I always have them in my bag and they give me the much needed energy in the mid morning time, also makes me eat less at lunch.

12.30pm – lunch, I do a mix of carrying food from home and eating out, I love salads so I eat that at least couple times a week. I also try to make most of my meals plant based. I will share my go to salad recipes in the subsequent blogs. If eating a salad, pay special attention to the dressing, better to eat a burger than a salad heavy on creamy dressing. If I carry lunch from home, I would carry chapatis and Sabji, simple vegetable pulav, salads.

3.00-3.30pm – yes, I eat every 2-3hrs. This is my Low energy moment, I would have home made hummus, various kinds, with cucumber and carrots, or cream crackers with jasmine tea. Other options could be fruit, unsweetened yogurt, cheese. Sometimes even I am surprised I am losing weight eating all this.

5.30-6.00pm – with dinner right around the corner this should ideally be a small snack, but I feel crazy hungry at this point. I usually eat a hearty snack at this time, sprouted moong bean salad, dosa, cucumber sandwich, fruit and yogurt.

7.30pm – I try to have dinner by this time, at the most by 8pm. I would usually have my staple Indian food roti, sabji and dal, chicken noodle soup, rice and curry sometimes a salad.

What works for me is the variety and the fact that nothing, and I mean it, is off limits. The key is in recognising your satiety signals. I will be sharing a ton of recipes that I use to make my meals in the subsequent posts.