Our Veggie Eats

All about the food we eat at home, pack in our lunch boxes, and try everywhere else…. And feel it's blog worthy!

Fire Roasted Corn on the Cob

Fire roasted Corn on the Cob

Fire roasted Corn on the Cob

So easy to do. Fire Roasted corn on the cob is a quick fix if you have a gas cooktop. Simply peel off the husk and all the silk and roast directly on the gas grill. Keep turning (tongs are good for this) until the entire corn is roasted. Enjoy the popping sounds as well. It takes less than 5 minutes for each. I like mine with a rub of lime and a sprinkle of cayenne.

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Sandwiches for Lunch

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Having spent a good part of the day gardening, a quick lunch was in order. Spicy grilled black bean Boca Burger patties topped with melty Cheddar, Guacamole, Jalapeño, tomatoes on toasted crusty whole wheat bread with  Coriander chutney spread. Served with a side of toasted chips with more Guacamole dip. Not pictured here but we washed it all down with homemade Mango shake. Yummmm….

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Happy Valentines Day

Valentines Day breakfast

Valentines Day breakfast

A special Valentine’s day breakfast. As last week was spent diligently making Valentine’s Day cards for all her classmates, how better to reward the effort than with heart-shaped whole meal blueberry pancakes with apples. Happy Valentines day!

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Learning to be In Control

We often sabotage our healthy lifestyles with one trip to the grocery store. With aisles packed with all kind of junk food it seems impossible to not eat the wrong things. Over a period of time, we have managed to avoid buying or eating junk food 90% of the time. I say 90% as it does not feel worthwhile to avoid all junk food at all times. Moderation seems to be the key to success. And I feel that this way the kids don’t feel like healthy living is forced down their throats.

Some things that have worked for us:

  • Spending majority of time in the produce aisle of the grocery store.
  • Learning to cook exotic (new to us) vegetables. I was unaware of veggies like broccoli, asparagus, red cabbage, artichokes to name a few when I moved to the US. I am happy to have experimented with them. Now they are the family’s favorites!
  • Buying a variety of fruits. A fruit salad with a drizzle of honey, caramel or chocolate syrup takes care of dessert cravings. Offering cookies after a big bowl 😉
  • Coming home hungry after exercising or a trip to a store is the biggest challenge. Instead of ruining appetite by reaching for the bag of chips, ready-made salad in the form of carrot and celery sticks. Or just a few walnuts or dates. This works great to take the edge off to start preparing the meal and keep your appetite for the main course!
  • A good breakfast with fiber and protein. Oatmeal with walnuts, dried and fresh berries works for us.
  • Cutting down on salt and sugar was not easy but once we stuck with the plan, we find that our taste buds have adapted. To the extent that we find most store-bought potato chips over-salty and desserts over-sweetened. We also cheat our taste buds by adding lime/lemon in place of salt and dried fruits like dates, cranberries, raisins instead of sugar.

Best of all, these habits seem to have rubbed off on our kid as she voluntarily asks for fruit or veggie snacks. We are not sure if this will last forever, but we will take it while it lasts:)

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Baked Potato Makeover

Baked Potato Makeover

Baked Potato Makeover

 

Baked potato topped with creamy  black beans, Cheddar cheese, onion and cilantro are a huge favorite for lunch and dinner. I had a leftover baked potato that I wanted to crisp up, especially the skin. Cut into wedges and sautéed in a combination of butter and olive oil, the skin was crispy and the wedges were golden brown on the outside and tender on the inside. Seasoned generously with pepper and a touch of salt. For sweetness, caramelized red onions and topped with whipped plain yogurt and cilantro. Comfort food 101!

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Cilantro (Coriander) Chutney

Coriander Chutney

Coriander Chutney

Having a good chutney or spread handy in the refrigerator makes the morning rush to fix lunch for office and school easy. Cilantro chutney is a great one to have to impart flavor to burgers and sandwiches. Making it at home is economical and of course, it tastes better than store-bought!

Heat 4t of sesame oil in a pan and add 1t of mustard seeds. When the seeds start to sputter add 1t of urad dal and sauté till golden brown. Add  3 small dried red chilies and sauté for a few seconds. Substitute with chili flakes if necessary. Remove the seasoning into a bowl. Wash 2 bunches of cilantro and sauté for a minute in the pan with 1t of sesame oil. Pulverize the coriander with salt to taste, 1/4t tamarind paste (or lime juice)  and some water in a food processor. Add the seasoning and grind again. Adding the seasoning last gives the chutney a little texture from the urad dal. For variation try half coriander and half mint for a mint and coriander chutney.

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Power breakfast for morning walk

With all the talk about health in the new year, I was motivated to use the lovely walking trails in my neighborhood this morning. To ward off hunger, I fixed a bowl of oatmeal cooked in low-fat milk and added walnuts, fresh blueberries, dried cranberries and a bit of dark brown sugar. Talk about power breakfast in a bowl! This and a banana and I was ready to go. Completed 2.5 miles walk in 40 minutes and feeling great.

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Cooking hungry

Quick Lunch

Starving after a trip to the grocery store, I willed myself into cooking lunch.  It must have been the guilt of having bought so much fresh produce that I started chopping some red cabbage. With stomach growling, I pounced on a carrot and while chopping ate a few big chunks. I was grateful as the growling stopped. Now I could concentrate on the delicate job of slicing ginger and jalapeno. All the veggies got a quick wash before ending up in a sizzling hot wok with a few teaspoons of sesame oil. A very hot wok guarantees a caramelized taste that transforms the red cabbage. Salt to season and the veggie was ready to be topped on a lightly warmed whole wheat tortilla with cilantro and Queso Fresco Cheese. I made enough veggie to fill 3 tortillas. A great meal for one.

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