Another Vegetarian vs Non-vegetarian discussion

Posted by admin | Just Food Articles - writers invited | Tuesday 14 June 2011 11:41 pm

I’ve been crazy busy, and no time to blog. Crazy busy doing among other things, a lot more cooking than usual, – but yeah, ridiculous as it sounds, still no time for my food blog, duh!
But last Sunday I came across a delightful ‘foodie’ article in the Indian Express by Rama Bijapurkar that needs the 5 minutes it will take to mention here. The Food Factor is an interesting discussion on vegetarian and non-vegetarian habits in this country. Since it’s a subject that interests me too, and I have come to the conclusion that it is probably only we Indian’s who use the term “non-vegetarian”, here goes…

    A couple of excerpts…
    “But keeping a balance between the vegetarian side of my family and the non-vegetarian side has always been a bit of a challenge, and I constantly struggle to figure my position on issues that arise as a result. Is it fair to deprive one part of the family of food that they like when elders of the other side come visiting? Or is it a non-negotiable mark of respect, does it build character and everyone has to learn to adjust? How many months of such character building is too much? If your child is eating kebabs off the street because it can’t be made at home, is she being a spoilt brat, or should one treat it the same as going to a bhelpuriwallah? ” 

    “It is always interesting to think about how Brahmins everywhere are enjoined to be vegetarian but in Bengal they can eat fish, presumably because there fish is a vegetable of the sea. I guess the word that works best for many of us Indians is that we are neither vegetarian, nor non-vegetarian — we are “choosetarian”. “

Enjoy! I did.


Recipe Books

Posted by admin | Just Food Articles - writers invited | Friday 25 March 2011 6:56 am

This, believe it or not, is my collection of recipe books!
Recipe book collection
Sure, for most cooks and food bloggers this is nothing! But considering the kind of cook I am, and the fact that I cannot recall having ever followed a single, complete, word-for-word, ingredient-by-ingredient, and step-by-step recipe, and the fact that I really am no great shakes as a cook, I’m actually rather embarrassed. And shocked.
I look through them often enough. I love beautiful photographs; in fact I admit that the few I actually bought myself has been based on photographs rather than actual content. I try bits of this and bits of that and create something new in my head. And then I go back to check what’s likely to happen if I add ‘that’ instead of ‘that’, which these days, is admittedly easier to do on the internet.

In case you’re interested, starting top left and moving roughly clockwise… There is a Sanjeev Kapoor collection of Eating Healthy gifted recently by my mother. A gentle hint that I don’t eat right. Parsi Food and Customs by Bapsi Sidhwa – useful, informative, but each recipe is so involved and I never have all those ingredients in place. An assortment of recipe books that turn up with just about every kitchen appliance you buy from the pressure cooker to the non-stickware, to the microwave. For years I subscribed to Elle Decor and each issue had four little cutout-able recipes. Good to look at, but with big holes in the actual method and sometimes even the ingredients – those are the ones popping out of the envelope. Then a whole lot of “good looking” books on South-East Asian, Indian, Greek, Meze and Mexican food, including some ancient second hand Women’s Weekly collections, mostly with ingredients that for years were really tough to get. Now there are at least 2 specialty food stores in the near vicinity, but frankly, if I actually plan and get there before hand, I’m often shocked by the prices. There’s a book called “Simple Recipes for New Brides and Bachelors” which doesn’t look very good at all, but actually often suits the level of my culinary skills. Though of course, I’m neither.

At the other end of the spectrum, that grey corner sticking out, is the Larousse Gastronomique. Which in case you didn’t know is the absolute encyclopedia of Gastronomy. This I must admit is not mine, just been left with me by a friend who is between moves and had no place to put it. But it is fascinating!

Anyway, here I think I need to make a promise to myself. To see through at least one recipe, beginning to end, with (almost) all ingredients exactly as written, at least once a month.
Ahem! I’ll keep you updated.


Food and Art

Posted by admin | Just Food Articles - writers invited | Monday 7 March 2011 5:31 am

I came across a really cool site today. Brings together both mu ‘loves’ – art and food. Check this out. They Draw and Cook is a supposedly a food site where all the recipes have been hand or digitally drawn. Originally by Nate Padavick and Salli Swindell, a brother and sister design and illustration team. But now, the site has been thrown open to others and there are a whole lot of artists who have dipped right in to bring together their love for art and food.
In general it’s a visual feast, the illustrations telling as much a story or a place as telling you a recipe.
My only issue with all of it is that unfortunately, it’s kind of tough to tell the recipe sometimes. Either it’s too vague, just ingredients mentioned or the recipe is simply unreadable. So someone who is going there strictly for the food and recipes will be a bit disappointed. But I love it!


International No-Diet Day

Posted by admin | Diets & Dieting,Health Facts,Just Food Articles - writers invited | Thursday 6 May 2010 6:43 am

I just could not let today go by without posting.

Today is International No-Diet Day; an annual celebration of body acceptance and body shape diversity. This day is also dedicated to raise awareness of the dangers in diets. Observed on May 6, its symbol is a blue ribbon.
I believe the concept began to combat the unreal expectations created by the fashion and retail industry. Especially the effect it has on young impressionable minds when underweight or just normal growing teens look in the mirror and see FAT. I’m in total accord with all this. I’m all for not being obsessed by your body size.

I KNOW that extreme or yo-yo dieting is the worst thing possible for anyone. I know that a few days into a diet, your body goes into fasting mode, in other words, the metabolism slows down and you stop losing calories at your otherwise normal pace. I know a healthy, sensible diet, eating in moderation, lots of fruit and raw veggies, interesting salads with sensible low-fat dressings are the thing to do. I’ve seen the food pyramid. I know that moderate exercise is the way to go.

Burger & fries - sinful!But all that is theory.
I also remember clearly how I looked just 5 years ago, and I still have those jeans and skirts. No I don’t throw out things I haven’t worn in 6 months. Maybe some part of my subconscious is aiming for the ‘Secret’ way of doing things, – dream of your perfect body, ask for it firmly and then know it will come to you.
Sigh. Let’s face it, I think my mind just thinks fat. I prefer meats, I love anything that’s generally considered sinful; if its got butter or cheese or flour, or it’s deep fried, most likely it’s on my top 10 foods. And I HATE exercise. Walking is ok, but I mean, after 15 minutes or so, I have so many more interesting things I need to go and do!

But this last month or so I really have been very careful. I have a large salad with most meals. I haven’t been out for dinner. I’m trying to stop eating when I’m not hungry any more, rather than when I’m full. I try to avoid the greasy snack we order into the office at 6.30pm. And I have been walking for more than 20 minutes at least 3 mornings a week. Sure I dropped a kilo, but I can’t say its made me particularly thrilled. What makes me super-mad is that just a day of carelessness can undo a whole week’s work!

So I’m going to just going to celebrate No-Diet Day in my way. Bring on the burgers and fries!


Talking of Juice…

Posted by admin | Just Food Articles - writers invited | Friday 26 March 2010 9:01 am

healthy carrot juiceJust a coincidence but this morning I saw a write-up in the paper about this company that sells healthy, natural fruit juices. Apart from the fact that I was interested in knowing more, the name – Nutrotop Health, and more than that, the packaging caught my eye because it was familiar.

About a year back my neighbor had locked up and gone out of town for almost a fortnight, and though they’d stopped the newspapers and the milk, these little green and white packets were being left outside the door everyday. After watching them pile up from afar for 3 days I went to see what it was, and was pleasantly surprised because I didn’t know you could have fresh fruit or vegetable juice deposited at your doorstep. One clear instruction on the packets was “use within 7 hours”, so I threw the packets out. I did take down the telephone number to contact them though, hoping to know more, and maybe be good and neighborly and stop the delivery for a few days. As it happens, the number didn’t exist! and so the packets kept being dropped off, earlier than I wake up obviously.
I was sorely tempted to taste one – if I recall right it was carrot juice, but resisted.

Well here they are again. I see these things like signs – I’m SUPPOSED to try them! And at Rs.7 for a 100ml packet it doesn’t seem to extravagant. Probably cheaper to do at home, but well, I never do. Do you?
They offer, according to their site, * Wheatgrass * Carrot * Bottlegourd/Louki/Dudhi Bhopla * Bitter Gourd (Karella) * Tulsi * Beetroot * Aonla * Neem * Ginger Lime * Wheatgrass-Bittergourd Mix and fruits – * Pineapple * Mango * Grapes * Green Mango * Strawberry * Guava * Kokum * Papaya * Apple Milk shake * Chiku Milk Shake.

Must call them! More info when I do…..

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