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Eating with Bollywood Spices

I feel so incredibly lucky, not only to have such good friends, but good friends who cook better than me!

My lovely friend Jasleen introduced me “the Indian grocery store.” My culinary life will never be the same.

I met Jasleen through my wonderful friend Katherine who is our local La Leche Leader. As with most conversations involving nursing, low milk supply was an issue. Jasleen explained that she never had this problem as Indian cooking (she cooks food from the Punjabi region) relies heavily on fenugreek which is an herb prescribed for low supply. She also mentioned using ginger in her meals and having few digestive issues as a result.

Always a skeptic, I waited to visit our local Indian grocery store (Bollywood Spices) until I had tried her cooking–out of this world–and got to know her well enough to take her advice seriously.

Ten pounds of Himalayan Basmati rice for twelve dollars!

Three bunches of fresh-picked cilantro for a buck!

Six month supply of rose incense for $3!

Most of what I now cook is vegan and in addition to the great prices, I love the fact that I can nourish my family with every meal. Legumes are a superfood loaded with insoluble fiber, which helps with regularity and wards off cancer. Beans are also a staple in the Indian diet. Our kitchen is loaded with orange lentils, black chickpeas, ginger, cilantro, coconut milk, spinach, garlic and spices that promote health and taste delish!

Yay, Jasleen!!!

Recently, I purchased, “The Indian Slow Cooker.” It makes cooking restaurant-quality, health food very easy. If you have any good recipes please share them!

I am delighted to be part of a wonderful (food) community.

Eating for pleasure

Over the last several months I’ve incorporated less processed, more nutritionally-dense foods into our diet, and I’ve been tracking all my calories/work outs and now I’ve almost achieved my goal weight. Or, in other words, I’ve been eating for pleasure while picking foods that optimize my family’s health.

For a salty snack we make kale chips in the afternoon (sea salt, lemon juice, dash of olive oil cooked at 350 degrees for thirty minutes) and after dinner we have been enjoying vegan lavender and lemon tea cookies and double chocolate cookies from recipes listed in The Vegan Table.

For Ryan’s birthday, I wanted to bake him a cake that wouldn’t raise our glycemic index too much.

Here’s my recipe:

1 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 3/4 cups baking powder
1 1/2 cups Red Mills Gluten Free Flour
1 cup Splenda
1/2 cup egg whites
1/2 cup I-can’t-believe-it’s-not-butter
4 teaspoons vanilla extract

Mix and cook for thirty minutes at 350 degrees. For frosting I mixed 2 tablespoons water, 2 cups Splenda, 1/5 teaspoon vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of a butter substitute.

Top the cake with cacao nips (an antioxidant powerhouse and a healthier alternative to chocolate.)

Delish!

We really enjoyed this cake. Granted, Splenda and artificial butter are low-fat but are also processed so we save them for special occasions. After indulging in our dessert (tasted a bit like angel food cake) we didn’t feel a sugar high and I didn’t gain weight despite my two or three slices of bliss.

After Sofia’s swim lesson this afternoon I am making Caramelized Fennel and Goat Cheese pizza from My New Roots. I don’t have time to make flatbread from scratch so I’m picking up some semi-fresh naan from the deli section at Target.

Have a great weekend! And please send any healthy vegetarian recipes my way 🙂

Victoria

P.S.
Thank you for reading my blog.

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Kale chips, sweet potato fries, pumpkin couscous and chickpea popcorn was dinner the other night.

Eating for Power

As a stay-at-home mom I don’t always feel like I have power outside my household. Frankly, I don’t even feel like I have power to take a shower when I want or sit down and relax. The problem is sometimes I don’t like feeling powerless, even when the lack of power is my doing–me saying I want to put my kids first–and I turn to food.

I am powerless, half of the time, to culinary temptation.

I can’t always DO what I want or get my family to behave accordingly to plan so I eat. At least I can choose what food goes in my mouth.

Of course, this power is the kind that ultimately makes me feel like a failure. I look at myself and feel like a sub-par wife/mom/friend/daughter because I’m overweight so when I go out in the world I feel even more powerless.

But I am not a victim: I’m guilty too.

Guilty of not treating my kids and husband with the respect they deserve all the time. I feel powerless so I make them feel powerless too by not listening fully. Certainly, not doing justice to the ideals of attachment parenting. Sometimes I feel like I’m 85% great at fully supporting my children’s needs but that other 15% potential gets wasted. I’m too in my head and not present enough to always parent fully.

Do other moms feel this way too? Because for me the problem isn’t just about eating too much food–that’s more of a symptom–and if I can somehow work out this issue with my weight I truly think I’ll improve as a mom.

Power, it’s what we have as consumers of food and also what we have as parents. I love the idea of attachment parenting because it has to do with not making kids feel powerless. I don’t want my daughters to feel any more powerless then the world already does. As a person so entirely grateful for the gift that is my children not making them feel powerless seems like the least I should do.