Being a vegetarian I was under the impression that I automatically made and served mostly healthy meals to my family. We Indians have a tendency to be a bit supremacist about food matters. I can’t remember the countless times I’ve heard phrases like, “Oh, but we use turmeric in our cooking, you know, and that’s a natural antiseptic!” or “these Westerners eat so much refined grain; our roti isn’t constipating at least!” or some such. So. Not. True. Knowing about food as I do now, I’m fairly sure Indian cuisine is one of the most high-carb, high-fat cuisine there is. Delicious, yes no doubt, but not as foolproof as Indians would have you believe. Trust me, I’m one of them (you).
In an attempt to branch out of foods I’ve grown up on, I decided to give quinoa and kale a try. My ever resourceful neighbor E, a quinoa veteran, dropped off a cup of the good stuff for me to try before I went out and bought a big bag for myself. Googling recipes brought forth a large variety, but a recurrent theme of simplicity tied them together. Rather than assembling the ingredients called for, I just threw whatever I had in my fridge (including prepared italian salad dressing) to come up with this light, slightly sweet, nutty quinoa salad with kidney beans, broccoli, onion, cilantro and tomato. I’m not a convert yet but definitely eager to try this WonderGrain with a few tried-and-true Indian flavor combinations.
Kale is a relatively new addition to my cooking repertoire. This variety of greens (as opposed to collards, chard, etc.) isn’t known in the East. I didn’t know of it, at any rate, but with all the recipes we have for cooking with greens in India, it shouldn’t be too hard to incorporate into traditional Indian dishes like saag. This time however kale made an appearance on my plate in the form of chips and, in smaller amounts, as a raw salad veggie. With all the blogosphere brouhaha over these chips, though, I have to say I absolutely preferred kale in its raw avatar. I don’t care who says this but kale chips are NOT regular potato chips. Na ah. I wouldn’t snack on green chips when I’m in the mood for good ole Lays, and I will sure as hell not choose these over chips with my burger!
PS: In the book roundup, I got halfway through Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, and no more. This is the first Tudor novel that I have ever returned unread to the library. I have gotten through Alison Weir in the past (Tudor non-fiction, for the uninitiated) but Ms Mantel’s had me. Maybe it was the back to back overdose with Bringing Up the Bodies or a simple case of dead ringer fiction, but in my opinion there are better novels out there for those wishing to get engrossed in a read rather than waiting to get it over with.