Diary, Food, Me

A box of lunch – after so many years

 Today at about 1330hrs, I opened my lunch box. It was nothing odd, nothing new but it certainly was different.

Until 1995-2001, every school day, lunch was home made curd rice+vegetable of the day. 2 tiny boxes, waiting to opened at 1220hrs. Most people would find it a bit boring/repetitive to carry the same food everyday but I somehow found it comforting. The routine and the predictability of the contents of  my box actually made me look forward to the lunch hour at school. I was never a good student and was usually upto no good. Among all the live-wires I never knew when I might trip, this box of lunch was the only constant. If I got to it, I got through half my day safe. On the days when i was relatively safe, it gave the luxury of extra time to run around, play and be upto to more useless stuff. But on days I was keen on playing volleyball, or had work to do for house I belonged to, or had March-past practice, it turned out a real blessing. Continue reading

Food, recipe, salad, simple cooking

A nice light salad

Of late, I have been a good girl and have stuck to my salads. No tantrums. No binges. And when I had to eat other stuff, I ate only as much as needed and not as much as I wanted. And it gives me a sense of achievement. The lightness of the salad is very refreshing. I compliment it with some green tea and I feel so active and geared up to face my day. 
You all know green tea. So here is the recipe to my salad. Remember , the person making it is ultra lazy. 
  1. Frozen peas – 2 tbsp
  2. Frozen corn – 2 tbsp
  3. carrot – Half, julienned Ads 
  4. Beans,lettuce/cabbage, capsicum, cauliflower/broccoli – chopped
  • Put all vegetables in a large microwave safe bowl. 
  • Add salt a little in excess. 
  • Add water till all veggies are covered well. 
  • Microwave for 15 mins.

 And its ready.

Usually people prefer to keep the amount of water correct. But using it a little in excess gives me the satisfaction of getting some stock for other uses like making rice or water for Roti dough. Makes me feel a little bit more health conscious. If its any consolation.

As far as dressing is concerned, I usually eat it as is. But on days I need a push, I find some dressing to add. And there is this one chutney my sis brings from Pune that is my current favorite. It is made of broken peanuts, garlic and Chillil powder among other things and it is just so yummy. I add one tbsp of it to the salad once in a while. On other days, it is simply the daily rasam that does the trick.Any way , the chutney is called Shenga Chutney and some pictures of the salad below.

I just love the color turn out in the pictures :)! 
Food, Me, quick lunch, recipe, simple cooking

Paneer – Homestyle & Quick Recipe

On most sundays, it special weekend food at most houses. Nice spread, good filled up tummies, and heads high on delicious food. But for me Sunday is rest day. Who says the sabbath is only for christians? It is for me too. Sometimes, I open out my recipe book collection to make something quite nice (read tedious). But mostly, I keep it simple and full on flavor. And I thank my husband for being so in love with Paneer.
On lazy afternoons, when I like to have something a little good and yet effortless,one of the recipes I turn to this simple Paneer preparation. Minimal effort, great on taste and rarely fails. It involves minimal chopping and very less prep. So its also a good lunch box recipe.Goes well with rice, rotis, parathas, poori, and with just about anything. At my place, we like it with dosa. Its not heirloom or super secret. So here is the recipe: 
Ingredients : 

  1. Paneer – 100 gms
  2. Tomato – 3 medium sized
  3. Onions – 2 medium sized
  4. Capsicum – 1 large, diced
  5. Ginger Garlic paste – 1 tbsp
  6. Kasuri Methi – 1 tbsp
  7. Salt – to taste
  8. Dhaniya Powder – 1 tbsp
  9. MDH shahi paneer masala powder – 2 tbsp
  10. Chilli powder – 2 tbsp
  1. Chop Paneer into cubes, put in a large bowl. Fill bowl with hot water. Set aside. The water should be more than warm and less than boiling hot. This makes the paneer really soft, especially if it is store bought.
  2. Make a onions into paste. Make tomatoes into paste
  3. Heat oil in a pan. Saute onion paste until the it smells sweet.
  4. Add ginger garlic paste, dhaniya,chilli powder, Shahi Paneer masala and blend well. Saute for 3-4 mins.
  5. Add tomato paste. Bring to boil.
  6. Add the paneer and cook for a minute.
  7. Add diced capsicum and kasuri methi.Cook until Capsicum is cooked but still a bit crunchy.
And done.
P.S points:
  • Adding a little more of Dhaniya makes an even greater dish. 
  • Adding coconut milk or just plain milk reduces the spice for those shy with chillies. 
  • Coconut milk/cashew paste also makes the dish richer
Hope this eases up the lunch preparations on some sunday afternoons or hectic weekday mornings. 
Food, Health

The Bulging lunch bag

I work in a factory. The office bus picks me up and drops me back. There is food( proper meals & snacks), tea,coffee, water etc available right at work. Stationary is abundant. There is a medical centre. And all that Jazz. So there is next to need for me to actually carry a handbag at all. But I do pack a nice light one.It has just the essentials:  wallet, mobile phone, ID card, keys, shades, tissues, a couple pens and a tiny notepad, tissues and hand sanitizer. Sometimes I even manage to keep my money in my ID card and leave the wallet back home.

But now, the bag looks like a pregnant cow.

The size of the bag, these days, has phenomenally increased. And it is simply food. With workouots, I have become pretty conscious of my food. And packing my food makes me keep to my regime. I dont reach for that digestive biscuit, or for cup of tea, or pop corn or whatever else is available at work. I eat what I pack. Even if it (sometimes) is simply to reduce the weight of my bag for the evening.

On my work desk, I stack the boxes, so that they are always in line of sight. That way , the snacks and biscuits find no place around me. Also, they help me keep time, to ensure the food is regular, that I eat something every 2 hours. The water bottle sits right beside reminding me to empty it before the day is done.  

To ensure I have something to look forward to, I try and vary the menu as much as I can.Sometimes its fruits ,salads, beans etc. I carry a breakfast and 2 mid meals. And this is my day in general. So I plan on the week ends and cook a bit in the late evenings during week days, for the next working day. But I buy and stock most stuff during the weekend or on a monthly basis.

Here is straight list of what I do:

  1. I plan in advance for my meals and buy it right. – I have a schedule table which I try to adhere to. And do my shopping accordingly.
  2. I seek recipes to make them a little more interesting. –  I experiment with spices and flavours to find tastes I enjoy. I ave realised I hate raw onions in my salad.
  3. I cook my own food – Yes I do. I know how much I eat & what I like. Plus If I cook, I dont want to waste  – the effort or the food. I ensure there is time for this everyday.
  4. I eat in a timely manner – Once every 2 /2.5 hours. Definitely.
  5. I keep fried snacks and junk out of sight – I shop for me. So I simply keep off the aisles stocking junk.

And then I pack and I carry it to work. Daily. Even if it means mini arm workout everyday.

My today’s lunch pack has these:

A box of Oats( 1.5 cups) – for breakfast
A box of cooked corn(1/2 cup) – Mid meal snack
A box of peas saladr(1/2 to1) – Mid meal snack
A large bottle of water ( about a litre) with a slice of lemon in it.

Food, Health, Workout Log

Daily log 2

Work Out :
15 mins Cross tread
 2 sets of 20 each : Pec fly, Reverse fly, Arms raise, Elbow raise, Wrist twist
 2 sets of 25 each: Mid row, Shoulder pulls
Food :
Breakfast: Oats
Mid snack: Steamed corn kernels
Lunch: 3 small dosas, 1 cup rice
Mid snack: Half a cucumber
Dinner : Mushroom Soup, 1 slice bread
150ml coffee, 150 ml tea, 1 litre water, 1/2 cup hung curd.
Food, Health, Workout Log

Daily log 1

Cardio: 30mins – treadmill
Stretch: 10 mins
Breakfast:   2 idlis + Sambar
Lunch:        2 rotis + dal, 1 cup rice+ rasam, Noodles salad
Dinner:       1 Large bowl oats, 1 slice bread, 1 glass buttermilk
Lemon juice, 1 Cup coffee, 1 sip tea, 500ml water.