Tag Archives: Healthy Eating

A Trip Down Memory Lane Creates The Perfect Eggplant Caponata

By Lakshmi:

Did you ever eat a dish at a restaurant that has lingered on your taste buds for years to come? And have you tried to go recipe free to create that dish from memory…adding a little bit of this and a shake of that till you taste that nirvana moment?  That’s exactly what went down in my kitchen this weekend.

Over a decade ago, during one of our many trips to the DC area, we had tasted the perfect Eggplant Caponata – the depth of the eggplant, combining with the sweet tanginess of the tomatoes and that never can go wrong taste of garlic to create the perfect marriage.

And here’s the equation I used to recreate that amazing taste at home.

1 Eggplant + 4 small tomatoes +1 red onion + 2 cloves of garlic + 1 Tbsp of capers + 3 leaves of basil + 2 Tbsps Extra Virgin Olive Oil + Salt + Pepper = One Amazing CAPONATA!

Simply dice the veggies and smash the garlic.  Heat the olive oil, fry the onions, add the garlic, give it a stir and add the rest of the veggies/capers/salt/pepper and cook till the eggplant is cooked and blended with the tomatoes and onions (about 10-15 minutes).  Garnish with basil leaves and serve with fresh bread or pita chips or anything else!  I went overboard and baked a fresh pan of focaccia and served the caponata on open faced sandwiches with fresh mozzarella and a mini caprese salad on the side!

If you’ve tried to create a dish based on taste/smells/memory, we’d love to hear your experience!!

Apple Som Tam Salad – A Twist On The Classic Thai Papaya Salad

By Lakshmi:

I’ve been trying a lot of new things in the kitchen and when I looked at the recipe for this salad in BBC’s Good Food India magazine, I just wanted to eat it right away.  It looked healthy, had the perfect combination of tart, spice and sweet and most importantly seemed like an awesome salad to eat as a snack or lunch.

Here’s how to assemble this salad in 10 minutes – so easy to do, that a recipe is not even necessary 🙂

Step 1: Take two green apples, core them and slice them thinly.  Toss them with the juice of a lime.  Take a handful of frozen slender french beans or fresh ones and cook them for a few minutes in the microwave.

Step 2:  Crush a garlic clove, a tsp of dry roasted peanuts, a hot fresh chili together and mix with a tbsp each of light soy sauce, light brown sugar and lime juice.

Step 3: Toss the output of Step 1 and Step 2 well and arrange on a plate.  Garnish with a handful of dry roasted peanuts, a few tablespoons of pomegranate seeds and finely chopped coriander leaves.

We’d love your feedback if you try this out 🙂

Freshman 15? It’s Not Mandatory

By Rohan:

When I started here at Syracuse University, I noticed two things. One, the outdoors is a scary place. Granted, I should’ve expected that, coming to one of America’s snowiest cities to pursue my degree. Secondly, college dining halls serve a lot of garbage. Throughout high school, former students would come back, telling tales of the ominous and “unavoidable” Freshman Fifteen. They made it sound like it was a part of the college experience. Living on your own, taking challenging classes, and attending sporting events was on the same level as binge-eating in the dining centers. Something didn’t seem right.

Truth is, the Freshman Fifteen is completely avoidable. And you aren’t missing out if you don’t fill your tray with greasy pizza, fatty burgers, or sugary sodas. A few simple switches can make you feel less stressed, more energized, and ready for those formidable exam weeks.

The day before we had to move into our dorms, I scouted out every fitness center on campus, paying special attention to ones that were near my classes or near my residence hall. I made it a point to work out for 45 minutes every day, knowing that was an ambitious goal, considering new seasons of Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones were waiting for me back at my dorm and ordering pizza was always an option.

Much like my favorite television programs, after two or three workouts, I became addicted. The high after a rigorous workout is energizing and exhilarating. It keeps your blood flowing, your heart pumping, and your mind focused. But that was only part of my battle plan to fight the Freshman Fifteen. Eating healthy had to follow my new exercise routine.

With an excellent pizza place around the corner, a cafe that serves delicious Belgian-cut fries, and plenty of unhealthy options to devour in the dining halls, I knew constructing a healthy diet would be a challenge. For some reason, when doctors would tell me about the importance of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, it never sounded appealing. I don’t want to eat rabbit food for the rest of my life – wrap sandwiches in lettuce and not get to enjoy any ounce of flavor.

Believe it or not, most college dining centers have healthy options. Unfortunately, they keep them hidden, because they know students will come back if there is food that they like. Watching peers come back to the table, plates piled with french fries and sugary desserts, I knew that I did not want to fall into that trap.

I went to my dining hall’s sandwich bar and tried to construct the healthiest sounding sandwich I could imagine. Hummus, 12-grain bread, packed with veggies and a few slices of swiss cheese. It looked like an absolute monster, but after one bite, I was in love. Healthy food can taste good. And unlike its unhealthy, greasy counterpart, it can make you feel good. It powers you through a study session, refuels you after a workout, and makes you feel refreshed and rejuvenated. Approach health as a lifestyle, and you’ll find yourself more focused, sharp, and ready to conquer anything that gets in your way.