Chickpea Mushroom Turnovers

Mushroom Chickpea Turnovers So these last few weeks of cooking for a fussy six-year-old have turned me into a bit of a Machiavelli, cooking up schemes to stay ahead of the game. And for some crazy reason, I thought you would want to read my scary little tale.

Before I became a mom in the real world, I liked to dream of a fantasy one where my child would love vegetables, adore whole grains, and wouldn’t get enough of beans and lentils (c’mon, I’m not naive– I did say it was a fantasy world). Of course there would be ice cream and cookies and chips and donuts, but they would be occasional treats. And wholegrain, when I could help it.

Meeting Jay was not an unexpected but still challenging introduction to what a child’s fantasy world looks like. For the first few days after we had picked him up, we waited at a hotel in Delhi for his immigration-related paperwork to come through. We had the luxury of hotel breakfast buffets and dining out and Jay, I soon found out, had a tendency to rush for the fried and the crispy and the intensely sugary. Even muffins– decidedly less sweeter than cupcakes– did not meet his bar.

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Stuffed Bell Peppers

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Here’s an easy recipe that is perfect for weekdays or weekends, as an appetizer or an entree. It’s packed with protein, incredibly good for you, and — icing on the cake — it’s fat-free. Plus, it has a delicious Indian twist to it. My Stuffed Bell Peppers with biryani masala. Biryani masala is a spice… 

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asparagus pakoras

Baked Asparagus Pakoras

Desi has a special relationship with asparagus. Every time we see it at the store, he wants to buy it. When I try to explain to him that the stalks don’t look fresh, or the price is too high, he pouts and sulks like a kid without candy. And that’s a true story. It’s easy… 

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Pasta with bell peppers

Pasta with Roasted Peppers

Bell Peppers. Glorious, gorgeous, round, rotund bell peppers in all colors of the rainbow. They are just about everywhere right now, and I can’t get enough. Especially when I can add them to some wholegrain pasta for a delicious, summery, fresh meal that I know is good for me. I got some green, orange and yellow… 

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Curried Lentil Hand Pie

Curried Lentil Hand Pies

These Curried Lentil Hand Pies, with their crispy, crackling, golden crust and creamy, meaty, spicy lentil filling, are all about healthy comfort. And if you thought that term was an oxymoron, well, you’d better think again. You know I’m always looking for easy recipes I can make on a weeknight and brown bag to work… 

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Masala Khichdi

Masala Khichdi

A popular one-pot meal that’s cooked in just about every Indian home is a khichdi or a khichari, and those are not the only names it goes by. It’s khichuri in Bengali, pongal in Tamil, khichri in Gujarat, and kedgeree in English (yeah, as in the language spoken by the Brits). Although the Brits, somewhere… 

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Banana Chia Cake

Wholegrain Banana Chia Cake with Crumb Topping

That name’s a mouthful, I know, but wait until you can stuff some of this incredible treat into your mouth. You will be trilling out that name out over and over again, effortlessly. Honest. My Whole Wheat Banana Chia Cake with Crumble Topping is really quite divine and a revelation. It’s healthy with the wholesome goodness of wholegrain,… 

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Cholar Dal

Cholar Dal

Recipes for Cholar Dal almost always start off by alerting you that this is a dish for special occasions, served at Bengali weddings or other life events. Its simplicity, though, tempts one to break that hallowed tradition and label this a dal perfect for weeknight meals. In fact, that’s exactly what I am going to do… 

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Keema Wrap

Keema Wrap

Here’s a perfect recipe for a weekend brunch or lunch. It’s delicious, meaty albeit meatless, and so waistline-friendly that you will find yourself floating on the air. Literally. Keema or kheema, in India, is a mince usually made with lamb and sometimes beef. It is almost always cooked with spices into a dry curry. For my… 

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Rhubarb Mousse

Rhubarb Mousse

Every year, when Spring rolls around, I cannot wait to get my hands on some rhubarb. Rhubarb apparently grows wild in the mid-west, but here in my part of the United States its popularity makes it a hard stalk to come by.  This year, I started looking for rhubarb in just about every supermarket and… 

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Moroccan Lentil Stew

Moroccan Lentils with Spring Greens and Mint

For the past few weekends now, Desi has been a man with a mission: a mission to watch just about every version from everywhere around the world there is of the Pharrell Williams song, Happy. And guess who gets to watch these videos with him? I love the song, mind you, because deep down under my cynical… 

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Crockpot Sambar

Fat-Free Crockpot Sambar for Two

Do you ever get tired of those leftovers? I know I do. I cook up a big pot of dal or pasta for Desi and I, and then– many cooking experiments later– I am digging it out of the back of the refrigerator. It is covered in fuzzy gray stuff, smells lethal, and I am afraid… 

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Tawa Pulao

Tawa Pulao

When Desi and I lived in Mumbai — or Bombay as those of us who left the city in those days still like to call it — there were nights, after wrapping up the graveyard shift at the newspaper we both worked for, when we would set out with co-workers and friends to scour the city’s streets for… 

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