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Day 15 : Fulfilling meal

What constitutes a meal that is nutritious, healthy and most importantly that satiates all your senses?. The smell, texture, taste that is not only appetizing but also very fulfilling is something that I look forward too. When you have food, it should be energizing as well. That is one such recipe I came across and I loved it very much. I usually look for vegan/vegetarian meals at various restaurants that I keep trying. When I came across this organic cafe Live Alive,  I fell in love with variety of food options that nurtures soul and body. I would look forward to trying different item on the menu every time I happen to visit that café. I carefully made a note of all the veggies, the style of cut, texture and taste, it was so delicious that I have decided to give it a try at home.

So, I scouted the entire world wide web for making the dressing recipe.. until I landed on this website, this turned out to be exactly as I tasted there. I made a batch of it that serves for up to 6 meals.  I had cooked quinoa, and layered with steamed broccoli, cooked & diced beets, steamed diced carrots and also added for some spicy-crunchy taste – dry-roasted and semi- blended peanut-chilli powder-coriander seeds-cumin-garlic-mustard seats. It turned out to be amazing. I just cannot stop bragging about how much I loved it. This is all refrigerated, all you need to do is organize, warm it for 30 seconds in microwave, add the dressing and have it. I have had it dinner & lunch for two days.  It was absolutely terrific. Highly recommend trying it.

If you were my regular blog reader, you would know how I keep struggling with food options and always on lookout for variety of cooking channels to get ideas for easy-to-prepare dishes. I want to minimize my time and optimize the options and easily scale for as many people as I want to serve. This recipe definitely goes under my favorite list.  What about you? And also, I do give reference links every time I like something and try it out. When I re-visit it In the near future, most of the links just does not work anymore. That is why, I plan on building my favorite recipe index, albeit copied, the references will be provided along with the text version of the recipe.  Between, I see the trend in food industry is shifting to grain bowls, mostly with kale-quinoa, kale-farro, kale-brown rice as a base, and all the other options are placed on top without mixing by giving an picturesque appeal to mix them up and eat. It just looks lovely and very appetizing. What appeals to eye and taste buds is a real winner –and before you assume, definitely not those junk foods that are deep fried and that are served in larger quantities.

I read somewhere, gut is the root cause of disease and food is the real medicine. If you ea t right, then you don’t have to visit any doctor. Please do share any simple veggie recipes you have.  Looking forward to hear from you.

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DIY’s and me

I could have just googled what DIY means, I have heard the term a lot without knowing the full form of it. If you are in the same boat as I am – it is “Do It Yourself”. So, I have been scouring through internet for something or the other all the time. My interests on green living, making my own food,  lately, my spare time is usually spent on chemical free living – not entirely, but I am still exploring and slacking at the same time. My current interests have been in making my own home cleaning products, essentials rather for our regular use – laundry detergent, body lotions, shampoos, body wash, deodorant, tooth paste and all-purpose cleaners.

It just sounds so easy to just purchase ready-made considering the time I have in my hands with a full time job that has been demanding so much more than usual 9-5 lately. I still have evenings and weekends, but as you know, winters and energy levels do not go well together.  I just want to wrap myself up in a cozy comforter and watch some movie or read a book.

I digress, so DIY’s, I have used soap nuts to wash my hair once, do the laundry – thrice so far, and washed dishes few times with it. It requires me to prepare the soap nut liquid every week and not to forget using it. My DIY body butter – lasted for about a month or so and I am very satisfied with the results.  I have used lemons & baking soda to clean the rest room twice. I got vinegar to use it for all purpose cleaning needs, which I never got around to it. Repeating the same process until it gets incorporated into lifestyle routine is just not easy, for the un-organized me, it sounds like more work than just purchasing it. But, I feel good when I do such things.

The other thing probably bothers me is – I did not make notes on the natural recipes that I found online and it is time consuming and painful to repeat the search process again. This time around, I am planning to make notes and keep that one or two recipes that worked best for my needs and do it once or twice a month.

For the food, after writing it about here and the suggestions I got, and some changes that I made now made my cooking homemade food therapeutic. I have been enjoying making my meals. Or perhaps, I prioritized what is important to me at the moment and just focusing on it.

How about your DIY projects?

Micro fiber cloths vs paper towels

Ever since I came to america, I was relieved to use paper towels for anything and everything. Growing up, we have used just cloth based for everything, one thing that was very handy when stepping out was “Handkerchiefs”, cotton clothes were used for all other necessities.  Fast forward to last decade, we use paper tissues for facial, bath room, cleaning kitchen, floor cleaning, spot cleaning, numerous paper towels were used while cooking/cleaning home. I use a lot. Ever since I started looking at reducing trash, minimalism or becoming responsible for our environment, I have been paying attention to the amount of  paper I consume in my day-to-day life and have conscious decision to reduce the usage and replace it with clothes.

So, in an attempt to reduce my current usage to even further, not only have I started using my old cotton clothes, but also ended up ordering color coded micro-fiber clothes to further aid my decision in cleaning and reinforce re-usability and reduce paper waste. The whole process feels like – been there,done that and conscious decision to go back to my roots with the knowledge gained. Back then, there was no option, now there is a choice and I am choosing more environment friendly option.

I am sure, going back to inconveniences is not something fun, but I am trying to reduce, recycle and reuse things. That way, hopefully some day, I will have minimum amount of things to maintain and deal with. Also, I do not foresee forgoing paper usage, instead, I will research and buy compost able paper towels. Any suggestions here?

I am still discovering all the areas where I could use micro fibers for it’s efficiency. Your suggestions are valuable.

Embracing green living continues… stay tuned as I take steps in those directions.

Path to chemical free life style..

I have been spending numerous hours of time reading and watching videos to educate myself with making my own home made chemical free products. Almost everything that we consume this day are constituted of toxin including food. It baffles me to no end that how in the name of comfort that we ended up here. The body wash/soap, laundry detergent, beauty products, home cleaning products, bath products, food products and almost everything under the sun are contaminated with harmful chemicals. The realization hit me gradually.

From the day I moved to small home – I started questioning about accrued material possessions, and ever since, I have been very conscious of my purchases and It has drastically brought down my shopping habits. That led me to plastic-free phase- I got rid of 80% of my plastic utensils at home, I still need to let go of teflon coated dishes, oh and please let me know if you better suggestions. I still use lot of plastic in day-to-day life, it is slow but I am trying to be conscious and this requires bit of planning. Most of my plastic waste comes from impromptu-grocery-shopping and take-out food. It then led me to composting food to produce less waste – and now I am trying to go as much natural as possible.

In that attempt, I have created my very own body lotion out of all natural ingredients and feel proud of it. I have been using it for a week, I must say it has been great so far. Very moisturizing and I kind of got used to the smell. My next step is currently scattered in all different directions. Few areas I am trying to tackle head on with natural ingredients.

  1. Bath room cleaning products
  2. Beauty products – includes deodorant, eyeliner, mascara, foundation cream, blush and make up powder.
  3. Cleaning dishes – I still have not figured out this one yet and not sure if I ever will (one suggestion that I found which I am very concerned that it might clog the drain – in the past my grand parents used to wash their dishes with ash produced when cooking with woods, scrub was coconut coir/fiber – it is the exact same suggestion that i found online) – rest of them were mostly borax/baking soda and castile soap related – isn’t there any other better way to do this?
  4. All purpose cleaner for kitchen related  and floor cleaning.
  5. Laundry detergent
  6. The most important – tooth paste, body wash, face wash, hand wash and hair wash.
  7. Food – now this hard being in east coast. Farmers markets are done for the season. But, the conscious effort to eat meals completely prepared by not using processed seems to be in right direction. Almost there, but life is not easy!

You may think, why not buy eco-friendly natural products – a. They are way too expensive, b. Since, natural ingredients usually has less shelf life, it requires me to buy it more often. c. Fresh is always better. d. I feel great.

Anyone out there, who are currently doing their own products? If so, I would love to hear your suggestions. It definitely seems like a lot of effort, but definitely worth it for our own sanity to protect our-self from being exposed to such harsh chemicals.

And you dear readers, please make conscious effort and decline chemicals in your day to day life. Not only will it harm you, but the environment is getting damaged. During this process of education myself, I read some where that they schools from primary education are offering environmental classes. I could not be happier. But, how about us? why do not they consider, that they have discounted-work-shops for environmental awareness by government in respective communities to education people like us? I take that back – they would not – for simple reason, how can they make business – it is all one big political-business-survival drama!

The onus is on us to do what ever we can to protect ourselves as much as we could. What do you think?