food52:

Have a sandwich.

Mary’s Healthy Ice Cream Sandwiches via Food52

I do love food52, but this is an awful idea. Ruin good icecream by sandwiching it between wheat bread. 😦

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Homemade Crackers

Homemade Gluten-Free Crackers.

During 2009-2010 I lived with someome who had every food-allergy on the planet [just about]. She was gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free [mostly], corn-free, sugar-free [mostly]. And she loved having me cook for her, as she did for me on many a week night when I got home from work after a grueling 12-14 hour day.

So, in the spirit of being a good roommate, I learnt how to make delicious things, on a moment’s notice, that met her restrictions.

Many years later, no food restrictions in sight, I’m still addicted to many-a-recipe from my time with Karen. Including these crackers. Which go surprisingly well with any dip, or on their own. The only thing they don’t do – is travel well. [Recipe inspired by Nourishing Meals]

Note: Roll the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper, and bake on the same parchment. Crackers store well for about a week, but I can’t fully validate that, since they never last more than a day or two.

Ingredients

1 ½ cup flour [variety of oat, sorghum, rice]
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup cooked quinoa or millet [even brown rice works well here]
6 to 7 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/3 to ½ cup water

Toppings:
1 -2 tablespoons of sesame seeds, flax seeds, poppy seeds, garlic and onion chips – sky’s the limit
Sea salt and cracked black pepper – to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Place all dry ingredients [minus toppings] in a food processor and pulse until mixed. Then slowly add olive oil, and water until dough forms. Pull dough on to parchment paper, and gently roll out. Sprinkle all your toppings, roll again to embed them, then gently cut with a butter knife. Slide onto a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes.

Cool, eat, repeat.

Weekend in Colombo [Sri Lanka]

I rarely travel just for a few days, and that too without an agenda. But in March, I decided to take an impromptu weekend trip to Columbo. No, I didn’t need time away from #chennai. No, I didn’t need a break from work. No, there was no special occasion.

The real reason is that I needed to get a tan and enjoy time on the beach, in a bathing suit, without being gawked at. Life in Chennai was making me pale and pasty, I was loosing too much weight and starting to look even more non-Indian.

Colombo was the perfect destination – close to home, but far enough away…and you get a stamp and sticker in your passport. The beaches are clean[ish], the humans are very friends, the roads are wide and – Colombo [unexpectedly] is a foodie’s paradise.

I wish I could report on sightseeing or deep sea diving, but the only thing I can talk about from these 3 days is swimming and eating. When the only decision you need to make is pool first or ocean, life is truly amazing. And all the time in the water just makes you hungry. With two good eating companions at my side – we explored a number of joints in Colombo / Mt. Lavinia. Some standout places that I will recommend in a heartbeat – Ministry of Crab [go late afternoon and you’ll get a seat easy-peasy], La Viole Blanche [amazing cocktails], Shore by O [lovely views, breeze and fusion fare] and Buba [best seafood platter, 5 feet away from the water].

On my next visit to this lovely island nation, I aim to see more sights, but for now – I just leave you with delicious memories!

Idli

I’ve always been a huge fan of South Indian food, and often go out of the way to find it. In the U.S., most Indian food takes the form of oily gravy dishes served with huge naans. You could call this Mughalai cuisine, but all it does is induce tummy aches. Sadly, there are days that you just have to gorge at greasy desi buffets and stuff your face with too-red tandoori chicken, manchurian and rogan ghost.

Ever so often, a dosa joint opens and I spend weeks convincing (read-begging) friends to come with me.

But upon my triumphant return to the motherland (i.e. India), and in particular, Chennai – I’ve done away with convincing, searching, and needlessly dreaming about South Indian food – especially fluffy, melty Idlis.

Although there is no dearth of options, and I do eat roadside ₹10 ildlis with scary regularity, my favourite in this city is definitely the Murugan Idli Shop. Why? Well, aside from having a desirable texture, it’s the only place you can peacefully eat one idli at a time. Without having your idli drowned I sambar or chutney. Or if gluttony strikes (and it usually does), you can eat dosas, vadas, puri, pongal and other dishes I can’t spell.

And after writing this post, all I can do is walk myself to the idli shop and chow down!