Of Kids, Mystery Ailments and Jam Jars

You may have noticed I’ve stopped making excuses for long silences. Something will, and must, fall between the cracks when one juggles home, work and blogging. But I’m sorry to have kept the three of you hanging all these weeks šŸ˜‰

On Monday, my younger boy woke up in tears because he couldn’t walk. Bewildered, I urged him to stay in bed while I got my older son ready and out the door to catch his school bus. Eventually, he got out of bed, and, I gave him an umbrella to use as a walking stick while I set up an appointment with his doctor. He couldn’t climb stairs, he could barely hoist himself onto a chair, and I later had to lift him into the car. In between banging out seven stories, I took him to four different medical establishments – his pediatrician, a lab for bloodwork, radiology, and finally, a pediatric orthopedist (or is it orthopedic pediatrician?) way out in Cedar Knolls, Morris County.

Let me tell you about that journey. (more…)

May 6, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , . Health, Kitchen Snippets, Kitchen Stuff, Musings, Salads, Sauces and Dressings, Stories. 17 comments.

Noodles with Vegetables and Lemongrass-PeanutĀ Dressing

Another favorite of the kids (and us, too). This is a dish that can be purely vegetarian, or fishyterian. We go meatless 3 or 4 times a week and I find these are the meals the kids can demolish in minutes, possibly due to the lack of chewing?!Ā They’re perfectly content with wholegrain pasta with a homemade tomato sauce, into which I bung a few other veggies too, plus lots of cheese, or wholegrain chapati (an Indian flatbread) and dhal and chickpeas with tomato, or noodles done any style, like this one with Asian spicing. Ā Of course I couldn’t hold back and added chillis to the peanut sauce, but you don’t have to. And yes, the entire family gobbled it up!

Those with nut allergies may easily substitute the peanut content for a few tablespoons of sunbutter or no-nut pea butter.

(more…)

April 14, 2010. Tags: , , . Asian, Dinners, Kids Cuisine, Mains, Sauces and Dressings, Vegetables, Vegetarian. 5 comments.

Black Bean and Corn Salad

This salad is inspired by one that a friend brought over to a potluck dinner party recently. I was wowed by the bite, colour and tanginess of it, and its fiberful promises. As I guessed at the basic ingredients and remembered only three (corn, beans, lime juice), I have ended up throwing in additional ingredients which seem to work well together. The salad would go beautifully with grilled fish. Enjoy!

  • black beans, 1 can, drained and rinsed
  • corn on cob, 2, microwaved 1m10s each and decobbed
  • large tomatoes, 2, chopped in tiny cubes
  • red pepper, 1, cubed similarly
  • english cucumber, 1/2, cubed tinily
  • shallot or red onion, 1, chopped finely

Dressing:

  • chilli, 1 or 2, green, chopped finely
  • garlic cloves, 3, chopped finely
  • lime juice, squeezed out of 2 limes
  • brown sugar, 3/4 tbsp
  • olive oil, 1 tbsp
  • cilantro/coriander leaves, 1 handful, chopped
  • mint, handful, chopped
  • salt and pepper, as needed

  1. Combine all the veg and beans together in a bowl
  2. Whisk salad dressing with a balloon whisk and pour over the salad
  3. Give it a good grind of salt and pepper, throw in the herbs and toss
  4. Perfect for a barbecue or as a summer meal accompaniment

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August 10, 2009. Tags: . Salads, Sauces and Dressings, Summer, Vegetables, Vegetarian. Leave a comment.

Mango and PepperĀ Salad


Here’s a salad that takes the challenge out of having one’s daily government-mandated ten veggie servings. It’s also the perfect antidote for those days when the leafy-green boredom sets in.

  • Alphonso mango, 1, julienned
  • red and green or variety of peppers, 2, julienned or sliced thinly
  • English cucumber, 1, sliced thin and long
  • carrots, 2 medium ones, as above
  • corn, 1, boiled and sliced off the cob
  • lime juice, about 4-6 tbsp
  • fish sauce, 2 tbsp
  • zest of 1 lime
  • brown sugar or stevia, 1 rounded tsp
  • garlic cloves, 2-3 large ones, minced
  • sesame oil, 1/2 to 1 tsp
  • mint leaves, handful, chopped
  • coriander/cilantro leaves, handful, chopped
  • thai basil, several sprigs, chopped
  • handful peanuts, roughly chopped

  1. Place all the sliced and chopped veggies in an attractive bowl
  2. Using a whisk, combine the dressing ingredients, including herbs
  3. Pour the latter over the former and toss
  4. Serve in individual bowls with a sprinkle of peanuts over
  5. Turn into a meal with a hunk of seasoned, pan-browned salmon or tuna

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April 4, 2009. Tags: , . Asian, Nutrition, Salads, Sauces and Dressings, Spring, Summer, Vegetables. 1 comment.

My Favourite MintĀ Dressing


My favourite dressing with mint and yoghurt – I whipped it up last night for a lamb salad, for which it was perfect. I then fancied a cucumber snack today, et voila, another winning combo!

  • thick yoghurt, preferably Greek, 1 cup
  • mint leaves, two handfuls
  • ginger, fresh, 1 tsp grated
  • garlic, 3 cloves
  • lime juice, 2 tbsp (or more if you like things tangy)
  • salt, 1/2 tsp
  • pepper, grind of
  • shallot, 1, small
  • green chilli, 1 (optional)
  1. Bung everything in a food processor and whizz
  2. Consume immediately or refrigerate for salads

(All text and photos or images are copyright protected. Please do not reprint any stories, recipes or photographs without the author’s permission.)

March 31, 2009. Tags: , . Condiments, Salads, Sauces and Dressings, Spring, Summer. Leave a comment.