Regrowing Veggie Scraps

Instead of composting my celery stems. I decided to regrow them.  I also regrew some green onions and I’m so pleased with the results. 

They grew quite quickly, and once the roots came in I potted them in some soil.  Have you tried propagating veggie scraps?

Give it a try.  Here are some helpful tips to propagate your veggie scraps successfully:
– Keep in bright indirect sunlight
– Change water every 1-2 days to prevent them from smelling
– Fill water to only cover the roots .
– Transplant them from water into soil as soon as they show roots and new green growth.

If you have propagated veggie scraps what veggies did you regrow?

Mental Health and Wellness

Many of us are struggling to keep it all together during these unprecedented times. COVID-19, protests highlighting systemic racism and police brutality, economic uncertainty, unemployment, natural disasters, political changes and the future of education (just to name a few) has left us physically, mentally and emotionally drained. 

The storm of emotions I am feeling is also raging on for many. It’s a lot to handle, and it’s having a disastrous impact on our mental health. Mental health conditions impact the entire family. We need to have strategies that allow us to experience relief and recharge so we can be a support for our loved ones. The more we take care of our mental, emotional and spiritual well-being, the better we will be able to show up for ourselves and for each other.

Take some deep breaths and ask yourself:

  1. How am I feeling?
  2. What do I need?
  3. What am I grateful for?
  4. What can I do today that makes me happy?

Self Care Tips:

  1. Keep in contact with people who bring you happiness.
  2. Journaling or writing down thoughts and feelings can be a great way to release emotions.
  3. Move your body.  Exercise releases endorphins. Make it a priority to commit 30 minutes each day for a walk.
  4. Limit your social media intake.
  5. Be gentle with yourself.

How are you going to love and care for yourself this week?

Listening, Learning But Not Silent

I put off starting an Instagram account for the longest time.  When I finally did I was thrilled because it is so fun and lighthearted. It gives me the opportunity to meet some incredible, creative and diverse groups of supportive people. Over the last few weeks Instagram was sadly not a fun escape. The video of George Floyd’s murder as well as the horrific murders of so many black lives was and still is devastating. 

Many used their voices and social media platforms to show support for black lives. People were sharing, reading, posting, reflecting, listening and donating. Some struggled and were not sure what to say or what to do while others had tough conversations with friends and families about racism, prejudice, injustice and discrimination against black Americans.

We all are not perfect and sometimes we may fail to be the perfect ally to black communities or people of color but we can’t let our fear of failure stop us from continuing this lifelong commitment to dismantle systematic racism.  As a South African Indian who grew up and lived through Apartheid, I am determined to never allow myself to forget, to speak up, show up and continue the work to do better and be a better human. 

I have learned so much over the last few weeks and will continue to do. I am appreciative of my Blogger / Instagram family for educating me and keeping me informed on not only the fun stuff but also serious life changing things too. Thank you. I leave you with these powerful poems and quotes. ❤️❤️❤️✊🏿✊🏾✊🏽✊🏼  

6 Reasons to Switch from Plastic to Glass Food Storage Containers

With all the cooking and baking Andy and I have been doing, we needed to find an organized way to store all of our leftovers safely.  We both were spending way too much time rummaging through the refrigerator looking for something to eat or ingredients to cook.  So, we decided to ditch our plastic containers for glass.  I am so glad we did because there is no better feeling in the world than looking inside a clean and organized fridge.

Here are our 6 reasons to switch from plastic to glass food storage containers. 

  1. One of the things we loved right away is the ability to place hot food directly in the glass container. No more waiting around for food to cool first before transferring.
  2. It is better for the environment.  It is challenging eliminating plastic completely from our lives but it is possible to reduce the amount of plastic we use.
  3. Using glass containers is better for your health.  Glass unlike plastic does not contain chemicals like BPA (bisphenol A) and PVC (phthalates) that can contaminate your food.
  4. Easier to clean. Glass food containers can be safely washed at high temperatures in your dishwasher.
  5. Glass is transparent making it easier to see what you got in your refrigerator.
  6. Glass food containers are microwave safe. We can microwave and eat food from the same glass container, which means less dirty dishes.

Do you have these containers? Any other glass food storage containers you recommend?

Links: IKEA SAM’S CLUB TARGET

Quarantini Cheese Plates

While some places are slowly returning back to the work force most of us are still facing daily challenges with working from home, homeschooling, staying healthy, maintaining connections with family and friends and more.   Today is Day 67 of sheltering in place for Andy and me but whose counting!!! We’ve come to embrace our new-found isolation with life’s little joys like 5pm quarantini cocktails and cheese plates. 

Unlike baking and cooking, you don’t need to follow a recipe to make a cheese plate. You don’t even really need to know anything about cooking. All you need is some cheeses, fruit, vegetables, nuts, crackers or bread, charcuterie, chutneys or jams.

While trying my hand at creating cheese plates I  learned when it comes to cheeses, having a variety of cheeses is key. Choose a mix of soft and hard cheeses, flavors, and milk types (cow, goat, or sheep’s milk cheese). Serve cheese at room temperature so take it out of the fridge and let it rest for 10 – 15 minutes.

Hope my cheese plates inspire you to make one for quarantine hours too.  Cheers to life’s little joys.  Take care and be well. 💕

Music Credit:
Music Credit: Dave Matthew’s Band – Ants Marching
Music Credit: Toure Kunda

Savory Veg Pancake with Indian Flavors

If you love pancakes you need to try this savory vegetable pancake recipe with Indian spices.  I’ve made this twice within the last 3 weeks.  Andy and I’ve enjoyed it once for lunch and once for dinner.  I know it may be a little challenging getting all of the ingredients I’ve listed. But that’s the fun of trying new recipes during quarantine.  You get to use what you have available in your kitchen pantry and refrigerator.  You can switch up recipes and make it your own.  I used one potato for this recipe but if you don’t have regular potatoes you can use sweet potato or mashed up cauliflower.  You can substitute green peas for spinach or broccoli or vise versa.  The possibilities are endless. No rules here, just have fun with it!!!

Cook time:  30 minutes

Serving:  6 pancakes

Ingredients:

½ All Purpose flour

¼ sorghum flour

2 Tbsp chickpea flour

2 Tbsp yogurt

1/3 cup of green onions or you can use yellow onions

1 small potato boiled & mashed (I had left over mashed potatoes from dinner)

2 grated carrots (you can use zucchini if you don’t have carrots available)

2 Tbsp frozen green peas (optional – I used peas because I did not have spinach)

¼ cup chopped spinach

Jalapeno peppers (add according to your spice level)

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp garam masala

1tsp cumin powder

1tsp salt

1tsp baking powder

1Tbsp lemon juice

1 cup water

A few sprigs of chopped fresh coriander (you can use powder coriander too)

1Tbsp oil (I used coconut oil) for brushing the pancakes

Directions:

  1. Combine all the ingredients above except for the coconut oil into a bowl and mix well.
  2. After mixing allow the pancake batter to rest for about 10 minutes. 
  3. Check your batter after letting it rest. If it is too thick just add a little water to get the right consistency.
  4. Heat up a frying pan. Brush a little oil into the pan. Then scoop a spoonful of batter into the pan.
  5. Cover with a lid on low heat because you want it to cook through.  Flip it over when you see the upper side start to bubble. Then brush lightly with some coconut oil. 
  6. Repeat until you use up all the pancake batter. This makes 6 pancakes. 

Garnish with some coriander leaves, lemon wedges, and sesame seeds.

Serve hot with some, coriander chutney, Greek yogurt, or mango and tamarind (Imli) chutney or BOTH and enjoy with a cup of masala chai.

Sorghum Flour
Chickpea Flour

Earth Day: 6 must watch Environmental Docs on Netflix

April 22 marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.  Documentaries have always helped us understand what it means to live on earth and contribute to an ecologically sustainable planet. So what better way to celebrate Earth Day while sheltering in place than watching inspiring and educational environmental documentaries. Grab your favorite snacks and get comfy because here are my top 6 picks currently available on Netflix:

  1. National Parks Adventure: Narrated by Robert Redford, National Parks Adventure is a cozy nature doc that shares the incredible splendor of US national parks. Traveling around the country to some of the nation’s most stunning natural landmarks, National Parks Adventures highlights both the beauty of these protected areas and the importance of keeping them intact and protected. Connect with nature and discover what these great expanses of land have meant historically for the nation’s first people, or simply sit back and enjoy the beautiful broad-sweeping views of these incredible landscapes.

2. Our Planet: Experience Our Planet’s natural beauty and examine how climate change impacts all living creatures in this ambitious documentary of spectacular scope. Travel from the African planes and antelope to frozen mountains and Siberian tigers and experience the incredible diversity our planet has to offer. Narrated by everyone’s favorite voice of nature, David Attenborough.

3. A Plastic Ocean: A Plastic Ocean is a documentary uncovering the nasty truth about our disposable lifestyle. Single-use plastic and similar products are overrunning our oceans and waterways, wreaking havoc on the natural ecosystems and marine life therein. A Plastic Ocean explores the deep blue depths while showing the shocking quantity of plastic pollution present in our oceans. This documentary will help you feel more hopeful for the possibility of a greener planet.

4. Night on Earth: Night on Earth features never-before-seen behavior from animals all around the world. Discover the secret world of bats, see big cats hunting at night, and see how wildlife has adapted to live in cities and towns, even late at night. An inspiring documentary chock-full of stunning night-time images, Night on Earth is sure to leave you in awe of the many nighttime habits you never knew about. Narrated by award-winning actress Samira Wiley of Orange is the New Black.

5. Chasing Coral: Pollution is on the rise, and among the many ecosystems being negatively impacted by wasteful practices are coral reefs. Coral is now disappearing at an unprecedented rate, one not seen before in recorded human history. Chasing Coral is the exciting, and sometimes dangerous, journey of a number of marine researchers hunting down the last remaining patches of coral. . Chasing Coral is all about educating the public and making it known that it isn’t too late.

6. Sustainable: A seventh-generation family farmer works toward building a movement of his own in the city of Chicago, outlining not only small changes we can all make in our consumption choices, but also the negative effects of the major food industries. Sustainable covers the economic and environmental impacts of our current agricultural practices.

Have you watched any of these documentaries? Do you have other environmental documentary recommendations?

DIY No Sew Cloth Face Mask

CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain example grocery stores and pharmacies. CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.

I fashioned this face mask using a scarf / bandana. Hope you find this tutorial useful during this chaotic time.

Stay safe. Stay healthy. 💕🙏🏽🌎

Quarantine Life Update

Hello Lovelies💕  It’s been a while since my last post. I just wanted to reach out and let you know that I am thinking of you all and hope you are doing well during this challenging time. 

Like everyone I am learning to find ways to fill my days and make the best of this unexpected time at home. The last two weeks have been a roller coaster of emotions but I feel blessed to have my husband Andrew by my side. This is what I have been up to for the last 2 week.

Some days have been productive and I am able to successfully check off things on my to do list.  On other days I struggle with not having something to do with my day.  I am learning how to exist without having to constantly do something tangible. I have to remind myself that it is okay to just curl up in bed and take a nap or just sit still and meditate for 20 minutes. 

As you know Andy and I love to cook. Jamming out and dancing around the kitchen with Andy while cooking or baking always brings me joy.  It’s the perfect way to turn your brain off.  So we have been doing a lot of cooking and baking. 😄 What are some of the things you’re doing to keep busy?

Thanks to technology we have been able to face time and keep in touch with loved ones.  My first work video conference call was quiet the experience.  Here is actual footage of the video meeting. 

As we try to navigate our way through this time we all have to remember to be gentle with ourselves and try to start each day in a positive way. I love this poem by Be Inspired to Be.

Thinking of my brother who is on the front lines and saying a prayer everyday for all our families who may have first responders or essential personnel serving our communities. Wishing for your safety and health.

And lastly, remember to wash your hands. Take care of yourself and each other. Be well. ❤️

Love at First Bite!

Everyone knows that the way to a person’s heart is through the stomach.  So, if you’re looking for a way to spoil your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day, you have to start in the morning with this adorable breakfast idea.  This will set the romantic tone for the day leading to your evening plans. 

To make these heart shaped pancakes, I simply used a set of silicone heart egg/pancake rings from Amazon. You don’t have to limit yourself to heart shaped pancakes. You can also use alphabet cookie cutters to carve out a sweet message. The easiest way to make them is to cook your pancakes first and then cut the letters out of the fully cooked pancakes instead of pouring batter directly into the cookie cutter. The edges will be smoother this way.

You can make your pancake batter from scratch if you have a recipe you love, but boxed pancake mix works just as well. I love this Trader Joe’s Buttermilk Protein Pancake mix. For an extra special touch, garnished pancakes with Nutella and strawberries.

Are you going to give this idea a try? It will be love at first bite!

Photo Credit: Andrew Swaine