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Archive for the 'tomatoes' Category

Farm-to-table (The 2009 version)


Don’t want to jinx it, but I can hardly resist the first glimmer of hope in my organic vegetable garden.  This is our second year, and buoyed by our beginner’s luck last year (click here for the earlier post), we went all out  this time—with a raised bed and fence.

And the results, so far, are encouraging.

Check out the green tomatoes and the skinny eggplant!

Oh, and we already harvested some arugula last week! I’ll post pictures of the salad soon.

Posted by Swapna Venugopal on Wednesday, July 15th, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
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Feast your eyes!


Thanksgiving is just a week away, and I’m looking for inspiration to carve out a menu.

Loyal readers of my posts (yeah, the two of you) know that I run a vegetarian household, and will not be stuffing a turkey.

We’ve invited a couple over (who are also vegetarian and therefore will not be bummed by the missing traditional centerpiece) for Thanksgiving dinner.

Every year, I find myself cooking up new plans for a tasty centerpiece dish. We’ve tried Tofurkey (Tofu Turkey) before and found it not to be very appetizing. So this year, I’ve settled on Basil Pesto Lasagna.

Here’s what I’m planning (both appetizers and desserts will be store bought):

(And because this is a blog about kid nutrition, let me quickly add that my kids love every item on this menu!)

•Spincah puffs

•A thick harvest soup (made with onions, potatoes, carrots, celery, corn, pumpkin and V-8 juice).
•Basil pesto lasagna.
•Spicy roasted red potatoes with garlic.
•Roasted asparagus with Parmesan cheese.
•Mashed potatoes with sour cream and chives.
•Basmati rice pulav with carrots, beans and corn, topped with cashews and raisins.
•A spicy coconut milk stew with potatoes, carrots and tomatoes.
•Raita–a bowl of yogurt into which I add diced cucumber and freshly chopped cilantro.

• Pumpkin pie
•Cranberry tart

Suggestions for future centerpiece dishes, anyone?

Photo Credit: Seth Harrison, The Journal News

Posted by Swapna Venugopal on Thursday, November 20th, 2008 at 12:11 pm |



A few months ago, we embarked on our most ambitious summer project yet.

An organic vegetable garden in our backyard! We planted tomatoes, zucchini, green chilies, basil, cilantro, peppermint, cucumbers and bell peppers.

To our delight, most (R.I.P cucumbers) of the vegetables survived our less-than-perfect tending. And we had our first harvest last week!bell-pepper.JPG

The kids enjoyed getting their hands dirty and watching the veggies “being born.” But the best part, they say, was popping the cherry tomatoes into their mouths, soon after harvesting them.

The project allowed the kids to make the farm-to-table connection, and they’ve grown a special fondness for yellow bell peppers. Bonus!vegbasket1.JPG

Posted by Swapna Venugopal on Thursday, August 14th, 2008 at 12:32 pm |


Eating healthy food comes naturally to some babies


I know I’ve frequently complained about what a fussy eater my (nearly) two-year-old is, but it was really driven home in the last couple of weeks when my sister came to visit from India with her husband and daughter, who is 22-months old.

While Aristu munched on his cheerios and fussed through his fried egg, Tilli began her morning with — get this — sprouted mung mixed with chopped red onions, tomatoes, cilantro and doused with lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Then she would eat her egg white and finish off breakfast with cherries and strawberries. Watching her from his high chair, Aristu would poke his finger through his strawberry and later mush it till it ran like blood through his fingers. I got to clean the mess.

My kid sisteer insists her daughter’s love for fresh, healthy food comes from her husband whose family owns a farm on the foothills of the Himalayas. When my brother-in-law recently accompanied me to our local ShopRite, he balefully glared at the bright red tomatoes and asked me, “That’s GM, right?”

In the end I’ve concluded it isn’t that Aristu is a poor/fussy eater; rather my neice is a rare foodie/health freak who inherited her love of fresh food from her father. For the record, my husband loves steak and potatoes. Poor Aristu has no chance.

Posted by Hema Easley on Friday, August 8th, 2008 at 8:01 am |
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