Cooking with legumes

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Posted by Saffron Trail

Sprouting legumes

There is always this confusion among my friends between beans, peas, legumes and lentils. I'll try and sort them out first.

Legume is the name of the family under which all peas, beans and lentils fall. Technically anything under these three categories can be called a legume. All these are plants that have pods with tidy rows of seeds inside.

Beans - Beans grow well in warmer climates. These grow in pods on a bush and are mature for harvest in 85-115 days. Chick peas, mung beans whole and split, matki, black eyed peas, fava beans, pinto beans, navy beans, black beans are examples of beans.

Peas - Pea plants grow well in cooler climes and they grow on vines. They are mature for harvest in 70-90 days fresh green peas, dried yellow or green peas - whole or split.

Lentils - The lentil can be called a cousin to the beans. All lentils are lens shaped, lens being the Latin word for lentil. The size and appearance of lentils varies depending on the variety. Some lentil varieties are Tur dal (yellow), Masoor dal (brown with skin and orange with skin removed), Chana dal (yellow gram), Mung dal (split mung beans, deskinned)


The most versatile food group


You can turn out dishes to fit in almost any course with this amazing food group. Go through the list below and you'll realise what I am talking about.



Bean soups
Bean salad
Spreads like Hummus
Cocktail starters
Steamed snacks like Handwo
Pancakes like 4 lentil pancakes
Burgers
Curries like Paruppu Usili
Dals like Lasooni Dal Palak
Pilafs like Dal Khichdi
Desserts like Paruppu Payasam


Legumes are health boosters
  1. A high quality source of protein sans the cholesterol and saturated fats
  2. Excellent source of dietary fibre
  3. Rich in iron, zinc, calcium, selenium,folic acid and anti-oxidants
  4. A low glycemic index (GI) / glycemic load (GL) food
  5. May help reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes mellitus, obesity and cancer due to the above advantages
How to get all the Essential Amino-Acids (EAA)

Amino acids are the building blocks that proteins are made up of. Dairy and meat usually contain all of theEAAs and are considered to provide complete proteins. But legumes are lacking in atleast one of the EAA and therefore they need to be combined with other seeds or wholegrains during the day.
Some examples of complementary meals that provide all EAAs are brown rice and beans, Idlis (steamed south Indian food) made with udad dal and rice, refried beans in a tortilla roll, etc.

Combating the 'gas problem'

One problem that many people face in eating this group of foods is bloating and intestinal gas due to non-digestion of raffinose sugars. Let this not prevent from enjoying this healthy food group. There are ways and means to deal with the gas problem.

  1. Never cook legumes in the water they have been soaked, because this water is loaded with raffinose.
  2. Add a pinch of baking soda while cooking the legumes. In addition to removing raffinose sugars, it also helps the reduce cooking time.
  3. If you are using canned beans, then thoroughly rinse them in lots of water. This will also help reduce the salt content.
  4. Cooking legumes with a pinch of asafoetida is an age-old Aurvedic technique that helps prevent build up of intestinal gas.
  5. If you are not used to eating legumes, start with a small serving and gradually increase the quantity.
  6. If you still get into 'trouble', there is always Beano to rely on.

Black eyed Peas Burgers
Tell us about your favourite legume recipes. If you have blogged about them, post a link in the comments to share with us. I'll share the black-eyed peas burgers that I made for dinner last night.




Reminder!

We need your help! Please take a second and give us your opinion here.



Are you interested in contributing to The Daily Tiffin? Drop us an email: blogmeeta@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing your ideas.

This Post was written by Nandita from Saffron Trail.

Text and photographs © 2007 Nandita Iyer

Events on the Daily Tiffin

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Posted by Meeta K

The DT Team have been thinking long and hard about creating events for our readers to take part in.

The idea for these events is to involve you more into the blog. We post about healthy lunch boxes, but we are always left wondering what your lunch boxes look like. We make book recommendations and we are left thinking what kind of books you are currently reading. We will be giving you more fitness tips, but what does your fitness program look like? We admit - we are very nosy and are curious about what you do and want a little peak into your lives ;-)

So, we thought to make little events out of these ideas and get you to show us your lifestyle. Every now and then we would like to announce such an event. If you have a blog simply write up a post relating to the event theme and email it to us. If you do not have a blog, send us your thoughts and photos in an email. We will then do a round-up of all the entries.

These events will not necessarily be always food related, it could be for example we are curious to see where you go to the gym. Whatever the theme chosen the first thing we would like to know is if this would interest you. After all no event if you our guests do not come right?

Below you have the opportunity to give your vote for this. Please do take just a second and let us know. We decided to leave the final decision to you folks.


Events on the Daily Tiffin?
Yes, I want to take part
No, I have no interest
Not sure






Are you interested in contributing to The Daily Tiffin? Drop us an email: blogmeeta@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing your ideas.

This Post was written by Meeta from What's For Lunch, Honey?

Our Team Grows

Monday, January 29, 2007

Posted by Meeta K

Last week we were so happy to introduce to you the lovely Gillian to our team.

This week I have more great news. Our newest team member is someone that I am sure you will be excited to hear more about. She is the lovely Susi from FitSugar.



I'll let Susi describe herself in her own words:

I am the editor of the website FitSugar that I write with Denise Stirk and Jenny Sugar. After teaching Pilates in the San Francisco Bay Area for 7 years, I decided it was time to write about fitness and health in hopes of changing the world or at least reaching a broader audience. My two little girls keep me quite active and I love to run (I just started recently and I am hooked), practice yoga, and bake sweet treats. I am more of a baker than a cook.

Susi will be reporting every other Friday and showing you some of the best ways to stay fit. Pilates, yoga and a healthy active lifestyle will be what to expect from Susi. So, if you have always wanted to learn more about pilates or yoga and actually finally start doing something for your body and soul tune in on every second Friday. Susi's first post will be on February 2.

If that is not enough I have just one more - a new contributor to the Daily Tiffin.

Stephanie of Mix It Up Meals will be contributing every now and again and discussing healthy meals, lunch boxes and how to get families to eat healthier.

I introduce to you Staphanie.

I’m Stephanie, and wear the following hats…

Business Owner
Along with my business partner I own a meal preparation facility called Mix It Up Meals It grew out of a love of cooking together for the freezer and finding that other moms were also struggling with how to get a tasty nutritious meal on the table.

Mom
This is one of my favorite hats to wear! Mom to three fabulous kiddos. Q is 8 and he is in 2nd grade. C is 7 and she is in 1st grade. And little T is 3 ½ and in preschool two days a week.

Wife
To my great husband of ten years. We met at the Iowa State Fair. His family was in the food/concession business and we spent many of our dating days making funnel cakes and corn dogs.

And then there is just me. I love to cook and love to eat. I grew up cooking, and have great memories of cooking with my grandma and my mom. And my dad was a great campfire cook. Three other hobbies that I love to do but feel like I don’t have enough time to devote to any of them: quilting, scrap booking and reading. Life is just too full right now with the three kids and the business.


Hope you all will welcome our newest members to the Daily Tiffin with warm hearts. Look forward to some great and exciting articles to come your way.



Are you interested in contributing to The Daily Tiffin? Drop us an email: blogmeeta@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing your ideas.

This Post was written by Meeta from What's For Lunch, Honey?

A Couple of Lunchboxes.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Posted by Shah cooks


A few lunchboxes of the varying combinations of the same old sandwich and parantha and my little one is showing signs of weariness. So we tried and found successful a couple of new lunchboxes. The idea is to make something easy, healthy and yet delicious. Since we are a spice loving family (my husband is slowly defecting to the sweeter side), we made french toast with salt, pepper and chives or oregano and cut it up into bite sized pieces. Very easy and tastes good even when it is cold.

Just mix one egg with 3-4 tbsp milk, a pinch of salt, pepper and any herbs of your choice. Heat a pan with 1 tsp of oil and cut 2 slices of bread into halves. Dunk each slice into the egg mix and take it out and slide into the pan. Fry on low heat for a minute on each side. Add a little more oil to evenly crisp it up. Drain onto paper towels and cut into pieces.
A couple of oranges, peeled and ready to eat and lunch is ready.
Grown Up Version: I add chopped onions and green chilies to the egg mix and then make the toast( with less oil) for a spicy bite.



The other lunchbox was a bunch of washed and dried grapes nestled between a wrap. What's inside? A spread of cream cheese and hotsauce,
(0r herbed cream cheese) a couple of lettuce leaves, shredded grilled or fried(leftover) chicken, cheddar cheese shavings all laid out and rolled up. Try your variation of your favorite flavors...a bit of creaminess, a bit of spice, some protein and some leaves. I have to keep trying different combinations on my son till he likes some and then we stick to it.

To finish off, lets hear about some variations that you do and I shall add it to this post. This is an open forum and I hope not to sound like a monologue, but that's only possible if you all respond and help me out. So do leave your comments, good or bad and have a nice day.



Are you interested in contributing to The Daily Tiffin? Drop us an email: blogmeeta@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing your ideas.

This Post was written by Shaheen from Malabar Spices..

Cereal Killers ( Recipe inside)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Posted by Saffron Trail


Calvin is a fictional character out of a comic strip. His favourite breakfast cereal - ‘Chocolate frosted sugar bombs’ unfortunately is not so fictional. There are several brands of breakfast cereal that could very well fit into the ‘sugar bombs’ category.

How healthy are breakfast cereals?

A study done in July 2006 by a consumer group in UK revealed some shocking facts about the so-called ‘healthy’ breakfast cereals. This group surveyed 275 cereal brands and came to the conclusion that 76% were HIGH in sugar content, 19% had excess salt and 7% of them were high in saturated fats.

Most of these cereals are marketed to children. The high levels of sugar and salt make it tastier and readily acceptable to the innocent targets. The hydrogenated fats are mostly added to increase shelf life. All put together, eating a high-sugar, high-fat breakfast can only be detrimental to children’s health.


Immediate effects of high-sugar foods

Eating a high dose of sugar has been known to suppress immunity – i.e. the ability of the white blood cells to fight bacteria is reduced.
Some children and adults show deterioration in behaviour, shorter attention spans and poorer learning abilities in proportion to the amount of refined sugars consumed.
A diet rich in refined sugars sends the blood sugar to a peak, which in turn triggers a release of insulin. The insulin immediately transfers the sugars into the cells leading to sudden drop in blood sugar. This leads to craving for more sugar and fatty foods, paving the path to overeating and obesity.

Long term ill-effects

Eating cereals that are high in refined sugars, salt and trans-fats have serious long term ill effects on both children and adults. Regular consumption of excessive refined sugars causes weight gain. Type 2 diabetes is being detected in people of younger age groups due to a shift to junk diets and inactive lifestyles. The excess sugars and trans-fats lead to higher levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood which in turn increases the risk for coronary artery disease. A high-salt diet is one of the common reasons for developing high blood pressure.

Tips on choosing the right cereal

A bowlful of the right cereal with milk or yogurt is a great food for you as well as your kids. It is a no-hassle, quick breakfast and easy to eat too. The following points will help you select a healthy cereal.
Though kids’ programs on television are heavily bombarded by cereal advertisements, when it comes to choosing, don’t let your kids decide. You can select 3-4 of the most nutritious cereals and then let your kid select one out of those.
Read the nutritional facts box and the list of ingredients. Discard anything that has more than 7 grams of sugar per ounce of serving. Higher levels of fibre make the cereal healthier. Do check if the first ingredient mentioned is whole wheat or any other whole grain. Whole grains are always rich in fibre. There should be no mention of hydrogenated fats or trans-fats on the label.


Other healthy breakfast options


While cold breakfast cereal is the easiest option for families, here are some other healthy breakfast options that can be gradually introduced.
Porridge made with steel cut oats, milk and a fruit, flavoured with a teaspoon of honey
Savoury French toasts made with whole grain bread and an egg, sprinkled with salt and pepper
Other high fibre grains like grits and farina are great ingredients to make your own breakfast porridge.

In the end, the choice of cereals determines whether they are good or bad for your health. Here’s to conscious eating and a healthy life.

Spicy oats porridge


Recipe for spicy oats porridge (Oats Upma)
Serves 1

1/4 cup oats (not instant)
1 tbsp wheat bran
Handful frozen peas
1/2 green chilli / jalapeno chopped (optional)
1/4 tsp ginger finely chopped
Fresh coriander chopped
1 cup water
2 tbsp fresh yogurt
Salt to taste

Microwave all ingredients except yogurt in a bowl for 2 minutes, stirring once inbetween. Remove and stir in yogurt. Eat while its hot.

Wheat bran adds to the fibre content. The green peas make it more filling. The chillies, ginger and coriander give it a different taste than your everyday oatmeal porridge.

*******
Cartoon strip courtesy www.breakfastclubclan.org
Oats porridge picture (C) Nandita Iyer
Article copyrights Nandita Iyer 2006-2007


Are you interested in contributing to The Daily Tiffin? Drop us an email: blogmeeta@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing your ideas.

This Post was written by Nandita from Saffron Trail

New Addition to the DT

Monday, January 22, 2007

Posted by Meeta K

Hello folks!

We'd like to take this opportunity to inform you about a few new things at the Daily Tiffin and update you on what is happening behind the scenes.

Our dearest BlogLily will be taking a bit of time out from blogging for a while. Due to health reasons and certain medical treatments she needs to undergo, BlogLily needs to concentrate on getting fit again. The good news is she will be back in March. We wish her all the best wishes for a speedy recovery and look forward to having her back.



We at the Daily Tiffin are so extremely ecstatic to introduce you to a new addition to the DT team. A few of you will know her from her absolutely spectacular blog Humble Pie. That's right folks I am talking about no one less than Gillian.

In her own words:

I'm a graphics artist/designer with a keen interest in cooking delicious, healthy, balanced meals for both my husband (of a year and a half) and I. My philosophy is that "food is fuel for life" - the more nutritious and wholesome food we prepare, pack, and eat, the more we get out of bodies - whether it's at work, school, home, or play! Of course, that doesn't mean
that we don't enjoy a luscious treat now and again - my musings at Humble Pie are evidence of that!


Gillian will be posting every other Thursday and discussing healthy meals in a small family. I hope you will give a warm welcome to the gorgeous Gillian.

Hope you all enjoy the start to your week!



Are you interested in contributing to The Daily Tiffin? Drop us an email: blogmeeta@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing your ideas.

This Post was written by Meeta from What's For Lunch, Honey?

Friday Recipe: Cheesy Tomato Penne Bake

Friday, January 19, 2007

Posted by Meeta K


Here is an easy but delicious dish with Penne pasta smothered in Tomato and cheese and also full of bone building calcium which is good for the whole family. Tastes wonderful just out of the oven. Serve with a salad for healthy balanced meal.

You Need: Serves 4-6
12 oz. penne pasta ( 3 cups), or any other kind you like,uncooked
1 lb. lean ground beef or turkey or Chicken or Italian Sausage,case removed
1/2 cup grated or chopped mixed vegetables
2 cans (145 oz. each) Diced Tomatoes with Basil, Garlic and Oregano, undrained
1 can (15 oz.) Tomato sauce
2 packages (8 oz each ) Shredded Mozzarella or Bistro blend Cheese, divided
(Reserve half for topping; stir remaining cheese into pasta mixture)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
No-Stick Cooking spray or Olive oil

How To:
1. Cook pasta ,drain and keep it aside. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Heat 2 tsp butter, saute` grated vegetables like onion, Green bell pepper,carrots ,celery etc in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
3. Add in ground meat ,brown. Stir in tomatoes and tomato sauce, bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 6-8 minutes. Add salt and pepper.
3. Add cooked pasta to meat mixture or vegs. Toss well. Add half of the of the cheese; mix again. Spray a 13 by 9 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
4. Pour pasta mixture into dish; top with remaiining cheese. Place it in the oven.
5. Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is melted.

Note: If you want to make it vegetarian, add 2-3 cups of chopped mixed veg to replace meat.
If you don't have canned Basil tomatoes, add diced tomatoes with 1 tsp garlic pd, 1/2 each tsp dry Basil and Oregano.
If you would like cut down the amount of cheese to just 8 oz, that should be okay too.
(Recipe: Sargento.com with some changes)

Enjoy!


This recipe was written by Asha of Foodies Hope.



Are you interested in contributing to The Daily Tiffin? Drop us an email: blogmeeta@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing your ideas.

Growing Up and a Tiffin

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Posted by Meeta K

Isn't it interesting watching how your kids grow and develop? Soeren is going to be 5 in August and I am enjoying his company almost every minute we are together. Once what used to be a baby whose vocabulary was reduced only to the "gooo goo" or "baah baah" and as a mum I was sometimes reduced to tears to figure out what was asked of me. Then we moved on to the next stage - a small child who just did not accept or understand explanations. Now all of a sudden the same child takes on responsibilities and understands explanations of why things cannot always go his way. The coolest part is he accepts them like a real grown up. Sure he goes and sulks but then he comes back and talks about it - in my eyes an extraordinary step forward in our communication.


Due to this learning process we both have become a great team and many things that resulted arguments the first time just do not happen the second time (or third time if he is feeling slightly stubborn). For those who don't know, Soeren is my only son and just like he is learning many things in life, I too am learning great new things about parenting. You can certainly imagine the contradictions I go through. On one end I want to spoil him silly and on the other I know I have to be strict and set down rules.

I found that being consistent in my behavior and with the rules makes it easier for Soeren to see the seriousness on the matter. Once he realizes there is not much he can do to change it there is no argument about it. What I then find great is as a parent you can then show that you are still "pretty cool" by just bending the rule on rare occasions.

An example might highlight best what I mean. Soeren watches about half an hour of TV on weeknights. In Germany we have something called the Sandman and it is like a bedtime story with wonderful short stories. This normally marks the end of the day after which we go brush our teeth, read a bedtime story from his favorite book and then sing a good night lullaby together. A routine that we have had since - as far as I can remember. On Fridays, he knows that there is one chore he needs to do before he can watch Sandman on TV and that is clearing up his room. Yes, I got every excuse in the book that a 4/5 year old's imagination can come up with, but in the beginning I stuck to my guns. Now, the first thing he does when he gets in from KIGA is clear up his room. As I realized what he was doing I figured that now as this rule is more or less set in his head, I can show that I can be flexible too. So, I surprise him once in awhile with reading him an extra bedtime story or allow him to play for a few minutes longer or even watch TV for another couple of minutes. I never said to him "This is because you cleared up your room." And sometimes when he says he does not feel like doing it today, I allow it and ask him if he'll do it tomorrow.

Soeren learns that there are rules set up at home and are to be followed on a regular basis. The gentle encouragement he gets, not every time but every now and then, shows him that there are always nice exceptions to the rule.

More important is what I learned in this process. As a parent I do not have to be head strong in each and every case. It is not about winning or showing who is the boss. It's about being consistent but allowing the exception to the rule.

Your stories would really interest me too. How do you tackle such issues? Every child is so different and behaves or reacts differently. Maybe you are in the middle of such an issue and would like some help. Tell us about it. I am sure many of our readers will have some good advice for you too. For me, I know more advice or feedback from readers will help me get ready of what's to come - LOL!

Today's Tiffin Idea


In today's lunch box I have used the same smooth fruit mousse I mentioned in my last post. It is the perfect answer to providing vitamins and nourishment in the winter months, when fresh fruit is not always available in abundance.
However, there is a large portion of juicy, sweet and fresh honey melon too. A piece of Soeren's favorite chocolate cake will certainly put a smile on his face. Use your or your child's favorite cake as a special treat. A nice idea for this could be this Gugelhupf.
A delicious sunflower seed bread roll is spread with some plain cream cheese and filled with a slice of Italian mortadella. Simple but extremely good. A few ripe and sweet cherry tomatoes go along well with the sandwich. If you are making this for an adult you can always make a nice tomato salad with a honey-balsamic vinegar dressing.

Enjoy the week!



Are you interested in contributing to The Daily Tiffin? Drop us an email: blogmeeta@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing your ideas.

This Post was written by Meeta from What's For Lunch, Honey?



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Recipe Friday: Panner Panini

Friday, January 12, 2007

Posted by Meeta K

Before we introduce the recipe idea for today, we would like to congratulate all the winners of the Well Fed Food Blog Awards. The Daily Tiffin was nominated in the Family/Kids category and we would especially like to congratulate Jennifer over at Vegan Lunchbox, who was the honorable winner. For us here at the Daily Tiffin being nominated into the top five (I believe we came in second) was something we are really proud of. That is why we would like to thank all our precious readers who took time to vote.


Now on to the recipe. This time Sheela of Indian Spice Trail sends us a wonderful lunchbox idea. She makes a very flavorful sandwich with Paneer. Paneer is a common Indian cheese and can be compared to ricotta or cottage cheese and is very easy to prepare at home.

Sheela uses store bought Paneer for her sandwiches but recommends using homemade.

Photo courtesy of Sheela - Indian Spice Trail

Ingredients:

1 cup crumbled paneer
1/2 red onion chopped
1 green chilli minced
1 tsp ginger minced
1 tomato chopped
1 green pepper copped
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper pwd
2 tbsps cilantro leaves
1 tbsp oil

Method:

Heat oil add cumin seeds, once they brown add onion, green chilli, and ginger. Saute till light golden add tomato and green pepper, stir for a few minutes. Add paneer, salt, pepper and cilantro leaves. Stir till well combined.

This can be spread on any type of bread you like. Sheela uses multi-grain white sandwich bread, however she recommends sourdough.

If you cannot find paneer I think a good substitute would be ricotta cheese. If you are worried about using chilies in your kids lunchbox then simply leave it out.

Thank you Sheela for this wonderful idea.

Did you know that this week is the De-Lurking Week (January 8 - 12)? Come out of the closet and let us know that you are there. Leave a comment and share your ideas with us. We won't bite! Actually we'd love to hear from you! So go on do something daring - De-Lurk!


Are you interested in contributing to The Daily Tiffin? Drop us an email: blogmeeta@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing your ideas.




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Getting Kids Into The Kitchen.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Posted by Shah cooks

Now that the holiday season is over, how many of you sighed in relief as the last cookie disappeared? Wished your kids ate all the yummy stuff you made? How to get the kids to eat healthy and help at home? Good habits also begins at home. Kids are like sponges; they absorb all the nuances and eccentricities of the family around them. Of course, you do have a lot of kids who are absolutely disconnected from the world of food and nothing can entice them into foodie rhapsodies.
But for the majority, how did mac n cheese and chicken nuggets become the food of choice?

Before reading further, let me warn that these are not fool proof tips and are just things that work with my son. Each one of you knows your kid the best, so adapt these suggestions to their likes and dislikes.

Involve the kids in the kitchen. If you let them help around (and make a mess) in the kitchen, chances are they will be curious about what they are eating and will pretty soon have suggestions too.

If they are between 5-7, let them do anything that doesn’t involve the fire and the knife. They can start with salads…tear salad leaves, wash tomatoes, peel carrots, cucumbers and even mix dressing after you have poured everything into a bottle.

They should touch, feel, smell and taste the different foods with its variations. If you are stuck shopping with them, ask for their help to read out the grocery lists and to find the items. It is a game that keeps them occupied as they scan through the multitude of products. Just take care they don’t pull things out of the line and collapse the display.

Other than the fun while cooking, it imbibes a sense of responsibility in the kids. It is the onset of getting them involved in the multitude of chores in a family.

My son is my official peeler and brownie mixer. He reads the instructions and takes out the milk, number of eggs needed and I pour all the ingredients into the mixing bowl. He slowly combines it and when its gets sticky, I take over. If there is some music while we mix, we dance too! It is a team effort and later when we sit down after endless peeping at the oven, with a fresh warm slice of brownie, the feeling of companionship is priceless. Why relegate family cooking to just cookies at the holidays?

We have only one rule in the kitchen. Whatever you help to make, you have to eat it or at least taste it even if it looks funny. Green Eggs and Ham, We say! Green Eggs and Ham was first published in 1960. I love the underlying premise of the story...The plot revolves around Sam-I-am's efforts to get his friend to try "green eggs and ham".

......You may like them.
You will see.
You may like them
in a tree?

Not in a tree.
I would not, could not in a tree.
Not in a car! You let me be.

I do not like them in a box.
I do not like them with a fox
I do not like them in a house......




Of course by the end of the poem, Sam-I-am had made his friend try the green eggs and ham. Don't you wish all our kids would try new stuff without hesitation?
So the next time you are getting dinner ready, request their involvement and suggestions. It takes time and the change would not happen in a day so have patience.

This Post was written by Shaheen from Malabar Spices.

Power Breakfast for Mums

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Posted by Meeta K

Photo: Power Breakfast by Meeta Albrecht

I am sure after all that eating over the holidays your waistline is tweaking just a little around the sides. All those delicious cakes, cookies and meals does need to settle themselves somewhere. Mostly they decide to take refuge on our hips or adding to those love handles!

I went to the gym yesterday after what seemed to be ages. Today I feel a slight satisfaction when certain movements cause my muscles to ache just a bit. Remember my last post? Well one of my goals is to do more sport than I did in 2006.

A great way to start the day is with a nice nutritious breakfast. Especially for us mums who are constantly on the go, this is incredibly. A nice filling breakfast goes a long way and often will stop you from nibbling in between meals.

So I thought I would share my favorite breakfast with you. It's easy and just takes a few minutes to make (if you have all the ingredients at home).

You need:
A handful of oatmeal, a few Kellogs Special K cereal, almond slivers, coconut chips, raisins, dried cranberries and cherries, a few table spoons low fat natural yogurt, low fat milk.

Here's how you prepare it:
In your favorite bowl mix all of the dry ingredients together. Top off with the natural yogurt and a dash of milk.

There are many variations to this and you can just about add anything you like. On mine I added a tiny helping of pureed fruit that I keep frozen. In the summer months I make several different types of pureed fruit to use with things like crepes, croissants or as a topping on ice-creams or yogurts. These are the same fruit purees that I often use in Soeren's lunchboxes too.

Here's how to make quick fruit puree:
Take any of your favorite fruit. I like using apples as a base and then adding anything that I have on hand. Peaches, pears, raspberries, strawberries etc. Put the fruit into a pot add a tiny bit of water and a dash of honey. Cook until the fruit becomes mushy and then using a pureeing machine or a blender finely puree the fruit. Place in small containers and freeze.

Have you heard of FitSugar.com? It is one of the fab SUGAR websites and focuses on health. I found a few interesting articles all in the effort to keep us fit through 2007! LOL!
Yogalites - A mix of yoga and pilates.
Miso Soup burns belly fat - The brown seaweed found in the miso may be a fat fighter.

And of course our own BlogLily's advice to replenishing the cake platter with fruits is unbeatable!


Keep fit!

Thank You for voting for The Daily Tiffin in the category Best Blog for Family and Kids over at Well Fed. We would really like to thank everyone who put in the good word for us, nominated and voted for The Daily Tiffin in this category.
You can still vote for us here. It won't be easy as all the nominees are fantastic. Voting ends January 9th, midnight EST.


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This Post was written by Meeta from What's For Lunch, Honey?

Make It Beautiful

Monday, January 08, 2007

Posted by bloglily


I'm guessing that in your house, as in mine, your cake plate's been groaning for the last month with brownies, gingerbread, sugar cookies, and, of course, cake. As the clear light of January cuts through the last of December, you see that while there's a time and place for all those lovely desserts, it wouldn't be such a terrible thing to have an orange insead of a cookie, a papaya instead of a gingerbread man.

January, then, is the time to remember that delicious food doesn't just mean very large sugar cookie. Keep your cake plate out -- but make it the home for something other than sugar cookies. Here in California, naval oranges are ripe and tempting. They're everwhere, and they're truly beautiful. Put a bunch of them (or something else you like) on a cake plate.

Don't browbeat anybody about eating them up. Good food is never, ever medicine. Just lay out nice white porcelein plates after dinner and show your children how to peel a perfect orange and eat it slowly. You don't have to call it dessert. But you might discover that the oranges disappear from your cake plate just as quickly as the brownies did.

And here's an exciting piece of Daily Tiffin news: this blog's been nominated for an award in the Best Food Blog Family/Kids category. We're in second place, which is an enormous honor. You can vote here -- voting ends January 9.


This Post was written by BlogLily from the TiffinTin.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Posted by Meeta K

The Wolf by Meeta

Here we are, 2007 and a fresh new start. For us at The Daily Tiffin we seem to be having a great start. We just found out that the names of the top food blogs nominations have been announced at Well Fed and The Daily Tiffin has been nominated in the category Best Blog for Family and Kids. We would really like to thank everyone who put in the good word for us and nominated The Daily Tiffin for this category.
Until January 9, you can vote for us here. It won't be easy as all the nominees are fantastic.

The beauty of a new year is you get to start new and all over again. Have you all made any new year's resolutions?

Don't go rolling your eyesballs now! We all need some kind of goals to achieve and what better time to start than at the beginning of a new year.

I thought I would do a little research and see what the top resulutions among my family, friends and collegues are. The interesting thing was when I compared them to the search I did on the internet, it seemed that many others have similar goals they would like to achieve.

So here are the top ten resolutins of 2007:
  1. Spend More Time with Family & Friends
  2. Getting into shape. More sport
  3. Loosing weight
  4. Quit smoking
  5. Enjoy life. Less stress
  6. Quit drinking
  7. Pay off debt
  8. Learn something new
  9. Get a better job
  10. Help others
According to Proactive.com, people to do make resolutions are 10 times more likely to reach their goals than people who don't.

How about the kids? Do they need goals and resolutions? Sure they do. Just like it is important for us to have something to achieve, children too need the feeling of being responsible and being able to achieve their goals.

Discuss these goals with your kids in a gentl and playful manner. Do not force them into anything. If you feel there is a certain resistance then you should let go.

Here are a few great ideas, which I picked up at AAP.org

For our toddlers a nice easy resolution is "I will brush my teeth regularly." This was actually a goal Soeren and I set about two years ago. Although he never really caused any trouble to brush his teeth, it was important for me to show him that it was a very healthy thing to do. We bought him a book about a little kid who ate too much candy and never brushed his teeth. The book goes on to show what happened to the little kid - he suffered some pain and needed to go to the dentist. As one of my friends is a dentist, we visited her and she showed Soeren the benefits of taking care of his teeth. This little process really stuck into his head.

For the children between the ages of 5 and 12 a few ideas:
  1. I will drink milk and water, and limit soda and fruit drinks.
  2. I will look for a sport (like basketball or soccer) or an activity (like playing tag, jumping rope, dancing or riding my bike) that I like and do it at least three times a week!
  3. I'll be nice to other kids. I'll be friendly to kids who need friends - like someone who is shy, or is new to my school.
Hope you have fun reaching and attaining those goals you and your children set.

Good Luck!


This Post was written by Meeta from What's For Lunch, Honey?