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    All you beautiful single people out there – here’s how to rock a dining alone experience -especially during the holidays. When you enter a restaurant alone and the host/hostess asks you in that special tone of voice “party of one?” prior to seating you, embrace it. Do not feel the need to erase it from your memory as a bad thing – except that tone lol. All the times I have dined alone here at home in Los Angeles as well as around the world when traveling on my own, I’ve had much fun by following a few simple dos and don’ts.

    How to rock a dining alone experience

    I do believe eating out on your own is becoming more and more popular. A few years back, Open Table, an online restaurant reservation service reported that the fastest-growing type of reservation was for tables of one.

    Ha! There you have it….!!

    If you plan on staying home tonight you can find my easy to follow weeknight meal plan here but if you’re in the mood for stepping out by all means rock that dining alone experience. Now keep in mind, while you or I may indeed be comfortable dining alone, the host or server more often, is not. It is hilariously worse when one is travelling alone in a foreign country. The cultural differences around the globe pertaining to the perception of single ladies dining alone are as varied as the countries themselves.

    Single people dining alone


    • Don’t accept the bad table next to the kitchen, if you don’t want to. Ask politely but firmly if they could seat you at another table. Explain that you are on your own and don’t mind waiting a little.


    • Sit at the bar – although some folks may sometimes assume that you are looking forward to talking with other people for company. If you prefer to be left to yourself, follow the next tip to show others that you are indeed an expert on how to rock a dining alone experience.
    How to enjoy dining alone

    What to bring!

    • Bring a book to read when dining alone. Some restaurants are fancier than others and might not be the kind where you bring your book or ipad, so play it by the ear.

    How to rock it!

    • Be friendly with the server but not over-friendly. Do not feel the need to share the reason for dining alone. It is simply a choice you made this evening. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Be you!

    • Some people might be all too ready to put a single diner – more so a single female diner – in the category of either lonely or cocky. If the likes of them are getting ready to treat you with sympathy or disdain as the case may be, from the moment you walked in, that is their choice. Don’t feel like you have to fall into one of those two categories. You certainly don’t. Be yourself and enjoy your meal.

    What if!

    • If you are in a foreign country, understand that travelling alone in a place you’ve never been before and being among people whose language you don’t speak, is in itself a bit nerve-wracking. Be prepared for surprises. Treat it as a learning experience. Try to stay pleasant and allow certain things to roll off your back – within limits. If it comes to a choice between being courteous and being safe, choose the latter.  At the same time do not try to make it about a clash of cultures. 

    Last but not the least, have fun being in your own company. And that ladies and gentlemen boys and girls, is how to rock a dining alone experience. Bon appetit!

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    Uthappam – Pancakes Indian Style

    As a lover of Indian foods here is a simple and easy recipe for Uthappam or Pancakes – Indian Style. This is a healthy breakfast food born in the south of India that has grown in popularity among foodies throughout the world. Alongside Dosa and Vada, Uthappam is a popular street food sold from food trucks and carts in cities all across India.

    Uthappam - Pancakes Indian Style

    Ingredients –

    • Idli Mix or Dosa Mix (you can make it from scratch or you can buy the mix from any Indian store) – 2 cups
    • Onion – 1 medium – finely chopped (1/2 cup)
    • Bell Pepper – 1 finely chopped – 1/2 cup
    • Tomato – 1 finely chopped – 1/3 cup
    • Green Chillies – 2-3 finely chopped
    • Oil for pan frying
    • Salt to taste
    Uthappam - Pancakes Indian Style


    1. First prepare the batter following instructions for the Idli or Dosa mix from the Indian store. Or you can prepare a homemade idli batter from scratch by following recipe here
    2. Add salt to the mix (if you haven’t added it to the homemade batter before fermenting). Add water as needed.
    3. Mix well. Batter should be about the same consistency as regular pancake mix – thicker than regular dosa mix batter and slightly more runny than idli mix batter.
    4. Next, heat a cast iron griddle or Tava (you can buy a dosa Tava at any Indian store) or a regular non-stick griddle – on medium high.
    5. Sprinkle a few drops of oil on the preheated Tava and spread the oil onto the whole tawa/griddle using a halved potato or a small onion cut in half. This helps to spread the batter evenly while preventing it from sticking.
    6. Repeat this prior to ladling out the batter for each Uthappam.
    7. Next, pour a ladle of batter on the griddle/tava and spread it in a circle by gently rotating the ladle in a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction.
    8. Sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons finely chopped onion and 1-2 tablespoons finely chopped bell pepper on top of the Uthappam/pancake .
    Indian Food Vada
    1. Next, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of finely chopped tomato and add some finely chopped green chillies on top.
    2. Gently press down the veggies with a spatula.
    3. Drizzle 1 teaspoon oil around the edges.
    4. Cook for approx 2-3 minutes until the bottom turns a light golden brown.
    5. Flip it gently with the spatula and cook other side for a minute or until the bottom of the pancake looks done.
    6. Transfer the Uthappam to a serving platter.
    7. Repeat steps 5 through 14 using the remaining batter.
    8. Serve hot with coconut chutney or tomato onion chutney
    Indian Food Idli

    Hope you enjoy this healthy recipe for Uthappam or Pancakes – Indian Style. You can find my other recipes here. Keep the comments coming! We love your feedback.

    Tips and Tricks –

    • Using a cast iron Tava is recommended so as to have the Uthappam turn out a nice golden color.
    • The batter should not be spread very thin as otherwise, the veggies will not cook evenly within the batter.
    • If you prefer your Uthappam thick and fluffy, cover it with a lid while it is cooking. It will speed up the process
    South Indian Food

    Credits –

    Recipe – foodviva | images – Uthappam with Coconut Chutney, Tomato Chutney and Sambhar courtesy yazhli – Image of Uthappam with Sambhar courtesy B Six Inn featured image courtesy Tripadvisor

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    Weeknight Meal Plan – Happy Foods That Reduce Stress

    For those of us whose concept of a happy meal is a healthy one – this is a quick Weeknight Meal Plan – Happy Foods that Reduce Stress. This is my take on “Happy Meals” with no-cook recipes with step-by-step instructions on and how to create them for your family. Sometime back, my daughter (she is away at college) had mentioned that she was ordering pizza more often than she liked to because she didn’t want to have to cook.  Knowing how strongly she feels about eating right and staying healthy so for all those who like my daughter lacks the time or the will to produce home-cooked meals, I say – don’t beat yourself up for ordering Pizza. There are worse things in life I tell her! Nevertheless I understand her concern. So I sat down to create this how-to guide for her and others that are concerned about the food they eat to how it affects their physical and mental health. It was the beginning of my journey to find “happy foods” or ingredients or foods that make you more happy and less anxious.

    Here’s how to use happy foods that reduce stress to draw up a Weeknight Meal Plan. If you don’t want to cook, you don’t have to. By following the steps you can save time, eat healthy and avoid worrying about your health because you’re ordering out, not to speak of wasting money. It is a process, one step at a time.

    Shopping for groceries


    When you shop for groceries, plan a little and buy stuff so you don’t have to cook at all. This way you’ll eat healthy and feel good about yourself. And you’ll be happy There’s a ton of meals that require none to minimum cooking time. Yes….Really! Let’s face it with everything thats going around, planning for a meal can sometimes be stressful and exhausting. Let’s talk healthy no stress meals with little or less cooking time and no elaborate planning.


    A big stress buster – this I have learnt from my daughter – is to make a quick list, a sort of a template – in your Iphone’s “notes” or “reminders app. Make a list of staples each week (it makes life a lot easier) and switch them around week to week. You can add or take away items as you need, before you go to the shops.


    Here are some of my basic must-haves for a Weeknight Meal Plan – Happy Foods that Reduce Stress:

    • Quinoa – believed to be among those foods that make us happy – or rice or flax seeds
    • Lentils or beans or black eyed peas. All simple and easy to make ahead or right at dinner time with no stress.
    • Cereal
    • Onions, Carrots and Peas – good for any kind of veggie sautés  or meat stir fries
    • Potatoes – looking for a weeknight meal plan with happy foods that reduce stress need very little work and time?Potatoes are great for the occasional french fries or a quick Indian style curry with potatoes AKA Aloo dum.
    • Yoghurt is another one of my staples. They are rich in probiotics which is known as one of those happy foods. You can put it in an Indian style curry such as Spicy Egg Curry or Mom’s Chicken Curry. It gives the sauce its creamy texture without adding cream or butter. The secret is out!

    Rice and Lentils are easy to make however most other ethnic cooking like Curries – chicken curry or fish curry – usually require more prep and more elaborate cooking. Either way, cooking elaborate comfort foods from one’s own culture following mother’s recipe may or may not be included on a how to guide on creating Weeknight Meal Plan – Happy Foods that Reduce Stress. But to make that once in a while, Indian food on a weeknight I have some quick tips as well. For that reason I have a list of basic ethnic food ingredients as well that I keep stocked in my kitchen for when the mood strikes:

    Ethnic Store Basics

    • Basmati Rice
    • Naan Bread
    • Lentils – Moong daal and/or masoor daal and/or Rajma
    • Turmeric
    • Coriander seeds (dhania)
    • Mustard Oil – small bottle (Fish sometimes smells a little, unless cooked in Mustard oil)

    If you can’t make it to the Ethnic store, don’t worry, you can still eat yummy healthy meals all week long, with my guide to creating Weeknight Meal Plan – Happy Foods that Reduce Stress with minimum cooking. Start by making a list of some staples each week at the grocery store. 

    Ethnic food

    Grocery Store Basics

    • Jasmine Rice 
    • Tortillas – alternate between while wheat or corn or Spinach Tortillas
    • Lentils – alternate between split pea or kidney beans – (the latter takes longer to boil and must be soaked overnight before you cook)
    • Lousiana Fish fry mix OR just bread crumbs – plain or seasoned
    • Garlic Salt
    • Sardines – I buy the ones in water – not in oil or tomato sauce which are fatty or mushy and tasteless …blah!!
    • Cereal – I usually get Kashi with or without berries 
    • Milk – Almond Milk or Coconut Milk
    • Yogurt
    • Honey
    • Corn chips or alternate week sweet potato chips
    • Hummus – 2 different kinds alternately – to use as spread on toast in the morning or for lunch sandwiches with cold cuts or cheese and tomato or for cucumber sandwiches
    • Soup – alternately clam chowder or minestrone or tomato soup or split pea. I don’t like the chicken soup because it just tastes like water and salt and does not fill up my tummy satisfactorily

    Produce Section

    • Tomatoes – they go with everything – in curries to make the sauce thick – or in tomato and cheese sandwiches or tomato slices served on the side with rice and fried fish. 
    • Onion – small bag – for sautes and/or curries
    • Garlic – a small one will last you weeks.
    • Small potatoes – 1 bag – for curries or fries or lightly seasoned potato wedges
    • Mixed Vegetables – buy an assortment of fresh veggies – they stay fresh for a week, My favourites are squash, bell peppers, mushrooms, green beans and cauliflower
    • Broccoli – 1 bunch you can just eat them steamed for 10 – 15 minutes
    • Radish – 1 bunch – you can eat them raw (wash thoroughly and soak in water) or steam for 10 minutes!!
    • Baby carrots – with the green leaves – these cook in 5 minutes. Besides they are sweet and tasty.
    • Fresh Greens – Spinach or Kale or Bok Choy
    • 2 different kinds of salads in bags. A trick to creating WeeknightMeal Plan – Happy Foods that Reduce Stress. I buy salad kits. They make life easier. Besides, they have toppings and berries all planned out.
    • Light salad dressing of your choice and alternate the flavour every two three weeks.
    • Lemon  – a squeeze of lemon juice goes well with steamed rice and seafood besides adding flavor to lentil soup.

    Frozen Section

    I try not to buy anything from the frozen section – because I don’t like preservatives – except frozen peas. I have not bought fresh peas in the longest time, as I don’t have time to sit down and shell them. Not that it wouldn’t be a nice thing to do in the kitchen. Gather around as a group, shelling and swapping stories, like old timers. Slow down – celebrate the past. Maybe someday! For now let’s get back to Weeknight Meals To Make You More Happy

    Bakery Section

    • Bread – sourdough, whole wheat, multi grain, garlic bread or focaccia. Rotate every week so you don’t get bored.
    • Cookies – 1 bag or box only every two to three weeks. Once again, you can rotate the kind of cookies you get.

    Deli Section

    • Cold cuts – 2 different types  – I get the turkey breast from the Real Simple line (something like that, I forget the name brand) but its the one with no additives. i like to make sure there is no Sodium Nitrite – I am told it can cause cancer but I guess as per the FDA the jury is still out.
    • Rotisserie Turkey Breast or Roasted Chicken
    • Cheese – 1 or 2 kinds
    • Olives


    Don’t get too overly concerned with cooking in order to eat. If you plan the shopping, then you can eat what you have in your fridge when and if you’re hungry and not worry about the specter of cooking hanging over your head.

    Happy Cook


    (1) Steamed Rice or Quinoa or Naan Bread

    On Sundays I sometimes make a quick cup or two of quinoa or boil a couple of cups of rice ahead of the week as a way of my rudimentary food prep. That will go for a week. I buy Naan bread or Tortillas. You can make any number of quick and easy entrees throughout the week to go with the main dish.


    (1) Lentil Soup

    Plan ahead and prep and even pre-cook – if need be – your main dishes for the week. I like to spend some time over the weekend and get this part done. Then combine them with meat and fish entree from my weekly list.

    Lentils are a great source of protein and fibre. Here’s how I do lentils to make daal. Boil a half cup of lentils or black eyed peas in 3 cups of water, When it looks and feels mushy, take it off the heat. Take a fresh pan – heat a little bit of oil. Add a pinch of coriander seeds, Then slice a couple of green chillies lengthwise and add to hot oil. Roughly chop some tomatoes. When coriander seeds begin to sputter, add the tomatoes, stir for a bit until they begin to lose color. Add frozen green peas. stir a bit until they begin to lose color and feel a little softer. Next pour the boiled lentils mush into the pan. Sprinkle salt and turmeric. When it begins to sizzle, turn down the heat to low and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes. Take off heat. Pour very carefully into a deep bowl. Add some cilantro on top. Enjoy with boiled rice and a squeeze of lemon juice.  

    (2) Bok Choy in Olive Oil

    Bok Choy is a green leafy vegetable that appears on the list of happy foods as well. Lightly toss these in olive oil with some sesame seeds until the greens begin to turn soft – but not mushy. Season to taste with a little salt and fresh ground pepper. flakes. Best served with seafood.

    (3) Spicy Kale

    Kale is a versatile vegetable. I like to follow my quick and healthy easy recipe for Kale and Eggs

    (4) Sauteed Mixed Vegetables

    Cut the vegetables in equally sized pieces. Heat Olive Oil in a long-handled wok. Add onions. cook until they turn transparent. Add the other veggies. Grab the handle of the pan and flip the pan up in the air tossing the vegetables to coat them evenly with oil. Alternately you can use a spatula as you would toss a salad. Cover with a lid and cook for a few more minutes. ad a splash of water if they begin to stick to the bottom of the pan. Test the cauliflower with a fork to see if its cooked through – but not soggy- to know when its ready to eat.


    The above should see you through a week of healthy meals combined with one or more of the following easy poultry or seafood entrees to choose from :

    (1) Pan Fried Fish

    I use Salmon, because of its health benefits. Food that promotes mental well-being and happiness. You can use any other fish that is available. What I do is on Sunday with the rice and lentils or daal, for a few minutes extra I cook a  basic Salmon Fry. If you like that, heres how you do it -(beat a couple of eggs together in a bowl, dredge the Salmon fillets in egg, then cover with breadcrumbs or Louisiana Fish fry mix). Heat Mustard Oil, fry both sides until brown, carefully lift out of the frying pan on to plate lined with paper towels.  

    (2) Turkey Rotisserie

    Buy a split Turkey breast or a whole rotisserie chicken. Carve and serve with the rice and lentils with tomato slices on the side.  Make a quick and easy Raita or yogurt dip. Beat a cup of yogurt with a fork. add some red pepper flakes and salt to taste. No cooking today!

    (3) Baked Salmon in Mustard

    Make sure to get the spicy style mustard – not the sweet one. Put the fish fillets in a baking dish, cover and coat with mustard. add mustard oil, add two slit green chillies and bake for about 30 minutes – turning once – 15 minutes on each side.  

    (4) Fish in coconut Milk

    You can substitute coconut milk (in a can) for mustard and follow the instructions from the above recipe. Add a pinch of turmeric – which is another “happy food” and cook the same way.

    (5) Sardines on the Side

    Open a can of sardines – heat it up with rice and lentils then serve with some pita chips on the side. No cooking!

    (6) Cold Cuts of Meat

    Warm up some cold cuts (lunch meat). Serve with rice and lentils, with cucumber slices and halved radishes on the side.  No cooking and you can still have the benefits of the meat protein.

    (7) Soup for dinner

    Open up a can of soup – hot clam chowder OR hot Tomato soup with a little bit of milk added, served with toast spread with hummus or guacamole on the side.


    (8) Dinner Salad

    A big bowl of salad with your choice of salad dressing and some cold cuts and chips added on top.  

    Do not overthink or sweat about an entire week of meals. It can drive you nuts.  If you’ve planned the shopping you can now eat whatever you have in the house!


    I like to eat one big meal through the day. For instance, rice with vegetables and a fish or chicken entree. Usually it’s Lunch – because then it has all day to get digested as we are running around doing stuff. I eat a bunch of small snacks in the evening as soon as I get home from work. I cut a piece of brie along with some grapes – another “happy food” and a small piece of bread dipped in olive and some salami or chicken sausage. Sometimes I’ll either have a bowl of salad or hot soup with toast for dinner – I try to avoid bread or rice at dinner. Try not to eat a heavy meal late in the evening as it might keep you up at night. 

    If I get hungry later when I’m writing or watching TV, here’s my quick fix for a snack.  A bowl of cereal with yogurt sweetened with  a little honey or a tiny bit of brown sugar. It tastes like ice cream.  That way I get the fibre from the cereal and get my sweet fix at the same time.


    • Try to carve out a time – preferably a fixed time every afternoon or evening, for tea (or coffee). Drink it from a cup and saucer.  Sit down with the teacup or coffee cup and savor each sip. Serve yourself some crackers or cookies in a little plate to go with it, or salami or olives.  Make sure you are not watching TV or reading at the same time. Just have happy thoughts and enjoy your tea. I like to sit outside and enjoy the view.
    • Try not to focus on what you did not get done that day but instead focus on how amazing a person you are – because you are!  No one tells you that nearly enough, neither do you.
    • Try to get to bed early and get up early. Try not to focus on what you need to get done that day as you get ready for the day.  You have a calendar for that. Do not stay up late. It will lead to sleeplessness.
    • Instead of your list of tasks, try to focus instead on how amazing the day is and how lucky you are to get to enjoy it. It’s not gong to be easy but you have to keep working at it. If you wish to be happy there is no other option.
    • Try to rotate your routine for simple everyday tasks. Even something small as switching your toothbrush holder and soap pump from one side of the sink to the the other makes you feel good in the morning.
    • Smile into the mirror. Notice how your face lights up. How you look more attractive than when you wear a frown.  


    Hopes that my simple guide of Weeknight Meal Plan – Happy Foods that Reduce Stress will help simplify your life. Also hope the 6 stress busters work for you. Try them – and try again – until they start to work. The objective is to turn your mind around so as to perceive your actions as just something essential. Accept what you did or did not do in terms of not right or wrong – just in terms of you being YOU. To not be sad or angry at things you did or failed to do or things that others did to you because your only obligation is to yourself, your only goal is to make you happy.  Tamp down negative thoughts as soon as they crop up. Then turn then into the positive thoughts.

    Weekday Meals to Make You Happy

    In reality, one may have to do this repeatedly because the neuro-pathways may have become used to thinking that negative is productive. That is only because the negative may have become a habit – stressing out or worrying may have become familiar. But familiar does not necessarily mean right. In some cases indulging in worrisome, anxious thoughts at night or at bedtime may have become routine. Make the effort to identify them as counterproductive and move to the positive. Keep in mind, fear has no basis and worry has no outcome. We must keep fighting those until being sad stops feeling familiar and being happy becomes more commonplace. 

    I feel we must devote time and energy to controlling our stress on our own – spend more time on ways to avoid stress and less time in stressing. Therein lies the biggest secret. As in every thing in life – the important thing is to keep at it – practice, practice, practice. Because….

    ….The only place where SUCCESS comes before WORK is in the dictionary – Anonymous

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    Slow Cooked Beef Stew

    Slow-cooked Beef Stew is a Fall special in my house. The house fills up with the tantalizing aroma of cooking.  My daughter loves it. Having said that, there is no rule that says one may not cook beef stew in the middle of summer, right?  So I decided to make it over the weekend. Since we’ve been having the kind of hot summer that sends one into a stupor, so digging up the recipe, shopping for ingredients, the preparations etc., revived me.

    Tip #1

    The trick to a really great Beef Stew is to simmer for a long time and there is simply no workaround to slow cooking.  Beef cuts can become tough and chewy if cooked quickly. However if the meat is allowed to cook slowly, the fat within melts to tenderize the meat. Besides which, it also add tons of flavor and body to the broth.

    Cut of Beef

    Tip #2

    Nonetheless, if you are like me and the idea of slaving over a hot stove for long hours does not appeal to you, but you do enjoy feeding your flock good home cooked meals, do what I do. Use a slow cooker.

    Ingredients –

    • Beef Cubes – 2 Lbs.
    • Chick-Pea Flour – ¼ cup
    • Sea Salt – salt to taste
    • Ground Pepper – to taste
    • Onion – 2
    • Garlic – 4 garlic cloves
    • Cinnamon sticks- 1
    • Cloves – 2-3
    • Cardamom – 1
    • Bay Leaf – 1
    • Carrots – small 5-6
    • Celery- 8-10
    • Potato – 1
    • Beef Stock (Low Sodium) – 1 can
    Beef stew

    Directions –

    Prep –

    1.  Chop the onions into quarters
    2.  Mash the garlic cloves with the back of a knife handle to take off the skin then chop finely.
    3.  Dice the potato into quarters
    4.  Chop the carrots into thick rounds
    5.  Thickly chop the celery
    6.  Mix the chickpea flour, sea salt, and ground pepper in a large mixing bowl;
    7.  Add the beef cubes.
    8.  Toss them in the flour to coat;
    9.   Next, roughly mash the cloves and cardamom in a marble mortar and pestle –

    Cooking –

    Step #1

    Heat a skillet over medium heat and add 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil. Sauté the bay leaf till it begins to turn brown add the cloves and cardamom.

    Step #2

    Then add the meat and sauté till it turns brown and gets a slightly crispy crust;

    Step #3

    Transfer the meat from the skillet to the slow cooker.

    slow cooked beef stew

    Step #4

    Now add onions to skillet, cook onion for about 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another 1-2minutes;

    Step #5

    Transfer the onion-garlic mixture to the slow cooker. Add the rest of the ingredients to the slow cooker and stir to combine. Cover the cooker, turn it on and allow to cook for 4-6 hours ;

    Step #6

    Garnish with fresh finely chopped herbs – thyme and chives – if you want.

    Step #7

    Serve with steamed rice or toasted garlic bread or just some oven warmed deli-fresh bread rolls in a bread basket. Bon Appetite…!

    Bowl of beef stew


    I first saw a version of this recipe on and tried it. However over the years one has been adding to it, tweaking it to my family’s taste and now they swear by Mom’s version of it….or so one would like to believe 🙂

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    3 Easy Breezy Fall Salad Recipes

    Easy breezy fall salads
    3 Easy Breezy Salad recipes

    Here in southern California, although we do not have much of a season change. Even so, we can tell Fall is in the air when the days begin to get a little shorter as evening temperatures start to dip a little. While Autumn may be around the corner, we nonetheless want to hold on to the final days of summer with these 3 Easy Breezy Salad Recipes. Perfect for when you want to rustle up a hearty combination of the freshest greens from the crisper bin of your fridge to prepare a large bowl of cold salad for brunch.

    Arugula Avocado and Smoked Salmon Salad with Ginger Dressing Recipe

    A favorite brunch menu of mine is lox on toast. Likewise, another favorite is avocado on toast but with sliced avocadoes instead of the spread. Consequently, one decided it was time to combine both brunch preferences with one’s favorite salad green Arugula to create a main meal salad that is not only healthy but also equal parts yummy. I love arugula because it has a slightly peppery flavor which adds a zing. In addition to that, the Asian Ginger dressing adds an unexpected twist thus making it exciting.

    3 Easy Breezy Salad recipes- Arugula Smoked Salmon and Avocado salad

    Both Lox and avocado have mild – not strong – flavors. Even though ginger dressing is not a traditional choice likely to be paired with lox, I like it this way because it makes an otherwise predictable meal such as a main dish salad, more exciting. FYI the first time I was served this salad was with a champagne vinaigrette dressing. You can try that as well.


    Fresh Baby Arugula – 4 cups or I bag
    Microgreens (you can use any microgreens like Kale) or watercress – I cup
    Smoked Salmon – (look for wild Alaskan smoked salmon) *see note
    Red Onions
    *Most smoked salmon packages come pre-sliced. Buy fresh and get good quality salmon.


    Tear the smoked salmon into bite-sized chunks
    Chop microgreens
    Slice avocados
    Cut the red onion in half then slice lengthwise into thin slices


    Easy Breezy Recipe for Ginger Salad dressing:

    1 cup sweet onion, such as Vidalia, chopped
    4 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
    ¼ cup celery, chopped
    ½ cup carrots, chopped
    1 teaspoon fresh garlic minced – (I use from the jar)
    2/3 cup rice vinegar
    ¼ cup water
    2 tablespoons ketchup
    2 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
    1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
    ½ teaspoon kosher salt
    ¼ teaspoon pepper



    In a food processor place the onion, grated ginger, celery, carrots and garlic and puree until the vegetables are fine and grainy but not pureed.

    Next, add the vinegar, water, ketchup, soy sauce, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Then pulse a few times to mix the ingredients.

    The mixture should be well-blended but a bit grainy and not totally pureed. Yield: 3 cups. Pour into a container such as a glass jar with a lid or a bottle. Refrigerate leftovers.

    Firstly add all the salad ingredients in a bowl. Then drizzle the dressing on top, when you are ready to eat. Toss salad at the table, right before serving. Additionally, you can serve the dressing in a gravy boat or glass jar for those who want to add more dressing to their individual plate or bowl.

    Couscous Salad with Chickpeas Cherry Tomatoes & Feta Cheese Recipe


    1 cup uncooked whole-wheat couscous
    1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper,
    1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 cup boiling water
    3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
    Dash of sugar
    1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
    1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
    Pinch of paprika
    1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
    8-10 cherry tomatoes, halved
    3/4 cup (3 ounces) crumbled feta cheese

    3 Easy Breezy Salad recipes-Cous Cous cherry tomatoes and chickpea salad


    Rinse and drain the Chickpeas in a colander
    Place couscous along with 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cinnamon in a bowl.
    Stir in boiling water.
    Cover and let stand 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
    Combine oil then lemon juice, garlic, and sugar in a bowl.
    Add oil mixture to Cous Cous.
    Now add remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, mint.
    Next, add green onions, paprika, chickpeas and cherry tomatoes
    Sprinkle with cheese on top.

    Toss at the table, right before serving. This is perhaps the easiest one of all the 3 Easy Breezy Fall Salad recipes because its quickest.

    Fiery Chicken Salad with Yogurt Dressing


    Fiery Chicken Wings – from the deli counter at your grocery store – I get mine at Ralphs.
    8 cups chopped lettuce
    One 1/2 sliced cucumber
    1/4 cup roasted cashews
    1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
    1/4 cup chopped cilantro


    Toast the cashews on a roasting pan or baking sheet until crisp.
    While that is getting done, use your fingers to pick the chicken from the bone and set aside. FYI I tried to save this step in the past by substituting with variations such as cooked boneless fajita chicken strips, but it tasted vastly different. It did save time but it turned out to be not as yummy. The flavor of the chicken is what makes it a hit in my family.
    Next, chop the lettuce.
    Slice the red onions in half, then lengthwise into thin slices.
    Peel the cucumbers but in alternate strips not fully. Halve them lengthwise then roughly scrape out the seeds. Next, slice the cucumber into half rings.
    In a large bowl or serving platter, place a bed of lettuce. Then add chicken, cucumbers, onions. Sprinkle with toasted cashews and chopped cilantro.

    3 Easy Breezy Salad recipes-Tandoori chicken salad

    Easy Breezy Recipe for Yogurt Dressing :

    1/2 cup greek yogurt
    1/4 cup mayonnaise
    3 to 5 tablespoons water
    1/4 cup finely chopped mint
    2 teaspoons lime juice
    1 clove garlic, grated
    1/4 teaspoon salt or as required


    Mix together all salad dressing ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to serve time. Add water if needed, to get the desired consistency. Drizzle dressing on top of the salad immediately before serving.
    Bon Apetit!

    Let me know if you try out any of my 3 Easy Breezy Salad Recipes or previous recipes that you can find here and as always it is a pleasure to hear from you guys as to how it turned out.

    Credits: Arugula Smoked Salmon & Avocado Salad pic courtesy Lox pic courtesy Asian Ginger Dressing pic courtesy Fiery Chicken Salad pic courtesy

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    Spicy Kale and Eggs

    This recipe for Spicy Kale and Eggs has been tried and tested in my kitchen several times before being passed on to family members all of whom vouch for its health benefits as well as taste. Eggs gently simmered to perfection on a bed of winter kale braised with garlic, green onions and lemon juice – courtesy Williams Sonoma. Sometimes I add chopped onions and sauteed potatoes.

    • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
    • 4 green onions, white and light green portions, chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 2 bunches kale, tough stems removed, leaves roughly chopped
    • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
    • Salt to taste
    • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
    • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
    • 4 eggs
    • Red pepper flakes, to taste

    Spicy Kale and Eggs recipe

    In a large fry pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the green onions and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add half of the kale and sauté, stirring frequently until it begins to wilt, about 2 minutes. Stir in the remaining kale and repeat. Add the broth, the 1/2 tsp. salt and the 1/4 tsp. black pepper. Stir in the lemon zest and juice. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the kale softens, about 6 minutes.

    Spicy Kale and Eggs recipe

    Using the back of a spoon, create a pocket for each egg in the kale. Crack 1 egg into each pocket. Reduce the heat to medium-low and season the eggs with salt and black pepper. Cover the pan and let the eggs cook until almost opaque, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the eggs rest, covered, until done to your taste. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and serve immediately. Serves 4. Hope you enjoy my Spicy Kale and Eggs recipe.

    Adapted from Williams-Sonoma.

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    Spicy Egg Bhurji

    This Northern Indian version of Scrambled Eggs – similar to Huevos Pericos or Welsh Rarebit – is one of my favorite choices for a quick breakfast or an anytime snack that is simple and easy.

    Ingredients –
    • 8 eggs
    • 4 onions
    • 4 green chillies
    • 4 tomato
    • 1 1/2 inches ginger
    • 1/2 tbsp Cooking oil or 1 tbsp butter
    • 1/4 tsp garam masala powder
    • salt as required
    • Mint or coriander leaves

    Peel and chop the onions.
    Finely chop the tomatoes, green chillies.
    Grate the ginger.
    Mix together the chopped onions, tomatoes, green chillies, with grated ginger in a large bowl.
    Add the garam masala powder.
    Crack the eggs into the same bowl.
    Add salt to taste.
    Whisk everything really well with a fork or an electric whisk the eggs turn until frothy.
    Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add oil or butter.
    When the butter is melted, pour in the egg mixture.
    Cook for about 4-5 minutes stirring continuously till the eggs solidify.
    Add fresh mint or coriander leaves as garnish

    Serve hot, piled on top of toasted English muffins or roll into a warmed buttered chapati. Bon appetit!

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