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December 2010 eRecipes

Posted on 09/25/2011 at 05:57 PM by Madhu Gadia

December 2010

Happy Holidays!

Dear Madhu,

As I’m rushing around getting ready for the holidays, I can’t help but think of December also as The End, end of another year. Each December over the last few years I have taken some time to reflect on my feats and triumphs, however small. I typically write these down in a journal, which helps me focus on my accomplishments rather than focusing on everything I did not do or should have done. I hope you too will take the time to focus on your 2010 endeavors and accomplishments.

In my list, I also like to include everything and everyone I’m grateful for, people who helped me through the year. This December, I first and foremost want to thank YOU for your support throughout the year. I could not have done it without you. The books, The Indian Vegan Kitchen and New Indian Home Cooking continue to do well and receive great reviews. I’ve shared the reviews with you via Facebook, Twitter, and this newsletter. Thanks again.

The Perfect Gift: Buying gifts can be stressful. There is financial pressure as well as the struggle of finding that ideal gift. As a shameless plug, how about The Indian Vegan Kitchen and/or New Indian Home Cooking!

My Chai Recipe Won a Contest! I rarely enter a contest but last July, I submitted a recipe for Spiced Chai Latte to the Vegetarian Nutrition Group’s recipe contest. I guess, you never know until you try. My recipe was one of the three contest winners! See the link to the recipe below.

Healthy Bytes: The holiday season can be a challenging time to stay on track with healthy eating goals. How can you eat well and enjoy your favorite homemade treats, office parties, and big meals? Here are some simple ideas to celebrate the season without feeling guilty or deprived. After all, savoring food is part of enjoying the holidays.

  1. Plan ahead. A little planning can save you time and energy at meal times. For holiday get-togethers plan appropriate amounts and types of foods served. If you’re expecting twelve guests avoid preparing food for fifty people. Too many leftovers are a downfall during the holiday.
  2. Eat regularly. Don’t skip meals. Missing a meal is never a good idea. Avoid making the mistake of "saving up" on calories because you know you have a holiday party to go to that night. It usually leads to increased craving and overeating. You can include your favorite holiday foods into your meals to satisfy your appetite.
  3. Relax and Enjoy. Focus on activities instead of the food. A party is a great place to meet people and catch up on news. Distance yourself from the buffet table so you’re not tempted to nibble.
  4. Make Time for Exercise. When you’re busy with holiday activities, you may be tempted to skip your workout. But don’t fall into that trap. Exercise can help you manage your hunger, burn calories, and reduce stress. In the long run, you’ll have more energy, accomplish more, and enjoy the holiday better if you stay active.
  5. Size Matters. Dish up your food on a salad or snack plate, if one is available. Select one to three of your favorite items in small portions and savor each bite. You can eat almost anything in small quantities. But do remember, you don’t want to nibble the cake away. The total number of bites do matter.
  6. Be Realistic. This may not be the ideal time for you to start a weight-loss program. But you can aim to maintain your weight through the holiday season. Help yourself to succeed with positive and specific self-talk. For example, if you tell yourself you will eat only half a slice of apple pie at a holiday dinner and pass on the potatoes, you will be more likely to follow through than if you plan to totally skip dessert.

December Recipes: Along with your traditional holiday favorites, add these fun-to-eat, flavorful, and spicy Indian appetizers. Samosas are one of the most popular Indian snacks. The traditional method of preparing the dough is time-consuming, so I often make samosas using puff pastry sheets. These Quick Vegetable Pastries have all the taste of samosas and take a fraction of the time to prepare. The Black-Eyed Peas Dip has become one of my favorite appetizers for demos and tastings. It’s easy, quick, healthy, and delicious. You could probably use about one can of black-eyed peas to serve six people as an appetizer. And for a flavorful hot beverage, make this award-winning Spiced Chai Latte.

Quick Vegetable Pastries (Samosa Puffs)
Black-Eyed Peas Dip (Lobhia)

Spiced Chai Latte

Wishing you all a Very Happy Holiday Season and a Prosperous New Year.

Happy and Healthy Cooking!
Madhu Gadia

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