How a Desi family celebrates Canadian Thanksgiving

We have officially entered that time of year where every family event imaginable occurs one after the other after the other.  Let me break it down for you.

Our wedding anniversary
Husband’s birthday
Rakhi

My sister/brother in laws wedding anniversary
Thanksgiving
Karva Chauth
Diwali
Tikka

My Birthday
My Dad’s Birthday
My brother in laws Birthday
Halloween
My Mom’s birthday
My sister’s birthday
Christmas
NYE

I colour coded it to display events broken down by month.  That is August, October, November then December.  And sometimes this crazy thing is that events may fall on the same weekend or one day apart during the work week or even on the same day!!!! (This year Thanksgiving was the day after Karva Chauth and Diwali is on my birthday).  Also I forgot to mention that majority of these celebrations are celebrated twice (one with my family and once with my in laws).  So undoubtedly it makes for a very busy and intense few months.  It takes a lot of brain power, planning and calmness to make it through these months.  

Now if you aren’t Indian (aka Desi – the word used in the title of this post) you probably won’t know what Diwali, Karva ChauthTika and Rakhi are. 

Anyways on to our Thanksgiving celebration.

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This was my first time hosting.  It was kind of oxymoron because the day after I fasted for my husband we were cooking a faest for 8 adults (well a few items for that feast – we had help because it was kind of a potluck).  We had my parents, my sister and her hubby and my cousin, his wife and their kid – along with us and our mini girl gang.

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On the menu was:

Light Appies
veggies
breadsticks
melba toast
3 homemade dips (Roasted red pepper, hummus and tapenade

Dinner
1 small chicken
10 tandoor drumsticks
Mini corn
Brussel Sprouts
Salad
Vegan Mash Potatos
Spicy indian pasta
Stuffing
Gravy

Dessert
coconut vanilla bean nice cream
mini vegan apple pies
our peanut butter favourite cookies.

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“Fried” chicken (without the deep fryer!)

This recipe is too good not to share.  Although I have reduced the amount of meat I am eating, Miss S and the Hubz have not so I knew I had to make this for them.  And everyone has got to love fried food – but who really loves the deep fryer?  The splatter messes, the lingering smell and the oil that has been used a few too many times…no thanks!

That said I will have to experiment making this vegetarian.  Maybe fried cauliflower – ah yes, that would make it a pakora :P

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So what’s the trick to getting that crispy fried coating – corn flakes!

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This is what you need:

  • Cornflakes
  • Ziplock bag + rolling pin
  • Garlic powder
  • Butter
  • S & P
  • Dill (or other herb of choice – optional!)
  • Chicken breasts (I usually slice them length wise)

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This is what you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Clean and slices your chicken, set aside
  3. Using a ziplock filled with cornflakes, crush the cornflakes.  Transfer to a bowl
  4. Add S & P, garlic powder and herb of your choice to the bowl
  5. Melt butter in the microwave (2+ tbls)
  6. Add Salt, galic powder to the melted butter and mix well.
  7. Set up your assembly line: chicken ready to be coated, melted butter mixture, cornflakes mixture and a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  8. Dip the chicken into the melted butter mixture being sure to coat both sides well, then cover the chicken with the cornflakes making sure to cover all areas of the chicken breast then place on lined baking sheet.
  9. Complete above step for all remaining chicken pieces
  10. Pour any remaining butter on all the pieces and fill in any missed places on the chicken with the cornflakes
  11. Bake 25-30 min.  Check centre of chicken is cooked before removing from oven.

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Greek inspired lentil salad

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I am Indian, a desi, a first generation Indo-Canadian and I very rarely cook daal.

Why?

I just find indian food to be very mushy or overcooked.  Well some of it I love: Saag or Panner but all my life, I’ve always loved salad (I can see everything, it’s crunchy and healthy obvi :P) so eating indian food that has been cooked to an oblivion isn’t really appetizing to me.

But, I had no idea that the base of a salad could be something other than lettuce, kale or spinach.  I mean I’ve made quinoa salads but never a daal based salad.

Until I found this recipe.

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What you need:

Lentils:

  • 2 cups of brown green lentils
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic

Dressing:

  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp whole mustard seeds
  • 6 tbls olive oil
  • 2 tbls vinegar (I didn’t have cherry so I used white)
  • Pepper to taste

Everything else:

  • Cucumber
  • Avocado
  • Olives
  • Soft cheese to top (I used feta)

What you’ll do:

  1. Cook the lentils by first rinsing them a few times in cold water, then adding them to a pot with the garlic and bay leaves and filling the pot with water 2 inches over the lentils.  Let the lentils boil on high heat for 20 minutes and then on medium-low for another 15 minutes until they are tender.  Remove from heat, remove bay leaves and garlic and strain.  Place lentils in the fridge to cool
  2. Add the salt, mustard seeds, olive oil and vinegar to a bowl and whisk until the mix emulsifies
  3. Chop up the cucumber, Avo and slice the olives and cheese as required.
  4. Mix everything (except the cheese) until everything is fully coated in the dressing.
  5. Plate your salad and top with cheese.  Serve as a side or as a main :)

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A Millennial’s Breakfast

Avocado Toast obviously!  Well hey I am back.  I think I am still two posts behind completing my June blog challenge and we are already 4 days into July.  Technically this post counts as a June post so I am only one post behind.  Today’s post is very random.  Wanted to share two things my #AvocadoToast and my task list for today.

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What’s on my Avocado Toast:

  • Smashed avocado
  • Sea Salt
  • Juice of 1/4 lemon
  • Olive paste (home made)
  • Hemp Hearts
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Chili flakes

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A goal is a goal

I have 6 more days left in my blog challenge and although I have a blog calendar I don’t have anything prepped for today’s post.  And by today I actually mean yesterday.  And by prepped I mean have my talking points or pictures ready.  I definitely will be going back to my 3 day a week posting scheduling after this challenge is over.  Not sure what I was thinking when I thought I could do 5 days a week of blogging (I remember my teacher saying that even 4 days a week of blogging is not easy).  But it’s a goal I set for myself and I intend to meet it.  So today’s post is more of a #DiaryEntry.

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Photo taken circa 2011 in Paris after my MBA convocation

Yesterday was the mister’s MBA convocation.  (If you need ideas on how to spend solo parenting time with your kid you can read this).  At first Miss S didn’t want to attend because she was going to have water play day at her preschool.  I was a little sad but also relieved because having her miss a celebration of her father’s achievement would be disappointing but keeping a toddler quite and still for 2 hours would not be easy.  However because the forecast for the day was raining she had decided that she didn’t want to go to preschool and would attend the graduation ceremonies.  Luckily, I had 2 sets of grandparents to help! …All went well except when both kids wanted me to hold them LOL.    Thank goodness for my sling and strong arms :)

This morning we I had early wake up calls (thanks to our #HumanAlarmClocks).  Brought the older one to our bed and she played with my hair and back so I could sleep for another 20 minutes.  Managed to get her ready for the day (bathroom, dressed, breakfast and play time) and write in my journal before the baby woke up.  We let the new grad sleep in 1.5 hours more before I made the toddler wake him up :)

This evening we are heading out to my parents house for a belated Father’s Day BBQ.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Saturday.

Parchment Paper Dinner

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Slow cooker, weekend food prep, left overs, sheet pan meals, bbq, pizza night, breakfast for dinner and now parchment paper meals should be part of every parents arsenal of meal options!

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I now make it at least 3 times a month.  It so easy to prep and even easier to clean up!  I used this Dr. Oz recipe and used the veggies I had on hand.  Still ahh-mazing!

What you need:

– Chicken Breast (I sliced each in half and we had enough for 2 slices per person)
– Garlic
– Butter
– Spinach
– Red Pepper
– Salt & Pepper
– Olive Oil

What you’ll do:

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

2. Fold the parchment paper (12×18 inches) in half, then open up.

3. Lay a bed of spinach on the open parchment paper.

4. Mix the minced garlic and butter in a small bowl and spoon half of the garlic butter on top of the spinach.

5. Lay the chicken on the spinach, season with salt and pepper.

6. Slice the red pepper and lay the slices on top of the chicken and spoon on the rest of the garlic butter.

 

7. Fold the parchment paper over the chicken, and cinch the paper together by folding it over itself along the edges.

7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until internal temperature of chicken reaches 165˚F.

8. Remove from paper and server with spagetti or with a salad ….& Enjoy!

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