Playing Hookie

About ten minutes ago, I decided to play hookie from my routine of walking and yoga.  I can lie and say I don’t feel well, have some pressing obligation, et cetera.  The truth is, I’m having a grand ol’ time writing and editing this blog.  I know, I know, it’s like a shiny new toy that I want to play with 24/7.  What is it that the great teachers (and Yoda himself) preach?  Balance.  Yeah, yeah.  Tomorrow.  I am pleased and positively giddy about the response I’ve received.  Thank you.  It’s very gratifying to know that if you put your thoughts out there (“in the cloud” to use computer geek-speak), that people hear you, relate to you, and heck, even chuckle at something you may have written.

Anyhow, I spent a good chunk of time today doing some last-minute shopping for the impending tea party this weekend.  I was at the local Indian market when lo and behold what is it I see before me?  Fresh okra!  I made a beeline for the bin and promptly began to fill up my bag with this vegetable goodness.  Spring may have truly sprung if okra is available at the local market.  It was settled then – sautéed okra for dinner tonight.  Below is an adapted recipe from my Mother-in-Law.

Sautéed Okra (Bhindi)

– 1/2 pound of fresh okra

– 1 medium red onion (or equal parts sliced onion to okra)

– 1 tsp of turmeric powder

– 1 tsp of garam masala (I prefer MDH Garam Masala, available at any Indian grocer)

– 1 -2 tsp of hot chili powder (to taste)

– 4 tbsp of vegetable oil (I usually cook with virgin olive oil)

1)  Slice okra pods at an angle, and dispose of the heads

2)  Slice 1 medium red onion lengthwise

3)  Heat oil in a wok or a frying pan (keep burner on medium)

4)  Once oil is hot, add the okra and onions together

5)  Give it 1 or 2 stirs and add all of the spices

6)  Blend and stir

7)  Cover and reduce heat

8 )  Uncover and stir every few minutes until onions and okra are soft.  If the okra onion mixture is sticking to the bottom of the pan, drizzle a little more oil

9)  Remove from heat and enjoy with fresh rotis and a little Indian pickle (aanchar) on the side

We still had the leftover black dal (kali dal) from a few days ago, so I decided to make some healthy brown rice as an accompaniment.

Now the question was what do I have for lunch?  I try to not have the same thing for lunch and dinner.  For no other reason than taste bud burnout.  I had picked up a few goodies from Trader Joe’s and I was going to indulge in half of a small olive pizza but still needed a little something something to feel satiated.  I took a few romaine lettuce leaves, drizzled a little Trader Joe’s Asian vinaigrette dressing and topped it off with a few roasted cashews.  It was as good as it looks, and super easy to prepare.  Healthy and tasty salads need not be mutually exclusive with this variation.

One more plug – if you love hot sauce, this one is simply hands down, the bomb-diggidy.  I first sampled this bottle of wonder on a business trip to Austin, Texas.  Several case load shipments from the manufacturer later, I’m hooked.  (Yes, you read that correctly.  I have hot sauce delivered by the case-load to my house.)

After the shopping expedition this morning, I’m pretty much all set for the tea party.  I spent a couple of minutes this afternoon organizing the various teas I have at home.  I think I came up with a pretty good assortment.

This quickly has become a hodge podge of a post (blame it on the newbie enthusiasm).  I am slowly going to move away from the computer and indulge in a few episodes of Tony Bourdain, Barefoot Contessa, and True Blood Season 1, disc 5 (yes, I have eclectic taste).  Ciao!

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