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LOVE THY LEGUMES

My first self-published book is available in the following formats:

PRINT (PAPERBACK)

My e-Store …CLICK HERE 

e-Store payments are secured by createspace (Amazon’s Publishing Company and my printing service) 

password to view the book on e-Store is LTL, SHIPS IN A DAY, FAST DELIVERY, DISCOUNTS AVAILABLE

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LOVE THY LEGUMES is both a cookbook and an educational resource, designed to empower home chefs with key information on nutrition and cooking practices that can make a difference in their families’ health.

SONALI SURATKAR is a Public Health Nutritionist, trained at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her debut book brings home a bounty of mouth-watering recipes to celebrate legumes for their health benefits, and provides important TIPS ON COOKING AND FOOD PAIRINGS to take your meals to a “wholesome” new level.

Sonali dedicates the entire book to legumes in pursuit of her passion for cooking and educating people about nutrition. Discover how legumes can boost your efforts to lose weight, improve blood glucose, blood pressure and blood lipids, relieve constipation, and help those with PCOS.

Legumes are not just for vegetarians and vegans. This book will help you explore delicious ways to pair poultry, seafood, and meat with legumes. Whether you already cook legumes at home or buy canned legumes, you will learn cooking techniques and practices, and healthy pairing ideas that will improve the nutrient profile of your meal. You will be better equipped to plan BALANCED MEALS for your family.

Most recipes are GLUTEN-FREE, DAIRY-FREE, and NUT-FREE, and can be ready in ABOUT 30 MINUTES. From delicious appetizers, main course curries, stews, stir-fries, and salads, to protein-packed breakfast dishes, flatbreads, and desserts, you will find them all right here. Wait no longer and grab your copy today!

Reviews & shopping links of appliances I use 

My favorite appliances, equipment, and tools – browse this catalog and read the reviews to see if you like something.

Most of them are reasonably priced or go on sale.

  • CLICK on the item you like, it will take you to AMAZON
  • READ the detailed description and then
  • ADD TO CART – it can’t get any simpler.  Saves some time of browsing several options!

For reviews, click on PRODUCT in the table of contents or just SCROLL…

All product reviews are not sponsored and based solely on my experience.

From My Kitchen to Yours…

MAGIC BULLET 

A great handy appliance that I think is important for every kitchen, or anyone who wants to cook smart. I highly recommend this product for its quality, size, efficiency, and durability. 

I have been using this for the past several years. I got it as a gift from my brother and sister-in-law and it has never let me down.

From fine idli batters to coarse chutneys or pestos, pasta sauces to appe or aebeliskiver batters, smoothies to juices…I have never had any issues. Try it for yourself to believe it. You will thank me later! :) 

I have used this while developing recipes for my book LOVE THY LEGUMES. Grab a copy today to learn the importance of eating legumes on a regular basis and healthy food pairings to balance your meal!

PROS:

  • Least expensive of all blenders
  • Can be used for making smoothies, chutneys, pesto, nut paste, batters, ground spices, sauces, marinades, ginger-garlic paste, etc.
  • Requires little space (sits inconspicuously in the corner)
  • Variable size jars are available and they are dishwasher-safe.
  • The motor is easy to clean.
  • Very quick & effective.
  • Highly durable – lasts long without requiring replacement or repairs.
  • Multiple jars make it easy to do multiple tasks in one day without having to wash jars over and over again.
  • Lids help to use the jars as containers too.
  • Available in different sets to suit your budget.
  • Easy availability of spare parts (I’ve not required any)

CONS:

  • Since it is small, you may need to run a couple of cycles for large batches, but it is so quick, it’s usually done in a jiffy.

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PRESTO PRESSURE COOKER

I consider a pressure cooker to be an indispensable tool that should be present in every household, and not just for an Indian household. Indians have been using these like a tradition or default way of cooking. Most cookers designed in India are built with a whistle that releases pressure. It can get loud and a bit scary for those not accustomed to pressure cooking. However, Presto offers a range of cookers that have a pressure regulator instead of a whistle that begins to rock vigorously, after which you can turn down the heat and cook the food for the time specified in the recipe.

I have used my pressure cooker for most of the recipes in my book LOVE THY LEGUMES. The book describes how to use the cooker for pressure cooking and steaming to make high-protein, high-fiber meals that are balanced with healthy food pairings

I really like the Presto Pressure cooker (6-quart stainless steel one). Here are the reasons why- 

PROS:

  • It is vital for cooking beans, dals, rice, meats efficiently. Great for steaming vegetables, making steamed cakes, buns, appetizers, snacks. It helps to promote a healthy lifestyle if used for the right foods and with the right technique.
  • The high pressure cooks tough legumes in a short amount of time-saving you at least 45-60 minutes. You could use that time to plan & pre-cook several dishes in advance.
  • By using stackable containers, you can cook multiple items – great use of time and energy.
  • It works well on gas, electric, and glass top electric stoves.
  • Spare parts are easily available.
  • Available in steel and aluminium. Steel ones are heavier and expensive compared to aluminium ones, but they are also more durable and easy to maintain.

CONS:

  • Large sizes can be expensive but last a lifetime. You can begin with a small size that is not expensive and try cooking with it before you upgrade to the large size. However, if you like to cook in bulk, I would recommend the 6-quart and up.
  • Can be bulky if you go for the large size. I keep it in a corner (on my countertop) and use regularly.

I bought the 6-quart stainless steel one (click on the image above) along with a steamer basket (see below).

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STACKABLE STEEL CONTAINERS

PROS:

  • These stackable steel containers make cooking legumes or tough vegetables very efficient and convenient. Within 20-30 minutes you can prepare dals, rice, and vegetables. Do not cook tender vegetables or leafy vegetables in the pressure cooker, as the high pressure can destroy the nutrients.
  • They are available in any Indian grocery store that stocks pressure cooker or other cooking appliances.
  • They can be heated on the stove, but I recommend you to use them exclusively for use in the pressure cooker.

CONS:

  • They may not be dishwasher safe. However, you can store cooked dishes in these containers and refrigerate or freeze them.
  • They are not microwave-safe.

STEAMER BASKET, STEAMING TRAY, IDLI STAND

Steamer baskets, idli stands, or steaming trays are very useful accessories that can be used with a large-size pressure cooker. You can steam vegetables, idlis (lens-shaped, steamed mini-cakes), gyoza (dumplings), etc. 

I have included a few recipes that require an idli stand in my book LOVE THY LEGUMES. The book also describes how to use the pan to make high-protein, high-fiber meals that are balanced with healthy food pairings

Check out the KESARIYA MODAK WITH COCONUT-ALMOND FILLING recipe here on the blog, where I have used the pressure cooker and the uxcell steaming tray (steamer basket).

PROS:

  • Great for steaming vegetables, batters, etc. – steaming is one of the best cooking methods
  • Made of stainless steel

CONS:

  • May not be dishwasher-safe.
  • Need to be handwashed to remove the food residues.

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APPE PAN, AEBELISKIVER PAN, PANIYARAM PAN

Aebeliskiver pans are used to make Danish pancake puffs called aebeliskives. The design and concept are the same when applied to the pans used for making Indian appe or paniyaram. These pans offer an excellent means to make quick and healthy breakfast dishes. These can be used to make lower-calorie pakoras, kebabs, koftas, etc. for a main course dish or appetizer. They are available as non-stick pans or cast iron pans, with as few as 6 large wells to 12 or more small wells.

I have included several recipes using an appe pan in my book LOVE THY LEGUMES. The book illustrates the use of the pan to make high-protein, high-fiber meals. Do check it out to get started on some lip-smacking and nutritious cooking ideas and healthy food pairings.

PROS:

  • The puffs, appe, or paniyaram are ready within 20 minutes.
  • One can make lower-calorie alternatives to the deep-fried foods. However, do not go very low on the usage of oil or fat, unless prescribed to do so.
  • They are quite durable if maintained with care.
  • Some are available with a lid and a spatula.
  • Works well on gas and electric stove tops.

CONS:

  • Not dishwasher safe. 
  • Hand wash with soft non-abrasive sponge.

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RAMEKINS

Ramekins made of porcelain are excellent not just cooking but for serving as well. They can be used at high temperatures (dry and moist) or in the freezer. I use them as serving bowls as well; they go very well with my dinner ware. I love making souffles and I have used it to make my TOFU MOCHA SOUFFLE in my cookbook, LOVE THY LEGUMES. Check it out! 😉

PROS:

  • Excellent quality.
  • Very durable and chip-resistant.
  • Can be used in oven, microwave, freezer, pressure cooker (briefly), and dishwasher.
  • Versatile usage – use them to serve, cook, or store as some ramekins are available with lids.
  • Available in different size and colors.

CONS:

  • They do not nest and so need to be stacked carefully.

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From my home gym to yours…

ELLIPTICALS FOR SMALL SPACES

Even if your apartment is small or you don’t have enough space to set up a home gym, you can still workout at home. On the cold or rainy days or on those lazy Sundays, this machine stands tall in your house to remind you to keep up your active lifestyle. You can choose to either pay for fitness or medical care. Some investments in your health can go a long way…

There are some great and affordable elliptical machines that can help you get your cardio quota of the day with so much ease and comfort of your home. We have personally tried the Body Rider Elliptical (in the picture) and it works well for our activity routine.

PROS:

  • Ellipticals are safe as they have a lower impact on your joints, compared to high impact activities like running, jumping, etc.
  • They provide a whole body workout.
  • Great for cardio, muscle building and toning the body.
  • Effectively designed for small spaces
  • Affordable
  • Easy to move them around

CONS:

  • Assembling the machine is a bit of a challenge. But once it’s set up, there shouldn’t be any issues.
  • Not a quite machine, but not very loud either if you listen to music using earphones or headphones.

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For more ideas on fitness, activity gear, and equipments hop on to the GET FIT section.