Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Seven Steps to a Perfect Day...and the perfect cutlet

Perfect Day - I ask myself what the hell that is today...a laundry load to fold, homework to finish with K2, sleepless night, headache, lunch box to pack, rush to get K2 to school, a discipline note from K2's school to deal with (don't ask I won't tell)...as I sit in an Yoga class and breathe deeply and focus on nothing...all the mad rush and angst vanishes away and the focus is on the breath and all things good...and  it hits me that the choice to whether my day is perfect or not is up to me. Why Seven...because I like the number seven...this could be thirteen, sixteen or even 2 for you...but ask yourself what makes your day perfect...till you figure it out here is my list :-)
  1. Don't sweat the small stuff : Fancy that advise coming from the master planner who plans, organizes, builds meal plans, weekly plans, budgets, to-do lists and other minutia in life to the nth detail...however truth is I am trying (and to some extent succeeding) to quit sweating the small stuff...the reality that we are really not in control punched me in the face couple times already and I am slowly learning
  2. Listen to Music : As I listen to Pandora Radio ( whether it is the Eagles (Hotel California) or the Carpenters (Top of the World)...or some idiotic tune from Rowdy Rathore), I automatically perk up and the workload seems a lot more manageable
  3. Treat yourself and others nice : I went for a restorative yoga class today and just made myself a hot cup of green tea that I am drinking and munching Nonni's Cinnamon Raisin Thins and it is relaxing.I won't be too hard on K2 ( I took  tv away for 3 days amidst tears, as consequence for the note) 
  4. Goof Around : On Sunday, K2 and I played "Just Dance 3"...we danced the Halloween Dance about 3 times and I lost every time....reason was : my son has danced this song about 20 times at his "choice time" at extended care and is something of a pro at it....I would have danced it a 4th time just to see the sheer joy on his face after he won....and the bonus was I burnt some calories along the way
  5. Do something you love : For me it is different things on different day - today it was about checking 2-3 things off my To-Do list. Yesterday it was about making yummy cheese dosas for my son and listening to his over-the-top praises ....yup! he realizes I am a sucker for his compliments....on Sunday, it was hanging out with my kooky brother and the 2K's and being thankful for it
  6. Help Someone : I was a score keeper...cynical...even with K1 - divide the work equally, not too flexible. I am not saying that I have 100% changed but I am aware and trying...K2 and I were at the farmer's market 3 weeks back and there was this woman sitting on the road with a 2 month old baby asking for help...I bought some bread and gave it to her...the feeling of warmth that came from helping her for no other reason but just because I felt like it...was "priceless" and there was K2 watching and internalizing something from that incident...
  7. Love Hard : Something the master in Kung Fu Panda (yes the cartoon!) said stayed with me -  Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery, but Today is a gift. That is why it is called the "present." I still worry, plan and organize...that is an intrinsic nature that I won't let go easy BUT I also value and cherish what I have...the love of family, friends...so don't forget to tell them you love them...and don't worry about tomorrow...coz it will happen the way it has to happen no matter what...
As K2 and I were chatting yesterday evening (he was sitting on the kitchen counter and I was standing making dosas)...I asked him what his favorite food was : he said - Ma, I love your dosas but Aai's (my mother) Cutlets are Delish...so without much ado here is my Ma's Beetroot Cutlet recipe (in Indian cooking cutlet is not a cut of meat...it can be but in most cases it is a vegetarian patty with a huge flavor impact)...this was my go-to dish as a kid and I didn't realize it then....it was fabulously healthy too...(I have done a couple swaps that I will mention and you decide how you want to make it ...with the swaps or my Ma's classic)

You Need :
  1. 2 Beetroots (finely grated)
  2. 2 Carrots (finely grated)
  3. 2 Sweet Potatoes (Boiled - my mother uses regular potatoes, the sweet potatoes make it sweeter)
  4. Fresh chopped Cilantro
  5. 1 medium finely grated onion, small knob of grated ginger, 3 cloves garlic
  6. Secret Ingredient - Roopak Kadhai Masala (don't know where to get that, I don't either -- my sister in law picks it up from Delhi for me OR Use your favorite brand of garam masala)
  7. Panko Bread Crumbs, Egg White for binding 
SWAP : I shallow fry my cutlets in a  pan, my mother used to deepfry them in a deep kadai (I think she shallow fries now too).

What you do :

  1. In a mixing bowl mash the boiled Sweet Potato
  2. Microwave the grated vegetables for 2-3 minutes
  3. In a little oil fry the onions, ginger and garlic
  4. Add the grated veggies and the boiled mashed sweet potatoes, cilantro and the spices. Add Salt ( I usually don't add any chili powder but you can kick it up with chili powder).
  5.  I make oval patties. Dip in the Eggwhite , Roll in Panko Bread Crumbs and Shallow Fry. Serve with Ketchup. 
I usually serve this with a yogurt cucumber dip, a boiled egg (for added protein) and a whole wheat butter toast to make it a complete balanced meal.This is one of K2's favorite foods. He is happy because he gets something  that is crunchy and yummy and I am really happy because he is getting healthy veggies, some hard hitting carbs (from Sweet Potato) and a myriad of nutrients including beta carotene's, antioxidants etc.


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  2. Hi,

    Never took the chance to tell you :) - I love your blog. This one especially - as I chug along - taking care of a baby and a dog :) full-time and working part-time - this one resonated with me. I am learning to let go (not letting the laundry, the messy house, work bother me) - was thinking around the same lines this morning. Right now - both the kiddos are snoozing - me enjoying my cup of green tea :) Work can wait - Life could not be more perfect!

  3. Hi Uma,

    Thanks! Your comments and encouragement mean a LOT to me. Hope you and Srini and the 2 kiddos are doing well...hope to see you soon :)...Meenakshi