Monday, June 08, 2015

Veggie Box Late May 2015 and Spring Roll Omelet

The late May CSA box was brimming with herbs, greens (including two that were new to me) and the start of the summer veggies. Here's how we enjoyed them. 

Zucchini, Summer squashMizuna: I had to look up mizuna, a peppery Japanese green leafy vegetable. Lila helped me unpack the CSA box and sort through the contents and taste-test the more interesting ones. I asked her what we should make for dinner, and she pointed out these three vegetables and said let's make pasta with these. Good idea. I sautéed up zucchini and summer squash half moons in olive oil and garlic, tossed in chopped mizuna at the end, then added a bit of ricotta for some creaminess. With some whole wheat penne, it was a good meal.

Kale: This one's an old friend by now, and I made kale dal with it. 

SpinachLeeks: These went into a soup. Recipe coming up next week! 

CilantroMintCucumbers: My friend and her friend requested an Indian cooking lesson and I was delighted to cook with them. We made egg curry (the basic sauce from this recipe with hard-boiled eggs), mint pulao and cucumber raita. 

Tatsoi: This was another mystery vegetable, and a bit of research showed that it is a tasty Asian green also known as spinach mustard. I used it in these spring roll omelets. Remember those tasty fried spring rolls in Indian Chinese restaurants? They have a filling of seasoned stir-fried vegetables. Here I made a similar filling and rolled it up in an omelet for a light dinner.

Any or all of the following vegetables would work in the filling: cabbage, carrots, greens, scallions, bell peppers, leeks, broccoli, mushrooms, snow peas, onions. I used what I found in the crisper.

Spring Roll Omelet

1. Saute vegetables in 1 tbsp oil until crisp tender: thinly sliced onion, shredded cabbage, chopped tatsoi.

2. Season the vegetables to taste with some of the following: nutritional yeast, black bean sauce, vegetarian oyster sauce, soy sauce, ketchup, pepper. Set the filling aside.

3. Beat 6 eggs with salt and pepper. Make thin omelets. Roll them up with the filling and serve.

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I'm not much of a movie watcher usually but lately I've watched a dozen of them. Movies are an efficient way to kill a few hours during sleepless cross-continental flights. And also to spend long summer evenings when I'm too beat to do much else- of course, I pretend that a movie is really 2 TV shows and watch half of it one evening and the other half the following evening.

Most of the movies I seek out are flat-out comedies or feel-good dramas. Hot Fuzz (2007) is a hilarious British parody of police dramas. An ambitious, highly competent police officer and his bumbling sidekick try to solve a series of mysterious murders in a cozy English village.

The Importance of Being Earnest (2002): This is the screen adaptation of Oscar Wilde's famous play of the same name. I haven't read the play but has assumed that being from the Victorian era, it would have some serious social message. It has nothing of the sort- it is just a silly comedy of mistaken identities. If you're the Downton Abbey type, you'll love this one- great cast, extravagant costumes and mansions and lots of butlers and maids everywhere.

Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2012): A British feel-good comedy drama. A group of British seniors are looking for an affordable retirement destination and find themselves in exotic Jaipur, in a dilapidated old family mansion that the enthusiastic but clueless Sonny (Dev Patel) is marketing as a hotel for the elderly and beautiful.

Chef (2014): Another fluffy, feel-good comedy drama about a chef who quits his high-end job and starts a food truck. There's no heavy script here and not much a plot either, but there are many big-name actors, a peevish blogger, much tweeting, a road trip, dozens of Cuban sandwiches and a happy ending.

The Women on the 6th Floor (2010): I have a friend who watches TV and movies like his life depends on it. He has seen absolutely everything on Netflix. I asked him for recommendations and he texted me a list of 10 movies- all strange ones that I had never heard of. This one is a French language film, a social comedy set in 1960s Paris exploring the upstairs/downstairs life. An affluent prim and proper couple's life intersects with the more dramatic lives of a group of Spanish maids who live in the top floor of their apartment. It is a sweet and simple story- not even that much of a story really- but I really enjoyed watching it.

Not everything that I saw was silly and funny, and these were some of the more serious ones.

Still Alice (2014): An American drama based on the novel of the same name. Julianne Moore plays a 50 year old linguistics professor who is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's Disease. There's not much of a plot in this movie, just a heartfelt exploration of what it must be like for an intellectually powerful and active mind to start deteriorating rapidly. A very sensitively done movie.

Theory of Everything (2014): This is a story of the early relationship between the celebrated cosmologist Stephen Hawking and his wife Jane. Brilliant physics student falls in love with a pretty arts student, and right around then, at the age of 21, he is diagnosed with a fatal illness. Improbably, this man survived beyond the 2 year prognosis (and is still surviving and thriving in his 70s) with his wife was his steadfast advocate and caregiver and they had 3 kids together. Life has twists and turns, relationships are complicated but I thought this movie was so touching and so sweet in portraying them. Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones are adorable together.

The Imitation Game (2014): Another British film, another brilliant mind. This story is less romantic though, and actually quite tragic. In this historical thriller, Benedict Cumberbatch plays mathematician Alan Turing (regarded as the creator of modern computing) who is called upon by the military during WWII to break enemy codes. I wish Turing wasn't portrayed as quite so brusque and unlikeable and I wish there was more "history of the science" depicted.

Life Itself (2014): This is a biographical documentary of the film critic Roger Ebert. I watched Ebert and Roeper every week on ABC in the early 2000s. (I'd never watch the movies they featured, but I enjoyed watching the TV show about movies.) This is a fascinating and honest portrayal of Ebert's life, especially in his final years when he lost his jaw and his voice to salivary gland cancer but kept writing until the very end.

Have you seen any of these movies? I hear the next season of Orange is the New Black will start streaming next week so I guess that's coming up next next on my to-watch list. What have you been watching? I'd love your summer movie recommendations.


  1. Thank you for the movie recommendations, we also treat movies as 2 TV shows. Since my parents were visiting us we watched programs that they would enjoy too and went for the newly released Kangana Ranaut movie, she is a fine actress and such a pleasure to watch. I loved her the most in Queen. At home we saw a really good marathi play on apalimarathi called 'Nandi'.

    We were eating mom-made food until last week, my mom cooked simple, healthy and extremely delicious meals one after another. I cooked a few times but mostly enjoyed being pampered by her. My mint and thai basil plants are growing fast so yesterday I made a yogurt based mint chutney to go with some biryani and prepared Thai Basil-Pineapple fried rice to enjoy for today's lunch. Fresh herbs are truly summer's blessing. We have set up bird feeders and bird bath in our backyard and while we love seeing new visitors there's this robin who visits everyday at a fixed time for an elaborate bath that always makes us so happy.

    I took my mom for a zumba class and she enjoyed it too. She took breaks in between when she got tired and watched me from a chair I kept in the back for her. My instructor and classmates were all very welcoming and made her feel so comfortable. After class mom said she felt so alive and full of energy!

    - Priti

    1. I'll have to check out this apalimarathi site! They have movies?! It has been years since I watched a Marathi movie or play. We have a bird feeder outside the kitchen window and it is funny to see the rascal squirrels dangling upside down from the roof, lifting the lid of the feeder and helping themselves to a snack.

      Your mom is so cool to try zumba!

    2. Nandi is very, very good and the site is amazing, I watch the daily "soaps" on this site.

  2. I have watched most of the movies in your list. I did not like Imitation game..I had read quite some material on Turing before the movie was released (more so for my fascination of his inventions), and he was a very likable fellow in real life from what I read. I was surprised the way they portrayed him in the movie.
    Thanks to you/your blog, I am now hooked on to M*A*S*H. I am just finishing season 1, and rest assured I have good stuff to watch throughout summer as I go through all the seasons. Good stuff, this series is and Alan Alda is awesome! And so is Henry's character.
    We watched Tsotsi last night. Loved it. Its based in Africa, so you might like it. Its not too tragic and is quite uplifting in some parts.
    Another good movie I watched was Butterfly. Do check out, its on Netflix. And so is Evelyn.
    Your eats sound wonderful. We just got back from a week in Hawaii, where I ate my weight in mangoes (almost as good as in india), papaya and pineapple. And so much of ice cream, I dont even want to think about it! Time to get back to the greens:)

    1. Neha- Yes, Imitation Game was my least favorite on this list. M*A*S*H is such a special show- funny, bawdy, but very touching and authentic. I am so glad you're enjoying it. I'll definitely watch the movies you suggested.

      Hawaii sounds wonderful!

  3. Welcome back Nupur and I thoroughly enjoyed your write up about Kisumu. My sister lived there for 8 years and my nephew was born there. She had very happy memories of this place too!
    Read the latest post about your cooking and movie-watching! You are very clever with your recipe ideas.
    I don’t usually watch Hindi movies but Piku was suggested by a friend and I watched it! All I can say is that it is very different from the Hindi movies I have watched before!

    Look forward to your next post.

    1. Shubha- How cool that your sister lived in Kisumu for years! Hope you got a chance to visit her there.

  4. Hi Nupur, Your recipes from this months CSA box looks yummy.
    I am going to receive Dandelion greens in this week's CSA box. I never heard of that leafy veggie. How can I cook it?
    Have you tasted it?


    1. Sireesha- Fun! I've never tasted them or cooked with them but I find that any and all greens are very versatile and go with everything. For instance, they can be sauteed in a subzi or added to dal. Here are some other ideas:

    2. Thanks Nupur..I was a little skeptical about adding to a dal. But I have added it to Lemon Cucumber dal and it was great! I cant really say it tasted like spinach or something else, but better than the taste of Kale and Collard Greens.

  5. Dear Nupur, will have to check out some of these exotic veggies and movies...I did enjoy The Importance of Being Earnest- lighthearted, very British...I attended a local reading at our bookstore yesterday by Emily St John Mandel of her book Station Eleven and I bought a signed copy. Plan to read that next.

    I just read Pillars of the Earth. The story is ok but I felt it wasn't really well-written. Anyway, I guess he doesn't need my approval, it was successful enough!

    We had a nice vacation going to Yellowstone, etc. I love national parks over Disney anyday... Will try to make time to try some of your scrumptious recipes. Tired of eating eggs, salmon and chicken (plus veggies.) hugs, R

  6. here are a few:
    The Band's Visit
    docu- born into brothels
    docu- citizen four
    you've probably seen them all. if not. you'll love them.

  7. One movie that I think you will like ,Im guessing this looking at your current list is Haute Cuisine.


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