Cultural Studies: India

Continuing our weekly study of other cultures our family looked at India this week.


When I was in college I spent a semester abroad in Sri Lanka. (Which of course is not the same as India but they eat very similar cuisine in Southern India.) One of the dishes that I always enjoyed was rice with raisins and cashews. My host family also ate okra at least once or twice a week. I never liked okra when I was there, but you know they say you need to try a food at least 7 times to acquire a taste for it. Well I can assure you I have tried it well over ten times and as of tonight I can say I still don’t care for it. The fun thing is that my 6-year-old discovered her love of okra tonight! So, for India night we had cauliflower rice with raisins and cashews and okra chickpea (dry) curry and coconut curried chicken. I will share the “rice” recipe with you below.


(My little one has rosy cheeks from a cold. She refused to taste any of the food. Her refusal to eat dinner is not unusual. We deal with this by banning snacking- she rarely gets a snack- and by feeding her the same food the next day at lunch in a smaller quantity. We have been on this parenting plan for a while and she went from only eating white foods to eating many, many varieties of fruits and vegetables.)


Cauliflower Rice with Raisins and Cashews- Recipe

1 teaspoon coconut oil
1/2 onion (about 1 cup), chopped
1/2-1 head cauliflower grated (I use the food processor)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4-1/2 cup raisins (I like yellow raisins and I soak them so they are soft)
1/4-1/2 cup roasted salted cashews, chopped
salt to taste


Heat the coconut oil in a wok (or well seasoned caste iron pan or non stick) on medium heat. Add the onion and once the onion begins to cook down, add the cauliflower and toss frequently until the cauliflower is cooked but not soft (easiest way to tell is by tasting). Add the remaining ingredients, toss, and serve hot.

Cultural Studies: Mexico

First off, keep in mind that I am not too concerned with the authenticity of the food on these cultural nights. (Appeantly my daughter feels the same about her coloring, hence the purple donkey.) I say that because I believe the recipe I am sharing is really more Argentinian than it is Mexican.


I love the show Chopped, I watch every episode. One of the judges, Aaron Sanchez, has mentioned Chimichurri sauce a few times. I kept thinking, “That sounds good!”


For Mexican night I made Chimichurri sauce (see below) and tossed some chopped up raw chicken in half of the sauce, then seared the chicken until cooked through. I tossed some steamed asparagus and carrots in the rest of the Chimichurri sauce. We also had nachos, guacamole, and the kids had a bit of salsa.

And hey friends, I do plan on making more cute food for these cultural nights, so stay tuned!

Anyways, my recipe isn’t a revelation- just a version of what you can find anywhere online.


Chimichurri Sauce Recipe

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro
2-3 cloves chopped garlic
pinch of fresh jalapeno (optional)
juice of 1/2 a lemon
salt and pepper to taste
~1/4 cup olive oil


Combine everything in a food processor or high speed blender. Pulse until finely minced. (I like mine a tiny bit chunky.) Adjust the quantities to your tastes.


I am sharing this recipe on

Cultural Studies: China Day

We are starting a new family project. Each week we are choosing one culture (or country) and teaching our children about the food, language(s), religion(s), and government. These are very brief, simple lessons, as our children are four- and six-years-old. On Saturday nights we have a dinner that somewhat represents the food of that culture. Of course we adapt it to our diets, so we don’t worry too much about authenticity.

This week was China. I made two recipes from my cookbook, Culinary Creativity. Sesame Chicken (oh that one is so good!) and Fried Rice but I subbed cauliflower for the rice. If we create a new recipe on Culture night I will be sure to share it in the future.


We also printed coloring pages for the kids- always a big hit.



Next week we are doing Mexico and after that Iceland and Greenland are sharing a week. I am really curious about what kind of recipes I can sort out for Iceland and Greenland- trust me it won’t be one of their favorites- horse meat! Any suggestions? Anyone from Iceland or Greenland?