12 Easy Steps to Reduce Food-Related Waste

Over the past few months, I have been challenging myself to minimize the amount of food and inorganic material waste that my family and I create.  Though I have been composting since 2013, I’ve become humbly aware of how much single-use plastic and paper products we dispose of on a regular basis.  From produce bags and food packaging to straws at restaurants to take-out drink/food containers when traveling… It’s mindboggling how much waste we can create and unflinchingly consume.  By making a few small changes in my life, however, I’ve been able to significantly reduce the amount of waste we create as a household and while I’m on-the-go.  Below are 12 easy yet impactful steps you and your family can take today to reduce food-related waste.

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The 101 on DIY Tick Repellents Using Essential Oils

Like our entire team at Arogya, I feel blessed to live nearby the lush forests of Connecticut. I’m grateful for the ability to enjoy well-preserved trails, forage for edible gifts such as ramps and thimbleberries, and to simply breathe in the diverse flora and fauna. At the same time, living amongst nature also means existing side by side with ticks, including Ixodes scapularis. This hard-bodied arthropod, commonly referred to as the blacklegged or deer tick, is responsible for the spread of Lyme Disease, as well as the malaria-like parasitic disease babesiosis and two rarer, potentially fatal conditions: Human granulocytic anaplasmosis (which has only been reported in Wisconsin and Minnesota) and Powassan Virus (one case has been reported in Connecticut).

You’ve probably heard (or might have noticed) that 2017 is an especially prolific year for deer ticks.

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Creamy Masala Chai

I’ll never forget the first time I enjoyed a cup of classic masala chai tea. I was 20 years old and had just embarked on what would be the first of many trips to India in the decade that followed. It was about 5:00 in the morning and the overnight bus I was aboard from Delhi to the northern city of Dharamsala pulled over on the side of a road in a tiny town nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas.

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A Healthier Twist on Apple Crisp

Just over a week before my son Silas was born, I ventured to my Aunt Martha’s farm in Katonah, New York to go apple picking with Wei and her daughter Rose.  It was one of the last balmy days of summer and we found ourselves dreaming of the crisp autumn days that have since arrived.

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Essential Protein: Tofu Scramble Recipe

This simple tofu scramble recipe is one of our favorite (and fastest) ways to prepare a protein-rich vegetarian dish. I was first inspired to make this dish after tasting a similar preparation at Bloodroot, our local vegan and vegetarian restaurant in the Black Rock section of Bridgeport, Connecticut.

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Green Goodness Part 2: Healthy Stir-Fried Bok Choy

Bok choy is one of my favorite greens to stir fry. Not only do I love the taste of bok choy, but it’s also a very nostalgic food for me. Growing up in Shanghai, my family would buy the freshest bok choy at the daily farmer’s markets. My mother made bok choy almost every other day, and I never got tired of it. Now when I see bok choy at the farmer’s markets in Westport and Black Rock I get as many heads as I can. People always ask me what I do with all that bok choy, so here is my simple recipe for healthy stir-fried bok choy, inspired by my mother’s recipe.

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Wild Salmon 101

Through active experimentation, I have found that my body is best nourished by maintaining a diet rich in nourishing vegetables, wholesome grains and lean protein, including consciously sourced meat and fish. Consuming ample amounts of high-quality protein has also been of unprecedented importance to me this year as I’ve been eating for 2. My husband and I are due to welcome our first baby into the world in about one month’s time. One power protein that I have relied on during my pregnancy and before is wild salmon from the Pacific Northwest, most notably Alaska.

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Fennel Fronds Pesto

I love fennel, a nutritious flowering perennial herb that has a subtle anise aroma and flavor. Like many members of the carrot family, every part of the fennel plant is edible. This includes the crunchy and slightly sweet bulb, the green stems (which tend to be tougher in texture), and the herb’s thin and delicate leaves.

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The Cleansing Wonders of Baking Soda & Vinegar

Over the past year, I have fallen in love with distilled white vinegar.  My admiration is not due to its taste or somewhat pungent odor, but white vinegar’s incredible versatility as a cleaning agent, drain cleaner, an overly curious cat deterrent, and more.

In the heat and humidity of summer, I have found that a simple elixir of vinegar and distilled water is not only an excellent counter and sink cleaner, but also works wonders at keeping mildew at bay.  This concoction is better for one’s health than store-bought all-purpose cleaners, even those labeled as “natural” and “non-toxic”. 

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A Healthier Twist on Rhubarb Crisp

Every summer when I was growing up, I would eagerly await the first bite of my mother’s delicious rhubarb crisp.  Within hours of picking the vibrant red stalks from my aunt’s garden, she would transform them into this slightly tart seasonal treat. We’d enjoy it for dessert alongside vanilla ice cream or even by itself as a special breakfast delight.

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