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India Bazaar, West Palm Beach

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When you go vegetarian, go Indian! So many choices and so many wonderful ways to satisfy the nutritional needs of your body. Yesterday as I was replenishing my stock of spices from my favorite store in West Palm Beach, I asked them if it would be ok to post about them. Yes, they said, it was fine and so I’m back with photos! And oh, btw, they do sell meat as well and it is very fresh and clean. I buy my ground chicken there for hubby who can’t eat other meats.

India Bazaar is at 4780 Okeechobee Blvd., in West Palm Beach. Run by a family, you will always be greeted with warmth and a smile.

Yesterday I bought okra (bhindi), Chinese okra or Ridge Gourd (torai), onions, bitter gourd/melon (karela), bottle gourd (loki), eggplant (baingan), and several spices including turmeric, star anise, cumin, cardamom, and some others. Their prices are great, the stuff is fresh and clean and smells good.

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Sooji (Semolina) with Berries

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This is a no-sugar-added recipe. We use it for breakfast or dessert. It keeps well in the fridge for four or five days.

As a child I loved the Sooji Halwa my grandmother made and I’ve always loved the German breakfast version. Two totally different ways of cooking this very versatile and nutritious food. Semolina is not safe for people who cannot digest gluten or have celiac disease. If you are able to include this in your diet you will benefit from its amazing properties. And it is a great comfort food at the same time.

Semolina is rich in protein, B-complex vitamins, selenium, and iron. It gets its calories from carbohydrates a great source of fuel for your tissues.

Most Sooji Halwa is rich and has a lot of nuts and sometimes dried fruit. Pistachio, raisins, and slivered almonds to name a few are often sprinkled over the top and sometimes added during the cooking. It is absolutely delicious. We used to have it for special occasions and generally for breakfast. The German versions I’ve had included breakfast dishes and desserts.

My version of this recipe combines my grandmother’s recipe with a German one and to pack more nutrition into it I add more fruit.

Makes six larger breakfast servings or eight smaller servings

Ingredients:

  1. One cup of Sooji or Semolina
  2. Quarter cup of cooking oil
  3. Two cups of hot water
  4. Half a cup of evaporated milk
  5. Five or six green cardamom crushed
  6. Two  cups of frozen blueberries and strawberries or fresh (chop the strawberries) – save half a cup for garnish.
  7. A sprig of mint for garnish
  8. Sweetener to taste

Preparation:

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Add the cooking oil to a saucepan over medium heat (you can also use butter or margarine instead)

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Add the sooji and stir into the oil

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Stirring frequently cook until the sooji is a light brown in color

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Take the sooji off the stove and allow to cool a little then add the hot water and stir in so it’s all mixed in well without lumps

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Return to the stove, then add the milk and continue to stir

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Add the crushed cardamom. Once the sooji starts to pull away from the sides, remove from the stove and add sweetener. I used Stevia for this one. Stir in well before you add the fruit.

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Add the frozen berries (I defrost them first, a minute in the microwave). Do not return to the stove.

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I use extra blueberries to garnish.  Make a well in the center with a spoon and add defrosted blueberries and pour the juice over the sooji.  A sprig of mint from my garden or yours.

If you try out this recipe please let me know how it turned out. Leave a comment. Thanks and happy cooking!

Juno Beach – Dogs, Kite Surfers, and a Musician

 

The day started out a bit cloudy with a chance of rain but it turned out to be a perfect beach day and we were already there early this morning. This time we checked out the dog-friendly part of Juno Beach which is about half a mile further north of the fishing pier. A great place to set up folding beach chairs (we brought ours), perhaps pick up some coffee on the way, watch the kite surfers and dogs playing. And today we met Sam who was walking along the beach playing his ukelele.

Downtown West Palm Beach

On our way back from the Green Market which is at the end of Clematis Street near the waterfront, we walked slowly so I could get a few more pictures of our beautiful Downtown. Still early, some of the restaurants had not yet opened for lunch but the chairs and tables were out under the colorful awnings and flowers that are everywhere at this time. Sometimes we stick around after the market and have lunch in one of the restaurants before we come home. We left earlier today to do a some gardening, watch a movie, and later… a barbeque dinner.

While driving around town, we also noticed lots of newly planted palms, especially around the new mall due to open on Valentines Day. Can’t wait to see it.

Green Market, West Palm Beach, FL

The Green Market in West Palm beach opened to a warm and sunny day today. Dogs and their families showed up in droves. I have two pups of my own so I love this market and how friendly it is to pets. There is even a water fountain for dogs. Since it’s on the waterfront, even warmer days like today are lovely because of the ocean breezes. For me, lugging around my camera and my larger than life pocket book, short breaks under the shade of tree or tent was very welcome. The market is completely accessible for wheelchairs and lots of places to sit on the green under umbrellas or on concrete benches. The produce at this market is the best for miles. There is also a lot of cooked food so we generally have breakfast there. Today it was cuban coffee at the Havana tent and the most amazing sweet and savory chicken and mushroom Italian muffin at Thoroughly Modern Muffins. We also picked up a jar of Pascale’s mango chutneys and enjoyed it with our lunch.

Thank you to all who let me take photos of their pups for my blog.

Lantana Beach, FL

Lantana public beach i protected by a reef
Lantana public beach is protected by a reef

After lunch, we stopped at Lantana’s public beach which is about five minutes from the restaurant driving straight over the inter-coastal. The bridge is beautiful too but since I was the one driving there are no pictures :). It looks very Florida and unlike other bridges I’ve seen. If you drive straight across, over the bridge and the traffic lights, you’ll find yourself in a parking lot with metered parking spaces (25 cents for every 10 minutes). A good idea to carry quarters when you drive around Florida. Fortunately my husband has a nice stack in the car at all times.

Graded pathway up to the Dune Deck Cafe and access to the beach

From the parking lot there is a nicely graded accessible path up to the top of the beach where you have beautiful views and benches to sit and another wonderful place to eat, the Dune Deck Cafe (cash only). More pictures of that when we don’t visit there on a full tummy. A link to their site: http://www.dunedeckcafe.com.

We spent an hour gazing out over the beautiful calm blue waters. There is a shallow reef that protects the shore. Next time we bring bathing suits.

Old Key Lime House, Lantana, FL

Chickee-hut style roof over Old Key Lime House
Chickee-hut style roof over Old Key Lime House

Old Key Lime House IMG_1901One of the reasons we moved to Florida was our younger son. He is a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) survivor and unable to walk. He can stand with support but needs a mobility scooter to get around. The warm weather in Florida has really helped him in many ways. He’s able to spend more time outdoors and of course that means loads of vitamin D! Needless to say he loves Florida. Whenever I go out exploring this beautiful state, I look for accessible places. Today we were at Lantana’s Old Key Lime House. This is probably one of the oldest restaurants here and it is absolutely beautiful. The food is amazing and the staff are very friendly and courteous. The restaurant has a Chickee-hut roof, built by Seminole tribal members. The thatched top is made of palmetto leaves and only requires re-thatching once every five years or so. More detail at http://www.semtribe.com/Culture/Chickee.aspx.

Back to the food… which was some of the best I’ve tasted, lobster rolls, fried fish, and fish tacos. Plenty of sides to choose from.

fish and chips
fish and chips
fish tacos
lobster rolls
lobster rolls