Name: Medha Engineer
Blog name: farm on plate
Where were you born? India
Where are you living now? Vancouver, BC
Why did you start your blog?
My husband and I grew up in Gujarat, a state in Western India. Back home, Sabjiwalas would come by every morning on their bicycles or carts to sell fresh produce picked from local farms that day, and all moms would go through the morning rituals of buying produce for the day. Food was prepared fresh, and eaten the same day. I had never eaten a boxed meal in India till I was well into my teens, yet I found that once I was on my own in the western world, frozen meals and industrial food was my daily diet. I also learned that I wasn’t alone; a lot of people in the western world were on the same downward spiral of bad eating habits creating numerous health problems.
The industrialization of food has made us all forget, as a society, what food was supposed to be like! I started my blog to share my story with the people who were caught up in this vicious cycle. I am hoping that through my blog, I can help them rediscover their own healthy roots, and lead them towards a healthier lifestyle!
How did you decide on your blog name?
My blog is not about a particular diet. My blog is about rediscovering how we used to eat back in the day. Our food used to come from the farm. We knew our local butcher. We ate seasonal and local, not because it was trendy, but because that was the only way to eat. I called my blog farm on plate, because my goal is to spread awareness about the health benefits of eating seasonal, local and fresh food!
What do you blog about?
I create simple recipes using fresh, local, seasonal ingredients. I also write a lot of personal stories from my memories back in India and my experiences as an immigrant in the western world. I have always been a foodie, and most of my stories are somehow related to food!
What post are you most proud of and why?
Vegan Dessert - Chocolate Mousse with Sweet Potato. This is a decadent dessert that is actually good for you! The natural sweetness in the sweet potato and the bitterness of cocoa powder combine well in this vegan dessert. A couple of my readers told me this was a clever way of hiding the vegetables in a dish, and even the picky eaters in their families love this dish!
Which post do you wish received more love and why?
Pickled Turmeric. Most western kitchens rarely use turmeric and it’s a common misconception that turmeric is only for curry dishes! This pickled turmeric can easily be added to a number of dishes – from salads to soups, sandwiches to wraps. I wish more people would try using fresh turmeric, I am sure they will fall in love with it!
Which post’s success surprised you and why?
I was surprised by my readers’ reactions to two of my recipes - Roasted Carrots with Cauliflower Couscous and Quinoa Paella. Both are simple recipes of comfort foods, with healthier substitutions of ingredients. While I didn’t think much of the variation I was making on the traditional dishes, my readers were wowed by the significant health factor improvement in recipes!
What is one (non kitchen) gadget you can’t live without?
Last winter my sister gave me a Camera as a gift and told me to take a leap of faith and start a food blog! Now, that camera is with me everywhere I go. It is my new obsession and has helped me discover beauty in the more mundane things!
What is one kitchen gadget you can’t live without?
Spice grinder! Freshly ground spices can take your dishes to a whole new level. I buy my spices whole, ideally from small ethnics markets - you can find them way cheaper and fresh!
And obviously, my chef’s knife - I bought that knife on my first day at the culinary school. It has become an extended part of me - it carries so many memories, from culinary school to working in the restaurants. This knife helps me stay motivated and reminds me why I left my full time job and took up cooking as a career!
Favourite food, care to share a recipe?
Gluten Free Snack - Healthy Amaranth Flour Crackers. This is an easy to make snack that is packed with healthy ingredients. This snack is full of protein and fiber, and is perfect for game day! Go Canucks!
What else should we know about you that may not be in your “About Me” page?
I lost more than 60 pounds after I started living healthier and now I can do 25 proper push ups! I can finish the grouse grind in less than an hour. Care to join me on my next grind? Drop me a line!
What makes your blog unique?
I like to think that my blog provides a unique, easy approach to healthy foods! While there are a lot of great blogs out there focusing on specific diets, my blog talks more about rediscovering our roots, and going back to how we used to eat.
My personal stories from India and experiences as an immigrant in the western world might give a new perspective to people who haven’t lived outside their own cultures!
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