“Love and abusive cannot coexist. Abuse and neglect are, by definition, the opposites of nurturance and care .” ― Bell Hooks

I’m a member of Google+ Create, a Google program for recognizing creative users of Google+. This year we are celebrating Earth Day with this small, symbolic art project with the theme: Earth Day 2016 – My planet. My part.

Well, I’m neither a natural scientist nor a green builder nor an environmental activist. I am not even that photographer who, for example, shoots lovely landscapes and natural life, preserves what they see today for future generations and contribute to efforts for saving the magnificence of Earth.

So how do I connect with Earth Day celebrations ?

I’m a mother who is wired to love and nurture. That’s one quality I share with Earth. She and I both are mothers: we create, nurture, heal and comfort. What can a mother do to save another? Maybe, I can’t save a forest from getting cut down today but I can raise my kids in a manner so that another forest doesn’t get cut down tomorrow.

My strength is my home. It all begins in my own backyard for me, no? As a cook, growing your own vegetables is the perfect way to seize control over your ingredients. There are a few vegetables that everyone can grow in their backyards; all they need is a little bit of patience and good sense. I can pass that simple knowledge on to my girls.

My mom couldn’t cook a large variety of foods. But whenever I returned home from school, freshly cooked food always awaited me. I might not have appreciated the value of home-cooked meal then, but it introduced me to the incomparable satisfaction of eating honest and wholesome food cooked from scratch. I’m glad that my girls also appreciate eating home-cooked food rather than tinned, frozen and processed foods.

I know sometimes the last thing you want to do at the end of a long day is make dinner. Cooking one pan meals and cooking in bulk is my simple solution to this problem. My food blog started as my little effort to convert elaborate recipes to simple, one pot meals, in a hope that when my daughters grow up to be busy working women, they will still manage to find some time to cook for themselves and their families.

This is my unique way of caring for Earth – nurturing my family one home-cooked meal at a time and raising my kids as responsible human beings. The cool thing is, there is no one answer, but there always is the proverbial first step. Taking that step, no matter how big or small, is the key to healing the earth and the place in our hearts where earth actually exists.

I have just plucked a gorgeous little cabbage head, some green onions and a few sprigs of fresh coriander from my kitchen garden, let’s create a mini feast with these and whatever I have in my spice cupboard to celebrate this Earth Day. I’ll make some super easy and quick Patta Gobi ki Sabzi ( Spicy Stir fried Cabbage ) and will serve it with some poppadums over a banana leaf.

This is a simple side dish from the Sindhi cuisine. You can also add boiled gram lentils to it to change it into a vegetarian main. Serve warm or at room temperature.

1 small head cabbage, shredded
1 carrot, shredded
2 stalks spring onions, chopped
A small bunch coriander leaves and stems, chopped
2 green chilli peppers, finely sliced
2 tablespoons coconut, shredded
2 tablespoons peanuts or pumpkin seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon red chilli flakes
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
salt to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lemon

This Is What You Do
Heat a skillet or pan on medium heat. Add peanuts and coconut. Toast for a minute or till you can smell the beautiful earthy, nutty smell. Remove from pan, set aside.

Heat oil in the same pan. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, red chilli flakes and turmeric. Cook for a few seconds or until the seeds have stopped popping. Add shredded cabbage, carrot, chopped spring onions, coriander and green chillies to the pan.

Season with salt and toss for a minute or two so that the cabbage and carrots are slightly tender and coated with spices and oil.

Squeeze a lemon on top right before serving.

Serve with any crispy bread, crackers or poppadums.
Roll into wraps or stuff pita pockets.
Serve as a side with any vegetarian or non vegetarian main.

Serves 4

Happy Earth Day

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