Dandelion Loves: Kajal Tejsinghani
Kajal is the founder of Aaplemint, an ode to delicious and healthy eating. Here she features recipes that are balanced, nutritious and always yummy. With clean eating being a huge trend around the world, we wanted to learn more about Kajal’s lifestyle and views on food.
When did your interest in healthy eating first develop?
This habit runs deep. My dad is a health freak and brought us up to eat no junk food and lots of healthy stuff. So, we’ve been eating right for as long as I can remember.
What has your journey with Aapplemint been like? Can you share the philosophy behind the brand with us?
Aapplemint came into being in January, 2007. Those days, my husband and I travelled a lot due to his work. We lived in three countries simultaneously, hence I found myself juggling three kitchens as well. Blogging those days was new and I figured it would the best way for me to document my recipes since I’m super forgetful! So, that’s how Aapplemint came into being. I was in Ghana at the time and I discovered this beautiful species of mint – applemint, hence the name.
Aapplemint has evolved a lot in from the time I began. Initially it was just random recipes and not so pretty pictures. With time, there was a shift from desserts to healthier recipes. Being the need of the hour and requests from my readers you can find many quick easy to do recipes, always encouraging everyone toward more conscious eating and cooking their meals themselves. The pictures have gotten better too with a lot more effort into styling and photography.
How did becoming a mother change your perspective on life and the way we treat our bodies?
Motherhood came to me in my 30’s. By then I was mature enough to realize the importance of food in your child’s life so when it came to my son’s food, I was at it from the beginning. But having said that he’s still a picky eater and it is a challenge getting him to eat his vegetables and fruits! But on the whole I love motherhood, I love waking up each morning and seeing the joy this child brings, because it just makes you so conscious to everything else. You’re so much more aware of everything you do because you know - what you do, is what you show your child, and what he sees is what he learns. Every day you discover new things with them, they teach you so much and never seize to amaze you. It’s like while you’re growing older in years your heart is young with your child.
What does a day in your life look like?
Weekdays are school days so I wake up early morning, get my son ready for school, make his lunch box and breakfast for the family. Once my son leaves for school I go to the gym. Post my workout I come home, get some work done and after lunch I pick up my son and then take him to a class usually. I then take time out to work on my blog which could mean writing, editing or a photo shoot. By the time everyone is back home, my husband, son and I get some quality time together before dinner.
What do you eat in a day?
Breakfast: homemade almond milk with homemade granola and fruit, porridge, eggs or a smoothie.
Snack: pears, apples, dry fruit, dates, green tea
Lunch: a balance of protein with either a vegetable or a hearty salad with brown rice or bread and some dark chocolate.
Evening snack: here’s where I always mess up! I inevitably end up having a piece of mithai, some chocolate or a few biscuits along with tea or coffee.
Dinner: this is usually something non-vegetarian like a chicken tortilla wrap, homemade skinny burgers, kebabs or grilled meat with veggies.
How do you see the food space in India evolving and changing? What trends are we seeing more of?
There is so much changing every day. People are becoming more conscious of what’s healthy and what’s junk, and with the help of travel, social media and celebrity chefs, people are more aware of what’s going on in the food space. This in turn creates the demand for higher quality produce and ingredients. There is a lot of movement toward superfoods like Norwegian salmon and quinoa, while accompanying a renewed interest in traditional Indian ingredients as well.
A few easy plating tricks one can try at home?
- Always choose the right dish/bowl/glass to plate up. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just the right size and shape.
- Drizzle some sauce on the plate before placing the food over it. There are many beautiful patterns you can make, either just a splash or concentric circles, maybe a smear or you can dot the sauce with a squeezy bottle on the plate.
- Garnish is a must. Once you have plated your food, take a minute to make it look pretty. Add some herbs, sprinkle some spices, tuck in some leaves or flowers or top with little fruits.
What is your sleep routine?
I make sure to get a good seven to eight hours of sleep every night. I’m usually in bed by 11pm and up by 6.45am.
Rapid Fire Questions:
One dish you could eat every day?
My homemade granola, with almond milk and blueberries
Favourite restaurant in Bombay?
Easiest ten-minute meal to make?
My Carrot and Zucchini Tortillas, the recipe for which is up on the blog.
Sweet or savoury?
One food trend you hope to see more of in India?
I hope more people follow the no waste cooking trend. It kills me to see so much food go to waste. We need to start cooking more sustainably and ethically.
How do you stay fit?
I keep myself happy, a happy mind makes a happy body! I also work out four to five times a week while trying to eat balanced meals.
First thing you do in the morning?
Have a cup of warm water with lime.
Last thing you do before you sleep?
Read a book with a cup of chamomile tea