The word "khana" in Indian Khana Made Easy means food. So come on, let's explore and cook some easy Indian food together including gluten-free and vegan dishes.


Showing posts with label PITTCON. Show all posts
Showing posts with label PITTCON. Show all posts

March 24, 2013

I Cheated On My Vitamix Blender!

It's tough to eat healthy when you're traveling on business. Last week I attended PITTCON in Philly and boy did I miss the Vitamix blender. Ever since we bought this baby, we've been whipping up all sorts of shakes, soups and sorbets. I didn't know veggie smoothies tasted so good. Vitamix, where have you been all my life?

The Reading Terminal Market, a delicious wonder!
It took me a day or two to get acclimated with my surroundings and find this wondrous place called the Reading Terminal Market, steps away from the convention center. Hallelujah!! So many cuisines at one location: Japanese, Indian, Middle Eastern, Cajun, Greek, Mediterranean, Gourmet cheeses, etc. I can go on and on but I think you get my drift!

Flying Monkey Whoopie Pies
My favorites:
Kamal's Middle Eastern - good Shwerma sandwiches & platters
Nanee's Kitchen - Spinach and paneer curry, yellow dal, and the other veg varieties; Mango lassi (just be mindful that veg and non veg mixed platters - not cheap!)
Flying Monkey BakeryWhoopie Pies: Red Velvet and Banana Foster (oh so heavenly)
El Rey, 2013 Chestnut St. location (my cousin's pick) - Loved the ambiance! Corn on the cob w/ chipotle and queso fresco, the tacos and Salted caramel ice cream. Yum!!!

Though I cheated on my Vitamix diet regime, I maintained my figure with exercise. I took advantage of the jog parks by the hotel and jogged as far as my legs could take me. I even participated in a 5K Run/Walk (benefiting Wounded Warriors Project) that took place at the Boathouse Row, a couple miles away. It felt great kicking off my heels for a pair of Skeletoes, my new running footwear.

After a week long of experimenting with my palate, there's nothing more I enjoy than good ol' home cooking and a healthy shake. I called from the road and my mom had hot rotis served with Sarson Ka Saag waiting at home for her baby (me of course). Moms are awesome, aren't they. They know just what you need. Recipe will be up soon.

March 27, 2011

My Peachy Atlanta Adventure - Part Two

Here are my favorite sights and sounds from the trip. The first of the sights was this long line of motorcycle cops in front of the CNN Headquarters. It looked like they were prepping for a parade or something. By the way, I saw police patrolling the streets on Segways too. Wish I had that picture!
What do you think they were up to? Anyways, our convention was held at the Georgia World Congress was way too big to capture on film. After the convention I didn't really want to look at it again. The convention officially started on Sunday and apparently that was the same day as the Eastern Conference Playoffs: Kentucky Wildcats vs. Florida Gators. The streets were swarming with people in blue and orange shirts, skirts, face paint holding loads of knick knacks. It was an awesome sight. By the way, the Kentucky Wildcats won and boy was there a lot of partying that night. It was "Dinner Impossible" that night; everywhere we went, there was a 2 hour wait for a table.  
I didn't really get to go sightseeing until Friday morning; a few hours before my flight back home. What a Whoop!  I've heard so much about the aquarium that I decided to go there first. The Georgia Aquarium is the world's largest aquarium...I couldn't believe it. I've been to aquariums before and I thought what is the big deal. My views were shattered once I stepped inside this place. What a sight! Beluga whales, exotic fish, albino crocodiles, sea anemone and those are just a few things you'll see. It's great for kids of all ages. 
Sea Anemone
I touched a sea anemone. I was scared at first but when I saw little kids doing it, I went for it. It was squishy and gel-like. You've got to come try it. Then I got down on my hands and knees and visited the African Penguins' habitat through the Penguin Crawl. I crawled through this small tunnel and was able to get up close and almost personal with them. Here's the video: Next up are the Beluga Whales***. I was expecting something quite different than what I saw and heard: I didn't know Beluga Whales are part Dolphin and part whale (in terms of their size). I thought I was looking at a Frankenstein experiment in action but they were so cute! This is just a fraction of the wondrous creatures at the aquarium. This is a MUST SEE!!
While I was walking through the aquarium, I ran into an acquaintance from the convention. So with my new friend, I headed off to the World of Coca Cola museum. I'm a big Coca Cola fan, so of course I had to go there. After learning about their history and pop culture, we headed off to watch the international commercials.  There were so many to watch but I just didn't have enough time, so we made our way to the Tasting Room. You read that correctly. You get taste all the beverages brewed by the company all around the world. I tried fruity drinks made in Latin America, Asia, and even North America. Who knew there were so many beverages? I was hiccuping and full of caffeinated energy by the end of it. Mind you I'm all grown up, I can handle all that sugar in take...there were little kids in there too...I feel sorry for the parents!
Cheers To You!
Before I left the museum, I walked away with my own glass bottle of Coca Cola. The prices were reasonable so I bought some souvenirs. Overall, I had a wonderful time in Atlanta and my next visit will be purely for vacation so I can see what more the city has to offer.

***I apologize for the short video, I think I caught them during their feeding time and wasn't able to get a more close up shot. 

March 21, 2011

My Peachy Atlanta Adventure - Part One

Last week, I attended an interesting event called PITTCON in Atlanta, GA. It's a conference for product innovation in Laboratory Science. My company was amongst the many who had booths showcasing their products in the week long event. I arrived in Atlanta early Saturday morning and spent the better part of the day and all day Sunday helping to setup our booth. My team and I decided to treat ourselves to a nice dinner on Sunday night and went to this Mediterranean restaurant called Truva.  It's a good place for entertainment and dessert. I was impressed by the belly dancer's performance; she really knew her stuff and made the evening more enjoyable. For dessert, we ordered two types: Baklava and Kunefe.
I really liked Kunefe, which is pictured above. I haven't tasted anything like it before; it was so creamy and moist. That night was one of the few nights I had a complete meal and relaxes a bit before the convention. The week was filled with product discussions and meetings with various vendors and prospective buyers. I got a chance to walk around and browse through some of the booths. Overall the conference was a valuable and knowledgeable experience for me.
I told myself at the start of the week that I would try to keep a healthy diet so I don't fall sick. There weren't a lot of options and I ended up eating a lot of fried food during the week that I missed eating my simple yogurt rice meal. I thought I would share some of my food adventures from Atlanta to give you an idea of how I survived the week. During the convention, the only place I liked to eat lunch was at Sonny's where I had the best Pulled chicken sandwich ever. I don't know how they make it but the chicken was marinated in their own blend of BBQ sauce and spices. It was simple and delicious and wasn't overly saucy or stuffed.
Affordable sandwich, what a shocker!
Additionally, out of all the restaurant kiosks located in the convention hall, the sandwich prices here were the most economical. The last day of the convention fell on St. Patrick's Day and it was the shortest day of the whole week. Woohoo! After we packed up our booth, we dined at this popular seafood restaurant by the CNN Center called McCormick and Schmicks. Since, Atlanta is known for their seafood, I thought this place would be a perfect way to go. My colleagues were pretty satisfied with their meals but I wasn't too pleased with mine. I think I set my expectations too high and was a bit disappointed with the result.
I had the Ahi Tuna Seared Rare with Crab Roll, Pickled Ginger and Wasabi, pictured above. All I can say about the tuna is that "looks can be deceiving". The tuna wasn't flavorful at all and I ended up cutting the top off and just eating it plain. The best part of this entrée was the seaweed salad. Although the tuna was a downer, I didn't leave the restaurant totally unsatisfied. We ordered this lip smacking dessert called the Decadent Chocolate Trio:
A Collection of Chocolate Treats consisting of a Chocolate Walnut Brownie with Vanilla Ice Cream, Mousse Cake and Pot de Crème. The mousse cake melted in my mouth and the chocolate walnut brownie made me forget about the hectic week. I used to think Chili's or diners have the best warm brownie desserts but McCormicks beat them out of the water. I went to bed with a smile on my face that night. My last dining experience was after I explored a bit of downtown Atlanta with my new friends from the convention. We went to Legal Sea Foods. Two of us shared the Legal Experience: blackened raw tuna “sashimi”, oysters legal, shrimp cocktail and crab cake. Pictures aren't included due to the fact that I was stuffing my face with all the delicious samplers. By the time I remembered, the plate was left with oyster shells and forks. I would definitely recommend this place for future visits.

Here are some lessons on general and dining etiquette I learned through the course of the week:
- Book a hotel room/suite with a kitchenette so you can cook your own meals.
- Always pack enough hearty snacks to prevent eating unhealthy food like wings.
- Drink lots of water and exercise...even if that means walking around the hotel.
- Always pack an extra pair of comfortable shoes (in the event heels just don't cut it).

***Oh, don't forget to read Part Two of my adventure which is dedicated to sights and sounds...just for the heck of it.