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KOSA uses family recipes in its kitchen to present food as medicine

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Some people call KOSA’s signature khichdi dish “a warm hug in a bowl”. There is no better way to describe Comfort Food.

July 7, 2021 8:28 am

Shilpa Sankaran

Posted: Jul 7, 2021 8:28 AM

With the kind permission of KOSAKOSA creates drinks and dishes according to Ayurvedic principles, such as (in the picture from above, then clockwise) Sai Bhaji, South Indian Rasam, Ashwagandha Golden Milk and Masala Chai.

Some people call KOSA’s signature khichdi dish “a warm hug in a bowl”. There is no better way to describe Comfort Food.

In nature, comfort means love and security. Our brains produce oxytocin, or the “love hormone,” which in childhood can develop strong relationships with those who feed us. For many, comfort foods are associated with sugary or processed items. Whether made in the laboratory or at home, these foods usually don’t keep us full in the long run.

As a first generation Indian immigrant, my parents brought me to this country as a toddler. They adopted facets of American culture while staying connected to our roots. That meant my mother cooked everything from hot curries to lasagna. But even with lasagna, she couldn’t help but add cumin and coriander to spice up a canned sauce.

In early adulthood, I immersed myself in a fast-paced career where I often ate without considering my body. As I grew and followed my passion through many professional changes, I felt drawn to my own self-care and found myself back in Madison to start KOSA.

KOSA is a spa based on the principles of the 5,000 year old Ayurveda life science, which the renowned Ayurveda doctor Vasant Lad describes as “the art of daily life in harmony with the laws of nature”. He says it is “an ancient natural wisdom of health and healing”. In short, Ayurveda stabilizes our health when lifestyles or seasons throw us out of balance.

Modern science has proven what has long been documented in ancient Ayurvedic science. These include the inseparable relationship between the brain and the gut and the delicate balance of our microbiome. Therefore, Ayurvedic practice uses food as medicine.

For example, we are now in the pitta (fire / water) season of summer. It is characterized by hot, oily and pungent properties that can lead to inflammation, skin diseases, heartburn, ulcers and a “hot temper”. Our recipes contain cooling and calming elements such as fennel, coconut, coriander, lime and hot greens, which soothe the senses and aid digestion, prevent inflammation and keep our emotions in a healthy balance.

With my family recipes, my mother’s culinary training and the training of our Ayurveda consultant and cook Tanya Anderson, the KOSA kitchen has become our pharmacy.

Every day the spa smells not only of seasonal aromatherapy and oils, but also of the seductive spices from our kitchen. When Tanya cooks sambhar – a sour and spicy lentil and vegetable stew that is served on lemon rice with ghee – it reminds me of my paternal grandfather’s house in Chennai. In summer, the cool herbs of dill, fenugreek and sorrel in our Sai Bhaji, a stew made from greens and lentils from the Sindhi diaspora, remind me of the pleasant scent of my maternal grandmother’s house in Mumbai.

This “warm hug in a bowl”, khichdi, is a mixture of rice, lentils, ghee, special medicinal spices and seasonal vegetables that are slowly cooked together. It is an Ayurvedic comfort food that nourishes the body and calms the digestive system. My mom fed it to me when I was a baby and I did the same for my babies.
Ayurvedic practice goes deeper than the ingredients. Ultimately, it is energy and intent that create true medicine. We carefully select ethically and sustainably grown ingredients. We practice mindfulness in food preparation and connect with our hearts to fill everything we do with love.

With this in mind, eating not only creates temporary good feelings, but it can also have profound effects on the health of our bodies and minds, making us feel better, clearer, lighter and more connected to all things. This is how real comfort food is created.

Shilpa Sankaran is the founder of KOSA, which opened in Garver Feed Mill in 2019. It is the first Ayurvedic spa in Madison. In addition to the spa services, KOSA offers comfort meals in the spa and in the form of take-away and meal sets.

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Healthy Eating

A Look At Some Of The Food Choices Americans Are Making As We Emerge From The Pandemic

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To eat healthy food

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The last 18 months of pandemic life have ushered in tremendous changes in almost every facet of life as we knew it. Our eating habits and food choices are no exception.

From where we eat to what we eat, food industry veteran Arlin Wasserman spoke to us about some of the most notable adjustments Americans have made since the pandemic began. Wasserman is the founder and managing director of the food strategy consultancy Changing Tastes.

Gary Drenik: Arlin, thank you for talking to us today. By and large, let’s start with a look at how the pandemic experience changed our diets and how our health affects our food choices.

Arlin Aquarius: Thanks for talking to us, Gary. I am looking forward to starting broadly. One of the biggest changes we see is that where we eat turns out to be a bigger change than what we eat. At the beginning of the pandemic, we were mostly home whether we liked it or not.

So the Americans went to the kitchen and cooked many of the recipes that they were familiar with, including many home cooking. These look different for each of us and are closely linked to our cultural traditions and regional cuisines in which we grew up. However, many families were high on the list of baking cookies and cooking dishes like macaroni and cheese, hamburgers, and hot dogs. As Americans protected from Covid-19, many also gained weight. It is reported that we gained about two pounds a month while cooking for ourselves at home, according to the JAMA Network Open.

We’ve also focused a lot more on disease prevention as we’ve started wearing masks, washing hands frequently, and wiping surfaces regularly. For many of us, this has resulted in a greater focus on eating foods that might boost our immune systems and keep us healthy, and those aren’t esoteric ingredients or supplements. We have increased our consumption of foods like honey, ginger and oranges over the course of the pandemic.

Drenik: We have just spent over a year cooking for each other at home, much to our dismay in some cases at the American affinity for food. Do you think this will go on?

Aquarius: No, or more precisely, only if we are asked to. That summer, as the Covid-19 restrictions began to lift, Americans flocked back to restaurants. In May 2021, restaurants in the United States had a record month in sales revenue, with consumers spending over $ 60 billion in restaurants. We broke that record in June and then again in July when we combined spent over $ 72 billion eating out as restaurants also had a record month for the number of diners served.

At least some of us even continued to dine in restaurants, even when we were forced to stay at home due to lockdown mandates at the start of the pandemic. During Covid-19, many Americans showed extraordinary determination not to cook for themselves. As many restaurants closed their doors to diners in mid-2020, Americans flocked to delivery services or dared to stand in line near others to pick up meals so as not to have to cook their own meals.

The significant increase in out-of-home dining that we saw was not surprising for another reason either. After each economic downturn, Americans have increased the percentage of their food spending in restaurants, as eating out is one of the first affordable luxury items we enjoy, and now more of us return to work as employment recovers.

From what we hear, the continued growth isn’t the lack of guest interest. The challenge is to hire and train enough staff to cook and serve food fast enough to keep up with the increased volume.

However, with the arrival of autumn and the delta variant, we are seeing more people reluctant to eat out again. I proved this in a recent survey by Prosper Insights & Analytics, which shows that around 1 in 3 Americans still avoid restaurants due to concerns about Covid-19.

Prosper – avoid restaurants

Prosper Insights & Analytics

Drenik: What have been some of the most notable changes you have seen in food purchases by American consumers, and do you think these changes will be permanent?

Aquarius: Two of the biggest changes we saw at the start of the pandemic are Americans reduced the number of grocery purchases each week and increased the amount of groceries we delivered home, whether it was groceries, purchased or delivered directly from producers from grocery stores or meals from restaurants delivered to our homes. They all roll back quickly.

The restriction on trips to the grocery store was a requirement in part because stores were limited in the number of shoppers and times people could enter, and shopping took longer, including queuing. We still shop less often, but that is turning around.

Grocery stores also faced some empty shelves as Americans stocked up for the long quarantine, with a shortage of toilet paper and bleach making headlines. One of the categories that saw a big turnaround was canned foods, especially tuna, which saw significant sales increases after years of decline. At Changing Tastes, we conducted a consumer survey in late spring 2020 and found that if food shortages worsened, consumers stored it and the more cans of tuna Americans bought, the less likely it was to eat any of it.

Shopping online for groceries also increased during Covid-19, but that is rapidly declining today. Online grocery sales rose 43% to over 9 billion at the start of the pandemic. We buy groceries more conveniently online and directly from producers, but in the end we prefer to go shopping and choose for ourselves.

What has also changed is how much we want to have meals delivered to us. The high cost of food delivery services is certainly a factor. But also the very social aspect of eating and eating with others. “Ghost kitchens”, restaurants that only exist online and cook meals in a central kitchen for online ordering and delivery but never greet guests, are likely already overbuilt, as investments were made there during the pandemic.

Drenik: One of the major health trends before the Covid-19 pandemic was eating less meat. Will we continue to move beyond meat as we move out of the pandemic, and if so, what will replace the meat that has so often been on our plates?

Aquarius: The long-term trend towards less red meat is something we can see every year when we ask consumers what their intentions are for the year ahead and then look at what we actually buy and eat. About a third of Americans intentionally try to eat less red meat, and Covid-19 has not affected it. It was true before, during the darkest days and now that we are emerging from the thicket of the pandemic. And less really means less, not nothing at all. The proportion that is vegetarian or vegan remains consistently low.

What has changed is how we want to get there. A few years ago, the best choices were to eat less meat, eat smaller portions of meat, and try meat alternatives made from plants that were just coming on the market. A few years later, and for the past two years, the first choice has been to eat more seafood. My opinion is this: Because we’ve significantly reduced the portions of meat we eat, including recently more chefs taking up the plant-centric culinary approach I developed more than a decade ago and offering products like the mixed burger, who relies on it when scratch cooking real food.

Interestingly, and especially during Covid-19, our flirtation with artificial meat substitutes faded after a few months. Their predictable flavors in the factory were not comparable to the flexibility of real meat, poultry, or fish to take on all the flavors a chef or home cook can imagine with condiments, condiments, and the like. A recent survey by Prosper Insights & Analytics found that only one in 20 younger adults buys meat substitutes when shopping for food.

Prosper – Buy more vegetable meat products

Prosper Insights & Analytics

Drenik: What are some of the ingredients people will be looking for in this next chapter and what makes them rising stars?

Aquarius: We see two different types of ingredients that will shine in the market.

As consumers become more concerned about their health and wellbeing, the benefits of ingredients that boost the immune system are compelling. Covid-19 has made consumers aware of the benefits of staying healthy and many choose ingredients that boost the immune system, such as garlic, ginger, turmeric, green tea, CBD, and citrus fruits.

There is also a new desire to eat a wider variety of ingredients caught or grown in our oceans, particularly in the waters of the United States, as more Americans become interested in some of the red meat they eat replace it with more fish and seafood. Notably, we eat a greater proportion of seafood meals out than at home. There we are more open to trying out new ingredients. For example, when was the last time you cooked an octopus at home? However, octopus is becoming increasingly popular on restaurant menus.

When Covid-19 first disrupted global supply chains, seafood was hit hard, reducing or interrupting the number of flights that could transport fresh fish. This threatened to spoil frozen shipments. More than ever, many Americans are concerned about where our food comes from, what precautions are being taken, and who has touched it before us. All of this has shifted our focus and tastes to local fish and seafood sources, among other things.

Drenik: Very interesting, Arlin. Indeed, a lot has changed in what, where and how we eat. We can only hope that the increased focus on our own health and wellbeing and where that merges with the health and wellbeing of our planet continues.

Many implications for the food industry beyond restaurants and delivery services play a role here. The ups and downs in demand for certain products will certainly continue to put pressure on supply chains to expand and contract as consumer habits and preferences change. Grocery manufacturers and grocers are likely to remain on their guard as these preference changes appear to be frequent and rapid.

Thank you today for your thoughtful insight.

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Healthy Eating

12 Quick and Healthy Recipes That Star Canned Pumpkin — Eat This Not That

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Pumpkins, the quirky orange fruit synonymous with sweater weather, can also be the figurehead of the fall season. Every year, when the temperatures start to drop, everything “pumpkin” starts to show up. Whether as a cake on bakery shelves, as a decoration on the front steps or as a popular coffee shop aroma, pumpkins seem to be everywhere in autumn.

If you’re in need of some fresh new ideas on what to do with all that extra pumpkin you’ve got lying around this season, there are only a limited number of pumpkin pie to make, keep reading. From pumpkin marinara sauce to pumpkin and chicken chili and beyond, here are 12 fun ways to use pumpkin in your next fall dinner. Also, bookmark our 45+ best soups and chilies to make with a rotisserie chicken.

Blaine trenches

This pumpkin marinara is a great recipe to try out when you want to break out of the traditional tomato sauce pan. This fragrant sauce is made from ingredients such as tomato paste, canned pumpkin and chopped garlic and tastes great on pizza dough or in spaghetti.

Get our Pumpkin Marinara recipe.

RELATED: Sign up for our newsletter for more delicious recipes and tips for healthy eating.

Pumpkin mashed potatoes in a large bowl with chives, oil and salt.Blaine trenches

Mashed potatoes, the ultimate comfort food, get an exciting twist when canned pumpkin and light sour cream are added to the mix. Easily cooked in about half an hour, this delicious dish makes a great Thanksgiving side dish.

Get our recipe for pumpkin and potato puree.

RELATED: 20 Thanksgiving Pages to Cook in the Microwave!

Fudgy pumpkin brownie canapes on a wooden boardBlaine trenches

Fall is known for its pumpkin pie, but why not go against the current and do something different with your canned pumpkin and bake some brownies? Decadent, fudgy, and only 54 calories each, these pumpkin brownie bites are the perfect way to end any meal.

Get our recipe for Fudgy Pumpkin Brownie Bites.

RELATED: 33 Delicious Pumpkin Recipes

Pumpkin and Chicken Chili served in white potsJason Donnelly

Slow Cooker Chili goes well with cool autumn evenings and cozy couch nights. This recipe, which features a combination of chickpeas, roasted diced tomatoes, and chopped red bell peppers, will get an autumn update when canned pumpkins are introduced.

Get our Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chicken Chili Recipe.

RELATED: 20 Best Healthy Chili Recipes for Weight Loss

Pumpkin ravioli with pest sauceBlaine trenches

If you are a fan of traditional ricotta filled ravioli, you must try these sweet pumpkin ravioli. This sweet and savory dish is made from pumpkin puree, whole milk ricotta and a mixture of different spices such as ginger and nutmeg and reinterprets an old classic. Note: This recipe uses pre-made wrappers rather than making batter from scratch, which can help cut prep time significantly.

Get the recipe from Running to the Kitchen.

RELATED: 65 Cozy Comfort Foods That Help You Lose Weight, too

Pumpkin strudel cheesecakeCourtesy of Sally’s baking addiction

If you’re looking for a dessert for this Thanksgiving season that is both delicious and unexpected, this Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe is a must-try. This cheesecake is made from a crispy ginger biscuit crust, a pumpkin spice swirl and salted caramel sauce.

Get the recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction.

RELATED: The Best Cheesecake in Every State

Pumpkin and Chicken Tortilla SoupCourtesy Kims Cravings

This smooth pumpkin and chicken tortilla soup is a great dish to add to your dinner recipe rotation. Made with Zoup! Chicken broth, pumpkin puree, black beans and Greek natural yoghurt, this tasty dish can also be prepared easily vegan and gluten-free with just a few simple substitutions.

Get the recipe from Kim’s Cravings.

RELATED: The Best and Worst Greek Yogurts in 2021 – Ranking List!

fried pumpkin and spinach saladCourtesy of Recipe Can Eats

Common autumn vegetables like kale and beetroot are no stranger to salads – so why not roast some pumpkin and throw it on a green bed too? Made with baby spinach, crumbled feta and perfectly cooked pumpkin pieces, this undeniably refreshing salad is easily served with a flavorful honey and balsamic dressing that you can make right at home.

Get the recipe from recipe jar eats.

RELATED: This Roasted Pumpkin Seed Recipe is the Perfect Fall Snack

Pumpkin Mac and CheeseCourtesy Minimalist Baker

This velvety macaroni and cheese recipe proves that you don’t need a lot of cheese and butter to make a delicious dish. This plant-based version of the iconic comfort food gets its cheesy taste when cooked penne is tossed into a mix of nutritional yeast, vegan parmesan, and almond milk.

Get the recipe from Minimalist Baker.

RELATED: The Worst Mac and Cheese Dishes in America

Chipotle Pumpkin SoupCourtesy Half Baked Harvest

Autumn’s favorites – pumpkins and apples – combine to create a smoky chipotle soup that gushes over with taste. Made with pumpkin puree, coconut milk, chipotle powder, and paprika, this delicious soup is served in delightful hollowed-out acorn gourd shells.

Get the recipe from Half Baked Harvest.

Pumpkin dream cakeCourtesy How Sweet Eats

This pumpkin sheet cake is perfect when you need a cake to celebrate a fall birthday or want to make a delicious, easy-to-prepare dessert for the holiday season. Stuffed with ground nutmeg and brown sugar and topped with cinnamon and cream cheese frosting, this recipe can feed up to 12 people.

Get the recipe from How Sweet Eats.

RELATED: The Best Apples for Any Fall Dessert

Coconut Cream Pumpkin Quinoa PorridgeCourtesy of Cotter Crunch

If you decide to have a large bowl of oatmeal in the morning, be sure to try this vegan pumpkin and quinoa breakfast bowl. Filled with pumpkin puree, coconut milk, ground ginger, pumpkin spice and maple syrup, this recipe proves that quinoa can also be enjoyed beyond hearty dishes.

Get the recipe from Cotter Crunch.

Get more of our delicious and cozy autumn recipes:

25 delicious apple recipes that are perfect for fall

65 cozy comfort foods that also help you lose weight

45+ best cozy casserole recipes for weight loss

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Healthy Eating

27 Best Copycat KFC Recipes

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We grew up on Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) when my mom wanted to have dinner quickly and after a long day at work didn’t feel like cooking for us kids. We devoured a large bucket of fried chicken (their chicken legs were my favorite!), Mashed potatoes, gravy, coleslaw, and a buttered bun always felt like a treat. I think KFC has the tastiest shortbread biscuits and their fried chicken with its secret spices is addicting and delicious!

Since the next KFC is about 30 minutes away from me, we enjoy our favorites at home without having to travel with these 27 Copycats of KFC recipes. My daughter is addicted to mashed potatoes and gravy, and my son can eat his weight in crispy chicken tenders.

Related: Where To Find KFC Beyond Fried Chicken

What is Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC)?

KFC is an American fast food restaurant chain headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky specializing in what? Fried chicken!! Kentucky Fried Chicken is the second largest restaurant chain in the world after McDonald’s. That’s a lot of fast food restaurants.

Related: 30 copycat olive garden recipes that are so good you never have to leave your home

Best KFC chicken recipe

There’s something nostalgic about a bucket of KFC Original Recipe Chicken. It’s comfort food to the max. Growing up, most of us didn’t have parents willing to cook chicken at home, so KFC became a kind of special occasion meal. It could be seen at block parties, birthday parties, holiday celebrations and sports tournaments at the end of the season and delighted us with its salty, fatty, spicy and tangy crust. Be sure to grab a piece early so you can choose a piece of white or dark meat.

The original Colonel Sanders may have hated what became of the restaurant after selling it, but I still think their chicken “finger licks well”. So why would anyone try to make it home? For starters, it’s a lot cheaper and you can use higher quality ingredients in your kitchen. You will see how much easier it is to cook fried chicken that tastes just as good (if not better) than what you can find at KFC. However, to ensure your chicken turns out juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside, there are a few secrets you need to know.

Related: 29 Healthy Fast Food Recipes That Are Skinny Riffs Of Classics

How to Make KFC Chicken

KFC’s chicken recipe is no more complicated than most fried chicken recipes, even though it has more ingredients in it. The aromatic coating is created by combining flour with 11 herbs and spices, so get ready to load your shopping cart with salt, dried thyme, dried basil, dried oregano, celery salt, ground black pepper, ground yellow mustard, paprika, garlic salt , ground ginger and ground white pepper. You will need anywhere from some of these spices to a quarter cup, so make sure you have enough on the spice rack before you start.

The most frequently ordered items from KFC Menu

KFC may be known for their fried chicken, but everyone knows they know how to make their side dishes. Part of what this crispy, crunchy chicken tastes so good is serving it with the best side dishes. It’s almost impossible to pick our only favorite on the list of homemade side dishes (KFC mashed potatoes and gravy are absolutely in the running). But it’s hard to get out of the drive-thru window without a side of coleslaw. It’s crispy, creamy, and tasty, and the contrast between hot chicken and cold vegetables has something that just works. It’s refreshing, especially on a hot summer day or any other day.

How many recipes does KFC have on the menu?

In addition to the fan-favorite roast chicken, there are a total of 19 recipes on the menu, including mashed potatoes and gravy, cookies, coleslaw, mac and cheese, chicken tenders, grilled chicken, sandwiches, chicken pot pie and more!

Who Invented Roast Chicken?

Believe it or not, the Scots invented the fried chicken. They started frying chicken in fat, creating an extra crispy texture with very juicy meat. I am so grateful that you did it, it’s one of my favorite foods ever!

Check out my other popular posts:

Best Copycat KFC Coleslaw Recipe (Video):

About the author:

Nettie is a woman and mother who is passionate about cooking and baking … especially when it comes to simple meals! With five children, Nettie insists that all meals, snacks, and desserts come together quickly. On their very popular website Moore or Less Cooking, you can find a wide variety of simple but tasty recipes.

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