A few months ago, I took part in an Instagram giveaway. Like always, I didn’t win that giveaway (I never do!) but I did start following the profile of the person who won it. I was awed by the photographs on their feed and the way they made salads look like such a breeze. Imagine my surprise then when I realised that the amazing photographs and tantalizing recipes were the work of someone I had studied with in high school and college!
From being the topper in school and college to making a name for her in the advertising world, Bhumika has achieved a lot over the years. And Lime and Lettuce, her Instagram handle is yet another addition to the list of achievements. It was but obvious I would seek out Bhumika to congratulate her on completing a year of her tasty handle and make her spill a few beans. Here’s what Bhumika has to say about her Instagram feed and there’s an exclusive recipe for the readers and followers of From The Corner Table too!
In 2015, I moved to Hong Kong for a year. It amazed me to see how everyone in this region was so toned and fit. Office colleagues always spoke about activities like cycling, weekend trekking, cross-fit training and counted calories of every meal. Their fitness antenna was always on alert and that rubbed on me too.
Once back in India, my husband, a health-enthusiast, decided to eat only salads for a few days to compensate for all the ‘family get-togethers’ we had indulged in. A few weeks into a predominantly salad diet, he started enjoying how healthy and energetic he felt throughout the day. Slowly, eating light and healthy became a way of life for both of us.
For close to three years now, we’ve switched to mostly having soups, salads and light meals for lunch and dinner. The regular intake of salads got the creative juices flowing and I’d often find myself thinking about different ways to make salads tastier and healthier. As relatives and friends learned about our eating habits and sampled the salads I made, they sought the recipes. This prompted me to start thinking about sharing my recipes on a larger platform.
It was in May 2018 – after much procrastination –I started my Instagram page ‘Lime and Lettuce’ with the intent of documenting and sharing the healthy recipes. It also allowed me to indulge in a hobby – food photography.
I loved taking food pictures even long before Instagram turned it into a global obsession. Lime and Lettuce prompted me to take food photography a little more seriously and I found myself constantly learning through the study of the subject. I would think of newer recipes, experiment with different kinds of dressing, and interact with food bloggers and followers who tried my recipes. It’s been just a year since Lime and Lettuce took off in such a satisfying way thanks to the followers. And through this all, my husband has been my biggest supporter, critic and recipe-tester.
Many people are often intimidated by salads, given the many foreign ingredients. But salads don’t always have to be about fancy vegetables and condiments that are difficult to pronounce, let alone procure. I strongly believe it is possible to make something fabulous with the simplest things. It’s a thought that applies to my way of work too. To date, I haven’t invested in any food props or extra lights for the food photographs I click. Everything you see is what’s at home – everyday crockery, plants, trinkets, books, etc. My wooden dining table serves as a constant backdrop.
When Rapti invited me to write a guest post for ‘From The Corner Table’, I was glad to note that both of us were on the same page about food. She insisted that the recipe I share be all about local produce and easily available ingredients. So forget quinoa, purple cabbage or fancy leafy veggies. This high-protein millet salad with a creamy herb dressing fits the bill by turning everyday ingredients into a tantalizing bowl of goodness.
Wholesome millet gets a makeover with creamy herb dressing
- 75 grams Kidney beans (boiled)
- 50 grams Foxtail millet (cooked)
- 75 grams Paneer (cubed)
- 100 grams Mango (cubed)
- 2 tbsp Hung curd
- 1 bunch Basil
- 2-3 cloves Garlic
- 2-3 tsp Olive oil
- 1 Lemon
- Salt (to taste)
- Pepper (to taste)
- Honey (optional)
- In a bowl, bring together all the dry ingredients – kidney beans, paneer cubes, foxtail millet and mango cubes. Toss lightly.
- In a blender jar, blitz together garlic, basil, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper for a smooth paste.
Add the curd and give it a final blitz.
Taste and adjust seasoning. At this stage, you can add a few drops of honey.
- Toss the salad mix with just enough dressing to moisten. Serve immediately.
- If you don’t have basil, use fresh mint.
- To make this salad for a party, mix the dressing with the ingredients and refrigerate to let the flavours soak in.