RPL at Home (March 2023)

Welcome to the first edition of RPL at Home!

Each month, I’ll be taking you behind the scenes of Rainbow Plant Life and sharing what I’m up to when I’m not in the kitchen or in front of the camera.

Pour yourself a cup of tea or coffee, get cozy, and come hang out for a few minutes :)

Welcome to the first edition of RPL at Home, where I share what I’m up to when I’m not in the kitchen or in front of the camera. 

Each month, I’ll share snippets of what I’m working, habits I’m cultivating, things bringing me joy, podcasts/books/TV shows I’m enjoying, and more. Think of it as stream-of-consciousness blabbering meets a semi-curated list of recommendations meets life update.

This month’s edition
1. What I’m watching, listening to, and reading
2. What I’m working on (in life) 
3. What I’m working on (in the biz) 
4. Recipes you might have missed
5. What I’m eating
6. What’s bringing me joy

My parents holding their new cutting board, a gift from RPL reader Linda in Ohio 🥰

What I’m watching, listening to, and reading

Watching

The show I’ve been most excited about tuning into is The Last of Us. I don’t typically gravitate towards dystopian sci-fi, and I must admit I’m an actual baby who wears noise-canceling headphones during the scenes with scary sounds (I know, I know), but…I’ve been hooked by the magnificent acting and the relationship between Ellie and Joel. 

Pedro Pascal (Joel) is having a moment. And Bella Ramsey (Ellie) is a proud vegan!

Reading

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson. I went full suburban and recently joined a neighborhood book club! And this was our first book. It weaves together two topics I knew nothing about (horse-riding rural librarians during the Great Depression) and the rare blue-skinned people of Kentucky, but I really enjoyed it. It’s written beautifully and hard to put down. 

A few shorter pieces I enjoyed this month  
He taught Americans how to cook Indian food 
The Fleishman is in Trouble Effect 
100 centenarians’ 100 tips for a life well lived

Listening

This recent episode from NPR’s Throughline tells the story of an Indian American man who argued in 1923 that he should be considered white and thus eligible to become a U.S. citizen. The episode covers the creation of race and the myth of whiteness, and for me, it brought up painful memories of my childhood where I wished I was white so I would not feel Othered. But it also made me proud because I no longer feel that way. I love when a podcast can teach you important stuff, prompt a good cry, and spawn a personal epiphany all at once. 

ad for meal plans program with picture of woman with button

What I’m working on (in life) 

Becoming “a reader

Back in first grade, we had a reading marathon. For every book you read, the teacher would paste a paper star on the wall with your name on it, starting at the bottom of the wall and working her way up. I read so many books that my stars started to creep up the ceiling (my poor classmates had no chance with this nerd). So I’ve always considered myself “a reader.”

But truth be told, I’ve put reading on the back burner since I started my business. While I did read 10 books last year (not bad), I read them all while on vacation because my regular life was “too busy.”  

Recently though, I started doing a few things that have helped reading become a habit I look forward to:

  • Joining a book club (see above)
  • Carving out 10 minutes to read each night (it usually extends longer once I get into it)
  • Leaving my current book on the dining table so I read while I eat lunch instead of the usual doomsday scrolling
  • Treating myself to a new book at our awesome local bookstore each time I finish a book
  • Allowing myself to read whatever I want instead of forcing myself to read the latest self-improvement or productivity book.

And it’s working! I’ve read four books in the last three weeks. That’s four gold stars for adult Nisha.  

What I’m working on (in the biz)  

One of my favorite YouTube videos we published recently was for my Thai Green Curry recipe. The video is fun and playful, and you get to see my parents (and Max!) in a delightfully funny taste test. 

I tried making Thai curry for my Indian parents
I tried making Thai curry for my Indian parents

On the recipe development side, I want to share more desserts this year (not a lot, just a little). I recently realized that I had published only 6 dessert recipes in the last 2 years. To be fair, one of them was my absolute best vegan brownies (recently picked by a group of 47 taste testers as the best vegan brownie!) and I don’t think I can top that recipe, but we all need a little more sweetness in our lives. 

Have any dessert recipes you’d like to see? Leave your requests in the comments!

And here’s a sneak peek of recipes I’m working on! If you want to get notified when new recipes hit the blog, subscribe to my newsletter

Recipes you might have missed

  • Tofu Stir Fry. A Chinese restaurant-style stir fry with crispy-chewy tofu and a deeply savory sauce.
  • Chickpea Curry. Big bold Indian flavors in an approachable weeknight dinner package.
  • Creamy Coconut Rice with Five Spice Tofu. Creamy rice and five spice tofu crumbles meet nutrient-rich vegetables and crunchy peanuts.
  • Beet Hummus. The most gorgeous dip you’ll ever make. Also nutrient-dense and so versatile.
  • Thai Green Curry. My favorite takeout dish made at home! Easy but gourmet.

What I’m eating

During the week, we mostly eat leftovers from recipe testing and “bowl style dinners” using building blocks (and occasionally some sort of Asian takeout or pizza). One of my favorite things for those bowl-style dinners is vegan Tzatziki

The tzatziki takes just 10 minutes to make and is so versatile. Last week for lunch, I spread it on bread from our local bakery (first, I toasted the bread underneath the broiler, then smeared with a cut garlic clove and drizzle of olive oil, my go-to method for toasting bread). Then I piled it with pan-fried tofu slabs, arugula dressed with Brightland olive oil & champagne vinegar, and pickled carrots. :::::chef’s kiss:::::

For dinner, a recent favorite has been to pair the tzatziki with crunchy roasted chickpeas or white beans and a simplified Greek salad with cukes, cherry or heirloom tomatoes, capers, kalamata olives (no olives for Max), drizzled with olive oil & vinegar + toasted pita wedges (or cooked farro) + pickled onions.

Overhead view of tzatziki in a bowl next to pita chips and small bowls with pepper and cucumber in them.

What’s bringing me joy  

Bi-monthly “happy hours”: A technical happy hour involves adult beverages and usually a bar, but I’ve co-opted the term for something very different. 

A couple times a month, I’ll end work earlier than usual and make hot chocolate. Meanwhile, Max pours himself a glass of wine and, upon my request, lights an obscene amount of candles in the living room and turns on the “relaxing jazz” station on Spotify. 

Then we hang out on the couch until dinner time. We chat for a bit, sometimes about work, but usually about non-work stuff, and then we stare at each other silently like we’re deeply in love but also like we’re in a cult. 

Just kidding, we read our respective books while I occasionally sneak a few sips of his wine (but not a lot because I discovered last year that drinking booze hurts my stomach and that getting old is a real party pooper). 

This may not be a traditional happy hour in any sense of the word, but it’s an hour or two where I feel great happiness. And self-righteous because I am collecting more golden stars for all the books I’m racing through.

Halfway through the novel Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. Will share my thoughts next month!

Hope y’all enjoyed this first edition of RPL at home! You might have noticed that I was sharing mini life updates in our newsletter recently, but the long-form blog format just felt easier and more natural, and I’m already excited for the April edition.

Please let me know what you’d like to see in next month’s edition (and if you have a more clever title than “RPL at home.”)!

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @rainbowplantlife and hashtag it #rainbowplantlife

Leave a Comment & Rating

If you enjoyed this recipe, please consider giving it a star rating along with your comment! It helps others discover my blog and recipes, and your comments always make my day :) Thank you for your support!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

172 comments on RPL at Home (March 2023)

  1. Jan

    Really enjoyed the March edition. I love my hot chocolate and I can’t wait to try your recipe listed this month. It sounds absolutely amazing! I also have to say your vegan instant pot cookbook is full of so many good recipes, there is not one I want to miss. I enjoy hearing about what you’re reading, I also leave time at the end of every day to read.
    Thanks for the work you put into what you do.

  2. Meg Shull

    Hello from Ottawa!! Love your vlog over the past couple years and enjoyed this RPL March edition! Thank you!! I’m hoping to get your cook book, curious about non soy based recipes in the book? I have some allergies to sit and tomatoes What is your experience with non soy based tofu?
    You ask about dessert recipes.. any ideas for non soy based nice cream ideas aside from banana?

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Meg, we’re thrilled you’ve been loving the recipes and enjoyed this edition of RPL at home. There are many non-soy based recipes in the cookbook. From an array of breakfast options to dahls, curries, beans, you’ll have a ton of recipes to choose from. Have you gotten the chance to check out our soy-free recipe section on the site? We hope you find this helpful and hope you get the chance to pick up a copy!

  3. Hannah

    I love this blog and especially this new series. Thanks for all the great recipes, Nisha! Looking forward to the April edition :)

  4. Geoffrey

    That was delightful Nisha! Having watched a number of your videos, I can feel your bubbly charming presence in the written word as well. I look forward to future editions of RPL at Home. I wish you the very best always! 🙏💖

  5. Anna

    Thank you for sharing your life .

  6. Elizabeth

    Loved these insights into your personal life. Thanks for sharing, and please keep reading! I highly recommend All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir, which just won the National Book Award. It’s marketed as YA fiction, but it’s for everyone.

  7. Jackalyn

    Love this series! I’ve rediscovered my love of reading in recent years too, it’s been a great way to get off screens and avoid blue lights before bed too. Can’t wait to see your reads and reviews next month. :)

  8. Susan Javidan

    Hi Nisha!
    Thank you for sharing so much of yourself! I love and respect you as a local fan (now that you live in SD 🤩). My family loves your recipes & some have become our staples… cornbread! Chili! & pumpkin lasagna soup! I am making time to dive into vegan desserts & your brownies are first on my list 👍
    Thank you for all that you do
    ❤️Susan

  9. Vinny

    Sooo, note to self: do not eat while reading your site.
    “… but also like we’re in a cult.” caused a very unpretty spatter when I just.cracked.up.

    I’m so moved by your letting us in, especially your vulnerable sharings as you did re Otherness.

    Is it OK to do a shoutout to the man who introduced me to your awesomeness? Thank you, Wilmer!

    I could keep gushing, but let me say I am so grateful for your oft utilization of science when you explain why a recipe works.

    If I may add my fave of all time to the gazillion dessert ideas that that are earnestly being unleashed on you: a lemon layer cake with lemon filling and lemon icing.
    I’ve made your winning lemon olive oil cake twice, the second time with a gifted smoked olive oil – it was strange and amazing!

  10. Larae

    I love your content Nisha. I too am a lifelong reader and learner although since the lockdown I can’t seem to stick with anything for very long including reading. Hope that changes for me soon but until then I will be knitting and watching You Tube!

  11. Emily

    I love this a whole lot!

Development Alchemy + Aim