Padma Lakshmi cooks up a children’s book with a message

NEW YORK (AP) — Neela is a young girl who loves cooking with her mom. Saturday is her favorite day of the week. That’s the day they go to the green market. So begins Padma Lakshmi’s charming entry into the world of children’s book, “Tomatoes For Neela,” which mixes the author’s memories of cooking with her family with practical food advice, a nod to farmworkers and even a pair of recipes. Neela and her mom make a sauce using plum tomatoes bought from the green market and create enough to can some for winter, saving it to share with her grandmother when she next visits from India.