Kale Salad with Pears, Pistachios, Almonds, Dates and Feta

Happy Tuesday everyone,

So much going on here lately! Diya turned 12 and I can’t believe that my oldest is such a mature young lady (although using that phrase does make me feel old enough to have a mature young lady). We also had my nephew staying with us for a few days and watching him and Nisa together warmed my heart every moment (even the fighting – SO interesting to watch the negotiations).

In the midst of all this craziness, we made this kale salad with the stuff we had in the fridge and it turned out amazingly well. The nice thing is that you can improvise with whatever you have on hand (nut free? use pumpkin seeds, no pears? use whatever fruit you have on hand, I think that grapes would be amazing!)

Let me know if you make it and use different ingredients!

Kale Salad with Pears, Almonds, Dates and Feta


One to bunches of kale (we used about 1.5 and the dino kale variety)

one pear (we used D’Anjou)

3-4 Medjool dates

1/2 cup nuts/seeds toasted (we used a combination of sliced almonds and pumpkin seeds)

crumbled feta


olive oil

juice from one lemon


1. Clean the kale, dry well and rip the leaves off the ribs, toss the ribs. Cut into bite-size pieces.

2. Put a tablespoon of olive oil on the kale and sprinkle salt to taste. Massage the kale until it softens and becomes shiny (about 1 minute).

3. Add chopped pear, chopped dates, nuts/seeds.

4. Make the dressing: 3-4 tablespoons olive oil, salt/pepper, juice of one lemon. Whisk until the acid is incorporated with the oil . Drizzle over the salad.

5. Add the feta and toss until the dressing and the ingredients are distributed evenly.

6. Enjoy as a side salad or with protein as a main meal. Serves 8 as a side.



Chocolate Truffle Torte

This post is coming a bit late since this is what I made for Valentine’s day. Before we had kids, we didn’t really celebrate Valentine’s day. Now, it feels like a good reason to do something special (even on a weekday) that is focused on love. So we have a “family romantic dinner” with candles and a fancy dessert. This year, Vivek was away, but the girls and I had a greek-inspired dinner and I made fresh pretzels (who doesn’t love fresh bread!). The celebration was complete with this chocolate torte – it was pretty simple to make and came out amazing – the girls and Vivek  all said that is tasted “professional”. Now, you should be warned that it is incredibly rich and it lasted more than a week in our house because you can only eat just a sliver. But, it is SO good in the afternoon with a cup of coffee (how I prefer it) or in the morning for breakfast with a glass of milk (yes, i did let the girls do that once or twice!). The other nice thing is that it is flourless and so naturally gluten free. I did cut the sugar down by a bit so if you like things sweeter, you may want to use a half cup. If you try it, please let me know what you think! And, love to you all for a belated Valentine’s day!

Dinner pics:



Chocolate Truffle Torte


15 ounces chocolate chopped (I used trader joe’s dark chocolate and some semisweet chocolate chips)

7 ounces butter, chopped

5 eggs

2 tablespoons water

1/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper.

2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler or microwave (in short intervals), stirring occasionally. Pour the chocolate-butter mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer (or just a large bowl if you’re using a hand mixer).

3. Add the eggs and mix at low speed, scraping the bowl as needed, until the mixture is completely smooth, 2 to 5 minutes.

4. Pour the water into a small saucepan, then add the sugar and salt. Cook over medium-low heat until the sugar and salt dissolve (a minute or 2), swirling the pan to aid in even cooking.

5. With the mixer at low speed, stream the melted sugar mixture into the chocolate mixture. When all the sugar is incorporated, turn the mixer up to medium-high speed and mix until the batter is smooth and shiny, about 3 minutes.

6. Scrape the batter into the springform pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the edges look set but the center still looks shiny. Let cool before serving.




My Valentines:





Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (GF!)

Happy Tuesday everyone!

The girls and I made some amazing chocolate chip cookies a couple of weeks ago. These cookies are famous (they were called the best chocolate chip cookies by the NYT). Joy the Baker makes them and the secret ingredient is brown butter. If you have not made brown butter before, I highly encourage you to try it. It is a method of toasting the butter until it becomes very fragrant and nutty which really enhances the flavor of cookies. The original recipe is here: Joy’s brown butter cookies.

I was wondering if we swapped out the coconut oil in my go-to gluten free chocolate chip cookies, if they would be THE BEST gluten free chocolate chip cookies. I think that that is the case, these cookies www crunchy and buttery with a toasted flavor reminiscent of Tate’s bakeshop cookies. These cookies use almond and coconut flour and go best with slightly darker chocolate chips. If you try them, please let me know what you think!


Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies


  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup butter, browned (how to brown butter)
  • 1/3 cup sugar (I often will drop down to 1/4 cup for less sweet cookies)
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 oz dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips (about 1/2 cup)
  • Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, add add in beaten egg, melted and cooled brown butter, sugar and vanilla extract. (Please make sure your butter is cool!)
  3. Next add in almond flour, coconut flour and baking soda, mixing well to combine and form a dough. No need to worry about over-mixing in here as there is no gluten that will toughen up the cookies.
  4. Fold in chocolate chips, I usually use my hands to moisten the dough so that it sticks together well.
  5. Drop dough onto an uncreased baking sheet. Gently flatten the dough with your hand. Bake for 11-13 minutes, or until edges are slightly golden brown. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and allow to cool on cookie sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finishing cooling. Makes 24 small cookies.




Roasted Broccoli + Squash with Kale + Tahini Dressing

Happy Thursday everyone! It has been cold and rainy and I was feeling like some roasted veggies. This is a pretty simple recipe although it does take some hands on time with the chopping of the squash. I do really love squash but it takes SO MUCH WORK. Luckily it comes in my Imperfect Produce box sometimes so I am forced to use it!

In terms of substitutions, you can easily substitute cauliflower or romanesco for the broccoli. Arugula would also be good in place of the kale. And sweet potatoes are a good sub for the squash. If you try it, let me know what you think! It is definitely going to be a do-over in our house.

Roasted Broccoli + Squash with Kale + Tahini Dressing

(Side dish for 4, main meal for 2)


1 small butternut squash

1 lb broccoli

1/2 onion

1 pepper

Olive oil

Salt/pepper to taste

1/2 bunch kale, torn

Crumbled feta (optional)

Toasted pumpkin seeds (optional) – I toast them in the toaster oven


3-4 tbs tahini

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tbs olive oil

2 tbs water


chopped mint (optional)


  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. Peel and cut the squash into cubes. Cut the broccoli into florets that are about twice the size of the squash cubes. Cut the pepper and onion into a similar size as the squash. Lay out on a baking sheet.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil and salt/pepper, toss using your hands to coat the veggies well.
  4. Roast for 25 min or so, stirring once or twice. The broccoli should have crispy edges and the squash should look caramelized at the edges
  5. Make the dressing by combining all the ingredients and whisking well.
  6. Meanwhile, tear or cut the kale and put in the bottom of a large mixing bowl. Add the dressing on top.
  7. Top with the roasted vegetables while still hot out of the oven. Toss well to allow the kale to wilt a bit and the dressing to coat everything.
  8. Top with the pumpkin seeds and feta.
  9. Enjoy!



Things that make me happy


I was reading this morning about whether having a happy life equals having a meaningful one. It turns out that one does not always equal the other and one of the key differences is that meaningfulness is derived from giving to other people; happiness comes from what they give to you (i.e.  you taking).  The researcher goes on to say “Having a meaningful life contributes to being happy and being happy may also contribute to finding life more meaningful.” So, it is not that these things are not related, but that they are not the same. I found this to be a very interesting concept and it got me thinking about what makes me happy and what I am grateful for. Here is a list of what I came up with:


watching my kids laugh together

being outside in the sun


my morning coffee

spending time with people I love

the feeling right when I am done exercising

a hot shower

listening to the ocean

a good quote


Grateful for:

my own health and the health of my family

my husband’s love

being able to chat on the phone with my sister

learning new things

my third baby and the love she has brought into our lives

Image result for happy definition

That was my short list. I do try to keep a list going of these things all the time, but especially when I am feeling pessimistic, it helps me re-focus on what is good. Please share your lists with me!





Lemony Ricotta Sweet Pea Dip

Happy New Year!

I hope that everyone had a restful holiday season and an inspiring start to your new year! We spent a lot of time hanging out with family/friends which was wonderful and we rang in the new year with a celebration involving good food and kids having a blast. We usually do new years’ resolutions together as a family and I am always amazed at what my kids come up with – and they both (Nisa is still too little for a resolution!) follow through on them! I got this in my inbox and I think it’s a great idea, so sharing with you:


Link for the calendar: Happiness Calendar

To start the year off right, I am sharing some fun/inspiring links with all of you:

  1. Inspirational food + travel: Beauty and the Feast
  2. Something that I am always working on: How to be a better listener
  3. Where to travel in 2018 (Northern NA Wine Country is on this list!). Bhutan is a dream destination for me: Places to visit in 2018
  4. Oprah’s Speech!!! Oprah
  5. Skincare products that will change your life, I’m skeptical but worth a read: Products
  6. Clean out your (kids’) closets: Where to donate used toys. I know firsthand the amazing work that Homeless Prenatal Program does in SF and so our toys/baby things are going there but this list has many great options. We have also done Project Night Night – another great program.

Lemony Ricotta Sweet Pea Dip


This something that we (Diya and I) invented when we were trying to come up with a dip for crackers using the stuff that we had. The combination of flavors works really well – although a bit of mint would have made it perfect. We hope that you enjoy!


2 cups peas (frozen)

Zest and juice of one lemon

1.5 cups whole milk ricotta

2 tablespoons olive oil

salt/pepper to taste

handful of chopped mint (optional)


  1. Blanch the peas (boil some water, cook them in the boiling water until they are bright green – just a few seconds – then drain and rinse with ice cold water to stop the cooking)
  2. Combine the remaining ingredients in a food processor and mix thoroughly until the dip is creamy
  3. Serve sprinkled with chopped mint. Enjoy!


M&M Pancakes!

Happy late December everyone,

We have been cooking up a storm lately and hopefully I will be posting a bunch of recipes in the next few days. I love making a bit of a fancier breakfast on the weekends and often make eggs for the grown-ups. My kids don’t like eggs very much so they are always asking for something else. This is their newest favorite pancake recipe – and not because of the M&Ms! It is sweet and fluffy and can stand alone, with just a pat of butter. Maple syrup really takes it over the top. Usually we add blueberries or chocolate chips but they asked for a special M&M treat this time and I obliged. Honestly, I was hoping the M&Ms would convince the baby to eat them – because for some reason, she DOES NOT LIKE pancakes. She just ended up picking the M&Ms out, though (sigh). Try them and let me know what you think!

M&M Pancakes



1 1/4 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

2 pinches salt

1/4 cup sugar


2/3 cup milk

1 egg

2 tablespoons butter (melted) plus more for cooking

1/2-1 tsp vanilla

mix-ins: blueberries, chocolate chips, M&Ms



  1. Add the dry ingredients to a mixing bowl and mix thoroughly
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix – do not overmix, it makes them less fluffy.
  4. You can let the batter sit for 30 min, it will make them fluffier. We often skip this step because we are hungry!
  5. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a cast iron or nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  6. Ladle the batter into a frying pan and put the add-ins on top.
  7. When you see small bubbles forming, flip them over.
  8. Cook the other side for about 2 minutes until golden.
  9. Enjoy!