About

Hi Friends! Thanks for visiting My Berkeley Kitchen. I’m happy that you’re here.

I live with my family, in Berkeley, at the top of a hill next to a giant old redwood tree, on a street lined with trees often bursting with Meyer lemons and other seasonal fruit. Berkeley is a place I love for being a “little big city”- where you can find vibrant, unique markets, restaurants and shops, and yet be so close to nature.

I’m a mom of two young girls who live with environmental and life threatening food allergies (see Allergy Life). I think about food each day, not only for sustenance and joy but also as a means of keeping my girls safe. This can feel like a heavy load to haul but we’re all given things that carry weight. Our struggles connect us. Food feels this way for me, our common link.

I graduated from Bauman College,  a Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Arts School, where I received training and certification as a Natural Chef.  I often cook using alternative flours and whole grains. All of my recipes are free from: sesame, peanuts and tree nuts, excluding almonds which is the only tree nut safe for my daughter. I also have recipes which are free from other common allergens such as gluten, soy, dairy, eggs and more.

My recipes may be “free from” but I like to think they’re not “free from” flavor. This food blog is created as a means to share my love of whole foods, mostly organic, home-cooked, seasonal meals made for family and friends. Many recipes are variations on others, some are completely my own or handed down from my Pakistani family.

On most days, you can find me in my kitchen cooking.  In between chasing after my two spirited girls, I love collecting cookbooks, finding inspiration at our neighborhood markets, and photographing pictures of food.

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It feels like so much of our life happens in our kitchens; sometimes it’s not at all fun. Cooking can be messy and chaotic. There are kitchen fails and disasters. Sometimes, things catch on fire. There is spilled milk! But life happens, we clean it up and then we find the strength to sit down to share a meal together. For a moment, everything seems like it will be ok. Even if it’s not, we rejoice knowing that at least for now our bellies are full and nourished.

Please come along with me and share my little version of Berkeley, seen through my “food-tinted” glasses. I hope you’ll stay for dinner.

Hugs,

Shahla

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