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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

About Me

Hi! I’m Anjali. I’m the Nutritionist and Health Coach behind The Picky Eater. I’m so happy you found me! Here you will find healthy, family-friendly and kid-friendly recipes that are easy to make and taste GREAT!

About Anjali Shah

I am a board certified health coach, wife, mom of two, cookbook author, and self-taught chef who develops all of the recipes on The Picky Eater, and investigates the truth behind food products on grocery store shelves, so you can find the healthiest options for your family.

I received my undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley (Go Bears!) and my nutrition certification from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I absolutely LOVE food and I am passionate about healthy living for the whole family – including picky eaters!

More About Me! I am…

My husband and I live in Seattle, Washington (by way of Ann Arbor, MI and San Francisco, CA) with our two kids – Layla and Ayan.

About The Picky Eater

The Picky Eater is a place where you can browse hundreds of plant-based recipes covering all types of courses, diets and cuisines. In addition, I provide healthy tips, insights, and resources for parents and kids of all ages. 

You’ll see nutrition information provided for my recipes, but my philosophy around food isn’t focused on calories. Instead, I prioritize eating lots of plant-based foods with a little indulgence here and there. I am vegetarian, and have raised my kids to be vegetarian, so those are the type of recipes that you’ll see here. (Although I have to say, meat-eaters love my recipes too!)

The Picky Eater is a place of no-judgement and no-diets. I believe in healthy eating, but I do NOT believe in deprivation. I believe you can have your cake (in moderation!) and eat it too!

The Picky Eater Has Been Featured In…

The Huffington Post CookingLight Reader's Digest Women's Health BuzzFeed Glamour Whole Foods Oprah Winfrey Network CNN Food Network Healthline Shape

Why “The Picky Eater”?

I grew up a “whole wheat” girl: I was raised in the healthy-eating, organic-obsessed, farmer’s market-driven culture of the San Francisco Bay Area. My childhood was filled with fruits, vegetables and home cooked meals; I was raised to be “picky” about what I put into my body and to eat junk food in moderation.

I always thought of myself as a picky eater in the non-traditional sense of the word: that it was all about being choosy about finding healthy options to put into your body.

Then I got married and ended up with a family of TRUE picky eaters – in the traditional sense of the word! I realized that the only way I could convert my family into healthy eaters would be to cook healthy versions of the foods they loved: pizza, pasta, and fast-food.

My blog was inspired by:

  • My journey teaching myself to cook, and using my “picky eater” philosophy to help my whole family eat healthier.
  • Expanding my family’s palate to enjoy just about every healthy food out there.
  • My ability to transform my kids into veggie-loving, sprouted-wheat-bread-eating, health conscious little ones!
  • Making healthy food taste good for families all over the world!

What started as a way to catalog my own journey cooking healthy meals that my picky-eating family would love has since turned into an online destination visited by millions of people a year. I’m so grateful for the community we’ve built here, and the connections I’ve built with all of you!

Getting Around

Keeping In Touch

I love hearing from my readers or anyone who is interested in learning more about the world of healthy living and flavorful eating. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions, comments or feedback. I respond to every message I get!

154 responses to “About Me”

  1. Anjali,
    You have a really great blog. I have been looking for recipe ideas for my son who is extremely picky with his food. He only eats meats and it’s hard for me to get him to eat any vegetables. If you have any good ideas for sneaking some vegetables into his diet please email me.

    Thanks!

    • Hi! Thank you so much – it’s so nice to meet you! 🙂 And yes! I have tons of ideas on how to sneak veggies into your son’s diet. I’ll email you to share a few tips. Talk soon!

      • I used one of your ideas today Anjali. Bell peppers (both red and green) and mushrooms into a bolognese. I cut them fine enough and he didn’t even notice them. Awesome!

    • Hi Sarah!! Thanks so much for your kind words! I’m so glad you like my blog – and it’s so nice to meet you (especially since you also in the Bay!) Hope you’re enjoying your time here so far – if you ever need restaurant recommendations in the East Bay let me know – there is great food in that area!

  2. Dear Anjali,
    I was brought to your site by a cousin who posted the “Elvis Peanut Butter” sandwich because it looked so amazing. Well I must tell you I came away so inspired as to how you “secretly” transformed your husband into a much healthier guy. I’m jumping on board and making better choices, we have three wonderful children, and 3 wonderful grandchildren with the fourth on his way in a week or so. We want to be around for a long time to watch them grow, (and watch our kids get paid back). lol

    We have both put on weight since we were married 34 years ago, and we are at a point where we have to do something. My husband Michael had knee replacement surgery a few years back, and has been on disability since, he has gained a lot of weight and I so worry about him. The problem with him is that he is home all day while I’m at work, he babysits our grandchildren to help our daughters out. I think it is hard to be home allday so that is why it is important to keep good choices in house. He does the food shopping and cooking and he loves to cook and eat, I think if he sticks to your site he will be just fine. I’m going to ask him what would Anjali cook??

    So thank you so much for the inspiration that I got when I sat at my computer this morning, and for the lovely photos of vacations.

    I will be frequenting your site for wonderful ideas and inspiration. Your wedding picture was so beautiful!

    • Hi Denise! Thank you sooooo much for your kind words and your thoughtful message! I’m honored that my blog has been helpful in getting you and your husband on a healthier path. Congratulations btw on the newest addition on the way for your family! Four grandchildren – that’s amazing 🙂 Please let me know if you have any questions or if I can help you and your husband in any way as you experiment with my recipes at home. And definitely keep me posted on how things go! I’ll be rooting for you – take good care of yourselves! 🙂

  3. Hey Anjali!

    I’m laughing because I have been sitting around googling for various healthy recipes for my husband (and me) and I’ve ended up landing on your blog three times today! LOL! The latest land was for your baked falafel, for which I thank you! Am trying it today for SUPERBOWL! GO NINERS!!!! 😉

    Weirdly, my husband was also raised in “Deep Dish” Chicago, and me, In Mt.View, CA (Bay area). He is also more of a refined carb guy, and with his latest labwork, we are working to correct all that an unhealthy diet has contributed to his health.

    Conversely, he is the Desi (born in Kerala), and I am the Portuguese girl and home winemaker/wine enthusiast! Anyway, thanks for sharing the pics, recipes, and bits about you and the husband!
    Namaste,
    Lisa and Santosh in CA

    • Haha!! Omg that is so awesome – love that you and your husband have such a similar story to me and my husband as well! Btw – so sad about what happened with the Niners on Sunday – hope you and your husband were still able to enjoy the game given the loss! How did the recipes turn out for you guys? And are you still living in the Bay Area? We’re practically neighbors! 🙂

      • We mourned the Niners loss, but the baked falafel and other goodies (hummus, feta, veggie plate, and samosa-baked potatoes) definitely helped ease our pain! Santosh and I aren’t in the Bay area anymore (farther north, in Redding). But we did just go back for a big wedding in Chicago last week…. FREEZING! His mom’s home-Keralan cooking was what warmed me up!

        Keep on bloggin’! I’ll keep on cooking!
        🙂
        Lisa

      • Ok samosa baked potatoes sounds delicious!! Do you have the recipe for that? I’d love to try it! Haha omg – Chicago is definitely freezing this time of the year. I love South Indian food – I’m sure it was delicious! Hope you are having a great weekend!

      • Oh, it’s so easy! I got the idea one day out of pure laziness, and now my family asks for the samosa baked potatoes. I was making filling for samosas with some random recipe I had in one of my many indian cookbooks, and was kind of not looking forward to making the dough, when it occured to me I could just “cheat”, and re-fill the potato shells with the filling and re-heat, as a sort of “twice-baked” potato! That’s it! I see you have a traditional Indian Samosa recipe: Just skip the dough (and the frying!), and put that delicious filling right back into your potato skins…. re-heat, and YUM! It’s a lot faster and makes a great side dish to a curry. (I’m a big fan of “curry in a hurry” recipes!)
        😛

      • Omg I LOVE that idea!!! I am absolutely going to try it soon 🙂 Thanks for the inspiration Lisa!!

  4. Hi Anjali,

    Your blog is refreshing and love that you are a picky eater, me too. I converted my husband to vegggies, and we have a great garden. I grew up in midwest and all our family had gardens. I just celebrated 1 year of no meat in my diet. I am looking forward to coming back often for recipes. Are you also on Pinterest?

    • Hi Kay! Thank you so much for your kind words! I’m so glad you like my blog – and congrats on being vegetarian for the past year and converting your husband!! Eventually, I’d like a garden of my own too 🙂 And yes! I am on Pinterest. You can find me at: http://pinterest.com/thepickyeater/. Keep me posted on how my recipes turn out for you!

    • Hi Sarah!! Awwww thank you so much!! You are so sweet. I’m so glad you’re enjoying my posts 🙂 Hope you’re doing well!

  5. Hi Anjali! First of all, GO GIANTS!!! I’m a MASSIVE SF fan! Second, I recently found your blog while searching for a vegetarian tortilla soup. I read through your blog and was so inspired by your journey with food. I’m a vegetarian as well and enjoy cooking new recipes, but I’m not as creative as you. I’m curious to know if your husband is a vegetarian, or did he stop eating meat when you got married? If not, is it a challenge to be married to someone who is a meat eater?

    • Hi Stephanie!! It’s so nice to meet you! Happy new year – and yay Giants! 🙂 Thanks so much for your kind words – I hope you enjoyed the tortilla soup recipe. To your question – yes, my husband is a vegetarian – he was vegetarian when I met him, so I’m not sure how challenging it would be if he did eat meat. My guess is, that as long as both people were willing to be a bit flexible, that anything could be worked out – which might just be the optimist in me. Hope that helps!

  6. Hi Anjali, I found your site through SkinnyTaste, which I make many recipes from. I am anxious to view your recipes and incorporate them into my healthy lifestyle. I downloaded your 7 day meal plan, I love that you do that! I am a planner and I always know what I’m eating for the week. Your meal plan is very similar to how I eat already. Thanks again for your site, loved reading your story and about all your travels. Thanks for inspiring this 52 year old who loves to eat healthy too! I’m always looking for new ideas to help me stay on track.
    Thanks again!!

    • Hi Debra! It’s so nice to meet you! 🙂 I’m so glad you liked my meal plan – I can’t wait to hear how you like my recipes. Thanks so much for your kind words, I’m excited to stay in touch with you through my blog! Happy healthy eating!

  7. Hi! I linked to you from Skinny Taste where you posted a recipe for a loaded baked potato. Clean eating is a goal of mine for 2013 and moving forward so I’m lining up my “go-to” sites now. Love your site!

    • Hi Tracy! Aw thank you so much – I’m so glad you like my site! Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help support you in your clean eating goals for next year or if you have any other questions! Looking forward to connecting with you more through my blog 🙂

  8. hi Anjali, just found your blog and love reading your story. his ad and I also have different food preferences but haven’t got him to try my recipes. when cooking dinner, I usually make two dinners sonneither of us has to eat what we don’t like. I’m veggie lover and he loves meat, it’s hard to fusion both worlds.

    I also love traveling, ive been to iguazu and rio as well, both are amazing places, 😉

    • Hi Coco!! Thank you so much – it’s so great to meet you! I’d love to hear whether any of my recipes work out for both you and your partner 🙂 Try the veggie chili on my blog – it’s proven very successful with even the most die-hard meat-eaters! Sounds like we have a lot in common, any fun travel plans coming up for you?

  9. I love your website. You have lots of great information. I, too, am very health concious. I work full time sitting behind a desk and used to eat unhealthy snacks but I’ve recently changed my diet and feel a lot better!

  10. Hello, this is wonderful. A woman on the same mission as me! I am a vegetarian health concious eater with a husband and two boys who love their meat, snacks and stodgy meals. I am always trying to -invent things that will satisfy all of us. I am so glad to stumble upon your blog. I am busy working on a post for my own blog on other women who have inspired me. I am going to mention you and add a link –back to your site. Congreats on a lovely Blog x

    • Thank you so much Robyn!! It sounds like we are in the same boat 🙂 Let me know my recipes turn out for you and your family – I’m sure your husband and boys will enjoy them!

  11. Hi, Just want to get some answers from questions that have been troubling me..
    I am trying to lose weight which of course requires me to eat healthily.
    Do i actually eat HEALTHIER to lose weight, or eat HEALTHY to lose weight?
    For example:
    Eating healthiER means lesser sugar in cupcakes muffins and etc.
    But eating healthy is omitting sugar in cupcakes muffins and etc.
    Which one should i follow?
    I would appreciate your advice a lot.
    THANK YOU!!

    • Hi! That is a great question. I believe that you need to eat healthier to lose weight, but you don’t have to cut out 100% of everything you like to indulge in to be successful. That said, if you eat cupcakes with less sugar but you still eat 4 cupcakes, that won’t help you in your weight loss goals 🙂 What you need to focus on is eating healthy most of the time (say 90%), and leaving a little bit of wiggle room for a couple bites of dessert, or one fully indulgent meal for the week, or a healthier version of dessert (I eat dark chocolate for dessert after dinner every day). So it all depends on what works for you, but I don’t think you need to completely cut out everything you love to lose weight because you need to come up with a plan that’s sustainable in the long run vs. a fad diet that helps you lose weight but doesn’t help you keep it off. I hope that helps! Good luck on your weight loss journey!

      • Ooo I see.. 🙂
        Thank you for taking time to answer this, really appreciate it!
        Btw, you’ve got awesome recipes and I’ll be looking out for more from you! Keep cooking! 😉

      • No problem at all! I’m glad it was helpful 🙂 And thank you so much!! Let me know how my recipes turn out for you!

  12. Hi Anjali.

    I just discovered your website today as I was searching around the internet for a vegetable lasagna. I checked out yours and it looks awesome. In the process, I found many other recipes that look great! I am trying to get myself and my husband to eat healthier (I felt better reading about you trying out healthier meals on your “white bread” husband, becuase that’s exactly how mine is too!).

    Thanks again!

    • Thanks Amanda!! It’s so nice to meet you 🙂 I’m sure you and your husband will love the veggie lasagna recipe – especially since your husband sounds a lot like mine! Keep me posted on how my recipes turn out for you — I’d love to hear what your hubby thinks as well. And honestly, if my husband can go from eating frozen pizzas to eating kale (and enjoy it), I think just about anyone can!

  13. Hi Anjali! Really like your blog, articles, photos and recipes…will be trying some of those out. Like yourself, I am a big advocate of good, fresh, delicious and healthy food. Our bodies need it and we function and feel better with the right stuff! So glad our found your articles…a treasure trove of ideas!

    I am so passionate about food and healthy living, I wrote an eBook “Staying Healthy in a pre-packaged world” with I sell in my Etsy store ‘Sparkle and Comfort’ http://www.etsy.com/shop/SparkleandComfort and on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Susan-Platt/e/B0091TCC4I/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

    I too have a blog, but it nothing as extensive and as interesting as yours, so thank you for sharing all your wonderful ideas.

    -Susan

    • Thank you so much for your kind words about my blog Susan! It’s so nice to meet you – it sounds like our food philosophies are very much aligned 🙂 Your e-book sounds great, I will definitely take a look!

  14. Hi Anjai
    Want to share with you a great health food that I’ve been intrigued with as of late. My research is showing that pure cacao beans, (the real chocolate in chocolate) are one of nature’s most complete superfoods. I love them mixed into some ice cream, I make my own bakers chocolate, eat them as mid day snak etc. For a quick summary on some of the health benefits check out http://www.bocasbean.com.
    Always enjoy finding new ways to make everyday meals a little bit healther. Thanks for all your work.

    • Thanks for sharing this Mari! I love cacao beans – I put them on every dessert or just eat dark chocolate covered cacao beans as dessert. It’s delicious! I’ll be sure to check out the link you sent me, thanks again!

  15. Hi Anjali, I’m so happy I found your blog! I identify myself with your story…. I am very picky with what I eat, so much that I’ve started making my own sandwich bread every week because I can’t stand the taste of store bought bread! and like bread there are a few other things I’m currently working to try to make at home like my own yogurt, cheeses, kefir, butter, etc. But on the other hand I have a very picky husband and two teenagers, and by picky here I mean they are picky when it comes to healthy food, specially vegetables! so…… yes that’s my battle.
    I’m from Venezuela, I grew up eating homemade meals 100% from scratch and most of the time grown locally, I’m talking homemade on a daily bases (breakfast, lunch and dinners) just so you have an idea about how from scratch food is in places like Venezuela, birthday cakes are never made from box mixes and chicken soup never ever comes from a can!
    My father is Lebanese/armenian and my mother venezuelan, so lebanese and latin/spanish cuisine was a norm in our home as well as a variety of other international cuisines like authentic regional Italian, Portuguese, French, Chinese, etc.
    So when we moved to Houston 12 years ago I found myself really missing the flavors I grew up with, don’t get me wrong, it’s not that there’s not good food here, but it’s so hard to find “made from scratch wholesome food” unless you go to very high end restaurants, which we do once in a while, because going to anything less than that means eating highly processed food, plus it’s not really easy to find great farmers markets here in Houston compared to places like San Francisco, the sad thing is I think people develop a taste for fast food in such way that they become incapable to appreciate good food or the wholesome goodness of great fresh ingredients…
    Although my kids and husband like and happily eat most of the dishes I prepare I find myself always making the same things over and over, as my family is not the adventurous kind when it comes to food, so I’m exited to try your recipes for sure, specially if i can figure out ways to disguise good healthy ingredients successfully 😉

    • Hi Winny!! It is so, so nice to meet you! Thank you so much for sharing your story with me – I loved reading it. I can’t even imagine what a shift it must have been to grow up in a house where everything was made from scratch to moving to a culture where everything is “fast” and “to-go”! Kudos to you that you’ve started making your own sandwich bread, yogurt, etc. at home – that’s amazing! You’ll have to give me some of your tips, because I haven’t done that yet 🙂 I can’t wait to hear how you and your family like my recipes – I’m sure you’ll be able to “sneak” in the good stuff quite successfully! Please keep in touch and let me know how things go!

  16. I love PB&J also. My favorite is to put button and the outside of the bread, peanut butter and fluff on the inside and grill it. It makes the best bedtime snack!!!

  17. This is a great blog! My husband and I are similar..I grew up the healthy eater and he the frozen pizza every night kind of guy. I can’t wait to try some of your recipes.

    • Thank you so much Julia!! It sounds like you and I have a lot in common 🙂 I can’t wait to hear how my recipes turn out for you!

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