The Picky Eater
This week, we’re proud to feature Anjali Shah of The Picky Eater in the Blogger Spotlight. For those new to the column, every Friday, we highlight a member of The Daily Meal’s Culinary Content Network, a limited group of bloggers who write about food and drink.
We look to this group of talented food writers for inspiration and participation in The Daily Meal, whether for restaurant recommendations or new recipes to try out for dinner. Our editorial team covers All Things Food and Drink, and we tap the CCN to keep up to speed on what is happening around the country and the world — from fine dining to home cooking.
Anjali Shah is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan and is the blogger at and creator of The Picky Eater. She creates “husband-approved” recipes, meaning that they are tasty yet healthy. Shah is a self-taught home chef that began cooking at age 24 and loves traveling and outdoor activities in her free time.
The Daily Meal: What is the mission of your blog?
Anjali Shah: To make healthy food easy, accessible, delicious, and fun!
How did you get started with your blog?
I started my blog in 2010 as a way to chronicle my adventures in cooking healthy meals that my "fast food-loving" husband would actually eat. When I started blogging, I actually didn't even know how to cook. But I knew that the only way to get my husband to try healthier foods (instead of his daily frozen pizza diet) was to make healthier versions of the foods he enjoyed. I started keeping track of the recipes he liked on my blog, and that's how The Picky Eater was born.
What are some foods you can’t live without?
Oatmeal, cheese, all fruits and vegetables, and chocolate!
What is a food you can’t stand?
Portabella mushrooms. They're squishy and not flavorful, and oftentimes used as the only vegetarian item on restaurant menus.
What is your proudest post?
My Skinny Broccoli and Cheese Soup recipe. It took me a while to figure out how to get the balance of flavors just right while making it taste just like the traditional recipe. It has only 110 calories per serving! Once I got it right, it tasted amazing and the response from my readers has been so rewarding to see.
What is your biggest blog blunder?
When I first started blogging, I had no idea how to take food photos (and sometimes forgot to take photos of my recipes). So my old posts either have really ugly photos or none at all. I'm in the process of updating those posts but for now, they don't match the rest of my blog!
What is the most memorable comment you received from a reader?
Someone sent this to me via email: “I had been a picky eater my entire life — the bad kind. I was trying to teach myself how to cook and eat healthier when I came across your blog. It used to be so hard to cook because I hated the taste of vegetables! With your recipes, I learned that veggies could actually taste good. And your recipes are so easy that even a novice cook like me could make them! The pictures are so helpful, too. This blog is an inspiration to me and with your help I have completely changed my eating habits and lifestyle. Thank you so much!”
What’s on your cooking playlist?
The sound of my 18-month-old daughter giggling while my husband entertains her as I cook!
Any favorite food apps?
Does Instagram count? It's not a food app technically, but all I do is share food photos on it.
What is the best thing about blogging?
Being able to share my passion for healthy, delicious, whole foods with the world, and making a tangible impact in my readers' lives by helping them get healthier. Being able to share my passion for healthy, delicious, whole foods with the world, and making a tangible impact in my readers' lives by helping them get healthier.
Worst thing about blogging?
The administrative tasks associated with it, like managing all of the technical issues, removing spam, etc.
What recipe are you currently obsessed with?
Black Bean Chilaquiles. They are so absolutely addicting and delicious. Sometimes I'll make a big batch and eat it over a few days!
What would even your most loyal followers be surprised to learn about you?
I have a huge sweet tooth! I love, love, love dessert and eat it every night. My nightly treat is two pieces of dark chocolate after dinner because my philosophy is, “Everything in moderation.” You don't have to deprive yourself to be healthy; you can have little indulgences here and there as long as you're not overdoing it every day.
Five of your all-time favorite posts: