Linda Shiue

Food isn’t just about nutrition, it can be inspiration.  

My culinary education began with learning to make quiche in an early French class when I was seven.  That sparked a lifetime of curiosity of the people and cultures behind different cuisines.  My twin passions are food and travel, and I believe that the best way to get to know a culture is to sit down and break bread (or roti, or a bowl of rice or noodles) with the locals.  My stories are about some great meals, but also about the people I’ve shared them with and the places I’ve eaten them, all around the globe.   The second thing I do on a trip (after unpacking my belongings into my new temporary home) is to head to the local market to see what people are buying, eating, and gossiping about.  Aside from some animal parts and insects in general, I am almost always willing and interested in trying local flavors.  I’m kind of a nomad locavore in that way.  But I will also often pack an “emergency kit” of few simple spices– a sea salt grinder, a pepper grinder, and a well-sealed bag of Trinidadian curry powder.  My spice emergency kit ensures that no matter where I am, I can cook a meal that will satisfy our tastebuds and also introduce a part of my family’s culture to new friends.

That’s why I’ve named my blog after the spicebox that is found in the kitchens of Indian homes, called a masala dabba.  A masala dabba consists of a large, flat-bottomed, round steel container in which nest several smaller steel bowls, all covered with a lid.  This traditional spicebox is visually appealing as well as being a convenient and portable way to keep herbs and spices fresh and at hand, wherever you are, when you’re in the mood to cook.

I devote my leisure time to reading voraciously, eating with gusto, traveling, and cooking meals inspired by my travels.    I’ll share with you the stories behind some memorable meals, and the recipes they inspired. Welcome, and please pull up a chair at my table.

Thanks for coming by.  

 

 -linda shiue

Follow me on Twitter @spiceboxtravels

Goodbye Paleo and Hello DASH Diet: Nutrition in 2014

As we go into our second week of 2014, what's on the forecast in diet and nutrition? The prediction most likely to have already come true is that many people have made "getting in shape" and "eating better" their New Year's resolution. Beyond that, what can we expect to see this year? ...more
sassymominthecity That's a good point.  Educating people about nutrition is crucial.   I ...more

Goodbye Paleo and Hello DASH Diet: Nutrition in 2014

As we go into our second week of 2014, what's on the forecast in diet and nutrition? The prediction most likely to have already come true is that many people have made "getting in shape" and "eating better" their New Year's resolution. Beyond that, what can we expect to see this year? ...more
sassymominthecity Thank you for commenting. Let me clarify.  The opinion on the Paleo diet is ...more

Eat Some Lucky Foods for a Prosperous New Year

People all over the world have special traditions for celebrating the arrival of the new year, and often celebrations include the idea of eating lucky foods, thought to bring happiness and prosperity in the year to come. Image: Courtesy of Champaign Taste Just which foods are lucky depends on where you are, but there are some traditions that are pretty widespread. Here are suggestions for lucky foods from around the world, but if you have a New Year's food tradition that brings you luck, please share your link or recipe in the comments. ...more
Black eyed peas have become a tradition in my house, with Caribbean flavors from my husband's ...more

Can Desserts Be Healthy? 8 Tips for a Healthier Sweet Tooth, Plus 2 Recipes

Can desserts be part of a healthy diet? ...more
Yes, eating slowly and chewing is underrated.  Thanks for your comment.  Enjoy!more

Can Desserts Be Healthy? 8 Tips for a Healthier Sweet Tooth, Plus 2 Recipes

Can desserts be part of a healthy diet? ...more
they're very high and protein and add a lot of moisture/fudginess to the brownies-- thanks and ...more

Can Desserts Be Healthy? 8 Tips for a Healthier Sweet Tooth, Plus 2 Recipes

Can desserts be part of a healthy diet? ...more
Thank you! Yes, I consider the ice cream a dessert miracle.  Enjoy and have fun experimenting ...more

So Long, And Thanks For All The Recipes

This New Year’s Eve, I’m taking a deep breath as I ready myself for one hell of a 2013 ahead. There are good things in store: I’m marrying a man I never thought I’d be lucky enough to find, and I’m moving into a house in a few weeks—my first time without shared walls since the late 1990s. And, there is the bittersweet: as of today, I’m bidding farewell to serving as BlogHer’s Food Section Editor. ...more
Good luck to you, Genie!more

Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too: Healthy Living Over the Holidays

Many of us may have overindulged a bit more than planned on Thanksgiving, but by now the turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing and gravy are all gone. Let go of any leftover guilt you might be carrying from that day, too. It’s not too late to have a healthy holiday season. You’re probably in the frenzy of gift shopping, vacation planning, and parties at the office, school and at the homes of friends and family. While it should be a time of joy and celebration, the holiday season can also bring on weight gain, stress, and the holiday blues. How to celebrate and not regret it? Don’t wait until New Year’s Day to make a fresh start—follow these simple tips and you won’t need to. ...more
@USANAHealth Thank you! I hope that this post helps keep you on track-- I'll be using the tips ...more

Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too: Healthy Living Over the Holidays

Many of us may have overindulged a bit more than planned on Thanksgiving, but by now the turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing and gravy are all gone. Let go of any leftover guilt you might be carrying from that day, too. It’s not too late to have a healthy holiday season. You’re probably in the frenzy of gift shopping, vacation planning, and parties at the office, school and at the homes of friends and family. While it should be a time of joy and celebration, the holiday season can also bring on weight gain, stress, and the holiday blues. How to celebrate and not regret it? Don’t wait until New Year’s Day to make a fresh start—follow these simple tips and you won’t need to. ...more
@ehealthyliving Hi, thanks for the comment and your additional excellent tips!more

What We Can Learn From Muslim Cabbies and Jewish Bakers

Did you hear the one about the Muslim taxi driver and the Jewish bagel shop owner? No, it’s not the start of a bar joke, it’s a true story that confirms my belief that breaking bread – or bagels -- can go a long way toward bridging even the deepest cultural rifts....more
Great post, Grace. I had heard about this news story and thought it was great. I totally agree ...more