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Leena Trivedi-Grenier

Food, Culture and Parent Writer

San Francisco Bay Area

Leena Trivedi-Grenier

Freelance writer focusing on food, culture, race and parenting. Obsessive Canner. Occasional Rapper. (Image by Todd Parsons)

Featured

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How a second-generation Chinese American modernizes his family’s food

The only thing Daniel Situ’s Lower Pac Heights kitchen has in common with the kitchens of his immigrant family are Cantonese ingredients. All of the family kitchens, whether in the city or on the Peninsula, are stocked with fragrant star anise and meaty Maggi seasoning sauce, dry Shaoxing rice wine and bing tong, a brown rock sugar with a caramelized taste that melts into sauces and braises.
San Francisco Chronicle Link to Story
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The One Avocado Recipe You Haven’t Tried: Avocado Pickles

Rock-hard, unripe avocados are enough to make a grown person cry (especially if you’re that person and you’re pumped to eat a big bowl of guacamole RIGHT NOW). Maybe the only options at the store were hard and unripe. Or maybe you thought it was ripe, but sliced into it and found otherwise. Sure, you could put it in a paper bag with a banana or in a bowl of rice and wait a day or two until it yields to gentle pressure.
Vida Aguacate Link to Story
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Avo Cookies for Santa

There’s a good reason we leave Santa cookies on Christmas Eve: delivering gifts to every kid in the world in one night is a logistical nightmare. Santa deserves a break, and if cookies are his weakness, who are we to hold it against the guy? But there’s a way to give Santa (and your family) a treat without the bulk, and the secret is hidden inside your favorite fruit: avocado.
Avocados from Mexico Link to Story
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Mustard oil and tawa fish: One north Indian chef’s comfort food

His wooden cutting board is covered in a vivid rainbow of spices when I arrive at his kitchen, small mountains of powdered red chile, turmeric and carom seeds in white prep bowls. He toasts fennel, cumin and coriander seeds in a dry skillet, shaking the pan every 30 seconds with the steady rhythm of a metronome so it doesn’t burn and turn bitter.
San Francisco Chronicle Link to Story
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The Secret’s in the Antacid

Khaman dhokla, a fermented chickpea cake from Gujarat, is India’s great blank-canvas dish. I noticed them out of the corner of my eye while in line at Vik’s Chaat in Berkeley, California: yellow sponge cakes topped with black mustard seeds, chopped cilantro, and coconut. Khaman dhokla! I remembered, as a kid, sneaking into the kitchen while my aunts, Lila Kaki and Rajni Kaki, were setting up dinner.
Taste Cooking Link to Story
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Taste Salty, Funky Indian Masala Soda. Then Add Whiskey.

food52 Link to Story
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This Japanese Tool Majorly Upped My Ginger Game

theKitchn Link to Story
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No-bake Avocado Lime Cheesecake

You know avocados are tasty in guacamole, salads, and sandwiches, but have you ever thought of avocados in cheesecake? Avocados can add an extra bit of creaminess to the batter and when spiked with a healthy dose of lime juice and zest (an avo’s best friend!) , the results are phenomenal. Bonus: You don’t even have to turn on the oven for this cheesecake!
Avocados from Mexico Link to Story
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For Brazilians, Saturdays are for feijoada

Lustosa is a Brazilian single mom in El Cerrito who runs her own day care, and is active in politics and her community. She has a fiance, and barely has time to cook a pot of feijoada (fey-zhoo-AH-dah), the slow-cooked black bean stew that is the national dish of Brazil. That’s why feijoada is considered a Saturday dish; it takes so long to make that restaurants in Brazil serve it only on Saturdays.
San Francisco Chronicle Link to Story
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Scoop dreams: How Funn Fisher opened a Thai gelato shop in Berkeley

When I showed up at her shop, Secret Scoop Thai Gelato in Berkeley, she was testing new sorbet recipes. There was a blackberry with Singha, the Thai beer whose flavor reminded her of an ice cream shop in Bangkok that served alcohol-flavored ice cream. Then there was mango with Tajin, the Mexican chile-lime salt.
San Francisco Chronicle Link to Story
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Your Favorite Indian Takeout was Invented by a Refugee Fleeing Pakistan

As a half-Indian kid growing up in the Chicago suburbs, butter chicken was my jam. When my family went to an Indian restaurant, I would go straight for the dish—it felt like the most approachable food on the menu (just roasted chicken in a vaguely Indian-tasting tomato cream sauce), and I knew that it wouldn't burn my taste buds off.
Munchies Link to Story
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Bay Area chef circles back to childhood with Iranian breads

“This is called panje kesh, an Iranian technique to shape the dough with fingers,” he tells me. It’s ready when it becomes a large, thin oval, an expanse of dough hills and valleys from the pressure of his hand. His bear claw pats on a glaze made of milk, yogurt, turmeric and olive oil, and he then sprinkles the top with poppy seeds, dried nettles and dried wild garlic.
San Francisco Chronicle Link to Story

About

Leena Trivedi-Grenier

I'm a Bay Area writer & journalist focusing on food, culture, travel, parenting and race. I've written for Civil Eats, Chow, The Sage Encyclopedia of Food Issues, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in American (2nd Edition), and many others. I have an M.A. in gastronomy from The University of Adelaide/Le Cordon Bleu., a B.A. in speech communications from Bradley University, and an A.A.S. in culinary arts from Joliet Junior College.

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www.leenaeats.com

Skills

  • Parenting
  • Race
  • Food
  • Culture
  • Writer
  • Journalist
  • Essayist
  • Restaurant Criticism
  • Recipe writing