Q&A with Vandana Sheth
These were taken from excepts of Vandana’s latest book, My Indian Table: Quick & Tasty Vegetarian Recipes with a new original pistachio beverage recipe.
- Please tell us a little bit about yourself personally and professionally so that our readers can “get to know you.”
I’m the owner of a nutrition consulting practice based in Los Angeles that specializes in intuitive eating, food allergies, vegetarian nutrition and family nutrition. I have been an RD since 1997 and work with individuals, groups, community organizations and schools. I’m originally from Madras (now known as Chennai), India. When I fell in love with my husband and moved to America in the early 90s, I was surprised at the huge gap between the Indian food served in restaurants in America and what I ate at home. Thus, began my passion for sharing my heritage and culture through food.
- How were you able to tailor your nutrition practice into areas that you are most passionate about?
Food is so much more than simply fuel for the body. Food connects us in a profound way to one another and to our environment, culture and memories, which can bring a lot of joy. Being a lifelong vegetarian, helping clients transition to a plant forward way of eating was important to me. I love using my science-based knowledge to transform heavy Indian dishes to healthier options. I have helped thousands of clients over the last two decades prevent and manage various chronic health conditions. I truly believe that traditional Indian foods and spices can promote health and prevent disease.
- Do you have any additional certifications/specializations/awards/publications you’d like to tell us about?
I’m a board-certified diabetes educator and have earned certificates in gerontology and food allergy management. I’m also an author and public speaker and received the 2016 Excellence in Private Practice, Business, Communication Award from the California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. I contribute regularly to different publications including the Academy’s Food and Nutrition magazine, Diabetes Sisters and most recently released a cookbook, My Indian Table: Quick & Tasty Vegetarian Recipes.
- What inspired you to write your book?
Every time we entertained at our home, or anytime I took food to a party, although I would have a variety of food choices for our friends, the biggest hit was always the Indian vegetarian option. Over the years, friends, colleagues, and clients often asked for my recipes, but more importantly encouraged me to write a cookbook. This spurred my desire to write this book, sharing delicious and flavorful Indian recipes that tickle your palate and enhance your health.
- What is your first memory of pistachios?
One of my favorite childhood memories of pistachios was always requesting a pistachio cake for my birthday.
- Do you have a personal favorite recipe? Why?
A tasty pistachio flavored Indian dessert-style beverage. Pista Doodh.
3 T raw pistachios
1 C milk (I used hemp milk but you can use any type of plant based dairy alternative or dairy)
¼ tsp cardamom powder
½-1T sugar or sweetener of your choice
1 T chopped raw pistachios for garnish
Blend first 4 ingredients in a powerful blender until well mixed
Pour over ice cubes into a serving glass
Top with chopped pistachios and enjoy immediately
Alternatively, you can skip the ice cubes and store the prepared milk in a refrigerator to cool down and serve topped with pistachios when ready. Enjoy!
Vandana Sheth, RDN, CDE, FAND
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Educator