When I'm eating my meal, I'm usually thinking about my next.

- Melanie Hadida

Cooking is my creative contribution to my family and community.

I used to be a picky eater but soon discovered that cooking was my way of expanding my culinary horizons and customizing my eating experiences. I love that cooking is infinitely creative and educational. As I became more confident in my skills, I began cooking more and more for friends and family, often having people over for brunches and dinners. I get endless enjoyment from cooking for other people and it's the perfect way to bring everyone I love around the same table.

I love the durability and versatility of Kana.

Between the Dutch Oven and the skillet I can practically do all of my stovetop cooking and I love that both are transferable to the oven as well. The pre-cut parchment paper is a dream to work with. I do a lot of roasting and toasting (veggies, nuts, tofu etc.) and the convenience of the paper is more than welcome in my kitchen. As a busy new mom, convenience is key!

SHOP MELANIE'S FAVORITE

Don't underestimate the power (and flavor) of greens!

Living and working in an Ayurvedic clinic in India taught me about the healing powers of spices and herbs.

"Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food."

For a nutritional boost, use mint, coriander and parsley the way you’d use romaine or spinach in your salads!

Cook according to the seasons - your food will taste better and your body will thank you.

In the kitchen, condiments are king.

What is your secret to preparing quick and easy meals that are also interesting?

My biggest cooking secret is having a well-stocked pantry. Ensuring you're equipped with the building blocks of a dynamic meal is a game changer for easy, quick weeknight meals. Stock up on grains (quinoa, couscous, rice), lentils, cans of organic chickpeas, chopped tomatoes etc. Also, having plenty of condiments in the pantry means you can make a variety of marinades, vinaigrettes and sauces at a moment's notice. My condiment essentials are: extra virgin olive oil, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, date syrup, pomegranate molasses, dijon mustard, tahini and full fat Greek yogurt.

What is your favorite way to incorporate greens that pack a flavor punch?

Another one of my kitchen secret weapons is an herb garden. This can be an expansive garden in your backyard, or a very modest planter box on a window sill. Having fresh mint, basil, coriander and parsley year round can help to make all your meals brighter, fresher and healthier. Once you've mastered growing the basics, try expanding your garden to include rosemary, thyme, oregano, tarragon, chives etc. Adding fresh herbs to salads, soups, dips and curries is a game changer.