Dear My Life Runs On Food’s loyal audience, this message short and sweet: Over the next few weeks, we’re moving into a new apartment, and there are other factors in my life demanding more attention over the next several months. My heart is heavy at life’s setbacks demanding I pause this project. However, I’m frequently on social media, especially on Instagram @SanuraJamila.

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Dad always had a knack for influencing my senses. Once a babysitter’s sister smoked cigarettes while we were in a car. I loved the smell. Until I told Dad. Back then, no one knew about the dangers of second-hand smoke, but Dad (a former smoker, in which Mom beat the habit out from him) knew the smell was terrible, which led to his speech about the dangers of smoking cigarettes. It was the ultimate ‘do not smoke’ conversation. The following day, we rode in the back seat of the babysitter’s car. The sitter’s sister pulls out a cigarette to start puffing away. And, all of the sudden, my nose didn’t enjoy her smoke anymore. I rolled down the window. The sitter yelled at me to roll the window up, “…because the air conditioner is on!” In an attempt to filter the smoke from my nose, I used my hand to cover my nose, my head away from her and I buried my face into the car seat. The babysitter’s sister made jokes about my dislike for the smell of cigarettes as she continued to casually puff away. Thankfully, she didn’t light another one.

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Rosewater Strawberry Milkshake Smoothie

Kid you not! This Rosewater Strawberry Milkshake Smoothie taste like strawberry milk straight from my elementary cafeteria days. And, it’s a refreshing drink after running a few miles or doing yoga. Of course, this is a healthier version, but I would like to think those of you with kids, would enjoy serving them a tall glass of this smoothie when there’s no time to cook, but there’s more time for you to work out.

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Super Green Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad

Have a story about your favorite pasta salad? Talk to me in the comment section below. In my experience, pasta salads truly are the side dish to a barbecue or special event. Sans meat, it’s a classic vegetarian dish. Meanwhile, we attempt to serve vegans — who don’t eat dairy — a mayonnaise-based pasta version. It’s often an “oops… we spent hours rubbing down ribs with spices and marinating chicken — let’s quickly make a vegetable” dish. As an afterthought dish, pasta salads often taste like no love.

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Cheddar and Smoked Chicken Salad with Creamy Roasted Shallot Vinaigrette

It wasn’t until Cabot Creamery delivered a box of cheddar, that I decided to toss cheddar back into my salads. The only reason why I stopped, was because feta, parmesan or goat cheese also became a few of my favorite salad additions. As a kid, Dad used to effortlessly toss large garden salads of tomato wedges, crisp iceberg lettuce, chunky carrot slices and thick, sliced cucumbers with cheddar chunks thrown into the bowl. Other people made similar salads with cubes of meat. Dad also introduced to us to salads made with greens grown from our backyard garden. When most people were eating sweet iceberg, we were munching on delicate, bitter greens: the type of pre-washed greens most people currently buy. Today’s salads are nuanced plates with artfully arranged vegetables.

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