Welcome to Sanaa Cooks!

Hello and thanks for dropping by my latest project: Sanaa Cooks.  My name is Sanaa and I own and run a Middle Eastern restaurant called Sanaa's here in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. At Sanaa's, I specialize in making completely healthy food using the freshest ingredients, with no chemical additives. We have an intimate community of healthy food lovers here in Sioux Falls. In fact, as a Syrian American, I'm a bit of an anomaly here.  I was raised in Damascus, where my love of cooking began early.  My parents wanted me to be an Engineer or a Doctor, so I applied my love of food to an Agricultural Engineering degree. Later on, I moved to the United States, where I obtained a Masters of Nutrition at Cal Poly in California.At a critical juncture in my life, I became bored out of my mind.  Driven by my own wanderlust, a love of food and my husband's support, I headed to Paris, France. There, I was trained as a Baker at the Cordon Bleu.  Later on, I moved to Florence, Italy where I trained extensively in sauces with Masha Innocenti. Collectively, my expertise in Middle Eastern cooking combined with my training and passion for Mediterranean Cuisine. To the horror of my parents, I became a chef, and was never bored again.  Today, I find great fulfillment in my craft, and in my role as a dedicated wife and mother.My passion for healthy eating is deep seated.  I truly believe that the reason behind all of the allergies we are subjected to today is that food processors and manufacturers pile on chemical additives to preserve what would otherwise be stale food.  We are so full of these additives that our natural systems are turned upside down and cannot cope with the challenges of our environments.  I counsel many customers challenged by asthma, environmental allergies and food and chemical sensitivities. I believe healthy eating holds a key to overcoming most health problems and opens the door to wellness and fulfillment.My friends, family and customers ask me repeatedly to share my learning and insight on how to prepare healthy, wholesome meals that will satisfy the most discriminating palette.  To answer this call, I have authored a number of cookbooks to help people in their journeys. As the next step in the process, I'm starting this weblog to share my secrets and personal stories more interactively. I look forward to sharing my knowledge and select recipes from my arsenal, as well as to engaging in discussion with you, my audience, as well.At Sanaa Cooks, you'll learn about preparing and cooking good, healthy food from scratch.  I'll address cooking well on a budget, and how to cook for food allergies. We'll also talk about how to navigate around the grocery store pitfalls, and low-quality food traps created by manufacturers.Thanks again for visiting. I'm looking forward to connecting with you and to your  feedback about my posts and articles.