Salima Bouzaidi: Sharing Diverse and Healthy Recipes on her ‘Cook with Sali’ Blog

“Delicious meals made with fresh ingredients are the best for me. I’ll say I am a very passionate foodie. I visit many restaurants from different cuisines and scales, and I am fortunate to be in Montreal, a city of thousands of foodie options that I share on Cook with Sali too.”

Salima Bouzaidi first developed her fondness for cooking when she moved away from home in 2011.

Being a ‘passionate foodie’, she loves eating delicious, diverse, and healthy meals, and started cooking dinner daily while being on her own in Canada. Her personal cooking blog “Cook with Sali” was encouraged by her friends when she started sharing some of her meals to her main Instagram account. “A few friends suggested many times that I start a dedicated page and share my recipes. In November 2020, I took the step and launched my Cook with Sali blog,” shared Salima. “It’s been an incredible journey of sharing and engaging with my community that keeps inspiring me and the ideas I have for the future of my cooking and food passion.”

100% self-taught, Salima puts a lot of research into her recipes before making a new dish. She went on to say, “I typically read many recipes then come up with one that works for me, this has been my method from the start,” shared Salima. “For some Moroccan dishes, I’d ask some of my favorite cooks amongst friends and family for tips but still adapt the recipe sometimes.”

Salima uses her blog to encourage healthy eating with minimum to no waste. “I do everything I can to not waste food whether it is in the way I choose what to cook or how I finish everything on my plate or save for later,” shared Salima, “I’ve learned this since I was a kid and I just don’t feel good throwing something away knowing someone would have given a lot for it.”

One of Salima’s favorite dishes to prepare is the Moroccan roasted lamb shoulder and onion sauce, voted the most liked dish by her guests. “My favorite part is sharing the meal with my guests, so I took some help on this one and asked some of them what they like most,” shared Salima. “It’s a slow cooked sauce with lots of onions and so much flavor. It can be served with french fries, roasted almonds, or plums and many more options. This is one of my favorite dishes, typically a festive one and I was so proud to successfully make it.”

Salima’s top three favorite ingredients to cook with are fresh lemons, tomatoes, and herbs.

“I can use lemon in almost every dish and in many forms: juice, slices, preserved, roasted, and roasted. I find it adds a lot of flavor, so I make sure I always have it in my kitchen, lime too,” shared Salima, “Tomatoes are my favorite vegetable or fruit of all time, since I was a kid. I remember vividly when we were driving on rural roads in Morocco and often there was a big freshly harvested tomato truck in front of our car,” Salima reminisced, “I would sit in the middle of the back seat and watch for a while, thinking of how happy I would be in the middle of these beautifully red tomatoes. It may be the color, the taste, or both. I just love tomatoes in all forms and colors! They add color to every dish you add them to. My favorites are the red cherry tomatoes. Like lemons, I need to have tomatoes in my kitchen, fresh ones and pre-made sauces.”

Salima further expressed her love for herbs. “Herbs are a cuisine wonder in my humble opinion. From cilantro, which is my favorite, to parsley, basil, and others it’s one of my absolute favorite ingredients. I prefer them fresh, although I still can’t figure out how to quickly clean and cut them. So if you read this and have tips for me, please share! They are also perfect to color, add flavor, or decorate so many dishes. My favorite use is cilantro in fish!”

Sali’s Inspirations and Motivations

Salima shared that her sources of inspiration are not restricted as she takes it from many people, things, and places around her. She went on to say, “From my mom for resilience, courage and positive attitude. From my dad for hard work, generosity and adventure seeking. From nature for beauty, relaxation, and fresh ingredients!”

When it comes to her cooking, Salima grabs her inspiration from restaurants, chefs she follows, the Half Baked Harvest, and from family and friends.

On days where she feels uninspired and unmotivated, she copes by trying to focus on what’s coming next. She went on to say, “I also reflect deeply during these times to understand the root cause and learn from that in the future. For example, exhaustion is one of the key causes for lack of motivation or inspiration to cook,” she shared. “I hold myself accountable to take care of me proactively, I’d go on a weekend before I need vacation, or I’d go for a day spa before I truly need it. I am now working on going back to regular physical activities like gym, hot yoga, or dance!”

Salima believes that once you start taking care of yourself, you can be good around, for, and with others and for yourself.

To find all Salima’s delicious recipes, follow her personal cooking blog on Instagram: @cook.with.sali

Our Favorite Questions

What is your favorite cuisine?

“OMG this is tough, while I can make some big life decisions rather easily, I can spend hours choosing what I want to eat. I love all cuisines. I can share a few favorites: Moroccan, Asian, and Mediterranean. It covers a lot of variety, but I don’t see myself not having a meal from each of these cuisines every week or month!”

Besides cooking, is there anything else that you enjoy doing?

“Well first, EATING haha! Delicious meals made with fresh ingredients are the best for me. I’ll say I am a very passionate foodie. I visit many restaurants from different cuisines and scales. I am fortunate to be in Montreal, a city of thousands of foodie options that I share on Cook with Sali too.

I enjoy the outdoors a lot, traveling and experiencing new cultures and cuisines, as well as being by the water whether it’s a lake, a river, or my favorite ‘the ocean or sea’. I am the happiest in the middle of nature, always!

I love meeting people, being with my friends / family, and giving back! It just gives me all the energy I need to keep going. I find learning about people’s cultures, lives, hobbies such an invaluable experience that makes me a better person. I’ve watched beautiful and generous give back initiatives while growing up in Morocco. I’m grateful for that experience and always dreamt to achieve something in life that’ll allow me to give back to people at scale.”