Israa Nasir

Welcome to People of Paro, our series where we get together with some of our favorite Paro people and dish on their favorite dishes, and what they’ve been up to in the kitchen.


A New York City based psychotherapist, writer and the founder of WellGuide - a digital community for mental health awareness.

A Pakistani-Canadian child of immigrants, she has a specific focus on mental health, identity formation and healing for the AAPI first and second generation immigrant community.


What's a good kitchen hack we should all know? 

 Freeze your parmesan/pecorino rinds for soups, sauces and stews!

Any kitchen tools you can't live without? Other pantry items you can't live without?

You must have 2 excellent knives, you don't need the whole block. I'd rather have 2 excellent knives over 6 mediocre ones. My pantry always has: green curry paste, coconut milk and chickpeas. It's the quickest meal you can make! And always have Canadian maple syrup (for salad dressings, marinades, sweetening stuff etc). 

What's your lazy day, go to recipe and why do you love it?

I make daal (not lying!) I just dump lentils and water and certain veggies like green beans, potato, peas, spinach and slow cook it. Sometimes I'll go rogue and even add lima beans to it. Then I make some quinoa and it's a nutritious and hearty meal!


What are you loving lately?

Currently loving The Book of Everlasting Things (Novel by Aanchal Malhotra); it's been a while since I've read a historical fiction story that is so beautiful and grand. I feel people don't write long-spanning novels anymore, and this one is special because it's based in WW1 x WW2 era South Asia and Partition. 


What's inspiring you at the moment?

Making complicated soups from scratch, like recipes that require roasting veggies, immersion blenders, broths, etc.  I find being immersed in slow cooking has been very grounding and healing for me lately. I've also been playing around with recipes and mixing together different recipes etc (I'm not a fantastic cook but I love doing it). It's one of the few times I'm away from my phone and fully present in the activity I'm in. 


What do you eat Paro with?

Ms Vickie's Jalapeno chips lol!

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