Interview with Healthy. Delicious.

Fri, Apr 16, 2010

Interviews

Today’s interview is with Lauren of Healthy. Delicious. A food blog about, you guessed it, healthy and delicious food. The recipes you can find on this food blog don’t even make you wonder if it’s delicious, but you can be sure that most of them are delicious!

MiK: What made you decide to write a food blog about healthy recipes?

Lauren: I originally started the blog as a way to keep track of my own recipes and the changes that I made to them. I was following Weight Watchers at the time, and it made it easy for me to look back and be able to pick something to make for dinner that I knew would come out well and it prevented me from losing track of recipes that I had made an enjoyed. It was also an easy way to share recipes with my friends, since I could tell them about something that I made and then just send them the link to the recipe so they could make it themselves.

I eventually realized that there were a lot of people out there who want to eat more healthily but don’t know how, or who don’t know how to while still eating things that actually taste good, or who are just plain intimidated by the idea of cooking. I figured that if I knew of a site that posted recipes like mine, cooked by a real person with a normal day job, I would love it and find it to be an incredibly useful resource. So I decided to start telling more people about the blog, and I started posting more regularly and going out of my way to develop creative new recipes. Now I write for other people more than for myself, but I absolutely love it and am happy to share my creations. I hope that it inspires people to take risks in the kitchen and feel confident that they can cook a meal that is healthy but not boring.

MiK: You mention on your About Me page that you started cooking a balanced meal once a week when you were 10 years old. How do you think that has affected  your love of food as well as wanting to eat healthier as an adult?

Lauren: Above all else, I think that starting to cook at such a young age made me realize that cooking isn’t scary. It always surprises me how many people say they can’t cook and just eat at a restaurant every night. You can cook. It might take a little practice and you might need to follow recipes, but you can do it. And it can be healthier, tastier, and cheaper than eating out all the time.

I don’t see cooking as a chore – I see it as an opportunity to create what I want to eat. I can’t afford to eat in a fancy restaurant every night, but I can cook the kinds of meals that I would get there in my own kitchen.
In some ways the food that I made back then is dramatically different than those that I make now, but in other ways it’s very similar. We were very much a “meat and potatoes” kind of family but my favorite thing to make was chicken cordon blue (baked, never fried!) because I perceived it as being “fancy.” I still like to eat things that are fancy, but I also feel like my plate is naked if there isn’t at least one green vegetable on it.

MiK: You say that most of your recipes are done in 40 minutes unless otherwise stated.  How do you cut down on the prep and cooking time to keep your weekly cooking shorter, yet still healthy?

Lauren: I find that in a lot of ways cooking healthier is naturally a lot faster – most of my recipes feature a lot of vegetables, which cook quickly, and smaller cuts of meat, which are much faster to cook than larger pieces. I do have a few tricks to keep cooking time down though – first, I always think through every step of the recipe before I even start cooking. That way, if I need to do something that takes a little longer – like bringing a big water to a boil – I can get that started right away while I prep the rest of the ingredients. I’m all about multi-tasking. I also rely mainly on the stovetop and the grill – especially on weeknights when I just don’t have the energy to spend a ton of time in the kitchen. If I am using the oven for something, I make sure to get started on that element of the dish first so that I can do everything else while that cooks.

MiK: What is your #1 guilty pleasure food/dish and what is your #1 healthy food/dish?

Lauren: They can both change so drastically depending on my mood! For a guilty pleasure I’ve really been loving short ribs lately. And you can never go wrong with Mexican!

For something healthy, I’ve been obsessed with the Herb Salad with Lemon-Poppy Vinaigrette, Warm Goat Cheese Croutons that I started making recently. I can’t get enough of it! I’ve also come up with a few variations on it. If you don’t feel like frying the cheese or if you need to make it ahead (the warm croutons aren’t very good once they cool off – they get soggy), it’s great with just a little crumbled goat cheese and some sliced strawberries.

MiK: You recently mentioned the Foodie Exchange, can you tell us a little more about the experience with food from a different country and finding a way to use it in your kitchen? How do you compare Italian food from Italy to Italian food from America?

Lauren:
This was my first time participating in the exchange, and it was a lot of fun! I don’t know how much you can really compare the two, since the foods that I was sent had to be packaged in a way that they could be shipped, but I did notice that the package sizes were much smaller. I think the pasta that I was sent was only 3 servings compared to the boxes we buy here that have 8 servings. Serving sizes of things like sauce also seemed to be a lot smaller than what we would see here. Everything also seemed to be a lot less salty.
As for finding a way to use different foods, I don’t usually think much about it. I love shopping in ethnic markets and scouting out new and interesting ingredients. If a way to use it doesn’t seem obvious, I use google to come up with a starting point. Or ask another blogger who’s used it before for their advice!

MiK: You are obviously into healthy and delicious food. What advice do you have for people that want to eat healthier but still want it to taste good and not be the “cardboard” or “just lettuce”  that has been known as healthy food for so long?

Lauren: Visit my blog?

Seriously though, step away from the packaged stuff. With a few exceptions, it tends to be bland and cardboardy. Bulk your meals up with fruits and vegetables – especially those that are in season since they have the most flavor (a tomato in December isn’t nearly as delicious as one eaten mid-summer). Stop thinking of meat as the main component of a meal and use it more as flavoring. A few bites of meat is all that you really need.

Also, stop depriving yourself! A few bites of something that tastes amazing will be much more satisfying and fulfilling than eating a larger portion of something that you don’t really like.

MiK: If you were a dish what would you be? If you were an ingredient what would you be?

Lauren: Ooh, I’ve never been good with questions like this! For a dish, I guess I would pick one that I had recently at a restaurant – lobster with fennel pollen in a sea urchin emulsion. It was elegant but not too complicated; exotic but approachable. It was also really rich. ;)

For an ingredient, I’d have to go with a lemon because they’re one of my favorite things to use in the kitchen. It can be sweet or tart, and just looking at one can brighten your day. A little bit of lemon can also transform so many dishes from something ordinary to something exceptional.

A big thanks you to Lauren for such a wonderful interview! If you are interested in checking out some of those fantastic recipes and meal ideas as well as mouth watering photos of healthy food, go check out Healthy. Delicious. And find food that goes above and beyond!

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This post was written by:

Rochelle - who has written 324 posts on Made in Kitchen Blog.


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27 Responses to “Interview with Healthy. Delicious.”

  1. [email protected] Says:

    Great interview – I have had the pleasure of spending a bit of time with Lauren (actually a lot!) at the Foodbuzz Festival in November and she is every bt as lovely as intelligent as she sounds! Great choice Rochelle!

  2. Lauren Says:

    Aw, thanks Mardi! :)

    And thanks to Rachel for doing the interview!

  3. Rochelle Says:

    I totally agree with you, Mardi! I’m thrilled she was willing to take the time for the interview, what with updating her server and adding yummy recipes this week :) Thanks again Lauren!

  4. Lauren Says:

    OMG I just realized I’ve been calling you Rachel al this time and that isn’t your name at all! I suck. :( Sorry, Rochelle!!

  5. Rochelle Says:

    LOL it’s ok, Lauren. I’m used to it, so don’t feel bad :D

  6. Divina Says:

    I’ve learned a lot from this interview just like with the other interviews. Lauren’s site is inspiring. And Rochelle, you’re doing great with your interviews too by personalizing the questions for each blog.

  7. Rochelle Says:

    I’m glad you are enjoying them! Everyone is different so the questions are designed to get information about each person and the way they see food :)

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