Muse: Jessie Snyder from faring-well.com
The Breakfast Club on Nourish Atelier is a monthly Q&A with the finest people in food inspiration. You'll find the first Breakfast club session here.
She had her most memorable dish in the back of a pickup truck, and won the award for Best New Voice in the Saveur blog awards 2015. Meet the muse of the second N/A Breakfast Club session - one of my absolute favorite food bloggers - Jessie Snyder, author of the beautiful blog Faring Well. If you're not familiar with her healthy, well made food yet, her blog might be just what you were looking for, stocked with a long list of fail free everyday recipes. Jessie makes food you really want to eat; like vegan mac and cheese, smores, matcha mint chip icea cream, adventure quesadillas and lots more to have you salivating. Also, her photography is truly inspiring, transferring the warm Californian light and spirit to the rest of the world.
N/A: God Morning Jessie! I almost wanted to say Good morning Sunshine :) which fits my image of you, how are you this morning and what are we having for breakfast in the spirit of Faring Well?
JS: Good morning Nina! That just made me smile so huge. I am doing stellar, and as for breakfast, we are making up these jars of sunshine. I like to call them that because all of the orange, creamy goodness in the smoothie. Then they get topped with an aromatic chai spiced granola and fresh berries. Yum. Totally what my body craves on a warm, sunny day.
N/A: One of the first things that struck me about you, was your open and sunny disposition, and I see that positive and friendly voice in your food and photography too. What’s the philosophy behind the food and the blog?
JS: My hope with the blog is to create a space where people feel comfy coming to, and inspired to live a life where at the end of the day they can say they “fared well”. Whether that be through nourishment, caring for others, or caring for themselves. All necessary things, in my opinion, to truly fare well in life. Why have junk and feel crappy when you can make nourishing, delicious food and feel amazing. Life is too short to feel icky, I vote for awesome.
N/A: A few years ago I started to eat mainly vegetarian and now I’m eating increasingly vegan. I know we both are influenced by films like “Forks Over Knives”, knowing your recipes are wholly vegan, how did your food journey look up until today, Was it always wholesome?
JS: I think I am what they call a bee-gan (too cute) cause I still include bee projects in my life, but I cut out animal products overnight about 4 years ago and haven't looked back. I was raised on plenty of home cooked “American” meals, with a handful of fast food and some Doritos thrown in as a kid. I then tried various forms of what the media was telling me was healthy through high school and college, suffering from a lot of fatigue and digestive issues. I had a friend recommend I try going vegan for a month. I did a bit of research leading up to my endeavor, such as where to get certain nutrients from and how to compile complete meals so I wasn't feeling as if I was “lacking” in anything. Two weeks in and I was feeling the best I had in my life! I made a promise then never to turn back and have kept it, thankfully, and have films such as Forks Over Knives and several plant based blogs to thank for their extra reinforcement in my desire to follow this path.
N/A: Being a born and bread Californian, you moved to the Rocky Mountains and now you’re moving back to California again. My constantly freezing northern European heart can totally understand moving back to the sun. On a deeper level how did you realize that you wanted to go back home again.
JS: My life has been divided mainly between two warm places, Phoenix (Arizona) and as you mentioned - southern California. Our move to Colorado was rather spontaneous and an adventure for sure, but we knew almost right away it wasn’t home. Sometimes it takes getting away to realize its where you want to be! This move to Denver was so necessary in order to realize what home really meant to us. All roads are leading back to Orange County, and I couldn't be more giddy about moving back there for good. Thats something I don't think I could have ever said if I didn't leave first. Perspective really is everything.
N/A: How would you describe the Californian food and where do you find inspiration?
JS: I think pretty much everything exists in California (I’m being a bit dramatic here). There isn’t really one food trend or type to define the majority of the state, however, in the larger coastal cities are where you'll find more of the health food trends really apparent. Especially thanks to the gorgeous farmers markets. California produce is my absolute favorite, and its year round abundance is such a huge part of why I love living there. This, as well as the numerous plant based restaurants, juice bars, and acai bowl joints. There are also plenty of burger and pizza joints to keep the unhealthy satiated, but I head towards the luscious farmers markets for my inspiration. The farmers there are so passionate, its a true joy to interact with them each week. I feel like it just makes my food feel more personal and I love it.
N/A: I made your “California sunshine jar” (recipe in the end of the post), and it was literally like being kissed by the sun! What’s your favorite recipe from faring-well.com?
JS: Ooo that’s a toughy! But I recently just made this bang-er-ang honey mustard sauce that I’m kind of obsessing over right now. It might be my current favorite. That, and the roasted blackberry ice cream with cornmeal crumble from last summer. I could eat a scoop of that everyday.
N/A: I’m always curious about food bloggers life outside the kitchen. What’s your kicks non food related?
JS: I am a huge lover of running outdoors, I average just under 55 miles a week and it is probably my second greatest passion to creating recipes! I also am one of those people who is pleased by the super simple things, like, going for a cup of coffee. There is something about going to a cafe for a cup that just makes my day. Another big passion that comes to mind is camping, if I could get paid to live in a tent and hike everyday I probably would
N/A: You and Scott are both creative people, how do you spend a perfect Saturday together?
JS: Our perfect Saturday would probably be waking up to sunshine, brewing a cup of coffee, and walking barefoot around the neighborhood while we sipped our mugs. We might hang on the driveway, and just talk about silly stuff. Whatever neat thing came to mind we might do, whether it be skateboarding on the Balboa peninsula or finding a fun DIY project to tackle in the garage. All with some good music playing and lots (lots) of pictures being snapped. Photography is our passion, and our subject is always just a stellar life.
N/A; I love following your journey in food and faring-well is such a lovely space to spend time on, It’s really hats of to all the good work you’ve done. Are there any other projects or dreams you want to realize in the future.
JS: That just means the world to hear, thank you Nina! I really feel like I’m rolling with whatever comes and trying to have fun with it all. A cookbook eventually would be a project I’d love to pour myself into. But for now I’m really focusing on developing what I have in front of me to prepare for what comes next. Whatever that may be, I’ll be sure to let you know once I have a clue ;).
6 quick questions for Jessie
N/A: Your favorite vegan conversion dish?
JS: That would probably have to be my vegan “meat” balls. Totally hits the spot every time.
N/A: Whats' jammin in your kitchen?
JS: Matt Costa and Vetiver, all day, every day.
N/A: Who's your culinary heros/ heroine’s ?
JS: My mom for sure. I grew up watching her cook so effortlessly, and can still feel the vibe that is always in the kitchen when she is throwing something together. She is so laid back and carefree, and the food is always delicious.
N/A: Your most memorable dish ever?
JS: It has to be this very not-vegan barbecue bacon cheeseburger my then boyfriend (now husband) and I grilled up together years ago on the patio after playing in the park all day. We sat and ate it picnic style in the back of his pickup truck as we watched the sunset. So not what you were expecting, right? But one of those moments/meals I will never forget.
N/A: Not without my _ _ _ _ _ ?
N/A: Your best cooking tip?
JS: Take your time.
N/A: Thank You Jessie! Every breakfast muse gets to nominate the following muse for the next Breakfast Club, who would you like to see for the next session, and why :) ?
JS: I’d love to nominate Laura from The First Mess! She makes yummy plant based food feel so effortless and is probably my greatest inspiration in the kitchen.
A SUNSHINE BREAKFAST JAR
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup raw buckwheat groats
1/2 cup almond flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons Dona Chai (optional)
2 frozen bananas
1 fresh naval orange
a few tablespoons of plant milk (optional)
Fresh fruit for serving (I use blackberries here).
Begin by making the granola. Preheat the oven to 325F. Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside. In a medium mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients for the granola and toss to combine. Add the maple and Donna Chai, mix well. Spread the granola in an even layer on the lined baking sheet and bake in the oven for 45 minutes. Halfway though baking, remove the sheet and carefully flip the granola using a spatula. Return to the oven to finish baking. Once done the granola should be a nice golden brown. Set on the counter to fully cool before serving and storing leftovers in an airtight container in the pantry. (Best enjoyed within one week.)
To assemble the breakfast jars, take two 16 ounce jars and place 1/4 cup granola in each. Set aside. In a blender or food processor, combine the frozen bananas and orange (pealed and broken into pieces) and puree until smooth. If it is too thick, or if you prefer your smoothie creamier, add 2 to 4 tablespoons of your favorite plant milk and blend again. Divide the smoothie between the two jars, top with additional granola and your choice of fresh fruit (I love blackberries here). Enjoy right away and get ready to shine!