Thank you for visiting my digital kitchen corner. I made this blog to share my passion for making and eating good food, with like minded eaters, and to inspire those who are interested in eating more vegetarian food. I'm a little bit overwhelmed by the fast growing numbers on Instagram and the blog, so I thought it's about time that I introduce myself and my food philosophy here.
I'm Nina, a human, creative and mother living in the Netherlands just north of Amsterdam with my love Natal, our two children and a cat. We live close to the north sea coast with all that comes with that, long beaches and wind surfers. I grew up in Stockholm, Sweden, in a big family with dogs, cats, rabbits and horses, that's were my love for gathering around the table to share food started. I wanted to see the world as long as I can remember and have lived in various European cities before settling down in the Netherlands. At some point in life you are going to have to let your roots grow deeper into the grounds and I think I've found my spot here.
I make my living as an independent art director, photographer, designer, stylist, writer and illustrator. I like doing different things. My first education was in fine art studies. I was seriously considering a life as a fine artist before choosing a path in media and design. After graduation I worked with fashion magazines and published an independent pop culture and fashion magazine successfully before realizing that my interest in food was stronger than fashion. Since then I've been working with culinary media and never looked back.
When I'm not working or taking care of my home and family, I like to read, a lot! And listen to music. I'm in a music project with my partner for fun, with the emphasis on fun, we won't be releasing any albums soon :D My cooking is the most engaging thing I do on a daily basis. It's a creative pursuit and a drive to feed my family and myself with the best food we can have.
I'm writing my first cook book that will be released in January 2017.
The food on the blog can be enjoyed by everyone, from omnivores to vegans. My recipes are vegetarian or vegan because I believe a plant based diet is kinder on our bodies and it's the best choice for people who wants to live longer, feel and look better. Though it's not an exclusive club, meat eaters who like to add more plant based dishes into their weekly meals will find plenty of inspiration here, and doing so is a beautiful thing - eating plant based food is a climate smart choice, - the energy used in growing plants are substantially lower than what is used when producing meat.
Another strong reason for rejecting meat is the terrible conditions animals suffer in larger industrialized meat production, I don't want to support that. Though all farms are not cruel, there are companies who treat their animals with care and respect, but these farms are much more scarce. Personally I made the choice to not buy or eat meat on a regular basis for all of the above reasons. I do eat eggs, cheese and yogurt in smaller amounts but are trying to keep my animal protein intake to a minor percentage of my overall diet. This way of eating works best for me. It makes me feel good.
... and flavor is my main target when cooking, but I always start by choosing my ingredients based on nutrition. Time and life is precious so I don't want to waste any on "empty" food. Though I couldn't just live on purely functional and nutritional food, chopping carrot sticks and making juices quickly bores me. Food has to be exciting and contain ideas or history. Combining healthy with cultural food knowledge is much more attractive to me. I love making a healthy version of an existing dish or creating something new by mixing ideas and styles. And I like to share that approach with my recipes, having fun while cooking is essential. I couldn't be happier if you made your own tweak and version of one of my dishes.
Eating is a big part of our lives. A daily cycle of hunger, preparation, eating, fullness, and cleaning. The more heart and soul I can put into my cooking the more connected and present I feel. Cooking as a daily ritual usually makes me happy, even the quick and hurried meals. Just washing, chopping, cooking and smelling the aromas before composing the food in bowls or on plates, and sharing a meal with my family gives satisfaction to me. It's not always perfect, not always an ideal situation but making the best of what you got at that moment is what it's all about. Other times when there's room for slow cooking and exploration there's a chance to really ground yourself. Enjoying food that you prepared with love and detail is a great sense of achievement. In my idea, when we know we are eating the best for ourselves and the environment, we are in a natural flow and a positive state of mind. It's a kind of being happy.
If you like to read more about my journey in food, there's a feature that I really like, it's written in German by Inga Krieger in Zeit's Sunday sessions serie here.