In our My Veggie Kitchen series, we visit the kitchens of some of our favorite veg-friendly bloggers. Today we’re chatting with Lisa from Healthy Nibbles & Bits.
Ever since I started living away from home in college, I have been cooking my own meals. Back then, I relied on what my mom taught me, so I would cook a lot of stir fries. When I got to law school, I started experimenting in kitchen a bit more, and that’s when I started following food blogs like Simply Recipes and Joy the Baker.
In 2014, I launched my own blog because I was struggling to find a legal job in the Bay Area. I had no clue what I was doing. I cooked, took grainy pictures with my iPhone, and wrote about the food. Before I knew it, I was in love with blogging. I honestly had no idea that the little website I created would lead me into a new career.
In the beginning, I kept the blog a secret from my friends and family because I didn’t want them to think I was crazy for turning away from a legal career. I have gotten nothing but support from my friends, but it did take a while for my family to get used to fact that I’m not a lawyer. It was probably the hardest on my mom because she has no idea how people make money on the internet and would much prefer that I had a “stable” job. She’s okay with everything now and is happy that I have an interest in learning her recipes!
Over the years, the type of recipes that I share on the blog has evolved quite a lot. Initially, I focused mostly on healthy food trends, like making “ice cream” with frozen bananas and black bean brownies. But after I moved out of the Bay Area to Sacramento about two years ago, I started yearning for my mom’s cooking. As a result, I’m much more interested in learning and sharing the food that I grew up with.
Let me start off by saying that I have way too much food in my house for feeding two people. Like most food bloggers, I’m a very curious cook, so I keep a ton of ingredients in my house. My husband and I rarely eat out, so I guess it’s a good thing that I keep all this food around!
Soy Sauce – There’s always soy sauce in my pantry. Soy sauce is one of the most important ingredients in Chinese cooking, and I don’t think my mom would let me live away from home without a bottle of soy sauce.
Milk – You’ll always find milk in my fridge. My husband, who’s British, cannot survive a day without a cup of tea with milk, so I always keep some milk on hand.
Peanut Butter – I eat peanut butter all the time! I’ll spread it on toast for breakfast or over a banana as a pre-workout snack. I also use peanut butter to make sauces for spring rolls!
Flat Rice Noodles – Most people probably keep pasta in the pantry for quick weeknight meals, but I usually keep rice noodles. I love stir frying rice noodles with zucchini noodles and other vegetables or using it to make noodle soup.
Black Tea – I’m a heavy tea drinker. I need a cup of tea in the morning in order to get the day going. When I was in school, I was actually a big coffee drinker. I would drink at least 2 cups of coffee a day. However, in law school, I started noticing that I would get headaches when I drank too much coffee. So I had to ween off coffee and switched over to drinking tea. I still enjoy a cup of coffee a week but usually no more than that.
My chef’s knife. All cooking begins with slicing or cutting into something, and I would not be able to cook at all without my knife!
Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day. I bought it when I was in law school to learn more about vegetarian cooking, and I still turn to that cookbook for recipe inspiration. I love how Heidi puts together flavor combinations that I wouldn’t have thought of, like her pomegranate-glazed eggplant and tempeh. It’s just a great cookbook for everyone, whether or not they’re vegetarian.
My most popular recipe is my Egg Fried Rice in a Mug. About a year or two ago, mug recipes became an internet obsession, and my egg fried rice in a mug recipe got a ton of hits. It’s a fun recipe, and it actually works!
My favorite recipe is probably my Kimchi Fried Rice. I love (repeat, LOVE) fried rice. I cook it for dinner all the time. The kimchi adds a great spicy flavor to the dish.
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