Sometimes you “meet” a blogger online and instantly know you’ll be fast friends. Such was the case when I came across Ashley’s blog, Never Homemaker. Her blog name was clever, the content was intriguing, the recipes made me drool, and she and her family were as cute as can be.
If you stop by Ashley’s blog expect to find fitness and running inspiration, tasty and healthy recipes, and glimpses of her life as a mother to her adorable toddler daughter, Ada.
We recently had the pleasure of speaking with Ashley about her blog and her approach to living a healthy, happy life. Here’s what she had to say.
Why did you start your food blog?
I actually had another food blog before I started (never)homemaker called Method. There was a year, 2007, I think, when we lived in like five different apartments — like nomads, really — and the only constant was the food I cooked in the kitchen. I got most of my recipes from food blogs at the time, so I started blogging. It became my favorite hobby. I mean, eating has always been one of my favorite things. Add to it my love of photography and writing and the posts just happened quite naturally.
How would you describe your approach to eating/health?
As trite as it may sound, like to follow the “everything in moderation” rule. I eat healthy meals, but I definitely don’t shy away from the pizza, bread, cheese, and other foods that are traditionally viewed as unhealthy. Instead, I eat them heartily, but do my best to make substitutions for better nutrition. For example, we eat pizza twice a week, but we put vegetable puree in the crust and top with tons of roasted veggies. I balanced my cheese intake with fresh juices and raw cuts of fruit.
And beyond my obsession with food, I am a devoted runner. I log a good number of miles in the week and dabble with cross-training and strength. So, I truly view my food as fuel as well as pleasure. Thankfully, people aren’t cars. Instead of guzzling regular unleaded, I nosh on tomato soup and grilled cheese.
Have you always had an interest in healthy food or did it come later in life?
At age 12, I stopped eating meat. I was obsessed with The Beatles, especially the period of time they spent in India, and they were all vegetarians, but I digress. So, I stopped eating meat, which lead me to all sorts of alternatives. But I’d say my active interest in healthy eating blossomed the summer after my freshman year in college when I lived in a vegetarian coop at Cornell University. We traded off cooking nights as part of our “work” duties and it was so much fun. I learned what quinoa is, how to bake tofu, and how to substitute for eggs in baking. We even had this gigantic tub of nutritional yeast. It was a real education coming from a super small rural town where people don’t know how to pronounce the word “vegan.”
A couple years after that, I moved two blocks from the famed Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca, NY. I have almost all their cookbooks and visit regularly. Ithaca is a great place to fall in love with food!
What is your favorite (or a few of your favorites) food/ingredient to use in the kitchen?
This rotates depending on the season. I love baking bread, so one of my favorite ingredients is my sourdough starter. Well, it was until it ate itself a couple weeks ago (I forgot to feed it). Beyond bread baking, I love roasting seasonal veggies for a simple side dish to any meal. And I absolutely adore my spice rack. I’ve been digging rosemary, smoked paprika, and chipotle lately. Olive oil is also consumed in huge quantities over here.
Has blogging changed the way you view food and cooking? If so, how?
I know for certain that I am more adventurous because I write a blog and read (many) other food blogs. Being steeped in all that good food means I get all these ideas for dishes and flavor combinations that I just wouldn’t have otherwise. It’s like reading great novels for the writer. Or pouring over master scores for the composer. We don’t live in a metropolitan area, so – in large – food trends and such are brought to our table by the internet. I feel fortunate to live in this age.
Favorite recipes to date?
We make our Pumpkin Garlic Knots quite frequently. I would like to re-make these soon specifically for the blog because the photos I took all those years ago just don’t do them justice!
Ashley is the eighth in a series of spotlights on healthy food bloggers. Be sure to check back next Sunday to meet another healthy food blogger in our midst.
images via Never Homemaker