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Food Blogger Spotlight: Laura Theodore from The Jazzy Vegetarian

jazzy veg 1Laura Theodore wants to show you how simple it is to introduce plant-based choices into your everyday diet. Gearing up for season 3 of her cooking show, The Jazzy Vegetarian, on the Create Channel, Laura is a high-energy host who even appeared on The Talk with Julie Chen and Sara Gilbert.

Recently, we spoke to this busy chef/host/singer, about her food blog and allll those other irons she’s got in the fire.

Why did you start your food blog? I was inspired to create my cookbooks, blog, television show and radio podcast to make delicious, plant-based recipes available to anyone looking to prepare tasty vegan meals in their own home. My mission is to make recipes available to dedicated vegans, and omnivores alike – with a jazzylicious twist, of course!

How would you describe your approach to eating/health? I focus on the plant-based approach by incorporating whole foods like veggies, fruits, beans and whole grains into my recipes and daily menu plan. I strive to stay away from overly processed foods as much as possible, while using vegetables, fruits, legumes (beans) grains and some nuts and seeds as the base ingredients for my recipes.

Have you always had an interest in healthy food or did it come later in life? I have been interested in healthy eating for over 20 years. For me, plant-based cooking is like singing jazz: making creative and spicy improvisations with a delicious twist! As a jazz singer, I love scatting a new phrase to enhance a classic song, so when I cook, I savor the process of improvising new, healthy versions of traditional recipes, depending on what’s in my kitchen or available at the local market.

What is your favorite ingredient to use in the kitchen? I love reduced-sodium tamari! Sounds so simple, but it really adds taste and depth to so many recipes. Tamari helps to produce a rich “meaty” flavor and it has a more complex flavor profile than ordinary soy sauce. The reduced-sodium version has about 25 percent less sodium than regular tamari. I always buy tamari that has been made with GMO-free soybeans, is MSG-free, and contains no artificial preservatives. Reduced-sodium tamari is great used as a flavor enhancer in sauces, casseroles, pasta dishes, vegan gravies, steamed vegetables dishes, and in soups. It adds great flavor to both sweet and savory marinades for tofu, tempeh, mushrooms, or squash.


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Food Blogger Spotlight: Megan from Take A Megabite

Megan from Take a MegabiteMegan is a pizza-lovin redhead who’s known for her unique recipes and food styling. Megan is not only a regular contributor to Betty Crocker, but her blog, Take A Megabite, has also been featured on CNN, Huff Post and Buzzfeed. I forgot to do a name-drop alert, there, but seriously, she’s hot stuff right now.

I was first introduced to this talented foodie when I wrote about my fave food blogger of the year, Billy from Wit & Vinegar.

More about Take A Megabite –  

Why did you start your food blog? I started to realize that I wanted to bake, and talk about food with other people who also loved to talk about food. It also stems from growing up with a mom whose cookies were known as the best ever and coming home to homemade bread after school.

When I got older, and my parents moved away, I realized that I couldn’t count on my mom to set me up with homemade jam and bread. I had to make it myself! Food and entertaining has always been a big deal in my family, and now, I like to show my love with food too!

How would you describe your approach to eating/health? I would say my approach is all about balance. I can totally eat cake, but I need to eat plenty of salads and veggies too. If I’m making mac & cheese for dinner, I’ll do my best to pair it with a veggie-filled salad.


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Food Blogger Spotlight: Donna and Tora from Donna & Tora

Donna and Tora want you to have a, “joyful relationship with food.” As authors, health coaches and fitness professionals, these fit ladies know a thing or two about creating healthy recipes but that wasn’t always at the forefront of their minds. Donna (pictured left) struggled to lose weight while Tora (right) fought her own demons and battled an eating disorder that once left her at just 81 pounds. After finding the strength to help themselves, they vowed to help others. Donna & Tora.com is their love-child blog.

Donna and Tora

 

More about Donna and Tora -

Why did you start your food blog? We started off just having a few recipes on our healthy living blog, but the recipes were by far the most popular things we wrote about so we kept going! We love food but also want to stay slim and be healthy, so we set out to find recipes that were easy to make and, “upgrades” of the things we love. For example, our recipes are all gluten-free and sugar-free, but we don’t want to feel deprived so we find delicious alternatives instead.

How would you describe your approach to eating/health? Our philosophy is “health is a lifestyle, not a life sentence,” so we are firm believers in eating healthy food and also having treats – we actually plan treats into our week so we don’t end up with such severe cravings that we go and pig out. We’re always upgrading, but we make it fun as we go.

Have you always had an interest in healthy food or did it come later in life? Great question! Donna used to be a smoking, drinking, dieting disaster and I used to be extremely fit but very unhealthy. Donna’s real passion for healthy food has grown since we started our business, while I had a wake-up call in my early 30s that I needed to start eating healthy food, and my passion for healthy food has grown ever since.


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Thanksgivukkah Means Latkes for Everyone! Celebrate with Elana from a Meal and a Spiel

Meet someone who not only seems to speak my language about life in general, but speaks my food language fluently. Elana Horwich does her thing with food and words over at MealAndASpiel.com, which serves as a web presence for this worldly chef’s fun-having cooking school. Rustic Italian techniques, prioritized flavor, and a loveable sass… see, Elana is like my culinary kindred spirit.

She kind of summed up the enthusiasm around this rare two holidays in one so well that we wanted her to tell you for herself. So enjoy Elana’s Thanksgivukkah message, which is as much a lesson in embracing our diverse, multi-cultured landscape as it is a free invitation to gobble down on her Thanksgivukkah Latkes with Butternut Chutney.

Why did you start your food blog?

Before I am a cook, I am a teacher. It is intrinsic to who I am. Since I truly believe that cooking with love adds genuine goodness to the human condition and since I can personally only teach so many people at a time in a cooking class, I started my food blog to share my passion and knowledge with those I will never have an opportunity to meet. It is my gift to the world.

How would you describe your approach to eating/health?

My definition of good food is that it should make you roll around on the floor shouting “MAMMMMMMAAAAA!!!!” While you are there rolling around on the floor your belly shouldn’t hurt and it should be easy to stand up afterwards. That about sums it up.
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Foodie Spotlight: Rachel from Little Chef Big Appetite

I believe cupcakes deserve their own food group and seafood gives me the heebie jeebies.

I can get behind that kind of food philosophy! Her strong feelings about seafood aside, the thing that drew me to Rachel’s blog, Little Chef Big Appetite, was the fact that she likes to cook a little bit of everything. Even though she’s a tee-tiny little thing that I want to keep on top of my flour canister like a non-creepy Elf-on-a-Shelf, and could probably eat whatever she wants, her recipes are healthy and flavorful.

Rachel talks about why she started her blog and shares a few of her favorite recipes -

Why did you start your food blog? I started my blog in college at the University of Pennsylvania as a way to share my love of healthy food and cooking with my friends and family.

little chef big appetite

How would you describe your approach to eating/health? I try to eat healthy most of the time so that I can “indulge” worry-free occasionally. I make sure all of my meals have lots of protein and fiber, so that way I am less likely to snack on unhealthy things throughout the day. When I do treat myself, I love wine and anything that has the words “cookie” or “cake” in its name.

Have you always had an interest in healthy food or did it come later in life? My interest in healthy food came in college. Before then my diet consisted of fried chicken fingers, pizza, and Easy Mac. Once I got to college, I began to realize I wouldn’t be able to keep that up without packing on the pounds. I started researching healthy foods and learned my way around the kitchen by watching my dad (who is still the best cook I know).


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