David Frenkiel & Luise Vindahl zijn het duo achter Green Kitchen Stories en brachten met Little Green Kitchen een nieuw boek uit. Wij konden ons geluk niet op! De kookboeken van het gelijknamige blog Green Kitchen Stories staan namelijk boordevol vegetarische recepten Wij delen deze weken recepten en schreven deze review. Benieuwd naar het David & Luise? Wij mochten hen ook interviewen! Let op, dit interview is in het Engels!
When have you decided to become a vegetarian/vegan? What was the main reason behind this decision?
I (David) was 15 or 16 years old and many of my friends became vegetarians and vegans for political reasons or as a kind of revolt. I followed along but never felt as angry or rebellious as them. And before that I was a vegetarian in school because that meant that you got better school lunches since they were cooked separately in smaller batches, while the rest often just got large trays of frozen food that were heated.
At that time, did you have any role models in your surrounding or did you have to figure everything out yourself?
I have always learned lots from the women in my life. My grandmother taught me early on how to bake, my mother has always been a wonderful home chef, two of my first girlfriends were vegetarians and taught me many classic vegetarian dishes. And then of course Luise, when we met she had never met a vegetarian before but she has taught me loads about how to cook in new and inventive ways. When we later started our blog we found lots of role models online. California based blogs like 101 Cookbooks and Sprouted Kitchen were hugely inspiring for us.
Do you remember the first moment your thought: hé something is changing, eating a vegetarian/plant-based diet is becoming a social trend?
It’s easy to see it now when we look back, how we started the blog and how it grew and was part of a big shift towards more plant based food in the western world. But it never felt like it happened so sudden. It was amazing and felt huge when our blog had 10 visitors each day. And then the same feeling when we had 100 and then 1000. And equally huge when we got an email from a publishing house about making a book. Or when our app was on the headline of AppStore around the world. But they were all individual incidents and it wasn’t until years later that we could connect the dots and see the big shift and the social trend.
When did vegetarian/plant-based food become a part of your career? How did this develop over time? Was this always your goal or did it come on your path?
For a very long time it was just a hobby. We both had other careers and goals and ran the blog on evening and weekends. We even wrote our first book over a summer holiday. But when we decided to write book number two and we actually started earning book royalties and selling apps, we realized that we could make our hobby into a profession. Since then, things have changed a bit and we now also work with freelance projects around food, photography and videos. I have just started a falafel restaurant with a few friends!
What is the message that you are carrying out with your vegetarian/vegan activities?
We have never tried to force messages on anyone. We don’t say that you have to eat vegetarian food or that eating meat is bad. I think everyone should decide for themselves what they believe in and what they choose to eat. All we want to do is show that vegetarian food can be really good and make it as easy as possible to make plant based choices every day through recipes online, tips on instagram and our cookbooks.
What is the role of vegetarian/plant-based food in your family/surroundings? Doe for example the entire family eat vegetarian/plant-based? How do you find your way in with this?
Luise doesn’t like to be restricted by labels and choose to eat fish every now. Especially when we are at restaurants and the vegetarian option is bad. And the kids get to eat the same as us so they sometimes eat fish as well. But at home it’s usually vegetarian and sometimes vegan. My sister became vegetarian a few years back b ut the rest of our family is not. Everyone loves vegetables though so it’s not a big issue at family dinners. Either we do them entirely vegetarian or we have a big potluck and then we are in charge of bringing a few good vegetarian options.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years? And what will be the place of the vegetarian/vegan cuisine in your home country?
I truly think everyone will be eating less meat going forward. It is better for our environment, for our health and for our souls.
Who is nowadays your vegetarian/vegan role model/hero?
There are plenty of inspiring people that we follow on Instagram that have built up a life and career through spreading plant based food. I still think @heidijswanson from 101 cookbooks is inventive and inspiring in that wonderful Californian way, @amychaplin is similar but from her New York kitchen. Yotam Ottolenghi makes beautiful Middle Eastern recipes, Anna Jones (@we_are_food) recipes and books always strike me as brilliant and modern. Ella Mills (@deliciouslyella) has built up an impressive and positive vibe and range of products with her Deliciously Ella brand and Sara Forte from Sprouted Kitchen has a fun cooking club subscription service where she shares new recipes for people to cook from every week.
What is your favorite vegetarian/plant-based book/blog?
Amy Chaplin’s book At Home in The Whole Food Kitchen. Anna Jones books. And the Ottolenghi books.
What are your favorite vegetables to cook with?
Give me an avocado, some potatoes (or sweet potatoes), a tin of chickpeas, a broccoli and a few lemons and I’m happy. Oh, and some Scandinavian blueberries for smoothies and desserts!
Do you have an all-time favorite vegetarian/plant-based recipe? Which you for example always serve when having friends over or at a dinner party? If you do, what is it?
We most often do variations of really large and nourishing salads with lots of roasted vegetables, crunchy lettuce, cucumber and other raw ingredients, toasted nuts and some pomegranate or other fruit added to it. It’s always a success.
What is your ultimate suggestion for people who are slowly embracing a vegetarian or plant-based diet?
You don’t have to change everything in your diet at once. Start bit by bit. Find a few favorite recipes and work from there. Try to change the focus on your plate so it’s more vegetable centered and then add the rest of the ingredients (carbs/protein/sauce) on the side.
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