Why I Write About Food 021: Howie Fox, Kat Grober and Dave Bell of Hurry The Food Up

Three friends join forces over a shared love for plant-based foods. Their mission? To make home cooking more attractive than fast food. That means nutritious, quick and easy recipes that don't compromise on taste. Whether you're vegetarian or just want to include more produce in your diet, you'll find plenty of tips and ideas here. 

Tell us about Hurry The Food Up. 
Dave: Hurry The Food Up is a team of three vegetarians, and each of us brings a different passion to our blog. Kat loves cooking more than just about anything else in the world (does chocolate count as cooking?) and so she's responsible for our recipes; testing, tasting, you name it, she does it! Dave has been dabbling in writing in various guises for many years now and so he takes care of most of the written content you see splattered around the site. Howie uses his ever-growing knowledge of online marketing and project management to glue everything together, and puts all of our recipes and ramblings into one big coherent blog. He also takes all the beautiful pictures you see in every post.

Why do you write about food?
Dave: Each of us has a strong belief that a vegetarian diet is the way forward for ourselves, our animal friends and the world and environment. Aside from the 56 billion or so animals slaughtered each year for our enjoyment (that figure doesn't even include fish; they're pretty much uncountable), there are myriads more kept as slaves to our will. There's nothing natural about that, and our blog is to show that veggie food can be more humane, more ecological, healthier and tastier and better for everyone than the processed rubbish (and meat) all too easily accessible around us. On a less immediate but extraordinarily important level, the environment around us is being destroyed as we speak and nobody seems to be aware of it. Or if they are, they don't care. The meat market is a gigantic part of an awful threat to our planet and all of us on it. How could we expect the worldwide slaughter of life not to be?

How long has each of you been a vegetarian and how was the transition in the beginning?
Howie: I stopped regularly eating meat in December 2014 and changed to a vegetarian diet then. It was only a little hard in the beginning as I wanted recipes that were as tasty, healthy and satisfying as my meat dishes before, and so I spent ages searching online. Now I have a whole plethora of great recipes so it's really easy. However every now and then I might eat a small portion of meat.
Dave: I started cutting down on meat seven years ago, and then cut it out altogether about two years ago. I thought it was going to be hard, but it really wasn't. Kat is a great cook and found so many alternatives that I barely noticed the transition. I ate a burger at a bbq a few weeks ago and really didn't enjoy it. I have no plans to go back to eating meat.
Kat: I never felt comfortable eating meat, and although I sometimes enjoyed the taste, the texture never felt right to me. As soon as Dave cut down I stopped it completely and haven't looked back.

As a team of three, how do your individual tastes and food preferences shape what you share on the blog? Where do you draw recipe inspiration from?
Dave: The biggest thing we share is staying away from meat. With three people involved we have lots of different ideas from our upbringings, so that formed a large part of the blog, especially at the start. Howie grew up on a farm and is very much in favour of whole foods; that rubbed off on Kat and Dave too, so the vast majority of our recipes call for nice, unprocessed ingredients. Kat and Howie are from Germany, and Dave from Britain, and we have plenty of dishes that are traditional or important to us personally on the site. Our inspiration can come from virtually anywhere: websites, magazines, recipe books or even just from trying something in a restaurant!

What's the foolproof way to creating a nutritious, delicious and satisfying vegetarian dish in less than 30 minutes?
Hauke:
Get good with your knife, know where to grab your ingredients, know recipes by heart, learn how to do things simultaneously.
Dave: Exactly as Howie said, and think like a factory line. Prep all the same items together and work through them methodically. You'll save so much time. Your favourite music can make cooking less of a chore and more of a blast too.
Kat: If you're making meals for a family, do it as a family. Kids can have great fun when they're involved and are given simple tasks to do, and are more likely to the eat the results if they put effort in too!

You wrote an e-book about SEO for food bloggers and provide food blogging tips. Turning the table around, can you tell us how non-food bloggers can use the internet to help them with their vegetarian diet?
Hauke: 
Once you've decided to eliminate meat from the menu, you'll need new inspiration to keep your dishes exciting. The internet is an excellent place to get started. Also, you'll find lots of tips on nutrition, fitness, travelling and shopping groceries for vegetarians. Just make sure you check the source is trustworthy! (Try 60+ resources to get you started on a vegetarian diet.)
Dave: Of course for recipes, and also for hunting down highly rated vegetarian restaurants in new cities I visit. I like to try all types of new veggie cuisine! Having a well-balanced diet for fitness is also very important to me, and so the internet is perfect for this. 
Kat: There are many websites and charities out there that have videos and links that a) reinforce why I don't eat meat and b) provide information about animal friendly/vegan health, beauty and cosmetic products out there. Animals don't need to suffer for us!

What are you currently reading?
Hauke: I'm currently reading Tribes by Seth Godin. It's about how to create communities. The biggest takeaway: Don't ask for permission to start something. Nobody will care, but you. Apart from that I get marketing emails from AppSumo and I have online buddies I discuss strategies with.
Dave: Aside from the last Game of Thrones book (I've been saving it) I'm currently reading the brilliantly named Becoming a Supple Leopard by Dr. Kelly Starrett. It's all about getting the most mobility possible from our amazing bodies, and is also a comprehensive guide on staying injury-free.
Kat: I'm reading Tasty Food Photography by Pinch of Yum at the moment because I want to add food photography to my repertoire. I love creating and cooking recipes so the next step for me is taking photos of them!

What's your favorite recipe on Hurry The Food Up.
Hauke: Banana Egg Pancakes! If people tell me they don't turn out awesome, it's obvious they did something wrong. I shall name this phenomenon "Howie's Law".
Dave: Tangy Veggie Wraps! I'm addicted to these and love the noticeable but gentle taste of mustard in every bite, as well as the ridiculously high protein content. I take them with me as my post-workout meal.
Kat: For me it's the Baked Sweet Potatoes with Feta Salad. I adore the contrast between the soft sweet potatoes and the savoury crunchy olives and tomatoes. Delish!

Question from Adriana Kroller of Changing Plate: What do you find the most challenging about blogging? (Click here to read Adriana's interview)
Howie: To always stay at an extremely high level of quality. We knew from the start that readers only really pay attention when posts are well presented and articulated and actually interest or help them. I hope our blog reflects the passion we put into every post.
Dave and Kat: To find the time to blog! Balancing a full time job with blogging, our relationship and family time with our son isn't always easy, but we think we're getting there!

Visit website at www.hurrythefoodup.com
Recommended Recipes:
Zucchini Noodles with Hazelnut-Carrot Sauce
Baked Sweet Potatoes with Feta Salad

Tangy Veggie Wrap

INTERVIEW BY CHRISTINE LEONG. PHOTOS BY HURRY THE FOOD UP.

IF YOU'D LIKE TO READ MORE INTERVIEWS, CLICK HERE.