When it comes to sharing vegan food on her blog, one thing is important to Lauren: practicality. She believes that healthy cooking should be accessible to all, which explains the emphasis on simplicity and fresh seasonal ingredients in her recipes, presented in creative photography that inspires everyone to embrace the art of eating well.
Tell us about Lauren Caris Cooks.
I started Lauren Caris Cooks just after we moved abroad from London to Switzerland. The aim of my blog is to make whole food more accessible to everyone, and provide simple, achievable recipes that people feel encouraged to recreate. I don't believe cooking has to be just another thing on a to-do list, but rather it can be an activity that is enjoyed as part of an evening. There's a huge amount of satisfaction involved in making something nourishing and tasty yourself, and I want to help everyone experience that.
Why do you write about food?
The planet has so many incredible, unusual and delightful foods to try. I think everyone should have that opportunity. I love finding new ingredients and experimenting cooking them in different ways. Having a blog has made me branch out even more in my eating and cooking, so I love that aspect of writing about food.
What's the most useful cooking lesson you've learned from being a food blogger?
I think the most important thing I've learned in the kind of cooking that I do is that the simpler things are the better. This doesn't mean cutting back on flavour or creativity at all, but knowing how to make a dish accessible to anyone of any cooking skill is important to me. That and the value of fresh herbs; they can absolutely transform a dish! I've actually started growing my own on my balcony so I always have a fresh supply!
Definitely garlic, fresh herbs, onion, and beans. I could quite happily eat all those foods all the time! They are staple ingredients that can form the base of so many different options. In terms of kitchen tools, I love my NutriBullet. I use it for making soups, smoothies, and sauces, even grinding nuts sometimes! It's one of the best blenders I've ever used and highly recommend it as a versatile kitchen tool.
I recently read The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod and it was kind of a game changer for me. I've never been a morning person (and I'm still not), but the book gave me some great food for thought in how I can better utilise my morning to help make the rest of my day more productive. It's something I'm still working on but I loved how motivating the book was and how it has encouraged me to evaluate my morning routine.
Not sure if this counts... but my husband and I absolutely love watching the weekly vlog by The Michalaks on YouTube. They are a family living in London and their self-made vlogs are some of the most creative things I've ever seen. As a content creator, it's absolutely inspiring to watch.
And of course I have a huge list of food blogs that I enjoy reading, some I particularly enjoy are Will Cook For Friends, The Little Plantation, The Bojon Gourmet, and Sweet Potato Soul. I also love the SORTEDFood YouTube channel; they always make me laugh!
What's your favorite recipe on Lauren Caris Cooks?
I have two favourite recipes on Lauren Caris Cooks. The first is the 5 Ingredient Pea and Mint Soup. I love it so much because it's just so simple and yet so hearty and delicious. It uses easily available ingredients and takes hardly any preparation at all.
My other favourite are the Smoothie Bowls! These are just one of the most fun recipes I've ever made and photographed. I made them as part of breakfast week and just had such a blast making them. They are super simple, very colourful, and totally vegan-friendly!
Question from Brianne of Natural Girl Modern World: What recipe did you work the hardest to perfect? How long did it take you and what motivated you to make it work? (Click here to read Brianne's interview)
I've definitely had recipes that were total flops that I've just let go, but one that immediately springs to mind that I kept persisting and working on are the healthy banana pancakes. I really wanted to make some healthy pancakes that actually tasted like real pancakes in both texture and flavour. I ended up making about six or seven batches before I got it right, but I'm so glad I did! It's turned out to be one of the most popular recipes on Lauren Caris Cooks!