Today’s spotlight is on Dee of GreenSmoothieGourmet.com, a blog committed to sharing whole food, plant-based recipes, most of which are suitable for many different lifestyles, including vegan, vegetarian and dairy-free, along with recipes free of refined sugars, many of them gluten free, as well as sugar-free options. A lot of what she shares is also friendly for paleo and keto lifestyles. The goal is nutritious food, simple ingredients and easy prep. We think she’s doing a pretty bang-up job, so we’ll let her share more about her journey, in her own words.
Dee starts by answering our first three questions.
- How did you become an influencer/blogger?
- What started your journey into health?
- Do you follow a modified diet?
The seed for eating plant-based was planted in college where I studied biochemistry and learned the scientific impact foods have on our system processes. In sophomore year, I began snacking on carrots in study hall while everyone else was downing Starbucks Frappuccinos (I'm sure I sound pompous here, but it was true!) and my study mates teased me until I bought a blender (a refurbished Blendtec) and started making veggie smoothies. And then they lined up for them, haha.
Once I had a family, though, I began to follow a vegan version of plant-based eating, which isn't a far leap, primarily for the good it does for the environment. I work for a nonprofit and so environmental needs are dear to my heart.
At that time, I also began in earnest looking for unprocessed foods, much of which I get from Bob's Red Mill and using them to convert traditional recipes into much healthier versions. I started posting them on a blog and Instagram and people found me and my recipes and here I am now!
What is something most people don't know about you?
Well, probably that I am by trade a front-end web developer and I'm parfait editor for thefeedfeed.com.
Oh. and also I build huge historic dollhouses in my "spare" time. I have one work in progress that is an early 1800s French Country Manor, about 5 feet by 8 feet by 3 feet. My girls love it so much!
What is your favorite BRM product?
Oh, there are so many. What a hard a question. I guess I would say Bob's gluten free oats and all the seeds—the chia, hemp, sunflower, pumpkin and poppy.
In our house, we keep all the bags on a kitchen shelf reachable to everyone and every family member shakes them—we don't even measure—onto their morning meal, whether that be oats, yogurt, cereal or smoothie. But I also love all Bob's flours, including almond, oat, potato and gluten free all purpose.
What is your favorite BRM recipe?
I'd say that would be my Meyer Lemon Mint Cream Tarts.
Bob's Red Mill super-fine almond flour makes the tart texture incredible.
One tip for finding time to cook and bake amidst a busy schedule?
I time manage by choosing or creating recipes with short ingredient lists, and I try to have foods pre-prepped in the freezer, such as smoothies frozen in ice cube trays. Pop a few cubes in a glass at night, refrigerate and it's melted in the morning.
Oats person or a smoothie person?
Both! I love them both.
Any exciting announcements or plans for your Instagram or blog this year?
Yes! I signed a book contract last year for a cookbook series and the first book is about to be released! There is a special twist to the series that I can't reveal yet but is so exciting. And you can bet Bob's Red Mill products will be perfect for many of the ingredients I use.
Who are some of your favorite influencers?
Oh my, the list is so long. I will name some here: @elavegan for her incredibly accessible and healthy recipes. @choosingchia who does a great job converting international recipes into healthy versions. And @feastingonfruit who creates the most incredible healthy desserts that are plant-based and easy.
What do you like to do when you aren't working on recipe creation?
Spend time with family (we love to sit around the dining room table and talk and play board games—favorites include Clue, Scrabble, Origin and Milliborne); I also love to garden (I'm building a lavender border this spring!) and to work on our home (I love painting rooms, my family scatters when I walk into the kitchen on Saturday mornings with paintbrushes for all, haha); and to read and work on my dollhouses.
Favorite season or holiday?
CHRISTMAS. All caps, haha. I love, love this season and try to make it last three months! Obviously partly because my favorite recipes to make really are desserts and this is the season for desserts! And I think partly because my parents made our home the happiest place on earth during that season, so I love to do that in turn for my family.
What is your top baking tip?
Hmm. I'd say venture into spices in baking. And take chances, varying flavors. For instance, I add black pepper to chocolate. And I used fresh cardamom in a birthday cake. And I recommend trying to use fresh spices whenever possible. The flavors are incredible when a spice is fresh.
Name three words to describe yourself.
Busy. Creative. Fun-loving.
Quinoa or rice?
Quinoa by far. And I always use Bob's Red Mill brand. You want a quality brand to start. And I try to incorporate it in so many unlikely recipes to get that all-important plant-based protein in there. Quinoa is perfect for that because no matter how you cook it, its nutritional value doesn't change
Some of my recipes where you might be surprised to find quinoa include:
Favorite food brands?
Navitas Naturals superfoods, Frontier Co-op spices, Sambazon Acai products, Eating Evolved chocolate, Driscoll's berries and Nutiva Coconut Butter.