Today I am sharing a short introductory interview with you of a favorite nourishing blogger, Ren from Edible Aria. I asked Ren if I could do a short interview with him for two reasons. 1) I love his blog, his photos, his food and his simple recipe style using delicious ingredients. 2) I love that this is a man who both cooks, and cares about nourishing food. Those two don’t always go together. All of the photos featured in this post are Ren’s work. Beautiful!
K:First, why don’t you tell us a little about yourself. What’s your schedule like?
R:I work full-time outside of the house as a Sytems Engineer (computers), but I live close enough to walk home for lunch. My workday ends at 4:30 in the afternoon, leaving me plenty of time to put something together for dinner.
K: You have such a wonderful style of cooking. I love how flavorful your dishes are, yet at the same time your recipes are generally pretty simple. In your own words, what do you consider your cooking style to be?
R: I prefer simple, bold flavors. With extra points for local, organic foods, I try not to buy what I can make.
K: You not only cook flavorful food, but it’s so nourishing (i.e. healthy) too. Why is that important to you?
R: Before abandoning the Standard American Diet (SAD, for short) a few years ago, my health was in decline. Poor skin tone, muscle loss, digestive problems/bloating and fatigue are just some of the things that went away when I switched to raw dairy, grass-fed meat, pastured eggs and pickled/fermented foods. Who wants to be sick all the time? Not me!
K: It’s always so great to hear about the positve results of switching to a “real food, nourishing diet”! Thanks for sharing that. How do you work your cooking into your daily routine? I think that one reason many men don’t cook as often is because of their schedules. Do you have any tips for how to keep up on dinner without resorting to “Chinese take out”?
R:I keep several stand-by items on hand at all times for those days when I’m short on time or just don’t feel like cooking. Plenty of eggs, butter, dried beans, lentils and chicken/beef broth in the freezer, homemade pickles, condiments such as mustard, mayo & ketchup. Lots of whole spices. Each week, I order a whole chicken, large cut of beef, lamb or pork. Dishes just sort of invent themselves..
K: From reading your blog, I can see that you are very good at inventing new dishes out of what you have on hand. Inspiring. Finally, many of my readers have limited budget. What are your best tips for how to save money while eating well?
R: Waste nothing. Seriously, I save bits of fat for rendering, bones & vegetable trimmings for stock, cheese rinds for risotto, everything you can think of. Also, I buy whole chickens (and rabbits, etc.) and break them down myself, and I grow everything that I can. I’m not canning, but I am drying, fermenting, salting or freezing what I can. Container gardens in the off-season too- its nice to have fresh basil & chives in the dead of winter!
Thanks so much Ren for being willing to share a little of your cooking life with us.
Please feel free to check out Ren’s blog, Edible Aria, for some lovely and unique nourishing recipes. And send your male friends there-maybe they will be inspired that real men can indeed cook real food.
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I love Ren! Thanks for doing this guest interview. We are eating his liver and onions tomorrow for lunch and actually looking forward to it!
Kimi @ The Nourishing Gourmet
It’s hard to make liver and onions appealing, so that’s quite the accomplishment!
I love Ren too! I’ve made a few of his dishes to rave review from my husband. Even my toddler likes his food, and that does not always happen. I’ve even threatened to plan our next vacation to Texas, just so we can have dinner at his house. He has graciously said that I’m welcome anytime. 🙂 Great interview.
Count me in the Ren fan club. I try never to visit his site hungry though. The pictures are mouth watering!
his photography is just beautiful!
Thanks so much for this interview! It’s fun to learn more about people whose blogs I read.
I made Ren’s liver and onions the other week. So good:) I’ll make it again when we get some more grass fed liver.
I’m going to his site to find out how to salt and dry foods. His photographs are just great and mouth watering.
Terrific interview Kimi, and I loved getting to know a little bit more about my favorite blogger/chef. Ren is nothing short of brilliant in what he brings to the table and to the senses!
Kelly the Kitchen Kop
Personally, I think Ren should be on TV. 🙂 I’m linking to this on Monday – love it!
I just found your site and have been reading a lot of your recipes and articles. They’re all very interesting, in particular your practice of soaking grains. I’m all about nutrition and whole, unprocessed, vegan/vegetarian, frugal foods, but I had never heard of this practice before. I was wondering if you could point me in the direction of any more resources on phytic acid. I found some scientific studies online about it interfering with the absorption of nutrients in developing countries and causing pellagra and vitamin deficiencies but nothing about its effect in developed nations. In fact, low levels of phytic acid are a risk factor for osteoperosis, and it is an antioxidant. However, if phytic acid is in fact detrimental to my health, I’d certainly like to know. So any additional research on the subject you could direct me to would be helpful.
Thank you for the site! It’s great.
http://www.westonaprice.org/foodfeatures/be_kind.html. This is a very good place to start Kate. Just remember the key to soaking is planning ahead. Once you get into a good soaking routine, its easy as pie.
I love Ren’s food and pictures!
Thank you so much for doing the interview!
Thanks for featuring Ren. After reading your interview with him I headed over to look at his blog and loved his recipes. Needless to say I signed up lol. That was last night and I left a query with him and he already got back to me, which was really fast and appreciated.
Kimi, I reckon you and Ren could rule the culinary world!!!