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.