Arielle Gorstein. Age: 29 (turning 30 in April!). Family: I'm really close to my family (emotionally, but sadly not physically)! My parents live in Charleston, my brother and sister-in-law live in New York, my sister lives in Chicago, and my two cousins, who are also like sisters to me, live in New York as well. I'm also getting married next weekend, so after that, I'll have a husband as well!
Interests: Health/wellness/fitness, cycling, behavioral science, travel (I love to experience new cultures - particularly food, history, and language!), cooking, eating.
When and why did you start blogging?
I had been posting pictures of my food on Instagram for quite a while, but I decided to completely dedicate my Instagram account, @LifeisFoodieful to being a "food blog" while I was traveling in Israel last June. My friends and family always looked to me for food and travel tips, so I thought this would be a great way to share my recommendations, reviews, and photos with them and with anyone else who was interested!
What do you write about in your blog?
My blog is completely dedicated to food and dining - both dining out and dining in. When I first started, I only posted about restaurants - I had never really been much of a home cook, but a few months ago I realized that I'm about to enter into a new chapter of my life where I'll be building a home for myself, my husband, and eventually kids, so I decided to put a real effort into learning to cook. It's been fun to share that experience with my followers, who have been really supportive! I also include a "#foodiefulscale" rating of every dish I post about. The ratings are: V (Vom), M (Meh), G (Good), RFG (Really Frkn Good), and OG (Orgasmically Good). I also don't eat meat (aside from fish, which I don't consider to be "meat"), with the exception of when I'm traveling abroad - I think it's important to experience local cuisine when I'm in a new country, so I relax my rules in those cases! But I usually only post about vegan, vegetarian, and pescetarian dishes.
What does food mean to you?
So much! I honestly spend way too much time thinking about what I'm going to eat for my next meal (or 3...). I get so much enjoyment out of trying new dishes and sharing meals with friends and family. I also feel like it's the best way to experience different cultures - you might not be able to speak the same language as someone from a different country, but the language of food is universal!
What’s your favorite meal? Could you share the recipe?
My favorite meal is a good dim sum, which I definitely cannot make! But my go-to recipe for when I'm hosting people is an adapted version of the guacamole from Cuisine of California (I usually double it):
2-3 ripe avocados
1.5 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp finely chopped red onion
¼ tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
2 medium tomatoes coarsely chopped
In a medium bowl, mash avocado until soft
Add lemon juice, onion, cumin, and salt. Mix to combine.
Mix in tomatoes
What are the 3 products that should be in everyone’s kitchen?
A good, sharp chef's knife - Makes cooking so much easier and more enjoyable! It used to take me way too long to cut up veggies when meal prepping, and it's mind blowing how much time and effort I've been able to save since I got my Mac Knife - $145 on Amazon. (Yes, it's an investment, but so worth it.)
- Instant Pot - Believe the hype. I'm a huge believer in one-pot cooking, and this appliance has changed my life. It saves so much time, effort, and clean-up, and everything I've made in it has come out super tasty!
- Immersion Blender - Much easier to clean than a normal blender, and also very useful for those one-pot meals!
What would be that one meal leaving everyone speechless?
A good, souped-up Beyond Burger - I used to be a huge meat eater, and I definitely still miss it even after 3 years of pescetarianism. But there are some really amazing meatless "meat" products coming out these days, which make it so much easier! When I just really need a burger, I'll throw a Beyond Burger on the skillet and serve it with whatever I've got on hand -some cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, grilled onion or mushrooms...whatever, really. Vegetarians and carnivores alike are always amazed!
Do you have any grocery shopping tips? How to save money and still eat healthy and tasty?
Walk in with a plan and a full stomach. It's so easy, particularly at stores like Trader Joe's that always have new and exciting products, to fill up your cart, spend $100+, and get home and realize you don't have anything you need to make an actual meal.
- Only get fresh vegetables that you know you'll be using for a specific purpose, or else they'll just rot in your fridge. Frozen and canned vegetables can be just as healthy (just check to make sure there's no hidden salt or sugar), and they don't go bad nearly as quickly.
-Bring enough re-usable bags. No matter how good your plan is, you will underestimate the number of bags you need.
-Consider using an online grocery delivery service. It makes it so much easier to avoid impulse buys (and not forget anything on your list that you DO need), to comparison shop for the best prices, and to stock up on the bulkier or heavier items that you don't want to carry home!
We are what we eat. Yay or nay?
There's room for a little of everything in every diet, and if you have a splurge day where you accidentally eat cupcakes for lunch, you're not going to turn into a cupcake (speaking from experience here)! It's all about balance!
Thanks so much for the talk, Arielle! And congratulations on your wedding! From all of us at Uno Casa, we're wishing you a lifetime of happiness!