So good to see you here! We've been cooking some new exciting material for quite a while now and today we're revealing that we have a blog! Finally!
Today marks the beginning of a new era- this is the day when we open the doors to our brand new blog! It's all new and fresh of paint, meaning we're still learning and developing just so we could give you the best possible result.
So today we're introducing you to our interview series where we're talking with food and lifestyle bloggers, chefs and just awesome people doing awesome things! We want to give you useful cooking tips and tricks, tasty recipes and just a good read to your morning coffee or evening tea.
So today we sat down with blogger Marisa who's not only a recipe developer, food photographer and author of a cookbook but also a mom to three young children. So read her story below how she's juggling it all and still finds magic in everyday!
Interview with Marisa Alvarsson
Tell us a little bit about yourself
Hi! I’m Marisa Alvarsson, otherwise known by my nickname, Miss Marzipan; a cookbook author of the recently released book Naturally Sweet Vegan Treats, and a professional corporate art director turned WAHM (Work at Home Mum), recipe developer and food photographer, with a particular passion for plant-based food and baking. My perfect day would involve sunshine, some form of physical activity, reflection/meditation, indulging in creative pursuits, cooking (or at the very least, eating!) and cuddles. I love to travel and explore. I love baking, playing dress-ups with the children and reading fantasy stories with them (Harry Potter is a favorite). I truly believe that every aspect of everyday life can be beautiful, whether we make it so with a sprinkle of homemade magic, or simply shift our perception to see the extraordinary beauty in ordinary things and events.
I was born in London and raised in Australia, and I now live with my husband and 3 young children in central Stockholm, Sweden.
When and why did you started blogging?
I started my blog, Miss Marzipan, in 2011 after my first pregnancy. I was at home with my baby, cooking, crafting, caring for him (and myself) and decided to start sharing about our everyday “adventures”. My blog was completely anonymous for around 3 years and it was only after several months on Instagram that I started using my first name on my channels.
What do you write about in your blog?
I share recipes, but also lifestyle-related reflections on motherhood, travel, yoga, decluttering or whatever happens to interest me and be of potential benefit to my readers.
What does food mean to you?
Food for me is about far more than sustenance… it’s about fun, family, and celebrating “the every day” everyday. I’d also like to mention that I make a lot of so-called “free-from” recipes and my cookbook, Naturally Sweet Vegan Treats, is all about vegan-friendly, refined sugar-free treats, but really try to avoid using terminology such as “clean” or “guilt-free” to describe my food. I have my own preferences and dietary/health needs, for sure, but try to avoid demonising certain foods and putting others on an unscientific cure-all pedestal. Things nutrition-related aren’t black or white, and what works for one person may not for another (e.g. in the case of food allergies and intolerances, or even religious/ethical preferences).
What’s your go-to meal? Could you share the recipe?
A go-to is my favorite salad which is hearty enough to serve as a main meal.
ROASTED SWEET POTATO & QUINOA SALAD WITH CHILLI & GARLIC INFUSED DRESSING
INGREDIENTS FOR SALAD
4-6 sweet potatoes
400 ml of dry quinoa of choice
Organic olive or melted coconut oil (3-4 tbsp)
200 ml dried green or brown lentils (or 1-2 tins of rinsed, drained, lentils, if preferred)
Lots of fresh arugula/rocket
Toasted black and white sesame seeds (at least 2 tbsp of each)
Salt & pepper to taste
INGREDIENTS FOR DRESSING
1 red chili
2 cloves garlic
60 ml olive oil
60 ml tamari
60 ml balsamic vinegar
1 tsp rice malt/maple syrup (optional)
- Preheat oven to 200 C (fan). Line an oven roasting tray with baking parchment.
- Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into pieces of approximately the same size (around 3 cm x 3 cm). Pop the pieces into a large bowl toss in oil to evenly coat. Tip the sweet potato out onto the baking tray.
- Roast in the oven until the pieces are cooked through and the edges are starting to brown (around 30-35 minutes).
- Cook quinoa according to your usual method/pack directions.
- Cook lentils according to your usual method/pack directions making sure not to overcook. Drain.
- While cooking lentils and quinoa, deseed and finely chop the chili, then pop it in a bowl or glass jar with the liquid dressing ingredients. Stir/shake to combine.
- Peel garlic cloves then cut them in half and pop them into the dressing. Allow the garlic to sit and infuse. You can cover the dressing and pop it into the fridge at this point, if you are making it in advance. Do remember to remove garlic pieces before serving.
- Cooked quinoa and lentils can be mixed in advance and topped with roasted sweet potato and allowed to cool/stored in fridge.
- Just prior to serving the salad, season to taste, scatter over the fresh salad leaves, sprinkle on sesame seeds and the dress salad with half of the dressing, reserving the rest for individuals to add to their own salad portions according to taste.
What are 3 products that should be in everyone’s kitchen?
If appliances or utensils, a food processor/blender is great. A chopping board and good knife set. A mixing bowl and large spatula/wooden spoon.
If food items, fresh produce, legumes, grains.
It’s the season of eating and being together with your loved ones. What would be that one meal leaving everyone speechless?
I’d love every aspect of every meal to be special, but I am particularly fond of my mushroom gravy which turns every festive main course or vegetable side dish into magic. My Christmas cake is a definitely a show-stopper and is also perfect for anyone avoiding white sugar, gluten, dairy or eggs… though you’d never know it!
Do you have any grocery shopping tips? How to save money and still eat healthy and tasty?
Buy seasonal and local. Buy in bulk (a large packet of dry goods rather than small ones). Certain grocery items such as peas and berries are wonderful frozen and can be cheaper to buy this way, even in organic varieties. Certain staple products or specialty items can be bought in larger quantities from online healthy grocers; products such as chia seeds, coconut oil, grains or gluten-free flours. If you find a good local store, they may have free delivery when you purchase over a certain amount of product.
We are what we eat. Yay or nay?
To a point this is true. But we are more than that!
Thank You Marisa for sharing with us your story! Follow her on Instagram for delicious pictures @missmarzipancom
Images reprinted with permission from Naturally Sweet Vegan Treats by Marisa Alvarsson, Page Street Publishing Co. 2018. Photo credit: Marisa Alvarsson.