We're sitting down with our favorite writers and cooks to talk about their upcoming cookbooks, their best food memories, and just about anything else.
David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl, the couple behind Green Kitchen Stories and this week's Guest Editors discuss how they're teaching their daughter to love whole, nutritious foods as much as they do. Plus, they're giving away 3 copies of their new book!
What happens when a devoted, but not necessarily healthy, vegetarian meets a health-conscious omnivore? In the case of David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl, they get married and meet in the middle. The result was less meat for Luise, more whole grains for David, and vegetable-heavy meals that were substantial enough to support a full day's activity. To document their culinary experiments, they started the blog Green Kitchen Stories.
When they're not traveling the world, picking up new ingredients and flavors to play with in the kitchen, they live in Stockholm with their 3-year-old daughter, Elsa. Read on to learn more about their cooking philosophy and how they're sharing it with their daughter:
What dish have you cooked most this summer?
It's been a warm summer in Sweden, so we have done lots of smoothies and juices with fresh berries. Luise likes to keep her smoothies green and fresh, but my (David's) favorite is this Strawberry Peanut Butter Milkshake. For lunch, we have repeatedly made the Broccoli & Pomegranate Salad from our book. And for breakfast we often prepare our flour-free Banana, Blueberry, and Coconut Pancakes.
How have you had to adjust your cooking since having a child? How are you teaching her to love the same whole foods that you do?
Oh, we could go on and on about this. But basically we have always tried to serve her the same food that we eat. We waited to introduce her to sugar, white bread, and milk products for as long as we could, which meant she learned to eat proper food from the beginning. We put a lot of effort into teaching her about all the different kinds of vegetables and fruit and bringing her to the market and into the kitchen.
We have also tried to have a positive approach to food and eating. Don't talk about food that you don't like in front of your children because they listen to you and will doubtless start doing the same. We believe in encouragement instead of bans or rules. When she was younger, it could get a bit messy when she wanted to eat everything with her fingers or a straw. And sometimes she even ate her dinner under the table. We realize that this might sound terrifying to some, but she always finished her plate. And it has lead to her loving vegetables (and beans!) as much as we do. At least for now...
More: A wholesome breakfast that won't send kids on a sugary spiral.
How has your cooking been influenced by your Scandinavian heritage and your life in Stockholm?
Actually, surprisingly little. We are both crazy about traveling and spend most of our savings on seeing the world. Our cooking has therefore been influenced by all kinds of different cultures.
One thing about Scandinavia that has influenced our cooking is, of course, the produce that surrounds us and the different seasons. Fresh berries and mushrooms grow in the forests outside of Stockholm during summer and autumn. And they are free for everyone to pick!
Beets and other root vegetables are the only produce that can grow all year round in Sweden, so we have learned to prepare roots in a zillion different ways. On our blog you can find root soups, root chips, beet salads, and baked roots. We even use them in a chocolate cake.
What are the most important tricks and skills you've learned from each other in the kitchen?
I (David) have never been good with leftovers; I always needed to go to the store before I started cooking. Luise, on the other hand, is amazing at creating a feast out of nothing. So she has inspired me to think twice before I go the store. Before we met I had never cooked with quinoa or whole grains -- she totally opened up that world to me. As for Luise, she wasn't a vegetarian when we met, so I guess I have "taught" her how to build up entirely plant-based meals.
What's one basic recipe that every cook should know how to make?
I guess it's good to know how to prepare breakfast in your sleep; it would be tough if you needed a cookbook every morning. Also, if you know how to make good pancakes you can always make new friends!
Photo of David and Luise from Green Kitchen Stories
We're giving away 3 copies of Vegetarian Everyday! To enter, let us about your favorite vegetarian recipe in the comments below. We'll choose the lucky winners by this Friday, August 9th at 4 PM EST.