The Green Kitchen

The Green KitchenOne of my greatest gripes about being vegan (or vegetarian—the same rules apply) is also a rather politically incorrect one.

That is, that it’s assumed I thrive on the smell of incense, that I have musty-smelling dreadlocks, and that I wear tie-dyed clothes.

I’m not that kind of vegan, and the mis-lumping irks me no end. I’m an urban-dwelling one who’s conscious of her carbon footprint, but who is also rather conservative.

You wouldn’t at a glance be able to tell me apart from meat eaters, and even if it loses me my leftie badge, I’m actually fairly ok with that (I think it’s easier to change the system from the inside, you catch more flies with honey, or whatever’s the appropriate adage).

It means, though, that I want to be able to eat delicious food in well-designed restaurants; I want to be able to cook healthy, tasty food from aesthetically appealing cookbooks. Both are surprisingly, frustratingly difficult to achieve.

Discovering the Green Kitchen Stories blog (and its just-released cookbook, The Green Kitchen) was a godsend. I don’t wish to generalise all Swedes just as most people generalise all vegans and vegetarians, but hot damn they know and execute good design. The blog and book understand and deliver function and form and, frankly, make me extremely happy.

David Frenkiel (one half of the couple who put this wonderfulness together) is a magazine art director. It shows. The images are utterly, enviably exquisite. And as if the blog and cookbook aren’t enough, I just happily lost a couple of hours in their Instagram feeds. Bliss.

Vegie CurryEven better, Frenkiel’s vegetarian journey largely mirrors my own. We’ve both been unhealthy vegetarians, omitting meat but existing on carbs and sweets.

He fell in love with a health-conscious meat-eater, Luise Vindahl (I know, right, I really do think those two terms are mutually exclusive), and the two started experimenting with cooking healthy vegetarian food.

The organic, honest approach is palpable in the blog and the book. It’s part of what (apart from the incredible images, of course), makes them so enticing. There’s no judgement and certainly no efforts to bamboozle you with terms and ingredients you wouldn’t normally know. Crucially, the recipes are healthy and tasty.

I’ve recently flopped over into the world of veganism—it’s where I’ve always been heading, but have been stymied by my poor cooking skills and the aforementioned, politically incorrect frustration—so the vegetarian-ness of the recipes no longer entirely applies. But Frenkiel and Vindahl offer vegan tweaks, so with a bit of effort, I’m able to make the recipes work.

Early favourites include the pictured vegie curry, which contains yellow split peas and such goodies as the underutilised rhubarb. And I’m keen to road test the pictured pizzas. If those aren’t enough to make you want to go vego, I don’t know what will.

Vegie PizzasI’m still obsessed with the blog and the book, but it’s worth mentioning too that there’s an app.

Yes, these guys really have thought of everything (and when I say everything, I mean largely freely available online tools that cater to their audience’s needs).

Now, if I can just convince them to come into my kitchen and cook for me, I’ll be set.

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Fiona Crawford

Fiona Crawford is a freelance writer, editor, blogger, proofreader, and voracious reader. She regularly appears as a book reviewer in Australian BOOKSELLER+PUBLISHER magazine. Fiona is also (unfairly) known as the Book Burglar due to her penchant for buying family members—then permanently borrowing—books she wants to read herself.