MBG: You have a degree in holistic nutrition -- when did holistic nutrition become important to you?
KB: It was around 2001 and I was suffering from some health issues and I couldn’t afford health insurance or too many trips to the doctor so I started researching ways to help heal myself. All of my research lead me to discover how powerful food was, since I did have control over what I ate I decided to overhaul my diet and it changed my life. I knew then that I wanted to help other people learn the importance of a healthy diet.
What does being healthy mean to you?
That is a great question! For me it’s not about what size I am or how much I weigh, it’s just about how I feel everyday. It’s about a healthy lifestyle in general, not just what I eat. I eat good healthy food, I am outdoors a lot getting exercise with my son, I am conscious about the cleaning products we have in our house, what beauty products I use, I know the importance of a healthy mind, body and spirit. When I get out of balance, I can crumble pretty fast so it’s important for me to keep all of those components aligned.
What are some of your favorite ingredients to cook with? Are there any must-have ingredients that any aspiring veggie/vegan cook should have in the pantry?
Pretty simple ones actually; some good olive oil, grains such as quinoa, barley, and millet, lentils, jasmine rice, coconut milk, Braggs Liquid Aminos, Earth Balance “butter”, a milk alternative (I am addicted to almond milk but there are also rice, soy, oat and hemp milks), a variety of herbs and spices (my must haves are fresh garlic, thyme, basil, and cilantro, dried spices are bay leaves, cumin, oregano, and rosemary).
Favorite quick breakfast?
Whole Foods carries my all time favorite granola with almonds and cherries, I eat it with almond milk. I also have instant oatmeal on hand when I just have a few minutes. I make it with almond milk, a tiny bit of pure maple syrup and shaved apples, yum!
Favorite easy dinner recipe in your cookbook?
That’s a difficult choice because they are all so good! But I love the Celery Root and Fennel Gratin, Butternut squash Ravioli with Sage Sauce, and Spicy Enchiladas.
What are some of your favorite places to eat healthy in Los Angeles?
I like M Café de Chaya, Flore in Silverlake, and Bombay Café in West LA. In general I prefer Italian and Thai food!
Favorite guilty indulgence?
I have a slight obsession with cupcakes, but I never feel guilty after eating them!
What's next for you?
I am about to start promoting my new cookbook, and I am currently wrapping up a healthy lifestyle book that focuses on home, beauty and style. While I was researching the information for my pregnancy book, Skinny Bitch: Bun in the Oven, I was shocked to find that there are so many unhealthy and unnecessary chemicals and preservatives in beauty products and baby products that I knew I wanted to eventually dig into that world deeper because living healthy is not just about food -- it’s everything we wear, put on our body, breath in and clean with!
Why do we need to run out and buy Skinny Bitch: Ultimate Everyday Cookbook?
Because it is one awesome cookbook! I made it a conscious effort to target this book to everyone. I want to inspire people to get in their kitchens and cook more homemade meals. The recipes are easy to make, they don’t require a lot of time, I kept the ingredients simple so everyone would be able to find them, and I wanted to show people that vegan cuisine isn’t gross or boring! The recipes will knock your socks off (I hope so, they did for me).
For more on Kim Barnouin:
Skinny Bitch Ultimate Everyday Cookbook on Amazon