This week in Kitchen Farmacy – our food lover's blog where good health and great taste come together, with recipes to nourish the soul and body – we bring you Cara Livermore from Hipster Food, a mouth-watering blog from New York City with a serious devotion to easy, delicious vegan food.
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8 May 2015 - 1:54 PM  UPDATED 11 May 2015 - 9:00 AM

Hipster Food is a blog full of fresh and creative dishes that are also cheap and easy to make. The creation of photographer, writer and stylist Cara Livermore, it has a worldwide reach from its US base for simplifying and inspiring new ways with plants. 

Cara began the blog in 2010 after moving into an apartment in New York with her boyfriend, Bob, and choosing to walk the vegan path. “I needed to learn how to cook, and I felt the need to share my process and progress,” she tells us. “I started a Tumblr account for my daily meals. I just wanted to show people what my ‘going vegan’ looked like.”

 

Why ‘Hipster Food’?

“I say, whoever needs to call something ‘hipster’ just because they hate it reminds me a lot of calling every alternative teenager ‘emo’ from 2002-2006 – it’s just ignorance. It ignores the fierce ethics and work behind veganism – when you think ‘hipster’, you think apathy and irony, but veganism is the exact opposite of that. My work is essentially my response to those people; veganism isn’t impossible and it should be taken seriously.”

 

What’s your food philosophy?

“We should be eating as many whole foods as we can – and there are ways to cook from scratch that don't take a lot of effort or time. Food shouldn't necessarily be fussy or difficult, but we shouldn't shame people for not eating from scratch. Veganism, also, is my biggest food philosophy.”

 

What was the transition to vegan like?

“It was fairly easy for me because I had already been vegetarian for a few years. I'd say replacing foods is very easy, but you do need to learn how to cook to make it sustainable long-term. Also, I wish someone would make vegan M&M’s and stock them in my local grocery store.”

 

What do you wish everyone knew about eating a plant-based diet?

“If I had to pick one thing, it'd be that the label ‘vegan’ shouldn't put you off from eating a whole foods, vegetable-based diet. Even before I called myself vegan, learning to cook and put vegetables and whole fruits first really changed my life for the better, and I wish more people could experience that.”

 

How do you feel differently when eating a plant-based diet? 

“When I eat poorly I get headaches, feel sick, sluggish and foggy. When I eat with vegetables in mind and thoughtfully prepared meals, I instantly feel energetic and focused. I don't think, concerning health, anyone will feel exactly the same way as another person. It's all about what you're eating each day.”

 

Along the way you created a beautiful magazine called Chickpea. Can you tell us about it?

“After starting the blog and getting a big readership, I wanted to grow and blogging every day wasn't something I wanted. We started the magazine as a creative (and logistical) challenge, as something almost book-like but without the complications of a publisher. We also wanted to include our great readers in some way; they became our contributors and subscribers, like a real community. We're really lucky to have been doing it for almost four years now, and our readership just keeps growing.”

 

What are you looking forward to as you head into a New York summer?

“I'm mostly excited to be able to walk outside without snow boots on! I'm also excited for homemade veggie burgers, grilled corn on the cob, and fresh berry pies with whipped coconut cream. And lots of Pimm's Cups to be sipped on our porch. I'm making myself hungry just thinking about it.”

 

 

Hipster Food’s top picks

 

1. Taco salad

 

2. Comforting spiced white bean and orecchiette stew

 

3. Chickpea noodle soup

4. Rich coconut chai

 

Kitchen Farmacy Editor Kris Franken

 

Kitchen Farmacy is our food lover's blog where good health and great taste come together. Each fortnight we'll feature a health and wellbeing foodie blog, with recipes to nourish the soul and body. Here's to eating well (and satisfying all kinds of cravings). View previous Kitchen Farmacy blog entries.