Russian-born, Florida-based Anya Kassoff is the inspiring force behind Golubka Kitchen. Anya has a unique was of giving healthy food a tempting and striking makeover. Her blog is bursting with delightfully unexpected flavour combinations you may have never considered, but once you try them, you’ll not forget.
“When I was growing up, essentially every meal was prepared from scratch using the most natural ingredients, many of which we grew ourselves or even foraged for in the wild,” Anya tells us. “That way of living inevitably influenced everything I do in the kitchen.”
“I love to cook from scratch, making my own sprouted flours, nut milks, bread starters, and even chocolate.”
Sounds like you had an ideal foodie childhood, who taught you to cook?
“I grew up in a family of great cooks and, although no one precisely taught me how to cook any particular dish, I took that passion for preparing meals from my mother, grandmother and aunt.”
What’s your food philosophy?
“Tasty and nourishing. I've always loved experimenting in the kitchen, and making dishes that are not only delicious but also beneficial to our health. I truly believe that the healthiest meals are the best-tasting meals when approached correctly.”
Why did you start your blog?
“My eldest daughter, Masha, who photographs my food for the blog and the cookbook, gave me the idea of starting a blog where I could share my recipes and experience of raising kids on a plant-based diet. When I started, my younger daughter, Paloma, was just about 16 months old and thriving on a mostly raw food diet, with lots of green leafy vegetables. I quickly grew to love blogging and never looked back.”
Since then, you've also published the stunning cookbook The Vibrant Table.
“The Vibrant Table (Roost Books, US$35) was born as an extension of my blog. I hope that my readers will be inspired by the beauty of seasonal vegetables and fruit, and encouraged to create nourishing dishes in their own kitchen.”
How has being a parent influenced Golubka Kitchen?
“Food plays an important role in my life, so it is essential that my children understand and appreciate good food as well. Paloma was involved in creating many of our blog posts and recipes for the book from a very early age. She loves to cook with me, which makes life easier and brings me much joy. As we cook and sample our creations, we talk about what makes food good and why it's crucial to eat whole foods for staying healthy.”
What do you wish everyone knew about being a vegetarian?
“I began exploring vegetarian cooking and lifestyle as an adult, after I moved to the US in the late '90s. I was inspired by the amount of vegetables and fruits available year round at local markets and motivated by Masha, who always had a hard time eating meat.
“I hope to pass along the message that making an exceptionally delicious, vegetable-based meal is easy when following the seasons and using produce at the peak of its freshness.”
As summer settles in Florida, what are you looking forward to?
“Summer is not the best time for local produce here in Florida, as our growing season is actually in the winter. The best it can offer are several types of mango, which are truly exceptional right off the tree, if we're lucky to find one. Paloma and I are leaving for Russia for her summer break, and will indulge in all the beautiful summer produce there, including fragrant tomatoes, crunchy and sweet cucumbers, raspberries and cherries.”
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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.