About

B.S. Environmental Studies w/ minors in German and Law | Certified Culinary Nutritionist (Rouxbe, Culinary Nutrition Program) | Certified Nutritionist (e-Cornell, Plant Based Nutrition Program) | Novice knowledge of herbalism and aromatherapy |

MY INSPIRATION AND MISSION

Food has always been around me. Growing up in the East Village, I went to my grandfather’s shop, Rays’s Candy Store, religiously. That was my childhood, my happy go-to place in the city; it was my second home. I lived every American kid’s dream: eating ice cream ENDLESSLY for FREE. The food wasn’t necessarily healthy but this place inspired who I am today. I have learned many life lessons over ice cream and lime Ricky’s… and Belgian fries..

It was not until I graduated University of San Francisco that I didn’t think twice about food and its impact on our planet. Not once during my time attending the university did we learn about the impacts of the animal agriculture industry. My passion for cooking with a purpose was ignited when I learned what impacts my food choices made on the planet. As a passionate environmentalist knowing that I can help the environment via the food I choose to put on my plate, I thought, let’s do this! This is the path I am taking to help the environment and people! I am a self taught chef *and still learning so much)

My mission with this page is to show that eating healthy does not have to be hard. In addition, eating a more plant based lifestyle not only helps our bodies but also helps our planet.


WHY I LOVE COOKING (WITH PLANTS)

  • I am doing my part to help the planet.
  • Cooking makes me feel connected with other people and brings me out of my shell. When people try recipes that I made or shared that are plant based, people are blown away that they are made with PLANTS! (I even blow myself away at times by the power of plants.)
  • Cooking is a creative outlet for me; there is a science and an artistic aspect to cooking. Once you learn the basic techniques of cooking, the sky’s the limit to what you can make.
  • It teaches me the virtue of patience. I was raised by my mother who always cooked home-made meals. She made cooking look easy; the secret to her cooking being so good was being patient.  If you keep at it and be patient with learning, you’ll be able to make delicious meals in no time. Anyone can cook. Don’t give up.
  • I believe food is one of the many things in life that brings people closer together, like concerts or movies. If anything, it is when we have the most intimate moments with loved ones and where we can also make new friends (I have made countless friends from all over the world while working at Ray’s Candy Store & sharing delicious Belgian Fries we made at the shop).
  • Food is the icebreaker for a conversation starter (at least for me). Whenever I am hosting, a great way to break the ice with new friends is gushing over how good something tastes and or comparing how the other person makes it, and voila! New recipe or suggestion from a friend.   People are always amazed by what you can make from plants! Cauliflower crust? CAVIAR made from BELUGA LENTILS? ‘Chicken’ fingers made from seitan and tofu! BUTTER from CHICKPEAS! SOUR CREAM made from CASHEWS! MILK made from NUTS! NO WAY you can make that from plants! MINDBLOWN! It is a gateway to conversations. 🙂
  • Most of all, it aligns with my way of compassionate living. It is not perfect but it is a step forward to living in a world where we live in harmony with one another and with our planet. I believe it is a requirement to helping the environment.
  • Last but not least… Cooking and eating to save the planet, that sounds fun in my books!

Other than that, you can find me snuggling with my fur baby boy, Jägermeister, walking in Central Park with my husband, painting, reading Orthodox Christian books, or flipping through all kinds of cookbooks and food magazines finding new inspirations to try and create new memories over a new dish I made (you will always find me doing something food related).

A special thank you to my grandfather, Ray.  Working at his shop, Ray’s Candy Store, ignited my career to revolve around food & cooking. To be honest, I did not see myself working in an office in a 9 – 5 job, behind a computer. I don’t even like being on the computer let alone for leisure, except when I need to buy cooking ingredients or unwind after a long day (most likely playing Skyrim. #SkyrimNerdAlert). Working at Ray’s was not always easy but I learned many life lessons and made many countless friends. One of the lessons I have learned due to the variety of people I would encounter (it ranged from celebrities to homeless) was to never judge a book by its cover, which in this case, human. Another being…Working in the kitchen is not easy, it has more hours than a 9-5 job but I love that I have the freedom of creativity and that I can share my passion and enthusiasm of plants, environment, and health. 

I have been on this plant based journey for about 8 years now (and counting!) and I keep learning how to be creative with plants. It blows me away! 


ABOUT THE INGREDIENTS I USE

A lot of my recipes call for Beyond Meat, Daiya cheese, Miyoko’s, Gardein, Violife, Forager’s Yogurt and others that may vary from store to store; Trader Joe’s has products that Whole Foods doesn’t have and vice versa.

I believe that the way we eat shouldn’t be treated as a “one size fits all”. I believe in balance, but I also believe that balance is tailored differently to each person. Some may have health issues, some may not (or maybe we do and do not realize it). In addition to which many of us have certain food allergies, the most common being soy, gluten, sugar, and nuts. I include alternatives not only for meat- and dairy-substitutes for some ingredients in the recipe but also soy, gluten, sugar, and oil to the best that I can. Eating foods that create balance for our body and mind looks different for everyone.

In addition, I include information about ingredients: their origin, interesting facts, how to pair vegetables and seasonings, and nutritional information for instance. I feel like we have lost touch with nature. Many of us don’t know the process of our food from the farm to the table, let alone how food grows. While money may not grow on trees, majority of our food does. When we know about our food, we can make better decisions how we choose to eat and foods that support us.


Those of us who have a thrill in hiking, foraging, and other outdoors-ey stuff, I will have a section called “Survival Cookbook” which is in the process; this will include plants grown around the world that are native to their region, and how they look, and potential recipes so if we were stranded on an island or mountain with a pig, I would know how to feed myself and the pig. This inspiration comes from my childhood growing up as a Polish Girl Scout. I do not plan on eating a pig when stranded alone with one, so I’d rather know how to forage and make a meal from what I gathered. 


With lots of love and peace,

xo Anastasia