Delicious Italian & Croatian inspired vegan recipes. With an artistic twist!
How I Got into Cooking
Starting a food blog has always been something I have really wanted to do. Coming from an Italian / Croatian family, I’ve been watching my parents and grandparents cook in the kitchen with fascination ever since I was a child.
I was born just outside of Naples in Caserta, Italy and learned how to make fresh handmade pasta from my Nonna (Grandma) alongside a bunch of other traditional dishes from both my Nonna and my dad who is a wonderful cook and ex pastry chef!
We visit family in Croatia every Summer at my Deda’s (Grandad’s) house where I have learnt how to cook all kinds of beautiful soups and crepes and pastries from my Baka (grandmother), alongside my amazing mum growing up.
Becoming a Vegetarian & Transitioning to Veganism
Both Italian and Croatian foods can be quite meat-heavy, so when I became vegetarian back in 2015, I made it my mission to keep the traditional and comforting feel of these foods I’ve grown up on, vegetarian style. During the next few years, I had further extended this mission into the life of a vegan. For a number of years I struggled with maintaining a solely vegan diet and flaked in and out of vegetarianism and veganism. Though I’ve now found a way to apply a vegan lifestyle with my strong connection with the traditional foods I have been raised with, without completely feeling like a traitor to my family’s traditions.
I became a vegetarian when I started coming across animal cruelty videos online, in tears I began researching vegetarian diets and became increasingly aware of the health benefits of giving up meat, alongside the environmental benefits. It started to sound like a no-brainer. This transition opened my eyes to a new world, I had lost weight, I felt healthier, less groggy after a meal and generally more happy overall. Transitioning to a vegan lifestyle brought along even further benefits; the absensce of dairy in my diet higely reduced the rosacea I had been struggling with ever since I was a teenager, and I noticed that my hair and nails were growing ten times faster! I felt energised and healthy and guilt-free.
Understanding & A Gentle Approach to Lifestyle Choices
As much as I believe a vegan diet is the way forward for me, having reverted back and fourth between veganism and vegetarianism myself, I absoloutly understand how difficult it can be to let go of foods you’ve learnt to love throughout your life, and I do not hold any harsh judgements towards those who are struggling with the transition or feel that they are unable to commit fully to a vegan diet, or simply don’t feel the want or need to transition.
For me, the vegan diet is a lifestyle choice that works for ME, and it’s been a bumpy journey. By writing recipes and creating videos, I hope to inspire people to the understanding that you can still be a vegan, without completely compromising your food traditions.
My Food Philosophy
As with many other people, my relationship with food hasn’t always been the greatest. It has, at times, been restrictive, balanced, compulsive, healthy, disordered and all of the in-betweens. Though the struggle of balancing my relationship with food still has it’s wobbles, I feel I now have a pretty firm understanding of where food sits in relation to my emotions and we have managed to establish a nice, healthy relationship.
I do not believe in regulating portions, counting calories and cooking without oil or salt or wheat or gluten or whatever it may be, unless of course you have an intolerance. I believe that listening to your body is so important; eating with intention and eating only until you are full is what, in my experience, has really helped me to craft a balanced relationship with food. I feel that inhibiting the use of ingredients such as oil or salt is the begining of creating a restrictive relationship - balance is cruicial, and so long as you are loving your body by listening to its needs, your body will thank you and love you back.