Honest Cooking continues to highlight our many wonderful contributors. Today, meet Amie Valpone from The Healthy Apple.
By Kalle Bergman
Amie Valpone is the person behind the gluten-free blog The Healthy Apple. Her cooking is inspired and influenced by her decision to not let food intolerances stop her from eating well and being creative in the kitchen. Here’s a chance to get to know her a little bit better.
When and how did your passion for food start?
My health has led me to the greatest food ever – I suffered for 6 years of my life with chronic pain and visiting every doctor under the sun until I finally learned what was going on in my body. I focus on and eat Clean, whole foods because a little bit of deprivation (my numerous food intolerance’s and sensitivities) have led me to discover creativity in my kitchen each and everyday. This is what inspired me to start my blog –TheHealthyApple.com – helping others in the same boat as me to realize that there is flavor beyond sugar and processed, packaged foods- and there is a delicious life beyond food intolerance’s.
Do you think you have a specific cooking style or philosophy?
Yes, I only work with quality, clean food. I don’t aim to wow you with numerous different gourmet meals. I keep it simple and basic with a focus on the natural sweetness of real food, with my creativity going into the healthy homemade condiments and sauces that highlight the meals flavors.
What’s your favorite restaurant, and why?
I can’t really eat out at restaurants yet due to my food intolerance’s and sensitivities however when I do eat out- it’s at one of the beautiful Whole Foods Markets here in Manhattan. My friends and I make dates and eat there or have a picnic in Central Park. It’s my ideal meal-Clean and fresh.
What’s your favorite holiday from a food perspective?
Thanksgiving. It’s such a cozy holiday; it comes down to feeding my family and friends; gathering us all together. I cook to connect with people rather than to impress them- it makes the experience authentic and more meaningful.
What do you think or hope will be the next big food trend?
The Paleo Lifestyle- which I follow, since I am unable to digest grains. Also, I see a focus moving towards my philosophy of Clean, Whole Foods- nothing processed.
What’s your best tip for anyone who wants to improve their cooking?
Start eating to live, not live to eat and learn to embrace simple, Clean, whole foods that will give you energy and keep you satisfied for longer. Move away from the diet mentality and eat what your body wants not what someone else’s plan entails as that only brings you farther away from what you will truly enjoy cooking and eating day in-and day out. It’s about being true to yourself and listening to what your taste buds are yearning for- whether it’s Brussels sprouts or whole grain pizza. I tell my clients to start with their food processor – make a simple salsa, guacamole and hummus for the week to use on salads, pastas, pizzas, grains, eggs and proteins such as fish, chicken and tofu. A touch of fresh herbs goes a long way in any of these 3 simple condiments.
Kalle Bergman is a food writer and media entrepreneur who is the founder of Honest Cooking. As a food writer, his writing has been regularly featured in publications like Gourmet, Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post and Serious Eats. He is obsessed with simple food, more often than not from his native Scandinavia.