Hey, I’m Lauren!
Kale & Compass is a collection of my musings, usually food-related, sometimes geared more toward adventure, always from the heart. I’ve been passionate about cooking at home for many years now. With cooking, there is an endless amount to learn – and I love that. I love trying new methods, tasting new ingredients and learning how to be resourceful and economical with my food purchases. I love the challenge of coaxing the best flavor out of the most humble ingredients. I also strive to maintain a minimalist kitchen. A kitchen where every tool, every utensil, and every piece of cookware serves many purposes, is multifunctional and will last for years. It’s a work-in-progress.
Over the last few years, I’d read and watched many books and documentaries about our food industry, food waste and food packaging waste. It made a big impact on how I viewed food at the grocery store. I realized the majority of the trash (so much plastic) Nick and I were discarding every day came from the kitchen. At the same time, since I was very young, I’d battled a peanut allergy and more recently new mysterious food sensitivities that I could never quite pinpoint. I’d spend so much time at the store pouring over every single ingredient list on every single processed, boxed or canned food item before I purchased it. It was exhausting.
Zero Waste Lifestyle
A year ago I learned about the zero waste lifestyle, and how to shop zero waste and became instantly curious. It meant saying ‘no’ to excess waste related to food packaging and instead, bringing your own reusable containers to shop. It meant buying simple, fresh and basic ingredients from the produce and bulk sections of the store and as an added bonus, it meant fewer mystery ingredients and less risk of a peanut allergy attack. Two birds, one stone. Armed with empty mason jars, bulk cloth bags, a sharpie and a few large canvas totes, I started in on a bring-your-own-container shopping experiment that would eventually become a weekly habit. I haven’t looked back. Thanks, Nick, for helping carry the “jarmy” to the store each week! 😆
Pacific Northwest Living
Living in the Pacific Northwest has allowed me access to hyper-fresh local produce and, thanks to our weekly farmers market just down the street, I’m able to leverage those virtually package-free ingredients in my home cooking every day. I’m incredibly thankful for that. Additionally, the breathtaking scenery and landscape over in this corner of the U.S. continuously serves as both a source of creative inspiration and adventurous outlet in my life; whether the result is a new recipe I’ve created at home or a new memory we’ve gathered whilst trekking through one of the numerous nature trails just outside of the city.
Cooking is My Compass
Drawing from all of these inspirations, my goal with Kale & Compass is to show you how to cook the tastiest, most satisfyingly comforting and nourishing meals with the least amount of food packaging and food waste as a byproduct. I hope I inspire you to cook. Because cooking grounds me – it’s my spiritual compass. And as long as cooking continues to be my compass and steer me in the direction of mental and physical well-being, Kale & Compass will continue on. Hopefully, there will be pieces of this blog you can take with you on your own journey.