Conversation with a Food Blogger: Lexi’s Clean Kitchen
In this column, we're interviewing the tastemakers, foodies and chefs that are dominating the web. This week: Alexis Kornblum of Lexi's Clean Kitchen
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Looking for recipes that are paleo-friendly and allergen free? Well, we have your one stop shop for both and so much more. Lexi Kornblum. the the culinary genius behind Lexi’s Clean Kitchen, focuses on gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free dishes with paleo bent. Lexi underwent her own diet makeover in 2012 and began sharing her experience in her blog in 2013. Since then, she’s inspired others with her delicious whole food recipes and healthy lifestyle. Each recipe is labeled according to a list of 10 categories: gluten-free, paleo-friendly, vegan, nut-free, etc. Based out of Boston, MA, Lexi lives with her fiancé/trusted taste-tester Mike and their golden retriever puppy, Jax.
If you could describe your blog in three words what would they be?
Healthy, fresh and creative.
Why are you so passionate about eating allergen free?
Because it has changed my life; I eat this way and I genuinely feel better. I initially changed my diet to heal my gut, cure stomach issues, and have a better quality of life. Since then I have been truly amazed at how you can change your body, mind and health with food alone. I don’t get sick anymore, I don’t sit home not wanting to go out, and so on. It is a beautiful thing. I feel healthy. I know how it feels to have to give up the food you are used to eating and still want to eat, which is why I am passionate about making those foods again with real ingredients, but allergen-free.
What is your favorite meal of the day?
Oh totally breakfast. We sometimes even have breakfast for lunch or dinner! Breakfast skillets, sweet potato home fries, fluffy pancakes… mmmm.
What’s an ingredient that you just can’t live without?
This definitely changes, but right now I’d say eggs. We eat lots and lots of eggs!
This year I plan on eating more?
Leafy greens, bone broth and unique veggies!
If you were stranded on a deserted island what two spices would you want to have with you?
Pink sea salt and red pepper flakes.
Where is your favorite place to shop for ingredients?
I shop local as much as possible and frequent local markets and farms. When I don’t shop there, I often head to Whole Foods Market or shop ONLINE! I get a lot of my baking ingredients online.
What is your favorite kitchen gadget?
Just one? Let’s go with my high-speed Blendtec blender. That thing can do everything!
You’re a popular food blogger with thousands of followers. Is there a food blog that YOU follow?
I follow tons of food blogs. For allergen-free blogs, Primal Palate, Against All Grain, Nom Nom Paleo, and PaleOMG are super inspiring and talented. For amazing food photography and recipe inspiration I love blogs such as Eat Your Beets, Bakers Royale, Gimme Some Oven, Savory Simple, Minimalist Baker, and Pinch of Yum– to name a few.
Who would you consider a culinary icon?
Ree from The Pioneer Woman and Giada De Laurentiis are definitely two I consider culinary icons. Honestly though, I consider so many of my food blogging friends culinary icons. I think being able think up a creative idea–or see a recipe you want to transform–and to bring it to life and have it succeed, like really succeed, is iconic.
As a health conscious food blogger, do you still treat yourself to guilty pleasures?
Absolutely. Balance is important. I really believe that depriving yourself all the time from something you really want is a terrible idea. Moderation is key and is not something to feel guilty about. Make the decision to go for it and don’t look back when you do, then get back on track with what is important. The thing I’ve realized is that you can treat yourself in ways that won’t make you sick. That is a huge reason why I create recipes like cookies, bread, and fried chicken bites- so you can indulge on occasion, but feel confident doing so. You need to live a little, right? Bring on the dark chocolate and chips and guacamole!
What is your favorite late-night snack?
Ooooh. I don’t really do late-night snacking much these days, but for savory snack, probably French fries. You know, really good French fries, fried in a good quality oil, crispy and seasoned just right. Now I’m hungry! To be fair, I’ve come along way to get to that point. I didn’t heal my body eating baked goods and late night snacks, but I’m at a point now where I can indulge in them a little more if I feel so inclined.
What are the biggest challenges and greatest rewards of being a food blogger?
The biggest reward, hands down, is connecting with readers who trust and make my recipes for themselves and their families to better their lives. Getting emails and comments about how my recipes have inspired or impacted someone else’s life, and have helped them on their healthy living journey is the biggest reward there is. There is nothing better than that. Another great reward is being able to have creative freedom and bring my ideas to life. After testing a recipe multiple times and then having that ‘aha’ moment when one comes out just right–that’s a great moment for sure! A big challenge is balancing my ‘me’ time. Shutting down from emails and social media and just being in the moment. Being present with family and friends, reading a book, having some quiet time for just myself, it’s definitely a constant effort! It’s so easy to get wrapped up in all the work.
What’s one piece of cooking advice you’d like to share with our readers?
Have fun and don’t stress about it! Some of the best meals are the simple ones, the ones that are easy to prepare, inexpensive to buy, and that get your family involved. Some of the best moments are cooking or experimenting in the kitchen with my family, music on, and we are just going for it–successful or not!
Do you have any recipes that stand out for being epic fails?
You know it! There are definitely recipes that I’m like, “what was I thinking?!” At this point I focus on sharing quality over quantity, but when I started blogging I would share recipes before they were really perfected. For the most part those are taken down or revamped now! I have some pretty epic dough fails though, muffins that never rose, and a really, really bad avocado soup!
What’s next in your career?
I can’t answer that just yet, BUT I can tell you there are some pretty amazing and exciting things in the works for my brand that I cannot wait to share with the world. In the mean time, growing Lexi’s Clean Kitchen, connecting with and meeting readers and bringing new fresh recipes and useful tools such as videos and guides are definitely my “right now” that I can tell you!
Finally, can you share one of your favorite recipes?
My sandwich rolls are definitely one of my favorite recipes to date. They were a happy accident that turned into a super popular recipe because they are totally the real deal. Sometimes you just need a real bread alternative that is healthy and made with real ingredients and totally allergy-friendly!
The Ultimate Paleo Sandwich Rolls (Paleo, Grain Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free)
Makes: 3 Rolls
Hands-on Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
- 1/2 cup blanched almond flour
- 1/2 cupe tapioca flour
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp. palm shortening
- 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Dash of himalayan sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350
- In a bowl combine almond flour, tapioca, baking powder, and dash of sea salt
- Add in eggs, apple sauce, and palm shortening- mix to combine
- Place round molds on a baking sheet and grease
- Pour batter into molds until almost at the top, a little less
- Bake for about 15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean
- Let cool slightly, slice in half, and serve
- Store in the refrigerator
Baking time might vary slightly based on how thin or thick you make your rolls
Alexis Nilsen has a blog called Cow Crumbs and is proving one recipe at a time that gluten-free and dairy free can be so much more than rice flour and tapioca starch.