One of the leaders in the health food blogging revolution, Anya Kassoff speaks to us about Golubka Kitchen. Anya's recipes pack in masses of nutrients, partly from her choice of ingredients and partly because she incorporates techniques such as sprouting and activating nuts and seeds.
C&J: Anya, tell us about what Golubka means and the ethos of your blog?
AK: Golubka is 'dove' in Russian and is a version of my maiden name. It also so happens that my younger daughter’s name, Paloma, means 'dove' in Spanish. I started the blog around the time she was born, so it all intersects.
C&J: We see that you have inspired some other fantastic bloggers like My New Roots and Green Kitchen Stories. What inspired you to begin blogging?
AK: I started blogging because I needed to do something with my love of cooking - my day job at the time had nothing to do with the kitchen. I quite literally daydreamed about food, I still do!
C&J: Your recipes focus on healthy, plant-based dishes that are mostly vegan and sometimes raw. What do you find interesting and beautiful about the ingredients that you cook with?
AK: I will never grow tired of the colours and shapes of fruits and vegetables and their progression throughout the seasons. It makes so much sense to me that the freshest produce makes for the tastiest cooking ingredients.
C&J: In what way do you prepare food differently for your daughter? What are her favourite meals?
AK: Ideally, I would love to cook the same meals for everyone in the family, but it’s not always possible with Paloma. I have to avoid spices when cooking for her, for instance, and often hide vegetables in snacks and baked goods. She still happily consumes green juices, big salads, kale chips and raw olives on a regular basis - I introduced all those things to her very early on.
C&J: You are someone who loves to travel, what are the best cuisines you have tried and why are they special to you?
AK: Although I love to visit different restaurants, I noticed that the most unpretentious food is often the freshest and most flavourful. I always say that the best meal in any country is one prepared at home by locals.
C&J: Tell us how you incorporate superfood powders (e.g. spirulina, baobab etc.) into your recipes?
AK: I love to have such powders on hand, as I make smoothies daily, which is the easiest way to incorporate the powders into your diet. Add a spoonful of most powders to practically any favourite smoothie - it's likely that the taste won't be compromised, sometimes even enhanced. Adding super-powders into healthy snack bars and desserts is another way of including them into daily meals.
C&J: What is your favourite recipe from your cookbook “The Vibrant Table”?
It has always been hard for me to answer this question. Being an indecisive Libra, I can never pick a favourite. Every recipe is special to me in one way or another. A few that come to mind at the moment - Kale and Mustard Muffins, Squash Blossom Quiche, Mango Lime Tartlets, Blood Orange Chocolate Cakes and Everything Halva.