I know I say all the time how much I LOVE the people I interview (which is always true) but Martyna Angell holds a special place in my heart. Not only do Marty and I write for the same magazine, but we've been friends in the blogging world for the last few years. I've seen her go from strength to strength, writing recipes for the team at I Quit Sugar and landing herself a column in Nourish, she's now sharing her recipes with the world with the ultimate accolade - a top-selling cookbook entitled The Wholesome Cook. I couldn't be happier for this gorgeous soul.
Martyna’s food philosophy revolves around eating clean, real food most of the time. Because of a family history of numerous allergies and food sensitivities, her blog and now cookbook, is a place where she explores natural, real food and additive-free recipe ideas.
The book is filled with no-fuss meals - healthy, uncomplicated, while refreshing. It's not the usual chicken and greens, or chocolate avo mousse. Marty is inspired by her Polish heritage, and brings some really inventive dishes to the table. Perfect for fussy eaters looking for something new and an beautiful Christmas Gift too.
Who or what inspired you to create your infamous blog The Wholesome Cook?
I began the blog as a way of keeping recipes in one place and sharing them with friends and family. Initially, they were just simple recipes from my childhood or entries of things I had cooked for dinner. Soon, I was being asked by many of my family members and readers to adapt those to the various intolerances many of them had been riddled with. Today, Wholesome Cook (as well as The Wholesome Cook book) is where I share low sugar and refined sugar-free recipes with options for various intolerances and diets intertwined with stories from our kitchen and home.
I love that you don’t prescribe to a particular diet. How would you describe your food philosophy?
My food philosophy also revolves around eating clean, whole food most of the time. I like to call it the 90/10 rule. Eat clean food that is right for you, 90 per cent of time, indulge in the other 10. Matt, my husband, calls his the 70/30 – you get the idea, right? I say this, because giving up junk food is that much more attainable when you can cut yourself some slack and enjoy a treat once in a while, whatever it may be. I also believe in the notion of bioindividuality - the fact that we are all different and no single diet fits everyone the same. This is why my recipes are so adaptable.
What’s your proudest moment or achievement to date?
I think publishing The Wholesome Cook book and wellness guide has been one of my proudest moments. Having said that, I always smile when the kids talk about asking for a drink of water when all that seems to be available is soft drink, or when Zac, my step-son, who is a big steak lover orders grass-fed beef when we eat out. Even when it's not his favourite cut. That makes me really happy and proud.
Do you have any top tips for aspiring food bloggers?
My best tip for aspiring food bloggers would be to be authentic and write / cook what you love and the rest will follow. Be selective about which brands you work with and products you promote, too, as ethics are important. I won't work with brands or products I don't wholeheartedly love. And connect with your community - reply to comments, meet up, support and help one another in real life as much as you do from behind a computer screen.
Other than your amazing new cookbook, do you have any exciting projects on the horizon?
At the moment I am focusing on spreading the word about the book and talking to people about thinking outside of the diet box but at the same time paying attention to eating real food free from additives and preservatives. I'm talking to a number of schools about educating the next generation of cooks about the merits of a clean but balanced diet and also running a number of workshops, including some really cool instagram photography ones. Behind the scenes, I have my Nourish magazine column and also working for a few clients styling and shooting for cookbooks.
If I looked inside your fridge, what would I find?
Pickles, sauerkraut (recipes for both are in The Wholesome Cook book and are totally NOT new to me as I learnt to make sauerkraut when I was 12 and pickles used to be my after school snack). Chicken liver pate, so much fresh veg and fruit that they don't fit in the crisper, biodynamic yoghurt and various cheeses, the latter mostly for the enjoyment of Matt and my step-daughter Liana. Lemons. I also love organic mustard and eggs. I always have a stash of Rocher Bites and Refrigerator Cookies in the fridge, too. Just for a little treat.
What would your last supper be?
How many courses? I think I'd start with a veggie-ful Fennel, Ginger and Turmeric Soup from the book. Followed by baked fish with greens and end the evening with Chocolate Cake with Rocher Inspired Icing.
Tell us one thing people would be surprised to know about you.
While enjoy keeping fit I am absolutely petrified of swimming in the ocean. I have tried to break this fear a number of times, but between my eyes being sensitive to salt water and my inability to go in past waist-deep, I think it will be a while before I give it another try. Oddly, I love jet-skiing but I have to wear snorkelling goggles to protect my eyes and a life-vest which helps with the mental block.
I think I'd be happy with that chocolate cake for my last supper too. The Wholesome Cook book features 180 refined-sugar-free, real food recipes all with gluten-free options and adaptable for many other dietary needs. You can check it out right HERE of head to the BLOG for more delicious inspiration.