Welcome! My name is Elizabeth. I live just outside of Austin, TX with my husband Zach and our two kitty fur babies, Oscar and Olive, with a human baby on the way (due in January 2017!).
I’m the recipe tester, photographer, food lover, and deliciousness creator behind the blog Bowl of Delicious. Before becoming a blogger, I worked for seven years as a teacher of low-income students at high stakes charter schools with long hours (this is where Zach and I met), where I quickly realized that the way I ate affected the way I was able to handle the busy, extremely stressful environment of such a physically and emotionally demanding job. Shortly after beginning to teach, I realized that cooking healthy meals made from quality ingredients at home helped me have more energy, be less stressed, and save money. I quickly made this a priority in my life outside of my work. Along the way, I discovered great recipes and tricks that made cooking delicious, healthy meals manageable within the time constraints of working long hours away from home (including falling in love with my slow cooker).
I wanted to share these recipes, tips, and tricks with other busy people.
I created Bowl of Delicious in 2013 as a way to help other busy people realize that they could- and should!- cook more at home, and in 2016 I made the transition to blogging full-time. I develop recipes made from mostly whole, unprocessed ingredients that are made in the slow cooker, are quick and easy, use a minimal amount of ingredients, are budget friendly, or are make-ahead/freezable in order to cater to busy people and families. Occasionally, I’ll also blog about my tricks and tips to making cooking easier, cheaper, faster, and more convenient while still being healthy. Although I sometimes miss teaching, I am happy that I get to continue to “teach” by empowering other busy people to make healthy choices around eating and cooking through my blog.
My Cooking and Eating Philosophy
I’ve always loved food. Eating is just…great (understatement of the century). Maybe it’s my Greek heritage. With my love of eating blossomed a love of cooking. Even with a busy lifestyle, I find that cooking de-stresses me. Creating a delicious meal is like solving a puzzle- you take a bunch of random stuff and, magic! You have something amazing to eat! I also love how food brings people together- not only eating it, but creating it as well.
In 2011, Zach and I shifted our eating habits to incorporate mostly “real” food; that is, food with less processed ingredients, in order to be healthier amidst our extremely chaotic school days. When we did, we noticed increased energy during the day, better sleeping habits, better digestion, and we almost never got sick. I’ve always been conscious of healthy eating, preferring meals made from scratch than meals made from convenience. I’ve always been wary of items in the grocery store claiming health benefits (“Low-fat” this and “Low-sodium” that and “High Fiber” edible cardboard and the like). After reading Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food (an excellent, quick read that I highly recommend) and keeping up with clean eating trends on the internet, we decided to try to incorporate his food philosophy into our diets as much as possible. Now, we can eat bacon and use butter with reckless abandon and feel justified! A diet that makes sense! (OK fine, those things are used in moderation. “Reckless abandon” is a bit of an exaggeration.).
Eating real food means, in a nutshell, that you eat unprocessed ingredients: almost nothing packaged, whole grains, healthy oils and fats, and lots of plants.
All this being said, I just wouldn’t be able to part with the occasional Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, nor Zach with his Dr. Pepper. And pizza. With crust made from WHITE FLOUR. What would life be like without pizza?! I don’t even want to think about it. It’s too sad. We do not stick to any diet 100% of the time, but we are, 100% of the time, conscious about what we are eating. And that is, to me, the most important part.
So. When I cook, I use whole ingredients and almost no processed ingredients. I use whole grains… usually. I limit, but don’t completely omit, added sugars in my recipes.
Oh by the way, that’s Oscar and Olive. They like eating, too.
My eating and blogging philosophy: Eat healthy, Real Food without going crazy!
So here’s the deal when it comes to my recipe creations on Bowl of Delicious. They reflect my eating philosophy, which is to eat real food without going crazy or sacrificing taste. I use white flour occasionally- to thicken sauces, or when whole wheat flour just won’t cut it in terms of taste (like in chicken and dumpling soup). I personally do not shop purposefully for organic or non-GMO foods, and therefore do not blog about it (I like to prioritize with everything in my life, and staying sane with a reasonable food budget while still eating healthy is at the top of my priorities). I usually make my own things like chicken/vegetable stock and enchilada sauce from scratch, but I write my recipes so that you can use store-bought or scratch-made. No judgement from over here- whatever works for you!
I believe that healthy eating and cooking at home should help relieve stress, not contribute to it. And I think that for most people, sticking to anything 100% of the time can often contribute to stress. For example: if you’re out with your friends for dinner, and there are not whole wheat pasta options, but you’ve committed to eating 100% whole grains, this can cause stress, or make you abandon your path to healthy eating once and for all if you cheat once. Or if you’re on a budget, and you decide you have to eat organic foods all the time, and all of a sudden you don’t have money to go to the dentist or fill up your car with gas because you’ve spent it all on organic food, this can cause stress.
I don’t think anyone should have to choose between eating healthy and being less stressed, especially with a busy lifestyle. It’s not fair. Eating healthy is far too important to ignore, regardless of how busy you are.
This blog is about making real food accessible to busy people. Slow cooker recipes. Quick and easy recipes that take under 30 minutes (and sometimes under 20, even 10) to make, start to finish. Meals that you can make in bulk and freeze. Budget friendly recipes and meals with 5 ingredients or fewer (because being busy and budget conscious often goes hand in hand).
The recipes on this blog are mostly “real,” whole, clean, and unprocessed, mostly very easy, and always delicious. I hope the blog will make it seem easy to eat real food even if you are a very busy person. Enjoy! :-)