Hi, I’m Ashley!
I love to cook, eat and travel.
I help busy people connect to their food’s roots by teaching them to incorporate more unprocessed, fresh from the ground foods.
Here on Bright Roots Kitchen, you’ll find colorful, uncomplicated, and most importantly TASTY meals for your REAL, everyday life.
I know cooking can feel like a chore after a long day, but stick with me and you’ll learn to get as excited for weeknight meals as you do for your birthday dinner! Well nearly as excited…it’s hard to top a birthday hahaha…
Why I switched to healthier eating and cooking:
It’s not that I ever had an aversion to eating fruits and veggies. In fact, I was the weird kid in the family that asked for extra okra at dinner time.
What happened was that life got in the way. Focusing on what I ate just didn’t feel like a priority over learning a new job, commuting, paying bills, social commitments, and everything else life was throwing my way. I ate convenience foods, snacked on free desserts around the office, and didn’t think about how any of this affected my body or health.
This is until a yearly physical when my doctor told me that my blood sugar level was on the cusp of prediabetes. The fear having of full-blown diabetes before age 30 lit that fire of change.
So what did I do?
I learned to adapt my favorite recipes, to trick myself into eating more nourishing meals without feeling like I was eating health food. Make sense?
I hope Bright Roots Kitchen can help you incorporate more nourishing foods into your busy life. If you follow along, you’ll have the tools to revamp your food choices for a more well-balanced life.
My cooking roots:
I was lucky enough to attend “cooking school” in my childhood homes in Brooklyn and Queens. I learned from 3 generations of AMAZING Jamaican women in my family. Instead of cartoons, I spent weekend mornings studying PBS cooking shows (we’re talking 90’s, pre-cable) like it was my job. Growing up in NYC, I also befriended other kids whose family’s were from all over the world and loved TASTING food from their cultures.
My food today is of course influenced by my Caribbean roots, but it’s also a mashup of the diverse flavors I’ve encountered. I have a few go-to’s but usually make “Happy accident” meals…AKA no planning required. Fun Fact: My pantry is ALWAYS stocked with curry powder, red chili flakes, and smoked paprika.
So are the recipes any good?
I’ve also won or came in runner-up in a couple of recipe contests (Taste of Home magazine, McCormick, Idaho Potatoes) for home cooks. Maybe my family was politely eating my food all these years, but I figure if contest judges like it, it’s probably good, right? Winning contests was unbelievably flattering but it also fueled my love of creating new recipes (hence this blog)!
How to get started:
Making changes to your cooking habits seems daunting at first, I know. The concept of “healthy eating” initially felt like a punishment to me too, but I learned that didn’t have to mean bland.
Here a few easy, healthy recipes to start with:
|Breakfast: Easy Blueberry Overnight Oats–
Refined Sugar Free, Dairy Free and Vegan
|Lunch: Chicken Tostadas with Chipotle Guacamole–
Baked (not fried) tostadas, lean chicken breast and fresh homemade spicy guacamole
|Dinner: Easy Sheet Pan Lemon Harissa Baked Shrimp–
Baked shrimp, fresh herbs and recommendations for vegetable side dishes
|Dessert: Spicy Chocolate Avocado Mousse Cups–
This one is dairy free, gluten free, refined sugar free. It uses avocados in place of milk and cream. P.S. you can’t taste
P.S. If you’re wondering where the blog name came from, check out this post.
Did you try a blog recipe? I’d love to see how it turned out! Snap a picture and tag @brightrootskitchen or use #brightrootskitchen on Insta.