Hi I’m Lauren, the vegetable- and cheese-obsessed lady behind Zestful Kitchen, and I’m so glad you found me! You’ll find all kinds of recipes here from vegetable-focused dishes, to heavy meals made light, plus the occasional chocolate-covered confection. One thing you can probably never count on is red meat. Not much of an explanation other than I rarely eat it or cook it. But when I do, it had better be rare. One thing you can always count on — seasonal recipes. Here at ZK we eat with the seasons, they are the inspiration and drive behind our recipes.
Zestful Kitchen has morphed and adapted quite a bit since 2014 when this site was a wee lad making its (sad) debut. I didn’t begin to blog seriously until 2016, when I made a commitment to — well — commit to this passion of mine. My love for cooking has always been strong, I don’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be in the kitchen, I was even entrusted with a paring knife at age three, but that’s a story for another time.
Cooking for others brings me immense joy, but on a one-on-one level, food and I haven’t always gotten along. As life will do to us all, I was thrown some curve balls in my early college years. To find what I thought was control and solitude, I turned to running and food, which snowballed into a dangerous disease.
Three of the hardest years of my life ensued while I tried navigating back to a “normal” life. As time passed, Zestful Kitchen’s role in helping me rediscover the delight of cooking only compounded. ZK has changed a lot since the beginning, and although most of the recipes shared here are healthy, there are a fair share of treats as well. I’m not an expert, and what works for me may not work for you, but I believe in — and continually work towards — living a balanced life in all aspects.
I’m a trained Culinary Scientist and Journalist, self-taught photographer, aspiring patient human being, and Des Moines dweller. I’m oddly obsessed with CBS This Morning and Charlie Rose, I don’t think anyone compares to Frank Sinatra, James Taylor, or Eric Church, my heart will always belong in Northern Minnesota, and I think whisks are the most gorgeous thing in the world.
If you’d like to collaborate, I’m available for recipe development, sponsored posts, cookbook and equipment reviews, guest posts, and more.