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, 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, freelance editorial work, sponsored posts, cookbook and equipment reviews, guest posts, and more.