About Lo

Hey there! I’m Lauren Grant, a professionally trained Culinary Food Scientist and Journalist.

Throughout my career, I have worked for countless food magazines and in numerous test kitchens including America’s Test Kitchen, Cuisine at Home Magazine Test Kitchen, and Better Homes and Gardens (Meredith Corp) Test Kitchen. 

(I still write and develop for many leading food publications, check out my list of published work here!)

I pride myself on creating recipes that are expertly-tested (tested numerous times), trustworthy, and approachable.

My mission is two-fold; to help you create and share seasonal, wholesome recipes that bring people together and to help you to find confidence and creativity in the kitchen.

You’ll find all kinds of recipes here on ZK, from vegetable-focused dishes, to heavy meals made light, plus the occasional chocolate-covered confection.

Zest from Sam Fathallah Creative on Vimeo.

Healthy-ish: where wholesome living & kitchen curiosity intersect

Here at ZK we’re all about cooking “healthy-ish.” What does healthy-ish mean? For Zestful Kitchen, it means cooking wholesome recipes that are as good for us as they taste. It means getting back to the basics—using whole ingredients, cooking with lots of veggies, healthy meats, fish and fats, and letting nature add the sweetness.

My #1 priority is creating healthy recipes that don’t sacrifice on flavor.

As the midwestern-raised girl that I am, I thrive on bringing people together through food. But to me that means gathering around a table and sharing food that tastes as good as it is for us. Cooking and enjoying wholesome food that everyone at the table will enjoy is absolutely possible.

One thing I can’t guarantee a lot of is red meat. Not much of an explanation other than I rarely cook it. But when I do, it had better be rare. One thing I can always guarantee—seasonal recipes. Here at ZK I eat with the seasons, they’re the inspiration and drive behind my recipes.

Woman cooking in kitchen

About Zestful Kitchen

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 can’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. What works for me may not work for you, but I believe in—and continually work towards—living a balanced life in all aspects.

Lauren Grant of Zestful Kitchen | photo by Justin Meyer

Outside the kitchen

Aside from the food world, I’m a self-taught photographer, aspiring patient human being, and Des Moines dweller.

I’m oddly obsessed with CBS This Morning, CBS Sunday Morning and 60 Minutes, 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 wonder what I’m cooking today, why I go through so many bags of peas, or just have a general desire to contact me, send an email to [email protected](dot)com

Want to work together?

Check out my list of services or check out my list of published work.
Drop me a line when you are ready to chat.

Zestful Kitchen’s privacy policy can be reviewed here.