“Eat deliberately, with other people whenever possible, and always with pleasure.
Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants...in order to be maximally healthy.” — Michael Pollan
Hey, hi there! So glad you're here! I'm Kari, and this is where I celebrate the beauty of plant-based foods and share ideas about how to eat more of them. I consider a beautiful ingredient to be one that is plant- and mushroom-based and naturally beneficial. My goal is to show you how delicious plant-based foods can be and how easy a plant-based lifestyle can be, both visually through food photography and by creating simple, tasty recipes.
It seems the only consensus when it comes to diet is that eating more plant-based whole foods is beneficial. With a focus on appreciating these foods and removing barriers to eating them, my hope is that, wherever you’re starting from, this site helps you eat more plants.
a few things about me
I’m an enthusiastic home cook foodie who is Forks Over Knives Plant-Based Certified by the Rouxbe Online Cooking School so that I can provide you with flavorful whole-food plant-based recipes that feel approachable and easily replicated.
I’m a photographer, food stylist, recipe developer, and writer obsessed with fresh produce, herbs, and edible flowers.
I love photography, reading, listening to podcasts, home design, Italy, and getting out in nature with friends and family.
I believe each step toward positive change makes a difference, and I try to take a step forward each day to eat well, move more, stress less, laugh more, and love more. Some days are better than others, of course - a work in progress! Currently, I’m building stretching and yoga into my workout routine and building in a 5 minute meditation session. I’m trying to be more present and appreciate the moment I’m in.
I’m a wife and mom with a household that includes a bunny (Rey) and a dog (Maisie) - and the whole family helps me with this site as taste testers or cleanup crew (Rey and Maisie are like walking compost bins!).
- I am learning more all the time about what works for me and my family, and I’m happy to share what I’ve learned with you. I'm so inspired to take charge of my own kitchen now and maintain a plant-fueled lifestyle rather than yet another diet. I've found this way of life to be so much more delicious, doable, aligned with my values, simple, and filled with positive results than any diet I've ever tried. And it helps the planet! For me, it’s like discovering the missing puzzle piece of my life.
beautiful ingredient origins
This site began with a sewing business I’d started as a stay-at-home mom looking for a project of my own and a way to contribute to our income. I taught myself to sew and began creating table linens, which were seen in the likes of Martha Stewart’s Whole Living Magazine and HGTV Magazine, and were sold at Food52 and the Bloomingdale’s flagship store. My creations were always made using eco-friendly materials, such as organic cotton and hemp. When I was ready to move my shop from Etsy to my own website, I decided to tie in a food theme to go with my table linens - and soon discovered that I preferred spending my time behind a camera and in the kitchen rather than at a sewing machine. It was hard to let the sewing business go, yet I know it was the right move for me.
Sometimes, it can be challenging to find, prepare, and eat plant-based foods - especially if you are a family on the go. Beautiful Ingredient focusses mostly on quick, easy, and satisfying ways to eat plants - so that we can eat them even on a busy weeknight and want to eat them because they’re delicious rather than having to eat them. After even a small change to my daily routine, I quickly noticed health improvements and more energy. I just felt better in an unexpected way. Recipes here are mostly gluten-free, oil-free, and refined sugar-free to help you see what’s possible when it comes to eating really well. That said, the 80/20 rule makes sense to me, to try our best to eat well most of the time (80% or more) and not beat ourselves up when we don’t (20% or less). This idea can help us live our lives without taking on a lot of stress around food.
That said, I am a food enthusiast, not a health expert. While I strive to make positive food choices and am happy to share those choices here, I am not informed about your specific health needs. I recommend everyone do their own research and consult with their doctor before making diet changes. We can have individual needs, sensitivities or allergies, but in general the nutrients found in plant-based food are what our bodies thrive on. Make the right choice for you - just know that it is a choice. The way we’ve always eaten isn’t necessarily the best way - for our bodies or our planet. Did you know that animal agriculture is not sustainable at its current rate, and contributes more to climate change than all of transportation combined? Our choices really matter, and every time we make a purchase we are letting businesses know what we want.
no popup advertising
While I photograph for like-minded brands and love working with them, I have chosen to be very selective about advertising on my site. While it can bring some money in, I just find it to be distracting to have random ads popping up and making noise all over the page, and often it’s difficult to control the message. I want this site to be a calming experience and I only want positive products here that relate to what this site is all about: a simple, authentic lifestyle focused on food for the body and food for the soul. That means organic ingredients and products that are beneficial to the planet as well as our bodies.
As an Amazon Affiliate, I currently have three shops that you can choose to visit under Kitchen Favorites at the top of the page: Bookstore, where you can find books that have inspired me along the way, Kitchen Tools, filled with things I find useful in the kitchen for a plant-fueled lifestyle, and the third is Pantry Staples, where you’ll find organic ingredients that can help you make the recipes on this site. All of the affiliate links that I include on my site allow you to make your purchases quickly and easily, and Beautiful Ingredient will earn a small "finder's fee" percentage of your purchases, at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support! While I appreciate your using the provided Amazon links to help provide my income, I also feel other small businesses need support, too and encourage you to shop at your favorite small businesses.
you are invited
You are invited along on this journey to discover just how beautiful real food is. While the recipes here will technically be vegan because they don’t contain animal products, I’m hoping that, whatever the lifestyle you choose, you will find that they simply help you eat more plants.
love & happy eating,
What's your favorite beautiful ingredient, at least right now? What would you like to see me talk about on this website? You can contact me below - I'd love to know! I will happily get back to you as soon as I can. You can contact me here:
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