a beautiful ingredient lifestyle.
Hey, hi there - so glad you're here!
I'm Kari, and this is Beautiful Ingredient. It's where I celebrate the beauty of plant-based foods and share ideas about how to eat them without a lot of fuss.
I consider a beautiful ingredient to be one that is plant- or mushroom-based and naturally beneficial.
By creating simple, tasty recipes and beautiful food photography, my goal is to show you how delicious and easy a plant-based lifestyle can be.
This is simple food for real life.
WORK WITH ME
Contact me for recipe development and/or food, floral, or product photography.
Why plant-based foods?
It seems the only consensus when it comes to diet is that eating plant-based whole foods is beneficial to our health. Wherever you’re starting from, this site can help you eat more plants.
Eating plants not only benefits our personal health, though, it also significantly helps the planet. Plants require far less land & water and puts less junk into them and our atmosphere than animal-based foods. That's especially the case when we eat plants that have been grown in the most benevolent ways, without harmful, polluting pesticides.
In fact, it seems we can significantly turn around climate change by eating plants instead of animal-based foods. To find out more about this, visit this article from the National Library of Medicine. For perspective, a 2015 study comparing meat and plant protein sources "showed that production of 1 kg of protein from beef needed 18 times more land, 10 times more water, 9 times more fuel, 12 times more fertilizer, and 10 times more pesticides than the same amount of proteins obtained from kidney beans." !
Eating plant-based for our health and the planet's seems like a no-brainer! It feels good to do something to help others and ourselves. Even one step toward doing so creates positive change in the world.
We do have a choice. The way we’ve always eaten isn’t necessarily the best way - for our bodies or our planet. Our choices really matter. Every time we make a purchase we are letting businesses know what we want more of in the world.
a few things about me
I’m an enthusiastic foodie who likes cooking if I don't have to spend too much time doing it.
I'm Forks Over Knives Plant-Based Certified and am learning more all the time.
I’m a photographer, food stylist, recipe developer, and writer obsessed with fresh produce, herbs, and edible flowers. And flavored water! And chocolate.
I love photography, reading, listening to podcasts, farmers markets, home design, Italy, and getting out in nature with friends and family.
I believe each step toward positive change makes a difference. As I recently told a friend, I feel like anyone taking any step toward eating more plants is a superhero changing the world.
What I find important and want to do more in life, besides eating more plants and less processed foods, is to move more, stress less, laugh more, and love more. I'm also trying to be more present and appreciate the moment I'm in. Some days are better than others, of course - a work in progress!
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 often play the soundtrack to Ratatouille as I shoot and edit photos in my studio.
I once was addicted to cokes, ate meat, dairy, eggs, and lots of processed foods, and was on and off diets regularly. Now, I'm so inspired to take charge of my own kitchen with a new outlook and I find this plant-fueled lifestyle 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 magazines like Martha Stewart’s Whole Living Magazine and HGTV Magazine. They were also 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.
More plants, less stress
Changing food habits can be difficult. I encourage you to take small steps rather than trying to change overnight. Beautiful Ingredient focuses mostly on quick, easy, and satisfying ways to eat plants. Try adding one plant-based meal to your week or day. I try to remove time and energy barriers so that you can put a meal together on a busy weeknight. 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. I want to help you see what’s possible when it comes to eating really well. That said, the 80/20 rule makes sense to me. That's about trying our best to eat well most of the time (80% or more) and not beat ourselves up when we don’t (trying to keep that around 20% or less). This idea can help us live our lives without taking on a lot of stress around food. But maybe you're 20% eating well and that's an improvement. It's time to give yourself credit rather than getting down on yourself, in my book.
Take care and do your own research
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 at Beautiful Ingredient, 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; make the right choice for you.
you are invited
Discover just how beautiful real food is here at Beautiful Ingredient. While the recipes will technically be vegan, they really are just there to help you eat more plants, whatever lifestyle you choose. Enjoy the beautiful ingredients with me!
love & happy eating,
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Wow, thanks for reading this far - let's connect on Instagram!
Here are a few of my latest recipes to try!