How This Food Blogger’s
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Celebrate Your Ingredients
The first step in any of Remy’s recipes is shopping for produce — locally, if possible. “Trying to source local produce and picking produce that’s in season is usually more sustainable as well, in that it saves on emissions needed to transport food and resources needed to grow things not naturally in season,” she said.
Shopping locally is also a great way to save a little money, Remy said. Becoming a regular at your neighborhood farmers’ market also helps you learn the ins and outs of each vendor — including when they’re likely to start discounting their produce. “Farmers love to leave the market with as little as possible, so it’s common to find bargain bundles of produce towards the end of markets,” she explained.
“Of course, having fun with food is always important, but there is so much to appreciate in fruits, vegetables, herbs, and seeds, too.”
Since all of Remy’s recipes are plant-based, prep usually means washing and chopping plenty of vegetables. All that mincing, slicing, and julienning also gives Remy an opportunity to really celebrate each ingredient, from meaty mushrooms to delicate herbs.
Despite what her mise en place looks like these days, Remy’s diet wasn’t always so healthy. In fact, she said she had a terrible relationship with food as a teenager: “I had no appreciation for healthy food and thought that health meant calorie counting, macros, boiled chicken breast, and dry salads.”
After Remy went off to college and started cooking for herself, her relationship with food began to change. She first realized she had a dairy allergy, then went vegan after she noticed the changes in the way her body felt. “It was the physical difference I noticed in myself that was most notable: increased energy levels, smooth digestion, and just a lighter feeling overall,” she said. Now, every meal Remy makes is an opportunity to celebrate healthy ingredients.
Many of Remy’s recipes are what she would call “Asianish” dishes: “I love making plant-based versions of Korean and Japanese dishes I grew up eating,” she said. Take her vegan Japanese hot pot, for example: tofu takes center stage instead of animal protein, while napa cabbage, leeks, mushrooms, and carrots are added to flavorful dashi broth.
No matter what she’s cooking, time in the kitchen helps Remy tap into her creativity and just have fun with food. “The most difficult thing I’ve attempted to make was a vegan and gluten-free croissant. I haven’t really seen any out there either, so I think it is absolutely a challenge — maybe even impossible! — but it was a lot of fun either way,” she said.
The last — and most enjoyable — step in Remy’s day in the kitchen is actually digging into the plant-based feast she just cooked. Remy explained that she is able to enjoy her meals even more because she knows that her plant-based lifestyle is good for the planet. “Animal agriculture is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gases and has a huge impact on the environment,” she said. “Trying out a meatless meal even once a week is a wonderful way to reduce your footprint.”
Remy also buys dishes, glassware, and kitchen appliances secondhand to save money and reduce waste.
If you love food, spending all day cooking (and eating) sounds like a dream come true. That’s just another day in the life for Remy Park, who you might know as @veggiekins on Instagram. This plant-based recipe developer and food blogger has devoted her career to creating the tastiest vegan and gluten-free recipes possible — a lifestyle that feels more like a mission.
After struggling with anorexia, depression, and substance abuse as a young adult, Remy knew something had to change, and turned to a healthier lifestyle as a way to cope. “I became interested in healing myself, nourishing myself, and also learning what good nutrition really looked like,” she said. Keep reading for a peek into Remy’s day-to-day cooking routine — plus, a few tips that make living a sustainable, plant-based lifestyle a cinch.
Pack any leftovers up in glass jars or other reusable storage containers instead of relying on single-use plastic wrap.
“The vegan lifestyle is all about compassionate living, and I found purpose in my food choice knowing that it benefited the planet, the animals, and my health.”
Another great thing to contemplate over a meal? All the little ways you can reduce your environmental impact. Even something as simple as switching to reusable produce bags or keeping a folded-up tote bag in your backpack for last-minute purchases can have a big impact over the long term. “Most sustainable habits are actually great investments because you end up saving money in the long run,” she said.
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Editor: Annalise Mantz
Photographer: Matthew Kelly
Art Director: Becky Joy
Producer: Cassie Doyle
Producer (day of): Hannah Lee
Food Stylist: Takako Kuniyuki
Wardrobe Stylist: Alexis Badiyi
Prop Stylist: Jojo Li
HMU Artist: Ashley Schultz
Compost your vegetable scraps to make plant-based meals even more sustainable.
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