I recently had the pleasure to learn about Christy Morgan, aka The Blissful Chef. Christy, former Dallas resident – currently living in Austin, is a vegan macrobiotic chef, helping home cooks prepare effortless, healthy vegan meals.
Christy’s latest book Blissful Bites: Vegan Meals That Nourish Mind, Body, and Planet features 175 easy-to-make, delicious recipes that use locally grown, organic ingredients. Blissful Bites caters to raw and gluten-free diets and aims to help the inexperienced vegetarian or vegan chef make healthy cooking simple and fun with helpful cooking tips and a pantry guide. Read my interview with Christy and learn how you can win a copy of her book.
Tell me about the concept and mission of The Blissful Chef?
The Blissful Chef came about after being a personal chef and having a meal delivery service in Los Angeles. I wanted to create a brand for myself that really showed my personality and mission. To feel bliss is to experience true happiness or spiritual joy. I feel bliss when I eat a whole foods vegan diet that I know is saving animals, the environment, and my mind, body, and soul.
Explain what being a vegan macrobiotic chef means?
I went to a macrobiotic culinary school after going vegan and teaching myself how to cook. At the time I didn’t know what macrobiotic meant I just knew I wanted to go to a natural foods cooking school. There was no way I was going to prepare animal foods! So I’m an ethical vegan first and macrobiotic second. Macrobiotics is a diet and philosophy based in Chinese Medicine and eating in a way that supports your body and mind. People often have misconceptions about what macrobiotics is so I encourage people to read more about it. The best book on the subject is Macrobiotics For Dummies by Verne Varona.
What lead you to compile Blissful Bites: Vegan Meals That Nourish Mind, Body, and Planet?
I had been a chef and cooking instructor for many years collecting recipes and then I started blogging and doing videos. I wanted to share my philosophy with the world so a book could easily make that happen. Many of the vegan books out there use junk food or poor quality ingredients and many of the macrobiotic books use unfamiliar ingredients so Blissful Bites uses whole food ingredients and makes eating healthy accessible.
People have really busy schedules and preparing meals of any kind at home can be a challenge. What suggestions do you have for a person who can only spend 20-30 minutes on food preparation?
Everyone has time to cook you just have to dedicate yourself to it. Batch cooking and good menu planning is essential for busy people. On your day off make a big batch of beans and rice then make different dishes with it throughout the week. One pot of brown rice can be used to make sushi, a grain salad, mixed with beans to make veggie burgers, and used to make a breakfast porridge.
Any plans to open your own vegan eatery?
I do consulting for restaurants to help them offer healthier vegan options and I would consider partnering with someone to build a menu for a vegan restaurant. But I’ve never wanted to have a restaurant of my own. My main passion is teaching and empowering others to make delicious healthy meals at home so I will continue to do that.
I, like many, have eaten vegan from time to time and I honestly love it. What suggestions would you give someone wanting to make a full transition to a vegan diet?
Fall in love with whole foods and cooking is my best advice. Even if you don’t live in a vegan-friendly city you can get veggies, fruit, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds at any grocery store. So grab a few vegan cookbooks and start cooking more. Connect with other vegans in your area by checking out Meetup.com. Having a community of like-minded people can really help when you go vegan so you don’t feel like your alone.
Would you suggest a person consult with their medical doctor and consider dietary supplements to fill in any vitamin and mineral gaps prior to committing to a vegan diet?
Many western doctors do not understand nutrition and may not support your decision to go vegan. I think it’s good for everyone to get blood work done to see what you are starting with. Everyone is different. I’ve been vegan 10 years and only started taking supplements in the last year and I don’t take them religiously. If your doctor is not supportive in your decision maybe consider finding a new doctor that can give you the best advice for your new lifestyle.
What’s next for The Blissful Chef?
I’m working on my next book, traveling for speaking engagements and working on some fun projects for my community in Austin.
I am excited to give readers a chance to win a copy of Christy’s book Blissful Bites: Vegan Meals That Nourish Mind, Body, and Planet. The contest is simple! Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with I WANT BLISSFUL BITES in the subject line and tell me about your favorite thing to eat and how you will use Christy’s book (For example: I love pizza and I am dying to find out if Christy has developed a vegan pizza recipe I can use for a healthier option.) Yep, it’s that simple! Be sure to include your name in the email and please send only one entry per person.
This giveaway is open to anyone in the GREAT STATE OF TEXAS and entries must be received by 11:59pm cst Saturday, October 6th. One lucky reader will be selected at random and notified via email on Sunday, October 7th.