Amanda Mackenzie is a Mum on a mission, she's working to spread the love of all food that’s delicious and real. We got to chat to her about her passion for health and creating with wholefoods, the importance of having a well-stocked pantry and the benefits of incorporating fresh foods into our diets. She was even kind enough to share not just one but TWO recipes with us.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself in 25 words or less?
I am a Brisbane-based mum of 3 with a passion for cooking with delicious wholefoods and inspiring others to get back into the kitchen and cooking with real food.
How did Amanda's Wholesome Kitchen come about?
I started my instagram account @amandaswholesomekitchen 2 years ago when my girls were only 4, 2 and 6 months old. I wanted to share what I was cooking and creating at home and to hopefully inspire a few others to make some healthy lifestyle changes.
It has grown from there and last year I started my small business through which I offer healthy catering (think wholesome salads and healthy grazing patters) and wholefood pantry makeovers for clients that are wanting to ditch the processed food and make the transition to whole foods.
Before kids I practiced in family law for several years. I am by nature a positive person who doesn't like conflict. Working in an environment of constant unhappiness and conflict (dealing with clients going through messy divorces and separations) just did nothing for me. Wholefoods cooking and nutrition are my true passions. Life is so short I believe we have an obligation to share our passion with the world and that is what I am trying to do everyday.
You're an advocate for eating the rainbow. What foods can we always find in your fridge and pantry?
I am indeed! You will always find a variety of fresh fruit and veggies in my fridge. I love to shop at my local farmers markets and buy what's in season. Other fridge staples include tahini, homemade pesto, almond milk, jars of fermented veggies and some sneaky dark chocolate.
I use my pantry to store all my staple ingredients in glass jars - things like brown rice, quinoa, rolled oats, different nuts and seeds, coconut flakes, cacao powder, legumes, rice noodles, canned coconut milk and lots and lots of different spices!
Favourite recipe to quickly whip up when time is not on your side?
Homemade pesto which I serve up with either spelt or buckwheat pasta or zucchini noodles. While the pasta is cooking you can whip up the pesto in 2 minutes. All you need is a small food processor and a handful of wholefood ingredients. I love to add some roasted cherry tomatoes, olives and chilli flakes on top - delicious!
When time is on your side, what do you love to whip up?
If we have friends coming over on a weekend, I love to make my spicy roasted cauliflower tacos with avocado, lime and coriander sauce. They are always a big hit!
You have three little loves, have you ever struggled with getting them to eat healthy meals?
Yes like all kids sometimes my girls don't want what I put in front of them. The deal we have is that they don't have to love everything that I make but they do have to try everthing. Having said that, I have worked hard to expose our kids to a wide variety of healthy food since they were little and they are generally very adventurous eaters with big appetites! My tip to other parents is don't give up - persist wtih serving up wholesome real food and minimise the heavily processed, packaged stuff. We have such a small window of opportunity to influence the kind of eaters that our children are going to be as they become teenagers and young adults. Get your kids involved in the preparation and cooking of wholesome food as much as you can. It's so worth it. Our girls love helping out making smoothies and chopping veggies.
What do you think is one of the most valuable things that motherhood has taught you?
That I am a mean multi-tasker! With each child I have gained further perspective as to how fleeting those baby and toddler phases are and to treasure those precious little moments in between the chaos. Having children has also taught me not to sweat the small stuff!
Is there anything you swore you would never do as a parent but have found yourself doing?
I learnt very early on that I wasn't particularly good at following all the so-called baby "rules" - don't rock your baby to sleep, dont co-sleep with your baby etc - I broke all of those. I think you just have to do whatever works best for you. You know your baby best.
What's on top of your Love Mae wish list?
I absolutely adore the newest range of the eco-friendly bamboo dinnerware! They are perfect for serving up a variety of different healthy food options for my kids to enjoy for breakfast, lunch or dinner. My girls love the pretty designs.
Love... Mae xx