As a full-time working mother of two, Amy Densmore likes to spend her free time in the kitchen, creating delicious and innovative new recipes which she then shares with like-minded people on her website, PaleoCupoard.com. The dishes she puts together are real-food focused and are inspired by cultures from all over the world, from Cajun Shrimp and Grits to Char Siu. Amy loves to challenge herself by creating versions of recipes that most may think are impossible to make using healthy ingredients. She can be found all hours of the night interacting with fellow foodies via her Paleo Cupboard Facebook and Instagram pages, while hunting for new content for her Paleo Cupboard Pinterest boards. Her mission is to prove that eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring, and that it can be both both fun and delicious.
Q: How did you get involved in cooking to begin with? Was it something you learned to love early on or did you come to it later?
I have been a food lover since a young age, and I am always looking for new and unique foods to try. I have had the opportunity to travel to many countries and sample a wide variety of foods, and I love creating dishes that are inspired by cultures from all over the world.
I learned to cook by watching my Grandmother create amazing food in the kitchen. She could spend all day prepping and cooking just one dish, and she would put a tremendous amount of love and care into every meal. I try to emulate that same attention and care in the food I make, and I spend as much time as I can in the kitchen.
I didn’t spend a significant amount of time cooking until I had kids, and then it became important for me to make sure we were all eating healthy and nutritious meals every day. Creating nourishing food for my friends and family is my favorite pastime, and I enjoy sharing my recipes on my website so others can create healthy and delicious food too.
Q: Why is eating grass-fed meat and sustainably-caught fish different? How does it affect your cooking?
The flavor and quality of grass-fed and sustainably-caught fish is far superior to other meats and seafoods. Using quality proteins means that you can highlight the natural flavors of the meat and choose simple, fresh ingredients to pair with them. You can taste the difference in your recipes and you can feel good knowing that you are putting the best choice of food in your body.
Q: Is it just about health? Or is there more to it than that?
Eating grass-fed meat and sustainably-caught fish is a lot more than just health. It is about the way we treat our animals and our land, and about following ethical and sustainable practices.
Q: How did you learn about grass-fed meat?
I have known about grass-fed meat for a while, but I did not begin to do any research on the subject until I started following a “real food” focused lifestyle. Up until then I was not making educated choices when it came to the foods I put in my body, and I had no idea what a significant impact grass-fed proteins could make on my health and well being. It has been a very eye-opening experience and I hope to continue to help educate others as to the benefits as well.
Q: Why is it so important to have the right ingredients?
It’s pretty simple ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ better ingredients means better food. Having the right ingredients can make or break a dish. I would rather not cook at all than cook a meal with low quality food.
Q: What are the most important keys to success for the home chef?
Use your imagination and don’t be afraid to change a recipe to suite your own taste. If you like an ingredient a lot, add more of it. If you don’t like an ingredient, use less or leave it out entirely. Cooking is a lot more fun when you bend the rules and make it your way!
Q: What are your best tips for home cooking?
Read through an entire recipe first and make sure you understand the steps and have everything out and ready to go, including whatever equipment that you are going to need. You don’t want to be running around the kitchen looking for a measuring cup while you have dinner burning away on the stove!
Also, don’t be afraid to try something new. If you have lived a life eating just meatloaf and fish sticks, you are missing out on a huge range of flavor profiles. There are so many wonderful ingredients used by so many different cultures, and you should look for recipes that allow you to try out new things. You may be surprised at how well you like them!
Q: What is your favorite recipe using grass-fed meat?
Grass-fed meat is so flavorful, so I find that the simple recipes are the best. You want to enhance the natural flavors of the meat. My favorite recipe using grass-fed meat is my Bison Sirloin Steak with Chimichurri. The freshness of the Chimichurri sauce pairs perfectly with the delicate flavor of the bison steak. This recipe is a big hit in my house and is also quick and easy to prepare.