Interview with Rebecca Leffler on her latest book, Nouveau Manuel de la Cuisine Végétale, and her tips on a how to live a healthy lifestyle for moms-on-the-go
Find out why she is so passionate about the new trends in French cuisine and her tips for moms-on-the go to keep a healthy lifestyle.
Blisshood: I'm here with Rebecca Leffler who is releasing her new book, it's called Nouveau Manuel de la Cuisine Végetale . She's also the author of these books Green, Glam & Happy and Green Glam Attitude. If you haven't grabbed them yet, make sure that they are part of your library...amazing books!
But Rebecca, for those moms that don't know you yet, can you briefly introduce yourself? You're a health food advocate, where does this passion for French food come from?
Rebecca Leffler: Yes, well...I've sort of had different lives here in Paris. I used to be a journalist in film and tv and I kind of left all that and started writing about yoga and healthy lifestyle and healthy recipes. I can't eat gluten or milk products so I had to really change my whole way of life and it's interesting because when I started to do that my friends were starting to have babies at the same time and it was also this kind of wake up moment like "okay, I'm pregnant so what I'm eating now isn't necessarily just for me it's also for my baby” and when they had children giving them organic foods and also, of course when you are a new mother, you lose a lot of energy so there's that...it was really something that I think it's a trend that we're seeing everywhere but particularly I felt with the inter-group of new mothers and people living in the Prius and maybe from abroad who are used to all the healthy ways of life and couldn't find it here so that's why I wrote the book.
Blisshood: Your latest book talks about the fact that France was very late when it comes to the healthy food movement so, what are the new trends that you are seeing? Why do you think they came in so late?
Rebecca Leffler: Well, I always say that France was kind of "fashionably late" as they are with everything so when I first starting writing my books five or six years ago you couldn't find kale, it's on the cover of my new book and I couldn't even write about it in that first book because no one knew what it was. Chia seeds and maca and matcha, it was like I was speaking a foreign language, I'd go to restaurants and no one...I was really like an alien and now more and more. Not only has France caught on but French cuisine and the people in this book, it didn't have to change very much to accommodate because it was already all about eating in season, eating you know, they weren't necessarily labeled "organic" but they cultivate by season and locally and things without any chemicals on them, it's basically the definition of organic.
And so, the origin of cuisine, I talk a lot about Auguste Escoffier and his cuisine was really simple products, simply cooked well, good quality products and then a nice sauce so, my sauces are now, they used to be called, Careme and Escoffier called them the "mother sauces" or "the five mother sauces" so I called them "the daughter sauces" because they take everything that their mothers gave them but they are adapted for this generation so instead of cream and butter I use maybe tahini and almond butter and just kind of adapted ways on more modern taste, busier lifestyles. I have increasingly more and more recipes that are made for people that don't have a lot of time
Blisshood: Like moms...
Rebecca Leffler: Like moms...there is a lot of recipes that you can make ahead, that you can bring if you're going to the office, you know, you can bring your quinoa salad. Also, a lot of things that are made for everyone to enjoy so, families but also...the point is it has to taste good before anything. Children are smart, they're not going to eat something if it's not going to taste good.
Blisshood: What would be your three tips for moms? You know, we care about healthy food.
Rebecca Leffler: First of all, plan ahead, which obviously you do that anyway but it can just be like on a Sunday when you have a minute and I don't know...your husband or your mother is taking care of your children, make extra quinoa.
Blisshood: Like batch cooking?
Rebecca Leffler: Yeah, batch cooking and freeze things, that's obviously a no-brainer. Also, just think simplicity because it gets hard, you have so many things going on: children are screaming, crying and what do you feed them? Basically, think simple. That's why in the book I talk about Escoffier's kitchen brigade, which he started really in restaurants like you have "Okay, one chef on meat, one chef on the fish, one chef on this on that" so, really it's like "alright, you have protein, you have grains, you have a vegetable, you have a sauce" and you could make a lot of these sausages especially when you are not eating milk products or meat, things keep a lot longer so you could make a really good turmeric tahini sauce or turmeric cashew sauce.
Blisshood: Yeah, you said that there is one that is perfect for moms [pointing at the items on display]. Which one was it?
Rebecca Leffler: [Picking up a smoothie]Well this one, I don't know, I have a little coup de coeur. It seems like it is when the kids drink the Candy Up, you know, the chocolate milk in the mornings, and this is literally the exact same thing only there's no sugar and it's just cacao and nut milk, which I made my own, but you can buy any nut milk in any store or if the kids are allergic, you can give them coconut milk or they have soy milk or just regular milk if you want. Umm, so chocolate and a little vanilla and cinnamon and you just add some dates to sweeten and it's really great in the summer time. You put it in those, like to make ice pops, or you can warm it up...in this time of the year it's perfect for Christmas time and you just warm it up with a little cocunut oil over the stove and it's hot chocolate and don't even tell them that it's healthy.
Blisshood: [Chuckles] For people that want to find out more about you and your recipes, can you give us your website and your Insta handle so we can follow you?
Don't hesitate to send me a message on Instagram or my website or anywhere or write to me.
Blisshood: Perfect, thank you so much!