Hi there! I’m Vanessa.
Thanks for stopping by. I’m the photographer, recipe developer, IT tech and overall workhorse behind The Cheerful Kitchen.
The philosophy behind The Cheerful Kitchen is to help you eat well with recipes made from whole foods while also enjoying what you are eating.
What are “whole foods”?
Whole foods are ingredients that come to you the way God intended. They have not been messed with through processing or with the inclusion of a bunch of preservatives and ingredients you can’t pronounce.
I use whole food ingredients almost exclusively, which means you probably won’t see a canned soup, a bunch of cream cheese or a taco seasoning packet from the grocery store in any of my recipes. Because, you know what? You can make delicious and really good for you food at home that is also easy to prepare without those ingredients.
Easy does not have to mean “bad for you”, because, let’s be honest – those ingredients are bad for your body! Sure, cheat with them every now and again, but they are not good for you and if you want to be your happiest, most energized, best feeling self, they shouldn’t make a regular appearance in your diet.
No judgement intended! I’m not saying that to make you feel guilty. I’m here to show you how you can eat whole foods on a regular basis so that you can feel great all the time without sacrificing flavor!
A Bit About Me
I was born and raised in Arizona by New Yorkers. My mom always said she raised us on the west coast with an east coast attitude. Currently, I am living in Los Angeles with my attorney husband and two daughters. I have lived in LA for most of the last 12 years, and I love the easy access to fresh ingredients from all different types of cuisines.
The kitchen is the one place I feel truly creative. I’m not afraid to make a mistake when I’m cooking because the creative process cannot be explored to its fullest without “mistakes”. Cooking brings me a unique joy that nothing else does. The kitchen is my safe space.
Aside from the whole foods thing, I do not stick to any specific type of cuisine. I like to cook everything from salads to Indian to classic Mexican dishes. The sky’s the limit!
While I enjoy all different styles of food, vegetarian meals are my go to because I feel my best when eating a mainly plant based diet. However, I also very often get the urge to braise something meaty and delicious. You’ll find both kinds of recipes in my archives.
Cooking doesn’t have to be scary. It’s not like baking – there are precious few rules that need to be followed. So, I’m hoping to show you how much freedom cooking can bring you. I’m on a daily journey to a healthier lifestyle through wholesome ingredients and preparations, and I want you to come on that journey with me.
I have a mental block when it comes to measuring anything, so my recipes may actually be educated guesses, but I’ll do my best to be accurate. Use these recipes as guidelines to create dishes that suit your own specific tastes! That is, after all, the fun of cooking.
My kitchen is always a happy place. It’s a place I go to relax and cheer myself up when I’m feeling down. I only cook dishes I’m in the mood for, dishes that make me excited, that make me feel great and that taste awesome, and you should too! Once you start cooking this way, you’ll discover that you also have a Cheerful Kitchen.