I discovered One Ingredient Chef on Instagram awhile ago and was instantly drawn to his healthy recipes and gorgeous food pictures. A couple weeks ago I had the chance to finally meet him (and his wonderful parents) at a vegan potluck. Andrew is as nice as can be and I loved hearing about how he started his blog and helped his parents adopt a healthier lifestyle. I wanted you guys to get a chance to meet Andrew as well so read on to learn more!
Name: Andrew Olson
Location: Southern California
Where Can We Find You on the Web?
My website is OneIngredientChef.com. You can also find One Ingredient Chef on Facebook and follow @OneIngredientChef on Instagram.
Tell us a little bit about One Ingredient Chef.
One Ingredient Chef is the cooking blog behind the One Ingredient Diet, a concept I created in response to our overly-processed food system. Most fast food meals, for example, have over 100 different ingredients (mostly chemicals) in every single bite. It’s no wonder that diet-related diseases are killing the equivalent of nine 747’s full of people every single day in America. I wanted to do something about that.
The One Ingredient Diet has just one guideline: eat plant-based food that starts out as one whole ingredient. This single rule cuts out virtually all the processed and dangerous foods and leads to a dramatically healthier lifestyle.
My website, One Ingredient Chef, is designed to show people the nuts and bolts of eating an unprocessed diet. It gives people the resources they need to cook healthy, easy, unprocessed meals without ever sacrificing taste or quality.
You have a wide range of recipes on your website, what’s the biggest inspiration for your dishes?
Since my style of cooking uses mostly unprocessed plant-based ingredients, it can be fun to recreate classic dishes with healthier ingredients. People are shocked when you tell them the decadent chocolate pudding was made with tofu, for example, or the creamy Alfredo sauce was made from cauliflower.
My biggest inspiration is reinventing the classics to show people that you never have to give up great taste for better health. With a little creativity, you can literally have your (deliciously healthy) cake and eat it too.
You’re invited to cook for an all omnivore dinner party, what do you serve to wow the guests?
Hmm… let’s start our dinner party with some zucchini fritters in tomato sauce. Then we’ll have a main course of pasta with a mushroom bolognese ragù. And for dessert, a silky chocolate pudding infused with chai tea and topped with coconut whipped cream (just don’t tell our omni guests that the pudding was made with tofu!).
What is your favorite vegan restaurant and what do you order there?
This is tough! I would have to say Native Foods is my favorite guilty pleasure right now. Everything on their menu is great, but you can never go wrong with the Oklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger. And sweet potato fries. And a chocolate brownie.
What has been your biggest take-away from living a more health conscious lifestyle?
The quality of the food improves dramatically when you cut out all the unprocessed ingredients. Your palate becomes more open to the true taste of food and you can savor the ingredients so much more. That’s a big benefit.
But the most surprising take-away for me has been all the ripple effects beyond the food itself. There are so many side-effects of eating a healthier diet; things like more compassion, more energy, better relationships, and even more clarity in life. I can think of no change that would have a more positive impact in one’s life than switching to a healthier, plant-based diet.
Tell us a joke.
Why did the tofu cross the road? To prove he wasn’t chicken!
Thank you so much Andrew for being a part of Vegan Interrogated!! I have to agree with you – the Oklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger is pretty amazing!!