About Pea

My parents named me Petronella but I have gone by Pea for as long as I can remember.  Despite being called a vegetable all my life, I could never have imagined becoming the plant-based enthusiast I am today.

My mother was French and loved to cook.  A lot of what she made would not look out of place on Paula Deen’s show with half a stick of butter here, and a cup of cream there.  That said, she was also passionate about good quality fresh ingredients, and took enormous pride in her well-tended vegetable garden.  She was the living embodiment of the French mantra: everything, in moderation, but could barely get through a day without at least one large leafy salad.  She instilled in me a love of home cooking and a fearlessness in the kitchen.

After leaving school, I attended the prestigious Leith’s School of Food and Wine in London. Here, I learned the real basics, from boiling potatoes, to skinning and filleting a fish, and making my own pot cleaner from scratch (baking soda, vinegar and flour, in case you are interested). This was an invaluable experience that got me through three years at university with only occasional greasy takeaways!

I met my husband shortly after university, and as two job-hunting foodies, we kept our living costs down and bonded over the stove making huge saucepans of risotto and vats of soup, and other frugal ‘delicacies’.

We moved to Florida with his work, fully embracing the culture of enormous portion sizes, heavily processed meals and eating out more often than cooking at home.  And before long, our waistlines expanded in line with this lifestyle.

Despite intermittent bouts of dieting (Green Smoothie Cleanse, Whole 30 etc..) we only achieved short-lived results.

And then we ran in to a friend who’d lost a lot of weight in a short space of time that he attributed to ‘going vegan’ and running. After this short conversation with him, my husband, the man who loved nothing more than a bone-in ribeye with blue cheese butter proclaimed “If he can do it – so can we”.  And thus began our journey.

I started to devour (pun intended!) Netflix documentaries like Forks Over Knives, Vegucated, Cowspiracy, What The Health etc, which lead to reading the landmark book The China Study and How Not To Die which in turn lead to me getting my Center For Nutrition Studies / eCornell Certificate in Plant Based Nutrition.  It’s true what they say about not being able to unlearn things, and there’s just no turning back now!

I started this blog to record my recipes, share ideas and to show that whole-food plant-based eating is not just spinach or chia seeds. There is an enormous satisfaction in pushing past autopilot in the supermarket to find a more exciting, flavorful and compassionate way to cook and live.

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