By 2013, anyone with access to a computer, a smartphone and a restaurant with decent-to-good food is a self-proclaimed foodie. Similarly, people with access to a functional kitchen and a grocery store are self-proclaimed chefs. I’m not really sure what this means for the future of quality food writing and cooking, but I can’t imagine it’s all too positive.
That said, I find there to be a distinct difference between these self-defined “experts,” people who possess actual skills like professional food writers and chefs, and people who simply have something to say or show. As much as it may seem like “expert advice,” telling someone how to do something or enjoy something without any room for flexibility isn’t always constructive. That is why this week’s featured food blog, Om Nom Ally, stands out so much to me. The author doesn’t pretend to be a professional this that or what have you, she is simply providing readers with a jumping off point, and a healthy one at that. This doesn’t happen too often in the food blogosphere, so when it does appear, it’s worth praising.
Images via Om Nom Ally
After om nomming my way through this blog for sometime, I found myself intrigued by the freedom Alison, the blogger, provides for each recipe. Sure, a recipe for Chocolate Ricotta Bundt Cake comes with a set of ingredients that work in Ally’s kitchen, but does that mean that’s what works for you? No! Virtually any and every dietary restriction can be easily skirted in these recipes, meaning that no matter what change you need to make to fit your needs, the result will still be delicious. Beef, Lentil and Mushroom Pies are perfect for a fun weeknight meal, but what if you’d rather use a different filling, and a gluten-free pie crust? Do it! Om nom Ally would approve.
Om Nom Ally provides a wide assortment of recipes for any and every occasion, all of which can be made to any liking, most commonly the liking that’s more healthy than not. Curried Red Lentil Burgers provide the crisp bite and savory flavor of a full-on meat burger patty, without the guilt that can come along with it. Spicy Sausages with Veggie Hash fulfill the need for that “meat and potatoes” feeling without pushing the envelope too much, and Vegan Lasagna with Pumpkin Bechamel Sauce is rich and luxurious, as every lasagna should be, but miraculously also dairy-, gluten-, egg- and nut-free. Of course, you are free pay homage to the floury, dairy-y and eggy world we all live in, if you so desire.
When it comes to food freedom, I find the hardest “meal” of the day to really branch out with is snacktime. As someone who spends most of their day at a desk, staring at a computer, it is easy to not only snack throughout the day, but to snack without restriction. When the snack urge does creep up, I’m plagued by how to be creative as well as healthy. But thanks to Om Nom Ally, it’s now possible to achieve both. Fun-ion Rings are oven-baked, delivering the same satisfying crunch as fried onion rings, but with a more innovative execution. Celery Bites with Savoury Cashew Cheese look a lot like celery stuffed with peanut butter, minus the fat, but still with the salty essence that I always crave when looking for an accompanying dip. My favorite snack in this section is the Salt and Vinegar Kale Chips. As a huge advocate of kale, these satisfy all of my snacky requirements: crunchy, salty, and please don’t make me feel obese. Mission accomplished!
Om Nom Ally has an incredible database of recipes, from Individual Chicken Tikka Masala Pies to Cinnamon and Coconut Apple Crumble and virtually everything in between. These exquisite recipes are for any and every type of eater, and I recommend trying a few and using the power of creativity to transform them into your ideal meal. Alison has graciously provided you with the drawing board and the tools, the rest is up to you!