WCW: Alexa of Fueled Naturally
My name is Alexa, I am from San Diego, CA. I am the creator, food photographer and recipe developer behind fuelednaturally.net. My blog is my little-sacred space of vibrant, delicious, plant-based recipes. My goal behind what I do is to show that at the end of the day, vegan food is JUST food. It could be delicious, nourishing and beautiful too! I live my life doing what I love...Endless hours spent in the kitchen perfecting recipes I think of at 12:00 am, food styling + photography, running my small business; Blissful Gatherings (A San Diego vegan pop-up dinner party) and spending time in coffee shops sipping on tea and connecting/ sharing my life with the internet world.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, how did you get started cooking?
Ever since I was a little girl I was fascinated by cooking shows and loved spending time in the kitchen. When I became vegan 3 years ago I really dove into my passion for cooking and became more and more creative and innovative with the recipes I would create.
What inspired you to go vegan?
In 2015 I decided I owed it to myself to respect my body and commit to changing my lifestyle. I became really passionate about eating nourishing foods and it just made complete sense to me that the most nourishing foods on the planet are plants! At the beginning of my lifestyle change, I actually was not aware of what it truly meant to be vegan...but one day I stumbled across a video all about animal agriculture and the terrible mistreatment of farm animals and overnight I became fully vegan. Once this information was on my conscience there was no way I could ignore it. I knew I had to do, what in my heart I knew was right.
Did you go to school for cooking or are you self-taught?
I am a self-taught recipe developer and food photographer. A combination of (LOTS OF) practice and the passion fired within me is what got me to where I am today.
What inspires your recipes?
I am always inspired by the Mexican American culture I was fortunate to grow up in. I also am always inspired by comfort classics that many love and know. My goal is to always make “vegan food” the norm and taste just as delicious.
What are your favorite on-the-go vegan snacks?
My favorite on the go snacks is quick and simple. Fresh fruit or medjool dates + nut butter combo!
Tell us about LiB! How was it?
Lightning in a bottle was pure magic. LIB allows everyone and anyone to express themselves in the most authentic and free way. There are incredible yoga + meditation classes (one of my favorites), cooking demos, music, delicious vegan food, endless workshops + activities all taken place in the beautiful mountains alongside a lake! It was truly a weekend I will never forget and I am so grateful to have been apart of it. I had the privilege to teach and share my passion for plant-based vegan cooking in my demo called “plantiful loco taco party”. It was so much fun to showcase my passions to a large, accepting and open-minded crowd of individuals.
Tell us about the recipe you made for your workshop! Why did you choose to make tacos?
I made smoky tempeh tacos with grilled veggies, topped with cashew sour cream, avocado, and a little cilantro + radish! Tacos are always a crowd favorite and I love making recipes that people are big fans of & simply veganzing them with foods like tempeh and jackfruit. With enough flavor and extra love thrown into the food, meat eaters won’t even miss the meat in the tacos! One of my favorite things to make is cashew sour cream! A blend of soaked raw cashews, almond milk, lemon juice, white vinegar, salt & pepper makes a creamy sour cream perfect for tacos, chili, baked potatoes, etc.
What was your favorite part of LiB?
It’s hard to choose ONE favorite thing. I can sum it up to 2 favorites! The first would have to be my experience teaching in the learning kitchen! It was my first time doing something like this and it was really special to me! Over 300 people showed up and the support and love I felt throughout the demo made my heart so happy! My second favorite would have to be all the yoga and meditation classes I was able to take part in. The teachers were truly beautiful inside and out and each class I took was truly perfection.
Were there lots of vegan options at LiB?
There were TONS of vegan options at the festival. I actually learned that the vast majority of food options at LIB are entirely vegan or vegetarian & that beef could not be found at the festival! The purpose of LIB not serving beef is due to environmental reasons which I think is incredible!
As a vegan, how do you prepare for a festival?
At LIB mostly everyone camps out in tents or RV’s. I bought a camping stove, cutting boards, and essential cooking utensils! I bought foods that were easy to make yet satisfying and nourishing to get me through long & eventful days! I brought snacks like Lara bars, fresh fruit, dates & nuts. For meals, I packed oats, sprouted bagels, and bread, nut butters, avocados, sweet potatoes, vegan sausages, beans, baked tofu & lentil pasta. I think the best thing to do is pack simple foods that are easy to make in a pinch and pack MORE snacks than you think you need!