Laura Miller is a chef, food writer, and the creator of Raw. Vegan. Not Gross.
I found Laura's series on Tastemade about a year ago and was instantly impressed by her fresh, non-dogmatic approach to plant-based cooking (or not cooking, as the case may be...) and the inventive, playful way in which she educates those new to vegan food.
Laura's first book of recipes will be released in a couple weeks, so we caught up to talk food philosophies, fail-safe smoothies, farmers markets, health and happiness.
WHAT IS YOUR FOOD PHILOSOPHY?
Pay attention to the foods that make you feel good! Eat more of them.
WHAT DO YOU EAT ON A TYPICAL DAY?
My schedule varies a lot, which means my eating habits do too, but at the end of any given day, I've made sure to get in a handful or two of leafy greens, a bunch of berries, and an avocado (or two).
HOW HAS WORKING IN RESTAURANT KITCHENS INFLUENCED THE WAY YOU COOK AT HOME?
I love this question! I loved working in a kitchen because I was constantly learning from everyone around me. It taught me to be more efficient in my work and to keep my messes contained (although I still struggle with that one...)
TEN MUST-HAVE FRIDGE/LARDER ITEMS:
Frozen berries, spinach, avocados, lemons, buckwheat groats, kimchi, coconut oil, chia seeds, almond milk, and fresh ginger root.
YOUR GO-TO FAIL-SAFE JUICE OR SMOOTHIE RECIPE:
Spinach, frozen berries, grapefruit, fresh ginger and green apple, blended with ice.
FAVOURITE PLACES TO BUY FOOD IN LOS ANGELES:
I've only lived in LA for a year now, so I'm still in awe of how incredible the farmers markets are here! The amount of fresh produce is unreal.
FAVOURITE PLACES TO EAT OUT IN LOS ANGELES:
It's pretty easy to find a vegan option at almost any restaurant in LA – I've been eating lots of veg tacos!
THE BEST MEAL YOU EVER HAD:
I filmed a foraging episode of my show in which pro foragers Mia and Pascal made a meal of all foraged ingredients! Acorn burgers with juniper pickled beets and wild native seeds topped with chickweed, mugwort beer, and wild pears infused with a 'forest floor' herb blend. I ate it cold and on a picnic table in a state park and I swear it tasted better than anything I've ever eaten (and it was all vegan and gluten-free!)
IN YOUR BOOK YOU SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCES WITH ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION – WHAT MADE YOU FEEL THAT YOU WANTED TO TALK ABOUT THIS PART OF YOUR LIFE SO OPENLY?
To be honest, it was actually a bit scary to put that out in the world, but I didn't feel I could honestly talk about well-being without also discussing mental health. I'm so glad I included it, though – the response I've gotten has been overwhelmingly positive.
ASIDE FROM EATING WELL, WHAT DO YOU DO TO MAINTAIN YOUR HEALTH AND WELL-BEING?
I do my best to get some form of exercise (the sweatier the better) in order to keep my brain from spiralling out. I've also come to realise that I'm at my best when I am focused on learning – whether that be a new skill, a new subject or simply how to take better care of myself. My brain and my body are happiest when they are getting used.