PeaSoupEats is a blog started by Aine Carlin in 2010. Aine recently moved back to Cornwall after living in London via Chicago for the past 14 years. PeaSoupEats is a lifestyle blog, where Aine documents what she eats, wears and generally love. Follow her blog , youtube channel, twitter and instagram @AineCarlin. Aine Carlin is the author of Keep it Vegan and The New Vegan (release date 31st Dec. 2015), published by Kyle Books and available to buy on Amazon and all good bookstores.
How did PeaSoupEats start and what inspired you to write a blog?
I started PeaSoupEats back in 2010 when food blogging was kind of in its infancy. In all honesty, I wasn’t aware of blogs at the time (in fact, I rarely used the internet) and it was actually my husband’s suggestion to start one, as a way of collating my favourite recipes. It went from there really and eventually became an online diary of sorts (I have the habit of oversharing), where I chronicled my journey into veganism through eating. The blog seems to have grown quite organically and I’ve chosen to keep it ad-free, so I don’t have to make any compromises on content – in that respect, it’s still incredibly personal and a real labour of love.
How would you describe your blog to our readers?
It’s a very honest space where I share simple recipes with a plant-based twist. I focus entirely on the food and never really talk about the ins and outs of veganism, as I’ve always wanted it to be a positive, inclusive place that people can come to and discover vegan food without having to wade through heavy duty posts. Most of the people who read my blog or have bought my book (Keep it Vegan) aren’t even vegan themselves, and I love that – it means they feel comfortable hanging out in my world for a while without feeling judged, which is a huge compliment. I get so many messages from parents who’ve previously struggled to feed their newly vegan teenagers and even grown men trying to alter their lifestyle, all of whom have responded to my straightforward approach to plant-based cooking. I’m not all about ‘healthy’ eating either and like to think I’ve managed to strike a balance between food that feeds the soul and is also a joy to eat – expect kale alongside sugar … although never in the same dish, I hasten to add.
Can you tell us about your lifestyle?
My lifestyle is pretty ‘normal’ albeit very food centric … I’m always thinking about recipes, flavour combinations and what I’m going to eat next. I live in deepest Cornwall so the pull of the outdoors is always there – we like nothing more than taking long, coastal walks or even casual strolls around our beautiful little village of Mousehole. I fall in and out of love with yoga but mostly my exercise routine involves a pair of wellies and a delightful trudge in the country. Other than that, I write and create recipes, work on my blog, (limited) photography skills, youtube channel and, in wonderfully fifties fashion, ‘keep a nice house’ … I adore interiors and have tried to cultivate a bit of quiet sanctuary for us both. Thanks to my books, every week brings new challenges and I’m always happy to travel for work so my schedule can be a bit helter skelter at times, which is a nice contrast to our simple Cornish lifestyle.
What is your take on organic food?
I try to buy organic as often as possible and tend to apply the ‘clean 15/dirty dozen’ rule when shopping … so spinach, apples and tomatoes are always organic but I might be a more lax on other things, such as pineapple, avocado and onions. With that said, I think the information surrounding organic produce can be exhausting and confusing, and it needs to be made clearer that it’s not simply about taste. I’m equally concerned about the health of our soil (and planet) than I am about our collective personal health. Obviously regularly ingesting food that’s been doused in pesticides can never be good but thankfully things do seem to be improving. Accessibility is key, as is price, so it’s about trying to make those things successfully work in tandem. It’s also a case of supply and demand, therefore the more we support the organic market, the more likely suppliers will be to make the necessary changes.
What is a successful recipe you mastered?
Hmmm, that’s a hard one but it’s probably my ‘Buttermilk’ pancakes … I used to think pancakes minus the egg, and indeed buttermilk, inclusion would be a catastrophe but my plant-based ‘Buttermilk Pancake’ recipe from Keep it Vegan is one of my most popular dishes – even non-vegans use it as their go-to recipe. They are light, fluffy and foolproof – weekends just aren’t the same without a batch of these on the go, I highly recommend them!
Can you tell us your top 3 food websites that inspired you the most?
Joy the Baker was one of the first food blogs I ever read and it’s still one of the best – for me, a successful blog doesn’t just lie in the recipes or images (although they are important) but also in the voice of its creator and Joy is still one of the wittiest, most ‘down-to-earth’ bloggers out there.
Oh Dear Drea is an authentic little blog with a subtle vegan angle. Being a bit of a voyeur I’ve really enjoyed watching this blogger blossom and can’t wait for her new cookbook ‘The Plantiful Table’ … not only does Andrea have great style but her recipes are always really easy and appealing.
Nigella taught me to cook (well, not literally), so I couldn’t not mention her fantastic website, which is like a fabulous mashup of all her all-time greats, as well as a bit of her always welcome ‘witter’. Some people think it’s strange that I worship at the altar of Ms Lawson (what with me being vegan and all) but I honestly have no qualms about admitting to my ongoing obsession.