Recently, I was lucky enough to have Irini Savva approach me, looking for assistance with her website and branding (subtle plug – if you are looking for a web and graphic designer, check out my portfolio!). I loved working with Irini to develop her new site. I asked her could share a little bit of information on her with my readers. If you are looking for some tasty inspiration, read on…
When I was working with Irini on her new website, the first thing that struck me were the photos of her food. They were beautiful. You could tell immediately that Irini took great care in the food she was crafting, and it was not hard to draw inspiration from this – and her Mediterranean background – to design the branding for the site.
A Mediterranean diet is based on the principle of eating mostly local vegetables, fruits, legumes and grains, with some fresh fish, poultry or meat occasionally. It focuses on what is grown locally in the region.
Irini is a South African-Cypriot freelance food writer, operating out of the United Arab Emirates. Starting her career in the chemicals industry, she later sought to align her working life with something that she felt strongly about – promoting healthy foods and recipes. As a trained Integrative Nutrition Coach, her recipes are focused on providing nourishing, hearty meals with a minimum of fuss.
I asked Irini a few questions about her approach to cooking and nutrition.
What inspired you to move from a career in the chemicals industry, and into nutrition and healthy eating?
I felt that my time in the chemical industry had come to an end as I was no longer feeling comfortable pushing additives and processed ingredients. The industry had changed a lot since I first joined, and I found myself avoiding processed foods and following a more whole foods-based diet.
What is your biggest inspiration when cooking?
Cooking with seasonal whole foods and turning them into a delicious meal my family will love.
After Mediterranean food, what is your favourite cuisine?
It’s a very close tie between Indian and Japanese.
What advice do you have for people that struggle with healthy eating?
Start with fresh ingredients you like, then slowly add more variety, colourful fruit and vegetables as you go along. You could begin by making one or two small healthy changes every two weeks. Your body needs time to adjust to eating more healthy food. Processed food tastes different to whole foods because it’s made to taste different and entice consumers into buying more.
If you’d have a busy day with the kids, what is your easiest family-pleasing dish to whip up?
Pasta is one of our favourites. I make large batches of veggie-based pasta sauces and freeze them for busy days.
What is your favourite thing about living in the United Arab Emirates?
The UAE is a melting pot of cultures which, for a food lover, is a lovely place to be in. I’ve learnt so much about cultural foods from neighbours and interesting people I’ve met along the way. I feel lucky to be able to raise my two boys in this environment.
Irini Savva posts a range of delicious recipes on her website – and her latest post is no exception – a fudgy Chocolate Brownie recipe. Okay, no brownie is going to be super healthy, but this one certainly improves on the normally sugary treat – swapping out white sugar for coconut sugar and using dark instead of milk chocolate.
To view this recipe, click on the image below. I can see you drooling now!
You can view more of Irini’s recipes at http://www.irinisavva.com.