Lexi's Clean Kitchen blogger Alexis Kornblum on her upcoming book, cooking clean, and more
A native of Bellmore that's now based in Boston, Alexis Kornblum has found success as the blogger behind Lexi's Clean Kitchen. Featuring recipes that are both healthy and delicious, Alexis' blog provides kitchen creations that manage to be free of gluten, grains, dairy and/or sugar while still looking and tasting great. The surge in popularity of Lexi's Clean Kitchen led to Alexis getting a book deal, and her first cookbook -- Lexi’s Clean Kitchen: 150 Delicious Paleo-Friendly Recipes to Nourish Your Life -- will be in stores later this year on November 8th; it is currently available for pre-order through Amazon.
Alexis – who's already been featured within the pages of Cosmopolitan, Self, Women’s Health, Reader's Digest and Buzzfeed – kindly took the time to do some Q&A with No Place Like Long Island. Beyond her inspirational path in the kitchen, as someone who directly took the steps to improve their health through learning and creativity, her career path from teacher to full-time blogger and author is also inspiring. She can be followed on Twitter and Pinterest via the handle @Lexiscleankitch and through Instagram and Snapchat via Lexiscleankitchen.
What was the first thing you ever cooked or baked that you were proud of?
AK: Oh, this is a hard one! Getting creative with gluten and grain-free baking is super-rewarding. I am super-proud of my sandwich rolls, which taste like the real deal!
Where did the inspiration come from to have your own site with recipes? Were you inspired by a particular chef or on-air personality?
AK: When I changed my diet and healed my body significantly through food, I began cooking and experimenting so I could enjoy the foods I've always loved. From there, I was inspired to share the recipes I was enjoying to help others how I helped myself.
How do you define "clean" within the context of your cooking? Does it primarily have to do with the ingredients? The nutrition? Both?
AK: Clean eating is a framework for the food choices we make. At its core, it's simply replacing processed and refined foods with healthier options.
Where do your ideas for recipes usually come from? Recommendations from friends and family? Cooking shows?
AK: My inspiration comes from EVERYWHERE! The notes in my iPhone grow daily. I get inspiration from my travels, various restaurants I visit, trending foods, and so much more.
What were the key steps in transitioning your website from being a hobby to a full-time gig?
AK: When Lexi's Clean Kitchen really started to grow as a business and a brand, I made sure to post quality content consistently, rather than focusing on the quantity of posts. So people would always know they could come back and get something new. When I left my full-time teaching job, Lexi's Clean Kitchen had already blossomed into something that was quite full-time.
What's the most difficult part of what you do? Is it coming up with new recipes? Is it marketing your content and standing out from other bloggers?
AK: The most difficult part of what I do is probably trying staying on-trend while also providing unique and somewhat different recipes.
Are you in touch with any other food-related bloggers from Long Island? Or at least aware of any?
AK: One or two from Long Island, and a handful throughout the Tri-State area! I have a big community of blogger friends and we all support each other, which is really nice.
When you're not busy with your website, how do you like to spend your free time?
AK: Well, cooking of course! But traveling, trying new restaurants, walks and hikes with my puppy Jax and fiancé Mike, reading, trying new fitness classes, and spending time with family and friends.
Having grown up on Long Island, what's your favorite restaurant out here?
For a Long Islander traveling out to Boston, is there a great "clean" restaurant that they must go to?
AK: If you're visiting Boston, I highly recommend getting some delicious seafood. Island Creek Oyster Bar is delicious!
Is there anything you miss about living on Long Island?
AK: For sure! In terms of food, we don't have bagel cafes and delis quite like the ones here! In terms of lifestyle, when you move, you realize that being so close to the water is definitely a luxury and isn't available everywhere. I also love the amount of locally-owned shops on Merrick Road. If you think about it, it's a pretty amazing thing!
Finally, what do you wish more people knew about Long Island?
AK: I feel like growing up I didn't take advantage of buying local food here, like going to farms or farmer's markets, and visiting orchards and all of those things available here. There's definitely a ton of resources for eating locally-sourced foods in Long Island!