Welcome to Feasting at Home – where healthy meets delicious! I’m Sylvia Fountaine, restaurant owner, caterer and chef, living in the Pacific Northwest – sharing healthy, seasonal veggie-focused recipes, grounded in the seasons. My hope is that this website will become a useful resource to help inspire, motivate and teach you how to create your own simple, healthy delicious feasts at home. Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, paleo or pescatarian, we can all agree on one thing. Cooking meals from scratch, using fresh seasonal produce is one of the most nurturing gifts we can give ourselves and our families.
But I know how challenging this can be! You’ve been telling me you want to create healthy & delicious meals – but lack time, energy, and inspiration. Working in the food industry for over 25 years – owning an upscale vegetarian restaurant called Mizuna in 1996, then eventually Feast Catering Co. in 2007 – I’ve learned a few tricks of the trade to help make things simple and help you cook smarter. It doesn’t have to be complicated, expensive or require hours of time -wholesome meals can be easy and approachable, without compromising flavor or beauty. I’m so excited to share how!
Many recipes are vegan, vegetarian, gluten- free, pescatarian and/or paleo. I’m not sure about you- but I don’t subscribe to one particular diet and don’t believe in one size fits all. We are all so different! I’m not here to convince you to eat one way or another… what you eat is your business! My goal is to help make your cooking at home easier and simpler by providing you with options for your family’s own particular needs. Even though I had a vegetarian restaurant for 10 years and often eat vegan during the week, I’m not strictly vegan or vegetarian- and I’m married to a wonderful carnivore, Brian. Often I’ll adapt our meals so he can have meat, and I can keep mine vegetarian- one meal, two ways. With so many mixed households – vegans and meat-eaters- both living under the same roof, cooking can get complicated. I’ve started creating “adaptable” recipes to make everyone happy, and make cooking easier. For more of these kinds of recipes – go to the “adaptable” category.
As a chef, what inspires me most is fresh, seasonal produce. This is because fresh produce, grown as close to us as possible always has the BEST flavor! It doesn’t have to travel as far as conventional grocery store produce so it’s allowed a little more time to ripen on the tree or vine and develop more flavor. Picked at its peak, a peach tastes like a peach (heavenly) and a tomato tastes like a real tomato. When you start with ripe seasonal ingredients at their peak of flavor, they can be treated so simply in the kitchen. Not only will the end result taste better, it’s a beautiful way to embrace the seasons and cycles of the earth – a very grounding way of cooking and being in the world. (Tip: It is the one thing you can begin doing immediately that will elevate your cooking. )
Many recipes are ethnic-inspired. I’m hearing that you are very intrigued by ethnic food, but are turned off by complicated processes or hard-to-find ingredients. I was raised in Los Angeles by a Finnish mother and Egyptian father, both right “off the boat.” We traveled a lot and they both loved to cook. Every single thing was made from scratch. They showed me how the humblest of ingredients could be turned into a feast, utilizing a wide array of vegetables and herbs along with unique spice combinations. When my husband and I travel these days, it always revolves around food. I love learning new cuisines and am so excited to share this with you! That’s why you’ll find a lot of globally-inspired recipes here.
AND YES, occasionally I’ll throw in a few recipes that may not seem very “healthy” on the surface, but I’ve found… there are times in one’s life when comfort food is actually comforting, on a soul level. When my sweet old mom passed away several years ago, my dear friend brought over her Four-Cheese Macaroni and Cheese. It was the only thing that would go down. To this day, I believe that was the most healing, nurturing meal I could have put into my body at that time – and I’ve never ever forgotten it. Though I try to eat relatively “cleanly” (see my Detox Page), I don’t judge or label foods as “good” or “bad.” I try not to moralize food choices. I simply try to eat foods that make me feel energetic, alive, light and joyful. Most of the time, I try to cook simple, plant-based foods, using a lot of fresh, healthy produce, while allowing myself indulgences in moderation. The middle path.
Most of you have shared how short on time you are. I get it. Most of the recipes here in the last few years are geared towards you- time-saving, healthy recipes. But there are days like Sundays, when many of us truly enjoy spending time in the kitchen putzing around while something slow roasts in the oven for hours – and you’ll find those recipes here too, because they are nourishing on a soul level. Cooking, if we allow it, can center and ground us, and bring us back to ourselves. It can be a meditation. Even after catering big fancy events, on my days off when I felt totally exhausted, I would often find myself back in my home kitchen simply making a pot of soup or baking a loaf of bread. Cooking can be incredibly restorative and healing.
I always love hearing from you. I really appreciate it when you rate recipes and leave comments sharing how you’ve adapted them. This helps others try them too. I value your feedback- it helps me figure out how to make this site the most useful for you. So feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or simply hit “reply” when you get your Saturday morning emails and tell me your thoughts on how to better serve you! Seriously!
I’m so excited to have you be a part of our community!!!
Here are a few comments from our community members…
“Your recipes have helped change the way I cook, shop, and eat. I used to love overly complicated French cooking—expensive, time-consuming, and a little risky when guests are coming. Now life is simpler, healthier, and far tastier! I love that I have things in my kitchen like miso, sumac, zaatar, dashi, coriander…and that I use them regularly. They used to be mysterious and “off limits.” Not anymore. I think we (society) can be a little too precious about food. I love what you say about not moralizing it. It’s truly a privilege to have access to fresh produce and high quality food items. I really do rejoice in food. It’s a thrill to prepare really healthy dishes and watch people I care for scrape their plates clean and marvel at flavors and combinations they never expected to like, let alone crave. That’s thanks to you!
Your blog has been most helpful in the following ways:
Sheet pan meals are a revelation.
The sauces make all the difference in the world. They are exceptional and beautiful and EASY.
The versatility and adaptability of your recipes are a dream.
The new flavors are exciting, like Indian and Asian.
You make it so easy to use tofu, which I love but used to have difficulty preparing in a way that tasted as good as at restaurants.
Your turmeric broth is a staple. I make it at least once a month. “
“I found you online 18 months ago and I love, love, love all the recipes I have tried so far and my husband can’t be happier. My husband and our guests thank you over and over. Who thought I would get goosebumps from reading your recipes! P.S. I’m 71 years old and never enjoyed cooking until I found you! Love at the first recipe❤”
“Thank you for giving your recipes life and bringing your creations out into the world! They bring back a new-found joy for cooking and I feel extremely inspired to try out many more and come up with new ideas myself. May you keep on inspiring others along with you. You surely did with me.” Caroline
When you subscribe to FEASTING AT HOME you’ll recieve simple, approachable ways to create healthy, time-saving meals for the whole family, while elevating flavor. You’ll receive your once-weekly recipes every Saturday morning, so you can plan ahead for the coming week. Pick a few out and break out of that rut! Your family will love it!!!