Member Spotlight: Lauren Walz

Lauren Walz writes Gourmet Veggie Mama and is featured in the Austin-based Cooking Planit App.

Tell us about yourself! Where are you from? Why do you blog? What is your focus? 

Oh my … where to start? I grew up in Texas, and went to undergrad and law school at UT. From there, I moved to Northern California to work as a corporate lawyer in Silicon Valley. I let that suck the life out of my 20s, and eventually burned out, had a baby, and decided to stay at home with her. I started my blog, which is focused on vegetarian cooking, when Nora was about 8 months old and we were past the foggy infant stage and actually able to take the time to make creative meals again. I discovered that what I would do if I didn’t have to work for a living was write. Ding ding ding! So, I became a freelance writer. I still spend most of my time with my little one, who is now 2, and on creating recipes for my blog, but I write for publications like LiveMom and Edible Austin and I love it.

How did you start blogging?

While I was at home with my daughter and not working, I started feeling a creative itch. I have always liked to cook, and I like to be creative in coming up with meals based on the vegetables we get in our CSA box. And, being a little bit obsessive, I needed a place to track my recipes. I thought I’d go ahead and make it a public blog in case anyone else was interested, and, guess what? They were! The rest is history.

What items are always in your fridge or pantry?

Pasta, dried beans of several different varieties (black, garbanzo, cannelloni, anasazi), rice, other grains (farro, quinoa), cheese (cheddar, parmesan, mozzarella and goat cheese), eggs and lots and lots of veggies from my CSA.

If you could share dinner with anyone, who would you host and what would you eat? 

I’d love to have dinner with Christopher Watkins, who hosts the Ridge Wine blog. He’s a cool guy with obviously great taste in wine, and, from attending many tastings at Ridge, I know he and I have similar taste in food. We would just do nibbles and wine. Lots and lots of fantastic wine.

What is your favorite AFBA memory?

The wine and cheese tasting with Jordan at Antonelli’s was amazing. I had so much fun with good friends who appreciate the same things I do, and tasted some amazing pairings. I still dream about Cowgirl Creamery’s Red Hook — need to get some of that!

What is your most popular post?

People always seem to come back to my post on Broccoli Cheddar Bites, which was a recipe I created for Nora when she was littler. They’re healthy, easy to freeze and reheat and kids love them. I need to make a batch of those again, now that I think about it!

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About the Author

Heather Santos is the Membership Chair for the Austin Food Blogger Alliance and can be reached at membership@austinfoodbloggers.org

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