Today’s interview comes all the way from Indianapolis, Indiana and is brought to us by Kate from Kate’s Better Bite. Kate launched a great looking blog back in 2015 that focuses on health-conscious food and recipes. If you take a look through her website, you’ll quickly find that “healthy” has a new definition – wonderfully delicious looking. It’s remarkable how Kate can take ingredients and transform them into something that looks so good.
I encourage you to bookmark and share Kate’s Better Bite. Kate writes regularly and updates her website with recipes that are fresh and exciting. I have it on my list and I’ll be trying out one of her recipes very soon (Avacado & Crab Stuffed Crepes – in case you’re interested).
1. Can you please tell our readers a bit about yourself?
I am a total health nut! I don’t think I can cook a dish without making it healthier at least in some way. I am also a numbers person and would have never guessed that I would start a food blog. Aside from cooking, I love to travel the world. Ireland and Scotland have been my favorite destinations so far. Also, I love animals and as soon as my fiancé and I bought our own house we adopted two cats and one dog in the first six months! I can tell you that I never get lonely.
2. Where do you call home?
I live in Indianapolis, Indiana now and have been here for 15 years. I lived in Russia until I was ten years old.
3. What is it that made you so interested in food and cooking?
I’ve always liked to cook but I had to follow recipes from cookbooks, then in college I became really interested in health and fitness. I always hated how certain dishes would make me feel afterwards because they were just too heavy. I knew that food doesn’t have to be unhealthy to taste good, so during my junior year of college I began experimenting in the kitchen trying to convert unhealthy recipes into healthier versions.
4. How long have you been sharing recipes and advice on your blog?
My blog went live in July of 2015, so it has only been about 6 months.
5. Have you ever had any formal training or are you strictly self-taught? Where have you found the majority of culinary information you use today?
I am strictly self-taught. When my Russian grandmother was here a couple of years ago, she taught me how to make crepes and my favorite Russian cake but I can’t call that formal training. 🙂 I actually relied heavily on food blogs to learn cooking techniques and sometimes YouTube videos were helpful as well.
6. What is your favorite part of sharing your recipes and ideas online?
I love showing people the possibilities of healthy cooking. So many people don’t even realize how you can transform healthy ingredients into an incredible dish.
7. Have you faced any major challenges while preparing food in the kitchen? Is there anything you feel that you need to work on?
Since I try to transform dishes into healthier versions, sometimes it’s hard to keep an original recipe’s texture and/or taste. It’s not difficult to cook healthy dishes but it’s more difficult to make a certain dish healthier without sacrificing taste. That being said, I’m always looking for anyone that’s around to taste test my food!
8. What’s the most difficult thing you’ve faced so far in regards to operating your blog? Conversely, what have you been pleased with?
Photography is definitely the most difficult. Part of it is skill and practice and part is having the right lighting and equipment. Unfortunately my house doesn’t get a lot of natural light so it’s never bright enough. I am investing in new equipment though so I hope it will make photography a little easier.
I have been pleased with the feedback I have gotten from friends and family. Seeing people excited about food, especially healthy food, makes it all worth it!
9. From looking through your site, I see that you tend to lean toward healthy recipes. Has eating healthy always been interesting to you or is this something new?
I have always liked to eat healthy when I could but I didn’t begin cooking mainly healthy dishes until junior year of college which was in 2011 and 2012. I realized how much fun I had transforming recipes and that passion kept growing.
10. Do you cook for friends and family? If so, which do you enjoy more, the actual food preparation or receiving their feedback on your creations?
Yes, I love to cook for friends and family. I enjoy the food preparation but I think it’s more fun to see their reactions when I tell them “this is healthy, by the way.” Sometimes the dishes look obviously healthy so it’s fun to see what everyone thinks. The feedback is not always 100% positive because I tell them to be very honest with me and this helps me develop recipes further before I post them to my blog.
11. What’s it been like interacting with those who visit your website? Is it rewarding?
It is very rewarding! The blog wouldn’t be fun without interaction with viewers. It is a great feeling when someone tells you they tried your recipe and liked it.
12. What gave you the idea that you could start a blog and create a following writing about your culinary adventures?
Before I even started blogging I would make a different recipe pretty much every time I cooked. I loved having people try my recipes whenever anyone was around. I also wanted to keep track of all the recipes I made. I tried various methods of doing this, mainly different websites where I input recipes. I realized the best way to keep track of my recipes with images, full recipes, and category organization was to create my own website. My fiancé and friends were just as excited about this as me so I bought a domain name and never looked back.
13. Do some recipes on your website appeal to visitors more than others? If so, which ones?
Yes, usually it’s the dishes that people already love but that were turned into healthier versions (such as the seven layer dip or a broccoli salad). Recipes that seem more as new, unique concepts need a bigger push for people to try those out.
14. What’s your favorite part of cooking and blogging?
I would have to say creating recipes and cooking are my favorite parts. Usually I have to adjust the recipe and recreate it a second time, maybe even a third, but learning how the ingredients work together is a lot of fun.
15. What is it about food and writing that motivates you to come back for more?
Food is constantly on my mind. I am always thinking of what to make next and how can I make it healthy. My blog is my documentation of the experiments I do in the kitchen and I do not want to forget a single recipe that turned out well. Aside from that, sharing these experiments with readers keeps me motivated to keep writing.
16. If you had a friend who asked you for advice on how to start their own blog, what sort of wisdom would you offer?
Watch YouTube, read professional food bloggers’ advice, and make sure to document everything (ingredients, timing of the cooking process, cooking steps, photography, etc) even before starting the blog.
17. Do you have any favorite cooking related websites that you visit regularly? If so, which ones?
Oh yes, Natasha’s Kitchen has been my favorite for a long time. Eastern European food is my favorite and she posts lots of Ukrainian dishes. I also like to visit Chocolate Covered Katie. She posts healthy dessert recipes and to be honest, I am not very good at creating desserts so I have relied on her recipes a few times.
18. Where would you like to see yourself in the next year regarding your blog? What are your next steps?
I would like to see my photographs improve dramatically. My next step is to make my plated dishes look prettier and to continue developing recipe transformations.
Kate has been kind enough to share a photo of her latest recipe. If you’re interested, you can find out how to prepare Avacado & Crab Stuffed Crepes here.
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