Welcome to another ‘online’ post – this time, I’d like to introduce you to Kalya Nyo Denham from ‘Eat what you want & love it‘. I started out following her on instagram because her posts were so real and relatable – whipping up delicious meals for her family that keep everyone happy. I have used some images from her instagram account throughout this post.
Why did you start blogging/participating in social media?
I started Instagram, because my husband said (a few year’s a go now) “you’re always cooking the same old food” That really grinded my gears! So I altered my personal Instagram page to a Food Instagram page because I wanted to have it on the record that I didn’t cook the same old food all the time…well…I don’t anymore, anyway!
However, ever since having a Food Instagram it has motivated me to be more diverse in the food we each which benefits my family greatly! I named my new insta Eat what you want & love it because I wanted to express a sense of a balanced and “mind-healthy” & content relationship around food, where you don’t beat yourself up from having chips with you dinner once in a while.
I mainly focus on “real-food” and family friendly food as much as possible, but I won’t refrain from having burgers & chips or the occasional hot fried chicken…because I really enjoy them too and I’m not one to deny myself the joy’s of life, especially when it comes to food, we just do it in moderation.
With my Instagram I wanted to create a space where I could inspire others to be at peace with what they choose to eat, keeping balance in mind, and always making simple easy meals that anyone can cook up on a weekday, especially because I’m a working mum and I’m terribly time poor! I’ve also met a bunch of other foodies that “get me!”.
What is your favourite social media channel?
I love Instagram. I’m a visual person so I just love scrolling through all the images…especially food (gets my hunger going) and beautiful interiors (kitchens are my fav…what a surprise!). The only thing is you can lose quite a bit of time in a day looking at beautiful photos. I’m heavily inspired by other food Instagram accounts, particularly those that are styled so gorgeously, have a burst of colour and even the ones that use dark light to their advantage.
What is your favourite part of motherhood?
The kisses and the cuddles. I’m addicted to them! And tickling the kids…I love them cracking up, I love their laughter! My husband and I throw on Spotify or Pandora on the Sonos and have little family dance parties in the kitchen all the time…it’s possible one of our most favourite things to do and I hope we still do it until we are old in our hospice beds!
What is your least favourite part of motherhood?
Disciplining. I do it, but it’s challenging…kids can be relentlessssss. I also find it hard to keep my cool when I am trying to get my son’s attention and I’m repeating his name over and over, a dozen times and he’s only a metre away from…ignoring me L…like I’m nothing!!!
What is your best family recipe – that keeps everyone happy at dinner time?
Herb-Panko-crumbed fish tacos or Herb-Panko-crumbed Chicken Schnitzels…my son calls it Magic Chicken…it went like this:
LINC: I love your magic chicken.
ME: why is it magic?
LINC: because it disappears into my belly!
He was 3. Priceless! It’s such an achievement when the kids love your food, because, frankly…they are so honest…so honest it hurts!
10 small-cut pieces of fresh white fish, I like flathead
2 Tablespoons of milk
1 cup plain flour
2 cups of panko crumbs
3/4 cup of a mix of chopped parsley and coriander
10 soft shell mini tortillas
1 cup of shredded red cabbage
1/2 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
1/3 cup of Sriracha Mayo (optional) = 1/3 whole egg mayo + a Tablespoon of Sriracha chili sauce
1/4 cup jalapeño (optional)
Mexican Hot sauce (optional) we love El Yucateco best! Jalapeno or Salsa Picante de chile Habanero green.
Extra coriander for dishing up
Olive oil for pan-frying fish
Create a breading/crumbing station – In 3 separate bowls place flour, lightly scrambled egg with milk, and panko crumbs with chopped herbs mixed through well.
Keeping one had for wet ingredients and one for dry, cover fish piece with flour, then dip and cover in egg and then crumb, until all pieces are crumbed, set aside in fridge for 5-10mins.
Prep all the add-ons/toppings in separate bowl and place on table, shredded red cabbage, chopped cherry tomatoes, Sriracha-mayo, jalapenos, coriander and hot sauces. On special occasions (when I can be bothered) I grill a cob of corn on the grill, slice off chunks of corn cornels and include them to the add-on.
Heat a pan on medium and pan fry fish until crumbs are golden brown and fish is cooked through. Cook in batches and don’t over-crowd the pan. Drain cooked crumbed fish on paper towels.
Warm tortilla shells in the microwave.
Have every help themselves and make their own tacos – we love eating with our hands and getting food everywhere for this family favourite!
They say that children can be fussy eaters, but then you see a child devouring smoked salmon, olives or blue cheese. What is the most exotic thing that your child eats?
Lincoln at 3, as well as loving smoked salmon, olives, fetta etc. loves freshly cooked Mussels…that was surprising! He’s been eating mild to medium spiced curries since he was about 2…it’s great not having to cook an extra meal for him, as he pretty much eats what we do. Evie, the baby pretty much eats the same food we eat too, as long it’s not to spicy for her.
What is one food that you avoid feeding to your children, and why?
Soft drinks…just way to much sugar & no nutrients. In place and an alternative to milk and water, we make up herbal teas, for our son. His favourite is Peppermint!
Who is your favourite celebrity chef, and why?
I have two, Donna Hay & Marion Grasby. I love them both because they make their recipes as simple as possible. As a working mum and the family cook, I need as much simplicity in my life. My husband, that barely gets into the kitchen to cook, can and does cook out of their cookbooks.
A couple of our favourites that we love are Donna Hay’s Rare Thai beef Salad and Marion Grasby’s Sriracha Chili wings.
I hope that you enjoyed learning a bit about Kalya Nyo Denham from ‘Eat what you want & love it‘ and I hope that you’ll be back to meet another of my online friends in the coming weeks.