I’ve never been good at introductions because when they’re needed, I seem to forget every single interesting thing about myself. But I guess we’ll start with the basics.
My mum and I moved from Russia to the UK in 2008. We settled not far from Brighton, starting a whole new life as my mum worked a multitude of jobs while I gave my all to studying, playing sport, and making lots of art in my spare time. We filled our summers with long walks, days spent painting in our back garden, and plenty of blueberry pie. My mum spent the colder seasons ensuring our kitchen never ran out of comfort food, while I wrote short stories and dawdled outside with my first camera.
Life is very different these days. I’ve always loved studying and academia, and in 2018 I started my History degree at the University of Oxford, and graduated in 2021. But what hasn’t changed is my love for art, for writing, and for delicious, flavourful food. Hence, I also now have this blog, working as a food photographer and recipe developer. While it necessitates a busy schedule, this creative outlet makes me super happy.
Now, a few more fun facts. I’m a cat person, and have an incredibly adorable cat named Pearl, who still lives with mum. Most people would describe me as a very early riser (usually between 4:30 and 5am!) because that’s when my creativity peaks. I love reading, particularly non-fiction and self-improvement books, as well as listening to endless podcasts. And I write poetry in my spare time a lot, but never share it because *cringe*.
About Earth of Maria
After wanting to give blogging a go for ages, I decided to start my website, as well as my Instagram page @earthfmariaa, at the same time as I started university. Yep, life got as hectic as it sound. By that point, I had learned a lot about photography in my spare time, and taught myself how to prepare delicious, healthy meals. So it made sense to start a blog in order to share my recipes, and also give my confidence a bit of a boost.
I fell in love with blogging straight away, as it brought together three of my favourite things: photography, writing, and cooking. But I also discovered an amazing community of people who shared my interests, whether healthy eating or recipe development, and learnt so much about myself during the past years (read more about my journey below).
Since then, I have worked hard to turn this website into a resource designed to inspire others to eat more wholesome, nourishing meals, and make the journey as delicious as possible! While it’s changed a lot over the years, I have stuck closely to my core principles: simplicity, whole food ingredients, and plenty of flavour.
My story with food
My relationship with food hasn’t always been the best. If you’ve been following this blog for a long time, you know that I was fully vegan for almost six years. While at first I felt great eating 100% plant based, I unfortunately developed a lot of health issues about which I was in denial at first because I was so passionate about making veganism work for me.
And over the years, I fought tooth and nail to try and make it work out, spending a lot of money, time and energy. In 2020, however, I unfortunately went through personal trauma which, together with a diet that did not adequately nourish my body, caused me to develop binge eating disorder. This was the darkest time in my life, which left me terribly ill and isolated. So, I knew a change was necessary. Working with a nutritionist and a personal trainer, I began to introduce some animal products back into my diet and rediscovered a macronutrient balance that works for me.
I never blamed veganism for any of my problems, and still advocate for eating plenty of plant-forward meals. Right now, however, I don’t put any labels on my diet, but still love developing recipes to help people eat more plants through delicious and comforting meals that fit exceptionally well into a busy life.
What you’ll find on this blog
I specialize in developing flavorful plant based recipes using whole food ingredients. My speciality is in dinner and lunch ideas. Whether you’re a busy professional, a student, or a stay-at-home parent with a to-do list that’s a mile long, you’ll find plenty of ideas that are ideal for you.
Most of the recipes on Earth of Maria are ready in under one hour, with lots of dishes that are gluten-free, made with minimal ingredients and kitchen equipment – I’m talking as little as one frying pan or a single baking tray (a skill I developed while at uni). There are a lot of budget-friendly options, too. But every recipe is developed to be incredibly flavorful, unique, and designed to make healthy eating fun. So if you think that reaching your health and fitness goals means eating dry chicken breast and green beans, I’m here to change your mind!
- Try out my sweet and sour tofu recipe for an incredible way to make tofu taste good.
- If you love pasta, you will love my vegan Alfredo sauce!
- For a cosy, family-friendly dinner, try out my dairy-free broccoli cheese soup.
- Another reader favourite is my roasted red pepper pasta.
- Or how about BBQ tempeh served with rice and avocado?!
- You can add my zucchini fritters to wraps, salads and sandwiches.
- Serve my sweet potato soup with a side of crusty bread for cosy wholesomeness.
- Or how about an avocado wrap with crispy chickpeas?
- My cold spaghetti salad with balsamic tofu is great for meal prep.
- I love starting the morning with fluffy chickpea flour pancakes.
- Scrambled tofu makes a great savoury breakfast option.
- If you love porridge, try out carrot cake oats.
- My buckwheat porridge is a great way to switch up your usual oats.
- Potato waffles are another great savoury option.
I mentioned that art and photography have been huge passions of mine for a long time. I first picked up a camera when I was in my early teenage years, occupying my days with countryside walks and taking endless photos of landscapes, flowers, buildings, etc.
So it made a lot of sense for me to bring together my two passions of photography and cooking. What I love about food photography is, firstly, that it has such a strong storytelling element. All the finer details, from the lighting to certain props, come together and convey a specific mood, and reveal a lot of information about a specific dish.
I am also amazed by the beauty of whole food ingredients. Even with a simple composition, the styling of the food alone can convey a lot about the dish and make you want to eat it ASAP. That’s why I follow a minimalistic approach to styling, experimenting with lighting and really making the final image ‘pop’ through the editing process.
I am incredibly excited to announce that my first cookbook, Vegan Earthy Eats, will be published by Page Street in April 2021. This book contains 60+ recipes that are all vegan, gluten-free, creative, and made from wholesome ingredients. You can view my cookbook page to read more about it, and pre-order your copy!
Thank you so much for visiting my blog! I am so happy to have you here and I hope you enjoy your stay. If you have any questions, feel free to email me, or reach out to me via DM on Instagram. I will get back to you as soon as possible!