Name: Courtney Rae Jones
Blog Name: The Fig Tree at www.thefigtreeblog.com
Where were you born? Winnipeg, Manitoba
Where are you living now? Winnipeg, Manitoba
Why did you start your blog?
I originally started blogging to share my favourite recipes with friends and family. Many of my friends and family were looking for tried & true vegetarian recipes to add into their weekly meal plans. Since I had been a vegetarian for 15 years by the time I started my blog in 2010, I had tons of great veggie recipes to share. Soon after I started blogging, I started getting a lot of positive feedback from others around the web. It was great to see so many people interested in trying out wholesome, meatless dishes. Last year I decided to focus on creating vegetarian dishes using ingredients from around-the-world. It's been a lot of fun trying to recreate some standard favourites without meat. (Example: Vegetarian French Canadian Pea Soup)
How did you decide on your blog name?
During the summer of 2010, my boyfriend (now husband) and I went to visit some of my family in Wales. My cousin took us to a beautiful coastal town called Penarth. Across from the pier was a neat restaurant called Fig Tree. When I was trying to come up with a name for my blog, I was reminded of the restaurant in Wales and decided to name my blog after it. The name brings back great memories of the first big trip I took with my husband - where I got to show him the country where my family is from.
What do you blog about?
The Fig Tree is a wholesome food blog that celebrates vegetarian food from around-the-world. I like to focus on using a diverse range of healthy ingredients to create simple and delicious meat-free dishes. That being said, I also have a bit of a sweet tooth, so I also like to blog about baked goods now and again. Cookies are definitely my weakness!
What post are you most proud of and why?
Pineapple Cashew Quinoa Curry Bowls - I adore this dish. It's loaded with amazing savoury flavours, a little bit of spice and a touch of sweetness. It's my favourite dish to make weeknights, because it's such an easy dish to make and it's an all-in-one dish (ie. high protein + high fibre with veggies).
Which post do you wish received more love and why?
Vegetarian Gyoza - I don't think people understand how incredibly delicious these little dumplings are and how easy they are to make. I adore them! They freeze really well too. I love having some in the freezer at all times to pull out if company comes over to serve as an appetizer or for a quick lunch.
Which post’s success surprised you and why?
Better-than-Tuna Salad Sandwich is the post on The Fig Tree that continually gets the most hits. And for good reason - it's a delicious sandwich and so easy to throw together. It's surprising how much flaked chickpeas mimic the texture of flaked tuna. When I first posted the recipe, I was not too sure if people would go for the flaked chickpea idea. But it's been a real hit!
What is one kitchen gadget you can’t live without?
My favourite kitchen gadget is my Kitchen Aid hand immersion blender. It's great for making sauces, soups, smoothies, dressings - you name it! I also love my pizza stone. It's so handy when making flatbread, pizza and loaves of bread.
What is one (non-kitchen) gadget you can’t live without?
My Kindle - when I'm not cooking and baking, I am reading. I love getting lost in a good book.
Favourite food, care to share a recipe?
I adore Mexican cuisine and my Cheesy Vegetable Tamale Pie has all of my favourite flavours and ingredients in one comforting dish.
What else should we know about you that may or not be in your “About Me” page?
Just as much as I love using ingredients from around-the-world, I also love to travel to many different places. This upcoming summer, my husband and I are going to Iceland. I'm so excited. I've been wanting to visit Iceland for quite some time! Along with travelling, I adore studying languages and cultures and am an avid fan of live music, theatre and art.
What makes your blog unique?
My focus is on using a variety of ingredients from around-the-world to make meat-free dishes as flavourful as possible. I love being creative with ingredients and inspiring people to try new things. Also, being Canadian, I wanted to share the multi-culturalism that is Canada through my blog by cooking dishes from around-the-world.
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