Each week we profile a different Canadian Food Blogger who is part of the FBC community. This week meet Heidi Richter, the Vancouver Island food blogger who loves foraging, gardening, Star Wars and is the voice behind the beautiful plant based blog The Simple Green.
Name: Heidi Richter
Blog name: The Simple Green
Where were you born? Vancouver, British Columbia
Where are you living now? Nanaimo, British Columbia
Why did you start your blog?
It was definitely a combination of several factors, but mostly just a hit of inspiration that occurred and a general love for crafting plant-based recipes. Cooking, baking, gardening, photography and inspiring others are a few of my favourite things; blogging is a way to share so many passions in one place.
How did you decide on your blog name?
It was quite the process! I started blogging under the name Enlightened Decadence; it was a perfect name considering my focus was sharing solely vegan desserts. However, after our son was born in 2015, my priorities began to evolve; I needed a name that captured where my life and heart were headed. After about 6 months and much deliberation, The Simple Green was brought to the world! I love the name because it encapsulates the goal of sharing the simple beauty of plant-based and local ingredients, organic gardening, and seasonal living.
What do you blog about?
The main focus is nutritious wholefood plant-based recipes (with the odd decadent, yet vegan-friendly, dessert thrown in for good measure). I often share personal stories from my life, or stories related to the recipes I post. My husband and I are avid gardeners and wild food foragers, so there’s information related to those two subjects as well.
Is your blog your business, your hobby or something in between?
Definitely something in between. The Simple Green is relatively new to the world, so it’s still in the initial stages of growth. I don’t focus on ad placement revenue (strictly a personal preference), and it’s not always easy to find companies that want to invest in such a ‘young’ blog. However, I’ve been extremely lucky to work with some pretty amazing brands thus far. My goal is to continue leveraging this passion of mine into a full time endeavor; I’m so thankful for how far it’s come in such a short period of time!
What post on your blog most encapsulates you and why?
Orchard Plum Cake with Cinnamon Whip. I have been making this cake for many years, and it was one of the very first recipes I ever blogged about back in 2009…it’s tied to a lot of memories. I also share some thoughts on the changing of seasons from Summer to Fall, which happens to be my favourite time of year; overall, I just find it a very cozy post and I’m all about Hygge!
Which post do you wish received more love and why?
Chanterelle Foraging on the West Coast + Crispy Garlic & Chanterelle Crostinis with Herbed Cashew Spread. My husband and I love foraging, so it was a labour of love capturing the event this year and putting together the final recipe post. While viewership has been good, it hasn’t received the attention I feel it deserves (a biased opinion, no doubt)!
Which post’s success surprised you and why?
Triple Chocolate Sweet Potato Cupcakes. It’s a great recipe, in my humble opinion, but apparently, good enough to garner a “heart” from Martha Stewart on Instagram! I grew up watching Martha Stewart Living; her recognition was beyond surprising and appreciated!
What’s your biggest challenge as a blogger?
Consolidating the time needed to put together and promote my posts. I think there is a misconception that food blogging is an easy endeavor, which is simply not the case. It requires a lot of planning and forethought to piece together the time to coordinate all the elements involved in a single post, from recipe testing, writing, editing, food styling, photography and execution. Time is not always available, especially with a little one running around, a demanding career, and a garden that doesn’t take care of itself. Nevertheless, it’s a challenge I take on gladly!
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned as a blogger?
Although I’ve always known on a superficial level that success doesn’t happen overnight, blogging has really made this real for me. I’ve always been an achiever and have worked very hard to meet my goals in life, but throwing my heart out there has been a very different experience altogether. Building a loyal readership and perfecting your craft requires patience, consistency, love and care. And, recognition needs to be a bonus, not the driving force behind your work. Overall, I have learned so much from this journey to date, and not just about the logistics of blogging etc., but lessons of a much deeper and personal nature.
What has been your biggest success as a blogger so far?
Being asked by Vitamix to be one of their food photographers. As well, being a nominee for a 2017 Taste Canada Award. Both came as a wonderful surprise this year which I am so grateful for!
Share a couple of your favourite food blogs to read. Why do you like them?
Kraut Kopf: I absolutely adore Susann and Yannic’s rustic approach to vegetarian and plant-based recipes. Their award winning blog speaks to me on many levels, including the fact that they are based out of Berlin (my father is from Germany). Their food photography is stunning and always takes me on a beautiful journey.
Call Me Cupcake: Linda’s blog is so absolutely gorgeous, and her stories equally magical. I just adore her work!
The First Mess: I find Laura’s recipes really approachable and unique; she does plant-based comfort food so well and I often find myself flipping through her new cookbook when it comes time for dinner. Plus, she’s Canadian!
Peaceful Cuisine: Based out of Japan, Ryoya Takashima’s beautiful approach to vegan recipes has always calmed and inspired me.
Favourite food - care to share a recipe or a restaurant destination?
My favourite thing to eat is ever changing. At the moment, it’s plain old olive oil roasted potatoes with smoked paprika, garlic, sea salt and pepper.
What are you working on next for your blog:
A guide to brewing your own Kombucha, and more recipes that can be enjoyed in a bowl (I love bowl foods). Also, a post on growing your own tomatoes from seed plus an amazing garden tomato galette with artisanal nut cheese are in the works for spring 2018.
What else should we know about you that may or not be in your “About Me” page?
I love Star Wars and consider myself to be a huge nerd (happily so). I was also an actress and fitness model in a previous life.
What makes your blog unique?
Sharing a fairly simple and earthy approach to plant-based recipes and seasonal living. Many of the recipes are inspired by nature and the foods we grow in our own backyard. Also, my husband, being an avid woodworker, handcrafts some of the unique props seen in my photos (hand carved spoons, paring knifes etc.); people seem to love spotting them, kind of like a “Where’s Waldo” for food photography.
What part of the FBC site do you find most useful?
Definitely the Blogger Resources; there is a lot to consider when starting a food blog and I still refer this section for its wealth and breadth of information. I also love the Featured Foodie section; I’ve made so many great connections with other fellow Canadian bloggers because of it.
Follow Heidi and The Simple Green on Social Media