Hi, my name is Tess, and I'm a blendaholic.
But, fear not, this addiction comes with a blender load of positive benefits.
The blender is the greatest culinary gift that we have been given since fire and spoons.
So, why not use it as much as possible to make life easier?
We are all busy. Time is the most precious commodity we have. We can't bottle it, so we're canning, packing, and boxing everything else.
Convenience foods offer a quick way to fill up on the fly. But, I don't want to compromise on my health and nutrition because I've got something more pressing to do.
Enter the blender, and easy, healthy, fast food becomes possible.
I receive countless requests for easy recipes that often come attached with an all-too-familiar disclaimer:
“I don’t have time to eat healthy, and I don’t know how to cook.”
My friend Lyn has a witty retort, “Can you read? Well, cooking is reading.”
Culinary aficionados would argue (quite rightly) that there is a little more to it. But this simple philosophy resonates with me, and I offer it to you as the only skill that's required to enjoy my recipes.
And, no, you don't coat-check your teeth at the door.
Yes, my recipes include a full repertoire of the expected blender offerings - smoothies, juices, soups, and desserts.
But, it’s not all pureed food you sip, glug, or scoop up in a spoon.
I make blender-inspired recipes—dishes with a blended component such as appetizers, salads, and quick easy meals that you can attack with your trusty knife and fork, as well as staples like dips and condiments such as a pesto or mayo that can transform a simple bowl of pasta, steamed vegetables, or other "sink-your-teeth-into-it" foods from bland to brilliant.
And the best part? The recipes are super easy.
The blender levels the playing field in the kitchen and enable almost anybody to nourish themselves with very little skills and even less time.
These recipes are foolproof.
I test all of my recipes on children. If a teenager can't make the recipe, it doesn't make it on the site or in my cookbooks or app.
My sister and I grew up with wild and wonderful parents, both airline crew and relentless adventurers. We lived and traveled all over the world, and soaked up every experience with every culture we could.
My mum is a teacher, my sister (Kara) is an assistant director, and I am an actor and voice over artist. And, we are all food fanatics! So, we tucked into any and all foods put in front of us.
Until I hit my teens, when I was plagued with extreme lethargy. After napping every afternoon for years and struggling with a lack of energy, I was finally diagnosed with Epstein-Barr virus.
My mum took me to a naturopath, and suggested I forget gluten, dairy, and meat, and embrace a diet high in plant-based foods and fish. Almost overnight, I felt better. It turned out I was gluten and dairy intolerant.
That experience was the impetus to a revolution of my diet.
Food as Medicine
I developed a keen interest in health and nutrition. I studied nutritional science, and began taking a ton of cooking classes to develop my skills and knowledge.
But, only in my early twenties did I truly become inspired by the power of whole foods. My friend, Toni had been married to Dirk Benedict who had overcomer prostate cancer by following a macrobiotic diet. His book, Confessions of a Kamikaze Cowboy inspired me.
The Power of Whole Foods
Finding macrobiotics worked for me. I did feel good. But, in sticking with it religiously for many years, I still didn't feel as good as I knew I could.
So, I embarked on a journey of discovery, searching for the perfect whole foods diet to keep myself in a state of optimal health.
As a perfectionist, I was going to master the art of my own health even if it killed me!
My self-imposed and largely self directed crusade had me trying out every whole foods diet known to man. I became vegetarian, then vegan. I discovered the benefits of raw foods, and dabbled in Ayurvedic philosophy, and Chinese yin and yang principles. Next, on to alkalinity, then Body Ecology anti-candida principles, blood-group strategies, and zillions of green smoothies.
It was exhausting.
While all of these regimes had something to offer, none was one-size-fits-me.
I would feel really good, but eventually, symptoms of lethargy and fatigue (so familiar from my early experience of Epstein-Barr) would set back in.
The Turning Point
Until one day, my dad sat me down and asked me, "Are you having any fun?"
He continued, "Because we are exhausted watching you eat, watching you cook, and listening to you take ten minutes ordering at a restaurant telling the waitress all of the things you cannot eat. And food should be fun, right?"
Once I let go of the dogma, and the notion that there was "one perfect way of eating" and, instead, embraced the concept of bio-individuality, the world opened up for me, and there were endless possibilities and opportunities to learn and grow.
I began supplementing my nutrition knowledge with an intuitive-experiential approach, listening to the signs in my body, and teaching myself a healthier way to move through the world with food.
I discovered that flexibility and fluidity, not rigidity, were among the keys to health and happiness.
Finding the "Tess" Plan
Today, I cherry-pick from all of the healthy diets I’ve tried, and work a variety of wellness practices into my individual immune-boosting "Tess" plan.
This diet and routine changes with the seasons, and adapts in response to climate, stress, emotions, physical activity, and specific health needs that arise.
I am a seasonal eater.
In the hotter months, I eat a high percentage of raw foods; when it’s cold, more cooked foods.
But green alkaline smoothies, juices, and soups are year-round staples.
Birth Of The Blender Girl
With those staples as a focus, I started The Blender Girl, using the blender as my inspiration.
The more I researched blending as a method of food prep, it quickly became a guiding metaphor for how I live, and how I believe we all live.
Combining different concepts, flavors, and philosophies plays a crucial part in my ideal balance of food, exercise, work, and fun.
While my approach isn’t a system exactly, it does add up to a recipe for success and happiness, and a recipe that is worth sharing.
A diet featuring ample quantities and varieties of leafy greens, alkaline vegetables, and raw sprouted nuts, seeds, and grains, combined with daily green juices and smoothies, can be beneficial to just about anyone.
In addition to this, each of us will discover that individualized, perfect blend of joyful activities, fulfilling work, loving relationships, time with family, food, exercise, and more.
With all this in mind, my recipes are geared towards versatility and simplicity.
The Blender Girl Recipes
All of the recipes in my cookbooks and app and on The Blender Girl site are vegan and gluten-free.
I am a plant-based eater, and am convinced that a diet containing vast quantities and varieties of leafy greens, alkaline vegetables, raw sprouted nuts and seeds, all combined with daily green juices and smoothies can be beneficial to anybody.
However, I also believe that each of us has slightly different needs depending on genealogy, blood type, age, sex, lifestyle, activity levels, and overall wellness.
Each person’s "perfect blend" (foods, exercise, joyful activities, fulfilling work, loving relationships, time with family, etc.) will add up to a unique combination.
So, the ingredients each of us will put into the blender will also be a unique blend.
We nourish our beings with many things, and so it only makes sense that we nourish our bodies in diverse ways, too.
It is simple: Just eat more fruits and vegetables.
What drives me to continue developing recipes is to show people that plant-based foods can be delicious and fun.
And, to encourage people to forget rules and dogma, and to find their own flexible wellness plan.
So, I ask you,
“What’s your perfect blend?”
The Blender Girl and her recipes have been featured in publications around the world, including the LA Times, Washington Post, InStyle, Prevention, Shape, Glamour, Real Simple, The Today Show, Hallmark Channel, FOX, Yoga Journal, Vegetarian Times, VegNews, FoodNetwork.com, Yahoo Health, and Well + Good.
In high demand as a spokesperson, presenter, and recipe developer, Tess is the global ambassador for KitchenAid® blenders, and maintains ongoing partnerships with many other brands.
She has created recipes or presented videos for Today.com, The Daily Meal, Vegetarian Times, Allergic Living, KitchenAid, Williams-Sonoma, Four Seasons, Silk, So Delicious, Elmhurst 1925, Earthbound Farm, Vega, Frontier Co-op, Driscoll’s, Navitas Organics, KitchenIQ, Massel, Omega Juicers, and many others.
Away from the blender, Tess enjoys a diverse performance career. She has toured internationally with acclaimed theater productions, worked in film and TV, and lent her voice to commercial campaigns, audiobooks, and popular video game characters.
She lives in Los Angeles.