Scrolling through Instagram we are too often distracted by gorgeous food images which was exactly the case when we came across the Instagram account of Shilpa Razniewska from Soulful and Healthy. Born in India, married to a Polish husband and living in Ireland we love how she takes each one of these influences to create recipes that not only look and taste delicious, but are also good for you. Her delicious dairy-free Chicken Curry with Creamy Cashew Paste is on high rotation amongst the ELE team and her Immune Boosting Green Smoothie is one of our go-to’s when we are feeling a little under the weather. We take five with Shilpa this week to find out more about what inspires her.
1. Where is your favourite travel destination and why?
The one place I instantly fell in love with was Lake Como in Italy. When I met my now husband who was then my fiancé, who is Polish by the way, I travelled to Italy to meet his family because his sister lives there. It was winter and I had never experienced such cold in my life, coming from a warm country like India! But even in that cold this beautiful place took my breath away. The lake stands still right in the middle of the Alps and everywhere you look its like a postcard. We were lucky to go back there again after five years with our little boy, and this time we went in summer. It was scorching hot but the beauty of Lake Como once again didn’t fail to impress us. We had lunch by the lake in a gorgeous restaurant, with the lake as the view and it was just perfect.
2. What is your go-to recipe to cook at home?
Since we have a very strong mix of cultures at home, the food we eat on a daily basis is not particular to any cuisine. I am Indian, my husband is Polish and we live in Ireland, we cook all sorts of different cuisines at home. We are foodies so we love to try something new, but my go-to meal would be a curry. A simple quick fix curry with less effort but no compromise on taste. It could be with chicken or even very few veggies leftover in the fridge.
3. What can’t you live without in the garden?
We live in a apartment in Dublin, so there is no room for a garden. Some day when we have our own house I definitely would love to have a garden with veggies. I have set up little pots on my balcony. Most of the plants and flowers withered during winter but it’s spring now so I have to repot them all, but one plant that I brought a year ago that has withstood the test of time and seasons is Aloe Vera. No matter what the weather is it has grown strong. I also have herbs like basil and coriander in little pots on the windowsill.
4. What inspires you?
My inspiration comes from various highly talented food photographers in the industry. I have come across so many extremely talented food photographers who are ready to share their knowledge and skills with everyone. I watch them and learn every day. When I look at my work I feel I am not quite there yet, I have a long way to go but someday I’ll get there. I love what I do and that passion has brought me here today. Another thing that might sound very cliched is nature, the colours that are combined together are pure beauty, like how a tiny insect like a ladybird has black spots on red, it’s something that goes so well together, or the yellow and green combination of a flower and it’s leaves, when I look at it I want to try and recreate it in my photography.
5. Describe your perfect day.
Ah! There is no such day as a perfect day, each day comes with its own adventures with my six year old boy. Now that he has started school we have some kind of routine. We start our day early with breakfast at 7:30 then he is off to school which is when I have time to work on my projects. I go and pick him up after lunch and depending on the weather we go out to the park, playground or a walk by the canal. Over the weekends it’s family time, most weekends my husband cooks (who is a great cook by the way), and then we go out together to have some fun, it could be a walk in the mountains or to the park.