It's not every day when you get to peer through the pantry of a woman who has brought inspiration to hundreds of thousands of women. Alex Elle is a woman who has touched so many through her poetry and art. She's a woman who does it all. A published poet, the host of hey girl., a podcast that unites the voices of phenomenal women near and far, an entrepreneur, and a mother- she navigates through her many areas of focus with grace and light.
Her kitchen reflects her philosophy on work, life and family. She uses food as a medium for connection, and wellbeing. For Alex, food is a way to build community- whether by cooking with her daughter, Charlie, or going out to enjoy a meal with her husband. Food in Alex's home is all about being together.
" I love being able to commune over food. Sharing meals, chatting with mouthfuls of yummy eats (where are my manners, I know!), and delighting in the company of friends--new and old--makes me feel at home, no matter the location. The reason why I love food is that I enjoy bonding during meals. Whether I'm cooking, out for dinner, or hosting a dinner party, food brings this sense of closeness and conversation. It always feels good to sit down with friends & catch up with food as the platform. Passing dishes, gushing about flavors, giving toasts, it all makes me feel fulfilled. Even when I’m not cooking and out to eat with my family - catching up over a good meal gives us a moment to pause and reflect so we can be present with one another." - Alex Elle
Let's take a look inside her kitchen.
- her style:
- "Simple, easy, and straightforward. I love to cook, but I am not a fan of making a big fuss over meals. So perhaps, in a nutshell, my style is laid back--yet fulfilling. I like to keep things simple in the kitchen. I love cooking with my daughter Charlie and fostering that feeling of community and family. I like to keep things accessible for her. Often I'll assign her a task (like chopping an onion) while I work on other more complicated components of the dish, and it brings us together. Cooking with family is my thing and so the easier, the better. I do most of the cooking in the house, so I like to keep things uncomplicated.
- I’m really big into the medicinal use and the healing powers of herbs and like to use food as medicine. The way that I bring that to life is by eating fresh and clean food- whether that’s in cooked dishes or smoothies, or raw veggies for a snack.
- Typically, we shop with a local grocer in DC named "Washington's Green Grocer." I love them and feel like they are a part of our family. In between our grocery boxes, we may pop into Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, or Roots Market.
- I specifically like Green Grocer because of their local sourcing philosophy. They were the first delivery service I’d heard of and the only one to my knowledge that supports local farmers in the DMV area. I like the options and list of products that they offer their customers. They're convenient and kind. That matters to me, a lot. I'm not a fan of going to stores to shop (including when I buy clothing). I like to shop online most of the time- from the convenience of my home. Being able to grocery shop from my bed is awesome.
- I love the Dupont Circle & Silver Spring FRESHFARM Market. I wish I went more often, but having Green Grocer deliver to us weekly has spoiled me! If I can avoid going out to shop, I do.
- When I do pop over to the markets, I like being able to sample before buying. I also enjoy the scents and sounds intertwined with the hustle and bustle of customers and vendors. It inspires me.
- fridge must haves:
- I covet our eggs- they are multi colored and gorgeous! As far as veggies go, we always have cucumbers, tomatoes, spinach, and kale stocked and ready to go. Creamer for tea and coffee, and chia seeds for smoothies - I love incorporating honey, turmeric, maca, cacao in my smoothies, and Siggi’s yogurt- they’re made without lots of sugar added which is a plus for me.
- pantry staples:
- I love organic canned beans because they’re ready to go and easy! It’s great to be able to cook without a lot of fuss, popcorn kernels (for a late night stovetop treat), Ghee, Basmati Rice, and our raw nuts for nut milk making. I love creating my own nut milks because I know exactly what's in it, and it tastes so much better! I love being able to make my own flavors, too. I've made lavender almond milk and rose almond milk - it's delicious! Oh, and my obnoxious jar of Starbursts, because pregnancy cravings.
- I use my spice + herb cabinet to get inspired. I LOVE playing with flavors and textures. I don’t usually use recipes when I cook. I like to feel and taste my way around our little kitchen. Spices and herbs give me a lot of freedom and versatility and help keep me inspired.
- Through the tapestry of color and flavor from my spice cabinet, one of my favorite soul filling dishes to make is coconut milk curry with turmeric, cumin and coriander (yum!). I use turmeric and rosemary a lot, individually and together. Curries are so easy and delicious to whip up. My spice cabinet gives me the freedom to play and have fun!
- I have, however, had a dish disaster - which is how I learned to add spices slowly and build up from there. One day, I made a vegan pasta dish, and I used way too much thyme. It was a major fail! But the second time around was perfect. Trial and error in the kitchen is fun, and it's a great way to learn. I'm not a chef, by any means. I still have a lot to learn! Giving myself some leeway to make mistakes and experiment while cooking has been the best part of my journey with food. I get a lot of inspiration from innovating and making mistakes and perfecting from there.
- I would have to say our silicone utensils, rice cooker, and vintage pyrex baking pans.
- Also! All of our women made dishware - ceramics I’ve collected over time from different artists - all from Etsy!"
To Sum it Up:
- pantry item she can't live without: ghee
- always in her fridge: eggs and creamer
- her go to inspiration cookbook: Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking
- her most trusted kitchen tool: rice cooker
- 5 adjectives that describe her pantry style: messy, stacked, plentiful, consistent, yummy
- her all time favorite market: FRESHFARM Market in Dupont
- women she pines for: to name a few