Q&A: Lexi’s Clean Kitchen

Alexis Kornblum, of the blog Lexi's Clean Kitchen, tells us about her gluten-free, dairy-free, and allergy-free kitchen.

Alexis Kornblum image provided

Alexis Kornblum image provided

Food allergies are inspiring a new kind of food culture across the country, and Boston is jumping on the bandwagon with the full force of its creative entrepreneurs. Some make allergy-free snack bars, and others, like Alexis Kornblum, create hit allergy-free recipe blogs. Inspired by her own lifestyle change, Korblum started Lexi’s Clean Kitchen to help people everywhere—allergies or not—to live a balanced, healthy, and clean lifestyle.

We talked to the UMass Amherst grad and Boston resident about how Lexi’s Clean Kitchen started, who her test subjects are, and how art and food are most definitely related.

What first inspired you to make such a big lifestyle change?

I guess I was inspired to change my diet when I realized that being unhealthy was making me really unhappy. I was overweight and I had stomach issues, and I wasn’t happy. So I decided to try to cut things out of my diet. I felt so good after I did that it became less of a diet and more of a lifestyle.

And what inspired you to start Lexi’s Clean Kitchen? 

As I was making this change, I was posting recipes and pictures and lifestyle tips on social media and people really responded. They starting making my recipes and asking if I had a website and where they could get more recipes. So I took that and turned it in to Lexi’s Clean Kitchen. I think I really did it because I wanted to help others achieve this lifestyle. It’s really hard to eat clean like this and feel satisfied and I wanted to help other people get there. And I wanted to show people that it doesn’t have to be boring. I try to keep my recipes simple and easy-to-make, but exciting.

Is there any part of this lifestyle that is challenging for you? 

Well, at first, I was definitely like ‘how could I possibly cut cheese out of my diet?’ but I knew I wasn’t happy emotionally and it was because I wasn’t healthy physically, so I just went cold turkey and cut it all out. It was hard, but I felt so good afterward that I kept doing it.

What’s your favorite recipe? 

I love making breakfast dishes and desserts because I think those are the meals that people struggle with making gluten-free and dairy-free. So I like to surprise people with really great dishes like protein pancakes, and sweet potato home fries and doughnuts. And I love making dishes that put a clean spin on things that usually don’t work for people on a restricted diet. Like pasta. People can’t believe that they can make gluten-free or dairy-free dishes that satisfy them so I love making pasta dishes that prove that they can be both satisfied and healthy.

Have you had any recipes turn out badly? 

Yes, there have definitely been a few. But I always make sure that I make the recipe twice before I post it so I can be sure it tastes good. And I always share the recipe with my boyfriend and my family and whoever comes over for Sunday Night Football, to make sure I get an honest opinion about it. But there have definitely been a few where I make it, and taste it, and realize that it could be sweeter or softer so I try again. And then there are other issues. Like the other day when I dropped an entire batch of scones on the floor before I even got a chance to taste them.

Do you incorporate your love of art into the kitchen at all? 

Oh yes, all the time. I’ve always been an artist. My father was an artist, and I always loved painting and drawing. Now I teach elementary school art, grades K through 4, which I love. It helps to have that creative side when I’m trying to come up with all these recipes all the time. And when people ask me what I’m doing in my art career nowadays, I tell them food styling and photography. The photography aspect of the blog is a big aspect for me. I come up with the recipe, I make the recipe, and then I style and photograph the food and put it up on the blog. I really like having that whole finished product at the end.

What’s your favorite part about Lexi’s Clean Kitchen? 

The responses I get from people. I love waking up to the comments and the emails from people who made my recipes. It is really hard to eat this way, whether its because of allergies or by choice, and people are always so thankful for my recipes. It’s nice to feel like I’m helping people feel happy and satisfied with this lifestyle.

What’s next for you and for Lexi’s Clean Kitchen? 

For right now, in terms of my diet, I just want to keep figuring out what works for me. I try to tell my readers that there is a lot of variation on this style of eating. It’s not a religion and people shouldn’t stick to it so closely like it is. It’s all about living a healthy and balanced lifestyle and figuring out what works for your individual needs. As far as the blog, its been really growing which is exciting, and who knows? Maybe I’ll get a cookbook out at some point down the road.