Andrew Olson & The One Ingredient Chef Story

“Food is power, and we decide with every bite we take whether that power is working for us or against us. One Ingredient Chef was created to put the power of food back on your side.”

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The Beginning of One Ingredient Chef

Growing up, cooking was never a big part of my life. I have no stories of baking cookies as a toddler or attending a prestigious French culinary school. Before One Ingredient Chef took over, I was an internet entrepreneur, personal development blogger, and web developer. Cooking wasn’t even on the horizon until one January night changed all of that.

I was going through some personal challenges that had me feeling totally stressed and overwhelmed. Food was the last thing on my mind, but I was willing to try anything that might get me out of bed. So almost by instinct, I walked into the kitchen, flipped on the lights, and began to make dinner.

There was some whole wheat pasta in the cupboard and fresh veggies in the crisper, so a stir-fry was on the menu. 20 minutes later, after dancing through the movements of chopping, boiling, sautéing, and seasoning this dish, I suddenly realized that the problems I faced earlier had faded completely. I felt better. The beautiful aromas of this fresh stir-fry began to fill my spirits as much as my kitchen.

Even more, I noticed that I was hungry for the first time in two days, so I spooned this stir-fry onto my plate and sat down at the table to savor it. The warming ginger inspired me. The noodles grounded me. The crisp vegetables energized me. With each bite, I was re-learning what so many of us in this fast-food world have forgotten – that cooking and enjoying real, fresh, whole ingredients is absolutely essential to our wellbeing.

“Let food be thy medicine,” the advice of a culinary sage from 2,500 years ago, was suddenly a reality in my life. I may not have recognized it yet, but the kitchen had just become a sacred, almost spiritual, place for me.

As I ate, I began to reflect on the foods we choose to eat and the far-reaching impact of those choices. What we have for dinner affects every corner of our lives; from physical health, to mental wellbeing, to relationships, and so much more. Had I just peeled back the plastic film of a frozen microwavable dinner on this evening, I would have never enjoyed the value of this real food or the joy of cooking it. Food, I saw, has incredible power in our lives.

The dark side of this power is painfully obvious. Alarming rates of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and a host of other physical and mental problems have been our rewards for choosing fake, fast, processed junk instead of real food. We have turned our backs on the foods that lead to vibrant health and it has cost us dearly. But thankfully, there is another side to this story.

Food also has tremendous power to do good in our lives. When we make the simple choice to eat real ingredients, food works to support our health rather than destroy it. The natural compounds in whole foods strengthen our blood vessels, zap damaging free radicals, brighten our moods, and give us energy that lasts all day. Real food has real power, and the fact that these ingredients are the freshest and most delicious substances on the planet makes it seem all the more absurd that we would ever choose to eat anything else.

That stir-fry experience changed everything for me. Cooking immediately became the cornerstone of my life, a daily habit, and one of my greatest sources of joy. I had to spread the word. It wasn’t long before I recognized that this was my mission. Someway, somehow, I was determined to share the beautiful side of real food with anyone who would listen. That’s why I founded One Ingredient Chef. Since then, this website has helped hundreds of thousands of home cooks learn to make deliciously healthy meals from scratch.

I have watched people use this “One Ingredient” philosophy to reverse chronic disease, melt away excess weight, improve mental health, and even strengthen their relationships, all while cooking the most satisfying food of their lives, saving countless animals from suffering, and healing the environment. Food is power, and we get to decide with every bite we take whether that power is working for us or against us. One Ingredient Chef was created to put the power of food back on your side.


Random Facts About Me (In No Particular Order)

28 years old … INTJ … I’ve been eating a completely vegan diet for nearly 6 years … I love running long distances, typically 20-40 miles per week … As you can see in the photos above, I like avocados … I’ve lived in California my whole life (currently in the LA area, but I’ll probably be starting a hippie vegan commune in Big Sur any day now) … I have an eclectic range interests, from technology to wine to photography to soccer to economics to meditation to Formula 1 and so much more … I can’t decide whether I love tea or wine more … After learning photography to shoot photos of my recipes, it has become my favorite hobby … I had a “real job” once when I was in high school and decided to never do that again … Sarcasm is my favorite … Social media makes me grumpy (so please follow me on Instagram) but meeting internet people in real life is always fun.


Press Mentions & Awards

2015
Plant-Based Blogs Run by Men (PETA) /// Waffle-Based Concoctions (The Chive) /// 34 Clean Eating Recipes for a New Year (Buzzfeed) /// 21 Chia Seed Recipes (Dr. Axe) /// 23 Make-Ahead Meals To Freeze (Buzzfeed) /// 31 Vegan Recipes for $3 (PETA) /// Recipes that Prove Lentils are Better (Choose Veg) /// Homemade Protein Bars (Eat This, Not That) /// Top 10 Male Food Bloggers (VegNews) ///

2014
13 Vegan Risottos To Keep You Warm This Fall (Huffington Post) /// 22 Delicious Meatless Mains To Make For Thanksgiving (Buzzfeed) /// 11 Garlic Recipes To Ward Off Vampires (Choose Veg) /// Chai-Infused Pumpkin Pie Smoothie (Kris Carr) /// Good-For-You Tailgating Grub (Spry Living) /// Green Tea Dessert Ideas (Michelle Phan) /// 26 Comfort Foods That Are Even Better With Veggies (BuzzFeed) /// 20 of the Best Vegan Blogs to Follow (Running on Real Food) /// 21 Healthy Freezer Meals With No Meat (BuzzFeed) /// The Vegan Ice Cream That Everyone’s Eating Right Now (Huffington Post) /// 33 Vegan Comfort Food Recipes (Greatist) /// 15 Veganized Versions Of Your Favorite Foods (BuzzFeed) /// 5 New Ways to Use Avocado (Parade) /// 3rd Place: 2014 Vegan Blogs to Watch (The Vegan Woman) /// Interview with The Seasonal Diet /// 5-Ingredient Recipes for Your Slow Cooker (iVillage) /// The Greatest Ways On Earth To Eat Peanut Butter And Jelly (Huffington Post) /// Sunflower Pesto Tabbouleh (NoshOn.It) /// Interview with Year of Enough

2013
Ridiculously Delicious Thanksgiving Recipes (Cosmopolitan) /// Cookie Butter Latte (VegNews) /// Brussels Sprout Recipes for Thanksgiving (BuzzFeed) /// Interview with Fellowship of the Vegetable /// 21 Delicious Vegan Dinners Made with Sweet Potatoes (Babble) /// The Dr. Don Show Radio Interview /// Creamy Cauliflower Alfredo (VegNews)


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