By Molly Patrick
Nov 11, 2014
It’s been real, Bold Vegan, but it’s time to say goodbye.
And it’s time to give a red carpet
welcome to CLEAN FOOD DIRTY GIRL.
Crack open the sparkly, ya’ll. Hoot to the hooty, woot to the tooty
It’s official, we’re laying Bold Vegan to rest and moving forward as Clean Food Dirty Girl.
We have been hard at work behind the scenes, making our new site all sparkly and rad and we think it’s pretty fucking brilliant.
Here’s a little back story about our business and the quick and dirty on why we made the change.
My co-founder, Luanne and I began our business as a little side project a few years ago.
It all started after a trip we took to South East Asia in 2011.
Luanne is from the capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur and from my very first visit there, I fell in love with the people, the food and the culture.
The food in South East Asia is off the hook and Malaysia happens to be the food capital of that region because of the Indian, Chinese and Portuguese influence, not to mention the native Malay flavors. It’s like one huge flavorful melting pot of deliciousness.
When we got home from our 2011 Asia trip, we decided that we would eventually write a small vegan cookbook of South East Asian favorites, mostly street food and stuff that Luanne grew up eating.
I’ve been vegan since 2008 and Luanne eats anything- vegan or not.
This was the perfect combination because she could be the taste tester and taste not only for authenticity of the dishes, but she could also tell me if the recipes would fly with meat eaters.
I’ve never eaten meat in my life, so I have nothing to compare it to. Give me any food that’s vegan and I’m happy. Apparently, meat eaters don’t feel the same way (ha!).
So we made time to work on our book when we weren’t at our pesky day jobs. I got busy creating recipes and Luanne got busy creating our website.
I happen to have a degree in photography, so that came in handy. Luanne happens to make websites and has a killer eye for design.
We learned that our individual skills were perfectly matched and of course, we both LOVE to eat. It was our dream business in the making.
Oh, and to make things even more convenient, Luanne’s brother happens to be a kick-ass graphic designer. We had our team together and we were ready to roll.
We dedicated every single evening and weekend to our project for three months straight, and our first book, Bold Vegan – Food of South East Asia came out in 2012.
We self funded the project with income from our jobs and we self published the book using Amazon’s self publishing platform, Create Space.
A month after it was finished, we had sold under 50 copies, but that didn’t stop us from being hungry for more.
We decided to leave California and hit the road to New Mexico where we would live with my parents and create our second cookbook. This time we would cook up vegan Western and Asian comfort food. We packed up our two cats and hit the road to the high desert.
We spent 7 months in New Mexico creating and self publishing our second cookbook, Bold Vegan – Food for the Body and Soul.
We were on a roll and we were starving for more, but our bank accounts needed some love, so we moved back to California for work.
As soon as we rolled into the San Francisco Bay Area on the jam packed, bumper to bumper, traffic filled I-580 , we knew it was going to be a short stint. We were both done with city life and it felt wrong from the very start to go back to the daily grind. And sure enough, nothing went smoothly and we would only be there for 7 months.
When shit isn’t going smooth and it feels like a constant struggle, it usually means that something is off. Life shouldn’t feel hard all the time and like you’re constantly swimming upstream. Leave the upstream swimming to Salmons and take a good look at what needs shedding to make your load a little lighter and a lot easier.
The truth is, neither one of us wanted to work for anyone else. We put it out to the universe that we wanted to be our own boss, that we did not want to be location dependent, and that we wanted to be of service to other people. We threw it out there and we let go, trusting that the universe had our back, as it always does.
The universe answered because 7 months later I was very unexpectedly fired from my job and my dad had heart failure all within the same week (that was a doozy of a week). We quickly packed our shit and moved back to the Southwest.
My dad has recovered from his heart failure and we went from paying $3,600 a month in rent in the Bay Area to $565 a month. (I know!)
The fact that it’s so cheap to live here made it possible for us to work on our business full time, as long as we both pick up gigs here and there.
We’ve been doing this full time since January 2014. From the moment we put 100% of our energy and attention on our business, it became clear that what we were working towards was much bigger than we had originally thought when we were writing our first and even our second cookbook.
We realized that we had an opportunity to connect with people and to help people improve their lives by teaching them how to eat more plants and less of everything else. And while our cookbooks are pretty, they aren’t vessels to help transform lives.
We needed to go deeper, to get more specific and tactical, to build authentic relationships with our readers and community and to create products that people would look back on and say, “Doing that changed my life”.
So we took heed, changed course and started to morph. I fully embraced the idea of being 100% authentic and honest in my communication. We dropped the fear of how people might react when they found out that Luanne isn’t plant based. We started asking questions to find out what tools would help people eat better. We put all of our cards on the table and went all in (insert Texas Holdem’ analogy here).
It’s been 10 months since we’ve been at it and we’ve learned a lot.
One of the biggest things that we’ve learned is that we are not Bold Vegan, we are Clean Food Dirty Girl.
We didn’t choose the name, the name chose us.
I feel like Bold Vegan is our baby who’s turned into a kick-ass adult and is ready for the world. Kind of like Hannah Montana to full blown Miley Cyrus, only with a less famous dad.
At the end of the day, whether you’re vegan or not, we want to help you eat a more nutrient rich diet. Period.
And from here, we’re only going up. We will continue to create entertaining emails and blogs, yummy Whole Food Plant Based recipes, an amazingly supportive community, and weekly Plant Fueled Meal Plans.
Welcome to Clean Food Dirty Girl – come in and make yourself comfy.
If there are topics that you’d like us to cover, recipes you want us to develop, ways we can help you eat better, wins you want to share with us, or you just want to say hi, please email us anytime.
We read and respond to every single email that we receive.
Today I’m sharing the perfected method for cooking black beans in an Instant Pot. These babies have a ton of flavor and are the perfect, soft consistency.
- 1 cup dried black beans 200 g, soaked in water and 1/2 teaspoon of salt overnight
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 1/2 cups water 355 ml
- Place the dried black beans in a medium-large bowl, along with water enough to cover the beans by a couple of inches and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Place a lid loosely on the bowl and soak for 8 hours, either on your counter or in the fridge.
- Drain and rinse the beans well and then press the saute button on your Instant Pot. Heat up the inner pot for 2 minutes and then add the drained and rinsed beans, along with the rest of the ingredients (chili powder, coriander powder, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, salt and cumin powder).
- Stir and cook for 2 minutes and then turn off the Instant Pot. Lock the lid in place, making sure the nozzle is pointing in the sealed position. Use the Manual (or Pressure Cooking) mode and set the timer for 15 minutes.
- After the timer goers off, use the natural release method until all of the pressure is out of the pot. Carefully remove the lid and stir. There will be some liquid left in the pot but thats okay, it will thicken up as it sets.
- Eat just like that, put in a burrito, make tacos, add some tomatoes and avocado and wrap it all up in a blanched collard. So many yummy things you can do with this recipe.
Have a kick ass week!
Remember to eat lots of greens, choose berries instead of candy, and hydrate with plenty of water. When you take care of your body, it’ll take care of you and treat you like the beautiful goddess you are.
With much love and lots and lots of gratitude.