Kitchen Stories Büsra from @mintyandbee
She's the girl with a big heart on Instagram. Meet the loveliest Büsra who runs the picture perfect foodie account @mintyandbee. Her creations are out of this world beautiful, just go and take a look yourself. But first - make sure you read all about Büsra and her kitchen stories down below.
Hi Büsra, tell us all a little bit about yourself.
In very few words I can describe myself as being; passionate, positive, always smiling, pedantic, a thinker, a bookworm, an animal lover, a traveller, on a journey to capture those little details that have a large impact on our lives. I am very passionate about everything I do, which stems from my upbringing in a Turkish family, although I was born and raised in Sydney, Australia.
My spare time is spent mostly at local organic stores fishing out new kitchen staples, taking photos of nature, exercising - I really love pilates and cross fit of late, going to the farm to pick my own produce, whipping up new sweets and writing. I write a lot. I have many unpublished works; stories, narratives, memoirs, and don’t ever think that I will publish them however I am really big on literature; both reading and writing.
You have a very beautiful Instagram account where you share your kitchen creations. When and how did you get into cooking? How about plant based foods?
Thank you so much, that is very sweet of you Ida! Well it really is difficult for me to provide a time frame, as this has been a really enriching process stemming from childhood. I am Turkish, and food plays a really large role culturally, food for Turkish people stemming back from the Ottoman empire is not just about the process of ‘eating physically’ yet is a holistic/sensual experience that should essentially be shared with loved ones. For me, this originates from my childhood, as my mother and grandmother loved cooking as well. I feel now contemporarily I have taken elements of their style, and really am trying to articulate it in a more ‘healthier’ manner.
Food for my family is a way of expressing ‘love’, when visitors come over, there is just always so much food prepared regardless of the number of guests who come, during weddings, engagements.
I personally do not refine myself to a particular type of diet, nor have I tried to create an identity around this, I like to celebrate all kinds of food that stand for ‘healthy’ keeping in mind that there are all kinds of dieting requirements whether it is simply through choice, or necessity. In a normal day, my diet consists of 90% vegan food. Over the last year or so, I have really invested some time to research about dieting and various dieting requirements, plant based foods are very much an avenue that continues to both spike my interest and challenge what I knew to be correct all along. That said, food for me is very experimental, through this process I am really learning more about who I am as a person, and really there is nothing more rewarding that assisting others in the meantime.
Name three must haves in your kitchen.
Nuts, dried fruits and grains, yoghurt, fruit!
Breakfast, lunch or dinner? Why?
Oh dear, this is such a difficult question to answer! Can I say all three in one? I really don’t want to discriminate!
Would you like to share a favourite snack to munch on in between meals?
Certainly, my favourite snack to carry around with me are actually protein balls. I find them to be so simple yet satiating, especially near a Turkish coffee!
What would your perfect food day look like?
My perfect food day would look like ...
Breakfast: An avocado on toast for breakfast with some sort of a smoothie, of course depending on my mood. Or a big bowl of granola, yoghurt and a whole heap of fruit.
Lunch: A big bowl of salad either tabouli, chickpea or lentil salad, I am really big on including legumes in my diet with some grilled tofu for a source of protein, alongside some seasonal fruit.
Dinner: Zoodles, veggie pizza or soup (I LOVE soups), with a side of a green salad. I really love wild rice/red or black of late steamed alongside some veggies as well, or a stir fry. I can go on forever, however refining to a few will be these.
Snacks: I actually snack a lot, and I really love to have desserts alongside some tea or coffee. I have a dessert every single day - the healthy ones of course! Some snacks that I enjoy in a day would be; rice paper rolls, chia puddings, rice puddings, smoothies, protein balls, dried fruits and nuts.
You are living in Sydney, Australia. Which places, cafes, restaurants and food shops must one visit when visiting your home cities? Feel free to share your hidden gems.
I am really busy so taking time out to go to a cafe occurs during those rare occasions to catch up with loved ones. I really like 'Petal Met Sugar', 'The Grounds' is a very pretty cafe (however way too busy over the weekend!), 'Bread and Circus', I really love the Turkish cafe 'Hakiki' in Newtown - their Turkish coffee is insanely delicious. There was this really amazing cafe that I went to last in Bondi (I don't quite recall the name though), it was just absolutely amazing and reminded me of Izmir/Turkey.
We all have a sweet tooth, don't we? What do you prefer to have when you need that sweet kick? Maybe you’d like to share an easy recipe as well?
Cookies, puddings, cakes, tarts, muffins you name it! However the easiest for me on the go is carrying protein balls in my hand bag. I always have a jar full of chia puddings and granola with yoghurt with me as well, there is not one day that I don’t travel with a jar!
Breakfast is served! I haven't posted a breakfast porridge recipe, so I thought it was time to close that gap.
Beetroot Quinoa Porridge
with Baked Bananas
vegan ● rfsf ● gf
1 cup quinoa flakes (or rolled oats)
1 cup plant milk
1 tbsp grated beetroot
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
2 tbsp sweetener
Mash one of your bananas with a fork.
I chose to blitz all of my ingredients in a blender to have them smooth, you may wish to skip this step.
Add in all of your ingredients in a pan excluding the beets and heat until the mixture comes to bubble slightly.
Once the porridge has soaked up all the liquid, half the mixture and add in the beetroot.
Slice your second banana in half and bake in a pan (without oil) until it becomes caramelized and slightly soft in consistency.
You’re the queen of food styling and presentation, no doubt. What is your best advice for taking a beautiful food photo?
Oh you are honestly way too kind! Thank you so so much for your beautiful compliments! I really love to celebrate nature in my food and love all forms of a shot looking organic, I love to have natural pops of colour in every dish.
You are obviously very inspiring young woman. Where do you get your cooking inspiration from? Any specific people/foodies out there that inspire you?
Thank you very much Ida!! My cooking inspiration stems mostly from my family, and partly my background. Often with styling food/recipe developing I rely on personal experiences to inspire me, and I find my style to be very much dependent on nature. I struggle to recall one shot that doesn't have an element of green or pops of colour. Reminiscing on personal experiences which is then translated into a plate full of food is just what I am trying to do, and a very major aspect of this is therapeutic.