Food Heaven Made Easy’s philosophy is simple and sustainable: our diets should strike a balance between pleasure and nutrition. Now with a thriving YouTube community, cookbook, podcast and popular plant-based blog, the two friends behind Food Heaven are bringing their dream — and delicious recipes — to life. Together, Jessica Jones (MS, RD, CDE) and Wendy Lopez (MS, RD) are helping people across the country transform their diets in a way that’s easy to pull off — and maintain.
FOOD PHILOSOPHY IN ONE SENTENCE:
JJ: Food should be a balance of pleasure and nutrition.
ALWAYS IN MY FRIDGE:
JJ: Tortillas, broccoli and yogurt.
WL: At least three types of cheeses, eggs and Vita Coco Pressed Coconut Water.
7 recipe staples always on hand:
JJ: Garlic olive oil, canned tomatoes, frozen cheese, canned beans, frozen ginger cubes, sesame seed oil and liquid aminos.
WL: Soy sauce, olive oil, eggs, onions, garlic, salt and rice noodles.
JJ: Costco mini fruit snacks, kettle chips and fruit.
WL: Trader Joe’s baked cheese crunchies, Talenti Sicilian pistachio ice cream and sharp cheddar cheese with crackers.
JJ: Dijon mustard, ketchup, BBQ sauce and tahini.
WL: Mayo, pesto and soy sauce.
Ingredient that makes everything taste better:
JJ: Canned diced tomatoes.
JJ: Frozen chopped peppers from Trader Joe’s. I add them to literally everything from pasta sauce to tacos.
WL: Beans, beans and more beans.
Best label-reading tip:
JJ: When purchasing whole grains, I recommend aiming for at least three grams of fiber.
Fave veggie + what you make with it:
JJ: Broccoli! When I’m in a rush I steam in the microwave and add olive oil, salt and pepper.
WL: Beet greens! I saute them with olive oil, garlic, onions and a pinch of salt.
Must-have pantry staples:
WL: Brown rice, oils (olive, coconut, sesame), chickpeas, black beans and lentils, spices (paprika, oregano, black pepper, berbere, ground garlic, cumin, cayenne), tomato sauce, toasted sesame seeds and pasta.
JJ: Basically the same, LOL!
Craziest FOOD I buy:
JJ & WL: We believe all foods fit so we don’t consider anything crazy.
Go-to Sweet or other indulgence:
JJ: Cashew ice cream, whipped cream and fruit leathers.
WL: Trader Joe’s raw honey! I enjoy a small spoonful of it when I’m craving sweets and it always hits the spot.
Dairy or non-dairy faves:
JJ: Cheddar cheese, Greek yogurt, cashew yogurt, cashew ice cream and Burrata.
WL: Burrata cheese, ricotta cheese, feta cheese and gorgonzola cheese (any cheese really!).
JJ: Creme brulee!
WL: Eating out at really fancy restaurants that have insanely good food.
Go-to For last-minute entertaining:
JJ: Tacos with beans, lettuce, cheddar cheese, avocados and salsa.
WL: Tostada bar with pureed beans, guacamole, sour cream, queso fresco, cilantro and onions.
Favorite places to shop:
JJ: Berkeley Bowl, Trader Joes, Grocery Outlet, any local market and the farmer’s market.
WL: The farmer’s market, the local Chinese market, Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s.
Best food memory:
JJ: When my mother-in-law makes Eritrean food for us to eat for the week….so good!
WL: My dad, who never cooks, making me a veg egg scramble with boiled plantains because my mom was away. It was delicious.
Simple go-to recipe:
Coconut Watermelon Spritzer (see below)
Coconut Watermelon Spritzer
1 can of Vita Coco Pineapple Passionfruit Sparkling Coconut water
4 cups chopped watermelon (preferably refrigerated so that the beverage is cold)
juice of 1 lime
2-4 mint leaves
coconut rum, optional
Blend chopped watermelon, lime juice and two mint leaves.
Grab two or three cups. Pour watermelon mixture into each cup until they are all about ¾ full (you want to leave room to add the sparkling coconut water).
Top each glass off with ice-cold coconut water and stir. If the coconut water and watermelon are not cold, add ice to cool beverage. Add rum, if desired (about .5 to 1 ounce in each glass).
Decorate with extra lime and mint leaves. Enjoy!