D. Pervenetskaite: everyone can be their own chef

Dayna and Juste Perveneckite are nineteen and fifteen year old sisters who work in the kitchen and in social networks. They started sharing recipes and health secrets on social media two years ago. Today, older sister Dayna openly talks about her work as a food blogger and assures that anyone can learn to cook.

– When did you feel the passion to cook and share it with others?

– When I was little, I ran to my mother or grandmother in the kitchen and asked them to cook together. I wanted to learn how to make something very, very tasty, feed others, and show my love that way. I have seen this in my family all my life, so I wanted to learn how to please my loved ones with food. Well, in eighth grade, I started working alone in the kitchen. At first, I made it only for myself and was afraid to even taste it for someone – I thought that it would not taste good for anyone, I did not value myself much. Gradually I gained experience and confidence, and then my sister and I started cooking for the whole family, friends and relatives. The main thing is to want and try, not be afraid to make mistakes, ask for help, because this is the only way to learn. When you see others like it, you’re more motivated to create, experiment, and share.

– You manage your Instagram account together with your sister. How do you get along in the kitchen?

– I would be lying if I said that we get along well. Often the cooking process is interesting, it even strengthens our relationship, we learn something new about each other. However, there are occasional disagreements and disputes, which we will try to resolve as soon as possible. From a young age, we learned from our parents the rule that food should be prepared with love – it is the most important ingredient in food.

– In social networks you share not only recipes, but also tips and information about food and health. At nineteen, do you follow the same meal planning rules that you recommend to others? If so, what experience do you have?

– Yes, I have been planning meals for about three years. In the eleventh grade, I realized that I didn’t like school food, that the portions were too small for me. Then a few days ago I decided to cook at home and bring it to school. I also started cooking dinner for my parents. Some may find that pre-prepared food gets boring very quickly. I assure you that it is not: changing the sauce or vegetables will change the taste of the food.

At school, I was asked how I find time to prepare lunch in advance – homework, recess and going to clubs took up a lot of time. But I didn’t spend much time in the kitchen. While the pasta or cereal is cooking, I add meat, tofu or other protein-rich foods, stir-fry vegetables, and sometimes add fresh vegetables. Then, after everything was cooked or baked, I would put my parents’ food in bowls, make a quick sauce, and make dinner. The next day I chose other grains and vegetables. I often make waffles (spinach, ricotta, chickpea or carrot and cheese flavors – there are many options). After mixing a lot of batter and baking a lot of waffles, you can freeze them. If you don’t have time to cook, freeze and you’ll have a great meal. I also made stews – they are delicious even cold, and you can add your favorite ingredients to them.

So planning what food you’re going to cook and cooking it at home is a huge advantage: it’s delicious, it’s healthy, it’s economical. In addition, you will take care of your loved ones in this way, so that they also eat delicious and balanced food.

– The situation is probably familiar to many – tasty, but not appetizing. What would you say to those who want not only delicious, but also aesthetic food?

– If the food looks beautiful and aesthetically attractive, it tastes better to me. After all, we eat with our eyes first. I have a few tricks to make food look good. First of all – colors. The more colors, the better. Colorful vegetables provide not only beauty, but also health benefits – after all, they contain many important substances and vitamins for the body. The second trick is herbs. When we put them on a dish, we get even more colors – bright green color creates the impression that the food is fresh, rich in taste, fresh and of high quality. It is better to sow seeds or chopped nuts. It is important to put the food on the plate beautifully and not to burn it.

Planning meals and preparing them at home has many advantages: it’s tasty, healthy, economical. In addition, you will take care of your loved ones in this way, so that they also eat delicious and balanced food.

– What do you like to cook? Which meal of the day do you spend the most time preparing?

– I like to experiment with the sweetest flavors, for example, making sweet oatmeal or baking healthy muffins, cookies, cakes. I spend a lot of time cooking dinner. I think lunch is the main meal of the day. I always make them delicious and filling, so I don’t waste my time on this. I make breakfast quickly, in five minutes, because I eat oatmeal every morning, changing the recipe a little each time. I change the milk, fruits, berries, other spices, as well as the cooking method – sometimes I boil, sometimes I bake, sometimes I leave it to swell in the refrigerator overnight. I don’t spend much time on dinner either. I choose meals that I can make myself from the products in the refrigerator. This year, my sister and I found a very tasty way to use leftovers from the fridge and make them very quickly and deliciously. All you need to do is stir-fry vegetables in a pan with meat, fried eggs or tofu. Then put this filling in a flatbread and top with lettuce, your choice of sauce, avocado or even melted cheese. All you have to do is to roll the bun well and fry it in a pan until it turns a little brown, and a delicious dinner is ready!

– The food you prepared and photographed looks very tasty, but the question arises about the calories. Do you agree that delicious food is necessarily high in calories? Do you have any tips on how to achieve balance when eating?

– Sister Juste and I are active. We’re not afraid of calories, and neither is everyone. It’s important to note that not all calories are created equal. I mean, choosing fast food for lunch can have the same or even fewer calories than a home cooked meal, but the question is how do you feel after eating it? When do you want to eat again? How many nutrients do you get from this food? I think you will agree that home cooked food is more nutritious, more complete and healthy, you feel better after eating it, you don’t get stomach ache like when you eat fast food. But there is no need to completely abandon such food. Whenever we want, we eat it and any cookies, ice cream, potato chips. You can’t limit yourself because it’s unhealthy. Ask yourself if I really want it, how will I feel after eating this food. We found a balance, a rule – we often cook at home, eat healthy, but if we really want to, sometimes we choose less healthy food.

– Where do you get recipe ideas from? Which country’s food is close to your heart?

– We get ideas from other Instagram accounts, but we change the taste and proportions to our own. We try to replicate the dishes we have tasted in restaurants, but we add our own. There’s so much going on these days, all you have to do is cook! Also magazines, books provide inspiration and ideas from visiting other countries. Perhaps the country whose cuisine is closest to us is Mexico. As I mentioned, we enjoyed the tortillas, burritos, rice bowls with avocado, beans and corn. And where are the tomato soups and hot sauces!.. Very, very tasty, close to the heart.

– What do you do outside the kitchen? What other hobbies do you have?

– My sister Juste is a professional athlete, she is involved in sports walking, she pays a lot of attention to studying at school, reading books, training a dog and, of course, spending time with her friends. I study dentistry, dance in an ensemble, have an interest in health, and share my knowledge by creating health posts on our Instagram page @skanumynas.

– Is cooking just a hobby for you, or do you connect your future with it?

– Cooking – taking care of our own health and the health of our relatives is a favorite activity. I want our account to grow and improve, create more recipes and share the tips we’ve been doing. We’ve come up with new projects that I don’t want to talk about yet, but the news will be here for everyone soon! We don’t look too far into the future, we live in the present and enjoy what we do.

– Do you think culinary skills are innate or developed?

– These abilities can definitely be developed. I know many people who don’t even want to set foot in a restaurant, and now order food at home and cook it very deliciously. I’ve heard so many stories of people who wanted to make a change from junk food, started cooking healthy, and then loved cooking so much that now they can’t imagine their life without it. So I think you have to really want to and not be afraid to make mistakes. Everyone can be the chef of his own kitchen. And not just any, but great!

– What rules do you follow when cooking?

– There are many, but one of the most important is to cook from leftovers and not throw them away. Food waste is a huge problem in our age when many people around the world are suffering from hunger. So, if you have leftover meat, porridge, chickpeas, lentils or something else, don’t be lazy to use it after browsing the recipes on our or other Instagram accounts or finding ideas on the Internet. My motto is: “Stop wasting food!”


Bars

Sugar-free, dairy-free – suitable for vegetarians.

65 g of dark chocolate,

100 g of nut cream,

100 g of sugar-free corn flakes,

50 g of coconut,

1 tablespoon of syrup (if you want it sweeter).

Melt the chocolate and mix with the nut cream. If you are using syrup, pour it over. Then, lightly crush the flakes with your hands and add them to the chocolate and peanut butter mixture along with the coconut flakes. Put everything in the form and press well. Leave it in the fridge for a few hours and cut it into the desired size.


Sweet potato waffles and beet salad

(for 3-4 servings)

2 sweet potatoes

1 carrot,

1 onion,

1 tablespoon of dill,

1 tablespoon of ice cream,

2 eggs,

200 ml of milk,

70 g wheat flour,

80 g oat flour,

1 teaspoon of baking powder,

70 g of grated cheese.

For the salad:

boiled and grated beets,

cauliflower,

a few handfuls of pine nuts,

two tablespoons of mayonnaise.

Peel and dice sweet potatoes and carrots and cook until soft. Puree the cooked sweet potatoes, carrots, milk and eggs in a blender. Then add cheese, flour, spices, baking powder. Finely chop the onion and mix it with the dill into the dough. Bake in a waffle iron and season with desired toppings. For the salad, finely chop the cauliflower and fry it in a pan until softened and slightly browned. Then mix it with beetroot, mayonnaise, salt and add fried nuts.


Tofu balls in sauce

150 g of tofu “Soyalita” with spices,

30 g of chickpea flour (oat and wheat flour are fine),

2 tablespoons of ketchup,

a pinch of salt

1 clove of garlic, minced

paprika spice.

For the sauce:

1 small onion,

1 clove of garlic,

1 tablespoon of olive oil,

1 cup (250 ml) tomato sauce,

2 tablespoons of coconut milk,

1 teaspoon of starch, one tablespoon of water,

1/2 teaspoon curry spices,

a pinch of salt.

Service:

soy yogurt,

fresh herbs.

Grind all the ingredients for the dumplings in a blender. Make balls from this mass and bake for 25 minutes in an oven heated to 180 ° C. While they are cooking, you can prepare the sauce. Finely chop the onion and garlic and fry in a pan with oil for about 3 minutes. on medium flame. Add all spices, pour tomato sauce, coconut milk. Then mix the starch with water and pour it into the sauce mass, stirring it constantly. After the sauce has thickened and the meatballs are cooked, place them in the sauce and top with yogurt and herbs.

Personal archive photo of D. Pervenetskaite.

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