Refrigerator Look Book: Danielle Walker

(Photo: Danielle Walker)

Danielle Walker doesn’t cook a single thing in her kitchen unless she envisions a place for it on her site, Against All Grain, or in one of her books.

And her fridge—a crucial part of her Tupperware-packed “test-kitchen”—is proof of that.

The 29-year-old has garnered a big following since she started the site seven years ago—and her new book, Against All Grain: Meals Made Simple, is already on the New York Times best sellers list.

Some of her popularity might have to do with her easy-to-follow and relatable approach—and the fact that her dairy-free, gluten-free, and Paleo recipes appeal to so many different types of people and dietary concerns.

Walker herself was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at 22. After courses of steroids with “unbearable side effects,” she decided to try to treat it with food. She went gluten-free, then took out grains, and started to eliminate dairy, she explains.

“Once I went Paleo, in 24 hours, I noticed a big improvement,” says Walker, describing a lessening in her symptoms, and proudly sharing that she’s been out of the hospital for three-plus years.

“I started my blog to share recipes and my journey,” says Walker, who lives with her husband and four-year-old son Asher in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Her readers, she says, are just trying to find healthier ideas, whether they have Celiac or Crohn’s Disease, follow a Paleo or dairy-free diet, or are wondering how food might be playing a role in their wellness. “I encourage people to find what works best for them and use my recipes and ideas as a starting point,” she says.

To that end, find out why Walker always keeps grass-fed beef and homemade ghee on hand, and a few healthy tricks, like how she turns cauliflower into rice. —Molly Gallagher

Danielle Walker-against-all-grain-refrigerator
(Photo: Danielle Walker)

Do your husband and son practice a gluten-free and mostly dairy-free diet, too? My husband follows the same diet as me, and my son is gluten-free. We give him 100 percent grass-fed milk. He also loves probiotic yogurts. He calls them candy. I also buy him some gluten-free packaged snacks. My disease isn’t hereditary but it does make him more susceptible.

I love that he calls probiotics candy. Tell me about what’s in the crisper? The cauliflower is for cauliflower rice. I essentially chop cauliflower to mimic rice. I have a few different recipes for it in my books. One is a coconut lime cilantro cauliflower rice. We put it in burrito bowls. Occasionally, I like to make cauliflower pizza crust, too.

Brilliant! It looks like you have a lot of leftovers in the Tupperware. Can you tell me about them? One of the containers on the bottom shelf has taco meat. In my new book, there’s a preservative- and starch-free seasoning mix. The mixes at the grocery store usually have a starch.

One of the containers is cauliflower rice. And to the right of that in the white bowl is flank steak with peppers—a slow-cooker meal. On the top shelf is a pumpkin puree—I was testing a new pumpkin bread recipe.

To the right of that is a spaghetti sauce. My son loves spaghetti. We make it with zucchini noodles. And the container to right of the eggs is a homemade dairy-free ranch dressing. It’s a combo of coconut milk and homemade mayonnaise.

Then, finally, I have homemade ghee on the top shelf. I use it a lot in my book. It’s not completely dairy-free. It’s 99 percent lactose-free. It’s good to cook with.

Wow, so are you constantly trying out recipes? I very rarely serve something at home that doesn’t go up on the blog or in a book. I also like to cook a lot of things at the beginning of the week—it’s definitely a lot of prep, but I freeze a lot. I cook about three times a week. Then the other nights we use leftovers or pull something out of the freezer. We don’t get to enjoy favorite recipes because I’m always creating something new!

I wouldn’t complain! What’s your go-to recipe if you only have 10-15 minutes? The tacos would be it. I keep the seasoning mix in jar, we always have grass-fed ground beef in freezer, and lettuce in the fridge, so we can throw that together.

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