Linsay's Vegan Garden-to-Table Kitchen

Kitchen Tour

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Who cooks and eats here: Linsay Colvin and her fiancé Jason Bodenheimer
Where: Novato, CA
Rent or Own? Own

When I arrived at Linsay Colvin’s cottage home on a warm summer afternoon, she was barefoot in her kitchen baking vegan galettes. Her kitchen was warm and smelled like pie. The minty green paint in her open shelving glowed with the light flooding in through their skylights. The counters were full of freshly harvested kale and cucumbers from their sizable garden. Her dog Bonnie stuck close to her heels, following the kale with her eyes, begging for a piece to drop as a mid-afternoon snack.

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Bonnie isn’t the only veggie lover in the house. Linsay and her fiancé Jason are practicing vegans who, with some serious elbow grease and whole lot of love, have managed to cultivate a garden big enough to sustain them with little to no grocery shopping. "We rarely go grocery shopping, especially in the summer," explains Linsay of her garden-to-table lifestyle. As someone who struggles to keep cacti alive, I found this to be extremely inspiring. The original sketch for their garden lives in a frame in their dining area as a beautiful reminder of what they’ve managed to build.

These two are not afraid to get their hands dirty. The rest of the kitchen is full of projects they have executed together. Linsay recently decided to embrace the open shelving movement by tearing down their cabinet doors and repainting. A set of built-ins around the refrigerator were designed by the couple and built with the help of Linsay’s uncle. Their farmhouse-style dining table was also a dream and a sketch brought to life by Jason. Linsay built the rustic light fixture over their dining room table out of a repurposed branch. As a weekend project they decided to tear down one of their kitchen walls and put in a butcher block countertop. I was impressed by their fearlessness and their DIY know how. It’s inspiring to see what two people can create with an idea and their own two hands.

I left their house with a garbage bag full of kale, a belly full of galette, and the feeling that you can build anything with enough love and intention. But, a couple of green-thumbs and some construction know how doesn’t hurt. At all.

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10 Questions for Linsay (and Her Kitchen)

1. What inspires your kitchen and your cooking?
Cottage, compassion, the garden, lots of blogs...

2. What is your favorite kitchen tool or element?
BlendTec. I use it everyday. I don't know how people live without them. I'm lost without my morning green smoothie! And cashew sour cream is a staple in every household, right?

3. What's the most memorable meal you've ever cooked in this kitchen?Mothers Day brunch for 30 in my tiny cottage kitchen. That was a feat. It was a fabulous patio party. We had gluten-free, vegan corn and old bay waffles (a favorite in my house), Ebelskivers, a vegan frittata, Ramos fizzes with vegan ice cream and mimosas, to name a few things.

4. The biggest challenge in your kitchen:
The tiny oven. Well, the whole space is pretty tiny but we make it work.

5. Is there anything you wish you had done differently?
Hmm... I want new cabinets someday, but for now, sprucing them up by taking off a couple of the doors and the mint green accent paint is holding me over.

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6. Biggest indulgence or splurge in the kitchen:
The custom built-ins I designed and had built around the fridge. Thanks to TKO Construction! They are the tops!

7. Is there anything you hope to add or improve in your kitchen?
My dad is a concrete contractor (Scott's Concrete) so I can't wait for him to do my concrete countertops. He does really beautiful work. I also have a farmhouse sink and a new oven on the list.

8. How would you describe your cooking style?
Healthy, fresh, vegan, low gluten. Oh, and you'd be hard pressed to find a dessert that I won't try to change into vegan and gluten-free and feed to everyone I run into to see if they can tell.

9. Best cooking advice or tip you ever received:
Eat seasonally as much as possible, plan meals in advance for the week, take notes when you are experimenting or adapting recipes.

10. What are you cooking this week?
Galettes galore! Figs and peaches are abundant around here and I happen to have the best neighbors ever that are always dropping off their fruit. We also got our first bundle of asparagus from our garden so we will put some garlic on it and grill that up. Stuffed zucchini from the garden with a homemade pesto sauce, and kale, kale, kale and more kale.

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Resources of Note:

  • Glass jars: mostly The Container Store
  • Vase on top of built-ins: Nutmeg, a beautiful home décor store my cousin opened in Nicasio, California.
  • Mint green Cuisinart mixer: One Kings Lane
  • Cuisinart Knife set: Amazon
  • Spice magnets on fridge: The Container Store
  • Antique wrought iron mini bar: antique store in Sebastopol, CA
  • Green glasses: One Kings Lane
  • Butcher block bar countertop: IKEA
  • Mint green paint: Kindersly B32-2 by Clark + Kensington from Ace Hardware
  • Built in cabinets around fridge: Custom made by my uncle TKO Construction
  • Blender: Blendtec
  • Wine decanter: Sur la Table
  • Water filter: Rettin Water Ionizer
  • Apron: homemade by grandmother
  • Dining room table: handmade by my wonderful fiancé
  • Dining room chairs: garage sales
  • Window frame used as picture frame: Urban Ore in Berkeley
  • Dining room light fixture: handmade by me
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(Image credits: Gina Eykemans)