Michaela Cisney

Michaela is a recipe developer for The Kitchn. She spent her childhood pulling carrots and hunting wild strawberries on a sustainable farm, actually believes that fresh food is the best medicine, and drinks more tea than is proper. She also writes here.
5-Minute Vegan Breakfast Smoothie
If you’re short on time in the morning, there’s nothing quite as fast or as tasty as a fruit smoothie. But smoothies do seem to have one drawback: Are they ever as filling as a proper breakfast? The answer is yes — they can be! It’s all a matter of adding the right ingredients for a smoothie that’s equal parts convenient, delicious, and satisfying.
Jul 19, 2023
Recipe: Honey-Lime Fruit Salad Smoothie
April is here, which means that it’s officially been seven months since the sweet, succulent fruits of summer filled my kitchen. I’ve been eating apples since September, citrus season has now faded (farewell, clementines), and the few peaches and plums that recently surfaced in the produce section are most definitely not in season.
Jan 29, 2020
Recipe: Tropical Cilantro Smoothie
You know what’s really good for you? A tropical vacation. Truly. Sunlight on your skin boosts serotonin (the happy hormone), while the gentle brush of waves on seashore and breeze in palm trees relaxes mind and muscle. Unfortunately, most of us live far from seaside paradise. What’s the next best thing to a tropical getaway? A tropical smoothie, obviously.
Jan 29, 2020
Recipe: Dairy-Free Raspberry Mango Mint Smoothie
This light, dairy-free blend packs a punch with the quintessential summer flavor of fresh raspberries, the creamy sweet addition of ripe mango, and the perfect pick-me-up flavor of mint. Not too sweet, not too complicated, and topped with a dash of salt and lime, this is the ultimate lazy afternoon smoothie.
Jan 29, 2020
Recipe: Banana-Date Smoothie
Calling all cardamom-lovers!
Jan 29, 2020
Recipe: Smoothie Breakfast Bowl with Berries & Granola
I love granola. I love it especially because granola sneaks things like chocolate chunks, coconut flakes, and sugared pecans into my bowl and yet still passes the breakfast-appropriate test. On summer mornings, granola and milk is my go-to, but September is here, which means I’m back on campus during the days and I need breakfasts that keep me satisfied until lunch.
Jan 29, 2020
Recipe: Creamy Coconut Kiwi Smoothie
I’ve always thought that kiwis are one of the most beautiful fruits. That gorgeous green, the tiny seeds, the sunburst from the center. So much love. Unfortunately, I usually buy a carton of them, eat a few like apples, and then forget the last two or three in a bowl on the counter, buried beneath a fresh batch of peaches or plums.
Jan 29, 2020
Recipe: Homemade V8 Juice
Who knows why it took me so long to realize I could make V8 juice myself. The original recipe calls for eight vegetables: tomatoes, carrots, spinach, lettuce, watercress, parsley, celery, and beet. Yes, please. This homemade version is delicious, wholesome, and surprisingly versatile. The key to the smooth, rich flavor of V8 juice is steaming or simmering the vegetables before blending. I tried this juice raw and it made for a questionable vegetable smoothie.
Jan 29, 2020
Tess Masters’ The Blender Girl Cookbook Is About Way More Than Smoothies
Cookbook: The Blender Girl: Super-Easy, Super-Healthy Meals, Snacks, Desserts & Drinks by Tess Masters Overall Impression: Bursting with flavor, color, and cheerful health tips, this comprehensive and creative cookbook lands somewhere between health encyclopedia and international gourmet. I thought this was a cookbook of smoothie recipes. It’s not. In fact, smoothies only make up about a quarter or less of the 100 recipes designed and written.
May 2, 2019
Recipe: Watermelon Basil Agua Fresca
Common knowledge: watermelon and July go together like sunshine and sunscreen — can’t have one without the other. Similarly, on the savory side of things, basil and July go together like blue skies and pool days — together, bliss. So by simple deduction, watermelon and basil served together in a glass of lime and sugar over ice in the middle of July is nothing short of perfection. Agua fresca is a Spanish term that translates literally as “fresh water.
May 2, 2019
Recipe: Chilled Black Bean, Feta & Cucumber Salad
This hearty, refreshing salad takes about 15 minutes to make — no cooking, no excessive prep. If my taste buds could actually dance, they would definitely dance with every spoonful. Creamy feta and red wine vinegar add a delicious Greek twist to ingredients that are typically found in Central American dishes: black beans, corn, and cilantro. Make a big batch at the beginning of the week and you’re all set.
May 2, 2019
Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain Makes It Easy To Fall in Love with Paleo Cooking
Cookbook: Against All Grain: Meals Made Simple by Danielle Walker Overall Impression: Beautifully presented and clearly explained, Meals Made Simple is a delight for Paleo newbies and longterm Paleo-ites alike. I’m naturally quite skeptical of gluten-free and dairy-free foods, but I am equally eager to expand my culinary repertoire.
May 1, 2019
5 Things I Learned the First Time I Went to Trader Joe’s
There isn’t a Trader Joe’s in my town, but I run with hipsters, so I was pretty sure I knew all about it. The grocery store of cheeses, açaí berries, fair-trade oatmeal, and probably a stunning array of hummus? Home of Two-Buck Chuck, the world’s number-one cheap wine? A smaller version of Whole Foods?
Nov 6, 2014
Are U-Pick Farms a Waste of Money? We Decided to Find Out
I remember fingertips stained strawberry red, hay bits stuck on kneecaps from kneeling on strawberry beds, small brown shoulders hot with summer while I balanced a half-empty crate, cramming my mouth with perfectly ripe berries. I remember the orchard every autumn: watching my dad pick the tree-top apples for my mom; inhaling the sharp cider-scent of rotting apples scattered beneath trees; casting sideways glances at the hornets hovering.
Oct 24, 2014
My Top 10 Tips for Creating a Grocery Budget (and Sticking to It)
Grocery budgeting is a science, and an art. So much must be balanced: time, preference, income, store availability, seasons, life situations, and more. These are my top 10 tips for creating a grocery budget—and sticking to it. Before you can make a realistic grocery budget, you have to have a realistic idea of what you usually spend. You might spend more on food (including drinks and eating out) than you realize. Start tracking what you spend for a month. Keep your receipts.
Oct 8, 2014
5 Ways Your Freezer Can Save You Money (And Time)
It can take time to perfect your freezer game, but a freezer can be a budget shopper’s best friend. Nix the three-year old meat at the back behind the blueberries, wrapped in layers of frost. Outlaw everything haphazard, everything unlabeled. The goal, rather than a very cold version of the very forgotten back corner of your pantry, is to create a perfect array of entrees, sides, and kitchen staples that save you time, effort, and money.
Oct 3, 2014
8 Foods to Always Spend Money On
I’m a graduate student, so obviously I’m on a budget. But over the years, as I realize how connected my health and productivity are to the foods I eat, I’ve created a list of foods I’ve learned are always worth spending money on. I call it my core splurge list. We all splurge on something. Shopping, eating out, trips — our paycheck destination always reveals our priorities.
Sep 19, 2014
You Should Buy the Cheap Generic Versions of These 25 Foods
There’s no real science behind knowing when to buy generic or store-brand foods, and when to stick to your favorite (and probably more expensive) name brand. But we all know you do your grocery bill a serious favor when you shun labels. Think of it this way: Name-brand foods are subsidizing their own marketing, so you’re often paying for more than what will end up on your plate.
Aug 15, 2014
The Best Time of Day to Shop for Groceries
In a former, less experienced life, I would head to the grocery store at any time, day or night. An hour later, I’d drive home exhausted and hungry with five items that weren’t even on my list (I’m looking at you, potato chips in the jumbo bag). I’ve since learned more than a few tips for smart grocery shopping, and one of my top methods has everything to do with the time of day that I set out for the store. Here are my best tips, which you should totally steal.
Aug 1, 2014
Recipe: Vanilla Nectarine Agua Fresca
I have two goals on hot summer days: stay hydrated and eat as much fruit as I can. Agua frescas are the perfect solution to both goals. Lately I’ve been whipping up these fruit juice blends every week, and so far, this vanilla nectarine version has to be my favorite. It’s the drink-child of fresh peach ice cream and takes about two minutes to make.
Jun 17, 2014