Balancing the Grind With Alex Dodman, Founder & Director of The Food Grinder

For our interview this week, we have Alex, creator of the very popular Instagram account The Food Grinder, which posts simple, healthy and tasty recipes with minimal fuss and a little bit of entertainment.

As Alex describes it, the reasons for creating the account was born out of pure frustration with “long and complex recipes that demand hard-to-get ingredients and precise measures is not something that can be part of most day-to-day lives.”

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1) Your Instagram page is one of my favourite food pages to visit and get inspiration for recipes. How did you get started in the first place?

It started a couple of years ago; I had at that point been going to the gym for a few years but never really addressed my diet. I would go and train at the gym then just eat like I was during my University days so I wasn’t really making any progress.

I decided to start cooking a bit healthier; I had never really cooked before as I always felt it was too time consuming so always opted for cheap ready meal options. I dedicated some time to look up recipes to cook from fresh and was astounded by the amount of ingredients people were suggesting to use for such simple meals.

After finding my feet in the kitchen I realised it didn’t have to be like that so I set about my Instagram journey to share with people exactly that.

2) I love the way you shoot your videos – it’s super simple, a little bit messy and a ton of fun. What inspired this style?

That’s exactly the type of style I’m going for. I want it to come across like you’ve just had a super busy day at work, maybe gone to the gym too and now it’s getting late but you are tired and hungry (or hangry!). It’s about pulling simple foods out of the fridge, slapping them down, cutting it up and getting it cooked quick!

3) Out of all the recipes that you’ve posted to date, do you have a favourite?

I have got a couple of veggie ramen dishes on there that I was blown away with how nice they were as well as being so quick and easy.

When you find a Ramen dish in a cook book I always got put off by the amount of ingredients there are and the prep time but the ones on my page can be done in less than 15 mins, are so tasty and look like a work of art if you wanted to impress someone too!

4) When it comes to cooking, your philosophy is No Fuss Food. Can you talk more about that?

It’s kind of exactly what it says on the tin. I’m not about presentation and crazy continental ingredients that you can only find in the secret isle in the supermarket!

I try to appeal to the full time workers/parents/gym goers out there who don’t have a lot of time but want to eat healthy and save time. It’s about stripping recipes back to the essential ingredients and making it fun & easy for everyone

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5) What are some of the food staples that you always have in your kitchen?

  1. Chicken Breasts
  2. Sweet potato
  3. Eggs
  4. Salad and veg (broccoli, asparagus cucumber, tomato, leaves etc.)

With these you can easily knock up a variety of tasty dishes or simple meal prep.

6) When you’re short on time, what’s your favourite go-to meal?

Can’t beat a sweet jacket potato stuffed some chicken and some veg on the side.

Sweet potato done in 10 mins in the microwave, chicken done in 10 mins on the hob and veg steamed.

All knocked up in about 15 mins!

7) I know you’re all about healthy eating but let’s be honest here – what’s your favourite cheat meal?

Have you ever tried Biscoff? The crunchy Biscoff is insane! Literally spoon it straight out the jar! Other than that I love a Ben & Jerry’s topped with some nutella and a crunchie bar on the side!

8) Now that the Food Grinder’s Instagram page has developed a healthy following – what your next steps for it?

My dream is to have a book out for people that love no fuss cooking. So they can just come home after work tired and just grab it and make anything with the foods that they already have in their cupboards! To feed themselves, their family and meal prepping at the same time!

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.