My name is Angela Roberts. I left California for Nashville because that’s where Doug Roberts lived, but not before we had a California Sunset wedding!
I take care of the food; Doug takes care of procuring the freshest coffee beans for Rancho Silvia and the wine, which he grew to love on our trip to Italy. His other dream is to be Italian so he married me.
Food is an important dynamic to our story, and is part of our love language. We hope we are contributing to the culture of good food and every recipe you see here is tested in my kitchen, sometimes two or more times.
We love to dine out, and we share our restaurant experiences, many in the Nashville area, featuring locally owned restaurants and Nashville food events. We LOVE LOVE LOVE Nashville and from time to time, we tell you about some of the things Nashville has to offer. There are many.
I love cooking so much, and as a former faux artist, I even designed a wall finish named “Wasabi.” I would go back and forth between my paint studio and my kitchen, designing and developing something beautiful to look at, or something delicious to eat. Now I blog and do freelance food writing full time. I also develop recipes and do food photography for major food brands.
It is such a pleasure to develop original recipes, style the food and photograph it in such a way so that you not only want to eat it, but you want to know more about the story behind the dish.
I learned to cook from “tasting” not from books. Cookbooks are guidelines, but your own taste buds, if properly developed, are your best eyes in the kitchen.
My food memories of childhood evolved around weekly trips to the farmer’s market and a stop at the Italian store with my fussy grandmother. She was quite modern , and very ahead of her time as a proponent of healthful and “slow food” before the slow food movement was born. Her choices showed in her beauty and energy, as she continued her career into her 70’s. Good food should do that!
Our shopping would lead to sitting at the table to enjoy a long, delicious dinner with three insane guests, named drama, comedy and adventure, and a multitude of other drop-ins who came to see the show.
She would be just as proud of my green smoothie as my red tomato sauce. Interestingly enough, those are in my top three posts of all time!
Examples of Drama, Comedy and Adventure:
Drama: I remember my mother turning a table of food over ala “Housewives of New Jersey” Style.
Comedy: My grandmother wanted to prove how great her body was and in her 60’s stood up at the table and showed her girls, while my 17 year old boyfriend turned beet red. No one else stopped eating.
Adventure: You never knew who was coming to dinner. It could be a priest or a madame of a brothel. Really.
Everyone, even the men, cooked delicious, yet very different food, not limited to Italian, but influenced by the surrounding diverse, European heritage in Pennsylvania.
My Culinary View
Food should be simple, bring comfort, give you life and taste good.
I moved to California and developed my own food style, veering away from Italian traditional, always searching to create a new way to cook an old dish, with a more modern approach seeking brighter, healthier, super delicious food.
Many of my Spinach Tiger original dishes are designed for a man to want more of and for a woman to delight in without deprivation or excess. There is a very specific “spinach tiger” culinary viewpoint. Fresh. Whole. Local. Simple. Delicious.
Food is not an art. It’s a craft. It’s not about taking food to the next level; it’s bringing real food back. I don’t want to eat a cupcake that looks like a hamburger or a hamburger disguised as a cupcake. I want to eat grass fed beef with salt and pepper.
I aim for serious nutrition, while avoiding the scary “health nut” persona.
I never use artificial sweeteners, food substitutes, aerosol sprays, high fructose corn syrup products, or MSG. Most recipes are designed for real people with busy lives, with small kitchens who love good food. I don’t work with any products/brands that contain these ingredients either.
However, I place love first and if someone serves me hamburger helper, I will thank them, and I will eat it graciously.
Why Spinach Tiger?
I was nicknamed Spinach Tiger for stating my views during a rather lively discussion. It stuck, and here we are. It fits my approach to his and her cooking and my increasing flexitarian approach to food. I also do a lot of produce, and grain free dishes.
Who is Retro Rose?
My mom, Retro Rose is a great home cook, whose culinary fare belongs in the best diner in any town. Cooking BIG comfort food, paying absolutely no attention to anything that has happened in the last fifty years, such as sugar substitutes, fat-free, or anything in a box (Hooray). She makes her food from scratch and, while it’s not exactly Spinach Tiger style, it’s still good, slow food, and deserves a feature.
Why I decided to food blog:
Did you ever have a moment in life where you knew exactly what you were born to do and you couldn’t not do it? That’s why.
My hope is to share, learn, connect, and inspire a healthy, hearty, happy, slow food, spinach tiger life style.
Note to Brands: Please see my policy for working with brands.
Current Project: Recipe development for Tabasco and Tortilla Land.
Soon to be published for two feature articles Nashville Arts & Entertainment Magazine, Sept. 2014
Podcast Interview on Nashville Restaurant Scene.
Published at Taste Trekkers Top Five Places to Eat Shrimp & Grits in Nashville.
Published in Huffington Post for Savory Cheesecake for food made with potato chips.
Published in Huffington Post for Hunger Games Lamb Stew with Dried Plums for favorite food in children’s books.
Published in Huffington Post twice for this biscuit.
Published in Huffington Post for Sweet Potato Grits.
Published in Huffington Post for this kale recipe.
Published in Reader’s Digest for this turkey burger and this guacamole.
Judges Choice Winner for Hunger Games Lamb Stew, Contest by Spencer-Stapleton.
Named number one food blogger at Nashville.com
Rated in Top Four of Urban Spoon for Nashville Restaurant Reviews.
Second Place winner in cupcake contest for homebakers at Cupcake Palooza 2012.
Published in 55 Knives On-Line Cookbook.
Featured in Saveur.com for this recipe.
Regular contributor to Williamson Source, an on-line magazine.
Featured as local food blogger in the Tennessean.
Best of Blogs in Food Journal.
Published in Blogger’s Aid Cookbook 09.
Food Buzz Finalist nominee as blogger you would most like to see with her own cooking show.
First Place winner in Whole Foods recipe contest for this recipe 2011.
First Place winner in Royal Foodie Jaust with this recipe.
I take all the pictures, and it’s been an evolving process. I started with a Canon Point & Shoot G11. I now use a Canon T3i and my primary lens is 1.4 fixed 50mm lens. I do very little picture editing, and I use a tripod infrequently.
I recently started making videos. Please CLICK HERE to Subscribe to my cooking channel. You will see me cooking, baking, and often including kids in the kitchen.
Feel at home. Browse around, Leave a comment. Send a note and visit often. I answer every single email. Shoot me any cooking question you have and I’ll try to help you.
Note: This blog is dedicated to two of the most influential and beloved people in my life, who left this world too soon. Classy, courageous and both incredible cooks, James, my brother, and Sam, my cousin, are painfully missed at the dinner table and every day of my life. This is true, will always be true.
My Faith – Jesus Christ saved my life and gave me something to give to the world. Faith, Joy, Love. A Passion for Good Food.