Hi, I’m Monique! My passion for cooking and baking came at an early age while assisting my Puerto Rican mama in the kitchen, and my father, a man who made his own pies, pancakes and an incredible yellow cake with chocolate buttercream (with a splash of coffee!). Thus on this blog you will be sure to find a balanced mix of globally-inspired recipes with a healthy twist, baking recipes that come straight from my heart, and of course, a healthy dose of real talk.
My goal is simply this: to inspire you both in and out of the kitchen.
I launched Ambitious Kitchen back in 2011 and over the years have learned how powerful food can be when we hold a positive place for it in our lives. While I was in college I developed an unhealthy relationship with food and exercise in order to avoid facing some deep-rooted hardships from my past.
What started as an extra workout during the week quickly turned into counting every calorie, labeling certain foods as “good” and “bad,” and eventually lead to my battle with an eating disorder.
However, facing and acknowledging these hardships allowed me to heal and refocus on finding a balance with both food and exercise — something that I know can be a daily struggle for so many people (and I’m right there with you!). I’m certain my journey will be ever-changing, but it’s important to tell the story of where I’ve been and where I’m going.
Starting Ambitious Kitchen changed my life for the better. Creating and sharing these recipes over the past few years has taught me how to eat well, find what works for my body and mind, and to create balance. There are no bad foods, there’s only moderation.
Flexibility is key, and we won’t compromise on taste — promise! I write this blog to share the love of a feel-good salad, a kick-ass workout, a fluffy stack of pancakes, and a hope that these posts inspire you to find balance in your life. I learn a bit more about myself with every recipe, and I’m confident that you will too.
Whether you’re looking for something indulgent to bake for your best friend’s birthday, a healthier version of your favorite cookie, or even a family-friendly healthier comfort food to cook up, I’ve got you covered. I’m so happy you’re here!
A little bit of everything - from food to fitness to my latest obsessions. Most of the recipes I create are geared towards those with active, healthy lifestyles. You’ll find plenty of good-for-you meals to share with your family and friends, and recipes the love of your life will adore. I love to get creative using unique ingredients and pairing different flavor combinations. I also enjoy baking -- mostly paleo or grain free desserts, but also believe that cookies made with brown butter and real sugar can be life changing.
Food should always be enjoyable, not scary or overwhelming. Trust me, I’ve been there and I’m not here to judge you. I’m here to inspire you to cook, learn about different ingredients, encourage you to try new foods and celebrate all of your amazing accomplishments along with you.
Life has been a whirlwind since starting Ambitious Kitchen. I won Nordic Ware’s Bundts Across America recipe contest, Fage’s recipe contest, hung alongside Bobby Flay, shared my recipes on the Food Network and have been featured on numerous sites such as the Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, Today.com, Self Magazine and Cup of Jo. In less than 3 years, I was able to quit my corporate job to work on Ambitious Kitchen full time.
Throughout this journey I’ve met incredible friends while learning about myself and the passion I have for food, nutrition, self-awareness and balance.
The past couple of years have been big ones Ambitious Kitchen and it’s been wonderful to have you along on the journey. Currently, we live in Chicago, IL with our crazy cat Milly.
The most exciting news to share though? My husband and I are expecting a baby boy due January 2020! We couldn't be more excited to bring a little Ambitious Baby into this world. You can read more about my journey to motherhood here.
Thanks for being here. I love you guys more than you know.
If you are interested in working with Ambitious Kitchen, please contact Abra, Ambitious Kitchen's brand manager at: [email protected].
Media kits are available upon request.