The Berkley-based food blogger turned her love for cooking into a small business.
ALana Lieberman, 27, says she has always had a true passion for cooking, “ever since I was tall enough to stand on a stool and peek over the kitchen counter.”
The Berkley-based food blogger turned her love for cooking into a small business. It started as a side hustle in college, she says. “I called it Home, Made Healthy At the time and I did small catering jobs, some in-home personal cooking for working families, and made baked goods for friend and family events.”
The money Lieberman made from her business wasn’t enough to pay the bills, so, she decided to get a job in the healthcare industry and put her passion for cooking to the side. “Though, when COVID hit, I was laid off from my full-time job and decided to give Home, Made Healthy a shot again.”
With time and research, Lieberman found the field of food blogging and dived right in. “I started with an internship with another local blogger, where she taught me a lot of the behind-the-scenes work of running a recipe website.”
Following the internship, Lieberman took on her business full time.
Passion Turned into a Business
“I bought a domain name, ‘yourhomemadehealthy.com,’ and changed the business name to Your Home, Made Healthy To represent the shift from cooking for others in their home to them cooking my recipes themselves.
Almost two years later, Lieberman’s website has more than 100 recipes, and more are added each week. “I am able to make a full-time income from multiple streams of revenue, including freelance recipe development, food photography, website maintenance and meal prep services,” she says.
In honor of her Jewish roots, she has a whole category dedicated to Jewish recipes. “Easy hamantaschen, air fryer latkes with homemade applesauce and the classic matzo ball soup, are made from fresh and healthy ingredients, but still allow you to celebrate in style,” she says.
Lieberman hopes to continue doing what she loves while having the freedom to work on her own terms and provide healthier meals to the world.
“My main goal for my readers, and basically my business’s mission in general, is to provide approachable, family-friendly ‘healthier’ meals to those that love to get in their kitchen and cook good food.
“I never impose views on diets or restricted eating. Instead, I focus on using quality ingredients for made-from-scratch recipes. Food should be both enjoyable and fresh (ie lots of fruits, vegetables and other whole foods),” Lieberman adds.
While Lieberman loves helping others in the kitchen, she also hopes to be a source of inspiration for those who feel “stuck” and want to make a change. “I hope I can encourage others to leap, even if they don’t know exactly where it’ll take them. Life is too short to live without passion, especially 40+ hours a week.”
Alana’s Passover Cheesecake
“I’ve been making a passover cheesecake for at least five years now,” she says. “I originally came up with the idea because it’s one of the only desserts that does not require matzo meal or a different flour substitute since there isn’t any in the traditional version anyways. Instead, I simply opt to make the crust with coconut, just like coconut macaroons, for a grain-free substitution. Now, I can’t go a single passover without making it because my family begs for it every year!”
For the Coconut Macaroon Crust:
- 2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large egg whites
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
For the Vanilla Bean Cheesecake
- 16 ounces cream cheese (2 blocks) room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup sour cream. room temperature
- 2 tablespoons potato starch
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- vanilla bean seeds, scraped from 1 pod
For the White Chocolate Mousse
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 4 ounces cream cheese (½ a block) room temperature
- 4 ounces white chocolate (1 baking bar) melted
Prepare a 9-inch spring form pan by spraying it with nonstick spray and adding a circular piece of parchment paper to the bottom. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Make the crust: Whisk together sugar, egg whites, vanilla extract and salt in a bowl until fully combined and frothy. Fold in the coconut until thick and even moistened.
Scoop mixture into bottom of the prepared pan. Press down until it forms a thin layer of crust on the bottom, working your way up the sides to cover thinly about a ½-inch up the sides.
Bake crust for 15 minutes until set on the bottom and lightly golden brown on the sides. Allow to cool completely. Increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
Make the cheesecake filling: In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese with a paddle attachment until soft and creamy, about 2 minutes.
Add the sugar, sour cream, potato starch, vanilla, and salt and mix until smooth, about 3 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl halfway through.
Mix in the vanilla bean seeds until evenly incorporated, about 30 seconds. Don’t overmix.
Spread the cheesecake over the cooled crust and bake at 350 degrees F. for 30 to 35 minutes, until the edges are set but the center still jiggles slightly. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
Make the white chocolate mousse: Clean the bowl of your stand mixer. Then, add the heavy cream and vanilla extract. Beat with whisk attachment until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes.
Add the powdered sugar and mix until combined and the peaks become stiffer, about 2 minutes.
Carefully scoop out the whipped cream to a separate bowl and set aside.
Again, in the bowl of your stand mixer, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the melted white chocolate and mix until smooth and creamy.
Remove the bowl from your stand mixer. Using a rubber spatula, carefully fold the whipped cream into the beaten cream cheese by hand, taking care not to deflate the whipped cream.
Spread the white chocolate mousse over the cooled cheesecake. Allow to set in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving.
Find more recipes from Your Home, Made Healthy at www.yourhomemadehealthy.com