Hi there! I’m Lindsey Johnson. Welcome to Cafe Johnsonia!


I didn’t set out to become a food stylist + photographer, blogger, writer, recipe developer, or the other things I now do for work. I studied Biology in school and thought I was headed for medical school. But things changed and so did my path. I found myself living in the New York City suburbs as a single, 20-year-old. It was an impulsive move – not like me at all! During my first year living in NY, I bought myself a film SLR camera and fell completely in love with photography. During that time, I also developed my mad skills in the kitchen. I have always known my way around the kitchen and loved experimenting, but living in New York meant I was exposed to a gamut of new-to-me ingredients and cultures. It was quite the tasty adventure!

A year or so after I moved to NY, I met my husband and we got married. Our newlywed days were filled with a lot of cooking together and dining out. Our favorite thing to do to this day is a jaunt to the market to find some new things to try. Coincidentally, we also enjoy “scrounging” at antique and thrift stores for great props and other items which comes in handy for our work in photography and film.

I’m self-taught in photography, cooking, and baking, which in a way is its own kind of triumph. I pride myself on taking challenges head on and doing my best to conquer them. The work I do now allows me to do that, and I love (almost) every minute of it!

We recently moved from Salt Lake City, UT, to Boise, Idaho. We are loving it so far! You can contact me at cafejohnsonia(at)gmail(dot)com.

In addition to Cafe Johnsonia, I have also contributed to several other blogs/websites – Babble, Hello Glow, Design Mom, Petit Elefant (food), Good Life Eats (food), and For The Love Of.

I do a lot of other sorts of work too, you can read more about that here.


I believe in eating seasonal, whole, unprocessed foods whenever possible. I believe that food can heal us or hurt us and it’s up to us to decide which path to follow.

I grew up eating a lot of processed food – like most Americans. Something started to change for me when I really taught myself to cook. I started paying attention to the ingredients I was using and how they tasted compared to prepackaged, processed, artificially flavored stuff. I realized that I didn’t actually like that processed stuff after all. I had never really been tasting food until I started making everything from scratch and using quality ingredients. The difference was huge!

I am a recovered veggie hater, and proud of it! My favorite joke was that I could be a vegetarian if only I liked vegetables. I was in my twenties before I ever tasted broccoli and cauliflower. (True story.)

In 2010, I took on a personal challenge to spend thirty days eating an entirely gluten-free, vegan, sugar-free diet. And it changed my life for the better. I’m not against animal products or gluten by any means. But that in those thirty days I realized how out of touch I was with my body and health and how much I had relied on dairy, meat, and bread in my diet. I had never felt better than I did during those thirty days. After that month, I decided to continue eating that way most of the time. I realized that I am gluten-intolerant, which was a little sad, but mostly liberating. I also noticed I can’t eat a lot of dairy without it affecting me. Also a little sad, but liberating. It was a new frontier for me to explore – healthy eating.

How do we eat now?

We follow the advice of Michael Pollan – “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” And it’s good advice. We haven’t completely limited animal products from our diets, but we do eat mostly vegetarian. We occasionally buy high quality fish that is wild-caught or sustainably farmed, organic pastured chicken and eggs. I am the only one who is 100% gluten-free, though I think I’m wearing the others down with my GF baking. (wink, wink)

Bottom line – we eat homemade, whole foods and we like it. So that’s what you’ll find here along with the occasional treat.


I started Cafe Johnsonia in 2006. It used to be a blog about my family and I posted a bucket load of pictures and stories about my pregnancies, babies, toddlers, and some embarrassing things that are now safely hidden from public view. I eventually started a separate food blog called Just Recipes, but changed the name to Cafe Johnsonia for simplicity sake and because it was tough keeping up two blogs. I started to put all of my effort into learning my way around a Digital SLR (I still loved film best!) and acquiring new cooking and baking skills while my babies napped. My blog was a record of that and I love looking back through the archives and remembering what I was doing back then.

Cafe Johnsonia (pronounced John-soh-nee-uh) is the name I chose because we lovingly call our family The Johnsonian Institute. Cafe was because I loved to cook and one day have my very own restaurant or cafe. (Maybe someday?) The name stuck and so did the blog.


Let me introduce you to my family! They are a huge, if not the hugest part, of what I do and why I do it.

robin and fred

This is my husband, Fred, and his Aunt Robin. Fred plays a big part as main recipe tester and also works behind the scenes. Aunt Robin is one of my dearest friends and shares a love of cooking and food. The three of us have had some fun adventures together, including a few days in Hawaii, where this picture was taken.


This is my oldest daughter, Lilly. She is always having fun wherever she goes (except when she’s tasked with cleaning her room!) Her favorite foods include Brussels sprouts and broccoli. True story. She also love Stilton, steak, and is game to try anything I’m making. She even loves curry. (Bless her heart!)


Next is Fritz. He is always happy and loves to cook. His favorite foods are toast, anything sweet (especially chocolate), and strawberries. He’s also been known to sneak a jar of Nutella and lick it clean in the matter of an hour. He is the sweetened boy you’ll ever meet and loves to cook.


Betta is my youngest. She is a true redhead and we adore her fiery personality. She loves yogurt and fruit of all kinds, but her favorite food of all is oatmeal. She also loves to help out in the kitchen, try new foods, and sip any and everything from a straw, particularly green smoothies.

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Hello, Did you use Hachiya persismmons for your roasted persimmon butter? If so, I presume you cut them for roasting while they were still firm and not quite ready to eat raw?

    1. Hi Max! I used Fuyu persimmons for the persimmon butter. My recommendation if you’re using Hachiya, would be to roast them when they are just ripe. They become very juicy and soft when they are ready to eat. And everything I’ve read says to only eat them once they are ripe. I haven’t used the Hachiya variety as much. I’ve eaten them raw and made sorbet, but it was always once they were soft. Roasting the soft, ripe Hachiya wouldn’t be much different. I suppose if I were to make this recipe with that variety, I would maybe just cut them in half. And I’m kind of thinking they won’t take as long to roast because they will already be so soft. The Fuyu are supposed to be firmer, like an apple almost, so I roasted them long enough to soften them sufficiently. Anyway, I don’t know if any of my rambling is helpful or not. But I will say this: that persimmon butter is heavenly. I hope you’ll try it and come back and let me know what you thought of it, especially if you use the Hachiya variety. I haven’t seen any persimmons at the market yet, but when I do, I’ll give it a try with that variety. :)

  2. Hello there,

    thank you for this blog. i might be urging my way towards becoming a vegetarian… but its a sloooooooooow urge for now:-) i have gluten intolerance at a pretty intense level. a paleo diet has helped me greatly. however, i do cheat and i always pay for it. people with gluten intolerances should also stay away from all grains- that is why i went paleo because i wasn’t exactly feeling totally awesome on a simple gluten free diet that included rice, corn, etc. if you want to learn more i would suggest a visit to dr. osborne’s gluten free society website. with that said…

    i’m trying your black bean dish today… i love that its so simple. i love simple recipes because with gluten intolerance (an autoimmune disease) its quite easy to get really tired and the last thing you want to do is tinker around in the kitchen all day for food… especially if you have to go to work the next day. the black bean will be the first of your recipes. i may try the cilantro citrus chicken, i like to cook my meats as much in a cast iron dutch oven in a regular oven… its a simple and easy way to cook meats so perfectly…. i’ll tell you how it goes.

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