The Fabulous Avocado: cream of chicken

This is the first of a series of posts, dedicated to Avocado. I would have written odes to praise the glory of this mighty fruit, but hey, this blog is not intended for poetry, and I may lose most of my readers – except the few of you who fancy verses even in their most  ludicrous context.

I am (obviously) in a phase of almost religious veneration of avocado. It’s funny because for the longest time, I felt totally indifferent towards it (to a point where I would gladly waive any avocado in my food to others; they were always baffled at such a concession – but you bet they never refused it). Continue reading

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Thinking outside the bag

If you are like me, you do your fruit and veggie shopping once or twice a week, then you should probably be familiar with the “and how am I going to wash all that?” toughie.

In general, I shop once a week for fruits and vegetables, and once for greens. In both cases, I come back home with an enormous amount of vegetal matter, that quickly turns intimidating the moment I need to start washing. I do not like to keep unwashed goods in my fridge, and having to wash on demand every single time I need an item calls off all intent of helping myself to vegetables and fruits, as salad, side dish or snack. On the other hand, when they’re ready to use, all fresh and clean, I find myself consuming fruits and veggies à volonté. Continue reading

The Big Bone Operation

I warn you. This post should be rated R [ Under 17 –  requires an accompanying parent or adult guardian ], because of some of the material it contains.

First, a (not too) small background on the whys and wherefores of the Big Bone Operation.

I switched to a strict gluten-free diet after being diagnosed with Coeliac disease last December, and started to feel my energy picking up within a few weeks. Even though it was sad having to bid farewell to wheat bread for ever, I was motivated by the perspective of getting better, and genuinely excited at the challenge of a gluten-free diet, as it defies the very foundation of my eating and cooking. I had already experienced a major turning point in summer, when I eliminated all cow milk from my diet. The outcome was an incredible expansion of my tastes, knowledge and cookery skills. I started to eat – and like! – sheep and goat cheeses, I discovered the vast world of dairy alternatives – that are NOT soy based -, I started to make vegan milks and cheeses at home, and I enjoyed converting my trusted recipes to meet my new standards. Since a lot of manufactured goods contain, for some corrupted reason, dairy derivatives, I found myself spontaneously buying less ready-made goods in general, progressively withdrawing from the buzzing mainstream market.
In case you did not know, most commercial products contain to various degrees derivatives of wheat, corn, soy and milk – all in the official top 10 allergens; now isn’t that strange?…

This fascinating experience made me come to grips with the new gluten-free diet restriction with a surprisingly welcoming frame of mind. This unfamiliar cuisine expanded my horizons even more, taking the cookery experience to a whole new level. I couldn’t believe the transformation that was taking place, and looking back to my “old” self, I was amazed and proud to see I came such a long way. Not only was I doing most of my food preparation from scratch, pulling off milling, fermenting, sprouting or other supposedly preposterous activities… but I had also integrated so many foodstuffs I was previously uneasy with. Continue reading

Fruitcake mom

A week ago, Karma and I were invited to an afternoon play date. Naturally, I figured the standard equation: afternoon + kids = snack, where the snack is a variable that is anything but unknown: it is seldom a healthy one. I often find myself a bit apprehensive of this particular detail in play dates or birthday parties. For some reason, wherever kids congregate, you’ll be sure to find gooey candies, chocolate bars, store-bought cakes, colored cookies, and the inevitable juice (did anyone say it contained fruit???). As if kids could not have fun if those elements were not part of the program. Continue reading

The morning after

One of the nicest outcomes of yesterday evening’s event (in case you have no clue what I’m talking about, check the news), is the fact that our daughter Karma did not go to the nursery this morning. This means that she was treated to her beloved breakfast ritual at home, which is unusual on a Thursday, as she normally eats her morning meal at the nursery.
As soon as I announced to her that she was staying home, her face irradiated and she asked with a big smile “So we’re gonna have muesli, mama?”

Karma, who is now almost 3 yrs old, just loves our muesli “ceremonial”, and is an active part of the drill. She wants to make it all by herself, and manages to do most of it pretty well, I must say.

This kitchen buzz will be presented by… Karma herself! This is actually to show you how easy it is to prepare. It takes about 10 minutes, altogether, to make this extremely nourishing and really delicious morning goodie. Continue reading

Take a swim with the fish

When, 5 years ago, I started one of my favourite activities, which is swimming in the morning, I set about doing widths, then lengths in a swimming pool. Then I switched to swimming in the sea.

Since I’ve been doing this all year round, I quickly found out that it was a normal occurrence to “stumble” (well, I don’t know if the word is appropriate in an aquatic context…) across the normal inhabitants of our beloved sea, FISH. Continue reading

Homemade Pasta Quickie

Anyone who’s ever tasted freshly made pasta would concur that it is BY FAR tastier than the pre-packed dry ones.

I had always wanted to make pasta at home, and had even borrowed my grandma’s manual pasta maker to give it a shot. It stayed in my cupboard for several months, and I never had the chance to try it. At least not for wheat pasta.

But things changed after I’d been diagnosed with Coeliac: I had to make the switch to gluten-free pasta, and honestly, I wasn’t ready to keep on buying measly ready-made spaghettis that cost more than triple their gluten counterparts. The time had come for me to finally take the plunge into pasta making. And I found out that it is the kind of activity that you can easily do in your own kitchen, as often as your pasta appetite compels you to.

You just need to keep your pasta maker in sight!

Or you may not even need one in the first place: lot of pastas can be made just by using a rolling pin and a knife or a cutter. No wonder pasta was an essential fare way before supermarkets were born… Continue reading