Welcome to a celebration of nature’s bounty and healthful eating! I cook gluten-free, but my recipes are meant to appeal to anyone who enjoys colorful, flavorful, interesting food.
I love cooking with seasonal vegetables, fruits and herbs! I tend to use protein sources that are low in saturated fat. Think lean meats, fish, nuts and beans, although I don’t shy away from small quantities of flavorings such as bacon and cheese that can really round out a dish. And even higher fat cuts of meat if trimmed well and cooked right are not totally off limits – all things in moderation! I make a point to include heart-healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats in my cooking. (Confession: I have even been known to deep-fry on rare occasions!) I make limited use of starchy side dishes and prefer those with good fiber content and plenty of nutritional value.
My food philosophy is that moderation and variety are the keys to a satisfying, healthy diet.
I didn’t grow up cooking and haven’t always been that nutrition-minded. There was a lot of boxed macaroni and cheese and hot dogs in my early adulthood – ugh, I hate to think about that! But if you can read, you can cook, so my husband and I started accumulating cookbooks, reading magazines, and trying out recipes. Over time, with a grounding in technique, we became quite good at developing our own recipes. As we got older, we also realized we couldn’t keep eating like teenagers and expect to stay healthy!
I’ve always had an interest in how the body works. I majored in chemistry in college with a focus in biochemistry. My career tilted more toward the chemistry side, working as an engineer in the semiconductor industry. Fast-forward to kids, and a decision to stay home with them, and my interest in biochemistry was rekindled, with a nutritional bent. I enrolled in a biochemistry-focused nutrition program at NC State University and obtained my Masters of Nutrition.
Shortly after that, my daughter was diagnosed with Celiac disease. We had both suffered for years with what had been labeled irritable bowel syndrome. I subsequently found out I also had Celiac disease.
In the beginning, learning to live on a gluten-free diet was all about learning what to avoid: wheat, rye, spelt, barley and anything contaminated with those foods and how to make substitutions in recipes that typically required those ingredients. After a while that became second nature, and cooking became more about embracing the enormous food universe that exists beyond gluten. That universe has gotten a little smaller recently for my daughter with some new allergies added to the mix, namely dairy, soy, peanuts and tomatoes. None of these ingredients will be totally excluded from my cooking going forward, but it’s been an amazing opportunity to discover ways to use all kinds of foods in new ways (beets, carrots and onion substitute for tomato – go figure!) – a page devoted to substitutions for the food-sensitive is coming. And I will make an effort to provide ingredient alternatives in my recipes to help readers enjoy eating great food regardless of dietary restrictions.
The great thing about nature and what this blog really celebrates is its diversity – so many colors, so many flavors, so many good-for-you nutrients. My goal here is to share mouthwatering recipes that take advantage of all that goodness!