I can buy cookbooks with good intentions, I can follow food sites thinking that I will also one day share great tips. If I had TV I’m sure I’d be Tivo’ing shows (Nigella for sure), too. But I must confess that I have never been, nor do I think I want to, be a cook.
Though I adore great food I’m a simple eater and most recipes always seem too lavish for my tastes and style. Also, I’m not one for kitchen gadgets (I don’t have a microwave, I hand wash things, I like chopping and whipping by hand) so I need the recipe to reflect that. And although I enjoy the pleasure of food, I can’t eat gluten and most recipes aren’t always gluten free and eating out has become tricky because of this. But it seems like everyone and their mama is into cooking or has written a cookbook and I’ve felt slight guilt at not either being able or wanting to gush over food like everyone else. Pretty things? Yes. Ponies? Sure! But cook books and hours of eating? Not all the time, thanks.
Living in Santa Monica I have access to a twice weekly farmers market where I can get all my fresh, local, organic produce and food for my simple style eating. I also have access to Real Food Daily which has become one of my thrice weekly habits and sip the can’t-compare Spanish Latte from Urth. And of course, Whole Foods is a quick bike ride away. So eating here is easy with little thought put into it. Whatever craving I might have I can just walk a few blocks and satisfy it. No need to pour over recipes, figuring things out.
However, eating in Carmel by the Sea is a different story; we have but one very tiny market that doesn’t sell organics (and this is a must for me) or gluten-free products. There are no quick-bites or takaway places like Urth or Real Food Daily and the nearest Whole Foods is a 15 minute drive away and I do not have a care whilst here.
Knowing that I have to adjust how I eat from Santa Monica to Carmel, I’ve been looking to gather more recipes in the style of eating that I do so that I can stock up and prepare more at home – but the recipes must be simple but still flavorful, good looking, and did I mention simple?
One of my favourite sites, 101 Cookbooks, has thankfully tagged over 30 recipes gluten free! Also, Real Food Daily has their own Real Food Daily Cookbook so I can get my Mexicalli Chop fix just as often. Elana’s Pantry has fantastic (and easy) recipes and Michel Roux’s Eggs has given me great ideas, too.
I tend to eat a lot of eggs, fish, chicken, soups and vegetables though if I can get a good steak I will (and often do). I’m also a pretty avid baker of chocolate chip cookies and cupcakes with butter cream frosting and I do use and enjoy my juicer (that’s the most complicated machine I have!). So as you can see, my lack of complicated cooking or food gushing isn’t due to being a purist in one area or some kind of diet (except for the having to be gluten-free part), it’s about wanting great tasting, enjoyable food that’s easy, pleasing and healthy without being boring or bland.
So hopefully more sites or books will pop up where cooking doesn’t seem so overwhelming or intimidating but isn’t about quick cooking from mixes and soups in cans – often that stuff isn’t healthy and is full of allergens. There has to be more out there on great tasting, easy, quick, simple food thats organic, healthy and also accessible (I can tell you after living in Austin TX and Nashville TN for a bit that finding fresh, local, organic fare is hard and eating the way a lot of people now recommend can seem impossible in BBQ Heaven!).
Do you know where these sites, books, or places are?