Today’s blog post is to announce the winner of the Jovial Foods Contest Giveaway. Watch below to see who it is!
Thanks to everyone who participated. I appreciate you entering. See you Wednesday with another video recipe. Holla!Read More
Stay tuned later in the week for the announcement of the Jovial Foods Giveaway contest!
Gluten free baking is a true art. The science of baking by itself needs to be understood before gluten free baking can be mastered. And while I’m no master, I’ve tested and tasted so many batches of this recipe my pupils turned into mini spinning zucchini bread bite wheels until I got it right. You should have seen me toasting undercooked (practically raw) pieces of zucchini bread on the cast iron skillet hoping I could cook it further. (I couldn’t).
Curry Ginger Zucchini Bread! Carrot cake’s feisty cousin. With summer squash proliferating the market, zucchini bread is apparently what America wants to make with it. Today’s recipe yields a deliciously textured and swoon-heavenly version without gluten.
For my dry ingredients I have a mix of gluten free flours to create the best texture and taste combination. Read the “Recipes” section for more info on this. The mixing of flours to make gluten free flour blends will give you the best end result when baking gluten free. As I said above, it’s an art to master. But I’m not sure I want to master it, and I’ll tell you why.
When blood tests came back positive for gluten anti-bodies, I searched for a bakery where I could find gluten-free substitutes. I found the most decadent, delicious, ridiculously sinful red velvet cupcakes that money can buy. I ate them by the bucketful because they were GLUTEN FREE, the magic words for “Totally okay since I can’t have gluten anymore.” The amount of sugar they contained was exactly the same as their gluten-full counterparts, and neither were any good for me. Or you.
Gluten free DOES NOT automatically mean HEALTHY. A refined, processed flour, whether it’s wheat or brown rice, is no more (or less) healthy for you than all-purpose. Unless the grain has been handled properly before being processed into flour, it’s usually not great for your health. In our country, we tend not to have the time or energy to take the steps to reduce the anti-nutrient content of grains, especially whole ones (which we mistakenly believe to be healthier for us). I digress.
On REALLY REAL tip, the true enemy of health is sugar. Gluten free genius bakers have figured out how to get around the need for wheat in products that still require the weight of your mother in sugar (with the addition of some strange sounding gums too, ya’ ask me). In all the videos you’ve seen me publish, about 35 or so, this is the second time I’m using sugar (and it’s coconut sugar to boot! A low glycemic alternative to white processed sugar).
Be mindful of this as you proceed in the gluten free life.
YouTube wants zucchini bread in August, who am I to deny them? I appreciated the challenge. But I challenge YOU to think about your gluten free life and how “real” you are keeping it. Real food, my people. Eat real food. Zucchini is great in so many contexts. Let’s use up all that squash without baking it into grain-starchy-bread-sugar-carbs. Who’s with me?
Feels like Grand Central Collaboration Station these days, and I’m lovin’ it!
This week I’m thrilled to introduce you to Andrea Volpini of DifferentTaste—Andrea travels the world with a culinary agenda. When he returns home, he makes videos of dishes he’s re-creating from all of the “different tastes” he sampled while abroad. His videos are beautiful; mesmerizing in their effect.
Imagine my delight when he suggested we make a dish from his native Marche, Italia—Crema Fritta. In English, fried cream.
Imagine the challenge set before me to create a gluten AND dairy (AND white sugar AND vegetable oil) free version of a dish whose main components are gluten and dairy (and sugar, and vegetable oil). Frying in animal fat (especially from fully pastured animals) is pricey. Let’s just say half the time I couldn’t figure out if the recipe didn’t work because I’d used such little lard, or if it was because my “cream” was more like congealed alien blood than a classic pasticceria.
For those of you with less flexible imaginations, I’ll just tell you that it was like scaling a lard-slicked mountain made of coconut milk and gluten free breadcrumbs. My inner 7th grader would love to build a mock model of this for a science project.
It is with and puffed chest of incredible pride that I present you with the final version. And stay tuned! I have a HUGE announcement to make but I’m going to wait until Wednesday to lay it on ya in the form of a semi-polished piece of writing.
As with all the videos, get the full recipe from the recipes section and let me know: what’s the most challenging dish you’ve ever created with almost all subbed ingredients? I’d love to hear from you. Ciao!
The first ever INK-KIR giveaway is here! I’m thrilled to introduce you to one of my favorite companies: Jovial Foods. Not only does Jovial have incredible products, but a wellspring of integrity in its goals as a business, incredible getaway packages where you can visit them in Italy, stay in an old school Italian villa, and take cooking classes with some of THE BEST gluten free cooks out there. Eh-hem Shauna James Ahern (the gluten free girl) & Danny Ahern, the chef.
There are a lot of reasons to love Jovial, and I encourage ya’ll to read their website for a more thorough dive into the sea of their awesomeness.
For now, I’ll give you the highlights:
In their own words:
“We have a deep commitment to support a small-scale, sustainable economic model that focuses on farming first and then considers the entire process all the way through to the shelf.”
Jovial puts their money where their mouth is; an example of this from my own experience—all of Jovial’s packaging comes in compostable and recyclable materials, including the box filler they used to mail me the products!
“[It is Jovial’s] dream to change the future of agriculture by creating consumer demand for ancient and heirloom varieties of food… We believe the purest food we all are all seeking can only come from the purest seed.”
This lead to Jovial’s discovery of Einkorn wheat, the first species of wheat grown by humans over 12,000 years ago! No wonder that one of my favorite bloggers on the web, Jenny McGruther of The Nourished Kitchen uses it in her whole foods, nutrient dense cooking. jenny sums it up quite eloquently:
“It is a non-hybridized original wheat with just 14 chromosomes (compared to 42 for modern wheat). Containing a gluten molecule that is functionally different from modern wheat, many people can tolerate Einkorn where they cannot tolerate modern wheats or spelt.” Yee haw! Thank you Jovial for bringing us this very special flour.
“Jovial™ gluten free products were developed out of a heartfelt compassion for all of us who have had a food intolerance critically effect personal health and wellness. We believe eating gluten free should be pleasurable and not feel like a sacrifice. It is not that products formulated without gluten can’t taste great; it’s how relentless you are in developing them.”
AMEN JOVIAL! Grazie a Dio per Le!
Other than the three products Jovial sent me to host the giveaway (upon my request), I’m not receiving any money or sponsorship from them to say all of these positive things. Though I’d be happy to!
One lucky person can win three awesome products from Jovial: the tagliatelle pasta (made with eggs from pastured hens!), lasagna, and this ridiculously special olive oil.
Here are the contest rules:
Three action items for three amazing products. I will choose the winner at random (I’ll film it so you know there’s no cheating) and announce it one week after the contest runs, or up until there are 50 entrants. I will announce the winner within 48 hours of the giveaway ending!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
You won’t necessarily receive my weekly videos as a repeat if you’re already subscribed to my blog—there’s a setting on YT that’ll let you choose whether or not you want a notification when I upload a new video.
Tagging INK KIR can be tricky on FB so be sure when you’re tagging it to go slow, and don’t forget there’s no “g” in keepin’!Read More
For today’s video, I’m collaborating with Cobi of Veggietorials, Youtube’s favorite Hawaii’n vegan channel. She’s vegan, I’m Weston A. Price influenced—two seemingly opposite diets. Or are they? I have more in common with most vegans (that I know) than I do with most meat eaters. How can this be? Keep reading to find out!
A joke that made me laugh to what I call the “pissing point” is from Louis CK.
The upshot is this: After getting bitten by a wild Italian pony, his daughter says, “I wanna look up about ponies biting…I wanna find out why they bite and what people say about it.”
CK and his daughter get their answers. He says, “We find all these websites that talk about what to do when your pony bites, and like everything else on the internet it’s just people fighting, angry at each other.
“First guy says, ‘Ya gotta punch the pony right in the face.’
And the next person says, ‘You’re a terrible person. You should have your ponies taken away from you!’
The next person goes: ‘People who don’t punch their ponies make me sick!’”
The joke wracked me with laughter because I’ve seen this exchange online more than a thousand times, and nowhere as forcefully as the food world. (Purple pony is Paleo. Blue pony is Vegan).
See more on Know Your Meme
Earlier this year, a vegan blogger who I read announced that she was changing her diet to include animal protein. She struggled for months with bodily cravings that her moral choices opposed. Eventually, she decided it was time to give her body what it was asking for. The reactions to her announcement were pony punching at its greatest. I was shocked by the animosity expressed towards her, especially after the way she closed her post:
Since the personal is political, here’s an example from my own life that I think helps highlight the complex similarities between vegans and folks like me who eat animals.
Ya’ll know I’m originally from Brooklyn (raise the roof!) and was raised all over NYC. The concrete jungle with streets that never sleep. Buzzing, whizzing, pushing, shoving; 8.2 million folks living in 302 sq miles. My people are in your face. AY! Lemmegettuhcawfee, black, no sugah.” No time for please!
Ya’ll might not know that the man-dude is from the Tar Heel State, North Carolina. Lush saturate-green from trees, trees, trees. 15 minutes in a car to any one thing from any one direction. 9.7 million people in 53,819 sq miles. Ancestrally descended from the same folks who coined the term, “Keep calm and carry on.”
At first glance, our backgrounds and cultures are polar opposite. It takes a closer more intimate knowledge of both to see what they share.
This drawing done by the man-dude aptly captures the colorful characters of New Yorkers and North Carolinians in a few swift chalk strokes. Beyond this, they share provincialism. People in NY think of NC as hickville (and some places are of course). But I’ve got family who haven’t been further than the Verrazano Bridge.
Judgment: New Yorkers will tell you to your face that your stylist cut your hair too short and that they liked your last boyfriend better than your current, while he’s sitting at the dinner table with everyone.
North Carolinians will ask if you got your hair cut (though it’s obvious) and then sit quietly through dinner with your new beau, keeping the conversation free flowing with seamless grace, judgments reserved for private conversation (that you’re not in) behind closed doors.
Both hate your new boyfriend.
When it comes to pride? Let’s just say, New Yorkers aren’t known for our humility!
Upon closer inspection, the undercurrents of sameness that pulse beneath the surface of our seeming differences become very clear.
And such is the case with food.
The Venn diagram below illustrates what I believe are the figurative (and literal) commonalities between the vegan, vegetarian, paleo, and WAP diets.
I believe in real food, minimally processed, properly prepared, and as sustainable as possible. I believe it’s about what’s IN the food and not about what’s MISSING. I don’t eat milk dairy and I LIVE for veggies; which overlaps me with vegans. I eat animal products, but not much muscle meat, and never from animals that have been factory raised—which puts me in/and also outside of the paleo spectrum. I know and trust my butchers personally. I know the animals I’m eating had good lives, and good deaths. And I don’t let a scrap go to waste. Ever. Personally, I’m a “Weston A. Pricer.” But that’s a blog post for another time.
With morals anchoring both choices, it’s a shame to let the details of our choices (I wouldn’t touch soy or vegetable oil with a ten foot pole!) divide us at the dinner table. Beyond nutrition, foods’ gift is that it brings us together: to gather, to commune and feed not just our bodies but hopefully our spirits and souls. Let’s keep it real. When’s the last time a bag of Doritos brought the family together? I’ve got more in common with Cobi of Veggietorials and Laura Miller of SideSaddleKitchen than it might at first seem.
Let’s learn something from the North Carolinian way and approach each other’s differences with humility, openness, and curiosity. Even if we have an inner New Yorker that wants to punch someone else’s diet in the face.
That said, on to the AWESOME potato salad vid. Check out the recipes page for more of Cobi’s awesome, colorful, vibrant videos and dishes, as well as for the recipe to this dish. And if you’ve read this far, thanks! What’s your diet like, and why?
Last little bit of info for all of you.
While I’m here, I’m want to make life BIG. I want to live my dreams. I want to dream big and live bigger. How to do this with a (substantially) late start in the marathon of life, and with a gimp leg to boot? That is the question. And it all comes down to time.
There isn’t enough time. Or is there? Is there a way that my life could be trimmed of all its excess time-wasting activity? Or is that too utilitarian and Puritan in its approach? We all struggle in our relationship to time. When I was sick at home I spent most of my time with my eyes closed, praying, or meditating, and wishing myself dead. I felt good as dead, and my body’s state determined how this time was spent. I couldn’t do any of the things I loved, or see any of the people I loved in the world that they lived in. If they wanted to see me, they had to come bedside.
On bad days, I had nothing but time, but no energy to do anything with it. My body didn’t work. Time galore, empty and seemingly unending. My psyche resembled a windowless basement. With a leaky ceiling. And a musty smell. When I could manage to make it to the couch and keep my eyes open I watched hours of Food Network (right up until Paula Deen at which point I turned it off. True story. Never did resonate with me, that one. And I got nothin’ but love for Southerners). The image below is a chalkboard collaboration between the man-dude and I (from last year) about what I wanted to do with my time everyday (pending energy).
For our 1st marriage anniversary, the man-dude planned a (super easy) backpacking trip to accommodate my health. Having never been, I knew not of the hunger that would wrack me (I packed veggies)! It was the most rigorous physical activity of my life to date. I looked longingly at his cashew butter-covered pita and caved (luckily I had pre-dug my holes for the bathroom crises that was inevitable as a result of my eating gluten!) By the end of the trip, I was rabid for red meat. There were cows on the trail and every moo sent me pontificating about the burger I’d eat once we got out. I dreamt of burgers at night. When I did finally emerge from the woods, not only did I eat a burger at a local diner, but I ate red meat 3x a day for a week.
My hunger for a healthy life with energy and time to use that energy was like my body’s need for that red meat. And yet, when the good days came, I fumbled to figure out what to do. I could read anything, watch movies, walk through the neighborhood, and yet, often, I made it only as far as my studio and stared at the ceiling while twirling my hair and biting my inner lip, furiously scribbling in my journal about all of the things I could do with an open day. It would be as if I had emerged from the woods, headed straight to the diner with burger pupils spinning in my eyeballs, ordered a burger, and then couldn’t eat it.
Why? Part of the answer is that my body still stopped me dead in my tracks. My health management was (and still is) a full part-time job. But that’s not the whole picture. When my health is semi-stable, why do I squander some of my time when there are so many things I want to do to “live big”?
Because I’m human. I forget that every day I live and breathe is a day I’m moving closer to death (YOLO!). We live in a perpetual state of denial about our own mortality because we have to. It’s too paralyzing to realize. And this paralyzing state can best be represented by hour 4 on Pinterest, opening Instagram on autopilot, reading Craigslist for fun, obsessing over what’s better about my favorite blogs.
When I’m remembering my mortality? I’m cooking with gas as they say (or coals, cause they impart a smokier flavor). Literally.
How do you feel about the time you have left? About the way you’ve spent the time you’ve enjoyed with your health? About the passions that drive you to create, or consume, or conquer fears? Tell me. That is, if you have time.
And of course, marinate your chicken. Give it time to soak in all the flavors and juices. It’ll make it more tender and juicy and worthwhile. Read the recipes section for the 101 on making marinades. Take the time to put the marinade together the night before, and let the chicken soak for hours. Think of the spa. If you’re taking time out of a busy life to soak in a spa, you wouldn’t want to spend only 5 minutes right?
What Does Your Buddhist Heart Say?
live with urgency!
If these were your last days
would you walk quickly, or slowly, or not at all?
Would you lay under the sun? In the arms of your loved one?
Would you fuck like a rave crazed rabbit?
Would you smoke your last cigarette out of habit?
Have you thought about it?
If these were your last days
what work would you do? Would you make sure to laugh or cry or both
If you knew that you would die
would you drink water, wine, beer, or broth? Coffee, or tea with milk and honey?
Would you wear sandbags on your feet and walk with grace into the ocean?
If these were your last days
what would your last message be? Would you be brave enough to leave it?
What words would you speak and read and write?
What dreams would you ask for at night?
I urge you
press your ear against the ivory ornate Door in your psyche
until you can make out the faintest whispering;
(like gem-wisdoms that glow and glisten)
listen like it was god whispering to you
the secrets and small things that sew you.
Fatalize your life.
Move your body in a way that surprises you,
over play the music that makes you sing
Let dancing limbs deliver you
tell the people you love
that you love them.
Break a sweat,
eat a piece of fresh fruit,
find freshness in what you already have.
Close your eyes.
Observe the sky
of your mind
What talents are you cultivating?
What moments are you savoring?
What losses are you harboring?
Are you a fugitive in your own skin?
What places are you placing your trust?
into a place of emergency
Live with urgency!
Today’s your last day
What does your Buddhist heart say?
I’m so very excited to introduce all of you to one of my favorite YouTuber’s: Dani Spies of Clean and Delicious. We had the opportunity to meet in the Tastemade Studios in Santa Monica to film an “Oprah-Style” chat about what lead us to our healthy eating.
Most of you know that food is a huge part of how I manage living with a chronic illness. But why do other folks eat a healthy diet? How does a passion for health develop in the rest of the population? Dani offers us her perspective in the interview below; and read her blog about her intention to expand the conversation around food.
(Please forgive my chatter-face in this one! Brevity has never been a strength of mine).
Being a YouTube content creator is a very specific experience. When I first came across Dani’s channel there were instant-clicks. Her food is, well, clean and delicious—exactly as she says. Her keep-it-simple “everyday recipes” represent healthy eating at its best: a celebration of food; cause for joy and pleasure, not punishment and lack. I resonate with this for obvious reasons. When people first hear you’re gluten free (depending on the people), they look at you like there’s nothing left on earth to eat. Being gluten-free has pushed me into heightened creativity in the kitchen. So many new things to discover beyond the world of bread and pasta!
This month Dani’s made some of my favorite things to eat in summer. Her colorful cucumber tomato salad can easily be eaten without the feta if you’re allergic to cheese because the work-horse dressing takes it to the next level and beyond. She ommited the frehs herbs, but if you can’t do the cheese, putting some basil or oregano in there’ll create dairy amnesia. (Does that make any sense?) Pair this salad with my grilled chicken, and FUGGHEDABOUDIT. You’ll be swoonin’ straight to heaven!
Or make some of Dani’s Quick Refrigerator pickles to serve alongside any of your hot summer grill-time meals for a crunchy crisp refresher. Gotta love it.
I’m so grateful to Dani (and her awesome other half) for collaborating with lil’ ol’ me. She’s the best of what’s out there on Youtube when it comes to food. Fresh, colorful, seasonal, and simple. BOOYA!
Before you go, be sure to watch my portion of the interview on Dani’s channel! Even though they look like the same video, they’re actually different!
Lastly, I wrote a blog post about my own struggles with diet and body image earlier in the month after Dani and I first met in person. Be sure to check it out to learn more. Until the next time! Ciao xo.