Lately on Instagram: no microwave, no problem

My kitchen here in France is the farthest thing from fancy. It’s an industrial, stainless steel setup complete with two hot plates, a sink, a refrigerator, and a mini oven that looks deceptively like a toaster oven but lacks the ability to toast.

And that’s about it. No microwave to be found.

Of course, I could have purchased one myself, but I spent the first 18 years of my life sans microwave, so the thought never seriously crossed my mind.

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a taste of Paris, featuring sustainable urban farming

When I think of Paris, I imagine cast-iron balustrades bordering the Métropolitan signs of the subways stations, wrought iron balconies, elegant cream-colored stonework, and wide boulevards lined with independent bookshops, cafés, and boulangeries.

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a taste of Lyon

Picture this: someone blows up a pig intestine like a balloon until it takes the shape of a sausage casing. Then he/she stuffs said casing with more chopped up (and very well rinsed) intestines before tying up both ends with string, cooking it, slathering on some mustard sauce, and calling it andouillette.

Now picture this: Jacqueline (me) doesn’t know what andouillette is but thinks — what the hec I’m gonna be adventurous YOLO, am I right? — and decides to order it. And eat it. And subsequently google it because, you know, it didn’t taste exactly like normal sausage. In fact, it was oddly pink and chewy.

SURPRISE! Never thought you would have intestines in your intestines, did you? Well, there’s a first time for everything.

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a taste of Annecy (and traveling alone)

I’ll get to the oh-so-delicious food I ate in Annecy in a sec (and if you’re here just for that, feel free to scroll down). But first, allow me a moment of non-food commentary. Because I just traveled solo for the first time, and it’s worth a paragraph or two, don’t you think?

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#LovePulses and take the pledge

The 68th UN General Assembly declared 2016 the year of Pulses, which are the edible seeds of plants in the legume family. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) officially recognizes 11 specific types of pulses, but they can generally be encompassed in 4 groups: dry peas, beans, lentils, and chickpeas.

Referred to as “nutritious seeds for a sustainable future,” these superfoods pack an impressive nutritional punch. Not only are they loaded with protein, fiber, iron, potassium, folate, and antioxidants, but they’re also cholesterol, sodium, and gluten-free.

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attacking the problem of food waste in france

Exciting things are happening right now in France to attack the problem of food waste.

This past May, the French parliament introduced an energy bill that made headlines around the world thanks to Article 103, which would have forced large French supermarkets to donate unsold but edible food to charities or for animal consumption. Additionally, it would have banned the practice of pouring bleach over discarded food to avoid being implicated in the event someone becomes ill after eating out of the trash.

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the not-so-sweet truth about sugar

I have never been one to set New Year’s resolutions. The whole “new year, new me” thing? Well, I never bought into it.

Now, I don’t want to come off as complacent or as if I don’t believe in actively working on myself, either to reverse unhealthy habits or pick up new, healthier ones. On the contrary, actually. I just think that such changes can take place at any time of the year rather than just January 1 at midnight. I don’t know about you, but the other 364 days of the year seem like equally awesome opportunities to set some goals, don’t you think?

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beating to a different rhythm

It seems like every market I visit around this time of the year is bursting with crates and crates of squash. Butternut, acorn, spaghetti… you name it, and France has it. I’ve boiled it, roasted it, mashed it, and seasoned it with various herbs and spices to bring out the fullest flavor of this iconic autumnal ingredient. Now, I was ready to stuff it.

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eating mindfully

At first, I thought the hours of travel, heavy suitcase lifting, and subsequent jet lag were the culprits behind my changing appetite. After a few days, however, I was completely adjusted to the time difference between New York and France. And then a few weeks passed, and then months. Still, something had changed. Why wasn’t I hungry in between meals?

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why I’ll never buy almond butter in France again

About three weeks into my eight-month stint here in France, I began craving almond butter. I missed slathering it on apple and banana slices, drizzling it on top of hearty smoothie bowls and, I’ll admit, eating it straight out of the jar with a spoon. At first, I tried to suppress these cravings because I had heard time and time again that any form of nut butter is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to find in France. I was just going to have to get used to it, or eventually convince my mom to send me some from New York.

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