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?
There’s nothing glorious about root vegetables. In fact, they’re often deformed-looking, intimidating, and tough objects that don’t possess nearly the same charm as plump, deep red summer tomatoes or crisp granny smith apples. When I see celeriac, parsnips, or turnips at the market, I’m not overwhelmed with an urge to devour them like I am with, say, a bowl of blueberries. I don’t start conjuring up recipes or salivating at the thought of the earthy aroma they would create in my kitchen. Besides the more common ones (i.e. carrots, potatoes, onions, and yams), I ignored root vegetables for a long time. 22 years, to be exact.
However, as the winter months came around here in France and temperatures dipped, locally grown root vegetables started taking center stage at the market. Remaining steadfast in my commitment to eat in tune with the seasons, I abruptly ended what was a root vegetable-free life.
Last week, I had leftover almond flour I wanted to use before it went bad. In other words, I needed an excuse to make cookies on a Tuesday. Upon realizing that I only had about half the amount of flour I needed, I decided to throw in some gluten-free oats. Although not sure how the combination of nutty flour and grainy oats would taste, I was crossing my fingers that the results wouldn’t be catastrophic.
When it comes to food, the French know what they’re doing. No surprise there. La gastronomie of France, in all its seasonal, locally-sourced, fresh-from-the-market brilliance, was one of the main reasons I wanted to move back here for an extended period of time after college. And since arriving, I’ve been doing my best to absorb everything about French culture (minus their horrendous smoking habits) from the food to the literature to the undeniable and permeating joie de vivre. It’s a spirit that invites elegance into the mundane of daily life, a language whose romanticism is crushingly beautiful, and a gastronomic culture whose vibrancy will make you wonder why it took you so long to decide to move to France in the first place.
Despite all of this, there is one thing I haven’t come to terms with, and I’m not sure I ever will. Because however much I love France, its utter disregard for the amazing meal that is breakfast burns a SERIOUS hole in our relationship.
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.
Despite the sub-freezing temperatures here in France, my apartment smells like a straight-up tropical island because of all the coconut flour I’ve been experimenting with lately.
This grain-free alternative to wheat flour is made by pressing the water and oil out of the coconut meat and grinding what’s left into a slightly yellow and clumpy flour. Because it’s loaded with fiber, protein, and healthy fats, coconut flour keeps you satisfied for longer without wreaking havoc on blood sugar levels like whole wheat or white flours do.
… not much. In fact, after baguette, I would say crêpes are a solid number 2 on the list of classic French foods. (Although, according to BuzzFeed, baked camembert is pretty high up there as well.)
Essentially a thin pancake, crêpes originate from Brittany, a region in the northwest of the country. Nowadays, however, they can be found throughout France, both in small stands lining busy pedestrian streets and larger sit-down restaurants known as crêperies.
Hello, friends! For anyone new, “Lately on Instagram” is a series where I summarize what’s been happening in my kitchen lately, with posts revolving around larger themes such as meal prep, summer flavors, or high-vibrational foods. Today, it’s all about introducing new, french ingredients into my kitchen.
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.
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?