“Don’t eat fruit and nuts. You are what you eat” – Garfield
The Buckwheat Adventure is written and photographed (badly, on an iPhone 5) by me, a 35 year old called Kate. After working as a lawyer for 10 years in London and New York, I decided to resign and figure out what I really wanted to do with my life. Three years, a few consultancy jobs and one child later, I am still pretty much none the wiser. But when I left the City I vowed to do two things while contemplating my next career move or dreaming up the Next Big Thing: improve my terrible Italian and learn to cook properly. A few courses at Leith’s Cookery School in London, an Amazon-enabled cookbook fetish and a lot of kitchen trial and error followed and I had built up a pretty decent repertoire of sausage/chorizo/sausage/pasta based dinners.
But then, after a back injury meant the gym was off the cards for a long time and inspired by
a deep and life long interest in nutrition, well being and health Gywneth Paltrow looking glossy and fantastic in white shorts in her cookbook, I decided that it might be time to explore this Healthy Eating thing.
I still eat meat, dairy, carbohydrates and the occasional McChicken Sandwich. I am terribly cynical about 95% of the (pretty much constant, inescapable and, most annoyingly, inconsistent) ‘nutrition’ advice thrust upon us and I loathe fad diets. But, I figured it couldn’t hurt to try and be a little bit healthier, could it? To eat seasonally as far as possible and try actively to like (rather than tolerate) vegetables. To expand my repertoire of three fish recipes and explore whether some of the terrifying looking grains in Whole Foods might just make a good alternative to rice or pasta from time to time. I might even figure out what a chia seed was, find a kale smoothie that was palatable and test whether a two year old could be persuaded to eat a buckwheat flour pancake. The result, I figured, would be that I’d end up eating less meat, sugar, dairy and refined flour but without really noticing.
The vegetable bit was easier than I thought. Figuring out how to eat and cook with the more ‘alternative’ ingredients proved much harder. Most of the recipes I was finding online were for the vegan/alkaline/exclusion dieter or involved spending a week’s salary in Holland & Barrett. Plus, a lot of what I was finding was really quite unappealing to somebody who didn’t need to be entirely wheat-dairy-sugar free. To add insult to injury, nearly everything I baked with ‘speciality’ flours and new and exotic oils was pretty average at best. And we all know that life is too short to spend time baking if there is any risk at all that the end product will not be absolutely delicious. I didn’t want to cut any food group out altogether – I just wanted to think about what I should be adding more of to my and my family’s diet, rather than what I shouldn’t be eating.
So, with the help of the inspired website Eat Your Books, I set about raiding my existing cookbooks (272 at the last count, but that’s a different story/marital dispute) and scouring the internet for great food that also happened to be healthy. And then, of course, to stick the really good stuff I found on this blog just in case anyone else (Hi Mum!) was equally uninspired and looking for something healthy to rustle up for their dinner or was thinking of buying that expensive tub of coconut oil in the supermarket. Because everyone has a (food) blog nowadays, right?
I live in Kensington (do feel free to stereotype me – you’re probably correct) and am extremely lucky to reside a short flounce from a good butcher, fishmonger and greengrocer. I do, however, still worship at the altar of Ocado and believe that healthy food shouldn’t have to consist only of esoteric ingredients or cost the earth. And I still have a fussy 2 year old, and even fussier 42 year old, to feed every day.
Since writing this About section I have written a bit more about the “healthy eating” philosophy underpinning this blog here.