There are many aspects of food that I love, and a few that work well in combination are breakfast, complex carbs and soaking. I used to struggle with what to give the children for breakfast. I mean, it’s such an important meal. They need energy for the day, so it’s a good time of day for carbohydrates, but most commercial cereals are extruded (no good) and many ‘healthy’ types of muesli have, quite frankly, too much sugar. Continue reading
Why You Should Not Ever, Never Eat Conventional Chocolate
Can you imagine my horror when I heard that chocolate is the food most highly sprayed with noxious agro-chemicals? Yuk! You’re kidding, right? I’m a woman. I love chocolate. I didn’t always because when I was younger with boundless energy, I didn’t really need it. But twenty years and three kids later, I LOVE the stuff.
Well, it turns out that this wonderful mouthful is not as innocent as it seems. You see, the cacao tree likes shade. But it is harder to manage and harvest a plant that is growing under a rainforest canopy, so conventional chocolate plantations are in the sun. As well as ruining the forest (which you may not care about), this makes the plant more vulnerable to pests and diseases, and therefore increases the need for chemicals (which you should care about). Continue reading
When I was home in Massachusetts earlier this year, I took my Mom out for a late Mother’s Day lunch. We sat in a sweet little restaurant on the coast where a few fish restaurants offer the freshest of fish as it comes in from the small private fishing boats that head out into the Atlantic from the Essex Coast.
We had a salad that my Mom had raved about from a different occasion and the waitress was nice enough to reveal the secret dressing. The fish was breathtakingly fresh and flaky, and the combination of the creamy cheese, toasty almonds and sweetened cranberries with the tart and sweet dressing was gorgeous. Continue reading
With Organic September nearly upon us, I’ll say it again – organic makes so much sense. Organic can sometimes be difficult to explain, because there isn’t just one good reason for buying organic – there are lots.
Many people will have a romantic view of the English countryside, which they have taken from childhood books and memories of warm summer days enjoying walks through fields of crops. But a lot has changed, and today conventional farming is highly industrialised, to maximise yield at least cost.
The bottom line is that buying organic is better for the environment and my view is that if it is better for the health of the environment, then it is better for my health too. Continue reading
For me, there’s food and there’s great food. Great food is bursting with taste, vitality and health. Great food is what I am about. I’m an entrepreneur with three young kids, Jess 10, Nicholas 7 and Cassie 4. Before children, I founded Planet Organic, London’s organic supermarket chain. Since becoming a mother I’ve written two cookbooks, The Best Recipes for Babies & Toddlers and Me, You & the Kids, Too, to bring to life my thoughts and ideas about healthy eating for the family, especially the little ones.
We don’t buy bread anymore. That’s because we live in Tuscany. I love Tuscany. But I’m really not keen on white, conventional, unsalted, pretty much flavourless bread. So, we make all of our own breads – yeasted wholemeal spelt and sourdough rye.
I used to be terrified of making bread. It all sounded so mysterious and complicated – and there were so many things that could go wrong. To top it off, I knew people who had tried to make bread and had come into work the next day, describing in detail the horrors of their disasters, wondering if they had the courage to try again. To be honest, I can’t imagine what on earth they did wrong, because now I know that baking bread is a cinch.
The cicadas started singing yesterday, which heralds long, hot summer days. Our vegetable garden is just starting to kick out tomatoes. My dad, Ed, and my sister, Lauren, were just here for two weeks. The few times we went out to eat, in spite of all of the amazing dishes on the menu, Lauren would order spaghetti with tomato sauce. I remember that she did this as a kid, too. Then, it was always overcooked, fat, noodles with okay sauce.
The apricot trees in our Tuscan orchard were dripping with fruit a few weeks ago. It was all we could do to keep up with them and because I didn’t have the time to make jam, I decided to try and make a really simple tart.
As an American, I ate a lot of pie growing up, but they seemed to be complicated affairs. The idea for this was inspired by a stay at friends of ours in Lyon last summer as we drove up for our annual sojourn in London. We stopped at their beautiful house for a couple of days. One evening for dessert, there was a pie that one of their daughters had baked before she went out for the day and just left there – uncut – for us to enjoy. We never even saw her to thank her. Continue reading
My passion is promoting health in the community. That’s why I started Planet Organic, that’s why I write recipe books and that’s why I blog about food. My desire is for people to discover how to cook and eat better food – and to encourage and support those on this journey.
If you have children, you are in charge of their health, from when they are babies – and onwards until they leave home. This is a big responsibility. I think people need a wake up call about cooking and eating differently, and using wonderful ingredients that they have never tried before. Me, you & the kids too has just come out and this book not only makes this possible, but also easy and exciting.