Monday, August 15, 2011

It's been a long December

Well, MANY things have changed since my last post. First, I no longer live in Switzerland. So to answer the next obvious question, Yes I'm keeping the blog title with the simple rationale that it was in the Swiss countryside that I developed my love of cooking for the first time.

Second, my diet has morphed over a million times and I have settled on healthy food - not strictly demanding any regime in excess. While 90% of the foods I'm eating these days is quite low in sugar and gluten free, I'll post whatever I find to be creative and tasty. It'll be a bit sporadic, but I always love sharing darn good food and ideas.

Speaking of damn good food, since my last post some 18 months ago I've been to Africa (Cairo, Accra, Kigali, Kampala, Nairobi...), back to Turkey, around Europe, and most recently China (Beijing, Shanghai). I am so grateful to have had too many colourful and novel experiences to list - but oh, the food. I will comment on those, and continue to use their influences as I scrap together grub for myself.

By moving country, changing places and faces, and changing my mindset entirely the biggest change is my mindset; I used to try to control everything and aim for perfection (in other words, I was a masochist :p) and now I realize we have to be good to ourselves and CONSCIOUSLY reach for enjoyment. You have to attend to it, to make room for it in your life. Pleasure is easy and fleeting; enjoyment requires effort and cuts deeper. If that sounds obvious to you, I applaud your wisdom and implore you to help me out...:)

One way I enjoyed my morning was by taking a great spin class, and then coming home to a great breakfast. I wanted to have a bowl of my delicious custom granola from me & goji, but with an indulgent weekend upgrade - it was Sunday morning! Enter the granola muffin. It was experimental, it could have flopped, but it didn't - and if you make it, you won't think so either.

Cinnamon-Granola Breakfast Muffin (low sugar, wheat free)- recipe for 1

3 T Granola* (pref. homemade)
2 T almond or soy milk, unsweetened
1 T soy flour
1 egg white
1/2 t of cinnamon
1 t ground flax
1/8 t baking powder
1 packet of Stevia (= two teaspoons of sweetener)
pinch of salt

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F/ 175 C.

  • Grease 1 muffin tin with oil (I used SmartBalance spray).

  • Mix all the ingredients well and let it sit for about 10 minutes while the granola absorbs the liquid.

  • Bake in the oven for about 12 minutes.

  • Let it cool completely, gently remove, and enjoy.

  • I ate this with light butter on one half and almond butter on the other, with some berries on the side. Eat them however you'd like - because it is lightly sweet, you could omit the Stevia and eat it with eggs or meat. *The me & goji guys are sadly going out of business, which is a pity. There's still some time to order your custom artisanal cereal. My mix was wheat free granola (oats, walnuts, cashews, pumpkin seeds) with goji and dried blueberries.

    Nutrition per muffin: 218 calories, 21 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 8 g fat, 15 g protein (yes, 15!).