What you’ll find here: healthy omnivorous recipes with an occasional decadent twist. I’m bound to stick in some nutrition information if it is appropriate (I probably won’t bother if it is a cake!), and some restaurant and travel stuff too. But the blog is mainly recipe chat and amateurish photos of what I’m cooking for family, friends and work.
What you won’t find here: super-niche ingredients (although I do love pomegranate molasses), recipes involving boxed cake mix or tinned soup, fancy or overly fiddly stuff. No offence if you like verjuice, green bean casserole or caviar-stuffed quail’s eggs but you probably won’t find those here (never say never though).
Who am I ? (semi-short version): I’m Kellie, a food-obsessed Floridian living in the beautiful city of Edinburgh, Scotland for more years than I care to admit. I am blessed with a gorgeous family who willingly eat almost everything that I make, although they aren’t too keen on starving as I faff with my camera and moan about the lighting (our northerly latitude is a pet hate). Growing up I loved eating Cuban and Florida-style foods – plenty of grouper sandwiches, hushpuppies and my mother’s piccadillo. My earliest food memory is of a slightly crispy grilled cheese sandwich with a side of dill pickles. Mmm. Today I still love these types of foods but have expanded my repertoire a bit. Quite a bit. You’re more likely now to find me hovering over a steaming bowl of roasted butternut squash soup, possibly owing to the massive temperature difference…
Who am I? (TMI version): Unsurprisingly, I love food – reading about it, shopping for it, cooking and eating it (cleaning up after it – meh). Food is a big part of my life. I’m lucky enough to work with food too, as a health educationist and nutrition adviser with the estimable Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres. Shorthanded as Maggies, the 15 centres (and growing) are charitably run havens of exquisite architectural beauty and tranquillity that provide information, psychological support and practical help to patients and their families. All are sited alongside major cancer treatment centres. Over the past eight years I have been privileged in providing nutrition workshops and individual sessions for those needing a bit of a boost to their energy and immunity during cancer treatment and recovery. I also see people who, although their cancer is not curable, want to live life to the full. I know it sounds cliche but working in this environment is incredibly inspiring and humbling. Hand on heart, I learn something new at each session.
As part of the course I put together a nutritious and – I hope – tasty, mainly vegan lunch bringing to life many of the things that we talk about in the sessions. In discussions emphasis is on plant foods for their taste and potential cancer-fighting properties, but I fully embrace meatier, fishier options too. Just not in vast quantities. Or coated in artery-clogging sauces.
Just so we’re clear, I am not a vegetarian and this isn’t a veggie blog as such. Healthy omnivore with an occasional decadent twist is the aim. You will find mostly vegan and vegetarian recipes, with plenty of gluten-free and dairy-free recipes/options too. But I have cast my culinary net widely, only eschewing the obviously unhealthy (in my opinion).
As a mission statement, food to glow strives to post the yummiest, most enticing plant-based recipes this side of a fairly decent cafe in a small town with no real competition. Nothing like aiming high! Meat, fish, dairy and sweet things have a look in but it’s really about the plants – their colours, tastes and versatility. Most recipes are mostly originals (or at least I haven’t come across them), while the rest are healthy (-ier) riffs on old favourites or tweaks on cookbook and blog finds. Although not considered humane I do test out all recipes on my long-suffering (but very healthy) family and friends. Tempeh has not been a huge hit, but I’m working on it…
Favourite Food Haunts: This list will undoubtedly expand and change, but for now…my favourite Cuban sandwich shop in my hometown of Tampa, Florida is the West Tampa Sandwich Shop (great cafe con leche too). Who needs a trendy panini when you can have 4 kinds of meat, several cheeses, mayo and pickle lovingly hot-pressed between two butter-topped slices of chewy Cuban bread. A once a year treat for me. The best doughnut shop in the world is found on tiny Anna Maria Island on Florida’s southwest coast: made-to-order and out of this world crazy-delicious. Again, a once-a-year treat. I also love the inventive salads and lobster bisque at the Tampa International Mall outpost of Nordstrom’s department store – gotta balance out the Cuban sandwich and doughnut.
Back home in Scotland, my favourite special occasion restaurant, just across the bridge from Edinburgh, is the fabulously bijou Wee Restaurant, while for a hit of spice and heat we head to Edinburgh’s Kampong Ah Lee Malaysian Delight, smack in the middle of studentville – so correspondingly cheap and cheerful. Lately we have been satisfying our yen for Vietnamese food at the curiously low-key Little Vietnam – deep flavours in deep bowls, with a whole lot of convivial slurping. Expect a very warm welcome, keen prices, but not much in the way of decor. The casual French bistro, Cafe Marlayne, in Edinburgh’s picturesque New Town is our go-to place for family celebrations and for wining and dining visitors, although we’ve yet to have room for one of their delicious looking desserts. For really high-end occasions – and if someone else is paying! - Martin Wishart and The Honours do it for me, as do the quirky but elegant Timberyard (big on foraging) and the eponymous Wedgwood (also big on foraged but more fine dining).
One Edinburgh restaurant
I am longing to go I have fallen in love with is the appropriately named Gardener’s Cottage, where you dine on what they grow in the entryway gravel garden, and eat dinner party-style at big wooden tables. The attraction of a place that plays vinyl instead of Muzak is also rather compelling. But for inspiring and usually organic lunches my girlfriends and I like to meet at Earthy Cafe, where you can buy the produce they use in their dishes. The best cheese board in the Universe is located at the Isle of Eriska Hotel, in the Scottish Highlands (yummy E’Spa spa too). Favourite hotel has got to be Gleneagles, Perthshire Scotland – golf heaven, view heaven, breakfast buffet heaven (four kinds of smoked salmon!). My favourite kitchen gadget is my husband. My favourite thing to cook is birthday cake, for my daughter.
And that leads me to Miss R’s Track of the Week, which you will see in the preamble to each recipe. Miss R is my gorgeous teenaged, music-mad daughter who kindly chooses a song each week to ostensibly go with each dish. It often doesn’t work out that way but I don’t mind as they are always good songs, if somewhat baffling to my rather older ears. It makes me feel young to listen to her music anyway! I hope you dare click on the links, if only to see if it matches the dish
I really hope you enjoy your peruse through food to glow. Let me know your thoughts. Thank you!
CONTACT ME: for my-eyes-only questions, comments and suggestions, please email me at kellieATkelliesfoodtoglowDOTcom (sorry about this silly format but it allegedly deters spambots). Use the normal “@” and “.” punctuation when mailing.
Disclaimer: All posts and information provided within this blog is for informational and educational purposes only, and is not to be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action should be taken solely on the contents of this website. Please consult your doctor or a qualified health professional on any matters regarding your health and well being, or on any opinions expressed within this website. The advice of your doctor/health professional supersedes that of this website. The information provided in foodtoglow is believed to be accurate based on the best judgment of the author. However, you as the reader must be responsible for consulting with your own health professional on matters raised within. I , the author of foodtoglow, will not accept responsibility for the actions or consequent results of any action taken by any reader. Unless, of course the advice makes you feel great or learn to love vegetables!