Welcome to Food to Glow! I’m Kellie, and this is my personal slice of the Internet where I share original, colourful, globally-inspired recipes using whole, natural ingredients. And occasionally, because I am a cancer health educator (and a bit of a food nerd), I can’t help slipping in a side order of juicy nutrition facts and thoughts. But mostly I am light on the heavy stuff and more about letting the food and recipes speak for themselves: Feel good food that’s (accidentally) good for you.
What you’ll find here: healthy, plant-heavy recipes with an occasional decadent twist. And a few fishy things sneaked in too. As well as a health educator, food writer and recipe developer, I am also a frustrated “writer writer”, so you will most likely need to wade through some ‘humorous’ anecdotes, or a soapbox-style rant about a misleading, health-related headline before you get to the recipe. But Food to Glow 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). On the occasion that I do include a more esoteric ingredient (er, yuzu) I try very hard to offer an alternative. In fact, with most of my recipes I give alternatives for different diets, kitchen equipment and tastes. I am not at all precious about my recipes, and I love it when someone tells me they have made one of my recipes their own. And I about do a cartwheel if they post a pic of their new creation on Instagram.
Who am I ? (semi-short version): I’m a food-obsessed Floridian living in the beautiful city of Edinburgh, Scotland for more years than I care to admit (okay, as of 2018 we are at about 30 years). 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 light (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: that grilled cheese will definitely have kimchi inside. 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 20 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, mainly here in the UK but also around the world (I have been lucky enough to work with the Tokyo Maggie’s Centre!). Over the past 16 years I have been privileged in providing nutrition workshops, weight management sessions, specialist dietary advice and individual sessions for those needing a bit of help with their digestion, 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.
The people I see at the Maggie’s Centre – and importantly, the people I can’t see because of distance – are the reason I started Food To Glow.
(Another reason is more personal. I have an auto-immune disorder, and changing my diet some 25 years ago has kept me off of the medication that doctors said I would need to be well. Stuff that.)
As part of my courses I put together nutritious and – I hope – tasty, mainly vegan lunches and suppers 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 and life-enhancing properties, but I embrace the occasional fishier, meatier 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, plant-focused omnivore with an occasional decadent twist is the aim. However, you will mainly find vegan and vegetarian recipes, with plenty of naturally gluten-free offerings, too. I am big on offering choice, with most recipes having a suggested vegan option. And, although I love many of the dishes of my homeland and adopted country Scotland, traditional UK and US amounts of animal protein, sugar and added fat are not welcome at my table – unless by special invitation and cut very, very small. 😉
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! Fish, dairy and sweet things have a look in but it’s really about the plants – their colours, tastes and versatility. Most recipes are original (or at least I haven’t come across them), while the rest are healthy (-ier) riffs on old favourites or tweaks on cookbook, magazine and Internet 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…
What I Like:
Ingredients – Kale (a bit of a long-time obsession really, so I grow 3 varieties year-round); flower sprouts (my new kale!) beetroot and sweet potatoes; whole grains (and quinoa, although of course it is a seed) and all nuts and seeds except hazelnuts (ugh); cherries, pomegranates, passion fruit, lemons, figs, pears, vine-ripe tomatoes and all Scottish berries; Scottish smoked salmon; za’atar, dukkah, best evvo, pomegranate syrup, freshly baked sourdough bread, and homemade fermented foods like water kefir, tepache, kimchi and sauerkraut. Oh, and the occasional (small) bag of salt and black pepper crisps!
Dishes – slurpy, spicy curries and laksas; avocado on toast with cherry tomatoes and dukkah; awesome ‘meal’ salads; Sunday lunch that lasts all day; breakfast! I am big on breakfast. You don’t want to know me if I haven’t had breakfast.
Cuisines: North African, Southeast Asian and Middle Eastern – with Scottish ingredients 😀
My favourite kitchen gadget is my husband. My favourite thing to cook is birthday cake, for my daughter. Although she is now at St Andrews University and no longer on-hand to be chief taste tester, my Rachel is always who I have in mind when I create something that I hope is especially special. Her birth and my changing health status were the catalyst for one of the biggest and most positive changes in my life.
I really hope you enjoy your peruse through Food to Glow. Let me know your (politely expressed) 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!