Tortilla Soup

Cinco de Mayo is fast approaching so we all need to up our game and move beyond tacos and burritos as a celebration of Central and South American cuisine. Cinco de Mayo is celebrated in Mexico to commemorate the victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla. It is not the day that marks their independence as a nation, that’s September 16th. Rather, it celebrates the Mexican Resistance’s victory over a superior French force backed by Napoleon. It’s a symbolic victory and not even a National Holiday in Mexico.

The day has since been hijacked by the alcohol industry as a ploy to celebrate Hispanic culture outside of Mexico. Mexican culture is so much more that cerveza (beer) and margaritas. There is a diverse cuisine that has regional flavours and techniques suited to their climatic conditions. A vibrant street food scene has been taken by their chefs to the world of haute cuisine with three restaurants in the 2017 World’s 50 Best Restaurants serving Mexican food.

Pati Jinich, Mexico’s version of Jamie Oliver, says that everyone needs to have their own version of Tortilla Soup. I agree. I discovered this dish more than 20 years ago when I was living in South Florida, USA. It’s a great way to make use of leftover tortillas and tomatoes that have ripened from salad to cooking stage. It’s a light soup that has the ability to be refreshing on a summer evening and warming for a winter’s lunch.

Tortilla soup email

Tortilla soup is refreshing on a summers day or a hearty winter warmer.

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Migraineur’s Hot Cross Buns

I only discovered hot crossed buns about 10 years ago. They were not part of my childhood growing up in America so it wasn’t until I met Stuart that I learned about this traditional bun served at Easter. He loved them but they are a minefield for migraine sufferers. I had to completely re-dux every recipe that I found and it’s taken me a good five years to finally perfect it. I’m delighted to share it with you.

Hot cross bun recipe 3

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The Mediterranean Diet is a Migraine-Friendly Way of Eating

So something a bit different this week. I was asked to work with the team from Red Dieticians to help create a weekly menu with some of my recipes to go with their very informative review of the Mediterranean Diet. Needless to say I was chuffed to be asked and even happier to participate in my first collaboration as a foodie.

The Mediterranean Diet suits migraineurs because it focuses on whole foods, the cornerstone to a Migraine-Friendly diet. Why not grab a cuppa, some quiet space and head over to their site for a very informative read. Plus I think you’ll find some recipes you might like.

 

What is the Mediterranean Diet?

The Mediterranean diet was started as a heart healthy eating plan, and now has also been seen to be associated with lowering cholesterol levels, as well as lowering the risk of cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. The Mediterranean diet plan focuses on eating plant-based foods, specifically a high content of fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains, legumes, and nuts. Although this diet stresses to consume most protein from plant sources, fish and poultry are consumed at least twice a week, and red meat is limited in consumption to a few times a month. Another key component of the diet is to remove salt and instead season with fresh herbs and spices, and to remove butter and replace with healthy oils, such as olive oil or avocado oil.

Keep on reading over at Red Dieticians

Meal in Greece

Flash back to 2007 and one of our first meals in Greece at a seaside taverna on Antiparos. Check out that spread of meze and our younger selves.

Enjoy my friends.

As always, whenever making lifestyle changes be sure and consult your healthcare team. Under no circumstances should you stop or start taking medication or supplements without their consent.

Informed by science, cooked by you.


Tagliata: Italian Steak and Cannellini Beans

When I think about Italian food my mind moves first to pasta and then pizza. I rarely ever think of steak. In Italy though tagliata is a staple; a lightly seasoned steak, grilled to perfection and served thinly sliced. This flavoursome dish centers around the quality meat. I like a nice thick scotch fillet, but it works well with the more economical flank or skirt steak. Purists use only a bit of salt, but I like a bit of pepper and rub a clove of smashed garlic over the surface. Migraine-sufferers should avoid the traditional brushing with rosemary during grilling if they want the dish to be trigger-free. If you feel the steak needs some heavy herb flavour, a bunch of marjoram will add a nice lift. Grill rare to medium, thinly slice and it’s ready for some side dishes.

Italian steak

Tagliata over Italian style refried beans is my go to 30 minute pantry to plate summer meal.

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Favas Santorini

There are so many wonderful foods that both Stuart and I fell in love with while traveling through Greece. The simple joy of an approaching meal time and pulling into the next village’s taverna. Typically there was no menu, and if there was it would have all been Greek to us anyway. So the proprietor would march us into the kitchen and show us what was cooking in the pots. The smells were intoxicating, promising that whatever it was it would be amazing.

A dish we discovered on the island of Santorini was a simple hummus-like dip made not from chickpeas but dried yellow peas. Every evening the restaurants served up bowls of favas with crusty bread while you waited for your main dish. I became so addicted to favas that I would be waiting at 5 pm at the local restaurant to get a serve with some crusty bread. I would be there so early that the favas were still warm from cooking and I would scurry back to our patio with our sunset sustenance.

favas santorini

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Migraineurs need more Vitamin D, B2, B12 and Calcium

June of 2016 brought about a flurry of media activity surrounding the idea that migraineurs had low levels of some vitamins compared to non-sufferers. The good news story was based on some preliminary findings presented at a conference. When researchers present findings of studies at conferences they are usually results that have yet to be published in the scientific literature. Therefore they have not passed the rigors of peer review; the quality control mechanism for research and we need to consider the results cautiously. Keep on reading!