Pearl Pasta Alfredo with Sweet Peas

I have been using this Giada de Laurentiis recipe for Alfredo sauce for over a year now.  It is light, creamy, full of lemony goodness and fail proof.  I can’t recommend it enough. My husband loves it when I use it with those teeny tiny pearl pasta bits.  This week at the producers market, I bought my first batch of organic sweet peas this season.  They are glorious.  I have used them in 3 recipes this week, and here is the first. Continue reading

Whole Wheat Oricchiette with Bitter Greens and Radishes

This past friday we became members of a vegetable coop.  I believe they are called CSA’s in the US, and here in France they are called AMAP’s.  The farmer produces all of his crops, just for the people who are members of the group.  Once a week you go and pick up your portion of that week’s production.  I am super excited.  I did participate in something similar when we lived in Mill Valley. It was called Organic Express and they delivered a box of fruits and veg to your doorstep once a week.  For me, it’s perfect, because this is the way I like to cook.  I like to shop for whatever is fresh, local and in season, then I get it all home and figure out what I will make. Continue reading

Red Beet Sangria

After watching several food documentaries and reading some of Michael Pollan’s books, I decided to integrate more raw food into our diet this year.  One of the ways I really up the number of fruits and vegetables we eat is by juicing.  It’s raw and you need a lot of fruits and vegetables to make enough juice for the day.  It must be said that beets are one of the most beautiful vegetables out there. The color is so brilliant it’s ethereal.  The juice of the beets is just as gorgeous as the fruit whole.  Beet roots are a great source of folate and vitamins B.

Beets are an excellent blood cleanser and are prized for their multitude of medicinal uses.  Raw beets also cleanse the liver and the intestines and can protect against stomach cancer.  – Going Raw: Everything You Need to Start your Own Raw Food Diet & Lifestyle Revolution at Home by Judita Wignall

Continue reading

Let the growing begin!

Niko and I have been planning the building of my garden since last May really.  When the pool deck was redone, the new tiles were delivered in these large 4’x 4′ wooden crates.  We thought they would make wonderful vegetable garden boxes and have been waiting until Spring to finish them out and get them planted.  Niko used the wood from the old pool deck and did most of the work on finishing the box structure.  Then we collected rocks from around the property and gravel from the yard to put into the bottom for drainage.  We also went ahead and put in some tubes to create an irrigation system for watering the plants this summer.  That part has yet to be finished. Continue reading

Green Smoothies

Smoothies can be such an easy and pleasant way to get some vitamins every day.  Like juicing, the combinations are just about endless.  Here in France, I find the frozen fruit availability is a bit limited.  In the states, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and Safeway offer organic frozen fruit.  You can also buy organic fruit and freeze it in little Ziploc bags.   I don’t recommend freezing the spinach.  I find that the fresh spinach in the smoothie adds virtually no flavor bad or good.  It’s the bad flavor I was worried about tasting.  So I think it’s a win, win.  I also like to add a scoop of the Vega Whole Food Smoothie Infusion.  You can buy it at most health food stores.  It is plant-based and contains: Yellow pea protein, organic hemp protein, organic sprouted flax seeds, organic brown rice protein, organic green food blend (spirulina, organic wheat grass, organic alfalfa grass, organic barley grass, organic spinach, organic sprouted broccoli, organic kale, organic kelp, organic dulse), inulin (from chicory root), natural flavors, xanthan gum. Continue reading

Chard and Spinach Pesto {vegan+raw}

My sister sent me this chard pesto recipe from a blog called ‘closet cooking’: Swiss Chard Pesto.   The first time I made it, I added spinach and removed the jalapeños…I didn’t have enough chard and my husband doesn’t eat spicy food.

I have made it at least 5 times since then with several variations as I was missing this or that and it was still great every time.  This recipe is what I think to be the best combination from all of the variations.  I eat it on crackers and bread with sprouts and avocados, but I have also tried it in my vegetarian chili and on pasta. Continue reading

Mousse au Chocolat – Chocolate Mousse

I love to watch cooking shows on TV!  In France, there is only one channel and it’s called Cuisine TV.  They  have quite a variety of shows including English chefs like Jamie Oliver and Nigela Lawson, as well as American chef Giada de Laurentis.  Yesterday I saw a super easy recipe for chocolate mousse.  He garnished it with broken bits of merengue, but when I made it today, I did not make the merengue to go with it.  Lucky for me, I can run down to the patisserie tomorrow and buy a big piece of merengue if I wish to add it. Continue reading

White Chili à la Provençale {vegetarian}

A year or so ago I went to a chili cook off here in Aix.  I of course made a pot with my dad’s recipe.  A classic ground beef & pork combination with some lovely chili powders he orders from Pendery’s in Texas.  When he makes it it’s great.  When I made it…it was less great.  But, the cook off was still fun and we had a great time tasting maybe 15 completely different types of chili.  You could enter your chili into one of 3 categories: Most Original, Hottest and Most French.  My dad’s recipe is classic, so I went with original, but the French category was the most interesting to me.  I have been meaning to create a version of my own ever since then, and today I ‘got around to it.’ Continue reading

Everybody needs Sprouts!


I started sprouting seeds last fall.  Sprouts are considered a superfood and honestly they are also super delicious.  My husband and I eat them on crackers, french bread, sandwiches and salads.  They really are a better way to snack.

I recently subscribed to Food & Wine magazine for my iPad.  They published an article on sprouting in the March 2012 issue.  I have inserted an excerpt here, but for the full article you should click here: Sprouting a Germination Nation Continue reading