I want to ‘play’ In My Kitchen this month, having missed the last one… but I fear I have lost my Kitchen Mojo. Traveling sometimes has that effect on me. Rather than coming home inspired, sometimes I am so sick of eating and foraging, when we get home all I want to do is eat plain, simple, homemade food with blessedly large lashings of vegetables.

Apologies to all my American friends, but traveling in the US and trying to eat out three meals a day, and eat healthily, is hard work. And by healthily I mean, not eat wheat or French fries at every meal. I found myself ordering cole slaw and green beans a couple of mornings at breakfast time, just to get some veggies into myself. Because I have fructose malabsorption I am not able to eat much fruit, and almost no grains. I get vitamins and fibre, mostly, from vegetables.  Eating eggs for breakfast is fine, but with no toast, one needs something to eat with them. Yogurt, while healthy, does not qualify as full of fibre or vitamins. One evening at a nice restaurant, the only green vegetable on the menu was spinach. Having had spinach for lunch I was not amused. Such are the travails of the traveller with the ‘tichy tummy’.

We did eat a few nice things, though I have limited photos to show for it. My daughter has shown me the error of my ways (as children often do) when she subtly mentioned reading an article that said taking photos of food in public is not good form. Um… ok. Shortly after she imparted her wisdom, we saw the woman at the table next to us with her iPhone taking a photo of a pile of waffles that would feed a small army. Hmm, point taken, but do I get dispensation in the name of research?

I sneaked in a couple, okay a few, but since I am now confined to home food photography, you will be disappointed for a while, I’m afraid. Since returning, I have been living on lean meats, fish, salads and lots of vegetables… paying for the sins of pork spare ribs, fried chicken… French fries (which if anyone is listening do NOT qualify as vegetables, people!!) and one serving on two separate occasions, of biscuits and sausage gravy. I know, I know… the worst thing for someone who doesn’t digest wheat very well, but oooo, my inner child was so happy. I almost get ‘digestive sweats’ just writing about it.

Recently my husband was effusive over this recipe for kale, so I will leave you with it.


Kale with Chilli and Garlic


1 bunch of fresh kale, leaves stripped from stems

1 clove of garlic (more if you love it), thinly sliced

1-2 medium hot, fresh red chillies, thinly sliced


Celtic sea salt


  • Bring large pot of salted water to the boil. Roughly chop the stripped kale leaves and add to the boiling water. Simmer for 7 minutes. Remove and drain in a colander, rinse with cool water to stop the cooking. This can sit for a little while until just before you want to eat.
  • When nearly ready to eat, heat a couple of teaspoons or so of ghee in a good quality frying pan. (Ghee is more stable for frying than olive oil and other oils) Add the garlic and chillies and just as the garlic starts to turn a little golden on the edges (about a minute), add the kale and stir through. Stir every minute or thereabouts until you notice the kale has collapsed a little further and is tender, maybe 6-7 minutes, but depends on how young the kale leaves are. Taste for salt and add a bit more ghee if you wish, stir through, serve immediately.

Put that into you the day after Christmas and you will feel positively virtuous!

Greetings and pleasures of the season to you all, and especially to Celia at figjamandlimecordial.com who hosts IMK each month. We all enjoy the gift of her efforts in our lives.