Hi there! Whatever on earth brought you to stumble upon My Little Jar of Spices, I hope you stick around!
My little jar of spices is a food blog that aims to bring together love of good food and diverse, local ingredients into authentic and soulful recipes.
Two things impact the way I eat. One, I travel quite a lot and part of that is discovering new flavors and ingredients. Two, I follow a Paleo diet, which means no bread for you here my friend. So you’ll see a lot of recipes like “Paleo Ecuadorian Plantain Mash” or “Gluten-Free Spicy Asian-Style Meatballs” around here. I swear it’s not meant to sound pretentious. It’s just food inspired from lots of far-away places with a foodie twist. I promise all of it is delicious.
Oh, how rude, I didn’t even introduce myself. My name is Camille and I am a 25 year old French business graduate freshly out of college, currently living in Peru where I work for a small US-based social impact consulting firm. Before that I lived in Brazil for a while, and some time before that I was doing who-know’s-what volunteering in Ecuador and backpacking around South America. Fret not, I did manage to get a degree and find a true calling in socially-minded businesses in developing countries, which is what I do in real life when I’m not licking cake batter off of my face or writing a blog and laughing at my own jokes. I do like my traveling though, and having a family spread out across four continents probably has something to do with that. So aside from South American recipes, you might see a little bit of Asian, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine around here, and let’s not forget, La France.
Why My Little Jar of Spices? Because back in the days when I fed myself on canned beans and could barely peel or chop an onion, I learned to cook by raiding the spice cabinet. The 1,000 jars of spices we had in the cabinet were a blessing to add taste to my food and quickly pushed me to experiment more and more with homecooked meals. Sauteed zucchini, sure. Sauteed zucchini with toasted cumin seeds and a pinch of paprika, uhm, yum! All kinds of inspiration shortly followed and, always thanks to the god-given spices, I discovered a real passion for cooking, generally to the delight of the people who live with me (“Aww you made muffins!”), sometimes to their dismay (“What’s that smell? Did you barbecue a fish in here?”).
What’s Paleo? And what do you mean ‘no bread’??
Paleo (or the ancestral human diet) is a lifestyle that, among many thing, advocates in cooking for the use of primal ingredients in their most unprocessed form and in the way they were consumed by early humans and ancestral hunter-gatherer communities, meaning vegetables, fruit, proteins (meat, poultry, fish, eggs), lots of healthy fats from olive oil to avocado and coconut, as well as nuts and seeds. What it excludes are processed foods including industrially-raised meats or GMOs, refined sugars, wheat, grains and legumes (including soy), in a nutshell all foods that have been stripped of nutritional value and that are behind many health imbalances in today’s modern society. I’m not strictly Paleo so I eat some unprocessed dairy (raw cheese, goat’s milk yogurt when I can find it, grass-fed butter) and very occasionally some rice, organic corn or legumes (mostly when I can’t say no). Most importantly, for me, the Paleo diet has been about focusing on clean eating in a way that’s beneficial to my digestive and hormonal health. It has been about removing processed foods and focusing on real, nutritious foods, welcoming fat back into my life with a big hug and bidding farewell to seemingly “healthy” foods like Special K and low-fat yogurt which, if you read the label, are nothing more than a list of unpronounceable ingredients that can’t possibly be good for you.
Transitioning to a Paleo lifestlye has been a progressive journey and started in January 2013 for me, and the results have been quite outstanding in helping my body recover from chronic digestive issues, fatigue, hormonal imbalances and skin problems. Most importantly, Paleo or not, I have always believed that it’s important to make conscious decisions about what you buy and eat on a daily basis, all the while making it a delicious experience for your palate, and this is the guiding philosophy behind this blog. So whether you follow a paleo-based lifestyle or not, these recipe are meant for anyone who finds them appealing.
Happy recipe surfing and bon appétit !