Although I loved my two weeks in Spain, nothing compares to home. Nothing compares to a hot shower on a cool night, the feel of your sheets between your toes, and the kitchen I’ll never take for granted again. Andalusian food was everything I expected it to be: simple, fresh ingredients perfectly prepared, but it was challenging dining out. Nearly every item on most menus contained either gluten, dairy, yeast, fish, or scores of other foods of which I had a sensitivity. Dining out required a plan and most days I subsisted on beef, chorizo, delicious cuts of Iberian ham, flash-fried eggplant drizzled with molasses or honey, and patas fritas. Having an AirBNB rental to come home to was a blessing in disguise because it allowed me to eat all the vegetables lacking from my diet during the day.
I actually found myself craving cauliflower and kale. It’s true what they say–when you eat wholesome food, you crave wholesome food. I no longer miss the carbs on which I once subsisted, although I did have an pang while seeing my tour guide slather olive oil and tomatoes on his morning roll. But the desire left as quickly as it arrived, and I didn’t want another fried potato, rather I wanted a heaping pile of greens with roasted chickpeas. While it was much easier cooking in Barcelona (the produce from the Boqueria was incredible, diverse and plentiful), Granada posed a challenge. The climate doesn’t offer a lot of variety in terms of vegetables, and I found myself pining for home, even amidst all the incredible grandeur of the cathedrals, all the Andalusian beauty.
Yesterday, I arrived home, jetlagged. Me being me, I had to unpack, clean and sort my mail within the first two hours of being home. And you can’t understand how it felt to feast on a HUGE bowl of salad last night. Also, the Hemsley sisters’ book, The Art of Eating Well, arrived, and I can’t wait to dive into it this weekend. Lots of veg, lots of color and goodness.
Until then, I’ll be content staring at these fritters I made a month ago, and the fact that I’m finally hitting the gym after a two-week break. Yikes!
1 ear of local, GMO-free corn, shucked, kernels removed with a large knife down the sides of the corn
1 zucchini, grated
3 tbsp mixed sweet bell peppers, cubed
1 tbsp chives, minced
1/4 cup basil, chopped
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp gluten-free flour (I use Cup4Cup)
1 tbsp of olive oil
Combine all the ingredients, except for the olive oil, in a bowl and allow to rest for ten minutes. In a large skillet on medium heat, add the olive oil. Using an ice cream scoop, dollop and slightly flatten the fritters, making sure you don’t crowd the pan. Cook for 4-6 minutes on one side until brown, flip, and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Serve immediately with your favorite dressing/dipping sauce. I used this leftover creamy parsley dressing.