A rather romantic stroll in the market

I have an idealistic view of the culinary world that thankfully I can spend all I want (and all day in my head) where I visit romantic European outdoor markets and country stalls in my dreams.

The idea of fresh fruit, veggies, bread and pastries, wandering the many stalls crammed with cheeses and colourful fresh flowers.

I have luckily been to an actual few over the years – Rome being among my favourite; dried herbs patted around the outdoor tents, strands of egg pasta, plastic crates packed to the high with glossy vegetables.

The fresh look of produce, the passion and drive of stall holders in their many and the array of choice is a novelty I don’t feel I have locally to me.

If only Rome could come to Luton!

Share with us what your market dream would be and I will gladly keep the dream alive…

Better and happier eating

I won’t lie, the range of ‘lighter’ options to use in cooking I find bland, not appetising and I crave for flavour.

I believe that ‘healthier’ options sometime compromise (to a degree) on making food tasty, appealing and almost guilt you into buying them. In my book, this is a big no.

I’m not going to preach on the right and wrong way, as we all should ideally have an understanding on ways to make our eating healthier, rather than having to buy the no fat, low calorie, salt free alternative.

This can be found in the way you season food, the oil you choose to use, the way you cook your veggies, the meat you buy and the quality of other ingredients – these can make a big difference in creating a ‘healthier’ outlook.

Healthy is great, that’s not in any doubt, but I don’t feel healthy should be promoted in the way we are often bombarded with propaganda spiel from experts on TV and in the celebrity world. What a lot of nonsense. Who on earth would find meals entirely made of liquids satisfying (unless you have no teeth and can’t chew, then this would be reasonable).

Human bodies exist so they can cope with pasta (gosh), salt, sugar and fat. It is in how you choose to use these elements that make the real difference.

It is also about reasonable exercise and activity that goes along with eating all the amazing food we have at our disposal – and options like walking, yoga, pilates and stretching are all exercises that are beneficial and not too daunting. They appeal to me and I don’t think I’m doing too badly.

I eat baked goods (and so much chocolate) but I also love veggies, good olive oil and seasoning within reason.

So please have your cake, eat it well, enjoy and savour it.