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When I was a kid there was never a box of cereal in the house. At least not the colorful, full of attractive toucans, leprechauns, or rabbits that every 70s kid loved. I remember drooling over the cereal tv ads, begging my mum to get one when we went to the supermarket, and not understanding why at other kid’s houses they did have them. I even thought we were poor because we never had those boxes of cereal, coke or chips. Maybe once or twice I think I got them to buy me a box of apple jacks. But to remember it like almost a party must mean it was something really extraordinary.

I grew up with oatmeal, and sometimes cream of wheat, and loved it. That was our cereal. And now I realize how lucky I was that I didn’t eat bowls of artificially dyed refined flours loaded with sugar for breakfast as a kid.

Now that I am a mum of a toddler, it’s the same, I never keep a box of “cereal” in the house. In order to make things a little easier for my son when we go to the grocery store, I skip the cereal aisles, as well as the cookies, chips and a few other aisles.

The cereals we have are real foods, usually steel cut oats, quinoa or my latest favorite: rice. Recently after an overnight oats craze that I had, I discovered brown rice porridge. It has got to be one of the most calming, comforting breakfasts ever. Since the weather is hot right now I am doing a cold version of it.

I got inspired for the recipe I am sharing here by the flavours of a dessert I used to have a lot when I lived in Monterrey, from a restaurant called Madre Oaxaca. It was a “mousse de arroz con leche y salsa de mango”, that’s the traditional rice with milk treat, topped with a mango sauce and lot’s of cinnamon.

I tried to get those flavours, but also added raw cacao for a chocolatey taste which contrasts with the sweetness of the mango and makes it super yummy.

If you like to have cereal for breakfast, maybe you’d like to give this a try. It’s really easy to make. And if you do, please share your experience in the comments section.

Rice Porridge with Mango and Cacao

1 serving

1/3 cup cooked brown rice

1/3 cup mango cut in cubes

1 tbsp raw cacao nibs

1 tsp cinnamon (you can use half tsp if you prefer, I like it cinnamony)

1/3 to 1/2 cup coconut milk

Add everything in layers to a bowl, starting with the first ingredient, all the way to the last. In the end add the coconut milk. Stir a little with a spoon and eat! You can make it the night before and keep it in the fridge if you don’t have time in the morning, that way you just grab it when you wake up.

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At this moment I am feeling the most grounded and stable that I’ve ever felt in the past years. One of the big reasons for this is that I am living very close to nature, something I had never done before. Being the city slicker that I was, I never thought I could survive in a small town. And here I am, about to celebrate my second anniversary living in a tiny town.

We moved here on the 8th of june 2012. I have seen Matías, my 3 yr old, grow knowing where his food comes from. In the summer, if he wants a pomegranate or a fig, he just goes out to the garden, and with a little help, gets it from the trees. He could explain with his hands and a few words how to make cheese since he was 21 months old. And he lives in harmony with nature’s rhythm, getting excited for the plants when it rains, and noticing every slight difference with the colors of the trees season by season, or in the air with his sense of smell.

I miss museums, concerts and especially my friends. But right now there is not much else I could ask for. A lot of things I used to think important aren’t that much anymore with this new perspective. I’m grateful that we have clean air to breathe, that we never spend our time stuck on traffic, and I’m even more grateful that nature has helped me find my ground and has given me back my long lost stability.

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May 2014’s harvest

One of the many joys of living here is a blackberry orchard that’s near to our town. It’s called Q-Zar. It has now become a family tradition to go blackberry picking every harvest season. This berry paradise explodes with black-purplish fruit in may and also in october. And for our delight, they happen to have the best organic blackberries in the country. They’re grown without any pesticides or chemicals. We can not even wear mosquito repellent when we visit, except one that’s formulated with natural essential oils. So no Off if you plan to visit!

These blackberries are so sweet you can’t believe it. The only downside is that they are so good that after tasting them, no other blackberry will do. So we settle for blackberries during harvest season, and then wait anxiously for the next season.

October 2013’s harvest

If you’re ever in the state of Querétaro, in Mexico, during may, or september-october, or you live here right now, don’t miss it! Go visit Q-Zar blackberry orchard. It’s between the cities of San Juan del Rio and Querétaro. And hurry cause sadly around 80 percent of the harvest goes away to the US and Canada.

I don’t know how long we are going to stay living here, and if destiny will take us somewhere else, sometime soon. But for the time we stay, we will continue the tradition of visiting this blissful place every harvest season.

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I’ve been making this soup for years now. It’s my favorite spring/summer rainy day soup. But it works well in warmer days too. I found the recipe in a Wallpaper magazine. Must have been at the end of the 90’s. Do you remember Wallpaper? That thick magazine that had sleek fashion images and architecture photographs, all the design awards, and nobody could ever finish reading as it was so long. I think it’s still being published. I don’t know, somewhere along the years I lost track of it. But I associate it with the late 90’s. Well, this soup is the best thing Wallpaper gave me, besides being the most long-lasting.

It is super easy to make, even on your busiest day. So no excuse for not cooking. “I’m way too busy” won’t do. Go ahead and try it. It’s delicious, fresh, minty-sweet, and has the loveliest green color. The only change I’ve made to the original recipe is that now I use coconut oil instead of olive oil. I never heat extra virgin olive oil anymore. Coconut oil can be heated and it goes perfect with the soup’s simple flavour layers.

Sweet Green Pea Soup

serves 4

2 tbsp coconut oil

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

500 g bag frozen sweet green peas

500 ml chicken or vegetable stock

1 bunch fresh mint, roughly chopped

Heat the coconut oil in a pot over a medium heat, add the onion and garlic and soften, but do not brown, for 3-5 minutes. Add the peas straight from the freezer with the stock. Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes of until the peas are tender. Add the chopped mint and immediately blend until smooth.

 

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Yes! Spring is here, and so are mangoes. They got here early. About a month ago. They are so good already that we can’t stop ourselves from having them everyday. My toddler has a fruit obsession that changes every two or three months, and right now it’s mango. So I almost have to buy truckloads. We’ll miss guavas and tangerines, but mangoes are definitely helping with this temporary parting.

One of my favorite drinks when the heat starts to go up is mango lassi. Lassi is a traditional indian drink made with yoghurt, salt and spices. And mango lassi is one of it’s sweet variants. It is so refreshing, sweet and tart.

I love tart flavors, and to make my mango lassi even more tart, I use a goat milk yoghurt that I’m crazy about. It is produced by a goat farmer from the town where I live,  so it’s local!

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Goat milk yoghurt made by local farmer Maria Esther Mejia

Since I started studying Integrative Nutrition I have been trying to buy and eat more local. Right now, I am also taking a course on the New Nordic Diet by the University of Copenhagen and so far I am mind blown by what the danish have done with their eating habits and matters in the last years. This new nordic diet is based on the principles of health, gastronomic potential, Nordic identity and sustainability, meaning all their ingredients are local, seasonal and healthy. So now I feel even more inspired to try local stuff and leave out non-local, industrial and commercial products. I would love it if Mexico could do something similar to what Denmark is doing. A new Mexican diet: local, traditional, wise, sustainable and healthy. I wouldn’t say “natural” cause lately it’s a term used in the most ambiguous and tricky ways.

Anyway, mango lassi is not a traditional drink in Mexico, but it is healthy, tasty, and we are, after all, one of the biggest mango producers of the world. And besides the local goat yoghurt, I also added a wonderful, healthy, totally mexican ingredient to my lassi: amaranth.

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Here is the recipe:

Mango Lassi

serves 2

1 cup diced mango

1 cup goat yoghurt (When I’m out of yoghurt I use homemade raw milk kefir)

1/2 cup water

1/3 cup amaranth

1/2 to 1 teaspoon powdered cardamom

pinch of sea salt

chopped pistachios (soaked)

Soak pistachios for about 15 minutes and rinse. Combine all ingredients (except pistachios) in a blender and blend until smooth. Serve and top with pistachios.

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What are you drinking to beat the heat?

 

english version (spanish version below)

In the beggining of 2012 some of my art was stolen. Among the works that were stolen there was a doodle of a little girl about to take a bite of a grizzly bear in front of a group of snowy peaks, that I made during an arts residency at the Banff Centre in 2005.

This event, the robbery, left me emotionally devastated and creatively mute. It was definitely not the only thing that led me to this state of artistic muteness. My personal circumstances from a few years back, before the robbery, had been weakening my creative being. Having lost the space, both physical and mental, for me, and for my work contributed to the loss of my voice. I lived under circumstances where there was so much noise. Vain, superfluous, insignificant noise, but at the same time, so vociferous that for long I could not even hear my own thoughts.

In between these years, in january of 2011, a year before the robbery, my son was born. This is the only thing that gives meaning to those times, and justifies, even compensates for what I lost and what I lived in those years. That birth changed my life, for good, being the best thing that has ever happened to me. But it also took away my time and freedom to work as I please, any time I wanted to, in the other most important thing in my life: art. I do have to confess, I was a bit fed up with the art world, though this does not mean that I won’t come back to my artwork at some point. But I did decide to experience other things.

Last year I took the opportunity to explore and dive into something that I had always been passionate about, but never approached seriously: Health and nutrition. I enrolled at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and very soon, besides being an artist and a mother, I will also be a health coach.

I started speaking about the doodle of the little carnivore girl about to eat a bear, because I decided to name my blog Omnivorilicious. It is here where my work as an artist meets this blog, my new career, and this new stage of my life. In my drawings there was always a naively violent and playful little girl devouring animals, stepping on little boys and walking “phallic-like” dogs. Although in reality I never lead such a violent-carnivore lifestyle, these drawings helped me maintain my sanity and my balance. I also did a lot of pieces and performances related to food. So in a way, I was already approaching what I am now embracing.

Omnivorilicious won’t be a blog where you’ll even read about bear or elephant meat recipes. I named my blog this way because in the health and wellness world, almost everyone is married to an idea, to a very particular way of eating, be it veganism, vegetarianism, paleo, rawfoodist or whatever, and this often excludes some food groups, or the way “others” eat. I don’t declare myself in favour or following any of these eating philosophies. I’m actually an omnivore, and my family is too, with a few minor and careful adjustments, we eat just about everything.

Omnivorilicious is a space for me to share with you some of my favorite recipes, and everything that has to do with my kitchen adventures, as well as some health and wellness tips. But mostly, it is an experiment where I will try to refind my voice. Welcome all.

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Sin título: Post 1

En enero del 2012, mucha de mi obra fue robada. Entre las piezas que se llevaron, estaba el dibujo de una niña a punto de morder a un oso frente a unas montañas nevadas, que hice junto con una serie de dibujos similares en la residencia del Banff Centre.

Este evento, el robo, me dejó devastada emocionalmente y enmudecida creativamente. Definitivamente no fue el único hecho que me llevó a ese estado de mutismo artístico. Ya mis circunstancias personales de unos cuantos años atrás, anteriores al robo, habían ido minando mi ser al no tener un espacio ni físico, ni mental para mi, ni para mi trabajo, y contribuyeron a que perdiera mi voz. Viví bajo unas circunstancias en las que había tanto ruido, literalmente ruido. Vano, superfluo e insignificante, pero al final tan estruendoso, que no podía ni escuchar mis propios pensamientos.

En medio de estos años, en enero del 2011, un año antes del robo, nació mi hijo. Esta es la única razón que justifica y compensa todo lo que perdí y todo lo que viví en esos años. Ese nacimiento cambió mi vida, para bien, siendo de lo mejor que me ha sucedido jamás. Pero también me quitó el tiempo y la libertad para poder trabajar a mi antojo en el momento que yo quisiera. Confieso que también estaba un poco aburrida del sistema del arte. Lo que no significa que no piense en algún momento retomar mi trabajo como artista. Pero si llegué a un punto en que me quise dedicarme a vivir otras experiencias.

El año pasado decidí aprovechar esta etapa de mi vida para estudiar otra cosa, algo que siempre me había apasionado, pero a lo que nunca me había acercado seriamente. Me inscribí en el Institute for Integrative Nutrition y pronto seré, aparte de artista y mamá, healh coach.

Comencé hablando sobre el dibujo de la niña carnívora a punto de devorar al oso, porque decidí llamar a mi blog Omnivorilicious. Es en este punto donde se une mi trabajo como artista con este blog, con mi nueva carrera y con esta nueva etapa de mi vida. En mis dibujos siempre apareció el personaje de una niña comiendo animales, pisoteando niños y paseando “perros-falos”, de una forma ingenuamente violenta, si se puede decir esto. A pesar de que en la realidad, yo nunca llevé un estilo de vida tan violento y carnivoro, estos dibujos me ayudaron mucho tiempo a mantener mi balance y mi salud mental. También hice muchas piezas y performances que se relacionan con comida.

Omnivorilicious no será un blog donde encuentres hasta recetas con carne de oso o elefante. Pero decidí llamarlo así porque en el mundo de la “salud” y el “bienestar” la gran mayoría ondea una bandera, ya sea de veganismo, vegetarianismo, paleo o crudismo (raw foods). Yo no me declaro partidaria de ninguno de estos estilos de vida. Soy omnívora y mi familia es omnívora, con sus pequeñas adecuaciones y cuidados, pero comemos prácticamente de todo.

Omnivorilicious es un espacio donde compartiré algunas recetas y todo lo que tenga que ver con mis aventuras con la comida, la cocina, y la salud, pero sobre todo, es un experimento donde buscaré reencontrar mi voz. Bienvenidos.