Welcome to another edition of the Real Food Kitchen Tour. This week, we travel to Hong Kong to tour the kitchen of Louise Buckley, author of the blog Loula Natural
What's a Real Foodie?
A “real foodie” is someone who cooks “traditional” food. We cook stuff from scratch using real ingredients, like raw milk, grass-fed beef, eggs from chickens that run around outdoors, whole grains, sourdough and yogurt starters, mineral-rich sea salt, and natural sweeteners like honey and real maple syrup.
We don't use modern foods that are either fake, super-refined, or denatured. This includes modern vegetable oils like Crisco and margarine, soy milk, meat from factory farms, pasteurized milk from cows eating corn and soybeans, refined white flour, factory-made sweeteners like HFCS or even refined white sugar, or commercial yeast.
We believe in eating wholesome, nutrient-dense foods that come from nature. So we shop at farmer's markets or buy direct from the farmer, or we grow food in our own backyards.
This Week's Real Food Kitchen Tour: Loula Natural
Blog Name: Loula Natural
Blog Author: Louise Kane Buckley
How Long Blogging: Just over a year. Started blogging to have a resource for my Clients to find recipes and information mentioned in their sessions. Now I love it and am constantly writing in my head!
House or Apartment: We live on the 27th floor in a 1000sqft apartment, Tsing Yi, Hong Kong (technically in China but we are our own country!!)
Size of Kitchen: Tiny! But actually a decent size for kitchens this side of the world! Our fridges (there are 2- one is mostly full of Kefir and Kombucha bottles) and second larder area is through the living room to the store room which is really designed as the helpers bedroom.
Things You Love About Your Kitchen: The view from the window is great. It has a decent amount of storage and I like having a double sink. There is also great counter space (another luxury this side of the world!)
Things You Would Change: I would love to have an oven and the ability to plumb in my dish washer! If I owned this place I would rip out the kitchen (especially the microwave and take the wall down between the kitchen and dining area to open it all up. The door opening in really intrudes in the space. It is also difficult to cook and watch the kids at the same time so I bought them a little kitchen to go outside. My son plays with it more than my daughter!
Favorite Tools & Gadgets: My high speed blender, My Excalibur dehydrator, My bread maker, Kenwood mixer, my Cuisinart slow cooker, my steamer and my julienne peeler. Things I use every day!!
Biggest Challenges Cooking Real Food: Finding decent meat or ingredients in general. Local meat is a definite no go. We have found good sources of grass fed beef and lamb but organic chicken is hit and miss and eggs can sometimes be difficult and super expensive. You cannot ever do a single supermarket shop here- you have to shop around and source things. Once you find them there is no guarantee that you will be able to find it again so you need to bulk buy. Then the challenge is where to store it. Many items can be ordered online but shipping is pricey. It normally works out cheaper but Amazon does not ship everything out here so we mainly have to rely on iherb for essentials like Raw Cacao. We have an amazing brand of Coconut oil and sugar which is only found here called Cocobono. I became a distributor to ensure a constant supply of it! Organic fruit and vegetables are found here but nobody trusts anything coming out of China as you can never be 100% sure it is what they say it is which is tough. So compromise is a daily occurrence, buying fresh and local but perhaps not organic. There is a big interest in the local organic farms with many doing veg and fruit boxes which are of good taste and value. However I really miss foods like Jerusalem artichokes which I have never seen here and curly Kale is tough to find too. Organic apples are super scarce at the moment! You can always buy decent Chinese greens though and I love baby yam leaves and baby Chinese kale for my green smoothies. Raw dairy is illegal here but you can find raw cheese and butter quite easily. There is one brand of un-homogenized milk which is always out of stock so you have to buy it and freeze it as soon as you see it but can only be found in a couple of places! The rest is mostly UHT milk (bleuch) so fermenting is super important as is making your own nut or oat milks. Nuts are also expensive and with the heat and humidity you have to be careful about storage! Fermenting has easily been the biggest add to our lives and it is really easy here with the heat and humidity. Space is an issue though and when prepping for a class the bottles and jars easily take over the kitchen and store room. Especially since my husband has also started brewing his own beer. We love seafood as a family and unless you want to buy them from the local markets which can be slightly intimidating, smelly and unhygienic you have to buy frozen fish which is limited in its choice. We have found some lovely sources of salmon though and again there are some online options. I guess the main thing is in planning meals to ensure all the ingredients are there at the beginning as there is no running to the store to buy things most of the time!
Current Family Favorite Meal: Slow cooked Lasagna or Steak, garlic butter, salad and sweet potato chips! My kids love steak especially my 1 year old son who hoovers up a whole one!
Favorite Cookbooks: I am terrible at following recipes as finding the exact ingredients can be a big challenge. I am forever adapting even my own recipes. However I love my Ottolenghi: The Cookbook and Rick Stein's Far Eastern Odyssey: 150 New Recipes Evoking the Flavours of the Far East. I have a few Raw Food books I find inspiration in and I have my parents Supercooks Volumes they have had from the 70’s that include all the classics which I can then draw inspiration from and adapt! I also have a great Spanish tapas book I keep meaning to do something from. I love finding recipes on the internet and most of the time will make a recipe up with the contents of the fridge/cupboards!
Check Out the Previous Real Food Kitchen Tour Posts
Let Us Tour Your Kitchen
Are you a real foodie? Do you have a kitchen that you'd like to see featured on CHEESESLAVE?
Please email me at annmarie AT cheeseslave dot com. Either send me a link to a Flickr set or email me your photos (minimum of 5, but more is better). Note: Please send me LARGE photos. Minimum 610 width. If they're too small, I can't use them.
Oh, and please send the answers to the above questions (at the very top of this post).
As much as I'd love to include all the photos I receive, I can't guarantee that I will use your photos in the series. I'm looking for creative, good quality photos.
Some ideas for photos:
- Show us what's in your fridge or what's fermenting on your counter
- Take some snaps of some of your favorite kitchen gadgets, or show us how you organize your spices
- Got backyard chickens? Send some pics!
- How about a lovely herb garden?
- Kids or pets are always cute!
- Try to include at least one photo of yourself, ideally in your kitchen
And no, you don't have to have a blog to be included in the tour.