Welcome to Bread & Olives!
With this blog, I wish to share with you simple, healthy and vegetarian recipes inspired by traditional Moroccan cuisine.
The idea – which might seem astonishing at first to those who know Moroccan banquet cooking – came to me while I was on a trip to Bali. I stayed there for a few months to participate in an intensive yoga training, with wonderful teachers.
In Ubud, a well known destination for health and wellbeing, I was very surprised and inspired by the numerous vegetarian restaurants and by the creative and tasty food they serve. One day, my yoga teacher asked me whether I could recommend a nice book of Moroccan vegetarian recipes.
I briefly hesitated, and then I realized that possibly nobody had written such a book before. In fact, Moroccan gastronomy has always been associated with meat. In Morocco no one can imagine serving a meal without meat to their guests...
That being said, our cuisine is full of many recipes of fresh and tasty salads, soups, vegetables and grain preparations. So being myself eager to having a better and more balanced diet, with less meat in it, I thought that this was a great opportunity for me to start a blog and present what our kitchen can offer in terms of healthy and vegetarian food. And introducing some modernity and using new ingredients, might also be an interesting challenge!
"One cannot live well, love well or sleep well unless one has dined well."
About Moroccan cuisine…
The first adjective that comes to mind when thinking of Moroccan cuisine is 'flavorsome'. Spices, aromatic herbs, sweet and sour mixes characterize Moroccan food. The heart and soul of our cooking is all about playing with aroma and flavors. Although Moroccan cuisine is widely known for its festive, meaty and rich meals (like pastilla and mechoui) , family cooking is closer to what UNESCO labeled as the "Mediterranean diet". In fact, it is more varied and balanced. Traditionally, Moroccan food is simple (with lots of vegetables, legumes, grains etc.) and the evening meals resembles more to a mono-diet (for example a dish of lentils or couscous with milk).
In most cases, the cooking relies on the wide range of good and tasty local products such as spices, herbs, vegetables and fruits, grains, healthy seeds (flax, sesame, pumpkin seeds), etc. You can find a description of most of these products used in the recipes in the Ingredients section.
In Morocco, cooking is a family matter. Recipes are verbally transmitted from mothers to daughters. In my family, cooking is a way of life, it is a way for us to connect, share and bond.
After graduating from a Grande Ecole in Paris, I worked for a few years in a worldwide consulting firm. In my job, competition and performance were very important. I was therefore overpressured and overstressed. That made me realize the importance of having a more balanced lifestyle and searching for my wellbeing. So little by little I started to pursue my passion for Ashtanga Yoga which helped me change my professional and personal path to finally becoming a yoga teacher. Having a general interest in wellbeing, I started reading about natural medicine and nutrition.
Now, I try to conciliate my love for tasty food and nutrition. The wide repertoire of Moroccan food and my personal enthusiasm led me to present this blog. I hope it will inspire you as well!
Please e-mail me if you have any questions or if you want to share ideas or impressions.