How It All Started

The fiancé and I
 The world of cooking is still new to me. Contrary to many gluten-free blogs, when I was diagnosed with Celiac disease 5 years ago, it did not inspire me to jump in the kitchen and discover how I could keep eating the foods I loved. Instead, I cheated. A wrap here, a burrito there, and breaded chicken fingers just about once a week. After years of stomach and digestion issues, a few shortcuts around my new "gluten free diet" wasn't going to hurt anyone, right?

Wrong, wrong, wrong! It took me years to fully digest (pun intended) the magnitude of that lifestyle change. Around the same time I finally accepted my fate and was eating entirely gluten free, I graduated from college and made the big move to the Dominican Republic.  My weekly trips to Whole Foods and Trader Joe's were null and void.  No gluten free bread, pasta, cookies and crackers? What the hell was I going to eat?

The first year, I ate eggs. Lots of eggs. Scrambled eggs for breakfast. Eggs with tomatoes in a sandwich bag for lunch. Eggs and salami for dinner.

Then I got tired of eggs, and I surrendered. It was time to get in the kitchen.

A benefit of living in the Caribbean: fresh fruit all. year. round.
Plus! I was surrounded by foreign ingredients that I had no idea how to eat, much less cook. A locale's cuisine says so much about its culture, and I was oblivious to this aspect of Dominican life. Yuca, batata, platanos, avocado, mango, pineapple,  papaya and more, more, more were everywhere in sight, and Step 1 was to learn how they tasted. What's Step 2, you ask? You're looking at it! Cooking that shmit.

It started with rice, the DR's daily bread, and by now I've worked my way through dozens of Dominican and not-so-Dominican recipes. After celebratory dancing around the food that didn't turn out burnt or dry or too salty, the fiancé and I started to take pictures of it, and after a couple of months, La Buena Fe was born.

Pineapples from Las Matas de Farfán, DR

La Buena Fe was an organic creation, and I'm hoping to see it develop as such. Now that I feel more comfortable in the kitchen, I'd like to focus on cooking in a way that is as "minimalist" as possible - truly focusing on the fresh, local ingredients that are available. Also, gluten free living in general can be tricky, and I want to devote more time to the issues and questions that surround it.

If there's something more you'd like to see, make a comment or send me an e-mail (!