Leitchy Creates, an inspirational food journey
When I hear the term ‘clean’ eating or read about the latest diet fad which involves restricting so many food groups that you can only eat a suggestion of curry or dine on imaginary chips – I silently scream.
Ok, I am being a bit facetious…
Eating well is a positive, to do this as a long-term investment you need to use a bit of common sense, some experimentation and never lose your enjoyment for food. To combine these is possible and life is too short for unnecessary deprivation.
Here I am handing over the page to Jordan’s story, the amazing talent behind Leitchy Creates, who is a healthy cook making some truly delicious food. This woman is going to go far and her enthusiasm and passion for cooking is infectious.
I am a convert, as I am also a big fan of Middle-Eastern food and I love learning about different ingredients, techniques, as well as needing a few more nudges on the healthier options. From reading Leitchy’s recipes I now know you can make brownies using butter beans, who knew! Look out for this in the April chocolate-themed food feature in Now Then magazine.
Hungry for more? Read on…
Tell us about your cooking style, what influences and inspires you?
I’m a healthy cook. I cook grain, gluten and refined sugar-free recipes that celebrate good organic free-range meat and quality fish, healthy ‘proper’ fats, unpasteurised/raw dairy and pseudo grains – quinoa, buckwheat and amaranth.
I started cooking this way after being diagnosed with IBS and being prescribed with 25 tablets a day to try and help my digestion. All they did was create tons of side-effects which I was then given medication to cure. Really my stomach was a mess and it was really affecting my mental health!
I attended a really useful and informative talk on gut health and how it affects your mood as well as your physical health. I learnt so much and felt so inspired, so much so, I decided to stop taking all of my medication in June 2016 and cure my digestive issues naturally, using food. With a whole lot of experimentation, I realised I was intolerant to gluten and grains.
Now I know what I’m intolerant to, I don’t have any problems. My mood has picked up as well as my physical health too, within weeks I noticed so much difference. Now I’m all about catering and providing recipes and tips for others with the same/similar intolerances, as well as for those who just want to live a healthier lifestyle by eating proper, organic and seasonal food.
Blueberry and lemon buckwheat and chia and flax pancakes with yoghurt, almond butter, banana, raw unpasteurised honey, toasted pistachios, crumble, more lemon zest and salted coconut curls
I’m inspired by the dishes and flavours I try when I eat out, especially on holiday! That’s where I pick up most of inspiration, flavour combinations and ways of cooking and presenting. I have to take a notepad and pen on holiday so I can scribble ideas down after delicious food. I also take a lot of photos.
Instagram is another useful place to pick up inspiration for dishes and presentation/food styling.
When did your love for food begin?
I’ve always loved to cook (and eat.) When I was little, I’d always help my Grandma out with the Sunday roast or pie and pudding. I’d say I was more of a baker before I came to love to develop savoury meals too. I was always the one to make the birthday cake or dessert.
Chickpea and flax wrap topped with a fried egg, za’atar roasted squash, pumpkin seed and mixed herb oil, bean sprouts and crumbled feta
I only really came to love cooking when I became interested in my health. Before I was all about the low calorie/low fat/low everything and now I’m about basic, real ingredients that are easy to source and quick to throw together.
What’s your ethos and ambitions? Where can people buy your products?
So, as well as my blog, where I share breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and sweets. I also have my own sweet business.
Once I was happy and healthy again and loving experimenting with meals. I decided to try a few sweet recipes and to try and recreate old favourites. I have a massive sweet tooth, so I was determined to create grain, gluten, refined sugar-free and vegan recipes I could enjoy and tasted like the real deal.
Snickers and chia breakfast smoothie
I got such a buzz and positive response from my family and people around me, I decided to try selling a few of my creations on a stall. After that day, I decided that this was what I wanted to do. I wanted to help others, be my own boss, bake for a living and most importantly, to enjoy what I was doing. I also wanted to show that healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring, bland and depriving and you can still enjoy your old favourites.
A few stalls down the line, I got approached by Foundry Coffee Roasters, Bank Street, Sheffield. They opened earlier this year and now stock my raw treats. These change every week, to keep things exciting. I share what’s on offer every week on my social media platforms. I’ve also just started supplying Ink and Water in West One.
I’m still going to carry on with my stalls, as I love chatting to people about my ethos and others health hurdles. I have a little section on my blog where you can find out where I’ll be in the future. I also hope to have my own product in the future and to do more intimate catering events.
What’s your favourite dish to eat out and make yourself?
My favourite dishes/cuisines are ones with lots of flavour. I love Middle Eastern and Indian food. Especially when I make lots of different dishes the whole family can dig into, mix and match and share all together.
Where do you enjoy in Sheffield? Where would you recommend to others?
I must admit, eating out isn’t easy for a grain and gluten free healthy foodie. But my favourite food when I eat out is Italian/Mediterranean, as it’s always so fresh, simple yet elegant and incredibly tasty. It has to be Vero Gusto in town every time. I always go for the trio of fish and then the truffle mushroom steak. Delicious.
I also love The Grind cafe at Kelham Island. I like how much options they have, how it’s different every time you go and how you can try lots of different sides. I always go for a nice bit of chunky fish and three delicious, unique salads. Lastly, breakfast has to be baked eggs at Forge Bakehouse! All three cater for gluten and grain free and all celebrate healthy, fresh and proper food.