Use code TRIPLE10 to save $10 on your first three grocery orders.

Blogger Spotlight: The Fit Mediterranean

Dani, raised in Italy and now carving out her piece of the Shanghai food landscape, talks family traditions, go-to ingredients, and eating as an expat!
Blogger Spotlight: The Fit Mediterranean
Blogger Spotlight: The Fit Mediterranean
SideChef
Created from scratch in the SideChef Kitchen, where recipe inspiration and ingredient experimentation are a way of life.
GO TO BLOG
Love This Recipe?
SideChef
Created from scratch in the SideChef Kitchen, where recipe inspiration and ingredient experimentation are a way of life.
GO TO BLOG

Meet Dani!

Dani is the mastermind and recipe developer behind the blog, The Fit Mediterranean (formally Expat Cucina).

Dani grew up in a picturesque town called Lecce, nestled on the “heel of the boot” in southern Italy. Like many traditional families in this sun-soaked Mediterranean region, she spent most of her youth under the loving care of her grandmother.

Dani’s grandmother taught her many things, but most importantly, she passed along a passion for cooking by sharing traditional recipes and family culinary secrets.

So, how did Dani end up in Shanghai? It all started when she began studying Chinese in college. She had always been interested in languages and thus began a long journey that eventually led her to move to China. However, she found that living in China made it difficult to find proper ingredients to prepare a Western meal without breaking the bank.

Dani explains, “Grocery shopping in Shanghai can be somewhat of an ‘adventure.’ Lots of places now cater to expat needs but often have high prices and may be lacking in selection. Thus, I decided to start my blog, The Fit Mediterranean. Through the blog, I can share my family’s culinary traditions, provide advice about finding ingredients in China, and suggest substitutions.”

What was your favorite childhood meal?

I was a very picky eater growing up and would turn down cakes, pasta, and meat. I always preferred fish and seafood and have always been a super fan of fruits and veggies.

However, my biggest love as a child were these chocolate cookies that my mom used to buy for me at the local grocery shop.

They were my very favorite and I used to eat them in quite an odd way: I first filled up a large bowl with the cookies, then poured hot milk and mashed them around until they made a thick and dense cream, which I used to scoop out while watching cartoons on TV. This was my everyday breakfast and I think I ate this “lava” of cookies and milk until I was 13!

What's in your bag and what are your kitchen essentials?

In my bag, you will always find an umbrella, a pair of sunglasses, my wallet, my bike lock keys, headphones, lipstick, and lip gloss.

When it comes to ingredients, in my kitchen you will always find plenty of fresh fruit, eggs, extra virgin olive oil, nuts, seeds (chia, sunflower, and almonds), a few avocados, fresh lemons, and a good serving of fresh fish!

As for cooking tools, I can’t imagine my life without a good chef’s knife to chop vegetables and slice meat, and also my KitchenAid with all its attachments.

What is the best or weirdest thing you've ever eaten in your travels?

Best thing I have ever eaten is White Wine Scampi made in a small restaurant in Porto Fino (Da U Batti)! The dish is delicious and made with a secret recipe!

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

Mmm, I am proud of myself every time I open my fridge, grab what’s inside, and am able to make a tasty and beautiful meal. Simple things like that make me happy and proud. Oh, I am also super proud of being able to race; I have successfully finished several triathlon races in China. For someone like me, affected by spondy, every race is a small personal achievement!

Describe the kitchen of your dreams.

My dream kitchen would be bright and surrounded by windows overlooking the ocean. It would be large with a big center island and lots of vintage decorations.

My perfect day would be...

On a boat, offshore, reading a book and sipping limonite.

I believe any problem can be solved with...

A smile and a positive attitude.

When I need liquid courage, I drink...

Bullet coffee!

My guilty pleasure is...

Double chocolate chip cookies.

What are your favorite recipes on the app, and why?

I love anything with salmon, avocados, or fresh fruit.

What is your advice to people who aspire to be in your field or do similar projects?

All I can say is, don’t be afraid to get out there and show the world what you are capable of. Going public (publishing recipes and food photos on the internet) exposes us to lots of positive comments (which makes us happy) but also invites criticism. Don’t let critics bring you down. Keep working at what you love and always try to do your best.

Get weekly recipes, grocery shopping, meal planning, and home-cooking inspiration sent straight in your inbox
Will be used in accordance with our PRIVACY POLICY.
WHAT TO READ THIS WEEK
Perfect Pasta Dish Pairings: 50 Types of Italian Pasta Explained
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
A to Z Guide to Confusing Keto Friendly Ingredients Part 1
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
A to Z Guide to Confusing Keto Friendly Ingredients Part 2
CULINARY PARTNER FEATURE
Blogger Spotlight: Nick Evans of Macheesmo
LEARN COOK EAT
Zucchini Noodles Aka Zoodles: The Low Carb Pasta You’ll Love
LEARN COOK EAT
The Biga, the Better: Baking with Fermented Dough
TRIED & TESTED
Weeknight Dinner Winner - Carbonara, Simplified
TRIED & TESTED
Why You Should Definitely Make Fresh Pasta This Weekend
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Demystifying the Gluten-Free Diet
TRIED & TESTED
Roasted Cauliflower Hummus: The No Compromises Keto-Friendly Recipe
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Why We Should Eat Seasonal Produce
WHAT TO READ THIS WEEK
Feeding Us Home
WHAT TO READ THIS WEEK
Perfect Pasta Dish Pairings: 50 Types of Italian Pasta Explained
Do you know your farfalle from your fiori? Your spaghetti from your tagliatelle? We are here to clear everything up for you. We'll explain 50 different types of Italian pasta and show you what dishes and sauces go perfectly with them. So you never make any fusilli mistakes ever again.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
A to Z Guide to Confusing Keto Friendly Ingredients Part 1
All the Keto food and cooking-related words you have seen or heard but didn’t understand (or maybe it’s just me). This guide will help you navigate through the fascinating world of trendy low-carb Keto recipes and foods. Dive in!
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
A to Z Guide to Confusing Keto Friendly Ingredients Part 2
All the Keto food and cooking-related words you have seen or heard but didn’t understand (or maybe it’s just me). This guide will help you navigate through the fascinating world of trendy low-carb Keto recipes and foods. Dive in!
CULINARY PARTNER FEATURE
Blogger Spotlight: Nick Evans of Macheesmo
Meet Nick Evans, the creator of Macheesmo - the place where you can easily learn how to cook with confidence. Find out why you should put down the menu and pick up the spatulas, and the key to loving your leftovers!
LEARN COOK EAT
Zucchini Noodles Aka Zoodles: The Low Carb Pasta You’ll Love
Here's everything you need to know about our favorite low-carb pasta alternative - zucchini noodles or 'zoodles.’ Find out how it became popular, how to prepare, what kitchen appliances to use, and how to cook it. Get some fantastic ideas for your low-carb meals and satisfy your cravings guilt-free.
LEARN COOK EAT
The Biga, the Better: Baking with Fermented Dough
Take your dough to the next level with the secrets behind this Italian baking technique that results in extra light and healthy bread!
TRIED & TESTED
Weeknight Dinner Winner - Carbonara, Simplified
Two sentences at the top: Weeknight Carbonara is THE answer to getting dinner on the table in under 20 minutes.
TRIED & TESTED
Why You Should Definitely Make Fresh Pasta This Weekend
Make pasta without a pasta machine - free yourself from another single-use appliance!
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Demystifying the Gluten-Free Diet
From celiac disease to gluten intolerance, there are plenty of reasons to learn about where exactly this substance is found and how to better manage your intake!
TRIED & TESTED
Roasted Cauliflower Hummus: The No Compromises Keto-Friendly Recipe
Cauliflower, the alternative-eating-darling, steps up again as the perfect way to Keto-ize hummus.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Why We Should Eat Seasonal Produce
With many ingredients available all year round, it can be hard to tell what is actually in season. Shopping seasonally ensures that your products are not only affordable but also local. Plus, seasonal produce is at its optimal flavor and nutritional level!
WHAT TO READ THIS WEEK
Feeding Us Home
Love and Food in Family Separation