Wednesday, February 16, 2011

And the Winner Is....


Because nobody entered.  *SHUN.*

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Ok people.  Here's the deal.

As you can see, I've been doing some major housecleaning around here.

It's time to get down to business. (to deafeat *crash crash* THE HUNS)

But seriously though.  I am almost at 100% readiness to start my business up for real.  The problem is...I CAN'T FOR THE LIFE OF ME COME UP WITH A FITTING NAME.

The one I have as the title of the blog now is probably the most legit I've come up with so far.  I am a Natural Chef, so I cook for health, and the main goal of MY business is to pass on my knowledge to others - thus the "maven" part.

But I'm still just not sure if it's quite perfect yet....

This is where you, dear readers, come in.

I am holding a contest.  I am asking for your best ideas for a business name and/or slogan for me.  Any input and ideas you have at all will be greatly appreciated! 

As a thank-you to the person with the best idea, I will come up with a whole-foods version recipe for the food of their choice.  I will test it, tweak it, and send it to you!  Just a little help along your path to a healthier life :-)

Here are the helping guidelines/things to keep in mind when coming up with ideas:
  • I'm a Natural Chef (also a Therapeutic Chef)
  • I will be traveling to client's homes to consult with them, do Pantry Revitalizations (where I throw away all their crap food), bring them to the store to show them what GOOD food to buy, and teach them to cook it.
  • I will also be doing menu plans, ideas for feeding picky children, food demos and cooking parties - you name it!
  • What I want to do most is TEACH people the skills they need to live a healthier life, for the REST of their lives - not just cook them healthy meals for a week and then leave them with lifestyles that are just as unhealthy as when I got there.
Let me know if you have any questions when you are coming up with ideas!  Tell me what you think of the name/slogan I have posted right now!

Please simply post your suggestions in the comments section below, along with your email so I can let you know if you win!  Please have all entries in by next Friday, February 11th at 11:57 p.m.  Yes, that's right, 11:57.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Back from the Dead

Well hellO there!!!

Remember me?

I wouldn't blame you or be at all surprised if you didn't.

After I finished chef training, life changed in CRAZY ways and I got caught up in all of it for a long time.

Then...something exciting happened....I found out I'm *going to be published!*

Yes, you heard it right - some of my recipes are going to be published!! That's all I can say for right now, but I'll give you details later when I can ;-)

Because of this publishing thing, I have been using my recipe-writing energies on that, rather than on blogging.

But then, upon the urging and suggestion of a close (and critical) friend ;-) , I realized I should still keep blogging, and include more health information, with snippets of recipes here and there!

Sooo, for your taste-bud pleasure, today I have come up with a recipe for you! YAYYY!!! I think it's the perfect solution for getting enough greens, but still not feeling like you are eating summer foods. It's a sufficiently Fall-ish salad! Enjoy :-)

Leafy Cranberry Steak Salad
Servings: 1

1 large leaf kale, shredded into bite-sized pieces
1 glug olive oil
dash salt
1 large handful fresh spinach
1/2 pound beef tips or other steak, cooked
1/2 cup raw walnuts
1/2 onion, sliced, carmelized in olive oil and a pinch of salt
handful fresh cranberries
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon apple cider or red wine vinegar
1 splash balsamic vinegar
salt, onion powder, and pepper to taste

  1. In a large bowl, combine kale, olive oil, and dash of salt. Using your hands, "massage" olive oil into kale for about 30 seconds, until kale is tender.
  2. Place kale and spinach on large plate. Add beef and caramelized onions, and scatter walnuts and cranberries on top.
  3. In a small bowl or glass, combine olive oil, vinegar, balsamic vinegar, and spices. Whisk well.
  4. Drizzle over salad and enjoy!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Final Presentation - Done and DONE!!! :-D

Well folks.......I have officially finished my final presentation for culinary school!!! Now, this doesn't mean I'm done...QUITE yet...but I'm done with all the big things I am personally responsible for.

It was a written report (ended up being 13 pages) and a 45 minute oral report including a cooking demo of 2 recipes. We had to report on a health topic, come up with a 5 day menu plan that would be supportive to that health condition, come up with recipes for 2 of them and demo them, run a cost analysis for per-serving costs for both recipes, create handouts for each student, write a bio....uhhh and I did a Powerpoint too, b/c that's just how I am ;-)

I signed up to go first. Because, let's face it, I am SO READY to be done! Secondly, because my dear friend is coming this weekend, and I wanted to be free to have fun with her!

It went soooo well, I could not have asked for more! I wasn't nervous in the least, which was very impressive...I've never had to present anything that long before, but it was perfect. I was just myself, crackin jokes, giving info, teaching how to cook....I loved it :-D And everyone said I ROCKED IT!! WOOHOOO!!!!!!

Now...just have our culinary showcase on August 13th, and my entire business plan due the 16th...HA! It'll get done. And all my stupid move-out junk from this godforsaken house with its psychotic landlord and people who are cheating me out of all my time and money aaaaaaand...but we won't get into that now ;-)

My lease ends the same day as my showcase. EEK! Pray for me!

But God has totally taken care of me up till this point (He always does!), especially today, I just gave everything to Him and it went awesome! So it will all be good :-)

And now to repay you for reading my random drivel....the recipes I made today for my presentation! They are both delish, not gonna lie...I definitely recommend them! And...don't tell anyone I told you...but I was told by several people my dishes were the best out of all the ones made today ;-D

Citrus Green Bean Toss
Inspired by “Sesame-Ginger Asparagus”
Good Housekeeping
Servings: 3

This Asian-inspired dish is full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, plus plenty of color and flavor to please both body and soul!

• 2 tablespoons honey
• 2 tablespoon coconut oil
• 1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger
• 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
• 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed orange juice
• 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
• 1 small garlic clove, minced and divided into 2 piles
• Dash lemon juice
• ½ - 2/3 pound fresh green beans, cut into bite-sized pieces
• 1 cup chopped red cabbage
• 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
• 1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
• ¼ teaspoon salt

1. Add honey, coconut oil, 1 tablespoon ginger, toasted sesame oil, orange juice, vinegar, half the garlic, and lemon juice to wok – sauté 1-2 minutes.
2. Add green beans, cabbage, sesame seeds, and the rest of the garlic and sauté for 3-5 minutes. Don’t cook so long the cabbage becomes wilted.
3. Add the 1 teaspoon minced ginger and the salt in the last minute of sautéing. Adjust seasonings to taste.
4. Serve as a side dish to complement a protein, such as free-range chicken, salmon, or shellfish.

Curry “Chicken Salad” Nori Wraps
Adapted from “Collard Wraps with Raw Sunflower Pate” by Ali Segersten
Servings: 4 wraps

You will be amazed at how much this raw, vegan alternative really tastes like chicken salad! Quick and easy to make, this recipe can be adapted for any time of the year – simply switch out the fillings to keep it seasonal.

• 2 cups sunflower seeds, soaked at least 1 hour
• 2 tablespoons coconut oil
• 2 teaspoons curry powder
• ½ teaspoon garam masala
• 1 cup chopped celery
• ¼ cup lemon juice
• 2 sprigs fresh thyme, stems removed
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 4 nori sheets
• 4 small radishes, matchsticked
• 2 cups fresh spinach
• 1 carrot, matchsticked
• ½ cucumber, julienned

1. In a small saucepan over medium/low heat, combine coconut oil, curry powder, and garam masala. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until spices become aromatic.
2. In a food processor or blender, pulse sunflower seeds, spice and oil blend, celery, lemon juice, thyme, and salt until fairly smooth, but still slightly chunky (the consistency of a very shredded chicken salad).
3. Lay out nori sheets on a flat surface. Divide the “chicken salad” between the wraps, spreading down center of each sheet. Divide radishes, spinach, carrot, and cucumber between the sheets and add next to the “chicken.”
4. Roll nori fairly snugly against the fillings, folding up the top and bottom halfway through rolling. To make wraps stay sealed, slightly dampen fingertips and run along the outside edge of the sheet immediately before pressing it to the wrap. The moisture should help seal the wrap shut.
5. Slice wraps in half diagonally and serve with a strawberry ginger smoothie.

Friday, July 16, 2010

PB and Chocolate: A Tribute to Nasty Nate

Peanut butter and chocolate has got to be one of the closest things to Heaven we can experience in this earthly life.

Agree? Good. Because there is no argument.

I have oft had this conversation with my dear friend, Nasty Nate, as he waxes poetic about his love for peanut butter M&M's, and I proceed to tell him eating those will kill him, and he accuses me of ruining everything he ever loved.

I told him I would come up with a healthy (-er) alternative for him, and had yet to really get anything good.

Until today. Today...I made...Heaven. And as I was pulling Heaven out of the oven, I thought of Nasty Nate. So here's to you, Nasty - a healthy, low-carb, gluten-free, high-protein alternative to your peanut butter M&M's:

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Mini Cupcakes. *insert oooing, aaahing, and stomach growling*

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Mini Cupcakes
adapted from Elana's Pantry

  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • In a 1/4 cup measure:
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 10 drops liquid stevia
  • fill the rest with coconut milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup peanuts (I used raw, but she originally called for roasted)
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (65% or more)
Frosting (prepare while cupcakes are cooling SLIGHTLY)
  1. In a double boiler over medium heat, combine 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips, 1 tablespoon coconut oil, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Stir until well melted.

  1. In a vitamix, or in a medium bowl with a hand mixer, blend peanut butter, sweetener mixture (honey, stevia, coconut milk), and eggs until creamy.
  2. Add salt and baking soda and mix in.
  3. Pour into a bowl and clean out vitamix and dry well.
  4. In vitamix or food processor, pulse peanuts and chocolate chips until they are broken into small chunks.
  5. Add to batter and fold in.
  6. Pour into greased mini-muffin tins.
  7. Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 15-20 minutes, until golden brown and firm on the top . ***This baking time will vary! I'm in Colorado, where things take FOR-ever to cook, so just keep an eye on them. I'd try 10 minutes and check them. Also, my oven here is retarded, sooo...I don't know if it was actually 400 degrees lol. Elana called for 350, BUT she also said hers sunk, which mine DIDN'T!! :-D So. Try 400, and keep a close eye on them!***
  8. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes, if you CAN....but they are sooo amazing warm! The frosting is really more of a chocolate drizzle and kinda messy, but I was too impatient to make a more complicated frosting, although a true frosting would be delish.
  9. Be a total glutton and eat 4 cupcakes immediately like I did. Hey, I had to take pictures of them, so clearly I had to eat that many........don't judge me.
So there you have it!! These are SO GOOD. Very fluffy and yum! My roommate just walked in and ate one, shoved the entire thing in her mouth, and said "Fthefse awre fsoo gvood!" I then informed her they were healthy and gluten free and her eyes popped open huge and she exclaimed "Really?! These are EPIC!"

So there ya have it, folks...another healthy, gluten free version of junk food that "normal" people even think is delish!

Let me know what you think of it if you make them!

And next on my to-do list....take a photography class. Or just read the manual for my camera so I know how the frick to make it actually FOCUS on what I'm trying to take a picture of.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Gluten Free Rosemary "Focaccia" Flatbread

Garbanzo bean flour is one of my new loves. It is super healthy, high in protein, low in carbs, and I think it is absolutely delicious.

In our baking class, we learned how to make a flatbread out of this. While soaking it overnight is ideal, you can even mix this up and have it all made from start to finish in about 30 minutes. The flour has a distinctive taste, but I think it's SO good! It's even better when paired with fresh herbs, like in this version I came up with.

I've pieces of it in place of hamburger buns, for bruschetta, topped with some goat cheese, or just eaten all by itself.....let your culinary genius flow!

GF Rosemary “Focaccia” Flatbread

Inspired by Julia Hellerman

Servings: 8

This easy, delicious, gluten-free flatbread is reminiscent of focaccia, packed with flavor, and the perfect companion for some fresh bruschetta topping or raw goat cheese.


  • 1 cup garbanzo bean flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 sprig rosemary, stem removed, chopped
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Dash of lemon pepper


  1. In a medium bowl, combine garbanzo bean flour, water, rosemary, lemon juice and salt. Mix well, until no lumps are present.
  2. Allow to sit at room temperature for at least ½ hour, or overnight for best results.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour batter into a large cast iron skillet or a greased 9x9 baking pan. Lightly sprinkle with lemon pepper.
  4. Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes, until bread has pulled away from edges of pan. If in a cast iron skillet, you can flip bread over so both sides brown.
  5. Slice and serve warm, spread with a bit of raw goat cheese, or some fresh summery bruschetta topping.

Friday, July 9, 2010

For Monty and Meryl

This recipe is for the only 2 readers I apparently have, judging from the response to my last post: Meryl and Monty. You are the only ones allowed to use this. No one else. They lose! Thank you guys for reading my blog, and I hope you get some use out of it ;-)

These are Icy Watermelon Mojitos! SO GOOD for a hot summer afternoon, and a great alternative to the super-sugary traditional mojitos. The watermelon is so sweet, it doesn't need any other sweetener! For a more drinkable version, just don't freeze the watermelon first. Enjoy!

Icy Watermelon Mojito (serves 2)

  • 1/2 small watermelon, scooped out into small chunks and frozen; thaw slightly
  • 2 fresh limes, juiced
  • 3 fresh mint sprigs
  • liquid to achieve desired consistency (use water for a virgin mojito, I used white wine, I'm sure vodka would work...I have faith that you can figure it out ;-)
  • 2 lime slices and 2 mint sprigs for garnish
  1. Place all ingredients except liquid in blender and blend on medium.
  2. Add liquid and blend until desired consistency is reached.
  3. Pour into margarita glasses and garnish with lime slice and mint sprig.
  4. Go lie in your hammock in the shade and enjoy!