When friends come into town

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When I have friends coming into town, I do a little prep that makes my time with them smoother and more relaxed.

First I find out if we’re having a meal together and if we are, I find out if it will be at home or out at a restaurant.  If it’s at home, I prepare any foods that can be made in advance and store them in the fridge until they arrive.  I also prepare some snacks that can be set out prior to our main meal together (whether or not it is at home or at a restaurant).

A fresh green salad and homemade blended vinaigrette can easily be prepared in advance, as well as rinsed and chopped veggies with a pureed dip. Easy to grab snacks such as raw nuts and dried fruits can be arranged on platters in clear jars, making it simple to see what’s what.

Just before my friends arrive, I set these items out on the table with some plates and utensils.  If they are hungry after their travels, they can make a plate or simply grab a veggie with dip or a handful of nuts until the main meal is served.

This is especially handy to do when your visitors are kids who are used to having a snack here and there.  It makes knowing what is available to eat so easy for them and their parents.

Why not try prepping some dishes before your guests arrive and see how enjoyable it is for everyone to partake in healthy, delicious, homemade foods.

Personal Cheffing on 1-20-2016

Carob CupsToday I made this for my clients:

  • Chicken stir-fry with red and yellow bell peppers
  • Cauliflower mash with fresh cilantro
  • Kale salad with carrots, celery and raspberries with Dijon basil vinaigrette
  • Prosciutto shaved carrot and fresh herb muffins
  • Green bean salads with capers and chicken
  • Carob raspberry cups

Everything I made today is Paleo, Whole30 and most of it is AIP fit.  I never use sugar, soy, grains, gluten or dairy in my cooking.  This food will make you feel great!

 

Personal Cheffing on 1-19-2016

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I cooked this for my clients on Tuesday, 1-19-2016:

  • Duck salads with orange slices and cinnamon/lime vinaigrette
  • Braised green cabbage with fresh lemon juice
  • Tri-tip stew with green peppers, sliced black olives, fresh parsley and fresh basil
  • Bacon-wrapped green beans
  • Sprouted pumpkin seed veggie cracks made in the food dehydrator

Personal Cheffing on 1-18-2016

1-18-2016Today I cooked the following for my clients:

  •  Beef bone broth
  • Steamed asparagus with olive oil and fresh lemon juice
  • Fresh veggies (carrots and celery) with chicken liver pate topped with fresh rosemary
  • Baked salmon with paprika and fresh parsley
  • Spinach salad with carrots, radicchio, raspberries and chopped ednive with lemon-orange vinegarette
  • Prosciutto salads with radicchio and lemon vinegarette
  • Shrimp cocktail

 As always, all of the food I prepare is made from scratch, using organic ingredients.  All food is free of gluten, grains, dairy, soy, sugar, legumes and today’s food was free of nuts and seeds.

How to eat more greens

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An easy way to add nutrition, vibrant color and crisp to your dishes is to add fresh greens.  Any greens will do, pick the ones that you like.  Lettuce, spinach, kale, fresh herbs, you get it.  Keep them in the fridge at all times so that you can easily grab a pile, rinse, chop and add to whatever meal you are prepping.  So simple!

AIP Recipe: Chicken Salad in Endive Leaves

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I loved the way this appetizer looked when it was plated on a serving tray.  Sort of retro, I thought.

 Here is a recipe for an AIP appetizer that you may want to serve at your next party (or just have around the house for when you and your loved ones are hungry):

Chicken Salad in Endive Leaves:

 2 whole endives (or enough to have about 20 leaves)

1-2 lbs. cooked chicken thighs, cooled and finely chopped (I prefer to cook chicken with a Tbs. ghee and a tsp. of sea salt on low heat in a sauce pan with the lid on.  This method keeps the chicken tender.)

1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped

2 celery stalks, finely chopped

2 Tbs. olive oil

1/2 cup of fresh parsley, finely chopped

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Sea salt to taste

 In a large mixing bowl, add the olive oil, lemon juice and sea salt and mix with a whisk until sea salt is dissolved.  Add the rest of your ingredients (cooked chicken, carrot, celery and parsley).  Toss with a baker’s spatula until it is evenly coated by the olive oil and lemon juice.

 Peel the leaves of your endive and pat dry with a paper towel.  Fill each leaf with the chicken salad.  If you have leftover chicken salad, just add it to a bowl and place in the middle of a serving tray.  Arrange the stuffed leaves around the bowl and there you have it!  A simple and delicious AIP appetizer that you can enjoy and share with your loved ones.

AIP Recipe: Carob “Coffee”

Carob Coffee

I love coffee.  I mean love coffee. Love, love, love.  As Woody Allen said in Annie Hall, I lurve it.

 But, I stopped drinking it months ago in order to reset and balance my hormones.  I only had one cup each morning, but I found it was enough to keep my body stressed out for much of the day.

 Quitting it was really hard.  I felt sick for about a week and a half.  It was during that time that I realized just how dependent on coffee I was and even though at the time I thought I would never feel normal again, I did.  Sweet relief!

 Besides replacing my coffee with green and herbal teas, I often make a delicious beverage with carob, dandelion and chicory.  It’s rich and smooth and is a nice alternative to coffee.

 Awesome!

 Maybe you will try this delicious carob beverage that I have enjoyed since quitting coffee:

 Carob “Coffee”:

 1 tsp. carob power

1 tsp. dried dandelion root

3/4 tsp. chicory root

 Steep all ingredients in 8 ounces of hot water for 3 minutes and enjoy!