I got the idea for the website when I owned my restaurant, and was cooking for private clients on the side. There was the athlete who ate like a horse (a healthy horse), the busy family that wanted to eat healthy (of course the kids all had different tastes), and a bunch of drop-off clients who had a variety of food preferences/issues such as food allergies, trying to lose weight, didn’t like broccoli etc. I can remember the aha! moment though was when a friend was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, and I had to cook her food for two weeks that contained no iodine. She is doing great now, but it was the feeling from helping her which reminded me of the fulfillment that I got when I worked at hospitals helping patients with their dietary needs. So, this great idea happened where I would start a website where I would write easy weekly recipes for people with these different needs, along with a team of dietitians that specialized in their needs (this was 1 1/2 years ago). I sold the restaurant, went back to yachting for a while, and was finally ready to build that site at the end of last year. That’s when I realized that I was going to have to build this thing from scratch if it was going to let people do what I wanted. If I knew how much was going to be involved, I don’t know if I would have done it (I still probably would have). The two month project wound up taking six (though I did keep adding bells and whistles). It finally went live last week, you could click the link on the right, or just click on the logo at the top right of this page (if you are challenged, you can also just click here). You can sign up for free while I work out the bugs, you just have to let me know what you think. I think it is just great now, and will be adding videos, interactive food diaries, etc. in the future. I am still working on the forum, though it works, Celeste sneaked in and asked a question, and got a response by one of our dietitians in no time. In the next week or two I will add some posts on the features of the site since we are still working on a flash tutorial. We have a bunch of different menu plans, and a few more to come, so I bet there is one that would benefit you, if you have a need you think is not being met- please email me!
Archive for July, 2008
There is some debate if this is real or not? If it’s staged, she’s one heck of an actress!
I used to cook for a lot of Russian yacht charters. I learned the basic cuisine in case of requests, but they mainly liked Mediterranean food. You would think that you would have to have a bunch of caviar and vodka on hand (true), but if you ran out of watermelon, you were screwed! I remember one guest went through 13 unsatisfactory watermelons, and we had to provision from the fancy hotel that had the proper ones. When I went shopping for dinner today, there were these great looking cut watermelons, and I remembered the salad that Corli (friend, and former sous chef) used to make with them. Sounds weird, but all that you do is mix watermelon with feta cheese, red onion, and toasted pumpkin seeds (sunflower would be good too, I didn’t add cause I didn’t want to buy just for myself). Fresh tuna was on sale, and rounded out the meal.
This small video is guaranteed to make you smile, great satire that really isn’t!
Oh god, now I’m on a shrimp kick. I have been doing a lot of healthy recipe testing the past year, and have some great pasta recipes that I really enjoy. This one I came up with at the grocery store tonight, and took me about 15 minutes to cook-start to finish. I really love the new whole grain pastas that are available. I used Ronzini Healthy Harvest for this, and was fantastic! I have also been on a spicy kick lately, so feel free to substitute bell pepper for the poblano pepper.
1 cup fusilli pasta
1/2 a sweet onion, sliced
1 small poblano/ anaheim pepper, chopped
1 cup sliced mushrooms
2 roma tomatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb. shrimp, raw, peeled, no tails
1/2 teaspoon italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Cook pasta and set aside. Cook vegetables, seasoning, and olive oil over high heat in a skillet until they start to get soft, add the shrimp, cooked pasta, and feta, and cook until the shrimp is cooked through (that’s when they turn pink).
These are always popular at a cocktail party. Personally, I could just eat them with a salad for dinner. This is a fun cooking project for a weekend, not nearly as difficult as you would think. You could see I used a fish poacher as a make-shift steamer. Once they are steamed, I like to fry them in a little oil, just on the bottom, to give them a little crunch. Gyoza wrappers are found in the frozen or refrigerator section in your favorite Asian store, and if you don’t have a favorite Asian store, then I suggest that you try this recipe so that you find one.
Little Shrimp Dumplings
1 package Gyoza wrappers
4 ounces raw shrimp, no tails
1 green onion, chopped
1/2 carrot, chopped
1 teaspoon ginger, chopped
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Puree ingredients in food processor, and put a teaspoon full on each wrapper. Brush the edges with water, fold in half, and crimp (similar to the picture, but I know you can do better). Keep wrapping until you run out of filling. Spray steamer basket with nonstick spray, and steam dumplings for 5 minutes. Serve with this dipping sauce:
1 part soy sauce
1 part sweet chili sauce
Growing up, this was the favorite thing that my mom would make for dinner. It was also popular with the other kids in the neighborhood, I suppose it was the crumbled Dorito’s and seasoned taco meat. I have come up with a meatless version for the weight loss diet at my new website, but I am posting the original here (a few changes). It tastes great without dressing, but would also taste good with half ranch and half salsa mixed together.
1 bag salad mix
1 lb. ground beef (cooked with taco seasoning)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups crumbled tortilla chips
1 tomato, chopped
Mix everything together, and enjoy. Of course you can mix anything else in there that you enjoy such as avocado, beans, etc.
Things are crazy in the financial markets right now, so the trip got cut short. I never did find a good solution to take pictures of the food as I put it out. I have an office day tomorrow, then the rest of the week off, just enough time to get the new website live! I have decided to open it free for the first few months, so I hope you will check it out, and help me make it great, I will let you know when it is ready. I had a blast in Sun Valley, and will be back there again next month. I am actually very happy to be in New York, and it makes me realize how great and varied our country is, and how I am itching to go out and see more of it. The picture is of a produce stand that had just opened in Sun Valley. They will be in full swing when I get back there, and my goal is to have 90% of the food I cook be local (we’ll see).
This time last year we were just dropping off the guests that I now work for. I remember thinking how weird it was that I was spending this holiday cruising the Mediterranean Sea toward Turkey. Life’s funny, if you told me then that I would be in Sun Valley a year later I would have laughed at you. During my vacation in New York, I rented the HBO mini series John Adams. I recommend it wholeheartedly, as you will gain an appreciation for what our forefathers struggled for our freedom; plus it is just fascinating to watch. I still haven’t figured out a picture solution for the food i am cooking as we are all busy when I am plating the food. My options are limited here, but it is fun to see brands I have not used in years such as Darigold and Tillamook. I grilled a Wild King Salmon tonight and bone-in Rib Eye Steaks. For the steaks, I just seasoned them with steak seasoning, coated them with fresh herbs, and squeezed lemon juice on them a few minutes before grilling. I topped them with slow cooked Walla Walla Sweet Onions. Slowly cook the sliced onion in butter until deep brown (this will take 30-45 minutes if done right), and enjoy one of the better steaks you will ever eat!
It’s been awhile since I have lived in the west. I really do like it, and a part of me misses it. Being that I am in what is basically a ski town, it’s pretty laid back. I love the small chef driven restaurants that are here, not pretentious, but more about the food. I have been on a pork kick since my momofuku buns. I had chili verde at a Mexican restaurant the other day, Cuban braised pork with plantains at a restaurant called CK’s that follows the slow food movement, and bbq pork at an eclectic cabin restaurant with their own smoker out back (I also had some killer fish taco’s there). I met a guy at the farmers market the other day who raises Berkshire Pigs, and will have available next week, I can’t wait, and will let you know how it is (supposed to be the best). I haven’t had time to mountain bike, or learn to fly fish yet, but holding out hope! I start cooking tomorrow, and will be sharing pictures, and recipes. Pictures are of the views where I will be spending a lot of my time, the kitchen, and the hotel room.
I usually have my travel agent book me an aisle seat, but this flight was popular, and we didn’t do it that far in advance. The window seat is the next best option; which I had, but got stuck with a couple that made an event out of the flight with blankets, snacks, maximum carry-ons, and watching the same movie on their 17″ laptop. I had to go to bathroom bad a few hours in to the flight, but you should have seen the setup I would have had to pass. I suggested a bathroom break, and they agreed, thank god! The flight had video in the back of the seats, and one option was a trivia game we could all play against each other. I decided to play, and got hooked on it. More and more passengers started playing as they found it, and everyone was getting in to it. This was the first positive thing I could think of about flying in years (the free cookies were good though). I wound up winning a round (20 questions) against over 30 other passengers, everyone wanted to see who the stud in 19c was! I celebrated with a big lunch and beer when I arrived (picture enclosed). The town is great, and I am having a blast finding my way around. I have been taking pictures, and will share soon.