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Last week I made a salad for my clients. Tuscan Lentil Salad. They asked me for protein-rich, healthy, and low-carb meals.
Since I cook for each client once a week (for the most part), I have to come up with a practical menu where the food is easy to eat straight from the container (on a lunch break at work), and most importantly – easy to reheat later in the week. Usually I put some kind of soup on the menu, like Tomato Bisque with Quinoa, or Creamy Cauliflower Soup with chunks of the veg floating joyfully inside, or another health miracle, my Beet Soup, also known as a liver cleanser. Most of the soups I make are loaded with variety of good stuff while staying very light in the calorie department.
It’s very important that there are fresh vegetables on the menu, but a regular green salad lasts a day. Hence, for my clients I opt for hearty salads that will stay fresh for up to three days. I play with grains like a 6-year old with LEGO blocks. One day it’s Wheat Berry mix, another Quinoa blend, Barley, Farro, you name it. Last week, however, I used a recipe by Julie Daniluk, a Canadian nutritionist and the host of Healthy Gourmet (a TV show) simply because it looked divine.
Click on the photo above to get to the recipe itself.
When I was mixing all the ingredients at my clients’ kitchen, they both peeked over my shoulder and instantly requested a taste of the wonder. Let me just say that it didn’t end on a simple one bite tasting. An entire portion planned for one of the meals later in the week disappeared from the counter. A few minutes later, the husband returned to the kitchen with an empty container in hand, still licking his mouth.
“THAT WAS DELICIOUS.”
The wife only said:
“CAN WE PLEASE HAVE THIS SALAD EVERY WEEK?”
Your wish is my command. The salad became a staple on their menu. I also tested it on Jason and he loved every bite. Well, not the olive bite. I tried so hard to sneak some succulent, delicious olives into his bowl, but his olive detector would not be fooled. There are only few edible things Jason is on non-speaking terms with, and olives just happen to be one of those misfortunate bastards.
Since the Lentil Salad was such a success, I had to give credit where it was due. Julie Daniluk is a walking encyclopedia of food knowledge. Put any type of produce, nut, meat, you name it in front of her eyes and she begins to recite all the attributes of the food like a poem.
I will have you know also that Oprah Winfrey got a whiff of the Healthy Gourmet show, and with no avail had her people load all the goodies up on her new network’s website. Aha, just look at the web address when you visit the show’s web page.
I’ve studied nutrition for my own benefit over the years. However, I never went to school to bring that knowledge up to more comprehensive and organized level. Julie is the reason I started looking into various nutrition programs around the country that offer either the traditional, thus purely scientific approach, or more holistic one that produces life coaches. Keep your fingers crossed! I’m very excited about this project.
Pst, one more thing. It occurs to me that I have more in common with Julie beyond the affection for healthy and whole foods. Me thinks there’s Polish blood flowing in her veins…
To Be Investigated!
Look at that forearm! Yes, that’s me. All those trays of food at various events, bags with groceries when shopping for clients, and laundry baskets on weekends at home are to blame for.
At the recent fundraiser LA Helps LA organized by my fellow blogger and a caterer, Gisele Perez, I served my TOMATO BISQUE WITH BASIL OIL AND PARMESAN TUILE. Those little cups filled with hot soup were disappearing off my tray in the speed of light. I say it was a great success, both the soup and the event itself!
I know it’s not much, and certainly not a recipe for anything, but here I come with the fruit of a collaborative labor between my dear friend Jason Gurvitz, a talented photographer (among his other talents), and my humble self.
As I’ve been building a website for my personal cheffffing, one day I realized I was short on professional photos of self. Jason G. was so kind to offer his help, and so with no further ado, nor much constructive thinking, yesterday, on my day off from Animal, I stood as I were in front of his lens… *
So… what do you think? Do you foresee my success in the near future? I mean, how could I not hit it BIG with these!
* I apologize in advance for the nightmares I may have caused you by sharing those semi-sweet cherries of fruits of my photo shoot. Sorry I am, but don’t even think of sending me the bill from your therapist. I’m not that sorry.
It is about nine-fifteen at night on a Saturday preceding our month-long trip to Europe and I’m not even packed yet. Instead, I am posting a few new pictures here to let everybody know I’m alive and kicking after a week of a non-stop sweat fest at Da Vinci.
Last Friday we served my One Bite at the restaurant, and I was bouncing on the inside with pride for it was very well received by the diners. It was a Mascarpone Crab Cream with Smoked Cashews, Chives, and Spiced Rice Powder over Mango. I made another version with a slice of a strawberry on the bottom. Both looked spectacular.
We also sold out the soup of my creation. Can you imagine? I’ve just begun my apprenticeship there and the executive chef allowed me to make such a significant contribution to the menu. As the orders for the Soup of the Day started coming in, we poured into bowls this gorgeous orange nectar of a soup, my Carrot-Ginger Cream with Marinated Blood Oranges.
The menu is full of wonders worth exploring. However, I want to brag only about my three pennies since, how shall I put this, it’s my blog.
My next installment should come with photos of some Polish classics, as I know my mom has been cooking for the last four weeks since she had learnt about our arrival in Poland. Yes, Jason and myself will travel to my homeland leaving tomorrow. I shall be in touch and keep ONE MORE BITE updated on a semi-regular basis. Get ready for all those European flavors as I’ll be bringing this and that from the Old Continent to the table.
With the above set of PISANKI, or what you call here in the U.S. EASTER EGGS, I want to wish you all a wonderful holiday filled with too much food, never enough laughter, and monkey tricks with your friends and other kids in the family.
I haven’t made pisanki in maybe two decades, and so I had a lot of fun boiling the eggs first in a pot filled with water and lots of onion skins (for the color). Then I looked around the house for a sharp tool to etch the pattern (my meat thermometer did the trick) on my Easter Eggs. To finish the job, I needed to find a little basket lined with a white, crocheted napkin. The closest to such a thing in this household were my Halloween panties I wore once with my Naughty Santa Helper outfit about three years ago. I’m glad I’ve found a use for them one more time.
I bet you’re thinking of my Panty Christmas Tree, aren’t you? Yes, my panties are quite versatile and flexible, and poses an artistic inkling.
Happy Easter Everybody! A basket of love and fuzzy thoughts to you :-) I’m going to eat my eggs now.