What kinds of recipes will you find on this blog?
- A ton of recipes that showcase seasonal fruits and vegetables in both practical and creative ways. Of course, you’ll see some common and “popular” seasonal produce, but my hope is to introduce you to some other amazing, but not quite as well known, seasonal veggies.
- A wide variety of practical and unfussy weeknight meals that are balanced, “healthy” and (almost) always include some veggies.
- Key Note: Healthy is such a loaded word. For me, it’s all about moderation and balance. I never rule out any food groups or ingredients, but I do try to emphasize whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and lean protein and minimize how much sugar I use. I’ll also dabble in gluten-free, dairy-free and vegetarian recipes. While I don’t follow any of those diets specifically, I think a meal or two there has its purpose and I enjoy them.
- Bottom Line: I try to find ways to find balance while never sacrificing flavor.
- A handful of “weekend project” recipes for anyone interested in trying new things and exploring the adventures and science behind cooking. This includes recipes like sourdough and macarons- I wouldn’t call them practical, but they’re fun to learn.
**Thanks to my former colleague, Kerri Redding, for taking this photo. See more of her photography here.
What type of diet do you follow?
I don’t like to put my beliefs about food and health into one phrase or category, but if I had to, it’d be clean eating. To me, this means three things:
1) minimally processed, whole foods (with a focus on seasonality)
2) lots of vegetables and some protein
3) not much sugar- and often using alternatives to white sugar (with still some room for dessert!)
Most importantly, it’s all about balance- anything too restrictive isn’t sustainable in my opinion, so while I focus on these three points, flexibility and balance is important. Food is meant to be enjoyed and celebrated.
I’m also a very active person, so while I think about food as an outlet for creativity and joy, I also see it as an important tool in my overall performance as an athlete and general health.
Where did this all begin?
In terms of food, I’ve always been a bit of an odd one. I was always that picky eater. Even though my eating habits have changed throughout different periods of my life (when I was younger I devoured white toast, raw veggies, & French fries; in college I ate a primarily vegan diet; now I’m much more of a flexitarian), I’ve always seen cooking as a way to eat exactly what I really want.
Being the picky eater I am, I started cooking for myself during high school, somewhat out of necessity. I began with basic recipes like stir-frys, eventually graduating to bigger and better things through the amazing discovery of a thing called a cookbook. Not knowing anything, I’d follow recipes to a tee and it would usually take me twice as long as it should have, but I quickly got hooked on cooking. Now I see cooking and food as so much more, but this is where it all started for me: functionality.
What qualifications do you have?
My real kick into the culinary world began when I graduated from the Natural Gourmet Institute for Culinary Arts and Health, a culinary school focused on health and nutrition based in Manhattan. From there, I worked in the kitchen of several esteemed restaurants and even a spa.
Immediately upon receiving my culinary degree, I returned to Middlebury College in Vermont, and quickly got my hands in as many things related to food as possible. I co-founded and ran a student-run cafe that focused on healthy food (called Crossroads Cafe), worked as a private chef, wrote a food column for the school newspaper, and wrote a thesis on the impact of nutrition policies on food consumption patterns in the US.
Speaking of policy, I worked at the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, which does extensive food policy and obesity, and for the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative.
What do you do now?
After some time in the food world, I decided to make cooking more of a hobby and pursue a different route professionally: education. I currently teach middle school science and high school chemistry (yes, I’m slightly crazy for wanting to relive those days, even if as a teacher). My heart lies in science, which is related to food in almost every possible way. From the way we grow our food to nutrition to the chemical reactions of baking and ingredients melding together to create something new, there’s connections to biology, environmental science, and chemistry. You’ll probably notice that my blog posts are often timed with the traditional school year.
Along these lines, while I do spend a good part of my free time cooking, I also prioritize practical recipes, especially during the week. While I do like to dabble in lots of different ideas and recipes, my main goal is to make recipes accessible, fun, practical, and healthy.