Favorite Podcasts to Listen to While Cooking

Favorite Podcasts to Listen to While Cooking

As someone who spends quite a big of time cooking alone (not just for myself, but for clients and class preparation), I totally get that cooking can feel mentally and physically draining.  It's no wonder that after a long day of work, many people want to just throw something together and watch a little TV to distract from stress and get a little entertainment.  Even if you love to cook like me, it's not always the most appetizing way to spend your time...

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My Go-To Healthy Snacks

My Go-To Healthy Snacks

One of the most common questions I get asked is "what are some healthy snack options?"  While I do believe that it's best to eat sit-down meals without snacking in between, I also know from personal experience that it's not always possible, especially with a long, modern work day.  Traditional packaged snack foods (think: the readily available items sold in most vending machines and check-out counters) are low quality, loaded with sugar, refined carbs and additives and they can leave you feeling blegh while also feeling blegh about yourself...

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What is Washoku?

What is Washoku?

This week I was in my own kitchen a lot testing and tweaking my recipes for my upcoming cooking class, Global Healing Kitchens: Japan.  In this series, we are going to explore 3 cultures that have strong food-as-medicine traditions including India, Japan, and the Mediterranean.  In the Japan class, I wanted to dive into not just traditional Japanese home-cooking but also the cuisine of Okinawa, a Japanese island known to have an extraordinary...

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New Video: How to Make Roasted Chickpeas

New Video: How to Make Roasted Chickpeas

A few weeks ago, I teased a new cooking show that I've been developing along with a company called Outcome Health.  I'm creating short and fun how-to cooking videos for them to air in doctor's office waiting rooms across the country.  Why not use that boring wait room time to learn how to make some healthy food?  Today, I want to share the first full episode of the show, where I explain how to...

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Save time in the kitchen by improving your knife skills

Save time in the kitchen by improving your knife skills

One common complaint I hear from readers and students is that they are often crunched for time after work and don't have more than half an hour to prepare dinner.  Another thing I've noticed?  A recipe that might take a less experienced home cook 60 minutes to make, only takes me 30-40 minutes.  This isn't a humblebrag!  It's simply that years of professional training mean that I'm able to get organized and cut vegetables more quickly...

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4 Tips for Optimal Gut Health

4 Tips for Optimal Gut Health

Last week, I attended a Food as Medicine Symposium organized by NorthShore University Health System and Dr. Geeta Maker-Clark.  One big theme--and one of my favorite lectures--was all about the importance of the microbiome (all the microbes that live in and on your body) on your overall health, including its relationship to digestion and the immune system.  The event was attended mostly by physicians, healthcare professionals, and even some medical students, so I thought I'd distill some of the great insights from the microbiome...

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Almond Freezer Fudge from The Superfood Swap

Almond Freezer Fudge from The Superfood Swap

I'm currently working on a proposal for my first cookbook (more news on that coming soon!) so I've been spending lots of my free time with new and favorite cookbooks from my collection for inspiration and education.  This week, I thought I'd share a recipe from one of the most fun cookbooks that I bought this year--It's called The Superfood Swap and was written by the official nutritionist for the Chicago Cubs, Dawn Jackson Blatner.  I know many of you are interested in lower sugar and whole foods-based sweets...

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Natural Ways to Prevent and Treat a Cold

Natural Ways to Prevent and Treat a Cold

This week, something happened in my house that never happens: my fiance got a cold.  

I'll try to convey what a big deal this is: in the 4 years we've known each other, he's been sick once.  One time!  On the other hand, I used to get sick all the time.  In high school and college, I'd have colds and respiratory infections at least 3-4 times a year and be out for days at a time.  As the daughter of a nurse and a pharmacist, I had lots of access to medical care and medicine.  I just wasn't that good at taking care of myself holistically to reduce my chance of getting a cold or to help myself recover quickly...

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4 tricks for eating more beans (even if you hate them)

4 tricks for eating more beans (even if you hate them)

In this week's Plant-Powered Protein class, we covered an interesting fact about the typical American diet: it provides twice as much protein as we need, yet only about half as much fiber as is recommended.  Not that I would ever imply that any of you unique snowflakes are typical, but if you are looking to eat healthy amounts of both protein and fiber, beans should definitely be a semi-regular part of your diet...

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Get more plant protein with hemp seeds

Get more plant protein with hemp seeds

My cooking class students can easily name some of my favorite ingredients: lemon, maple syrup, kale, tamari...the list goes on.  While I like adventure and variety in my diet, I also like to keep certain staples at home because it makes meal preparation easier.  My staples also tend to be not only flavor powerhouses, but nutritional powerhouses as well.  One of my favorite go-to ingredients that pops up my recipes all the time: hemp seeds!

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Best Cookbooks for Holiday Gifts

Best Cookbooks for Holiday Gifts

As a chef and total book nerd, one of my favorite gifts to give and receive is--no surprise--a good cookbook!  Cookbooks can be a great way to help eager cooks filter out the overwhelming amount of information on the internet and spend some time learning from one of their favorite authors, bloggers, or chefs one-on-one.  Last year, I did a round up of the top cookbooks I was feeling in 2015, so I wanted to follow that up with my top picks for 2016...

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How to make DIY Vanilla Extract

How to make DIY Vanilla Extract

If you've been following my newsletter for a while, you know that I'm a big fan of naturally sweetened treats and desserts.  If you are new to my world, welcome! (And get ready for lots of chocolate recipes.)  I almost always ditch flour, dairy products, and refined sugars in my recipes in favor of slow-digesting and more nutritious nuts, seeds, and less processed sweeteners like maple syrup or dates...

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Best local, craft beers in Chicago

Best local, craft beers in Chicago

In celebration of Octoberfest--and my latest beer-themed episode of Chicago's Best--I wanted to do a round-up of the best local, craft beers to check out.  Since chefs  are known for having discerning palates and also consuming a decent amount of alcohol, it made perfect sense for me to check in with my chef friends and other food and beverage experts around the city.  Below, I've assembled their recommendations to give you guys a good starter list to help you know which beers to try when the bartender gives you that daunting list of 100...

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