As you know, the cost of everything is going up.  And not just in money.  Our health is at risk, as I, as a private chef in NYC, read more and learn more about what type of processes our food goes through to make it from a farm or in most cases a processing plant to the grocery store, it becomes clearer and clearer to me that this is NOT what I want to feed my family.  Case in point, just recently in the news was an article about a meat packing plant in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, it appears that the plant was dumping pig blood and waste into the nearby Trinity River…

Yes that is blood…running right into the city’s sanitary sewer system.

Fruit-Vegetables-Healthy-Food

While the company states that there was a clog in the drain line, my thought is clog or no clog it still seems highly WRONG for that type of material to be put into our river systems at all…period…the end.  If this is how they treat our ecosystem and our water sources, how do they treat the animals and the meat that they are packaging there at the plant.  How sanitary is it really? And this is just one plant out of thousands.  No thank you, I’d rather KNOW for sure where my meat is coming from, and my produce for that matter.  There is a reason that things like alkaline veggie washes exist and guidelines on how to properly clean all of the pesticides and bacteria off of your produce.  Again, no thank you.

I understand that I have done this for years, eaten package meats and purchased produce with no thought whatsoever as to where it really was coming from, but that has changed a great deal as prices have gone up and news about e.coli outbreaks have risen and talk of test tube hamburgers have made the news!  Now when I buy things I really stop and think about what it is that I am getting and what it took for it to get to me. That’s very important as a chef for hire NYC area specialist. It might actually turn me into an alkaline chef. So that brings me to 2 things…one we are buying a cow.  Well, let me rephrase that, we bought 1/3 of a steer.  We are having it processed locally through a new meat market in our neighborhood.  If you haven’t heard about the Kingwood Meat Market, you really need to check them out!  Locally owned, they cut their steaks there and the meat is all very fresh, as in VERY fresh.  We had steaks last night and they were wonderful and their pre-seaosoned fajita meat is absolutely the best!  In addition, I have signed into a co-op and may try out a few more.  Fresh fruit and veggies delivered weekly to my front door, as I write this I just got my first shipment from The Root, it all looks wonderful and I’m ready to cook!  But, the most exciting thing for me right now is this.

Healthy_Heart_Fruit_Vegetables1

This is how it’s really getting started.  Say hello to my little friend…broccoli.  I started seedlings about a month ago, I planted them in little cups in a warm, sunny spot in my kitchen.  In all I had 4 cups with seedlings of broccoli, 3 cups for bell peppers, 3 cups for jalapenos, 4 cups for eggplant, 4 for cucumbers and 7 with heirloom Russian tomatoes and an added bonus of black sea man (insert joke here).

In addition, this weekend I as a private chef went out and bought squash, zucchini, more tomato varieties, more cucumbers, and planted seeds for beets, patty pan squash, kohlrabi, carrots, onions, purple potatoes, green beans and black eyed peas.  Now, let me answer a question I’m sure some of you have…no I have NEVER done this before.  I have planted small gardens with tomatoes and herbs and the occasional jalapeno plant.  This is a first and I am so excited!

We started by clearing a spot in the yard, in this case, it was back in a secluded area near our pool pump, away from the dangerous paws of labs.

It is very important that you have your sous chef with you, Kelsey is a good, hard worker!!! :)

and finished it up with 1.5 more yards of good quality garden soil mix. Please do not judge my husband on his attire….please.

For deep rooted vegetables, like onions, carrots, beans…I used 5 gallon container buckets. Make sure to drill holes in the bottom and drop a few rocks (thanks dad!) in for proper drainage.

And then it was time for food.  And sleep.  I as a private chef was anxious to get my plants in the ground but also anxious to get my butt on the couch!  The garden could wait till tomorrow, and besides, then I would have the help of my trusty, plant loving, dirty girl, friend, Heather to assist me!  We worked most of the day, transplanting everyone to their new home…and encouraging them to grow big and strong.  I think it might be important to talk to your plants…but who knows!  :)

So there you have it!  My alkaline garden is growing and I hope that I have many wonderful blog posts with recipes using my yummy earth grown, totally organic and raw veggies!  And be on the look out, I as a private chef will be posting a new recipe in the next day or so!

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Organic Greek Food

Posted by March 16, 2016

The Gods of electronic devices are working against me…starting with my phone, which is unbearably slow and freezes at the most irritating moments!  Then my brand new lap top, which works fine, it’s the charger that a Moose destroyed, that is the problem…it finally decided that taping it together just wasn’t going to work anymore.  And then tonight, my camera, which I love…it’s a third arm for me, unfortunately it too runs on a battery and I tend to forget that important little point.  So that leaves me to where I sit tonight, staring at grainy pictures I took with my point and shoot and working off of my husband’s little netbook (which has NO Photoshop or any photo editing software for that matter) but no worries, I’m not really sure I could do much with what I took anyway.

personal chef

I am such a photo SNOB!  Anyway, I trudged on and made an amazing Greek Chicken dinner tonight and while I am not going to post all of the pictures (I am including just the one of the finished dish) I am going to share the recipe with you because it was TOO good not to!  It’s healthy, packed with all kinds of good stuff and filling.  I even made the most amazing hummus as a snack and ate it with the most addicting Lentil chips I have ever had (they are really the ONLY Lentil chips I have ever had).  So here it is, go ahead laugh at the picture, but if computers had smell-o-vision your mouth would really be watering!

Delicious Greek Chicken
Ingredients:

  • One Pint of Cherry Tomatoes
  • Olive Oil
  • 4-5 Cloves of Garlic
  • 1/2 Sliced Sweet Onion
  • 1 Can of Cannellini Beans, drained
  • 1/2 cup of pitted Kalmata Olives
  • 6 Chicken Thighs Bone-In (Skin removed)
  • 3 sprigs of Oregano chopped
  • 2 tbsp of chopped fresh Mint
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • Greek Seasoning
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Baby Spinach
  • Feta Cheese

In a large deep skillet with a lid, dump your cherry tomatoes, whole into your heated olive oil.  Add the whole cloves of garlic and thinly sliced onion.  Cover with the lid and cook on med high. The tomatoes will start to burst, that’s ok, that is what they are supposed to do!  Warning, if you chose to take the lid off, be prepared to get popped!  I recommend just leaving the lid on for about 5 minutes or so.  Once the tomatoes and onion are soft, add the mint and oregano, along with the cannellini beans and kalmata olives.

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Let it all simmer and come together, season with a little salt and add the chicken.  Sprinkle the chicken with the Greek seasoning and squeeze the juice from one lemon over the top of the thighs, I added the lemons to the pot to allow the rest of the juice to evaporate from them.  Pour the wine into the pan and cover with the lid, let the chicken cook on medium for about 20-25 minutes until cooked through.  Pile some fresh spinach onto a plate and place the chicken on top, spoon a generous serving of the tomato mixture over the chicken and spinach and top with crumbled feta cheese.

That’s it, another delicious, simple, healthy and low fat meal!  My kids loved it too!

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