personal chef

10 Things I've Learned About Food & People During My Chef Years

In my years as a chef, I've learned so many interesting things about common eating preferences and what's most important for someone when they hire a personal chef. 

  1. The simpler, the better. You'd think that people hire a chef because they want complicated meals prepared, but simpler meals somehow still become favorites. One-pot meals in particular are always a huge hit. Perhaps they offer more of a comfort feel. 
  2. Chia pudding for the win! Seriously this delicious 5-minute treat is the most requested by my clients and the recipe that most people visit and make from my blog
  3. Variety is not always the case. I check-in with clients consistently to make sure I'm meeting their needs and expectations. Variety is something most claim they really want, but when I check-in and take requests, everyone wants their favorite meals repeated (all the time!). We are creatures of habit after all. 
  4. Love over flavor, most of the time. My work is all about satisfying people's taste buds with the healthiest meals. What I've found to be even more valuable about my services is the love and care I put into every single dish. In those mentioned client check-ins, most responses are about how much they enjoy working with me personally and having my energy in their home. This is a compliment as much as a reinforcement that love put into something overrides any outcome. 
  5. "You can make vegan food taste like real food". True story. A client said this to me after making a Mediterranean stew that apparently tasted exactly like pizza. I took that on as my new 'skill'. This did become a favorite dish. 
  6. Yogurt dressing on everything. It is one of the most requested toppings/dressings from all my clients - I make a special herbal yogurt dressing. They literally dollop it on everything and can't ever get enough. I personally cannot tolerate dairy, but I know the deliciousness of yogurt, I'd be putting that on everything also if I didn't get a stomach ache every time. 
  7. Vegan desserts are the most favored. This was ironic to me when writing this right after the yogurt craze, but vegan desserts for some reason seem to be most popular. There's something about using alternative ingredients to dairy and eggs in some desserts that make them more enjoyable and indulgent, my clients and I sure think so. 
  8. Brussels sprouts - roasted vs. any other cooking method. I think 99% of people I know LOVE brussels sprouts but there is something about roasted that just makes someone melt, and turn their face when cooked any other way. My clients have made it very clear that if they're not roasted, they don't want them. I agree. 
  9. Attention to detail. There seems to be great appreciation for my attention to detail when it comes to storing my client's food, leaving necessary instructions, and most importantly, cleaning up. This is a no-brainer for me, but I get so many ecstatic comments about how clean I leave a client's kitchen - cleaner than I found it. I feel grateful every time to know that my clients truly value this service as so much more than just any meal delivery service. 
  10. A personal chef is not for everyone. Although hiring a personal chef sounds luxurious and like a dream come true, some people try out the service and realize it's not for them. These people are mainly ones that love cooking, don't necessarily want everything prepared for them, and simply need more direction as to what, when, and how much to cook. Because of seeing this so often, I created a meal planning service option to support those who either can't afford a personal chef or simply don't want one but want to save time with meal planing. 

It's these little things that make my work oh so fun and pleasurable.

Comment below or email me personally (giovanna@apurifiedlife.com) if you'd like my support making your life healthier and easier. 

Foods to Eat After Giving Birth to Save Time and Stay Nourished + Rice Porridge Recipe

RicePorridge featured image

I had the great pleasure of being this week's 'Fab Friday Feature' at Chloe's blog from Chloe Jackman Photography. Learn what foods are best after giving birth and get the recipe for this beautiful rice porridge: Foods to Eat After Giving Birth to Save Time and Stay Nourished + Rice Porridge Recipe.

Ingredients

1 cup short-grain brown rice, soaked overnight

2 cups coconut milk (I recommend homemade or canned by  ‘Native Forest’ – organic and BPA-free)

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or cinnamon stick

1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger or ground ginger

½ teaspoon ground cardamom

¼ teaspoon sea salt

 

Toppings:

½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted

½ cup hemp seeds

½ cup fresh strawberries, chopped

¼ cup fresh medjool dates, chopped

Extra coconut milk if desired

1 Tablespoons raw maca powder (optional, but will provide great hormonal balancing benefits), you can mix this in before adding the toppings

 

Procedure

1. Soak rice overnight or for at least 4 hours. Drain and rinse. Place in medium size pot with coconut milk, cinnamon, vanilla, ginger, cardamom, and sea salt.

2. Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes, until rice is cooked and it reaches a porridge consistency. Add water or more coconut milk if porridge becomes too thick.

3. Serve and stir in maca powder if using. Garnish with toasted coconut, hemp seeds, chopped strawberries, and chopped dates.

Serves 4