Friday, January 11, 2013

My Adventures into the Culinary Profession

This summer I had the unique opportunity to move to Solon, Ohio to work full-time in a natural foods bakery and part-time as a healthy personal chef. After graduating with a Humanities degree and working for the prior three months as a hostess and nanny, I jumped at the opportunity to have a change of scenery and a new experience.

My personal chef experience started very serendipitously when my aunt (whose home I was welcomed into for my five month adventure) told me about her friend and neighbor being interested in my services. I met with her, a mother of four children under 13 and a busy career as a VA doctor. I went over a sample meal plan of what I could offer, and she expressed that she wanted healthy meals (with a goal of weight-loss), and a variety of flavors. I jumped right in. Four times a week I did the grocery shopping, researched new recipes, and cooked meals which I delivered to her home before she got home from work. I experimented with different ethnic cuisine, making everything from Indian to Caribbean to Thai cuisine. I used mostly organic ingredients and whenever possible fresh herbs from my aunt's garden. I loved garnishing my meals with her beautiful edible flowers! I tried to make complete meals each time with soup or salad to start, an entree, and a dessert. I photographed all of my creations, but unfortunately my phone's camera did not always produce the most flattering representations. I wanted to share a few of my favorites, with some of the recipes I used to follow!

Jamaican Jerk Chickpeas

Apricot-Teriyaki Glazed Baked Tofu

Salad garnished with edible flowers

Pasta Primavera

Pizza with Whole Grain Crust, Pesto, Marinara, and Veggies

Green Tea and Maple Poached Pears Topped with Pistachios and Mint

Mochi filled with Vegan Cream Cheese, Honey, and Pistachios

Thai Stir-Fry with Bok Choy, Dried Chilis, and Cashews

Homemade Mediterranean Bean Burgers on Ezekiel Buns

Seitan with Spinach and Mushrooms in a White Wine Garlic Sauce over Polenta

Stuffed Peppers with Indian-Spiced Lentil

Tofu-Spinach filled Ravioli

Cinnamon Raisin Brown Rice Pudding

Seitan Skewers with Peanut-Ginger Dipping Sauce

"Mac'n'Cheeze" with Gardein Chicken Strips and Broccoil

Bean and Veggie filled Enchiladas

No comments:

Post a Comment