Friday, April 1, 2011

Be Your Own Personal Chef: Part II

Welcome back to my second new series: Be your own personal chef. Over the past few months, we have been taking a page out of my personal chef book and sitting down on Sundays to plan out our week's menu and shopping list for Monday-Friday. We pull all the recipes we are going to use (if we use any) and make a grocery list so we only have to shop once a week. This saves a huge amount of time AND money. We have committed to doing a meatless day once a week as well. In this series, I will share with you our weekly menu plan and any (actual) recipes we use! The idea behind this series is to give you some inspiration on how to be your own personal chef and get fired up in the kitchen. Be sure to check out my other series: Nutritional Navigator for more ideas!

While I am working on my next installment of Nutritional Navigator, I decided I should post up what we have been cooking and eating this week. This weeks menu had a lot of light fresh ingredients to celebrate spring and the nice warm weather. We also have committed to doing a meatless meal once a week and this week we actually had two because our dinner guest Thursday night was a long time vegetarian. I really enjoyed how light and fresh everything was. Great flavor combinations. We used a lot of recipes for inspiration this week but added our own spin.

Our weekday menu:
Monday: Asparagus Stir-Fry with Tofu, rice 
Tuesday: Very vegetably Spring Soup with Chorizo
Wednesday:Lamb Skewers (inspired by this recipe). Sweet Potato salad with preserved lemons and green olives. Eggplant with pomegranate molasses. 
Thursday: Indian Vegetable Curry with Tamarind and Chilies (from Everyday Greens). Saffron Rice.
Friday: Roast kale, onion, sweet potato and jalapeno. Seared and roasted bone-in chicken breast.
Other items: Homemade maple almond butter with chia seeds. Whole Wheat Coconut Pineapple Muffins (adapted from my gluten free coconut pineapple muffin recipe which will be in my future cookbook) for the Baker.

As I mentioned, we got a food processor and I am obsessed with making nut butters. I have become addicted to nut butters again but I don't think that is a bad thing. This maple almond butter with chia seeds tastes like graham crackers. It is amazing.

Homemade maple almond butter with chia seeds

  • 2 cups almonds
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss together almonds, maple syrup and chia seeds. Spread out on a sheet tray and roast for 5-7 minutes. Keep an eye on the nuts, don't let them burn.

In a food processor, add the nuts and turn on. Let process for 3 minutes. Then with a spatula wipe down the sides and continue processing. Continue this process until the nuts release their oils and turn into a beautiful silky smooth butter. This takes a bit of patience but no fancy tricks. Once the nuts are a smooth butter add in the salt and process for 1 more minute. Store in a jar with a tight fitting lid. 

That's what we are cooking and eating. How about you? Do you do a meatless day?

Want to learn how to be your own personal chef? Check out my Culinary Coaching Services. Love the idea but don't have the time and energy? Check out my Personal Chef Services.


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  2. oops... try this again.

    I did. My last meal of the day has some lean meat in it, fish typically, with a big ol' mix of veggies(leafy+). This time I opted for a starchy tuber as the main "chunk" of calories.
    1 yam lightly sauteed in olive oil
    1 plate full of romaine lettuce topped off with lightly sauteed (Kale, garlic, white onion, broccoli, red pepper)in 1 tbsp olive oil.

    Was good but could use more spices I think. Kind of boring. I think i'm the least creative when it comes to adding herbs & spices to enhance flavor. Give me hunks and chunks!

  3. Thanks Devon, keep the great meal tips coming.


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