Chef Training Program: The Last Supper, Sicilian-Style

NGI CTP #255 Last Supper

Put a fork in us. We’re done!

Last weekend our group, Natural Gourmet Institute’s 255th Chef Training Program class graduated. It was bittersweet. We expected the program to transform us as cooks. But I think we were all surprised by the harmonic group dynamic which developed. Like a variety of spices, we started as 16 cooks with nearly no common thread other than our passion for health and cooking. But, very early into our year in the kitchen, we melded into a masala — a harmonic team, as much family as classmates. As such, the numbers 2-5-5 will forever be dear to our hearts.  Continue reading “Chef Training Program: The Last Supper, Sicilian-Style” »

Have You Considered Culinary School?

Knives BlackIf you have, you may appreciate my story, recently published in mindbodygreen, How Becoming a Plant-Based Chef Transformed My Life and Career as a Dietitian. As a healthcare professional, I was asked to share my experience and how I finally made this decision —after mulling it over for about 30 years! It was an honor to share my experiences at Natural Gourmet Institute with such an extensive online audience.

I have just a few more culinary classes to complete. So, stay tuned for some of the highlights from the medicinal cooking and ethnic cooking series. After completion of the coursework, I will begin my internship at Mercer Kitchen, a Jean-Georges restaurant in SoHo featuring seasonal and 90% organic ingredients.

And speaking of good food, it’s time for summer dishes! Let me know if you have any recipe requests or want make-overs of your season favorites.

In Health,

Maribeth

PS: Looking for ways to bring turmeric into your cooking?

My recommendations were featured in this recent article, ‘The Healing Benefits of Turmeric’ in shape.com.

 

Cold Brew Coffee

Cold Brew CoffeeSeptember through May, good quality, freshly ground coffee and my French press are all I need when I’m in a coffee state of mind. But in the summer, my efforts failed to satisfy the inner coffee snob inherent in all Seattle natives. My DIY iced coffee attempts (serving a concentrated brew over ice cubes, regular strength brew over coffee ice cubes) proved less than satisfying; watery and sometimes leaning towards bitter. The horrors. Continue reading “Cold Brew Coffee” »

Homemade Toothpaste

DIY Toothpatse Ingredients

We try to limit the amount of chemicals that pass our lips. Organic whole foods? – yes! Pesticides? – No. But, what about our toothpaste?

It’s known that toxins are readily absorbed through our skin. According to the scientific literature, ‘The importance of absorption of drugs and poisons through the skin and mucous membranes needs no emphasis.’* Case closed. So, it makes sense to limit toxic exposure to the delicate mucous membranes in our mouth. Continue reading “Homemade Toothpaste” »

Happy Mother’s Day to ALL the Mothers in Our Lives!

Mom and MB-5705Today, on Mother’s Day, I’m expressing gratitude to ALL the mothers in my life. While today each of us may focus on our own mother, we all know that there are many mothers who have touched our lives and made us the people we are.

We all have ‘adopted’ mothers. As children our adopted  mothers were the mothers of our friends and neighbors. As we grew up, they welcomed us into their homes. They fed us. They looked after us and probably and often made us feel as if we were one of their own brood.  Continue reading “Happy Mother’s Day to ALL the Mothers in Our Lives!” »

Jalapeño Infused Tequila

Jalapeno Infused Tequila After Two Weeks

Infuse your booze! Infusions are an inexpensive, simple way to create your own  “signature” cocktails at home.

When a festive cocktail is in order, I think jalapeño peppers and tequila. Select jalapeños which are small or medium in size. The younger peppers will have much more heat than the larger, older ones, which may show signs of shrivelling. Consider starting with only 2 or 3 peppers the first time if you do not want a strong infusion.

Continue reading “Jalapeño Infused Tequila” »

Rockstar Granola -With or Without a Recipe

Granola Recipe

Granola is one of the more simplistic baking endeavors. Yet, there are several granola recipes which have reached national notoriety. Ironically, the creators of these recipes are on the opposite ends of the country.

The first granola recipe from Eleven Madison restaurant in New York City, my adopted hometown. Yes, at the end of the 15 course, $295 per head prix-fixe dinner, you are presented with a mason jar of the house granola. It is an unexpected and lovely touch. You ration the hell out of that granola because it is probably the best you’ve ever had. And, you know you won’t be getting more anytime soon. Or ever. Continue reading “Rockstar Granola -With or Without a Recipe” »

Seven Tips for Using Miso

Miso PasteDo you have a tub of miso, a culinary time capsule, lurking in the depths of your fridge -neglected and long forgotten? If so, this post is for you!

During an ingredient lecture at the Natural Gourmet Institute, chef instructor, Olivia Roszkowski commented:

“You may have bought a tub of miso for a recipe and then wondered how you
will ever use it up. But, once you learn some tips for how to use it, you’ll
wonder how you ever cooked without it.”     – Chef Olivia

She is so right. Continue reading “Seven Tips for Using Miso” »

The Ultimate Bargain 3-Course Organic Brunch

Chickpea Crepe with Mango Sauce

New Yorkers love their brunch, or ‘Boozy Brunch’ as they are often promoted. This is no doubt fueled by their tendency towards late nights, the ‘my phone is my kitchen’ mindset and a restaurant-dense landscape. So, after living here almost nine years, I was surprised to find that I was in the dark about THE best brunch deal in the city -hands down! Case closed. Where is this brunch nirvana? Read on to find out. Continue reading “The Ultimate Bargain 3-Course Organic Brunch” »

White Bean Miso Soup

White Bean Miso Soup

You must try this White Bean Miso Recipe recipe at some point. Because at some point, it will be just what your body needs. Let me explain.

I first tried this soup during a baking class at Natural Gourmet Institute. After hours of baking and sampling, baking and sampling and more baking and sampling, the class was on a collective sugar buzz. Knowingly, the chef had made this miso soup to counterbalance the sugar. Satisfying, grounding and nourishing, the miso soup quickly became more popular than the baked goods. Ying and Yang. It worked. So, for these reasons, miso soup is comforting, not just on a cold day, but is generally a welcome treat on its own and especially after overconsumption. Continue reading “White Bean Miso Soup” »