While cooking for seniors, I do a lot of things differently than I normally do. Many times, their grown children are the ones who hire me to be their personal chef for seniors in their lives, whether it’s for their aging parents or in-laws.  I was recently hired to be a personal chef for a lovely senior lady in Orland Park. Her daughter had had the gas disconnected, due to the fact that her mother has dementia; she still is in her home and is able to be somewhat independent. Her caregiver is able to just pop the meals I have made into the microwave for her to heat them. I give instructions on how to heat properly, so there is no danger of the food becoming dried out. I package the food in microwave safe containers, which makes it easy for my seniors as well as their caregivers to heat and eat. My senior personal chef clients are getting good nutrition, without any danger or bother of heating with the oven or stovetop.spaghetti-meatballs

Most of my clients who have had me as their personal chef are eating healthier in the New Year. Some of them are following a paleo diet, some are following the Whole 30 eating plan, some happen to be gluten free or diabetic. It seems that they all are in the mood for healthy flavorful soups! Depending on a few ingredients, I can adapt most healthy soups to be paleo, or Whole30 compliant. 

Here is one I made yesterday for a client who needed a personal chef in Palos Heights. He is diabetic and gluten free. This is Korean Pork and Tofu soup made with red miso, in a light flavorful bone broth; garnished with lots of crunchy bright ingredients like scallions, cilantro, sliced radishes. 



Have you tried harissa? It is a North African chile paste made with peppers, vinegar. Sometimes it’s very spicy, there are some that are milder in flavor. I have used it for long time in cooking. I think of it as far more than a condiment. It adds depth and flavor to all kinds of dishes, where you wouldn’t expect it. I have made Harissa Roasted Chicken, Harissa Roasted Vegetables.; I have added it to dips and sauces. One of my favorite recipes that always surprises people is a spicy carrot dip. It has cooked pureed carrots (bear with me, it gets better), lots of garlic, cumin, other spices as well as harissa. It is delicious with crackers or crudités. Everyone loves it; I have made it for holiday parties and gatherings. One of my clients who has had me as her personal chef in Hinsdale for years, had me make it for an after school snack for her kids. 

Harissa is really versatile; I am finding more and more unusual ways to make it for my personal chef clients. You’ll be hearing more and more about it. Harissa will be the new Sriracha of 2017!







As  a personal chef for the last thirteen years, January is always the month when I get phone calls from people looking for healthy meal solutions, eating clean, going low grain, carageenan free diets. This year, many of the calls have been about the Whole 30 plan. The Whole 30 cookbook has a lot in common with paleo diets, as well as gluten free diets in some ways. As with all of these eating plans, I always find if I focus on what my client CAN eat, as opposed to the “off limits” food, it’s not nearly as daunting as it seems. In this case, the Whole 30 plan is sugar free, grain free, legume free, alcohol free and soy free. That is the nutshell version. This week, my clients started the Whole 30 plan, but needed a personal chef to prepare it! That’s where I came in. Here is what I made:

Grassfed Beef Chili, Moroccan Chicken Breasts with Cilantro Dipping Sauce, Blue Ribbon Country Captain Chicken. Grilled Lime Shrimp,Mashed Potatoes, Coconut Almond Green Beans, Moroccan Orange Salad, Baba Ganoush, Shredded Poached Chicken, Hasselback Potatoes with Ghee and Garlic, and Deviled Eggs. 

It was all delicious, bright and favorful! I don’t think anyone in that house will be feeling deprived this week!