I am a weekly personal chef for a lovely couple in La Grange. They like to eat healthy, with lots of flavor and no processed ingredients. I cook for the with lots of protein and bright fresh vegetables. I make an extra portion of each meal, and pack them up for his lunch, which makes it much easy for him to eat healthy at work, and avoid eating out so often. This week I made Thai Beef Curry with Roasted Turmeric Cauliflower, Oven Baked BBQ Ribs with Bacon Chipotle Baked Beans, Roasted Green Beans with Pine Nuts, Apricot Rosemary Glazed Chicken, Skinny Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Roasted Asparagus with Fennel Pollen. Eating fresh healthy food is helping him to lose weight and feel great! Eating well is so easy when you have a personal chef!
As a personal chef, I am always on the lookout for interesting seasoning blends, to elevate simple roasted vegetables, chicken or fish. One of my new favorites is Trader Joe’s Onion Salt. I had seen this, and passed it by, because I thought it was regular onion salt. I then realized that it is a really great blend of different onions, including chives and scallions. I have been using it on simple roasted potatoes, on baked salmon filets, on asparagus and roasted green beans. Recently I used it for croutons, which was a nice addition! Dried bread cubes, slowly cooked in butter and olive oil, with some smashed garlic cloves, and a liberal sprinkling of this onion salt. Delicious. This was for my regular clients in Chicago who are a family of four. She’s a busy mom always looking for time saving tips. Having a personal chef helps her keep it all together, with two cute active toddlers!
My longtime clients in Highland Park have used me as their personal chef for many years! They are currently on the Whole30 plan. In a nutshell, that means they are eating lots of meat, vegetables, fruit. Similar to a Paleo diet, the Whole30 plan includes no sugar, no legumes, no processed ingredients, no dairy. On this week’s menu was Balsamic Glazed Vegetables, Walnut Crusted Pork Tenderloin (tip: Walnuts do not stick to pork without something to hold the there. A sugar-free chutney would be perfect here.) I also made Banger Sausage Patties with Sweet Potato Mash and Caramelized Onions (Delicious! One note: caramelized onions take a long time. Not 15 minutes! They have to be cooked very slowly, on low heat until they are caramelized, which can take 45 minutes or an hour and half or so.) Watermelon Salad, Whole30 Sloppy Joe Bowls, Chia Pudding, Cilantro Lime Chicken, Shepherd’s Pie, Chimichurri Beef Kabobs were also on the menu! I also stocked their refrigerator with Whole30 compliant snacks, such as Deviled Eggs, Shrimp with Cocktail Sauce, Shredded Roasted Chicken Breast and lots of cut up raw vegetables! They always tell me how much easier Whole30 is to follow when you have a personal chef!
I have been blessed to cook for some wonderful retirees in Riverside for several years! They love American standard comfort food: Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Apple Pie, etc! On this week’s menu for them, I made Oven BBQ Meatballs, Lasagna, Oven Fried Chicken, and Blueberry Cobbler (I have used this recipe a million times from Epicurious. It’s called “Bill’s Blueberry Cobbler” and it’s really great; probably due to the large amount of butter! It makes it so crispy around the edges!) I always try to make a few nice fresh vegetables for the Mrs. (the Mr. only likes one vegetable: canned green beans! Which I am more than happy to make him!) But for her, I make simple, but unusual vegetable sides like Asparagus with Fennel Pollen and Pine Nuts, Zucchini and Summer Squash with Brown Butter and Rosemary, Green Beans with Caramelized Shallots and Roasted Grape Tomatoes.