I am a personal chef in Elmhurst on a weekly basis for a lovely couple who have decided they want to try the Weight Watchers program after too much holiday indulgence! Their new program will be nice and smooth, now that their refrigerator is stocked full of healthy choices. Included this week on their menu, was Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry, Tuscan Sausage and Bean Soup, Herb Roasted Lamb Chops, Mediterranean Chicken Breasts, Healthy Greek Nachos, Asian Zucchini Noodles, Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Butternut Squash, Strawberry Spinach Salad, Low Carb Lemon Cottage Pancakes, Bacon Egg Zucchini and Cheese Muffins, Chocolate Fudge Cookie Bites, and Chocolate Cakes with Vanilla Cream.

 

“Why does your food taste so good?” That was one of the most unusual, sincere compliments I recently received from my clients who I cook for as a personal chef in Naperville. He is the dad in a busy household full of teenagers and pre-teens. They wanted me to make regular weeknight meals; comfort food that the kids would love. One of the dishes I made was BBQ Meatballs. The dad thought, “Oh. Ok, that will probably be good, but nothing special.” He said he wasn’t expecting them to be so good. As a personal chef, I am always trying to bring my cooking to the next level, even if it’s a humble dish like meatloaf,  BBQ meatballs, or mashed potatoes. One of the ways I do this is by thinking how I can add Umami to a dish. If you’re not familiar with the term, it is a category of taste (in addition to sweet, sour, salty and bitter) that is almost undefinable. It is what makes you say “Mmmm” when you eat. It adds a depth and richness. Some items with natural umami are beef, mushrooms, cooked tomatoes, mushrooms and anchovies. There are lots of Umami items on the market now; mushroom powders, roasted tomatoes. I love thinking of ways to take the food to the next level and my personal chef clients seem to love it too!

“Fish sauce!  You put it in the meatloaf!?” Yes. I certainly did. I put it in the meatloaf. I know; it sounds crazy. Just trust me. 

As a personal chef, I am looking for ways to add complexity to a dish. To deepen the flavors. To make you say “Mmm. Why is this so good?” when you taste it. I don’t want it to be unfamiliar. Just better. Having read extensively about Umami, I am looking for ways to add it to dishes where you normally wouldn’t find it. I have worked as a personal chef in Glen Ellyn for a lovely family who loves good comfort food, but with a healthy flavorful slant. They love this meatloaf. Lots of aromatics, reduced tomato paste, a mix of meats, and a tiny bit of fish sauce make it really delicious. 

I cook for a lovely lady in Burr Ridge who is in her mid eighties; she always wants a large portion to share, so that when her son visits, they can have a nice easy dinner by just heating it up. He is a meat and potatoes kind of guy, and she loves stick to your ribs comfort food. This week I made Chicken Pot Pie, Mississippi Roast, BBQ Shredded Pork and Roasted Lemon Garlic Chicken.

 

 

My single guy client in Hinsdale is an avid exerciser, and works very long hours. He eats Paleo, and likes lots of protein. Each time I cook for him, I leave him a nice big portion of pan grilled filet mignon to snack on throughout the week after his workouts. I also cook shredded chicken breast, hard boiled eggs, mini lamb chops as well as lots of fresh roasted vegetables. All he has to do is heat and eat to keep his energy up! Having healthy options that his personal chef made makes his healthy lifestyle very manageable, even with his busy schedule. Helping busy people eat well is very rewarding for this personal chef!

 

 

 

 

My couple that needed a personal chef in Hinsdale asked for lots of spice, tons of flavor, very healthy food. (And nachos and brownies for the kids!)

This week I made for them:

Halibut with Thai Curry Coconut Sauce

Roasted Haricot Verts with Cherry Tomatoes

Basmati Rice

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Short Grain Brown Rice with Ginger and Garlic

Sauteed Asparagus and Snow Peas

Stuffed Poblano Peppers with Black Beans, Quinoa and Queso

North African Fire Roasted Tomato Soup with Sweet Potatoes and Kale

Mixed Greens Salad with Fig Vinaigrette

Nachos

Brownies

Eating healthy at home is much easier with a personal chef that comes to your home!

 

 

 

I work as a personal chef in Naperville on a weekly basis for a very fun family who is always having guests! They were expecting a houseful in the next couple of days, so I stocked up their refrigerator with good dinners for them to heat and eat. Included was Pasta with Short Rib Ragu, Garlic Bread, Oven Baked BBQ Ribs, Baked Beans with Bacon and Red Onions, Roasted Broccolini, Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Asparagus, Parmesan Chicken, Roasted Green Beans, Mixed Greens Salad with Dark Cherry Vinaigrette, Cinnamon Donut Muffins, Brown Butter Marshmallow Rice Krispie Treats! 

 

 

 

A few of the dishes I made for my Glen Ellyn personal chef clients: Herbed Pork Roast with Bacon and Maple, Roasted Ratatouille, Sicilian Minestrone with Chicken Sausage, Chicken Mole, Shrimp Fra Diavolo.

Having a refrigator stocked with healthy convenient meals is easy when you hire an in-home cooking service like a personal chef!

 

 

I have been working as a personal chef in Glen Ellyn for a lovely super busy family. The picture shows her extra refrigerator; tonight’s dinner was in the kitchen refrigerator, ready for her to heat in the oven when everyone got home. Very easy weeknight meals for this mom of 3! She leaves the menu planning to me; she has enough to do! She is a busy mom trying to get dinner on the table, and having a personal chef has been just what she needs now!

Chicken Saltimbocca, Martha Stewart’s Oven Baked Creamy Polenta, Roasted Broccolini with Garlic and Red Pepper Flakes were on the menu this week for my clients in Riverside! They love bright bold flavors, healthy but a little touch of richness is welcome!  They love having a personal chef to make things easy and tasty!  Also icluded on their menu for this week was:

Shrimp Coconut Caramel 

Cuban Picadillo

Sheet Pan Harissa Chicken with Leeks, Potatoes and Yogurt 

Mediterranean Tuna Salad with Whole Grain Crackers and Crudites

Chocolate Chip Banana Coconut Cookies