Secrets of a Personal Chef

On 10/24/2010, in My Health, by HCC

With nearly 15 years of experience in the food industry, chef Vickie Kirlick of Traveling Gourmet in the New York metro area has learned a trick or two.  As a personal chef she uses her knowledge on a daily basis to cook for specialized diets from vegan to low cholesterol to specialized medical diets.  We got the chance to sit down with chef Vickie and gain some of her knowledge.  Here are five useful secrets from a personal chef.

1) One of the best staples in the culinary pantry are canned legumes.  The possibility of uses are almost endless…

2) Many people eat too much animal protein and most people don’t know what a serving of meat protein is.  It is actually only 3 ounces which is the size of a deck of playing cards.

3) Easiest way to de-seed a pomegranate:  Cut the pomegranate in half across the middle of the fruit.  Hold the fruit cut side down with one hand over a large bowl.   Take a wooden spoon in the other hand and hit the rind of the pomegranate with several HARD whacks!  The seeds and juice will fall into the bowl with very little pith attached.

4) The more colors (vegetables and fruits) a person consumes, the healthier their diet.

5) The pressure cooker is an invaluable piece of equipment for the cook who wants to eat healthy but has little time to spend in the kitchen.  Meats, fish, grains, soups, vegetables and desserts can be prepared in as little as half the time it would take to cook by conventional methods.  Foods retain more of their water-soluble vitamins and minerals when cooked in a pressure cooker as compared to cooking on top of the stove or in the oven.  Plus foods can be prepared in the pressure cooker with out the use of additional fat.

As a bonus here is a seasonal pressure cooker recipe from chef Vickie’s recipe book.  Bon appetit!

Autumn Quinoa Serves 4

1/4 cup pecans, roughly chopped

1 cup quinoa rinsed and drained

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 teaspoon ginger, minced

1/2 cup carrots, small dice

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1/4 cup orange juice

1/2 cup dried cranberries

In the pressure cooker, over medium heat, lightly toast the pecans and set them aside.  In the cooker heat the olive oil and stir in the ginger and carrots,  Add the quinoa, chicken broth, orange juice and cranberries.

Lock the lid in place, bring to high pressure.  Stabilize the pressure and cook for 9 minutes.  Release the pressure.  Remove the lid and stir in the reserved pecans.  Serve.

This can be cooked in a conventional 2 quart saucepan.  Once the quinoa, broth, juice and cranberries are added, bring to a boil.  Lower heat to a simmer and cover.  Simmer for 20 minutes.  Allow the quinoa to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Calories 270 Total Fat 9 g  Sodium 317 mg  Total Carbohydrate 48 g Dietary Fiber 5 g  Sugars 15 g  Protein 8 g

1 Response » to “Secrets of a Personal Chef”

  1. Laura says:

    Glad to see pressure cookers finally being seen for what they are… fast, healthy cooking pans! If you would like more pressure cooker recipes, please pop over for a visit..
    making pressure cookers hip again, one recipe at a time

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