BB: How long have you been a chef, and what is your relationship with food?
I’ve been a chef for nearly a decade and am now so excited to be the first ever Weight Watchers Chef. My job is to show people that eating healthy isn’t about deprivation, but an opportunity to use fresh, delicious ingredients prepared simply. I believe that learning how to cook is a fundamental skill to losing weight and living a healthy life. For me, healthy cooking always incorporates three main concepts:
- Healthy doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice flavor or comfort.
- It’s important that food is not only delicious, but practical and simple to prepare. That means ingredients that are widely available with simple techniques that don’t require a huge time commitment.
- We eat with our eyes first and I believe in preparing food that not only tastes delicious but looks amazing too.
BB: What spring and summer produce should we be incorporating into our diets?
Spring is a perfect time of year to experiment in the kitchen and try new recipes because the season brings with it an abundance of produce that’s vibrant, flavorful and healthy. I love cooking with fruits and veggies, because they fill you up and keep you satisfied. That’s why they’re key ingredients to Simple Start –the two-week starter plan from Weight Watchers that doesn’t involve counting or tracking.
My favorite spring veggie is asparagus. To make sure you get the freshest and most flavorful, make sure the stalks are rigid with tight tips. You can refrigerate asparagus for up to four days by wrapping ends of stalks in wet paper towel and placing in plastic bag. Asparagus is one of those green veggies that can be bitter because of the sulfur compounds. I love grilling it to enhance the flavor, while suppressing some of the unpleasant bitterness typically experienced after steaming these types of veggies. To properly grill asparagus, make sure to remove all excess moisture with a towel. You can then drizzle a small amount of olive oil or pan spray, which will help your favorite seasoning adhere, while helping you to get a nice char on your grilled asparagus. If all of the water is not removed, then the oil won’t stick and your asparagus will not be able to char.