Becoming the Sassy Chef

March 11, 2008 at 2:22 am 1 comment

I have gotten the entertaining bug.  I’m so excited to have a cool yet comfortable crib where I can have people over, and I’m even more excited to have a BF who likes hosting friends for brunch or dinner or whatever. 

This gastronomic grooving with guests has revealed an unexpected facet of my personality: the Sassy Chef.  Jeepers!  Who saw that coming??  A little history: my mum is a cook, a good one.  She’s always made fresh bread and created yummy meals on the spot from just the ingredients she had on hand.  I never thought I had the talent.  In fact, it had become standing a joke between us.  She could never understand how her culinary genes bypassed my DNA. 

Come to find out, they didn’t!  My previously dormant talent was first activated with a brunch my BF and I hosted at the beginning of the year.  My girlfriend and her husband joined us on a Saturday morning.  Since she was following a doctor-monitored weight loss plan, I wanted to keep it healthy for all of us.  I completely modified a frittata recipe: swapping eggs for eggwhites, using unsweetened vanilla almond milk instead of regular – or even skim – milk, adding veggies like bell peppers, replacing full-fat cheese with reduced fat, and more.  I served it with salsa, fresh cut fruit from the grocery store, and two kinds of Hungry Girl’s Yum Yum Brownie Muffins that I topped with a ricotta coconut frosting of my own invention, made with fat-free ricotta cheese, fat-free Cool Whip and Torani sugar-free coconut syrup.

It was a hit!   Next up was Girls’ Night, with my Go Go Guacamole, Rockin’ Rice Pudding, and Mock Sangria.  That showed me I could use ingredients I had on hand to create something yummy, just like my mum does.  How super cool is that!?!?

Now I face a new challenge.  This week, my BF and I are hosting four other people for dinner before we head out to a nifty jazz place in town.  The trick is that one of our guests has very strict food requirements.  She can’t have any form of sugar (real or fake), eggs, grains or additives.  She can eat meat, potatoes, veggies, and red wine.  What can I make that will satisfy her needs but still taste great and be enjoyable for the rest of the group?

I’ve come up with a slow-cooker beef stew with red wine.  I will serve it with salad (that she can eat) and cheddar biscuits (that she can’t).  I will probably go the semi-homemade route with this meal, primarily because we’re having it on a Thursday night right after work, which doesn’t leave much prep time.  For this meal, my fun and funky side will come out in dessert.  I am going to make something delish with Stevia.  Haven’t found the right recipe yet, but I’m researching.

One thing that’s energized me in my lifestyle change is the challenge of meeting multiple objectives: exercising and eating clean and healthy on the cheap while also making it fun and tasty.  Not always easy to do!  This meal is a microcosm of my lifestyle change in that it presents a number of sometimes competing challenges, and again I’m energized. 

Not to worry, I’ll share the details and pics at the end of the week.  Any thoughts you have are welcome, too!

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Entry filed under: about me, clean eating, friends. Tags: , , .

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