I have many fond memories of working with my mom and my Grandma Mary in our big farm kitchen in Colorado as I was growing up. My Grandma Mary was the head chef of our Italian kitchen. My mom was the sous chef and I was their willing assistant. They not only taught me the basic fundamentals of cooking, but also the JOY of cooking.
I feel so blessed that as a personal chef with my own business, I’m getting the opportunity to “relive my childhood” through a very special mother and daughter here in Tucson. Please meet Sheryl and Galina (see their very cute picture). I’m not necessarily teaching them how to cook (because they already know how) but I’d like to think that I am teaching them the JOY of cooking together!
So far, we have cooked in their kitchen three times. Each time, I have introduced them to new, healthful recipes. That’s because Sheryl is adamant that she and her daughter prepare and eat healthful, fresh and deliciously prepared food. And they do! One of the many things that Sheryl and Galina love to do together is to shop at the farmers market at St. Phillips Plaza.
Today we cooked a healthful South East Asian Shrimp Fried Rice (see recipe) and Stuffed Italian Zucchini with Lean Organic Beef Topped with Tomatoes and Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese (see recipe).
If you’d like to experience the JOY of cooking, call or email me for more information. I can do group or private lessons in your home!
Southeast Asian Fried Rice
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 Tablespoon fish sauce
1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 Tablespoon chili paste (divided)
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 bunch green onions
2 tablespoons oil
2-2 ½ cups cooked brown rice
2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts or ¾ lb. shrimp
2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup red bell pepper, rough chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bacon slices cooked and crumbled, or ¼ cup lean ham
1. Combine first four ingredients in a bowl using ½ chili paste
2. Beat eggs with other half of chili paste in a separate bowl
3. Heat oil in large frying pan. Add cooked rice and stir fry for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from pan and wipe clean.
4. Add more oil to pan and heat. Add chicken or shrimp and cook through. Add combined liquid ingredients. Reduce heat and simmer for one minute. Add chicken mixture to rice mixture. Wipe pan clean again.
5. Add more oil to pan and heat. Add broccoli and red pepper and cook till tender. Add garlic and onions for about 1 minute or until fragrant.
6. Add chicken mixture to pan and stir until heated through. Remove and put in large bowl.
7. Wipe pan clean and coat with cooking spray. Add egg mixture and cook 30 seconds or until egg is set.
8. Transfer egg to a cutting board and chop.
9. Stir egg and bacon into rice mixture and serve!
2- 3 large zucchini cut lengthwise; seeds removed to create a “bowl”
1/2-3/4 lb. seasoned lean ground beef or Italian sausage
1 can diced tomatoes or your favorite tomato sauce
Seasoned bread crumbs
Grated Parmesan cheese
1. Season beef with salt, pepper and your favorite Italian seasoning and cook completely. As you are cooking the beef break it up so it is “crumbly.” If using sausage, cook through and break it up as well.
2. Pre-heat oven to 375. Spray baking dish with cooking spray.
3. Place prepped zucchini in baking dish. Fill zucchini with meat mixture. Top with tomatoes, breadcrumbs and cheese.
4. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until zucchini is tender.
For a southwest flair, season beef with chili powder and cumin and substitute diced tomatoes with your favorite salsa. Top with cheddar cheese or pepper jack!