Many people are under the impression that chefs regularly dine on filet mignon, fine wine, and cherries jubilee. The thing is, after a long day in the kitchen most chefs like to keep it simple. A hearty bowl of ramen noodles, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or graham crackers and chocolate milk. I’m totally serious; you can read all about it on Huffington Post.
Like my fellow chefs, I like to keep my meals uncomplicated… but a little healthier. Eating well-rounded meals helps fuel me with “ferret energy” all day long. Here’s a snapshot of my personal nutrient-packed menu plus an easy Turkey, Cauliflower, and Butter Bean Pasta recipe:
- Avocado Toast: 2 slices DeLand Bakery millet toast topped with ½ of a mashed avocado, sea salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper
- Amazing Oats: Rolled oats, banana, and water (microwaved so the banana dissolves and gets creamy) + 1 Tbsp. tahini or sunflower butter, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and chia seeds
- Superfood Salad: Whatever I have on hand—salad greens, spinach, sprouts, bell pepper, onion, quinoa, rice, beans, chickpeas, broccoli - all tossed together in a big bowl with lemon-tahini dressing. I love mixing in sauerkraut or pickles for added interest.
- Seafood Salad: Cooked wild-caught cod (or any leftover fish I have on hand from the night before) mixed with ½ of a mashed avocado over greens or on millet toast—it's my take on tuna salad.
- Curry in a hurry: Mixed vegetables simmered in coconut milk with curry spices—served over brown rice, quinoa or rice noodles
- Turkey, Cauliflower, and Butter Bean Pasta: This is a basic recipe that can be tweaked hundreds of ways. Many nights I'll keep it vegetarian and substitute the turkey with whatever vegetables are in season. Feel free to make your own modifications!
Turkey, Cauliflower, and Butter Bean Pasta (Gluten Free)
1 lb. short pasta, such as penne (I use Tinkyada brown rice pasta)
Cooking oil of choice
1 lb. ground turkey (dark meat preferable)
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
4-5 whole thyme sprigs
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 can butter beans, drained and rinsed
Few handfuls of baby kale
Salt + pepper to taste
2 oz. dry goat cheese (or parmesan), optional
1. Boil pasta according to package directions (reserve pasta water for Step 3).
2. Heat oil in a large skillet. Cook turkey until it’s no longer pink, stirring and breaking it up. Season with oregano, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Remove and set aside.
3. Pour a bit more oil into the same pan. Add thyme and cauliflower. Cook over medium-high heat until cauliflower is nicely browned. Add a bit of the pasta water to the pan and let the cauliflower steam until tender.
4. Add beans, kale and turkey into the pan with the cauliflower. Cover and cook over medium heat until the kale is wilted and the dish is warmed through.
5. Drain pasta and toss with oil. Spoon pasta into bowls and serve with a generous scoop of turkey mixture. Top with cheese, if desired.
Veganize it: Leave out the turkey and cheese for a vegan alternative. The butter beans and pasta provide a complete protein source, so this can be a filling and nutritious meal without the meat.