Recipe Share with Theresa Albert
Recipe Share is a weekly feature on Recipes.ca where we profile culinary experts or public figures in Canada who have a passion for cooking. Each individual answers a set of questions and shares one of their favourite recipes with our community.
This week we're chatting with Theresa Albert, nutritionist, author and food communicator. Check out her website at www.myfriendinfood.com. If you're a fan of Theresa (like we are) you will definitely want to check Ace Your Health.
What did you have for breakfast today? I try to focus on protein in the morning which helps sustain my energy all day. Today, I opened a can of tuna and plopped it onto fresh greens from my garden but it could just have easily been a muesli, an egg white omelet or poached egg.
What's your specialty dish? My specialty is never making the same thing twice. (Which is a source of grumbling in my house because if you truly love a dish that I have made, asking to have it again is futile. I came, I conquered, I ate, I wrote it down, I moved on.)
Name something you can’t cook: I am a terrible baker because I feel so guilty using all that gratuitous butter and sugar so I skimp. The end result is a dry, way too healthy, half baked, half sawdust dish that I end up eating myself (with loud mmmmmm sounds in an attempt to fool me that its delicious).
What is your can’t-live-without kitchen tool/appliance? I can make do with just about anything in any kitchen, six years as a personal chef hopping from ill equipped to over equipped homes taught me how. If I had to choose one tool as a favourite, though, it would be a hand blender to puree.
What is your secret ingredient? Joy. Cooking is a source of inspiration for me, I can always tell when I am in a funk by the fact that I have lost my will to cook. When that happens, I know I need a vacation/new market to explore and a few fabulous meals to reignite my fire.
Who taught you to cook? Ma Tante Louise in Quebec was constantly cooking or baking and, when we visited, it was always a huge family affair so the result was something to behold. But really, it was my mom who got the ball rolling. She was self taught and had my sisters and I in the kitchen from day one. I did go to George Brown College to refine my knowledge of the culinary arts but the inspiration is always rooted in those before formal education.
What is your favourite restaurant? There would be no way to choose, I haven’t tried them all. My favourite meal (so far) has to be the one I had in France at an Inn called Moulin de Roc.
How do you unwind? I have no idea how I unwind, I will let you know when I figure it out.
What would be your last meal on earth? Scrambled eggs with guacamole.
What is your favourite beverage? Jasmine tea, I have it every morning and never tire.
What is the best advice you ever received?
Pick a path, don’t trifle over which one, you can always change your mind.
What is your philosophy in the kitchen? Keep it real (the food, the fun and the company).
Guilty pleasure? not for public consumption. [Ed: NOW we're curious!]
What is your comfort food: I love eggs. I could eat them in any form at any time. When I am sick or sad, a fried egg sandwich with butter and ketchup is the thing I crave.
.. and your least favourite food: Eggplant. I will eat it if put in front of me but the texture is a titch gag worthy so I won’t seek it out.
Favourite cookbook: I don’t use cookbooks, the formulas are too restrictive. That said, I do love the big coffee table French Laundry or Susur Lee type books that have pretty pictures to inspire but too many ingredients to be a reality.
Who is your favourite food writer or blogger: Michael Pollan keeps me on my toes and Mark Bittman keeps it real.
What is your greatest culinary achievement? Doing it daily with joy and inspiration.
What’s next on your must-try list? I think some more raw recipes need to be added to my repertoire.
If you could have anyone cook for you who would you choose and why? Walt Disney. Walt loved grilled cheese and realizing unrealistic dreams, as I do. It would be more about the moment and less about the meal.
What recipe are you sharing with us today, and why? Pesto Kale and Cabbage Salad - I love kale but I know that it can be an unusual vegetable for many because they don’t know how to prepare it. It is an extremely healthy food that can be delicious! I had a similar dish at a friend’s house for lunch and then came home and recreated it to suit my taste buds and ingredients on hand. It is this kind of ripple effect that makes food so intimate and yet infinite.
Thank you Theresa, for sharing a slice of your life with us today!