Growing up with a nutritionist for a mother, I spent a lot of years rebelling against the low-sugar, low-fat, extra-vitamin-and-mineral food I was forced to eat. Now at 33 I'm grateful for Mom's example as I create and adapt recipes for lighter, leaner menus.
My diet consists mostly of fresh fruits and veggies, chicken, fish and whole-grain pasta. When I adapt recipes, I use milk substitutes like Almond Breeze, coconut oil instead of butter or shortening, egg substitute or flax meal in place of eggs and wheat or spelt flour instead of bleached white. I also don't ever, ever use white sugar.
My favorite things to cook
Thai food, cookies, pasta, marinades for grilled chicken and fish
My favorite family cooking traditions
Mom is originally from the Philipines, so traditional meals include lumpia, pancit and sinigang na manok. A few years ago, a lovely Thai lady married my grandfather and taught me to cook traditional pad thai noodles, red curry and my favorite Tom Kha Gai soup!
My cooking triumphs
I recently discovered a sensational sugar substitute that is all-natural and contains only one-quarter of the calories of regular sugar. As it comes in brown, powdered, maple and granular, I can use it for baking, sweetening tea and coffee and anywhere else I'd use regular sugar.
Shortly after I found it, I adapted a carrot cake recipe to contain only about a quarter of the calories and fat of regular carrot cake. I took it to work and got rave reviews from even the hard-core junk-food junkies! I'll never use white sugar or chemical sugar substitutes again!
My cooking tragedies
Ha! Take your pick! Casserole even the dog won't eat; cookies with less flavor than cardboard; gooey, glue-like Alfredo sauce; a soft pretzel fiasco that had me cleaning the kitchen for days -- it's a bumpy road to good cooking!