Have you seen the movie Julie and Julia? Or read the book? Julie Powell became an internet celebrity with her 2004 blog recording her yearlong adventure cooking every recipe in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I am taking on a similar challenge, only I am blogging my way through a very healthy cookbook! And I will learn to master the art of healthy cooking! The book is called Eat For Health by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, M.D. I will cook every recipe start to finish in four weeks just as they are laid out in the book. I will write about the recipes, show you pictures, and tell you how my SAD (Standard American Diet) eating, carnivorous husband likes them too. (See archives below.) He is behind me 100%!!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Day 1 Healthy Made Delicious

Chef AJ received an Easy Bake Oven at the age of 7 and has not stopped making food since. Following a plant based diet over 32 years, AJ is currently the Executive Vegan Pastry Chef at Sante in Los Angeles. She has been a Culinary Instructor in the Los Angeles area for the past 10 years. For 3 years she volunteered at the Braille Institute teaching healthy cooking to the blind, many of whom lost their sight due to Type II diabetes.A graduate of the Living Light Culinary Arts Institute,Chef AJ loves to inspire people to eat healthier by showing them that it can be easy, delicious and fun!!! She uses primarily organic fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts and beans (her favorite bean being the cocoa bean). All of AJ's vegan creations are free of all processed ingredients including sugar, flour, oil and salt. AJ lives in Los Angeles, CA with her handsome vegan husband Charles and 2 rescued mutts, Ginger & Sparky.She has had the opportunity to cook for many celebrities and television shows. In her spare time, she designs T-shirts, her favorite one proudly saying "My IQ is higher than my cholesterol". She will be teaching in Austin with Rip and Dr. Essesltyn several week for the Whole Foods Immersion program, proudly wearing her new T-shirt which says "I am hotter than Rip and funnier than Jeff Novick".Chef AJ is a member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine and a speaker for the National Wellness Institute where will be giving monthly webinars for them throughout the year. In November she will be speaking to 350 health professionals at the Cardiac Health Inprovement Program in Loma Linda.In her spare time, chef AJ volunteers teaching healthy food preparation classes for Black Women's Wellness and many other churches and organiztions where she inspires people to eat healthier.She just released a cooking DVD called Healthy Made Delicious with Matthew Lederman, M.D. of Exsalus Health and Wellness Center where she is the Consulting Chef.
After spending 30 days blogging (and eating) our way through Dr. Fuhrman's book Eat for Health, Haze and I felt fabulous. Then, Saturday night we ate at a restaurant with no Fuhrman Friendly choices on the menu. The food was good but we could definitely taste lots of butter, salt and sugar! So we spent Sunday recovering from the very rich food. I am sooooooooo excited to get back on track--and what better way to start then with some yummy Chef AJ/Dr. Fuhrman Friendly food!! Here is what we had:
Creamy Corn Chowder
Chocolate Fundue
And a very special TOP SECRET recipe called Hail to the Kale Salad
The Creamy Corn Chowder was soooooooooooo incredibly easy to make and, in Julia Child's words, simplicity itself! It literally takes about 5 minutes to make. On her DVD, AJ says that she usually serves it cold, but we decided to warm it up. We topped it with some sun dried tomatoes, and some spicy guacamole and it was just luxurious and rich. Very hearty. We gave it an A-
The Hail to the Kale Salad was absolutely tasty, creamy and luscious!! TONS of flavors going on there. Dr. Fuhrman has 2 kale recipes that we loved (California Creamed Kale and Orange Sesame Kale)--this one is right up there--if not better! WOW!! This recipe will be in Chef AJ's vegan cookbook that will be out soon. But she has agreed to let me share this wonderful recipe with you. (See below) We both gave it an A+ This is a recipe for everyone--kids included. It is that good!!
It's good to know that even though we eat healthy--we are NOT missing out on treats. The Chocolate Fundue is rich, chocolatey, and just shamelessly good! I loved dipping the apples in it, but you could use any other fruit too (strawberries would be good in the summer!) What a creamy good treat!! We gave it an A+
Chef AJ's Hail to the Kale Salad
This recipe will appear in Chef AJ's upcoming vegan cookbook, but she has agreed to give us a sneak peek!! This recipe is awesome and very easy to make. We will be making it lots!!
2 large heads of curly kale (about 24 ounces)
sesame seeds, hemp seeds, peanuts, almonds or cashews (optional)
1 cup raw almond butter (raw, unsweetened and unsalted)
1 cup coconut water (or regular water)
¼ cup fresh lime juice (about 2) and zest
2 cloves garlicf
resh, peeled ginger (approximately 1” or ¾ of an ounce)
2 tablespoons low sodium Tamari
4 pitted dates (soaked in water if not soft)
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
In a high powered blender combine all ingredients until smooth and creamy. Remove the thick, larger stems from the kale and place in a large bowl. Pour 2 cups of the dressing over the kale and using an Ulu blade, massage the dressing into the kale while using the Ulu to finely chop the kale. Sprinkle with seeds or nuts before serving, if desired. Like a woman, this only gets better with age. This dressing also makes a delicious peanut dip for fresh veggies but you need to cut way back on the water and add some cilantro. http://www.chefajshealthykitchen.com/
copyright 2009


Heidi said...

I am not sure how this one works - I had the Eat For Health book and could find/do the recipes in there, but where do we get the recipes for the food you are doing now you don't give them - for instance, the corn chowder???

Jana Diedrich said...

You can order Chef AJ's DVD Healthy Made Delicious by emailing her at: chefaj@att.net It comes with a recipe booklet.
At some point the DVD will be available at Whole Foods too. It is $29.92 for the DVD and booklet. Here is a sample of the DVD: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABtdPdkBhro

Chef AJ also has a vegan cookbook coming out soon!

Sorry for the confusion! Let me know if you have other questions. I will be blogging another Dr. Fuhrman book next!


Sam said...

Hi, great site. Love the story. Feel heatlhy er already. Will follow you. Keri (a.k.a. Sam)

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Roothy said...

So the kale is uncooked? Because in your picture, it looks cooked...

Jana Diedrich said...

In her recipe she says to leave the kale raw, but I cooked it. I love this dish and still make it all the time!