02Jul

How to be your own personal chef

42-20739268 I recently received an email from someone asking me if it was possible to cook all of the items on my free sample menu planner in one day.  This is basically what I do when I cook for a client as a personal chef – so yes, it is possible to cook up to 5 meals in one day and then refrigerate or freeze them for later.  I gave her some tips but I thought that this is something that a lot of people wonder about but don’t know how to implement.

If you are very busy during the week but have time over the weekend or another day during the week to cook several meals, this may be something that will help you eat healthy throughout the week without a lot of cooking during the work week.

I’ve been a personal chef in the Washington D.C. and Frederick, MD area for over three years so all of these tips are based on experience.  Let me know if you have other ideas – I’d love to hear from you.

Plan ahead:

This is imperative.  You need a plan of action in order to accomplish the amount of cooking that is needed to create 5 entrees and 5 side dishes in one day.  This is the main reason I make my menu planners – so that you don’t have to do the planning!

You can see the different kinds of menu planners I offer for different diets here.

Find the recipes and print: If you want to do your own planning, you’ll want to find about 4 or 5 recipes for main dishes that your family will enjoy.  Some entrees may have a built in side dish – like casseroles or one pot meals.  But if you want additional side dishes, find recipes for these as well and pair them with your entrees for the week.

If you can, print or photocopy the recipes.  If you have sheet protectors, you can use these to protect the recipes.  If you don’t want to photocopy, just place a bookmark in your cookbook.

When looking for recipes, try to find entrees that can be made in 30 minutes or less and side dishes that can be made in 20 minutes or less.  In other words, don’t pick a casserole dish with five different steps for one of your dishes on a cook day.

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13Mar

Personal Chef Services available in Frederick, Maryland

Risotto with Artichokes and Leeks

Risotto with Artichokes and Leeks

Coming home late from work, Beth walks into her home with a toddler in tow, and remembers with a flash
that she had her personal chef come and cook meals for her family today.  A sigh of relief and a feeling of excitement fill her body as she looks forward to trying the delicious meals awaiting her in the refrigerator.

Her husband comes home just as she is heating up some of the meals for them to enjoy for dinner.  Everything looked so good, it was hard to decide what to try first.  Without having to cook anything, they settle down to the table and enjoy their meal together with their daughter.

This is the kind of experience that I give people when I cook for them as a personal chef.  I started my business, Sarah’s HeART of Cooking Personal Chef Services in 2006 and quickly started cooking full time.  However, I also became pregnant in March of 2007, slowing me down quite a bit, to say the least.

Last year I continued cooking for a few of my clients but I didn’t go back full time like before my pregnancy.  I also started my online service, the Nourishing Foods Menu Planner, so that I could start to serve people from home and on a wider scale.

My family and I have been living in Berkeley Springs, WV, but as of the end of this March, we will be moving to Frederick, Maryland.  My husband is from the Baltimore area so one reason why we are moving is to be closer to his family. Once we move, I will once again cook for my clients on a regular basis.  I am also accepting new clients so if you are looking for someone to do all the work and you live in or near Frederick, give me a  buzz.

One of my clients from Arlington, Virginia told me that I was the only personal chef she could find in the area that was willing to work with her limited diet instead of a fixed menu.  Because of a health condition, she had a long list of foods that she couldn’t eat.  When we started working together I used her “good” list and created a menu that worked for her body as well as her taste buds.

Indian Style Eggs

Indian Style Eggs

Another client who I cooked for last year who suffers from congestive heart failure said that the first personal chef he approached wasn’t willing to “sacrifice taste” by making salt-free food to cater to his low-sodium diet.  I created a menu for him with low-sodium foods and made meals that were still very tasty.

I also have many clients who simply want to eat healthy and nutritious meals.  They don’t have time to plan, shop and cook their meals because of a work schedule and enjoy having this done for them in the safety of their own home.

For me I love being able to give people the gift of healthy, organic, home-cooked meals free of preservatives and chemicals.  Many people simply don’t have the time or desire to cook and end up eating restaurant food or frozen meals.  Unfortunately, this diet can affect one’s health.  I offer a great alternative – home-cooked meals without having to do any of the work.  My clients love it!

Underlying my services is a deep belief that the quality of the food we consume is an intrinsic part of our well-being.  Food affects us on more levels than just the physical – it nourishes our hearts, minds and our spirits!  Furthermore, it offers us deep healing qualities that one can find only by eating certain foods.  To me, it is very amazing to think of the bounty that the earth gives us every day in order to nourish and heal our bodies.  This philosophy coupled with my wide knowledge of cooking for limited diets makes my service unique.

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