Ask the Chefs

It is our mission to help our community by being of service to those who need guidance in their culinary adventures.  For those that are stuck in a rut, and are not able to enjoy the foods that you wish you could, let us know.  Tell us what your dietary restrictions are and we will work to come up with delicious solutions that fit your needs.

Whether you’re an individual living with a restricted diet, a loved one or friend of one, or an industry professional looking to better your menu and engage all the potential customers that your business is missing out on, we are here to help you just the same.

We are here to help you “Make Life Better One Meal at a Time” whether it’s your or someone you know!

You can submit a video of your situation or a letter letting us know what you want to eat and what your special diet consists of.  Our goal is to enhance the foods that you can eat and not dwell on the ones that you can’t.  Together we will make the world a better place.

If submitting a letter you can do so in the form provided below.  If we need more information to best answer your questions or concern we will email you.  If you prefer a phone call and don’t do email, let us know and we will reach out to you ASAP.  For submission of videos, send us a contact below stating that you would like to do a video submission, an auto response email will come back for you to submit it for our review.

Lastly, we respect your confidentially, it is your choice as to what we call you in a response.  Should you like to remain anonymous be sure to state that!  If not your name will be used.  Example:  Nick Quay of Miami asked us:  “Chefs, I cannot have dairy from cows and I am a Type II Diabetic managing my blood sugar with stable levels.  My Birthday is coming up and no restaurant or baker makes a cake I can eat that tastes delicious too.  I can’t stand eating my annual cardboard cake just to appease my family with a Happy Birthday Song!  Please help me make my Birthday a Happy and Special one, do you know where I can get a cake for me?  Or have a recipe that you suggest for me?”   For this we would respond with a video of steps for Chef Nicks Flourless Dairy Free Chocolate Pecan Torte!  It’s delicious and fits the needs perfectly with a wonderful taste and lots of ways to improvise and change flavors.

 

ASK THE CHEFS QUESTIONS:

 

Jean writes:

I am a long time vegetarian but have started adding salmon to my diet once or twice a week. I would like to know what foods to eat to reduce cholesterol.   ~Jean

 
Dear Jean,
One of the easiest ways to lower cholesterol is to increase your exercise and lower or cut out any saturated fats or trans fats you may be eating.  45 minutes of cardio a day really does make a big difference whether it’s walking, riding a bike, swimming, working out, etc .  As far as simple foods to add, you’re doing good with salmon as it contains Omega-3 fatty acids which will also lower your blood pressure.  Try adding mackerel, halibut, or trout to your diet as too much farm raised salmon is not healthy for you.  You’ll be able to find wild caught halibut and mackerel fairly easily at your local grocery and if you’re by the water find your local warf or fish market as prices will be much cheaper and the fish will be freshest.  I prefer lake or river trout to farm raised and if you buy salmon try to find wild caught sockeye salmon.  If you find yourself in a pinch, albacore tuna is a healthy alternative.  Have you ever tried making “overnight oats”?  Eating oats, natural bran, and other foods high in fiber will help lower your bad cholesterol.  Using real olive oil instead of other oils / butter / margarine will also help lower your bad cholesterol while keeping your good cholesterol where it should be.  If you have a Whole Foods, Fresh Market, or other healthy food stores near by you can look for locally sourced olive oils.

Overnight oats area great, I like steel cut oats, fresh berries, and chia seeds in mine.

1/2 cup steel cut oats
1/4 cup fresh berries (blueberries, blackberries, etc.)
1 Tablespoon chia seeds
Cover with your favorite soy / almond milk (I prefer unsweetened vanilla)
Mix well and let sit over night.

you can add sprinkle with cinnamon or add a pinch in the mix for flavor as well.

If you like it sweeter, try adding a few drops of agave nectar.

Make sure you stir it well the next morning before you eat it, it’ll have a nicer texture to it.

Almond, walnuts, and pecans can also reduce your cholesterol.  Are you using these as crusts or to replace cheese on salads or soups?

Try this chocolate pecan torte recipe I came up with!  It’s my favorite and there so many variations you can do to it!

http://chefinspiredcreations.com/blog/2011/11/29/flourless-chocolate-pecan-torte/

I hope this helped you a bit.
Wishing you all the success with your health and diet!

Eat well and be happy!

Chef Nick

 

 

 

Stephanie from California writes:

Hi there Chefs! I found Chef Nick on YouTube and decided to Google him and eventually found my way here. Anyways, I hope you guys choose me and can help. My boyfriend has been having some weird stomach problems recently and we don’t know what the problem is exactly. His doctor said he’s allergic to dairy and should cut back on breads, pasta, and beer. Chef Nick how do you eat goats cheese if you are lactose intolerant? Do you have to take enzyme pills or a medicine when you eat it? Also what’s a healthy dessert recipe I can make him? I feel horrible eating ice-cream or cake in front of him nowadays but I feel bad hiding it too. I hope you can help or at least give me some ideas to help him, I don’t know what to do.  ~ Stephanie

 

Dear Stephanie,

Thank you for coming to us about your boyfriend, I know from personal experience how difficult it can be for him especially not knowing exactly what’s going on.   You’re doing the right thing by being there for him and trying to help ease his stress.  My Doctors told me I am Lactose Intolerant however I’ve found this to be not true for myself.  I can have sheep or goat cheese (Manchego, Pecorino Romano, Goat Cheese) with no issues.  Everybody’s body reacts differently and there’s not enough good research out there on Lactose Intolerance.  There’s lots of great desserts he can still have so don’t fret.  I eat Soy Delicious ice-cream often and they now have a low sugar version even.  Try the cookies and creme or the cookie dough!  There’s also a few rice ice-creams you guys can try out.  I have a flour-less dairy free chocolate pecan torte recipe on our website here that is delicious.  I cook it at home and spice it up often with things like dark chocolate chunks with ancho and chiplote chili peppers in it and always get compliments.   You can also try a S’mores version of the torte or just make plain ol’ S’Mores and be sure you read the chocolate label.  I can have whey protein and casein,  I’m not sure about your boyfriend though.  If he’s ultra sensitive ask his Dr first, if he isn’t maybe experiment at home until you find what works best.  That’s what I’ve done for over seven years now, experiment and fine tune my diet.

http://chefinspiredcreations.com/blog/2011/11/29/flourless-chocolate-pecan-torte/

Remember NOT to focus on what he cannot eat but to focus on what your boyfriend CAN eat!  Check back and let us know how he’s doing and you guys are enjoying the new foods.

All the best,

Chef Nick