Featured Chef Vivica
Featured Chef Recipes:
Meet Vivica! Creator of "The Healing Foods Method", nutritionist, and blogger. Her blog, The Nourished Caveman, and her program are here to help you learn how to get healthier and have more energy. Vivica managed to squeeze in some time to be this month's Featured Chef, and shared some unique nose-to-tail offal recipes. Follow Vivica on Facebook and Pinterest for paleo, low-carb, and keto recipes.
Q: How did you get involved in cooking to begin with? Was it something you learned to love early on or did you come to it later?
I am from Italy so I was born and raised into a food culture. I also had the great luck to grow up in a restaurant, my mom learned how to cook from professional chefs and then taught me as I was growing up. I can say I was cooking my first meals at the age of seven and by the age of 14 I was cooking for the family already. Cooking has always been one of my passions.
Q: Why is eating grass-fed meat and sustainably-caught fish different? How does it affect your cooking?
Since I live in the United States (20 years) I’ve been always very conscious about eating healthy and clean, I would shop for most of my foods at the farmers market, in Los Angeles where I lived for 15 years.
Five years ago we moved to Northern Californa. After we moved I started studying nutrition, so I became even more aware of the importance of eating clean, toxin and hormone free foods. As a nutritionist, I am aware of the concept of bio-accumulation. That means that toxins accumulate in the the meat of the animals during their life span. So it becomes very important to invest in organic, pastured meat especially if you have to make a choice of what to invest your food budget in.
I now only use pastured meats and sustainable fish, but I never feel like I am constricted in my culinary creativity as the choices are still great and abundant!
Q: Is it just about health? Or is there more to it than that?
For me it’s about the big picture, it is about the health of our planet not just our own health and the two things are closely connected believe me. It is also about treating the animals humanely, and being able to feel good about eating meat that is cruelty free!
Q: How did you learn about grass-fed meat?
From Joel Salatin and the Weston Price Foundation, of which I have been a member for the last 5 years.
Q: Why is it so important to have the right ingredients?
Good ingredients make all the difference in the quality of your recipes. This is something that I try to teach on my blog, it is about the palate of course and it is also about the health of the body. I believe healthy foods should be absolutely delicious!!
Q: What are the most important keys to success for the home chef?
I think a weekly plan is very helpful in order to make sure you have the right groceries, so that daily cooking can be easy and effortless.
Keeping it simple is also important. When you have good ingredients you do not need complicated recipes!
Q:What are your best tips for home cooking?
Create a plan for your meals and cooking. A lot of blogs nowadays offer meal plans for free and I think they are extremely helpful.
Also cooking is about the attitude you approach it with. It should not be a burden, but a time of fun and creativity, where you can express yourself and get very enjoyable results.
Again you do not need to be a professional, keeping it simple is just as rewarding and delicious!
Q: What is your favorite recipe using grass-fed meat?
My French Pate Meatloaf recipe on the blog !!