Taste The Season

Think it’s impossible to prepare a delicious, gourmet meal that’s also healthy? Think again. It’s possible, and Chef Pamela Salzman can teach you how—maybe even in the privacy of your very own home.

chef pamela salzman

Pamela didn’t follow a traditional culinary path, but she always knew deep in her heart that she’d end up in the food world. As a child, she waited by the mailbox for Gourmet Magazine to arrive, and her parents instilled in her a love of cooking from scratch, using ingredients harvested from the family garden. After Pamela attended a cooking class with her friends, what started out as a hob- by eventually turned into a career.

The recipes Pamela and her friends were taught in the cooking class advocated the usual excess of butter and fat. Pamela had a bright idea: why not make a few healthy adjustments to the recipes? She did just that, and in doing so, realized she had a knack for making delicious food healthier.

This realization led to Pamela teaching a group of her own, and it took off - people wanted more. She eventually left the corporate world to follow her dream. In fact, she still leads the same, original cooking group since 2008.

Teaching monthly cooking groups around Los Angeles, in addition to open classes in Manhattan Beach, Pamela’s recipes don’t fall into any sort of fad diet trends such as Paleo or Atkins. Instead, most of her recipes are classically healthy, featuring anti-inflammatory, low-glycemic ingredients, meaning less animal products, more fish, and plenty of vegetables, fruits, and legumes. According to Pamela, these ingredients are the basic nuts and bolts of health. She also customizes classes and recipes according to personal preferences.


chef pamela salzman

DELICATA SQUASH AND APPLE SALAD

SERVES 6

2 delicata squash, washed but not peeled, cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed, and cut into ½-inch slices

2 large apples, cored, sliced into ½-inch slices (I cut them crosswise)

3 Tablespoons unrefined coconut oil, melted

1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup

1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary (optional, but I think it’s delicious)

1 teaspoon sea salt

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

10 cups mixed greens including some bitter varieties such as radicchio and/or arugula


Dressing:

2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar, preferably raw

5 Tablespoons cup unrefined, cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil  

¾ teaspoon Dijon mustard

½ teaspoon sea salt

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 teaspoons pure maple syrup


Toppings: shaved manchego cheese, ½ cup buttered and salted toasted pecans or toasted, salted pumpkin seeds  

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  

Place the squash and apples in a large bowl and add the melted coconut oil and 1 Tablespoon maple syrup.  Toss to coat. (You can also add the apples to the salad raw instead of roasted.)

Place the apples and squash in one layer on the baking sheets and sprinkle with rosemary, salt and pepper.  Roast until tender, approximately 20-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.  

For the dressing:  in a small bowl or screw top jar combine apple cider vinegar, olive oil, Dijon, salt, pepper and maple syrup and whisk or shake to combine.  You may have more dressing than you need for this recipe.

Place salad greens on a platter and toss with enough dressing to coat lightly.  Separately drizzle the squash and apples with some dressing and add to the greens.  Sprinkle with any desired toppings. Taste for salt and pepper and serve.


chef pamela salzman

ROASTED DELICATA SQUASH WITH POMEGRANATE-PISTACHIO RELISH

SERVES 6

2 Delicata squash, washed well and cut into rings*

2 Tablespoons unrefined coconut oil, melted

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Relish: (this makes a lot)

2 Tablespoons unrefined, cold-pressed olive oil

2 Tablespoons unfiltered apple cider vinegar or pomegranate molasses

½ teaspoon sea salt

1 cup pomegranate seeds

½ cup pistachio nuts, toasted

¼ cup dried currants

2 small shallots, chopped

3 Tablespoons fresh mint, chopped

 
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  

Place the squash rings on the baking sheets and brush with melted coconut oil on both sides.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast until tender, approximately 20-30 minutes.

While squash is roasting, assemble relish.  Whisk the oil, vinegar, and salt together in a medium bowl, add remaining ingredients and toss to combine.  

Arrange the squash rings on a platter so they are overlapping, and spoon relish mixture on top.  Serve immediately or at room temperature.

*To cut delicata into rings, cut in half crosswise through the middle of the squash.  Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds from each half, creating a hollow cavity.  Cut crosswise into ¼” rings.


chef pamela salzman

SWEET POTATO-COCONUT SOUP

SERVES 6


1 Tablespoon unrefined, cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil

1 Tablespoon unsalted butter

1 large onion, diced

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

2 pounds sweet potatoes (technically yams –red-skinned Garnet or Jewel), peeled and cubed

3 cups chicken stock, vegetable stock or water

1 teaspoon sea salt

¼ tsp nutmeg

2-3 Tablespoons 100% pure maple syrup

½  13-ounce can coconut milk*

Several dashes or more of cayenne or to taste

 

In a large pot, heat the olive oil and butter until melted.  Add the onion and garlic and sauté over medium heat until tender and translucent, about 6 minutes.

Add the cubed sweet potatoes and toss to coat with the oil, butter and onions.  Pour in the chicken stock or water, sea salt and nutmeg.  Bring to a boil and lower the heat to a simmer.  Cook partially covered until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.

Add the maple syrup, coconut milk and cayenne.  Cook until heated through.  Puree soup with an immersion blender or in batches in a blender.  Taste for seasoning.  Serve immediately or allow to sit off the heat to thicken slightly.

*If you prefer to use more coconut milk, use a full can and use 1 cup less chicken stock.

 

LifestyleAmy SilverbergComment