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Main Dishes

  • Black Bean Veggie Burger

    Veggie Burger Recipe

    Being a chef means working long hours, unpredictable schedules, and limited time to sit down and enjoy a meal. A spoonful here, a taste there is typically what sustains the chef working in a restaurant or catering business. After a while, this lifestyle exertion began to add up! Last year, I stepped away from the culinary world to completely immerse myself in food, product, and lifestyle photography. In this transition, I realized how much all the little bites, tastings, and endless food surrounding me had taken a toll on my health. Something had to change. I made the decision to jump on my bike, cut out most processed sugar, fast food, and finally transition to vegetarianism. You don’t need to become a vegetarian to create a healthy lifestyle for yourself, but it certainly has worked for me. Eight month later, countless miles logged cycling and running, and eating healthy has brought me to my college weight. College weight!

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  • Sautéed Morel Mushrooms

    Dried Morel Mushrooms

    Can you believe that it’s spring already? The winter has finally come to a close and the spring’s classic warm humidity is lingering for longer periods of time. I’ve missed the warm sun on my face as I open the door to let out the dogs in the morning. Warm spring rain showers will soon aid the growth of lush green grass, fiddlehead ferns, fresh lettuce, and hidden patches of morel mushrooms.

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  • Shepherd's Pie

    Shepherd's Pie Recipe

    Shepherd's pie has a long and rich history dating back to the 1500’s. It all began with the English and their affinity to meat pies - small pieces of meat and root vegetables baked into pastry dough. These pies were portable, compact, and an easy way for commoners to have a satisfying and filling meal during the day.

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  • Warm Kale Salad with Crumbled Egg

    Warm Kale Salad with Crumbled Egg Recipe

    Salads - the perennial diet food. Salads are often thought of as rabbit food, diet food, and boring tasteless greens forced upon us when we can’t eat what we really want. This salad is anything but boring!

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  • Blackened Salmon Salad Recipe

    cajun blackened salmon salad

    A while back, I was in the warehouse looking through spices to create recipes for the SpiceJungle blog. I came upon two spices that seemed very similar but with slightly different names I was a bit perplexed as to the differences between the two.

    I know that cooks in Louisiana often use Cajun seasoning in jambalayas when boiling crawfish, and they add to just about any seafood coming fresh off the boats that day. But what about Cajun blackening seasoning? What is the difference between the two seasonings? I know you’re dying to know!!! Well, call off Sherlock Holmes because the mystery is solved.

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  • Spaghetti and Herbed Meatballs

    Spaghetti and Herbed Meatballs

    I have always had a love affair with big cities. Cities such as New York, Paris, Seattle and Los Angeles make me feel alive; the constant low hum of activity is electric. These cities rarely sleep; there is always movement, always a vibrant collection of people from all walks of life.

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  • How To Make Homemade Chicken Tacos

    How To Make Chicken Tacos

    How To Make Chicken Tacos with Creamy Cilantro Dressing

    I love tacos! I could eat them at every single meal and still not tire of the mire of flavors that are found in one small shell. Seasoned protein, crisp lettuce, cool sour cream, and cheese come together in a crispy corn shell. There is no delicate way to eat a taco, you simply have to dive in and accept the mess that follows. Although the taco may seem like a utensil-free meal, a fork is necessary to scoop up the filling that always falls out the other side.

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  • Sweet and Peppery Five Spice Tofu

    Five Spice Tofu

    Sweet and Peppery Five Spice Tofu

    Being a former chef and also a vegetarian is difficult at times for there are so many amazing restaurants opening within the Grand Rapids area and many are focused on meat. I don’t have an aversion to meat or meat-based products due to a political agenda; it is simply the right choice for me to maintain my weight and a healthy lifestyle. That being said, bacon still smells amazing, braises, stews and a beautifully prepared steak do not send me screaming in disgust. I just simply choose not to consume them.

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  • Wild Forest Mushroom Risotto With Almond Milk

    Wild Mushroom Risotto

    Mushroom Risotto

    Wild Mushroom Risotto is often thought of as complicated and time consuming but once you understand the basic fundamentals of cooking risotto it becomes a simple and joyful task. Risotto is rice that is cooked to a creamy consistency with the addition of liquid, typically chicken stock and white wine. In our wild mushroom risotto recipe, we'll be using homemade almond milk to bring out the nutty flavor of many of the dried mushrooms found in our forest blend mushrooms. Continue reading

  • Tangy Roasted Brussels Sprouts

    Tangy Roasted Brussels Sprouts

    Roasted Brussels Sprouts Recipe

    As children we often look upon green vegetables with disgust, hoping that they roll off our plate and into the waiting mouth of the family dog. The dog then promptly spits it out and the evidence of our secret is found out by our parental figure. Our parents tried to cover them in cheese, smother them in hollandaise sauce or even hit them in casseroles, but we always found them.

    Brussels sprouts were considered the most dreaded of all the green veggies. Our mothers did not understand the subtle sweetness that can come from roasting these tiny cabbages versus boiling them until bitter and soggy. Sliced in half and roasted in well-seasoned cast iron pan will result in an earthy, nutty and subtly sweet brussels sprout. Very different from the boiled mush we experienced as children. Brussels sprouts are a curious vegetable, grown in the ground on a stalk; the vegetable grows from the bottom of the stalk upward.

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