Secret Ingredient


healthy breakfast smoothie

A Healthy Breakfast Recipe in 5 Minutes or Less

Mar 22, 2017

Mornings can be so stressful. You’re juggling sandwiches for school lunches, checking emails and taking the dog around the block, all while rushing to get out of the door on time. A frantic start to your day can make preparing a healthy breakfast seem like an impossible task. It gets even more complicated if you […]

how to cook an artichoke

How to Cook an Artichoke: Recipe Basics

Mar 15, 2017

Artichokes are finally in season, and not a moment too soon. Thursday, March 16 is National Artichoke Hearts Day! Did You Know? The artichoke is technically an unbloomed flower and belongs to the thistle family. It’s high in folate as well vitamins C and K. Almost all of the artichokes in the U.S. come from […]

wine pairing

Just Add Wine: Turn Your Next Event Into a Wine Pairing

Mar 8, 2017

Remember this post about party catering where we mentioned turning your next dinner party into a wine pairing event? As a chef, I’ve developed a fondness for wine and the way it enhances meals so beautifully. I love facilitating food and wine pairings at dinner parties, too. Incorporate wine tasting into your next intimate event and […]

jamaican vacation and meal ideas

My Jamaican Vacation & Meal Ideas

Mar 1, 2017

I might’ve returned from Jamaica a few weeks ago, but I’m still in an island-life state of mind. Negril, a town in western Jamaica that boasts the exciting Seven Mile Beach area and coral reef-filled Long Bay, was a dream for my beach-loving soul. The sun, the sand, the food… it was magical, and it […]

healthy snacks

Healthy Snacks for All Day Energy

Feb 22, 2017

Snacking is good for you. Snacking is good for you. Snacking is good for you. Now this is a mantra we can get behind! There can so often be a negative connotation associated with the idea of snacking, but snacking on the right types of healthy, whole foods is actually a vital part of staying […]

dinner party ideas

3 Memorable, No-Stress Dinner Party Ideas

Feb 15, 2017

Late winter is the perfect time to host intimate dinner parties of 50 people or fewer. Everyone has returned home after the new year, and most have recovered from their large office holiday parties. With the weather still being less than optimal, staying cozy inside with friends couldn’t be more appealing. If you’ve never hosted […]

fad diets

Why Don’t Fad Diets Work?

Feb 8, 2017

Remember the cabbage soup diet? This was a fad diet that claimed dieters could lose around 10 pounds in a week by eating mostly fat-free cabbage soup. This and other fad diets usually promise quick weight loss results by following strict rules about what to eat and what to avoid. They become wildly popular for […]

romantic dinner

Personal Chef Services: Most Original Valentine’s Day Gift Ever

Feb 1, 2017

I’m sure I don’t need to remind you that Valentine’s Day is coming up soon. Are you mentally running through the usual list of gift ideas already? Maybe you’re totally unsure what to give your significant other. A box of chocolate? Flowers and a teddy bear? What about a romantic dinner prepared specially for the […]

cold weather ice skates

How to Stay Active (and Energized) in Cold Weather

Jan 25, 2017

Keeping up with a healthy routine can be challenging in cold weather. It’s all too easy to curl up with a bowl of macaroni & cheese and waste the precious few hours of sunlight indulging in a Game of Thrones marathon. But winter is an important time to stay active. Not only do you need […]

citrus fruits

Need a seasonal dinner idea? This is juicy…

Jan 18, 2017

Ah, the winter blues. Have they set in yet? With fewer hours of daylight, and cold weather keeping us indoors, it’s easy to feel tired, depleted and basically “blah”. When my energy levels are low, I look to my fridge for a boost. And this time of year, Mother Nature is providing us with an […]

easy healthy meals

Easy Healthy Meals: Better than Takeout!

Jan 11, 2017

Having fantasies of waving a magic wand and seeing easy healthy meals appear on your table? Me too. I think we’re all interested in making healthy food efficient and stress-free! Picture this: you get home from work later than expected and drive your kids to soccer practice. By the time you hobble back home, the […]

Resolutions for the New Year

Resolutions for the New Year: gifts that make them stick

Jan 4, 2017

I know that the season we associate with gift giving has passed, and that it’s time to make our resolutions for the New Year. But what if I told you that you could keep on gift giving, and work to improve yourself. Interested? Here’s the secret: the gifts that you’re going to give this time […]

Party Menu

My Simple Party Menu for a Glamorous New Year’s Eve

Dec 28, 2016

New Year’s Eve is the most decadent night of the year. From the confetti to the countdown, it’s all about kicking back and having fun. Whether you’re staying in pajamas or inviting friends over for a big bash, it’s easy to put together a spread fit for a celebration—and I’ll show you how. Pop the […]

Hot Chocolate Recipes

What I’m Thankful For + Hot Chocolate Recipes!

Dec 21, 2016

Here at the Secret Ingredient, we’re all about delicious food that nourishes your body, but there are other modalities for health and healing. This season especially, we’re focusing on gratitude. Incorporating gratitude into your daily routine can be just as beneficial to your well-being as healthy eating. It helps you see the world in a […]

Good Mood Food

Boost Your Happiness with Good Mood Food

Dec 7, 2016

With the holidays here, it’s easy to feel stressed, overwhelmed, frustrated, sad or any range of emotions. This is especially true when we’re eating a seasonal diet full of sugar. From Christmas cookies to refined carbohydrates, the holidays bring indulgence to the table. Of course, celebrating is wonderful. But if you can add more “good […]

Catering Guide

Happy and Healthy Holiday Catering Guide

Nov 30, 2016

I hope you had a magical Thanksgiving! I cooked a feast, and then spent time relaxing with my family. Now that the turkey has been turned into soup and the leftovers have been gobbled up, I’m ready for the December holidays here in Wayne, PA. And to help you get into the festive spirit, I’ve […]

Thanksgiving Leftovers

How To Reinvent Thanksgiving Leftovers

Nov 23, 2016

Everyone knows that the best thing about cooking a Thanksgiving dinner is leftovers! From sandwiches and soups to homemade stocks, the days following are almost as delicious as the feast itself—and now, they’re about to get even better. Rather than reheating a plate full of turkey and mash, reinvent Thanksgiving leftovers to create new and […]

Turkey Tips

Easy Turkey Tips for a Stress-Free Thanksgiving

Nov 16, 2016

Whether this is your first time hosting a holiday dinner or your fiftieth, we can probably agree that the hardest part is perfecting the turkey. For one, turkey is susceptible to drying out. Plus, it traditionally yields a lot of meat, which might be too much for your small party. Then, there’s the question of […]

Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes

Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes: FREE Cookbook!

Nov 8, 2016

Thanksgiving is 2 weeks away, and you’ve ordered your turkey. Now, what about the sides? Are you struggling to come up with unique ideas? Are you on a restricted diet, but still want to serve a “traditional” meal? Do you wish that someone could just give you a list of recipes that are easy, festive […]

Foods for Cold and Flu Prevention

5 Foods for Cold and Flu Prevention

Nov 2, 2016

We all want to keep nasty germs at bay, and we can support our bodies by eating more foods for cold and flu prevention. As the weather continues to cool down, and we approach winter, it’s important to improve our nutrition to improve our immunity. As Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine […]

Halloween Trail Mix

Halloween Trail Mix + Risotto Recipe

Oct 26, 2016

As I drive through my neighborhood, I see pumpkins everywhere. And where there are pumpkins, there are seeds. Often discarded, pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of plant-based protein. They’re great for topping on oatmeal, ice cream and grains, and are the perfect ingredient for homemade trail mix. If you’re carving a pumpkin this weekend, […]

Apple Picking Recipes

Go Apple Picking. Then Try These Irresistible Recipes…

Oct 19, 2016

One of my favorite fall activities is apple picking. Living on the East Coast in autumn means that there are always plenty of apple varieties for a banquet of dishes. And I’m not just talking about desserts, like apple pies and crumbles. You can create sweet and savory mains, sides and salads, using this abundant […]

Menu Planning

Menu Planning Made Easy

Oct 12, 2016

When I talk to new clients, one thing I often hear is that menu planning is a problem for them. There are 7 days in a week, and coming up with healthy recipes (for breakfast, lunch and dinner) isn’t easy. I get that, because there are a lot of considerations, such as food sensitivities, seasonality, […]

Fall Vegetable Guide

Fall Vegetable Guide: Everything You Need to Know

Oct 5, 2016

The temperature is finally starting to cool down in Wayne, PA, and it officially feels like fall. I always love when the seasons change, because it gives me an opportunity to explore a whole new crop of vegetables. After a summer full of light dinners and refreshing salads, I look forward to making warm, hearty […]

Save time in the kitchen

4 Practical Ways to Save Time in the Kitchen

Sep 28, 2016

You want to eat healthy, homemade meals, but cooking always seems to take forever. Sure, the recipe says you should be eating in 30 minutes, but by that point you’re still chopping vegetables. The worst part? When the meal is finally ready, your kitchen looks like it was the victim of an epic food fight. […]

Mindful Eating

How Mindful Eating Can Improve Your Health

Sep 21, 2016

You make your dinner plate, pour a drink and plop in front of the TV. Or, you grab a quick salad and get right back to the computer. Sound familiar? Our culture puts a lot of focus on what we eat, but not a lot of focus on how we eat—meaning we have a propensity […]

Smoked Paprika

My Favorite Ingredient? It’s Perfect for Fall!

Sep 14, 2016

It’s no surprise that as the Secret Ingredient Chef, I get asked what my favorite ingredient is all the time. Although you might think it’s hard for a chef to pick just one, I have: smoked paprika! This is a spice that comes from Mexico, but is actually most often associated with Hungarian cuisine. There, […]

Healthy Kids Meals

Healthy Kids Meals: My Top Menu Ideas

Sep 7, 2016

Back-to-school season is officially in full swing. This often means a transition from impromptu BBQs and dinners by the beach to planned meals (scheduled somewhere between homework and ballet class). It can be hard to move from the relaxed days of summer to a micro-managed fall routine. And it can be even harder to get […]

Afford a Personal Chef

Can I Afford a Personal Chef?

Aug 31, 2016

When I tell people that I help busy families get nutrient-dense meals on the table each and every night, and take the time and stress of meal planning off of their plates, they often say, “Wow! I wish I could afford you.” I usually hear this before I even share my prices. I’m a Personal […]

The Secret Is Out

Aug 19, 2016

After months of conceptualizing, soul-searching and rebranding, my new website is finally here. I feel like red balloons should be dropping out of my kitchen ceiling right now! The real reason I’m so excited to share it with you, is because my business is about you. I truly believe that the secret to living a […]