Guest Post: An Epiphany

Hi Guys! I have a special treat for you today, a guest post from my boyfriend, Wil. A little background – Wil is the Culinary Director for a high volume restaurant group in DC with four locations, and when I asked if he’d be interested in writing a post for you guys, he said he knew exactly what he wanted to write. He has his own blog about his other passion, music, that he writes in very infrequently – feel free to check it out – Phish Makes My Teeth Itch. Without further ado, here’s Wil!

The best professional cooks and chefs are animals at heart. Survival is the game. A typical day feels like you are getting shot at. Stay ahead, watch your back, don’t complain. Nutrition rarely figures into it.

In this jungle, butter is measured by the amount the animal can fit into the tips of its tongs; Olive oil is drizzled liberally on dishes from the beaks of the wise food runners; Entrée salads that contain more fat calories than a cheeseburger are happily delivered by the foxy waitstaff…

It can be tough to morph back into a human being when cooking at home. Huge blocks of gooey cheese, pate, and water crackers was a typical meal for us a few years ago. So, when Beth began to consider her dietary choices more carefully, there was a bit of trouble in our kitchen. I was resistant to this new attitude. I shut down, stopped cooking at home, cursed the big bag of Splenda in the pantry, and ate at work every night.

After a little time off, I renewed my interest in cooking at home and began to modify my approach a bit to compliment Beth’s new lifestyle. This turned out not to be a sacrifice, but an epiphany. It hit me one night after I added some olive oil to brown rice. Of course olive oil is a healthy, delicious substance, but Beth pointed out that every component of the meal contained some sort of fat. As I ate, it occurred to me that she was right. The oil was unnecessary.  There was no contrast in mouth feel between the elements on the plate.

Beth reminded me of the simple rule of balance. This changed the way I cook at home as well as how I cook at work. Nothing too drastic, but certainly a more thoughtful approach to using fats and oils. I also spend more time developing lighter dishes with full flavor featuring more vegetables, which was usually an afterthought.

I design menus for four restaurants, so Beth’s influence reaches well beyond our tiny kitchen or this blog. I have included the following recipe for a soup I created for an upcoming Spring menu. The flavors are bold and bright. This soup may be served either hot or cold with an array of garnishes. It is shown here with crispy rice noodles, mint, and mint oil.

I am pretty sure this soup would not exist without Beth in my life. Enjoy!

Carrot Ginger Soup

Carrot Ginger Soup (serves 8)

Ingredients:

  • 8 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup ginger, peeled and chopped (adjust to taste)
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 onion
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon salt

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan and allow to simmer for 45 minutes.
  2. Allow the soup to cool slightly.
  3. In batches, carefully pour the contents of the pot into a blender and puree very
    well.
  4. Adjust the seasoning, sweetness, and consistency by adding additional amounts of salt, honey, and water as you go.
  5. Allow the soup to chill, stirring constantly.
  6. Soup may be served hot or cold.

Nutritional Info: Per Serving (1/8 of recipe or 1 cup): 118 Calories; 1g Fat; 2g Protein; 28g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 833mg Sodium.

Who has influenced the way you cook and/or eat the most in your life?

25 Comments on Guest Post: An Epiphany

  1. Stacy @ Every Little Thing
    February 23, 2011 at 8:45 am (10 years ago)

    Glad you guys found a balance at home! That soup looks great. I am a bit sad you don’t like Phish though 🙂 They definitely do NOT make my teeth itch!

    Reply
  2. Holly
    February 23, 2011 at 8:57 am (10 years ago)

    That soup looks delicious!

    I’m happy to hear that Beth was a good influence 🙂 It is tough to find the right balance in anything, sounds like you two are doing well with meals at home.

    Reply
  3. One Is The Magic Number
    February 23, 2011 at 8:58 am (10 years ago)

    This soup looks absolutely delicious. I will definitely be making for my girlfriend.

    Reply
  4. happywhennothungry
    February 23, 2011 at 8:59 am (10 years ago)

    Wil, love your guest post and your style of writing! My mom and grandmother have definitely influenced my style of cooking and my sister has influenced my balance between food and health. I love to eat, but be healthy at the same time. You and Beth definitely complement each other well! I’m so happy that Beth showed you the light!!!

    Reply
  5. Amy @ Second City Randomness
    February 23, 2011 at 9:20 am (10 years ago)

    Great post! I think my cooking/baking has been influenced by close friends that I dine with or cook for. They introduce me to new things and sometimes I will change things in order to fit their dietary needs. Sometimes in that process, there’s a real revolutionary moment!

    Reply
  6. Emily
    February 23, 2011 at 9:25 am (10 years ago)

    That photo of you two is DARLING. And that soup looks delicious!!

    Reply
  7. kerilyn
    February 23, 2011 at 9:52 am (10 years ago)

    Great idea Beth! Will offering to guest post! Nicely said Will!! Bravo to you both.

    Reply
  8. Sydney
    February 23, 2011 at 10:32 am (10 years ago)

    Very cool! This reminds me of a carrot soup I had at The Pantry in Washington Depot, CT a looong time ago. It was always delicious there. I might have to try this one and see how it compares. 🙂

    Reply
  9. Natasha Solae
    February 23, 2011 at 10:45 am (10 years ago)

    mmm….the soup looks immaculately delicious. thanks for the little online “cooking class” (blog version
    ). The soup looks so good i think im gonna make it. I wonder if love is the reason for the greatest recipes?

    Reply
  10. Jennifer
    February 23, 2011 at 11:33 am (10 years ago)

    What a great guest post (and an awesome looking recipe)!

    My influence is less of a “who” than a “what”. I worked in Manhattan for 6 months on a consulting project and during that time I ate at some of the best restaurants in the country. It was then that I got a better appreciation for great food and wine, and it made me want to recreate it at home. So I started buying more cookbooks, watching cooking shows (and paying attention to chefs’ names), and finally, added food blogs to my repoitoire.

    What I really appreciate is finding healthful ways to cook great food. So your blog, as well as some others, is great for introducing me to new ideas in food. Right now I’m in weight loss mode (20 lbs), so as I’ve mentioned before, having the snack and breakfast ideas helps break up the monotony.

    Tell Wil to stop by more often! 🙂

    Reply
    • Beth
      February 23, 2011 at 11:34 am (10 years ago)

      Hi Jennifer! So glad you enjoyed this post. I was thinking about having him guest post every once in a while with some tips and tricks in the kitchen. Almost everything I know about cooking techniques I’ve learned from him – so it’s give and take. 🙂

      Reply
  11. Emily
    February 23, 2011 at 11:59 am (10 years ago)

    I am demanding more Wil on Bethsjourney.com! Great post! It is so interesting to hear about the transition to healthier living through the eyes of the boyfriend – especially since the boyfriend is a chef.

    Viva la Wil!

    Reply
  12. Jillian
    February 23, 2011 at 12:04 pm (10 years ago)

    Wil!! Great post! I’ve been wondering when Beth was going to share her fame with you. 😉 I’m coming to visit soon… I’m bringing a big appetite and 30 WW points to use!

    Reply
  13. Erin
    February 23, 2011 at 12:07 pm (10 years ago)

    Great post Wil! The soup looks delish.

    Reply
  14. Lisa
    February 23, 2011 at 12:59 pm (10 years ago)

    Great guest post! The soup looks wonderful.

    I love that he inspired you to cook Beth. My boyfriend is the same way. As a single girl I was all about the Lean Cuisines or salads for dinner. But once I met my boyfriend who loved to cook he taught me how much fun it could be!

    Reply
  15. Katie Photiadis
    February 23, 2011 at 1:49 pm (10 years ago)

    Wil, I really like your guest post! You are such a funny writer. I especially like how you said you resented Beth’s big bag of splenda in the kitchen, haha. I think you make a lot of great points. The more fat in food doesn’t always make it taste better–you definitely need that balance.

    And yeah, I think Beth is inspiring to so many of us, and its awesome to know that she’s had an impact on your cooking =)

    Reply
  16. Lisa (bakebikeblog)
    February 23, 2011 at 4:19 pm (10 years ago)

    Great post!
    To be honest – I dont really have any ‘influences’ as such. Rather – I am the one that is trying to ‘encourage’ my family to cook more!

    Reply
  17. Liz
    February 23, 2011 at 4:40 pm (10 years ago)

    I love this guest post! I actually think other bloggers have influenced my cooking the most.

    Reply
  18. Monica
    February 23, 2011 at 5:13 pm (10 years ago)

    What a fun post! I always love to hear the reflection of a significant other as their loved one has entered a new path in life.

    Thanks for sharing the recipe too!

    My husband and blogs have influenced my cooking most. They inspire me to try new things and cook in a way that suits my/our family’s dietary needs.

    Reply
  19. Emily
    February 23, 2011 at 8:27 pm (10 years ago)

    Too bad he’s taken!

    I kid.

    But seriously, thanks for the recipe! Looks delcious and I can’t wait to try it!

    Reply
  20. healthyteacher
    February 23, 2011 at 11:18 pm (10 years ago)

    I’m always paranoid about making soup that isn’t a lumpy stew because I grow concerned about blending it. I don’t know why. I can see it’s irrational.

    Reply

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