it’s been a while

hello friends. it’s been days, weeks, and months and I’ve been absent.

this blog- a source of inspiration, frustration, and determination has remained blank as I’ve worked on my food issues. don’t worry, I’m still cooking and eating. Just doing a lot of thinking as well.

I have studied nutrition for 6 years. I work in community health. I know the ins and outs of most food items and the health consequences they present. But something about my love of taste and ingredients makes me forget these things as I enter the kitchen. I want to create food that is mostly delicious and happens to be healthy as well.

For the first month of this year, I was determined to follow a vegan diet. I was mostly successful at this attempt, I felt great, and even lost a few pounds. But, as a cook, as one that aspires to bring creativity into the kitchen – this killed my spirit. All thoughts of being a vegan were tossed out the window as soon as I visited my favorite restaurant – a place that takes creative cooking to the next level, offering duck and quinoa rellenos, goat hash with poached egg, pork belly, and lamb meatballs in a gremolata sauce. You better believe I had the roasted scallops over bacon butternut squash risotto with a bourbon maple gastrique when I visited last week. These vegan tendencies fell further down the drain as I was given the opportunity to meat meet my favorite chef, Stephanie Izard, and she prepared a pig face, butternut squash kimchi ‘sandwich’. Kudos to her for utilizing every part of the pig and not letting the unwanted parts go to waste.

I am not a salad girl. I have never been a salad girl. And tofu, no matter the countless ways I attempt to prepare it in a tasteful way, still makes me gag. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the implications of our current industrialized food system. I have read the books (Omnivores Dilemma, What to Eat, Eating Animals, etc) and watched the movies (Food Inc, Super Size Me, King Corn). I am all for understanding how exactly our food is raised and produced. But I am also for taste (and exercise). So, as I continue to struggle with this – maybe for the rest of my life – I will continue cooking and exploring flavors. I simply cannot deny the deliciousness that exists in mixing the many foods, both plant and animal, that are abundant in this world.

Garden Risotto

Serves 4 as a side dish.


1/2 T. butter

1 cup arborio rice

1 medium onion

3 medium garlic cloves

1 qt chicken broth, hot

2 cups baby spinach

1 cup mushrooms, chopped

1 cup frozen green peas

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Parsley, for garnish


Melt butter in medium pot. Saute onion until it becomes translucent, then add arborio rice, garlic, and 1/2 teas salt and pepper. Continue to cook over medium heat for a minute and add mushrooms. Saute for another minute or two and add hot chicken broth about 1 1/2 cups at a time. Stir broth into risotto/mushroom mixture until it is absorbed into the rice. Continue this process until rice is soft, taking 20-30 minutes. Add spinach and green peas, stirring until spinach is wilted and peas are thawed. Just before serving, add cheese. Garnish with parsley and enjoy!

So simple and so delicious!

with love,

from Jess’ kitchen


One thought on “it’s been a while

  1. I agree with you. Meat tastes good, and for many people, it is a necessary ingredient for a healthy life. Glad to read that you are blogging again, and look forward to more of your favorite recipes. 🙂

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