Meet Your PreviMedica Culinary Advisor: Megan
Our culinary advisors are the perfect resource if you are looking to expand your cooking knowledge or learn some new skills in the kitchen. Today, we’d like to introduce you to the other half of our culinary team: Megan!
Megan has been with PreviMedica since 2013. She is a Chef RD (registered dietitian and professional chef) and a professional photographer. If there was ever a Jack-of-all-trades (Jane-of-all-trades?), it would definitely be her! We love Megan because she always comes to work with a smile on her face and is the first one to volunteer to help out. Megan is the talent behind all of the photography on our blog and Facebook page, which we are truly grateful for! If you want to learn more about her professional path to Previ, you can find out more here.
Today we are chatting with her about her role at PreviMedica, tips for a healthier holiday season, and of course, food.
Megan! Long time no see! Let’s get started. Your title with us at PreviMedica is Chef RD and Culinary Advisor, but I feel like that doesn’t totally explain what you do here. Walk us through a day in the life at Previ, and tell us what your favorite thing about your job is.
What I love most about my job at Previ is that every day is a little bit different and I get to wear different hats. On any given day I could be in the kitchen trying out a new recipe for our blog, recording one of our cooking videos for social media, or talking to a client and giving solutions for how to implement their nutritionist’s recommendations in the kitchen. I get to develop and test new recipes for our recipe book, create culinary resources for our clients, answer general cooking and nutrition questions, and of course style and photograph all the delicious things we make.
As you know by all the snooping around we do when you are cooking, we love being the taste testers of your creations!
One of the features of the PreviMedica membership is that they have access to culinary advisors in between appointments through the Nudge app. What are some of the things that you hear most from our clients? And in your opinion, what is the main issue that people struggle with in the kitchen that could be preventing them from being successful?
I think many people struggle with how to get healthy food to taste great without frying it or adding loads of butter, salt, or sugar. As a culinary advisor, I spend a lot of time teaching clients about the flavor power of fresh herbs and spices, how to use them, how to store them, and what they pair well with to add fresh flavor to their bland meals. Using fresh herbs tends to scare people but it’s so easy and really does give you lots of flavor without added calories.
I think for a lot of people fear really prevents them from being successful in the kitchen. People are scared to try new things so they tend to eat the same things all the time- lots of plain grilled chicken and steamed veggies- and they get burnt out. I also encourage them to try new recipes, try different cooking methods and prepare foods in a different way than they are used to.
Very true! And we completely get the hesitation with preparing something new. If you mess it up, you just wasted a bunch of ingredients! That’s one of the great things about what the culinary team does. We see you testing each recipe and making adjustments if needed, so that our clients can be confident that their recipe will work!
So there is this little holiday centered around food that everyone is talking about this week, and we would be remiss if we didn’t ask our resident Chef RD about it. What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish? And do you have any last minute tips for our readers who are hoping to make their Thanksgiving a little healthier?
Oh man, Thanksgiving food is my favorite! I am definitely more of a sides girl and could honestly skip the turkey altogether. My favorite Thanksgiving dish has to be stuffing for sure. I love a really good herbed stuffing with lots of sage and thyme, and I am a big lover of cranberry sauce (but only the homemade kind, not the canned kind that resembles Jello- can imprint lines and all!) If you are looking to make your Thanksgiving a little healthier, try substituting dairy free milk in your mashed potatoes and adding in some fresh garlic and herbs in place of added butter for flavor. Also, if you are using store brought broth/stock for your gravy or stuffing, make sure to avoid the ones that contain MSG.
A good stuffing can definitely make or break Thanksgiving dinner!
Over the years we have worked with lots of kids with food sensitivities or sensory issues. Thanksgiving can be a tough time for these parents because their kids are selective (or can’t eat) a lot of the foods offered. Any tips for these families or anyone else dealing with a selective eater this holiday season?
Holidays can be really challenging for picky eaters or kids with sensory issues for sure. If you’ve got a little kiddo at your table this holiday, try serving food buffet-style from the kitchen instead of family style on the table. Having large serving dishes full of food on the table can be very overwhelming for kids with sensory issues, in the way it looks and smells. For picky eaters use plates that have sections, that way you can serve them a little bit of everything and encourage them to taste it, but their foods won’t be touching. And while it’s tempting to constantly prompt your kids to try everything and eat everything, remember that you want to keep it positive. Encourage them to taste it, and enjoy your meal as a family without creating a meltdown.
Excellent tips that I’m sure will help lots of parents this holiday season!
OK, enough about business, let’s get to know more about Megan. Speaking of kids, what was your favorite food as a kid?
Beef Stroganoff. I was raised vegetarian so it was rare that my mother made meat in our house, but beef stroganoff was always my favorite dish!
What is the BEST thing you have eaten lately?
Oh, my favorite kind of question…all about the food! I have been traveling a lot lately so I’ve had some really amazing meals in some great cities. A few weeks back I had the pleasure of dining at Blue Hill in NYC which was incredible! Blue Hill is a true farm to table restaurant. I got to visit the farm a few days before enjoying their tasting menu, which was really amazing to see. The entire menu is from things raised, grown, and produced on the farm. Everything from a farm fresh egg, petite vegetables, pasture-raised goats and homemade bread made from wheat they grow and grind. To eat a meal like that was truly inspiring. The egg was probably my favorite as it was a perfectly cooked soft-boiled egg that was almost orange inside since the yolk was so rich. The taste was out of this world! When the animals that nourish us are being fed just as well as we are, it really makes a difference in the way everything tastes.
What a fun experience! We’re sure that everything you ate will inspire some deliciousness in the Previ kitchen too… at least that’s what we’re hoping!
My travel eats will for sure be inspiring some new recipes in the Previ kitchen in the coming weeks.
And last but not least… lightning round!
Coffee or tea? Coffee all the way
Dog or cat? If I had to pick I’d say cat, but I’m more a fish person 😉
Beach or mountains? Beach 100%
Thanksgiving or Christmas? Oh, that’s a tough one. Since my birthday is a few days after Christmas the holidays are a really crazy time in our house, so I would have to say Thanksgiving.
Christmas decorations: before Thanksgiving or after? Um definitely after! One holiday at a time please.
Eggnog or hot cocoa? Eggnog
Pumpkin pie or apple pie? Pumpkin
Home Alone or Elf? Home Alone
Mostly correct answers, except the one about the fish! Thanks for chatting with us, Megan. We appreciate all that you do for our team and we look forward to seeing what you come up with next. Something spiked, perhaps? It is the holiday season after all…
If you are interested in learning how to cook or about specific cooking concepts or techniques, we would love to help! Schedule an appointment with a PreviMedica Culinary Advisor by calling 855.773.8463 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.