Califonia Bountiful

Simple summertime refreshers

July/August 2014 California Bountiful magazine

Chef focuses on easy ways to eat well

More online: Recipes

Whether she's preparing meals for clients or teaching them how to cook, therapeutic chef and nutrition educator Joni Sare says she believes in using simple, nutritious recipes to create a healthy version of "fast food" that fuels active lifestyles.

Chef and nutrition educator Joni Sare creates easy, refreshing and healthy food featuring fresh fruits and vegetables.

"Some of my clients are busy 30-somethings with kids, a few are just learning their way around a kitchen and others have been told by their doctors that they need to change their eating habits," Sare said of her San Francisco Bay Area-based food consultancy business. "What they all have in common is a limited amount of time to cook and a desire to eat healthy."

Fresh, raw fruits and vegetables—rich in vitamins, nutrients, antioxidants and natural enzymes—often star as key ingredients in Sare's cooking classes. She shares timesaving tips such as prepping vegetables in advance and storing them in zip-top bags in the refrigerator, so they're ready when needed.

During the summer, when fresh produce is abundant and schedules are often hectic, Sare encourages clients to give the stove a rest by preparing simple refreshers including nutritious salads, chilled soups and frosty fruit drinks.

With a cooking style that leans toward adventurous, Sare says she looks for ways to build flavor profiles in the simplest of dishes.

"You can add depth with savory, aromatic flavors like those found in balsamic vinegar, aged cheese and chili peppers. For a little zing, add citrus or fresh herbs as a garnish," she said.

"Eating a variety of fresh foods is essential to our bodies and offers the added pleasures of flavors, aromas, colors and textures."

Jolaine Collins


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