Welcome to my LA World

Food Anthropologist and Personal Chef

Month: July, 2012

My Healthy Breakfast Options


Pauline Young’s deliciously healthy granola


Lately, several friends have asked me about ideas for healthy breakfast options. As this important, daily meal sets up my eating habits for the day, I understand peoples’ curiosity and confusion surrounding the morning fuel required to sustain them for the morning. 


The human body, upon awakening, requires different food groups than needed for the remainder of the day. When asked about lunch and dinner options, my simple response is protein and greens are your primary staple, with a small amount of carbs.  However, most of my ideal breakfast options supply the body with more carbs than protein. When reading these meal ideals, please note I am not a nutritionist, only a person obsessed with trying to maintain a healthy, balanced diet.


These are breakfast menus I toggle between:

2 eggs and bacon


An omelette with fillings (for example: fresh herbs, cheese, bacon, mushrooms etc)


porridge with almond milk, slivered toasted almonds from trader joes and a few berries. I also add flax seeds or hemp seeds for my daily omega 3’s and 6’s


homemade granola. 

My favorite granola recipe was created by Pauline Young, she generously shared her now not so secret recipe with my readers. After many years of searching for the perfect, healthy combination, Pauline has hit the jackpot! Please enjoy, Pauline welcomes any comments about her product.


Yoghurt and fruit (except for a few in the porridge) have been left off the list. This breakfast denial has a simple explanation.  If I start my day with fruit sugars my hunger spikes for the rest of the day, I eat again sooner, and larger quantities throughout the day.  Therefore, fruit and yoghurt are reserved for my afternoon treat when my sugar level plunges. 


Also, by discovering my complicated relationship with sugar,  I never supplement meals with a shake. However, I do drink Evolution‘s green juices, but the jury is out on the nutritional value of the drink because it has a 4-week shelf life. 


For your information, fast cooking porridge is higher in carbs and less nutritious than slow cooking oats. For time efficiency, I prepare 2-3 cups of oatmeal at one time and reheat as needed on the stovetop, with milk added. 


Although I suggest flax seeds, flax oil is more beneficial. The oil’s flavor has a distinct after taste, which, for me, ruins the subtle flavor of porridge.




Pauline Young’s fantastically healthy and delicious granola recipe

4 cups of Old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup of mixed nuts
1/4 cup of warmed coconut oil
1tsp of vanilla extract
Just under a 1/4 cup honey
1 tbsp shaved, unsweetened coconut
1/3 cup of sunflower, sesame, and flax seeds

1. Place all the dried ingredients in a bowl together.
2. Mix oil, honey and vanilla together
3. Heat oven to 250F
4. spread mix out on baking sheets covered with parchment paper
5. Bake in oven for 25 minutes, until golden. Turning ever 10 minutes
6. Remove from oven, let cool and add dried cranberries, raisins or dried apricots


Brentwood Country Mart’s restaurant: The Farm Shop


Formerly Thomas Keller’s right-hand man, Cerciello and his team are turning out some wonderful country cooking in the city. The ingredients are impeccable, the execution skilled. Service is crisp and assured, and servers know a great deal about the food. Ask any question about a dish, they know the answer” (Irene Virbilla, LA Times, November 3, 2011).

Having worked long hours training babies for the past two weeks, it was time for a special treat. As a personal chef (and baby training specialist), for me, a treat is tasting a critically acclaimed chef’s food. Jeffrey Cerciello’s restaurant has been on that list. However, due to tight purse strings as a poor college student, I had to wait for the financial constraints to be lessened, to justify a visit.  Breakfast being the least expensive option, I set my treat in motion.

Scanning the menu for 10 minutes, I narrowed my options down to:

rolled herb omelette

pastrami and eggs with heirloom cauliflower and pole beans


shirred eggs with wild greens, fennel cream and Zoe’s bacon.

My decision – the shirred eggs. A disappointing choice. The mingling of ‘mushy,’ sauteed, garlicky greens with equally disturbing raw-in-the-middle eggs led me to ponder how I would have presented this dish. However, before my recipe, I hasten to add, the in-house, cured bacon, perfectly salted, was some of the best bacon I have eaten. 

My ideal recipe:


Shirred Eggs with Thinly Sliced Toasted Soldiers
serves 2

4 eggs
1 tablespoon heavy cream
2 tablespoons shredded Gruyere cheese
a few sprigs of thyme
2 pieces of toast, cut into thin slices

Preheat oven to 425°F. Lightly grease two 4-inch ramekins.

Crack 2 eggs into each ramekin, and pour 1/2 tablespoon of cream onto each egg. Sprinkle the cheese,  and a few thyme leaves onto each egg.

Bake for 7 to 10 minutes (7 for a very runny yolk, 10 for a firmer yolk).

Serve immediately with toast soldiers.

I would thinly slice some Kale, massage in some olive oil and lemon. Add S&P.  This would be added delicately to the top of my eggs and ladled onto toast. Delicious.