Stir together 1/2 cup coconut milk, garlic, 1 teaspoon curry powder, brown sugar, salt, and pepper until the sugar has dissolved. Toss marinade with the chicken, cover, and marinate for at least 2 hours.
Bring 1 cup coconut milk, 1 tablespoon curry powder, peanut butter, chicken stock, and 1/4 cup brown sugar to a simmer in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until smooth and thickened. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice and soy sauce; season to taste with salt.
Preheat a grill for medium-high heat.
Thread marinated chicken onto skewers, then grill 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Serve with warm peanut sauce.
Jennings is well-known in the food industry. He’s been nominated five times for the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef of the Northeast. He and his wife, Kate, a pastry chef, ran two highly praised restaurants in Rhode Island and Boston before closing the latter in July 2018 to focus on Jennings’ culinary consulting agency. According to the chef, Full Heart Hospitality is devoted to culture, people and bringing wellness into the restaurant business.
And there’s a reason Jennings has truly put his full heart behind it.
When Jennings visited his doctor in 2016, he showed signs of pre-diabetes, had high cholesterol and was suffering from acute anxiety disorder. Severely overweight, he spent his days and nights in a fast-paced kitchen, often tasting food behind the scenes and quickly losing track of how much he was actually eating.
“What a lot of people don’t understand is that food can be an addiction. Like any good addict, I had my gutter moment,” Jennings told TODAY Food. “I walked home and into my kitchen and told my wife, it’s time to change my life. I had to get healthy for myself, my wife and my kids.”
This decision came with Jennings’ realization that somewhere between being a “creative, curious, very active” kid and the stresses of adulthood, he’d lost himself and what it truly feels like to be healthy.
“Once you’ve decided wellness — most importantly feeling healthy — is of central importance in your life, then and only then will you make progress in physically changing your life,” Jennings told TODAY.
Eating healthy, the chef says, isn’t just about food. It’s also about mental, physical, emotional and even spiritual health. Food — especially for a chef — is, of course, a big part of the equation.
“These days, I’m focusing on eating lean proteins, very vegetable heavy, grains. I like balance, I like flavor and I like simplicity,” Jennings added.
He showed the TODAY anchors how to make one of his favorite healthy, yet hearty, dishes: fish cooked in a paper bag with potatoes, olives and herbs. Said Jennings, “I love this recipe because it’s simple, clean, fresh, healthy and delicious. Plus, clean up is as simple as folding up the bag and throwing it away!”
But eating less was just one of the tools Jennings used to help him lose 200 pounds. In 2016, he chose to undergo a sleeve gastrectomy, a surgical procedure in which the stomach is reduced in size. But the chef is adamant that bariatric surgery isn’t an easy fix, but rather a serious procedure designed to help people who are very overweight start on the right path better health. Keeping weight off after the surgery, the chef says, involved major lifestyle changes.
However, Jennings has advice for anyone looking to lose weight, or simply trying to eat healthier to feel better.
“By making small changes in your diet, focusing on high quality foods, eating more frequently, smaller amounts throughout the day, these are all things that will add to the ability for you to take your health back,” Jennings said.
He continued: “When I look back at photos of the past … I see someone who didn’t even have the chance to pick his head up from the work he was doing to recognize the ability he had within himself to save his own life.”
CHEF MATT JENNINGS’ DIET HACKS FOR LIFE:
Hydrate the hunger. Drink plenty of water every day. Jennings drinks up to 1/2 gallon.
Whole grains are great.Whole grains make your body work harder and help prevent blood sugar spikes commonly seen after the consumption of highly processed starches.
Pigments are a plus. Seek out a variety of color when planning your meals, particularly with vegetables. In addition to macro and micro nutrients, phytonutrients are quickly gaining recognition among researchers as being beneficial.
Set a timer. Use phone or watch alarms to alert you when it’s snack time. If you’re super busy during the day, you might forget to enjoy a little something and end up overeating at the next meal.
Bad eating day? Don’t panic! We all mess up so it’s important not to beat yourself up about minor setbacks. Stay positive, make a game plan for the next day and get back to it!
Check out of more of Matt Jennings’ favorite recipes:
Nachos get a New England twist with fresh lobster meat. Fresh baked tortilla chips, smoky crema, creamy avocado and homemade pickled jalapeños make this game-day staple extra special.
15 yellow corn tortillas
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for greasing baking sheets
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
2 cups chopped cooked lobster tail
2 cups diced avocado
1 cup diced cucumber
3/4 cup finely diced red onion
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons coarsely chopped cilantro
1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1 dash freshly ground black pepper
1 dash cayenne
1 teaspoon agave
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup water
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt
8 jalapeño peppers, thinly sliced
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Queso fresco, crumbled
For the chips:
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Brush two large baking sheets with olive oil.
2. In a small bowl, mix the oil and lime juice together. Brush the mixture on one tortilla, making sure to cover the entire surface. Stack another tortilla on top and brush on oil mixture. Continue until you get have about 7 or 8 tortillas in a stack. Cut tortillas in half. Cut each half into small triangles. Set aside. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
3. Arrange tortilla pieces on the baking sheets in a single layer (they can be lined right next to each other as they’ll shrink once baked). Sprinkle salt all over the tortilla pieces.
4. Bake for 8-12 minutes, or until the chips are golden (depending on the size of your baking sheets, you may need to bake everything in two batches).
5. Let the chips cool before assembling nachos. Store chips in an airtight container for 1-2 weeks.
For the lobster salad:
Add all ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir to combine. Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
For the pickled jalapeños:
Combine the vinegar, water, garlic, sugar and salt in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Add jalapeño slices, stir and remove from heat. Let sit for at least 8 minutes then use tongs or a slotted spoon to remove the jalapeños from the pot to a jar. Cover with the brining liquid to fill the jar. Store in the fridge for up to 2 months.
For the crema:
In a bowl, whisk all the ingredients together until fully incorporated. Set aside.
Pile the nachos on a large serving plate and scatter the lobster salad over the chips. Drizzle with crema and garnish with pickled jalapeños, queso fresco and cilantro leaves.
Erica Chayes Wida is a New York City-area based journalist and food writer obsessed with culture, poetry and travel. Follow her work on Contently.
Sick of the same old Buffalo wings at every tailgate, party, really any social gathering? Change the game with these better-for-you, more complex-tasting but simple-to-make grilled chicken wings — no frying necessary. They’re so packed with flavor, you’ll forget why dipping sauce was ever invented.
1 gallon water
1 bottle (approx. 20 ounces) agave syrup
1 cup kosher salt
2 fresh bay leaves
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
4 pieces star anise
3 tablespoons juniper berries
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 tablespoons cumin seeds
1 head of garlic, whole cloves, peeled
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 dozen chicken wings, wing tips removed
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil or sunflower oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
Coarse black pepper to taste
Zest of 3 limes
Juice of 3 limes, plus juice from 2 additional limes
1 bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons raw honey
3 tablespoons grade B amber maple syrup, plus 2 tablespoons additional syrup
Kosher salt to taste
Make the brine a day ahead: In a small sauté pan, combine peppercorns, star anise, juniper berries, coriander seeds and cumin seeds. Toast the spices together in the pan over medium heat until aromatic. In a medium sized pot, add these toasted spices to the gallon of water, kosher salt, agave syrup, bay leaves, garlic cloves and fresh thyme. Bring the mixture to a boil. Turn heat off immediately. Set aside to cool.
When brine is cool, submerge the chicken wings in the brine, and leave overnight in your refrigerator. The next day, take the wings out of the brine and pat dry well with paper towel.
Once dry, toss the wings in a large stainless steel bowl with the flaxseed oil, salt, cracked black pepper, lime juice, honey and maple syrup.
On a hot grill, in batches, cook the wings. Once fully cooked through, in an additional stainless steel bowl, toss the wings with the additional lime juice, lime zest and seasoning. Add the cilantro and additional maple syrup. Toss well. Serve immediately.
Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States, has a firmly rooted role in American food history. A naturally curious and creative individual, Jefferson embraced the relationship between garden and table. His Virginia plantation Monticello was a place of horticultural creativity and ingenuity; his gardens were home to a number of unique (what would now be considered heirloom) vegetables and fruits. As Minister to France, Jefferson learned a great deal about French cuisine and cooking methods, often recording recipes in his own hand. While in Washington, he became know for throwing the finest dinners the President’s House had ever seen. Jefferson’s Monticello kitchen blended Southern Virginian cooking styles with Continental cuisine, while also incorporating the African cooking influences of his enslaved staff. He had an important impact on the national culinary consciousness, combining food traditions from the Old World and the New World to create a uniquely American approach to cooking.
While living at Monticello, Jefferson kept a detailed notebook about his kitchen garden, recording the planting of hundreds of varieties of fruits, vegetables, and herbs. He was always in search of new additions to his garden collection. He planted all kinds of things, from Italian grapes to French tarragon to Texas peppers to Irish wheat. He was known to admire Continental gardening styles, and used the book “Observations on Modern Gardening” by British author Thomas Whaley as a resource when planning his own gardens at Monticello. Jefferson was drawn to Whaley’s description of the ferme ornée (ornamental farm) concept, a style of garden that combined the agricultural working farm with the beauty of a pleasure garden. The style is reflected in the ornamental yet functional design of the gardens surrounding Monticello. The records he kept of the various vegetables and fruits he planted have proven extremely helpful to food historians, providing insight into the burgeoning culinary identity of the newly formed American colonies.
Jefferson was intellectually curious about many subjects, and food was clearly a particular passion. He recorded at least 10 recipes by hand, including a classical French cooking practice which he titled, simply, “Observations on Soup”:
Always observe to lay your meat in the bottom of the pan with a lump of fresh butter. Cut the herbs and roots small and lay them over the meat. Cover it close and put it over a slow fire. This will draw forth the flavors of the herbs and in a much greater degree than to put on the water at first. When the gravy produced from the meat is beginning to dry put in the water, and when the soup is done take it off. Let it cool and skim off the fat clear. Heat it again and dish it up. When you make white soups never put in the cream until you take it off the fire.
Jefferson was appointed Minister (plenipotentiary) to France from 1785 to 1789. While in Europe, he spent a good deal of time exploring French cuisine and cooking methods. He became an expert on French wines, and he even brought a slave from Monticello named James Hemings with him to learn French cookery. When Jefferson took the Oath of Office in 1801, one of his first priorities was finding a suitable French chef for the President’s House kitchen. During Jefferson’s time, and for several decades after, French food, serving styles and social graces were considered the ultimate in refinement. We can still see this fondness for French food styles in America today.
The French-inspired recipe for White Bean Soup in today’s blog appears in a Monticello cooking manuscript compiled by Jefferson’s granddaughters, Virginia Randolph Trist and Septimia Anne Randolph Meikleham. In their notes, they write that the recipe was brought over by their uncle, Gouverneur Morris, from one of his trips to Europe. It is a simple and classic white bean soup, pureed and served over warm grilled bread croutons. The dish is vegetarian; it makes a delicious and healthy winter meal. At Monticello, it would have been served as one of several appetizers in a multi-course meal. Thomas Jefferson was known to have a fondness for vegetables and kept meat consumption to a minimum—in his words, “I have lived temperately, eating little animal food, and that is not an aliment, so much as a condiment for the vegetables which constitute my principal diet.” This soup is a great example of a meat-free dish that surely made an appearance on Thomas Jefferson’s dinner table.
I first read this recipe in the book “Dining at Monticello,” a beautiful hardback volume (now out of print) that combines scholarly essays, illustrations, and recipes to give a broad overview of what food was like at Jefferson’s colonial-era Monticello. I have not yet been able to obtain the original recipe verbatim (I have a request pending at the Jefferson archives), so I’m relying on editor Damon Lee Fowler’s transcription. He notes that he had help from noted food historian Karen Hess, so no doubt this is a very accurate transcription. I’ve added pepper to the soup according to taste; pepper was widely available at the time, and I don’t think it would be out of place in this type of soup. While the soup was nice with salt alone, the pepper definitely improved the flavor. Otherwise, the recipe remains untouched from Mr. Fowler’s transcription.
Update: I received a scan of the original recipe from the Jefferson archives. Here is the recipe from the Meikelham and Trist Manuscripts, verbatim, for those who are interested. It is indeed quite similar to Fowler’s transcription. Words with question marks were illegible on the scan.
Put 1 qt. beans in soak at night; the next morning put them into a pot with some salt and 1 gal. cold water; afterwards put in some carrots & turnips * 1 parsnip, the first scraped, the second (& third) peeled, and both cut up in small pieces. Set the pot to one side of the range, skimming it as you do other soups, and let it simmer for 5 or 6 hours. After the vegetables have (become?) soft, pass the whole through the colander & put it back in its pot. About half an hour before the soup is taken off, cut up some stalks of celery and put them in. Fry or toast some thin slices of bread & cut them up in small pieces & put into the tureen in which the soup is to be served; then pour it on the bread. If the bread is fried, cut it up before putting it in the pan. If the soup gets too thick in boiling, add boiling water to it; it may be, you may add in the (?) – the time that it is on the fire, two quarts more or less. The quantity here directed will make soup for two days for a family of an ordinary size.
– Governor Morris the Elder
* The beans ought to be washed and picked before putting them in soak, or using them without soaking, in which (best?) case they take longer to boil.
* These roots need not be put on directly with the beans, the carrots should be put on first of them, then turnips, then parsnip last.
Put the beans in a large pot or 6-quart Dutch oven. Cover with 4 quarts of water and bring slowly to a simmer over medium heat, skimming any scum that rises to the surface. Simmer gently until the beans are tender, about 1 hour. Replenish the liquid with additional water as needed.
Season the mixture with salt and pepper. Add the diced carrots and turnips and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Add the parsnip and continue to simmer until all of the vegetables and beans are quite soft, 15-30 minutes longer. Taste the soup and adjust seasoning, adding more salt or pepper to taste, if desired.
Pass the soup through a food mill to puree, or use an immersion blend to blend the soup till it reaches the desired texture. In Jefferson’s time it would have been passed through a sieve to make a very smooth and light puree, but it is a very time consuming process for a large batch of soup like this. The food mill will create the most authentic texture in a short amount of time. An immersion blender will make the soup thicker, less silky and less refined, with a texture that is not as authentic. It will still be tasty, though.
Add the chopped celery ribs to the puree and simmer gently for 15 minutes more. If the soup is too thick, thin it with more simmering water.
Butter the bread slices and toast them in a skillet on medium heat, turning frequently, until golden. To make the dish pareve or vegan, use a dairy-free bread and rub the bread lightly with olive oil instead of butter before browning.
Cut the toasted slices into bite-sized pieces and divide them among 8 warm bowls.
Ladle the soup over the toasted bread cubes. Serve hot. I like to garnish each serving with a few small bread cubes on top. Note: to make this soup vegan/dairy free, omit butter and use a dairy-free bread… not necessarily traditional, but an easy sub to make. 🙂
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Recipe and Research Sources
The Meikelham and Trist Manuscripts as printed in Dining at Monticello (2005), transcribed and edited by Damon Lee Fowler. Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc. University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Jefferson, Thomas (collective works compiled 1984). Jefferson Writings: Autobiography, Notes on the State of Virginia, Public and Private Papers, Addresses, Letters. Library of America, Des Moines, IA.
Wulf, Andrea (2011). Founding Gardners: The Revolutionary Generation, Nature, and the Shaping of the American Nation. Knopf, New York, NY.
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TODAY IS THOMAS JEFFERSON’S birthday, and what might the president, on his special day, have had to eat?
Perhaps chicken fricassee, baked Virginia ham, or bouilli—beef boiled with onion, carrots, turnips, and celery, and topped with a mushroom-and-caper sauce. Any of these may have been accompanied by asparagus or peas, both of which—according to Jefferson’s meticulously kept Garden Book—were often available from the Monticello gardens by early April. And the meal may have been polished off with ice cream, pastry, pudding, or crème brûlée, and followed up with an after-dinner glass of Madeira, which Jefferson believed was good for the health
Whatever was served on the Jeffersonian birthday table, it was almost certainly delicious. Unlike Bill Clinton, whose favorite meals once featured cheeseburgers and Egg McMuffins, or George H.W. Bush, who touted pork rinds, popcorn, and hot dogs, Thomas Jefferson was renowned for his discerning and sophisticated taste in food.
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Of his many accomplishments, the three that Thomas Jefferson chose to be engraved on his tombstone were his authorship of the Declaration of Independence and the Virginia Statue for Religious Freedom, and the founding of the University of Virginia. He didn’t mention French fries, champagne, macaroni, waffles, ice cream, olive oil, or Parmesan cheese. In fact, these probably didn’t even make it into his top tombstone ten, but Americans owe him a considerable debt for expanding our diets to include these items. Without Jefferson, we might just possibly still be stuck with cornmeal mush and dried-apple pie.
Though common dogma holds that French cooking arrived in the United States in 1961 when Julia Child’s now-classic, 524-recipe Mastering the Art of French Cooking hit the stands, Thomas Craughwell, author of Thomas Jefferson’s Crème BrûléeThomas Jefferson’s Crème Brûlée, argues that it arrived much earlier, with Thomas Jefferson and his French-trained chef/slave, James Hemings. And, despite Jefferson’s passionate interest in all things food, Hemings gets the hands-on credit here. Jefferson, for all his talents, was no cook. According to his household staff, Jefferson never entered the Monticello kitchen except to wind the clock.
Strange fossil may be rare insect preserved in gemstone
During his five years as American minister to France, Jefferson reveled in French culture. He went to concerts and plays, visited the Louvre, bought furniture, silver, paintings, sculpture, mirrors, and kicky kitchen equipment: He came home with a coffee urn, a pasta machine, a waffle iron, ice-cream molds, and a bowl for cooling wine glasses.
And he certainly enjoyed fine food. He had offered 19-year-old James Hemings his freedom if James would learn French cuisine and pass it on to cooks at Monticello. James seems to have more than lived up to his half of the bargain. He became fluent in French and was soon such a skilled cook that Jefferson’s dinner parties, attended by the best and the brightest in France, were famous for scrumptious dishes.
Despite unsubstantiated culinary legend, Jefferson didn’t invent any of the foods that are associated with his name. Instead, since the public paid avid attention to what was served on the president’s table, he had a bully pulpit for popularizing his favorites. For example, ice cream. While ice cream in one form or another had been around for hundreds of years, Jefferson’s recipe is the first recorded by an American, and it was during his administration that it became an increasingly universal treat. The president seems to have favored it encased in pastry. Guests to the President’s House (now White House) describe “balls of frozen material” in a pastry crust. When Jefferson’s French cook, Honore Julien, left the president’s service in 1810, he opened a confectionary business, offering ice cream to customers on Sundays and Wednesdays. By 1824, when Mary Randolph (a Jefferson relative) published The Virginia House-Wife, she included twenty different recipes for ice cream, including one flavored with oysters.
Similarly, Jefferson was a proponent of the now all-American standard: macaroni and cheese. In fact, he served it at a state dinner in 1802.
Not everybody appreciated Jefferson’s culinary predelictions. Patrick Henry— obviously a cornmeal mush man—excoriated him for abjuring “his native victuals in favor of French cuisine.” According to his granddaughter, Jefferson’s preference for such dishes as bouilli and crème brûlée caused his enemies to accuse him of colluding with Napoleon Bonaparte.
Jefferson, however, had a foot in both food camps. While supporting foreign newbies such as olive oil, champagne, and Parmesan cheese, Jefferson also promoted the best of foods from home. French apples, for example, didn’t meet his standards: announcing that there was nothing in Europe to compare to the Newtown pippin, he begged James Madison to ship him a barrel. In his French garden, he grew American corn. During his years abroad, he missed Virginia hams (“better than any to be had”) in France and he ordered American shipments of pecans and cranberries.
Thomas Jefferson may have been America’s first foodie—the first to embrace today’s acceptance of a vast and fascinating range of cuisines. Today we leap insouciantly from sushi to tacos, lasagna to Yorkshire pudding to paella to boeuf bourguignon—but historically that hasn’t been the case. For many, it was at Thomas Jefferson’s table that people had their first taste of a new food world.
Perhaps even more important, Jeffersonian dinners were known not just for creative food, but for social connections and lively conversation. An often-repeated quote by John F. Kennedy, remarking on a White House dinner of Nobel Prize winners, references “the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.”
Thomas Jefferson, however, did his best never to dine alone.
This is one of the features that give the Source an edge over all the other SodaStream, the mechanism that is used to snap the carbonation bottle in place is seamless and flows naturally for the Source.
Unlike the SodaStream Jet and Fizzi have a more tricky screwing mechanism.
The snap mechanism is a recent innovation and is patented by the SodaStream company.
5-Consistent Carbonation Every Time
Another great feature the Source has is that it gives you a consistent level of carbonation every time you use it there is no guesswork.
How it does so is based on the LED lights, which are illuminated when the water reaches a carbonation level, this allows you to know when to stop pressing the carbonation button and when to keep pressing.
Older SodaStream models have a lot of guesswork in play and with outdated waiting for buzzing sounds that are hard to hear and sometimes never happen.
This visual guide allows you to have more control over your SodaStream.
6-Doesn’t Use Electricity
The Source even though it has LED lights and so many features it still doesn’t use electricity so it won’t be sending your utility bill up.
Also because it doesn’t use electricity it won’t pose as an electrical hazard in your kitchen. This can be a potential risk since you are dealing with water.
Like all SodaStream the Source will help you to save money this is because it is usually cheaper to make your own sparkling water at home.
It works out to 0.25 cents for a liter of sparkling water if this is lower than the price of sparkling water in your area you will save money.
1-Slightly More Expensive Than Older SodaStream Models
The Source carries with it a slightly higher price than the SodaStream Jet or SodaStream Fizzi both of which are older SodaStream models that lack the LED Light and Snap-on Bottle System.
In my opinion, the extra features that the Source have are well worth the few extra bucks.
2- Cannot Use The Larger 130-Liter CO2 Cylinders
SodaStream offers two sizes of cylinders the 60-liter and the 130-liter.
The Source can only use the 60-liter cylinder which for me is the biggest drawback for the Source.
You see the 130-liter cylinder will last more than twice as long as the 60-liter, this means you won’t have to get refills as often.
The main reason why SodaStream designed the Source to only use the 60-liter is that they are trying to phase out the 130-liter cylinder.
This is because the 60-liter tanks are smaller and much easier to ship.
SodaStream is trying to build up a better logistical network for delivering SodaStream Cylinders, so the fact that they will only have one size of cylinder makes their systems more streamlined.
3-Can Only Carbonate Water.
The SodaStream Source like all SodaStream can only carbonate water if you do attempt to carbonate other beverages you risk making a mess and losing your warranty.