Paleta's Food for Thought: Organic Breakfast at Chef Kelly's
Yesterday morning, we had the pleasure of dining at the gorgeous and environmentally friendly home of Paleta executive chef Kelly Boyer in Venice., Calif. Paleta is a personalized organic gourmet meal delivery system and catering service that boasts a host of celebrity clients, like Molly Sims, Adrian Grenier and Natasha Henstridge.
As we filled up on delicious blueberry pecan muffins, vegan patties and asparagus-and-sundried tomato frittata, Boyer elaborated on Paleta's mission. "I wanted to enrich lives one person at a time through healthy eating without negatively impacting resources," explained the phenomenal lady, who embraced a gluten-, dairy-, meat-, soy- and sugar-free diet after being diagnosed with a rare and advanced form of cancer when she was 21-years-old. She's been cancer-free now for about 25 years. "It's important for me not to put toxins in my body."
But Paleta isn't about being militant. It just stays away from the aforementioned ingredients when cooking their meals as much as possible. "We make food according to our clients' needs. Not a single grain of rice goes into your food, unless it was made especially for you," Boyer said. "Our goal is to operate from an informed place."
In fact, some of their clients are athletes who require high protein, so Paleta sources meat like chicken from Mary's Chicken, which does things organic, free range and cage free.
Needless to say, we left Boyer's home that morning with satisfied stomachs and tons of food for thought!
Boyer's tips for eating healthy this holiday weekend:
Portion Control: We give our clients 1oz of salad dressing. It's not a half of cup of ranch, like when you go to the restaurant—and you don't need it. You just need to educate yourself. You don't need to put this glop of something on your food for it to taste good.
Don't Cook With Fats: We don't use butter. We use little splashes of olive oil. We specialize in sugar-free, soy-free, gluten-free and dairy-free meals. We do serve things with those, but as a philosophy, you just really don't need that stuff building up in your body.
Barbeque Maven: When I'm home, I use the barbeque a lot. I believe in using natural gas as opposed to coals when barbecuing because they're really, really terrible for the environment. Turkey and veggie burgers are a great alternative to ground beef, which is higher in fat content. Just make sure your turkey is at least 50 percent white meat. Some ground turkey blends have as much (or more) fat and calories than beef. Forget the cheese and top with freshly sliced tomatoes or roasted onions and peppers. We actually love burgers wrapped in crispy romaine or iceberg lettuce instead of on a bun.
Stick It to 'Em! Put something on a stick. The barbeque is one of the most healthiest ways you can cook. You can just marinate things with herbs, light juices and vinegar. Cook them up in the grill and your adding almost no calories to your food. It's really an easy thing to do.
Lose the Mayo: Instead of a really heavy mayonnaise-based potato salad or macaroni salad, whip up the lightest vinaigrette. You can use citrus juices, like orange juice and lemon juice, with a little splash of olive oil and fresh herbs. I wish more people used fresh herbs them every day instead of the dry herbs. You can toss that with some pasta and vegetables, or your potatoes and vegetables and it's so much better. Always keep those skins ON the potatoes for more fiber."
Safe Snacking: Take a pass on the potato chips and purchase (or make) baked potato or tortilla chips. Enjoy a variety of salsas to pleasure your palate...we love chopped fresh mangoes with bell peppers, jalapeno, cilantro, chili powder and a splash of lime juice. Keep bowls of fresh rainier cherries and tri-colored grapes at your fingertips.
Drink Water: You've heard it a 1000 times before, but it's because it's true. Drinking water will keep you hydrated, feeling full and less likely to nibble on the endless snacks you will undoubtedly be exposed to. Add some orange, lemon or cucumber slices for a refreshing twist.