Why I want to be mentor in this category: My mission is to help people eat better and be healthier by teaching them a quick and easy way to prepare whole foods. I tour around the country speaking and giving cooking demonstrations to this end.
What inspires me in this category: I don't think it's too much of a stretch to say that my life revolves around one-pot meals, but the reason I began cooking this way was because I awoke one morning 12 years ago to discover that I my right eye had gone blind overnight. Turned out I had multiple sclerosis. Because 80% of MS suffers end up in a wheelchair, I was determined to be proactive about my health. Since food is the foundation for robust health, I had to learn how to cook healthily without exhausting myself. It worked, and today I'm healthier than ever before!
Experience: I'm a patented inventor and published author of a unique method for preparing quick, easy, and healthy one-pot meals. I perform one-pot meal demonstrations all over the country.
Biggest Lesson Learned: Recipes should be adaptable and ingredients substitutable so that you can tailor a meal to your dietary requirements and family's eating preferences.
Books, classes, teachers that have helped me: Cooking classes at The Seasoned Chef in Denver, CO. Lots and lots of natural health seminars and workshops to learn how to help our bodies achieve robust health.
Education, Awards, Pro Experience: My first cookbook, Glorious One-Pot Meals, won multiple awards and sold more than 10,000 copies. My latest cookbook by the same name (Broadway Books/Random House, 2009) sold 10,000 copies in the first year of release and is going strong. I'm a Certified Nutritional Consultant (CNC) and Natural Health Professional (CNHP).
The sure way to tell if something is done is to use your nose: does it smell like it's finished?
Most ovens need to be recalibrated to attain correct temps; use an oven thermometer to be sure your oven is at the right temp for your food.
Don't believe that preheating timer on your oven; it takes more than 9 minutes to get an oven up to 450F!