Source: Web exclusive; photo courtesy of bitchinlifestyle.tv
Nadia G isn’t exactly what you imagine when you think of a Food Network personality. Irreverent, funny and completely rock ‘n’ roll, Nadia’s new show, Bitchin’ Kitchen, serves up delicious home-style recipes, rocker-chick style. With episode themes like ‘The Dish on Dating’ and ‘Rehab Recipes,’ this is not your mother’s cooking show. But underneath the rhinestones, zebra print and tattoos, the Montreal native cooks up delicious-looking meals that focus on fresh, organic ingredients.
Here, the online phenomenon (she first launched the show as a web series and maintains a popular blog) describes how she keeps her cooking fun, fresh and healthy.
Best Health: How does healthy eating factor into Bitchin’ Kitchen?
Nadia G: I believe anything you make at home is healthier than anything you can get outside the house. So cooking your own food is already a start. The cooking on Bitchin’ Kitchen is all home-style cuisine. Restaurant-style food will always have tons of butter and oil. Obviously it tastes great. But we’re careful with the measurements in our recipes.
BH: As a cooking personality, you must have the opportunity to eat lots of delicious (and also very rich) food. How do you maintain a healthy balance?
NG: I love food too much not to shkoff some decadent meals. So for me, the balance is that if I want to enjoy that truffled risotto, I’ve got to work out a lot’I would say between three to five times a week. And I do eat a lot of vegetarian food in my own kitchen. I cook with lentils and I make a lot of healthy stews.
BH: Some people think healthy food is boring. How do you keep cooking exciting while still being healthy?
NG: Check out what’s in season. It can be very inspiring to head down to the market and see what the farmers are bringing in from one week to the next. If you go on some really healthy crash diet and you’re not eating anything that’s satisfying you, you’re not going to last. The ticket is to eat foods you like, make it yourself and eat what’s fresh. And have fun with it.
BH: Any healthy-eating tricks you can divulge?
NG: Measure your fats. A lot of people eyeball it and free-pour the oil, but it adds up at the end of the day. And don’t be too obsessed with watching every little thing that you eat. If you’re cooking at home, it’s already a great step towards eating healthy.
BH: What do you eat when you’re busy and the last thing you want to do is cook?
NG: If you really don’t feel like cooking, there are a lot of great meals you can make ahead that can last for a couple of days. One of my favourites is shepherd’s pie.
BH: What are the ingredients you always have in your kitchen?
NG: A great trick is to always have caramelized onions on hand. They add a ton of flavour. Just slice an onion, cook it for 40 minutes and you’ve got this sweet oniony flavour that will heighten even an egg white sandwich.
Instead of using sugar, substitute with maple syrup, which has a lot of antioxidants. Often when I make a dish at home, I use very little to no salt, and I put low-sodium tamari and maple syrup on the table and I let people dress the food themselves.
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