IN THE KITCHEN WITH JEAN CHOI
Meet Jean Choi, our first Featured Chef of the new year. After suffering for many years with symptoms of IBS, including severe bloating, extreme fatigue, constant irritability and anxiety, Jean discovered a real food approach to her diet that alleviated many of her symptoms.Jean believes that the food you love should love you back, making you feel amazing inside and out. She loves traditional cooking methods like fermenting, slow cooking (bone broth everyday!), soaking and sprouting, and her recipes are full of healthy fats like butter, lard, & tallow, in addition to our favorite pasture-raised and grass-fed meats. We hope you enjoy her creations as much as we do!
Tell us a little about yourself.
Hello! My name is Jean Choi and I’m a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, sugar detox coach, and the Owner and Founder of the blog, What Great Grandma Ate. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area with my fiancé and 2 dogs, and recently moved here from New York City. Cooking, photography, and traveling are my top passions and I also love to help others discover that healthy home cooking can be fun and easy.
How did you get involved in cooking?
About 8 years ago, I discovered that I have gluten and dairy intolerances after years of digestive discomfort and bloating. It really forced me start cooking at home to avoid cross-contamination. Along the way, I started feeling so much better and having more energy, and I really fell in love with the art of creating delicious meals in the kitchen. I also started digging into the science behind how the nutrients in our food can really heal us from inside out, and became fascinated enough to start my own business and blog about real food!
Describe your cooking style?
I want to encourage busy individuals to start cooking at home often, so I mostly make simple and easy recipes that are either quick or use “set it and forget it” methods like the slow cooker and the Instant Pot. You’ll find gluten free, Paleo, and mostly sugar detox friendly recipes on my blog. Healthy meals can easily be delicious and approachable, and I hope to get that message across with my cooking style.
How did you learn about grass-fed meats?
It was when I started doing my own research about how the quality of food impacts our health. It amazed me to learn the nutritional differences between properly raised, grass fed animals and the ones that have been raised in a factory farm. I’m also an animal lover, so I’m a huge proponent of eating meats that were raised in a happy and healthy environment.
What is your favorite recipe featuring grass-fed meat?
My Moroccan Meatballs with Creamy Dipping Sauce. Everyone loves it, and it’s a great make-ahead dish. Make a big batch and freeze it for an easy weeknight meal!
You’re stranded on a desert island; luckily you’re stranded with your top 5 ingredients and must-have kitchen tool. What are they?
Eggs, bacon, coffee, sweet potatoes, and butter. Can you tell I love breakfast? My must have kitchen tool is a cast iron skillet.
What is one of the best cooking secret/tip/piece of advice you’ve learned?
When you think that a food needs more salt, try adding an acid like lemon juice or apple cider vinegar instead. Instant flavor boosters!
What is your favorite quote/song for culinary inspiration?
“Don’t eat anything your great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.” by Michael Pollan. It’s what my whole food philosophy is based upon!
Anything else you want to share?