I promise to fill you in on the juicy details of Cochon 555 this Friday, but I’m swamped with clients and my sister and family are in Los Angeles for a visit, so I’m trying to carve out some free time to do some shopping, art, and dining with my favorite niece, nephew, brother-in-law, and lil’ sis this week. In the meantime, you can catch up on one of the many benefits and reasons why PCA membership is such great value for your buck.

William, Jordan, Shushaun, and Patty

William, Jordan, Shushaun, and Patty

This will probably sound corny, but my favorite part of Personal Chef Approach™ website is hanging out in the forum, helping people master the approach, and getting to know some of the most thoughtful, kind, creative, and resourceful people I’ve ever met. We’ve grown into such a mutually supportive community, and now that support is spilling over into their extended families as well. Two members, this week alone, reported filling the refrigerator/freezers of relatives recovering from surgery or illness with delicious, healthy make-ahead meals they can heat to eat in a snap.

broken ankle

Jewels with a broken ankle

Living alone, and having recently been through two surgeries and a broken ankle myself, I know first hand what a life-saver having those meals on hand can be. That’s why I flew home last spring to fill mom and dad’s fridge/freezer when mom had surgery that would require an arduous recovery. Almost every day for the next couple months I would get messages from them cooing ecstatically over the delicious meals I’d left for them. It made me feel so good to be able to show my love and support by making dinner one less thing for them to worry about.

Giving loved ones an easier and tastier recovery

Giving loved ones an easier and tastier recovery

Yes, almost everything can be made in advance, frozen, then thawed and heated without tasting like nasty leftovers when you know how to do it properly – that is what the Personal Chef Approach™ is all about. Ten award-winning years of cooking for my well-heeled, celebrity clients this way has proven that it works, or I would have been out of business ages ago. The Personal Chef Approach™ gives you the tools and support you need to apply that same technique in your own home at a mere pittance of the price (less than $3.00 per week) – money you’ll immediately save in groceries that no longer go to waste. Still don’t believe me?

Here’s what one of those members had to say about it:

PCA stocked freezer

“OK, I’m a total convert now. Before this past weekend I didn’t freeze meals, I just made 3 or so meals at a time and went with that.

Saturday I had a weeks’ worth of meals, including a special Sunday dinner for my family and my brother-in-law, Skip ready within three or so hours (except for a roast which pretty much took care of itself).

Some I froze some refrigerated and clean-up was done. Skip was thrilled and he even called me his hero for bringing him meals. Wow, that really made me feel good.”

Just double your recipes

Just double your recipes

The beauty of sharing the love this way, is it doesn’t even have to be much more effort on your part! Just double the recipes you’re already making that week, keep half for your own household, and half for theirs. In Skip’s situation, that week’s worth of meals she made him will probably stretch to almost a month’s worth with four extra servings of each meal. It’s a win-win for everyone, and an enormous help in their recovery. Every time they eat a meal they’ll be getting a taste of how much you care.

Watch the video above to see what else is in it for you, and I want all of you to take the PCA™ for a test-run to see for yourself how easily even a novice cook can master  both cooking and the approach. Just click on the FREE SAMPLES app on my facebook page to try your first month FREE! Meanwhile, here’s a recipe I made for myself before I had surgery:

Roasted Garlic & Chili Rubbed Chicken

Roasted Garlic & Chili Grilled Chicken (1)

A mouthwatering blend of aromatic flavors that easily transform a boring old chicken breast into an exciting dinner!  I sometimes find garlic already roasted at the store, which does save time, but it is very simple to do – just check out my note below. Any extra can be saved and used up to 5 days covered and refrigerated, but in my household it goes quickly.

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

Roasted Garlic & Chili Grilled Chicken

  • 1 whole head garlic roasted (see note below),
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 4 chicken breasts on or off the bone

Directions

Roasted Garlic & Chili Grilled Chicken

  1. Prepare a hot grill on one side, and medium temperature on the other.
  2. Rub the seasoning mix generously into both sides of the breasts.
  3. Sear the breasts over the hot grill about 2 minutes per side to seal in the juices and get some color started, then move the the medium heat side to finish cooking, and additional 10 -12 minutes per side or until internal temperature has reached 165° F. Let rest 5-10 minutes, tented with foil to keep warm, before serving.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with chipotle cauliflower mash or mashed potatoes, Tex Mex zucchini hash, or simple grilled vegetables.

Heat To Eat

I like to rub my meat, poultry or seafood and store until I am ready to grill and eat; but for someone recovering from illness or surgery you should cook it off for them and leave instructions to heat in the microwave on 50% power (to heat without cooking further), for 3-5 minutes, turning midway to distribute heat evenly.

Variations

This versatile rub is an outstanding on of beef, pork or shrimp too.

Notes

To roast the garlic: Preheat oven to 400° F. Cut a 4-inch square piece of foil and place on a sheet pan. Peel the papery outer layer of a head of garlic off, leaving the skins on. Cut 1/2-inch off of the top of the head of garlic. Place the larger piece of garlic on the square of foil on a sheet pan (save the rest for another use). Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over the top coating well. Wrap the foil loosely around the head of garlic and roast in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the garlic is soft and squishy when you squeeze it. Store any excess garlic in an airtight container coating the garlic in olive oil for up to one week.

PS. For optimal results, be sure to cool the chicken breasts safely to room temperature, package air-tight in appropriate size containers, and freeze the same day to preserve it’s freshness. For more recipes, menus, advice and support in using the Personal Chef Approach™ please join here.

PPS. I’m wishing all those family members a full, speedy, and tasty recovery! What are your favorite make-ahead recipes?

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  • April 2, 2013
    11:46 am

    Wow, what an awesome story! :-)

    • April 2, 2013
      1:23 pm

      Hehehehe … you ROCK Suzanne!

  • April 2, 2013
    1:21 pm

    What dish would you say uses Mediterranean salt best? I tried on fresh cut green beans sautéed in olive oil, was a bit much so I haven’t tried on anything else since.

    • April 2, 2013
      1:28 pm

      I’m not sure what you mean by Mediterranean salt? Are you talking about sea salt alone, or mixed with herbs? Perhaps you just used too much, and should try the green beans again with less seasoning, but if you mean with herbs – the potency will vary depending upon the actual mix whoever made it used, and how fresh it is (it will lose some potency over time). Mediterranean mixes can have Rosemary and Lavender in them – both of which can be overpowering when you use too much.

  • April 4, 2013
    1:49 am

    That’s is so great that you could be there for your mom. My mom suffers with a few ailments and I wish I could be there more to help her out (she is in another state) and too, if I cooked a weeks worth of meals for her I would know she was eating healthy JulieAnne style! I miss the forum, so will renew as soon as I can!

  • April 4, 2013
    7:27 am

    Hey Penelope! Next time you visit your mom, first check to see if she has (or you can make room) the freezer space to store the food. Then cook 3-5 meals, but do 4-8 servings of each meal, package them individually, and store in the freezer. Up to forty meals (5 meals x 8 servings) would give a person who lives alone enough food for a month, and would last a couple for two weeks. She’d be tasting how much you care for weeks ages after you leave!

    • April 4, 2013
      11:52 am

      Oh that’s great idea, I forget how much the portions are and she doesn’t eat as much as my growing fashion tween ;) So yeah, a month worth would be awesome sauce!

  • April 4, 2013
    9:17 am

    I find when I’m following recipes that I instantly reduce the amount of salt required. I don’t add salt at the table and truthfully, have only bought one container of salt in the past two years and I tend to use it a lot for cleaning in the kitchen.
    Hoping to do a big PCA run in the kitchen after my next grocery delivery. The meat I bought last week has been cooked a bit at a time due to time constraints. I know that I want to clear out my freezer and fill it up with soups, stews, and all the good things I love from your recipes. Then, when the health woes hit again, I won’t be scavenging for something that appeals to me. It really is wise to keep the freezer filled since you never know when life plans to slap you down and you won’t be able to pull a meal together. Much easier to pull one out of the freezer! And healthier! Even sodium reduced soups still taste too salty for me. Given that I am borderline with my blood pressure, I think it’s wise for me to try to reduce my salt consumption even more than I have.

  • April 4, 2013
    12:01 pm

    BTW, I am making this tonight. I defrosted some large chicken breasts last night(from TJs) and didn’t know what to do with them. Best thing about this recipe is that I already have all these ingredients in my house! But I don’t have your food painting skills to think of this combo!

    • April 4, 2013
      12:10 pm

      The same rub is delicious on shrimp and steak as well.

  • October 12, 2013
    1:52 pm

    I hope you took the cast off.How is your leg going?

  • October 13, 2013
    11:32 am

    Completely back to normal, thanks!