One of the best things about chef Jackie Newgent is that once she cooks you a delicious healthy meal, she can tell you exactly why it’s so delicious and healthy. As a registered dietician and award-winning cookbook author, Jackie is considered a “culinary nutrition, diet, and green cuisine expert.” She is frequently featured on Planet Green’s Emeril Green and Martha Stewart Living Sirius Satellite Radio’s Whole Living.
On her food blog, Tasteovers by Jackie, one of her favorite things to do is take a not-so-good-for-you recipe and give it a makeover. She never shies away from a challenge. Even decadent dishes like fettucini alfredo get a scrumptious healthy redo. Recently we spoke to Jackie about her blog.
Why did you start your food blog? I wanted to make sure everyone had access to my style of nutritious cooking, not just those that bought one of my cookbooks or attended my culinary classes. I love sharing and showcasing taste as the primary feature of better-for-you recipes.
How would you describe your approach to eating/health? I’m passionate about a Mediterranean-style plant-based eating approach. I also enjoy exercising and am somewhat of a walking freak—which is so important when you’re around food as much as I am. But above all, taste always comes first. I’m not a freak about eating a “perfect” diet. I feel that enjoyment is a key to healthful eating for a lifetime—and a healthy life.
Have you always had an interest in healthy food or did it come later in life? Yes, I had interest in “good eats” from the practically the moment I could start speaking. My mother was a caterer and taught me the importance of food quality. I was her constant kitchen side-kick. Though my definition of “healthy” may have changed over the years, it’s always been at the core of my eating philosophy.
What is your favorite (or a few of your favorites) food/ingredient to use in the kitchen? Well, I know I couldn’t live without veggies. So any veggie that’s in season is a must-have in my kitchen. As for staples, it’s gotta be sea salt and extra-virgin olive oil. When you start with fresh ingredients, those two simple stapes–salt and oil—are like culinary magic. A pinch or drizzle is all you need.
Favorite recipe to date? That’s always the most impossible question for me to answer. But one of my favorite foods is avocado. So if I had a favorite, it’s probably going to have avocado in it.
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Jackie is the latest in our series of spotlights on healthy food bloggers. Be sure to check back next Sunday to meet another healthy food blogger in our midst.