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    Natalie Jean

    Member since Mar 2010

    Chef #1568727

    From United States

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    About Me

    About Natalie Jean
    I'm a vegetarian graduate student, doing my best to live and eat healthy on a dime. I go to school in the rural midwest, and have recently started approaching cooking as both a silly and serious personal survival tactic. I live in an area that lacks the many vegetarian-friendly restaurant options that I grew up with at home, so a lot of my recipes will be a reflection of my own attempts at recreating those favorite ethnic meals. Those recipes should definitely not be considered authentic by any stretch of the imagination!

    I always prefer cooking with fresh ingredients - especially when it comes to vegetables, fruit, and cheese. I'll definitely subsitute frozen or prepared foods when I'm really trying to stretch my money, and/or when I know it will save me loads of time.

    I think one of the healthiest things I do everytime I go grocery shopping is alwaysalwaysalways buying the available whole grain option, no matter if it is blue box macaroni and cheese, brown rice, cereal, or simply a loaf of bread. Always starting off with healthy "base foods," like your grains, is one of the best ways to get in the right mindset for making future healthy food choices.

    My ultimate secret weapon for cooking is to use cresent roll dough! You can make any kind of crust, pocket, wrap, or bundle you'll need for any meal of the day, no matter if it is a sweet or savory dish, a main course or an appetizer. The best part is that it will taste better than any pre-made dough you'd unthaw or bake - and you can make it extra healthy by using the reduced fat versions available in the grocery. I normally use oil and spices to coat the dough when I'm making a savory dish, and vanilla flavoring and sugar when creating a sweet dish.

    I love experimenting, testing, and tweaking new (and old!) recipes, so if you have a dish you'd think I'd enjoy and like for me to review, please send me a message and I'll test it out!

    Favorite Foods

    red peppers, yogurt, feta cheese, zucchini, cresent roll dough, orange sherbet, butternut squash, spinach, goat cheese

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