Last night I had the honor of attending Chef Aj's cooking demonstration and Unprocessed presentation at Whole Foods. I almost didn't go! I thought I was too tired and didn't think I could swing getting a babysitter.
But those excuses were nothing that a little caffeine and an almost 12 year old daughter couldn't fix. That and my six-year-old Maya agreed to go with me. Which was lovely until she raised her hand really high in front of about sixty people and asked, "What's a hundred plus a hundred?"
I about died on the spot.
Luckily Chef Aj has a wicked sense of humor and a very high tolerance for six-year-olds named Maya. She's even invited Maya to move in with her in LA. I've seen Maya charm the pants off of many unsuspecting adults.
Chef Aj's presentation was dynamic. Inspiring. Outstanding.
Educational. She has an encyclopedic knowledge of all that is healthy and plant based.
Aj is a gifted whole foods chef. Her food is daring, amazing, delicious! You can find her work here, here and here.
Some of my favorite "one-liners" from The Chef Aj Show?
"What is CRAP? Calorie Rich And Processed."
"Processed food is not food."
"White ain't right."
"We are the only species that salts our food. Have you ever seen a lion with a salt shaker?"
"Americans celebrate their birthdays every single day, three times a day."
When it comes to sweets: "Eat the fruit, the whole fruit, nothing but the fruit, so help you God."
Three great food tips from Chef Aj?
(1) If you think that a recipe needs salt, try to add a sour taste instead (think lemon or lime juice). Your salt and sour taste buds are right next to each other on your tongue so one taste can satisfy the other craving.
(2) If you want to decrease the amount of nuts in a savory dish, substitute cannelini beans (washed and drained) for the nuts. It works like magic.
(3) Make your own almond milk. Simply blend 1 tablespoon of raw, unsalted almond butter with 3 cups of water. Viola! So, so, so much cheaper than what is sold in the market and no extra ingredients.
If Chef Aj is ever in your town, don't miss her! Travel if you have to. Bus, train, plane . . . you'll be glad you did.
I left the presentation inspired with the following idea that she shared with us from Jack La Lane:
"If God made it, eat it. If man made it, don't eat it."
These are words that I needed to be reminded of. Thank you Chef Aj!