Introducing Cecile Vadas. Our brand new Entertaining section in the app now houses some of her amazing recipes, which we look forward to adding to over the coming year.
Cecile is a self taught photographer and home-style cook with an aim to share recipes for easy, inexpensive but healthy alternatives that makes cooking fun and take out a thing of the past. We asked Cecile some questions to get to know her better!
What is your go-to dinner party meal and why?
For a nibble or starter, I love a platter because it’s easy to adapt to different crowds, dietary requirements and seasons. You will always find a bowl of homemade guacamole though (yes, avocado is my all times favourite ingredient to eat and cook with because it’s so versatile and full of essential fats and nutrients).
For a main, tacos are may go to! They are easy for the cook, great for conversation starters/mingling + are so healthy, fresh and colourful. I love getting people creating their own because it gives them a sense of purpose and pride as well.
I have a full ebook dedicated to set menus for dinner/lunch parties that have been styled, designed, planned to a T just for your entraining ease. There are also wines paired to each course by a resident sommelier - please visit cecilevadas.com under “Ebooks” to look at more images, information & to get your own copy.
What is the easiest way to stay healthy during the festive season?
Holidays always seem to have a bad rap for being super high in sugar, fat and a period where one stops exercising for no reason other than everyone else seems to do it too. Why? Grab the whole fam and take them ALL on a Christmas Day walk means quality time and movement at once.
Try a picnic that allows people to swim and run around or holidaying at the snow (one of the most underestimated high calorie burning holidays due maintaining core body temperature… regardless of doing any snow sports. We also should learn to love the salad again - there are no rules to salad making. Get creative, try a different dressing, add protein, grains and fruits to create colour, flavourful and a healthy dish that will fill guests up and keep to a nutritious style of cooking.
Do not forget though - allowing yourself to enjoy things that you do not normally have on a day to day basis IS HEALTHY. Starving yourself of anything idealised as a “treat” can result in unhealthy habits. Learning discipline and control is the most necessary form of being healthy.
What's one nutrition myth that you can bust for us?
Oh my! There are so many but one that I absolutely love is “re-heating food is bad”. This is totally not true (ok maybe if you reheat a protein more than 2-3 times, the likely hood of bacteria from the cooling and reheating is high) and it’s also such a time saving hack in the kitchen.
Did you know that eating reheated carbohydrates (ie. pasta, rice or even any other meal that contains a small amount of carbs), is easier, faster and you absorb less fat than when freshly cooked.
This was a recent study conducted by Michael Mosley and Dr Chris van Tulleken (BBC).“Cooking pasta and then cooling it down changes the structure of the pasta, turning it into something that is called ‘resistant starch’… So, according to scientist Dr Denise Robertson, from the University of Surrey, if you cook and cool pasta down then your body will treat it much more like fibre, creating a smaller glucose peak and helping feed the good bacteria that reside down in your gut. You will also absorb fewer calories, making this a win-win situation.”
So has eating left overs or doing that meal prep for tomorrow never sounded better?
What are top tips for meal prepping to stay on track?
Often people focus on meal prepping for lunch and dinner but then never have time for breakfast (which is the most important meal), which results in them snacking before they even get to lunch or between lunch and dinner because their blood sugar levels drop so low.
Put some attention on prepping for brekkie - start the day and week off right by having small meals prepped even when on the go. I love to throw things into a blender and just add milk or water the following morning + blend for a smoothie or prepping overnight oats so it’s as simple as grabbing that container before running out the door. Is toast your go-to breakfast (same here)? Fry that egg & prep a toasty the night before so all that is involved is grilling for 5 minutes (do this while you’re in the shower).
Try even deciding the spreads you want and leave them on the bench the night before so all you have to do is toast and spread, saving all the painful early morning decisions. A hot tip - toasted bread is better for you than fresh. How? It’s easier for your gut to digest, has lower amount of fat and has a lower glycemic index.
Love Cecile and the TF Team