“Eat good, whole, unprocessed & delicious food. Eat consciously, slowly, & only when you’re hungry. Cook more at home and experiment with new recipes & foods. Let yourself ‘be bad’ now and again, enjoy your food at every meal, & simply, live!” Merle Moses was exercising her culinary experiences long before blogging and foodie reality shows. As a teenager, consumed with health & fitness, Merle maintained a journal to monitor and record recipes & meals. Rather than head straight to culinary school, Merle pursued her university education in psychology, followed by a position in hospital human resources. Fast forward to Ottawa from Montreal, motherhood became her full time position and passion along with cooking, menu planning, school lunches & dinner time. Merle’s objectives were fulfilled with healthy and meaningful family meals. Merle eventually returned back to work full time as an Executive Assistant at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and also participates in various fundraising sports events and fitness programs and also volunteers as a TESL instructor. Nevertheless, Merle continues to be the family and friends chef, cooking is fun and a de-stresser with results that are delicious and healthy. She is inspired by her three sons, her husband, sisters, favorite cooking shows, and the farm to fork approach to healthy eating.
“As long as I have good food, and family and friends to share with, my life is complete”. When Liz is preparing delicious food, she is in her happy place. Liz’s passion for people and delicious home cooked food is evident by her success and reputation. Her culinary focus is clean, fresh, healthy, in season, creative, and absolutely delicious. Cooking for friends and family is Liz’s way of sharing her love and passion. Growing up with parents who lived through the war, food became the most important aspect of the home: her father would often boast “You look fat like a barrel” as he took pride in watching his daughters eat. This viewpoint, contrasting to the rest of society’s idea of “thin is beautiful”, drove Liz on a quest for healthy living. In 1996, Liz started her own personal fitness company where she catered to fitness and nutritional needs of individuals of all ages and fitness levels and helped them achieve their lifestyle objectives. Currently living in Ottawa, Liz is the proud mother of Sarah, 25: a world traveler, a blogger and a food aficionado; and Sammy, 22: a hockey player, advertising graduate, and a lover of the arts. Liz continues to operate a personal chef service to a diverse clientele where she caters her delicacies to individual’s dietary needs. When she’s not in the kitchen stirring the pot, you can find Liz at the gym squatting 135 lbs. and bench pressing 105 lbs.
“The habits of the home in one generation become the morals of society in the next, therefore I take full responsibility as a parent to set a positive example for my children.” Genia’s fascination with foods and healing interested her at a very young age. Having many food allergies Genia learned how foods can heal or harm. She was inspired by Health and Nutrition Principles of Maimonides, a book her father brought home for her to read in high school. From that day on her passion for health and wellness, family and spirit became her life. Genia moved to New York where she met and studied with the most incredible nutritional healers in the world: Michel Abehsera, author of Zen Macrobiotic Cooking (The Ancient Art of selecting and preparing food for longevity and rejuvenation), who inspired her to experience a Macrobiotic healing diet, Ann Marie Colbin, author of Foods For Healing and founder of Natural Gourmet Cookery School in NYC where Genia graduated from the Apprentice Chef Program and Joshua Rosenthal, founder of Integrative Nutrition who mentored her in the deeper understanding of foods for healing. Mealtimes are sacred in Genia’s home. Cooking and creating an inviting ambiance is her labor of love. She looks forward to setting her dining table for family and guests. Genia lives in Woodbury, New York. She is married to Stewart, with whom she has three sons, Alexander, Benjamin and Isaac. They all enjoy helping in the kitchen. It sometimes becomes a family activity. Genia’s passion has always been to teach, especially the things she feels so strongly about… food, art, healthy living and volunteering for charitable organizations. She was a schoolteacher for many years. She ran her own business GET FIT where fitness classes, cooking demos, meal planning and selling fitness wear to all ages took place. She has been a coordinator and teacher of Art Appreciation classes for the past ten years. Genia is a certified yoga instructor (RYT200) and trained in the YogaKids Foundations® program and in Restorative Yoga.
In all honesty, I should not be included in the writing this book. I don’t like food shopping, I don’t like carrying the bags from the car into the house, I don’t like unpacking the groceries and I’m not a fan of cooking. I don’t like that it takes hours to prepare a meal that is eaten in 10 minutes and I don’t like cleaning the kitchen after cooking and the meal itself. I would be happier to spend my time going for a long walk, taking a nap, reading a great magazine or doing an arts & craft with my children. But, I do like eating good quality food that is healthy and fresh. It’s a conundrum that is not easily solved. So, for many reasons, I go against my feelings and I make the effort to do all the above. Firstly, I would like my children to eat healthy meals and to develop a taste for good quality food. In our house, junk food (chips, ice-cream) is the exception, not the rule. Secondly, my husband and I enjoy eating well for all the right reasons. I also have a weakness for fresh organic basil and coriander. When our local Sri Lankan grocery store receives a new stock of these herbs, I am inspired to prepare dishes that include these delicious flavors. I enjoy preparing vegetarian rice wraps with fresh basil, dipped in peanut sauce. I also enjoy preparing and eating Thai Spiced Sweet Potato Soup garnished with fresh coriander. My daughter and I have recently been bonding over food preparations. We enjoy preparing brisket together when we are hosting our extended family for a Rosh Hashanah or Passover. We enjoy preparing shortbread cookies for Valentines Day and we enjoy handing out these treats to her daycare teachers and classmates. And, it has become a family tradition to carve a pumpkin, get our hands dirty while we scoop out the seeds, sprinkle with salt, bake and nibble on the yummy seeds for a few days. But, I must admit that I have surrendered into picking up ‘take out’ a few nights a week since my time outside the kitchen is precious to me and because I live in a neighborhood that has many busy restaurants. Their daily clientele turnover is high so it’s safe to assume their food is always fresh. Italian, Thai, Japanese, and Iranian fresh food options are walking distance from our home. My children have been exposed to these exotic foods since they were born and have acquired a taste for these flavors. Enjoy preparing and eating the recipes in this book. All these recipes have been made in our kitchens for many years. They are the ‘best of’ recipes that our families and our guests have enjoyed over and over again. These are the recipes that have elicited comments such as: “WOW! This is amazing. Can I have the recipe?” or “You are the best cook. You should write a cookbook.” Bon Appetit!