Welcoming and feeding guests in the coziest time of year
Many Fairfielders are already familiar with Heather Carey and her prepared meals, which she creates weekly for busy families that do not have time to cook but want gourmet nutritious fare. She is also the creator of Green Palette, a business and blog that includes nutrition coaching, cooking, and nutrition workshops with a special focus on women’s health, easy to follow recipes, and great tips for using food to improve your health.
A trained chef and a nutritionist, Carey’s specialty is creating healthy dishes exploding with flavors that use the freshest ingredients and are easy to recreate in anyone’s kitchen. “Heather was the perfect choice to prepare a holiday spread,” says Andrea Shantz. “Her food is seasonal, incredibly flavorful, and good for you.” A typical Heather Carey menu—even for holiday entertaining—is not one that is going to add inches to your waistline, but will most definitely be gobbled up by everyone at the table.
“I love to show people how to cook simple dishes that do not take forever to prepare, yet have a depth of flavor that makes it taste like it did,” says Carey. For the holiday meal at the Shantz’s, Carey created a meal starting with an addictive butternut-squash and apple soup with spiced pumpkin seeds. “Simmering the soup on the stove for a while allows the flavors of squash, apple, onion, curry, and cider to meld together nicely,” she explains. For the main course, a fresh herb and breadcrumb-crusted rack of lamb with a citrus gremolata was accompanied by roasted winter vegetables, and a wild and brown rice pilaf with greens and dried cranberries. “The whole meal is easy, quick to prepare, and the soup can be made a day ahead. I love to roast vegetables all year-round, but especially winter root vegetables with all their natural sugars, which become sweeter and crispier with roasting.” Carey cleverly sneaks in veggies to most of her dishes, such as vitamin-packed collard greens to the wild and brown rice pilaf. The colors, textures and warmth of this meal make it a very appealing spread. Dessert? “Whatever fruit is in season, and some pieces of exceptionally good dark chocolate.”