Transcript is autogenerated and may contain typos, errors, omissions etc.

[00:00:00] Summer, summer, summertime, right? Welcome to summer, if you’re watching this when it’s coming out, which is June, the beginning of summer, especially here where I am, and it’s already hotter than heck. So no matter where you are, the seasons are changing. We are moving out of that gentle, if not volatile spring weather, and into warmer, sunnier, and hotter.

then holy heck days. Changing seasons are always a great time to give your clients a new list of entrees to choose from or to incorporate into your marketing materials if you’re just starting and trying to get clients, right? Even for catering events and other menus, this is a great time. Just be practicing recipes for the season that you want to be offering in your cooking business.

So, here’s some that I’m cooking now, and why, and how they can be easily altered to fit [00:01:00] for different clients, dietary needs, or whatever your specialty might be. So the first is better than takeout cashew chicken. Clients love a hot take on a takeout dish, and cashew chicken is one of the most Popular Chinese takeout dishes in the country.

The beauty of this is, is you can alter it so much more than any restaurant. And that is a lot of the reason why people love to hire us, right? So if your client obviously has a nut allergy to cashews, then you would leave those out. And this gives them a better peace of mind, even than knowing that a restaurant might make a mistake or they might cross contaminate or anything like that.

You can leave out the celery. You can leave out the zucchini or anything else the client hates. You can make it low sodium. You can make it no sodium, [00:02:00] right? If your client’s doing keto, you can totally keto it up and manage the carbs that come with the vegetables and the soft ingredients. You can add extra fat.

You can use chicken thighs instead of breasts. There are a million things you can do. You can make it low fat for a client who’s doing that. And you can easily make this vegetarian with a protein sub for the chicken. Gluten free, use tamari instead of soy sauce. So again, clients love a hot take on a takeout dish, especially if they need to make alterations that they don’t trust the restaurant to do.

The restaurant screws up all the time or anything like that. Next, grilled pork tenderloin with blueberry sauce. Woo! Nothing says summer more than grilling, right? And June’s a great time to do it before it gets hotter than heck for you to be outside grilling. Even if you don’t grill, you can use the broiler [00:03:00] or a grill pan.

Grill pan will still give those good chart marks for your client. So blueberries are a great, fresh, seasonal fruit. But if the client’s super crazy, loves this dish, you can get frozen blueberries year round. If they don’t eat red meat, you can make this. It’s delicious with chicken. If you’re going to use a protein sub though, be sure to season it.

fully and marinate it to kick up the flavors. This will not do a whole lot for a plain slab of tofu. So make sure that if you’re making adjustments that you’re keeping the dish fully. Another summer dish, a little adjustment here, is shrimp and grits. Summer shrimp and grits, that is. Now this is a real twist on a southern classic.

It’s not only much healthier, but it has fresh tomatoes and that highlights the season, and a lot of people just [00:04:00] as we move into summertime just naturally get that desire to eat lighter, fresher things. So, as you know, if you are from the South and or a grits cooker, grits kind of need some special handling.

Very similar to polenta if you want to be a fancy person out there. So when you give this dish to a client, an easy way to make sure that it’s good for them if they’re going to be reheating it later is to package them separately from the shrimp and sauce and give the client good reheating instructions about adding some liquid, heating in moderate heat.

If they don’t like that level of detail and don’t want to do that and they’re interested in this dish. Use polenta that’s cut into squares and more firm. And that also makes an excellent dish. So what was I else going to say? Something about polenta, something about, if you’re doing this for catering and you’re serving it for a dinner, [00:05:00] A great way to make sure that it comes to the table with the same delicious soft moist texture that you want it to have as it takes a little time for you to get it from the stove to the plated to the serving is to add a little extra liquid.

Make sure you’re using something flavorful of course. And have it be just a little bit thinner than the perfect consistency. And that will help it be perfect when it gets in front of the client when it’s served and they’re enjoying it during the dinner party. So that’s another reason this is a great dish, not only for meal prep services, but also to.

catering. So, um, other things you can do with this too, even though this is a shrimp and grits dish, if your client has an allergy to shellfish, you can substitute chicken, you can substitute a mild white fish cut into bite sized chunks, and it is just totally flexible in a whole lot of ways. And let’s move on to our last [00:06:00] saved the best for my husband’s Favorite dish of all time, and that would be pesto cavatappi, okay?

Pesto is a sauce made of basil, olive oil, and parmesan. It is super summery. There are also a million other pesto dishes you can, pesto sauces you can make. We’re not going to get into that. We’re just talking about the classic. basil pesto. So this is a great dish that’s vegan, vegetarian. You can add protein.

You can keep the protein on the side for a mixed family. Again, infinitely variable. This sauce works with a variety of different pasta shapes depending on what you’re serving it with. Chunkier ingredients need chunkier pastas. If you’re just doing a simple pesto Pasta side dish. This is so thin it really clings beautifully to spaghetti or a noodle like that.

Gluten free, speaking of pasta, you can of course use any type of gluten free pasta. [00:07:00] If you’re keto, your client’s keto, you can use zoodles. So again, infinitely variable. If you may not know this, here’s a little tip. Pesto traditionally has pine nuts. Pine nuts come from a couple different places, you might want to check, there is a, I don’t think syndrome is the right word, but there’s a thing that can happen if you eat a certain kind of pine nuts, they actually do come from a certain kind of pine cone, and statistically you are much more likely to end up with pine nuts.

Pine mouth, which is this lingering piney menthol thing that doesn’t go away for a long time. If you eat pine nuts that come from China as opposed to pine nuts that come from Italy or somewhere in the Mediterranean. So that’s very interesting. It is also very, very common to have pesto without pine nuts at all.

If you add lemon to it, it’s [00:08:00] pistou, P I S T O U. So, great sauce to have in your repertoire, especially because it’s a no cook sauce. So that’s more than you ever wanted to know about pesto and pistou. So, this is four fantastic dishes that can be incorporated a million different ways into your personal chef business, no matter what your specialty is.

Or if you’re doing dinner parties, um, you can practice on them. If you’re getting ready to start, you can use them to grow your recipe collection. It’s, you can take them straight into your clients. Again, remember, especially if you’re just starting out and you’re worried that you don’t have enough recipes or if you’ve been doing this for a really long time and you find you’re in a rut or your clients are in a rut, always be growing your recipe collection, right?

And right along with that is always be mastering new techniques. You know, when you’re just starting out, make sure that you [00:09:00] can beautifully sauté a chicken breast or that you can make a fantastic slow roasted braise. And if you’re farther along, you can get sous vide equipment now for Less than a hundred dollars and that is a really fun tool to experiment with that you can use a thousand different ways So always be growing your techniques and always be growing your skills And when you’re practicing your meal prep service at home, which I know you’re doing right?

That’s how you get not only more confident in your cooking and in your cook day process, but it will make you faster. I talk to new people all the time that are struggling with how long their cook days are taking. So the question is, are you doing it for yourself at home every week? Because that is the easiest place to quickly grow your skills because you already have all your stuff and know everything is so it makes for great.

[00:10:00] Practice. That’s also where you really learn how long does this dish take? Is it a full on hands on dish? Does that make it not a good one maybe for your business? Does this dish reheat well? How would you recommend someone reheat it? Do you want to slightly undercook the pasta? Do you want to slightly undercook vegetables?

You know, all these different things. These are things that you experiment with on your own to really improve your skills. So again, if you need more practice, or if you’re even just getting introduced to having a cooking business and doing meal prep services for clients, there’s a link right by this video where you can download my free guide, it walks you through planning it, choosing your recipes, making your list, shopping it, cooking it, packaging it, putting it in the fridge, because I’m telling you, the clients are out there and they’re hungry for what you’re cooking.

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