Dillan Digiovanni

Winning At Kitchen BOOK TOUR and free GIVEAWAY!

Health and Wellness, RecipesDillan DiGiovanniComment
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You've seen the recipes.

You've marveled at the meal plans.

Now, meet the woman behind the magic that is: WINNING AT KITCHEN

I'd like to introduce you to my good friend and esteemed colleague, Michelle Pfennighaus. We met in 2009 during our health coach training program at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. We became friends on the long bus rides back and forth from Boston to New York over the course of six months.

There are tons of recipe books and resources out there but how often do you get to know a bit about the real, live person who's doing all that cooking and creating? Would you like to know how Michelle came to do what she does so well?

Well, read on.  And make sure to scroll down for an incredible recipe for Chocolate Chili and Cinnamon Cornbread AND a giveaway to win a FREE copy of WINNING AT KITCHEN.

Here's Michelle:

HELLO
HELLO

Sooooo, you're really a pro with all this meal prep and recipe planning. Were you always this organized?

Michelle: Yep, when I was in grade school we didn't have a lot of money and I was always self-conscious that I didn't have enough cool clothes. I kept a written chart of what I wore each day to make sure I didn't do the same outfit two weeks in a row or whatever. OCD? Maybe a little, teensy, weensy bit...

What were your eating habits like as a child and teenager?

Michelle: My mom wouldn't let me eat crap so I ate it every chance I got. But in between I learned how to cook with her in the kitchen and eat real food. I can make a mean meatloaf with both hands tied behind my back.

Yes, it's obvious you have amazing skills--since you made this program with not one, but TWO kids under your feet. You could have picked so many things--why do you love focusing on making meal planning and recipes easier for other people?

Michelle: Recipes drive me crazy! I'm always changing the recipes I find in cookbooks and online to be less fussy and less expensive. But you know what, before I became a mother I didn't do much meal planning. I also slept a lot more and washed my hair every day! Since having my boys, I've learned how essential a meal plan is for being efficient and getting good food on the table every night.

What's one thing you tried for a while, a diet or nutrition trend, that you ended up ditching and why?

Michelle: HA! I've tried just about everything. Macrobiotics was my first attempt at eating a healthy, real food diet. It was pretty bland and the food prep is insane. But it was my first step at reversing IBS and breaking my sugar addiction.

If you weren't doing this awesome, practical work as a nutrition and health coach, would you want to do anything else instead? (beside being the amazing mom you already are)

Michelle: I'd perform in the musical Chicago. Except I have a really awful singing voice.

There ya have it, folks. You can see she's an amazingly organized cook AND a comedian.

Now, let's get onto that recipe and WINNING AT KITCHEN GIVEAWAY!

Chocolate Chili with Cinnamon Cornbread

ChocChili
ChocChili

For chili:

1 Tbl. coconut oil 1 onion, minced 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 large sweet potato, diced 3 large Swiss chard leaves, minced 15-oz. can diced tomatoes 1 quart chicken or vegetable stock 2 15-oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained 2 15-oz. cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained 1 Tbl. cumin 1 Tbl. cinnamon 1 Tbl. chili powder 2 Tbl. cocoa powder 1⁄2 tsp. salt (or more, depending how salty your stock is)

Hot sauce

For cornbread: 1/4 cup coconut oil, plus more for pan 2 cups cornmeal 11⁄2 cups unsweetened milk of choice 1 egg, beaten 2 Tbl. raw honey 2 tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. baking soda 1 tsp. cinnamon 1 tsp. salt

1. In large stock pot, heat coconut oil over medium-low heat. Add onion, garlic and sweet potato. Mix and cook for about 5 minutes. Add Swiss chard, tomatoes, stock, beans, spices, cocoa and salt. Bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered for 1 hour. Serve with hot sauce.

2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400oF. Grease a 12-inch cast iron skillet or an 8-inch pan and set aside.

3. Combine all cornbread ingredients in a large bowl. Pour into prepared skillet or pan. Bake 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.