Casey: Fresh Food & Cultural Cuisines
I cook because I was born into a family of people who loved the kitchen, and I love healthy, delicious food. – Casey
Fresh ingredients and a variety of foods and dishes are ways to cook and eat healthy, and that’s what Kitchen Hero Casey focuses on when feeding her family. Growing up, Casey learned how to cook a variety of ethnic dishes, and now she passes on these delicious, homemade meals to her daughters. With a focus on healthy eating, this Kitchen Hero mama is surely raising healthy eaters and#kidswhoeat well! Read more in her Hero in the Kitchen story below.
Name: Casey Federico
City, State: San Francisco, California
I cook for: my family – two adults and a six-year-old and two-year-old.
Outside of the kitchen I: work with local preschool programs as a coach and trainer.
I discovered Cook Smarts through: a friend and fellow working mama, Larissa.
I cook because: I was born into a family of people who loved the kitchen, and I love healthy, delicious food. In San Francisco we are lucky to have access to so many fresh and new ingredients.
Favorite Cook Smarts meal so far: Thai Marinated Pork Tenderloin or Skillet Chicken with Chard
HOW DID YOU LEARN TO COOK?
Both my parents cooked, and my brother and I learned early that if we made dinner we didn’t have to do the dishes! So I learned to make many Italian and Indian dishes from my parents. When my husband and I married, my mother-in-law taught me the power of lime and cumin in Northern Mexican cooking.
WHAT’S BEEN YOUR BIGGEST COOKING CHALLENGE?
My biggest challenge is finding meals that my kids will try and are protein- and vegetable-rich for my husband and I. I often keep some ingredients separate so my kids can deconstruct the meals.
Cook Smarts prep steps are a huge help…I can put together dinner quickly and focus on [my daughters] during “arsenic hour.”
How has your cooking routine changed since starting Cook Smarts’ meal plans?
Cook Smarts prep steps are a huge help. At the end of the work and school day my daughters want my attention. Having done Sunday prep, I can put together dinner quickly and focus on them during “arsenic hour.”
TELL US ABOUT YOUR PROUDEST KITCHEN MOMENT.
We got home from a trip recently and I was able to throw together a version of shrimp with white beans and couscous from what we had in the pantry and freezer.
WHAT ARE YOUR TIPS FOR HEALTH AND SUCCESS IN THE KITCHEN?
Cutting up extra vegetables and fruit during Sunday prep makes making lunches much easier during the week. Even if they go untouched, I feel happy there is something fresh and nutritious in everyone’s lunch.
Thanks, Casey! And a huge kudos to you for being able to put together a healthy, tasty meal after a trip, using only what you have in your pantry. It’s so easy to slip into getting take-out during those times, but we’re happy to hear that you were able to pull through and make it work. With all your healthy food and cooking choices, your daughters are surely growing up to be adventurous and healthy eaters!