Chef Jeffrey Nimer is a classically trained chef who has studied under some of the top names in modern cuisine. Here, Jeffrey Nimer answers questions about living a healthy lifestyle, eating local, and how to really enjoy a meat-free diet.
When is the best time of the year for fruits and vegetable?
Jeffrey Nimer: You can enjoy a fresh produce all year long. Summer is the most abundant harvest season with broccoli and leafy greens early followed by peppers, tomatoes and potatoes, to name a few, later in the season.
What kinds of vegetables are available in the fall?
Jeffrey Nimer: Gourds are very common in the fall, including squash and pumpkins. You can also have a late harvest of spinach and onions. Apples are a sweet addition to the fall and great for pies and as a side dish.
Are there benefits to foregoing meats in my diet?
Jeffrey Nimer: Studies have shown that vegetarians tend to have lower rates of cancer, weigh less, and actually outlive their carnivore counterparts.
Where is the best place to buy fresh produce?
Jeffrey Nimer: Without question, it is definitely the local farmers market.
Why do Farmers Markets have the best produce?
Jeffrey Nimer: Local farmers are more likely to grow their crops without the use of harsh chemical pesticides. And, crops are harvested when they are ready to be eaten. Grocery store crops are picked while still immature and left to ripen in transit, which leaves them lacking in taste.
How difficult is it to prepare a tasty vegetarian meal?
Jeffrey Nimer: It’s not as hard as it sounds. You don’t even have to cook most of the foods you consume. And, for protein, nut and legumes add an element of crunch and earthiness to your dishes.
What vitamins and minerals are most abundant in a vegetarian diet?
Jeffrey Nimer: Vitamin C, Folic Acid, Fiber, Unsaturated Fats…there are many but these are likely the most important.
I’m not a vegetarian but would like to incorporate more produce in my diet. How can simply adding fruits and veggies help me live a healthier lifestyle?
Jeffrey Nimer: One of the biggest benefits of adding more produce to a standard American diet is the fiber. Fiber aids in digestion and can help you feel full, which means you eat less of what’s bad for you.
I don’t like the taste of vegetable. What can I do to entice myself to eat them more often?
Jeffrey Nimer: If you aren’t used to vegetables, it can take a while to warm up to them. Starting out, you can always sneak some of what you don’t like in with what you do. It’s not uncommon to mix mashed potatoes with carrots or sweet potatoes and vegetables can be mixed with fruits for a healthy and delicious smoothie.
Is a vegetarian or even a vegan diet safe for pregnant or nursing mothers?
Jeffrey Nimer: Yes, there is no reason to change your diet during pregnancy but consult your physician.
When is Vegetarian Awareness Month?
Jeffrey Nimer: Vegetarian Awareness Month is celebrated during October.
Jeffrey Nimer founded Haute Chefs of LA after years of serving A-list clients and their families. Today, Haute Chefs is one of the premiere catering firms for Los Angeles’s elite. Jeffrey Nimer is a strong supporter of eating natural foods and was one of several celebrity chefs to attach his name in favor of California’s Proposition 37, which would have mandated labeling on all genetically modified foods sold at a consumer level.
To contact Chef Jeffrey Nimer or to see a sample menu for Haute Chefs visit hautechefsofla.com.