Meet The Sensational Cat Cora.
(Photo courtesy of David Carlson Photography)
The Tons of Fun Fitness Challenge is very fortunate to have the support of one of America's most celebrated chefs, Cat Cora.
A native Southerner, Cat is passionate about teaching families healthy eating habits. In 2009, she underscored this commitment to healthy foods by teaming with Disney to open Kouzzina (Greek for “kitchen”) at Walt Disney World’s Boardwalk Resort. This was followed by CCQ which serves healthy delicious BBQ in the South Coast Plaza Macy's in Costa Mesa. Most recently, she opened Cat Cora's Kitchen at San Francisco's new Terminal 2, which focuses on locally sourced, organic ingredients.
In 2010, Cat and Disney Online launched Muppets Kitchen, a series of webisodes that help families rediscover time together through the joy of cooking. Also launched was the innovative HastyTasty Cooking Tips With Cat Cora, which provides instructional webisodes to get families excited about preparing and eating nutritious meals.
Cat is also the Founder and President of Chefs for Humanity--an alliance of culinary professionals and educators working in partnership with US and global organizations that provide nutrition education and emergency humanitarian aid to reduce hunger relief across the world.
Although parenting four young sons is the ultimate accomplishment, Cat may be best known as the only female "Iron Chef" in the history of the Food Network's Iron Chef America. She has also written three books, Cat Cora's Kitchen, Cooking From The Hip, and Classics With A Twist.
Here's a recipe from Cat featuring fresh, Georgia-grown ingredients. And check out the "Trail Mix" of Cat's favorite tunes below.
Chopped Summer Vegetable Salad
(Photographed by Luca Trovato)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup almond oil or safflower oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup peeled and chopped carrot
½ cup trimmed and chopped green beans
½ cup chopped red onion
½ cup fresh corn kernels, raw
½ cup chopped celery
½ cup chopped cucumber
½ cup chopped jarred artichoke hearts
2 large avocados, chopped
¼ cup peeled and chopped tomato
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 teaspoons freshly grated
1 cup mixed greens of choice (curly endive, chicory, or baby lettuce), cut or torn into bite-sized pieces
Fill a large pot or bowl with ice and water.
For the Vinaigrette: Whisk together the mustard and vinegar in a small bowl. Slowly drizzle in the oils, one at a time, whisking constantly, until the vinaigrette is thick and creamy. Add the salt and pepper and set aside. (The vinaigrette can be made 1 to 2 days ahead and kept, covered, at room temperature.
To Blanch the Vegetables: Using a fine-mesh basket or a slotted spoon, dip the carrots in a large saucepan of boiling salted water for 2 to 3 minutes, removing them while they’re still crisp and bright. Cool them in the ice bath, then scoop them out, let them drain for a few seconds, and place in a large bowl. Add more ice to your ice bath and repeat the blanching process with the green beans, transferring them to the ice bath while they’re still bright green, cooling and draining them in the same manner and adding them to the bowl with the carrots.
For the Salad: Add the onion, corn, celery, and artichokes to the bowl. Just before you’re ready to serve, add the avocados, cucumber, & the tomato. Gently toss the vegetables with about half the vinaigrette until they’re lightly coated. Season to taste with the salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the grated cheese and gently toss once more. Toss the greens with the remaining vinaigrette, but use a light hand. Taste the salad and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Divide the salad greens among four salad plates. Mound the chopped vegetables on the greens and serve.
Trail Mix: Currently in heavy rotation in Cat's Playlist