Only instead of your go-to lentil soup and your boyfriend’s garlic bread (voila, dinner is served!), Kim’s piece de resistance is Soy Caramel Swirl Ice-Cream Balls with Praline Topping and Brandy Caramel Sauce and Justin’s fave recipe is Duck with Cranberry Barbecue Sauce and Wasabi Potato Cakes.
Don’t be jealous. They’re both chefs at Miraval, a luxury wellness resort in Arizona that’s famous for its spa cuisine. (Yes, their dishes are served at the spa!)
But you and your guy can learn from them—the culinary couple just penned Miraval’s Sweet and Savory Cookbook, that outlines the sweet and healthy marriage between desserts (Kim) and entrees (Justin).
Even with the amenities of a luxury resort at their finger tips (fresh produce on tap, state of the art kitchens), the couple is still susceptible to the realities of everyday life when they leave work for home.
“We have busy schedules and a young daughter,” Justin says. “So we’re always trying to balance making quick and easy meals with foods that have tons of health benefits.” Here’s what they toss together at home…
I had to ask. How does cooking for your guests influence the way you cook at home? Justin: Cooking spa cuisine challenges me every day and broadens my imagination. I love to take comfort foods and give them a healthy makeover. Kim: A big part of my approach to baking at Miraval is showing that you don’t have to deprive yourself of good food—you just need to hold things in balance. I have to be more creative to meet the requests we get for gluten-free, dairy-free, and reduced-calorie desserts. But that’s what I love about the job.
I’m surprised to see Simply Orange juice in your fridge. Why do you prefer it to fresh squeezed or juiced? Although we’d love to have time to have fresh-squeezed juice, there just isn’t enough time.
Got it. I notice the gorgeous bowl of veggies. What’s in there and what do you make with it? Stir-fry dishes are one of our go-to dinners because it’s an easy way to incorporate a lot of vegetables into a meal, and lean proteins.
And the veggies in the bottom drawer. Is that kale? What do you make with it? Justin: I use it to make baked kale chips, salads, and I love to sneak it into my daughter’s smoothies.
What are you making with the chicken and tofu. How often do you eat meat? Kim: My favorite protein is chicken and we often will grab a rotisserie one for dinner…we have tofu in our stir-frys. Justin: I love to BBQ and I hunt in my free time, so I’m partial to a great steak.
What’s a dish you recently created for a guest that you continue to cook for yourself? I grew up loving my mother’s cinnamon rolls, so I made my own version for my daughter. It’s a perfect weekend treat when we have a little more time. I use Neufchâtel cheese in the icing, which has about 30 percent less fat than a traditional cream cheese and it gives the icing a nice tang. It’s in our cookbook. Justin: I love pizza, so I often keep some of my flatbread pizza dough on-hand in the fridge. We top it with pesto or tomato sauce and various veggies. We’ve gotten so many requests at the resort that we are going to roll out a new hands-on-culinary class called “Let’s Get Saucy” where Miraval guests learn my tricks to crafting a delicious, yet low-calorie pizza. —Jamie McKillop
For more information, visit www.miravalresorts.com