Fresh Food and How to Keep It Fresh

When posting on my IG last night, I asked what other food topics I should cover. I only received 2 responses, but both were good ones (shouts out to the fabulous ladies for the ideas!).

One person gave me the idea for doing a post on arepas. I will revisit this one in the future due to the unfamiliarity of them (only made them once) and I am missing a few key ingredients-masa for one. So that will be for another day.

The other idea was to do a post on how to keep fresh food fresh for an extended period of time. This is a great idea during a time where grocery stores are bare for essential ingredients that are needed to feed our families.

During the past few weeks, finding fresh food has been almost as challenging as tracking down Carmen San Diego. When word of the pandemic first broke out a few weeks ago, individuals fled to the stores to stock up on product for their households. I can sit here and say that supply chain was not at all prepared for a situation like this. There should have been a plan in place for the weeks, and maybe even months, ahead of keeping warehouses stocked so product can continuously be on the shelves for consumers.

My husband and I were fortunate to get to a store that was still fully stocked with produce, meat, dairy, and other household items (shouts out to Wegmans and Kroger during that time). I am glad that we did because now, most stores do not have a lot of product. Here is what you can do with what you already have.

Working in the food service industry has taught me a few things:

1. Always stay ahead of situations

2. Never run out of product.

3. How to extend the life of your product; especially fresh product.

4. How to utilize what you have in house to produce what you need.

Numbers 3 and 4 are essential to what a lot of us are dealing with at the moment.

Extending the life of your fresh product.

Many items that you purchase from the store have a shelf life that can be extended to keep it fresher until you are needing to use it. This is possible for produce and meats especially.

Produce-if you put your produce items in one of those plastic bags…remove them from the bag before you store it in the fridge. The closed bag will create condensation within the bag that will cause your produce to wilt or prune faster than it would if it were just in the fridge with out it. Thats what our modern refrigerators have bins for produce and some have a dial to control the humidity needed to keep your food fresh.

Speaking of refrigeration: If your produce is in the grocery store out on the floor (in a bin, on a table, etc) and not on a wet wall (you all can tell that I use to work in retail grocery), your product does not need to go into the fridge UNLESS you have cut into it with a knife. This is for your potatoes, onions, garlic, citrus fruits, tomatoes, bananas, herbs (basil), etc. Refrigeration can actually shorten the life of these items.

You can extend the life of lettuce by cutting off the butt (bottom where the root would have been), wrapping it in a wet paper towel, and storing it in a Ziploc with the top exposed. The same can go for bunched of celery and carrots.

Herbs-can be frozen chopped or torn, placed in a Dollar Store ice cube tray with oil or juice and then frozen for use in cooking and marinades.

Fresh berries-wash, rinse, toss on a sheet pan to IQF them )individually quick frozen, and then bag up for cobblers, smoothies, etc.

Fresh vegetables, wash, par cook in simmering water or broth for a few minutes , shock in an ice bath, drain, place on a sheet pan to IQF, and once frozen, place in bags to freeze.

Meats: If you can, purchase bulk packs of meats and then breaking them down in smaller portions to bag and store in the freezer. Wegmans had bulk packs of chicken breasts for around $10 (9 breasts were in the pack so it was maybe around $1.11 per breast.) I took the breasts and cut them in half which gave me 18 pieces of chicken, placed each of them on a sheet pan to IQF them and bagged them up in separate bags for meals. I try and do the same with all proteins, even plant based ones. Getting them out of that plastic and letting them breathe before storing also helps.

Curing is also a way to extend the life of proteins (this also includes egg yolks). Equal parts salt and sugar and then an acid is all that you need.

Utilizing what you already have on hand for meals is ideal. What if you are not able to get out to the store or better yet, if you get out to the store and what you needed is out of stock. You have to adjust your meal and replace it with something else that is similar. I have started pre planning out meals for the house, so I will know exactly what to purchase from the store, as well as, not over spend.

Anything that we all can do to save and preserve food during this time will help each of us for the future. As we have seen just in this month, anything can happen and we must be better prepared.

Leave me something in the comments. Tell me how you have started to better prepare for grocery store visits, meal planning for your family, and better shopping habits.

Stay safe folks!

-Chef Dom



Food Obsession

Anyone have a food obsession? A particular food that will have your mouth watering at the mere thought, sight, or smell of it. What food makes you want to run to the store for it or to the kitchen if you have already have it in your possession?

I have one. Actually, that’s a lie. I have two. One sweet and one savory.

The first is healthy, but when combined with other ingredients, it can end up being unhealthy.

Peanut butter. Peanut butter.

Creamy or crunchy. It can be right out of the jar, old school it on a Ritz cracker…it does not matter. I will eat a spoonful of it prior to going to the gym for a boost of protein and sometimes I will blend it in my smoothies.

If you know personally, you already know my favorite way to eat peanut butter.

Say it with me folks…In a Reese’s ANYTHING

What’s extremely hilarious about it is that I detest chocolate. Like…I do not like the flavor of it. UNLESS…it is with peanut butter. It can not be those cheap, overly sugared, powdery peanut butter cups that you can get from some spots. It has to be Reese’s.

I think the obsession started when I was a kid. I wasn’t allowed to eat candy often; mostly on holidays. There were always Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups or Reese’s Pieces in a a Christmas stocking or an Easter basket. When I got older I would purchase bags of them and keep them stashed in my freezer for safe keeping. Once in college, I was even gifted 2 huge bags of Reese’s Pieces for a gift that I kept in a tin under my bed. It was that serious and, it’s still that serious. I always keep a small amount of cups, pieces, jar of peanut butter always in the house.

My next food obsession, that is a weakness that far surpasses my peanut butter obsession.


I have never met a form of a cooked potato that I did not like.

French fried, roasted, baked, mashed, boiled, scalloped, potato salad (not everyone can make potato salad), potato soup, ANY WAY.

To make this obsession even more, obsessive…it was the food that I craved the most while pregnant in 2017. You are talking about some one that was going crazy for potatoes! To make matters worse, during my third trimester I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes which put me on a strict, low carb diet, so having potato cravings and not being able to have them all the time royally sucked. After pregnancy I was left being insulin resistant, so I still have to monitor carbs to manage weight, but I still enjoy my potatoes.

So what’s your food obsession??

Tell me about it in the comments!

Also, if you are a new follower, welcome and thank you!

I hope everyone is staying safe during this Covid-19 quarantine. I’ll try and keep the posts coming.

Stay safe,

-Chef Dom

4 Years Later…Allow me to reintroduce myself and the Coronavirus panic

“Guess who’s back…back again…Chef Dom’s back…tell a friend.”

I’ve been away from this blog for 4 years. Crazy how much time has passed.

Let’s get yall up to speed.

Built a house, had a baby (she’ll be 3 in Aug), promotion at work, still cooking, dabbling in DIY natural skin care production, writing recipes, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Now fast forward to present day. We are all currently living in an episode of “The Twilight Zone” and Rod Serling is no where to be the narrator.

A new virus has surfaced and spread like wildfire: Covid19 or coronavirus (depending on who you talk to) has moved everyone to self quarantine in efforts to prevent themselves from contracting the virus.

Thanks to this noval coronavirus, myself and most of the population of the world have been summoned to our homes to work, homeschool our children, clean with every disinfectant known to man, and chill out because…EVERYTHING IS SHUT THE F DOWN.

Schools-closed until April or beyond

Retail-store fronts are closed…grocery stores are still operating with reduced hours and no toilet paper.

Gyms- Still open, but only allowing a handful of people in at a time (nah).

Large functions: concerts, conventions, anything with 50 plus attendees-canceled

Travel: Americans aren’t permitted into any country at the moment until further notice and no one can come in (until further notice).

Restaurants: operating with delivery or pick up. Mostly all have closed their dining rooms or closed all together indefinitely in hopes that soon, it will be back to business as usual.

Which brings me to why I am reviving my blog.

For one: I am at home for two weeks. I am a chef and foodservice director, so the bulk of my work is done in a kitchen at my account. However, my account was one of the business units that decided to close for two week due to the virus spread. There’s only so much that I can do as far as “working from home”, so I am left with my thoughts, a super energetic toddler, and a plentiful food supply. Which also means, I can create yumminesses (not a word I know) at my own leisure, as well as, come back to one of my favorites: blogging about what I eat.

So, with restaurants having limited services, people saving money, and everyone being at home, there must be someone out there that is in need of some food advice, tips, shopping ideas, etc. Right? Correct. I post my food on Instagram and Facebook during the day on the daily and people are always, and I mean, ALWAYS asking questions. “What is that?”, “How did you cook it”, “How much of this and that did you use”. All in which I love, because let’s face it, any dialogue about food is good dialogue. However, it is difficult to answer questions on those platforms.

“Chef…use your blog.”


So here we are. This revival post is just an icebreaker. I want to see who was still following ( hello to all with a virtual wave) and to try and capture a newer audience. I want the dialogue to be any and everything food related: techniques, meals on a budget ideas, flavor profiling, whatever it may be…I can help. Cooking and coming up with meals are two things that I have been doing for a long time, but I am starting to see that it is not as easy to others.

With that being said…ask your questions and I will in the mean time post daily. I know…I say that same bull every few years and then neglect the platform. Charge it to my head and not my heart. I am going to make it my mission to post daily and keep this blog updated. Food and ALL FOOD!!

Also: follow me on IG chefdomli_85. I post a lot of pictures of my food there. It may be something posted there that will catch your eye.

Any who let me know your thoughts!

Stay safe my friends.

-Chef Dom

Half way point of the meatless detox!!

We have approached the halfway point of the 30 Day Detox! 

Despite what people may believe what immediately occurs when stop eating meat, I have not lost a pound. I have lost inches in my core. Flat tummy and ab definition woot woot!! 

Both my husband and I are very energetic and feeling great. He started feeling like he was coming down with a cold, but it only lasted 2 days. I seriously believe that the quick turn around is due to what we have been eating! 

This past week, I made a rice noodle bowl with nori, egg, and a sour vegetable broth that was BOMB! We discovered Quorn brand “chicken” chunks in which I sautéed with some peppers, onions, and Montreal Chicken Seasoning. It definitely requires thought, time, and prep for meal time, but it has been worth it.

We received a text message of encouragement today from my cousin. She says that we are inspiring! I also have  a few people at work going meatless for 30days (lasting until Thankgiving). They saw what I have been doing and I have been educating them on good, wholesome nutrition. We hope that others will want to change their lifestyles to better their health!

Quorn “chicken” chunks with sautéed veg, steamed broccoli, and corn in the cob.

Bomb impromptu rice noodle bowl with nori, egg, and a sour vegetable broth.

Recipe request: Eggplant Lasagna

Whenever I post pictures of my food on IG or Facebook, I immediately get asked the question, “do you have a recipe for this? or “will you be posting this on your blog?”. I should have learned by now to post both the picture and a recipe. When I cook, most of the procedures or recipes are in my head; not on paper. Eventually, I have the time to sit down and write down all of the steps, proof read the recipe, and have it ready for posting. This usually requires a cup of coffee.

First recipe of the day is the Eggplant Lasagna. This recipe is gluten free and lacto ovo vegetarian. The slices of eggplant act as the noodles along with layers of crushed tomatoes, kale, and cheeses. The recipe makes enough for 8, but if you are eating this solo, it can easy be frozen to be eaten another day.

Eggplant Lasagna
1 medium sized eggplant

2 tbsp Kosher salt

1 large can of crushed tomato

1 cup of curly parsley, chopped

1 cup of fresh curly kale, ripped from the stem 

1 cup shredded Parmesan

1 container of Bourin brand soft cheese (garlic & herb)

2 eggs 

1/2 cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Cut eggplant into 1/4 inch slices. Place on a cooling rack with paper towels underneath (a cooling rack can be found at any store that sells kitchen tools). Sprinkle salt over the eggplant and allow the moisture to drain from the eggplant (2hrs). After draining wipe off any remaining salt. 

3. Pour crushed tomato into a bowl along with a pinch of salt and parsley. Stir and set aside.

4. In a 13X9 in pan, pour down a layer of tomato sauce. On top place down enough eggplant to cover the pan. On top of the eggplant, pour on more sauce. Sprinkle on shredded parm, kale, then top with more eggplant slices. Continue with the layers until you have used all of the eggplant. 

5. In a bowl whisk together the cheese, eggs, milk, and a little salt and pepper. Pour on top of the eggplant.

6. Bake in the oven for 35-40 min until the center of the lasagna reaches 165F. Allow to cool for 15 minutes then cut and serve. 

Friday night gym session 

Happy Friday!!

I look forward to Fridays for 3 reasons:

1. It’s the end of the work week.

2. I get to sleep in (anything past 4am is sleeping in for me lol)

3. The gym is EMPTY.

Apparently no one likes to go to the gym on Fridays which is awesome for me. The WiFi is fully functioning since there is only a handful of people using it. Most importantly, there is lots of space And opportunity to workout. Better focus. I can concentrate on my session instead of worrying about someone trying to take my bench or free weights.

After the gym dinner consisted of a massive salad:

Romaine, spring mix, mushroom, whole boiled eggs, pico de gallo, chick peas, green onion, black olive, green olive, feta cheese, pumpkin seed, and sunflower seed. Pretty damn delicious and filling. I am 100 percent until the morn. 

I have been trying to eat well before 8pm, so that my food digests before I go to sleep. The key is to eat 2-3hrs prior to sleeping. During the week (since I am well into sleep by 930), we will eat at 6 or 630. Since today is Friday and I was at the gym later, I ate dinner at 730. I have no intentions of going to sleep anytime soon, but I ate a good meal and I am satisfied for the remainder of the night.

Until tomorrow!

30 Days a Vegetarian Part II: Wok Style Vegetable Fried Rice

We’ve decided to do the 30 Day Vegetarian detox once again!  It started on October 16th and will continue until November 17th. No animal protein except for eggs (I need them for the gym). I will again post recipes and suggestions for the vegetarian lifestyle throughout the journey. 

Tonight was taco night! I used Quorn brand meatless crumbles (soy and gluten free) and created taco “meat”. With a lot Mexican flavors, you couldn’t tell the difference.

 Below is a meal that I made last night. I posted a picture on Facebook and Instagram and have several people ask for the recipe. 

Wok Style Vegetable Fried Rice
2 bags of Uncle Ben’s boil in the bag rice (cooked according to the package. After cooked open bags and spread onto a flat pan and allow to cool.
1 med white onion, chopped

1 package of white mushroom, sliced 

1/2 cup of shredded carrots

1 tbsp of chopped garlic

1 tbsp of chopped fresh ginger OR 2tsp of ground ginger 

Half block of extra firm tofu (cubed)-this is optional. I am not eating meat at the moment, but this can be replaced with any lean protein such as chicken, pork, or beef

4 large eggs, beaten

Maggi seasoning (to taste)

2 tbsp of Soy sauce 

McCormick Montreal Chicken Seasoning

1/4 cup of fresh cilantro, rough chop

A wok (if you don’t have a wok I suggest a good non stick pan…something that will allow good heat circulation) 

A couple table spoons of stir fry oil or coconut oil.
1. Heat the wok on medium high. Add 2 tablespoon of oil. Once heated, add in the tofu and Montreal Chicken Seasoning. Quickly toss around until you get a little sear on the outside…about 6 minutes. (With raw protein, continue cooking until no longer pink.) Remove into a bowl. 

2. Now for your vegetables. If needed add a touch more oil and add in your vegetables in this order: onion, garlic, ginger, and mushroom. Add in a little Maggi seasoning and sauté until soft. Add in the carrots and sauté. Remove from wok with a slotted spoon (mushrooms will release some liquid) and set aside. If there is a lot of residual liquid it can be wiped out with a towel.

3. Once again, if needed, add a little oil. Pour in the egg and fold until cooked. 

4. Grab your rice (which should be room temperature) and add to the wok. Add in the soy sauce and saute. Add in tofu, vegetables, and egg and fold. Add in more soy sauce based on your taste. Once everything is all incorporated, finish with the chopped cilantro. Serves about 4 people as an entree or several as a side dish.

Let me know what you think!!

Follow me on Instagram: chefdomli_85

One love, 

Chef Dom Lipscomb 2016

30 Days a Vegetarian

For the month of January, my husband and I decided that we would stop eating meat. COLD TURKEY. The only animal products that we would consume would be eggs, cheese, and butter. In essence…we were lacto ovo (lacto: milk and ovo: egg) vegetarians. 
We embarked on this “30 Days A Vegetarian” journey with a few thoughts in mind.
 Primarily, we wanted to see if we had the discipline to actually carry out the month long fast. Both of us have spent our days being carnivores. Two years ago, we stopped eating beef and pork, so it has been just turkey, chicken, lamb, and fish. Going from a heavy animal protein diet to a mostly plant based protein diet in 24 hours is crazy to some, but in order to get the maximum amount of results, that is what we had to do. 
Secondly, we wanted to do it for health reasons. My husband and I are in the gym most of the week. Our diet is 80% healthy, but we wanted that extra 20% of healthy eating to be added to our daily food intake. There have been studies that say that a plant based diet is proven to be better for the way the body functions, so we wanted to see what the hype was about. 
Lastly, my sole reason for doing this vegetarian fast was for research. I have several friends that take part in the vegetarian, vegan, and even raw vegan lifestyles. I wanted to eat the way they eat and see if it was truly beneficial. Also as a chef, I needed a new challenge. I pride myself on being able to create awesomeness in the kitchen; having the “Midas Touch” when it comes to food. With this fast I would have to really think and dig deep, stepping out of my culinary realm and come up with some GOOD FOOD with LOTS OF FLAVOR. 
So on January 1st, 2016 at 12:00am…we were vegetarians. 
We immediately did a complete 360.
 Our first shopping trip as vegetarians was interesting. I remember pushing a buggy full of organic fruits and vegetables, beans, grains, mushroom protein crumbles (Quorn is the brand…amazing), seeds, and sea weed and feeling a little out of our element. When you are first starting a fast such as as this, you probably will have to start from scratch with items that you will need. We had absolutely NOTHING vegetarian friendly on hand. That made this shopping trip pretty expensive. The total came up to a little under $130 for about a week and a half of food. We bought a lot of the plant based staple items to start, so that we will only have to replenish the organic produce weekly. One good thing about being a vegetarian for a month, our grocery bill per week ended up being only about $40!! Cutting out the animal based proteins made food shopping much cheaper.
Using what we purchased at the store, I took to my brain, Pinterest, and an old culinary school text book for vegetarian recipe inspiration. Contrary to popular belief, vegetarian food can have flavor. Just because you aren’t eating meat does not mean that the vegetarian meal has to taste like air. Plants are predominantly composed of water, so you have to add flavor to whatever you cook. Using fresh herbs, garlic, flavored oils, and other aromatics to add flavor. Maggi seasoning and amino liquids are also great and add a decent amount of meaty flavor to dishes. Also, cooking vegetarian dishes are the same as cooking with meat. Mostly, you will treat the dish as one that has meat and cook it the same way. For example, I cooked fried rice and pad Thai a few times during the monthly fast and used tofu (which is a sponge when it comes to flavors and using extra firm is best because it holds shape) as the protein. I diced the tofu into medium sizes pieces. Since I usually add chicken to the fried rice and pad Thai, I sautéed the tofu in a wok with Montreal Chicken Seasoning and Maggi seasoning ( if you wanted a beef flavor you could use Montreal Steak Seasoning). If you would have closed your eyes while you tasted it, you would not even know that it was tofu. 
Buckwheat Lo Mein w/tofu Chef Dominique ’16
Fried Rice w/ sautéed kale Chef Dominique ’15
I also made a vegan portabella black bean burger that was delicious! I found a recipe on Pinterest via that I used as a base and added my own twist to it. If you follow me on Instagram you will see all of the goodness that was created. From Asian, to Mexican, and Italian, we ate REALLY good food. Each meal was delicious and filling; to the point that during the month, we started to not even think about eating meat. 
Now the elephant in room wants to ask, “Did they make it?”
The answer is YES!
We successfully completed the fast without cheating. The closest I came to meat was basking in the ambience of it cooking while at work. I missed eating it, but after the 10th day and eventually toward the end, our bodies adjusted to not having animal products. Do not get the game twisted, I had my teeth into some chicken wings at the stroke of midnight on February 1st. 
So what did we learn?
1: Being a vegetarian is not difficult. It is a change yes, but not a difficult one. Now that we have dabbled in it a little, we know what to buy and what to eat. It definitely could be something that we could possibly revert back to in the future. I missed my fish mostly, so being a pescatarian would be my choice of lifestyle. My husband is actually thinking about doing the fast again in a few months. One word of advice: do not jump all the way back into eating meat. Give your body time to adjust to having animal protein again. Your stomach will get confused. I learned the hard way. We are back to our carnivorous diets with more plant based proteins included.
2: A plant based diet is a healthier alternative to a diet with animal protein. When we eliminated meat from our diet, we gained more energy and our skin became clearer. My husband lost a little weight, and I lost a few, but gained it back in muscle. It was some concern that the lack of animal protein will lead to a loss in muscle. This turned out to be false. We replaced our animal protein wth tofu, mushrooms, legumes, and grains. Also, we started juicing and using calcium and protein rich greens and seeds to keep us full and energized before/ after the gym. Protein supplements were also used such as Isopure, and protein cookies. 
3. I have a newfound level of respect for those that take on the vegetarian and vegan lifestyle full time. It definitely takes discipline, a lot of meal planning and prep. We had fun with cooking different meals and trying different combinations of flavors that we might have stayed away from before when eating meat. For the average beginner vegetarian it could be a little boring. During the beginning we were stuck on eating the same thing because we enjoyed it so much, not knowing that a few days later we would get tired of it. 
I challenge any of you reading this to make 2016 your year to be healthier. You do not have to go as far as we did with eliminating meat from your diet, but if you start by removing one unhealthy food from your everyday food intake once a week (soda, bread, sweets) you will soon be on your way to eating healthier. 
My goal now is to spread awareness about healthier eating. I will be starting a course this week to learn more about nutritional science and fitness nutrition. Soon I will have a certification to be a nutritional coach and will start counseling and helping others overcome their struggles with making the right decisions when it comes to food. 
If you would like more recipes or insight on our “30 Days A Vegetarian” fast, feel free to contact me with questions and/or comments!

Thanksgiving 2015 recap

I hope that everyone has enjoyed their Thanksgiving with family and friends!

Everyone took part in cooking this year. We had a total of 15 items on the menu. 

Here is a snapshot of some of yumminess that I had created yesterday. 

We chose to go with a free range turkey this year. The cost was much more than usual for a 15 pound turkey, but we wanted to make sure that our turkey was free from hormones and fed a vegetarian diet. Whole Foods saved the day for this! 

   Vegetarian dressing as a side.  Three types of bread, sautéed vegetables, garlic, herbs, and broth are some of the ingredients. I like my dressing to be almost close to a savory bread pudding, so I make a custard to bind it all together. It rests for an hour before going into the oven to bake, so that every flavor will soak into the bread. 

I made macaroni and cheese with a rich mornay (of you are familiar with the mother sauces, you know that a mornay is a fancy smancy way of saying cheese sauce) with three cheeses. A bechamel sauce is made first, next goes the cheeses, and then the warm, al dente noodles. A lay of cheesy noodles goes down in the baking dish first, then a layer of cheese, then more noodles, and ending with a thick layer of cheese on top. It’s baked in the oven until nice and gooey. Below is a picture of the mornay.    The rest of the portions of dinner came together nicely and everyone enjoyed themselves. We were all stuffed! 

As we all know…Thanksgiving leftovers are the best. Looking forward to a nice plate of more yumminess!!

Noodle Bowl

Feeling a little under the weather today. It could be a combination of the changing of the weather OR…my nieces who are here for the holiday week that brought the “cold monster” with them. 

Whatever may be the cause of me feeling like death turned over twice, I didn’t have any energy to cook today. All that I had today at work was soup, so I figured I keep with the trend and have soup again. 

I took sazón, a Hispanic seasoning blend with annatto seed for color, and mixed it with vegetable broth in a pot and brought it to a boil. Next, I took a bundle of soba (buckwheat) noodles and simmered the noodles for 5 minutes in the broth. 

The noodles go in a bowl (without the broth) with a few sheets of lavar (seaweed snacks are always in the house), thin slices of onion, a boiled egg (minus the yolk of course), poured the hot broth over the bowl, and then sprinkled on some chia seeds. 


 Very filling for dinner! The broth was soothing to my throat and actually made me feel a little better.

However, you do not have to be sick to enjoy this.

It’s gluten free, vegetarian, and full of fiber and protein. 

And as always…very tasty!