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Photograph by Mimi Ritzen Crawford

The Co-Host of ABC’s The Chew, wearing Tory’s Pat cardigan and Kelby skirt, chats about her latest book Relish, which covers all things culinary, style, décor and entertaining.

I wrote Relish because…
I wanted to stop living my “placeholder life” and figure out how I could start living my better life right now. I didn’t want a big struggle or life overhaul — I think most of us are already doing a lot of things right. I just wanted the easy tips and tricks that would help me balance what was healthy, affordable and practical in my life with what was beautiful, delicious and fun!

Favorite recipe from the book…
The roasted cauliflower grilled cheese is kind of insane. Caramelized onions. Jalapeño aioli. Roasted cauliflower, arugula and shredded aged cheddar cheese. It’s the perfect balance of healthy and indulgent, which is what I’m always looking for in my food.

Favorite cookbooks…
I love my co-hosts cookbooks! My other favorites are Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi, True Food by Andrew Weil, Silver Palate Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins, The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook by Tom Douglas and The Improvisational Cook by Sally Schneider.

What I’m reading now and the book that changed my life…
I’m reading Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson and The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt. And the book that changed my life is East of Eden by Steinbeck.

Best beach read…
I’m such a sucker for crime/detective novels at the beach. I read Darkness, Take My Hand on my last trip.

Best advice my father, Dr. Oz, gave me…
Everything worth doing in life is worth doing well.

My kitchen is never without…
Prosecco. Avocados. Bananas. Yogurt. Hot sauce (Cholula). Homemade cookie dough in the freezer.

My go-to healthy snack…
Mashed avocado on toast or rye crackers with chile flake and sea salt. Or I’ll make a super-quick tomato, cucumber, jalapeño and feta salad with olive oil, lemon and mint.

The secret to eating healthy while dining out…
Fill up on healthy items – tons of veggies, lean protein and/or salad — and then enjoy the food (for me: carbs) you crave as a side dish or small portion so you get the taste sensation you want and get to indulge without going overboard.

The key to a successful (and stress-free) dinner party…
You can plan for perfection, but once guests start showing up, slip into your party outfit, pour yourself a drink and commit to being a guest at your own party. Everyone else takes her cue from you, so you need to be relaxed and enjoying yourself…even if your cheese soufflés just collapsed in the oven.

Best dinner conversation ice-breaker…
You have some parsley in your teeth. There. No, there. [Instant friendship.]

 

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