As a Yinova acupuncturist, certified herbalist, labor doula, massage therapist and student of both Western and Eastern medicine, Klara Kadar understands the importance of a comprehensive, well-balanced career. This belief translates naturally to her philosophy on food. Even with a busy schedule, Klara makes time to enjoy the experience of cooking with her boyfriend. She welcomes us into her refrigerator with the same openness she extends to her patients.
Your refrigerator is so beautiful with its neatly organized shelves of colorful foods. Is it hard keeping a refrigerator stocked in the city?
YES! We try to avoid overstocking and love fresh ingredients so we must go to the grocery store about four times a week. That’s a lot, right? I think it’s worth the time for quality food since having a long shelf life probably means it’s not the best for you.
From the looks of it, the time commitment is paying off. I’m curious why you choose packaged Poland Spring Water?
Getting the packaged water is a compromise for me because I don’t like to be wasteful. We used to have a Britta filtered pitcher but I found that both my boyfriend and I were not drinking nearly enough water either because the pitcher wasn’t full or we wanted to leave some for the other person. As an experiment, we bought one of these big jugs, and honestly now we finally get our eight glasses a day. So we’ve stuck to it for the sake of our hydration needs.
It seems worth the compromise. Is it safe to guess you cook at home often?
We cook most nights. We both love cooking, especially together. It’s fun yet relaxing and the best way to control what we’re putting in our bodies. I also find that even with more expensive ingredients the overall cost is far less than eating or ordering out. To me dining out is for special occasions and celebrations.
What are some common meals you cook at home?
Some cooking staples are rosemary roast chicken with carrots and potatoes, quinoa stir-fry with chicken and veggies, lamb burgers with tzatziki sauce, tilapia, and sautéed spinach, and roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. We can get pretty elaborate with our meals!
And it also means leftovers! I’ve got to know, what’s in the blue pot?
Its leftover Cream of Mushroom Soup. It’s my boyfriend’s favorite and a nice hearty winter soup. Oddly enough, I never liked mushrooms until I made this Julia Child’s recipe and now I eat them all the time. I suppose I just had to eat them the right way, which is a bit heavy on the butter but so very delicious!
There are some items I’m not too familiar with. What do you use the shredded coconut for?
I use it mostly for baking. It’s rich in healthy fats, fiber and it adds a nice flavor and texture to muffins, cookies and crusts. I’ll also toss a handful in a bowl of oatmeal or granola. I recently found a recipe to make your own coconut milk out of the shreddings, so I’m excited to try that!
What’s hiding behind the pickles?
Brewer’s Yeast flakes I bought for a detox regiment a few months back. They are high in proteins and B-complex and surprisingly tasty so I still sprinkle them over salads and stir-fries.
What’s “cultured milk”?
It’s a fermented dairy product that’s very cleansing to the digestive system and full of beneficial bacteria, yeast, vitamins, minerals (B12, Vit. K, Biotin) and complete proteins. There’s a lot of research on the benefits Kefir has for AIDS, chronic fatigue, cancer, sleep disorders, depression and digestion. I had cultured milk as a kid when I spent summers with family in Hungary and was really excited when Kefir emerged on the American market! I personally love the natural sour taste but you can buy flavored ones as well. I generally have some in the morning as it sets my digestion right for the day, but I’ll sneak in a few sips whenever the mood strikes.
Aside from sneaking cultured milk, do you have any other weird food cravings or obsessions?
I have many— roasted seaweed, dark chocolate, raspberries, bread and wine. Not all at once, of course! In general though, the obsession is more with cooking and trying new things. I could spend hours on TasteSpotting looking through recipes I want to try. It always keeps me excited!
Do you think being Hungarian has shaped some of your philosophies on food?
Coming from a culture that eats all parts of the animal, I was raised to never be wasteful with food. That can be challenging at times but you learn to get creative with leftovers. I feel really fortunate to have had the childhood I did. The food I ate was grown in my grandmother’s garden or bred and raised on nearby land. The hens we got our eggs from were the same ones I played with. That experience instilled within me a deep appreciation for food that I still carry with me today.
It’s great to hear about your excitement with the cooking experience. Any last comments you’d like to share about food?
Food is an essential and enjoyable part of life. Feeling guilty towards eating is far unhealthier than the food itself and takes away from the pleasure that was sought in the first place. Cultivating a healthy balance between moderation and indulgence is vital. Learning to appreciate and savor the delicacy of foods and flavors can safeguard us from overeating, and opens us up to one of life’s greatest pleasures! Lastly, to me personally, food is best enjoyed when made by your own hands or those of a loved one.