Behind the Scenes

Toast and Talk:
Megan Gilmore

Welcome to Toast and Talk! Each month, we’ll sit down for a conversation with chefs, restaurateurs, business owners, and fellow foodies who inspire us and love food just as much as we do.

One of our favorite things about the food industry is that there are so many ways to spread your passion. Certified nutritionist consultant (CNC) Megan Gilmore users her healthy living blog, Detoxinista.com, to share easy, nourishing, and mouthwatering recipes. Though she wasn’t raised as a healthy eater, Megan credits her former junk food habits for helping her to create delicious and healthy recipes that satisfy even the pickiest of eaters.

What is your favorite toast?
I love a good sourdough toast topped with avocado and a squeeze of lemon juice, along with sliced tomato, red onion, and sea salt. I could eat that combination every day!

Who is your biggest food inspiration?
I grew up loving Ina Garten’s recipes, and several of my healthy recipes are inspired by her originals. Her Mac n’ Cheese is one of my family’s favorites around the holidays, and I add nutmeg to my Vegan Instant Pot Mac n’ Cheese because of that recipe.

If you could have dinner or cook with one person, who would it be and why?
It would be a dream to cook with Ina Garten. I’d love to pick up more cooking tips from her, and I think her flavor combinations are always spot-on, so I’d love to see what we come up with together.

What’s the best cooking advice you ever got?
Taste your ingredients and your recipe as you go, so you don’t wind up with a flop later. It’s also important to use your best judgment when you’re trying a new recipe. If you don’t like a certain spice or you think a recipe calls for too much salt, you can always start with less and add more to your personal taste.

What’s your favorite food destination and why?
I’m probably most excited to visit Los Angeles for food because I used to live there and miss the great restaurants! (But I don’t miss the traffic.) I go to Escuela Taqueria for the best tacos, and Stella Barra Pizzeria in Hollywood has the best peanut butter cookie I’ve ever had in my life.

If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have one food, what would it be? Can I have chips and guacamole? Because they belong together if you ask me. Otherwise, I’d probably have to go with something boring like apples.

How do you get your kids involved in the kitchen?
Since I develop recipes for a living, my kids always see me cook and love to join in. My 2-year-old helps me make smoothies every morning and loves to add a big handful of spinach into the blender. My 5-year-old son prefers to help me make dessert, like my Vegan Fudge, so he can help lick the bowl!

Who is your dream guest to cook for?
I think I would feel too much pressure to cook for anyone famous, but I’d love to cook a nice dinner for my mom! She helps me with my kids during the day while I work, so we never have enough time to just sit down and relax together. Plus, she is the best person to share dinner with because we both love the same things.

Sweet or salty? Sweet, but I always add salt to my desserts! I think a dash of salt on a chocolate chip cookie is the best.

Burger or hot dog? Hot dog with mustard. (I find a carrot dog pretty satisfying, too!)

New York or Chicago style pizza? Chicago style.

Soup or salad? Since it’s hot outside, I’ll say salad.

Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla!

Photos courtesy of Megan Gilmore.

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