39° Good Afternoon
39° Good Afternoon

Chef and author Ellie Krieger talks food with Kidsday

Ellie Krieger in her Manhattan test kitchen with

Ellie Krieger in her Manhattan test kitchen with Kidsday reporters, left to right, Syasia Johnson, Yeslin Javier, Jennifer Portillo and Michelle Moya. Credit: Newsday / Pat Mullooly

We had the opportunity to meet Ellie Krieger, a famous chef and nutritionist. She was very kind, and gave us a chance to cook one of her favorite recipes. She even let us pick some of the ingredients from a local farmers market right around the corner from her test kitchen in Manhattan.

We had a really fun time meeting Ellie. We were stunned at how beautiful she was. She immediately welcomed us and gave us some homemade lemonade, and we felt like we’d known her for a long time, not just a few minutes.

Once we got off the train and met Ellie, we went to the farmers market. She let us choose the ingredients for the salad we were making. We saw lots of fresh fruits and vegetables we could use for the salad. We also saw local farmers selling honey, syrup, fruits, drinks and flowers.

She had already prepared the macaroni and the lentils for the salad. She showed us how to properly cut vegetables and fruits, too. She gave us tips about cooking and she gave us some interesting information about the ingredients we used in the salad. We even made our very own dressing using olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and mustard.

After we made the food, she invited us to sit and eat. While we ate, we asked her questions about her career, education and family. She was so polite and answered all of our questions.

In conclusion, we had a great time with Ellie. We had a fun time cooking and meeting her. If you’d like to see the recipe for what we cooked, it’s in her new cookbook called “You Have It Made” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).

After cooking with her, we asked her a few questions:

What’s your favorite type of food to cook?

The thing I love about food is that the possibilities are endless, and sometimes I cook the same thing twice, but I love to experiment. So I almost can’t pick a favorite . . . it depends on what kind of mood I’m in. But I do know one thing, that I love to cook vegetables. So whatever season it is, I’m always cooking the vegetable from that season, and that’s why it’s so nice to go to the farmers market and see what’s in season, growing now. I get very inspired by vegetables.

Where is your show filmed?

We actually shot some of it right here, and this is my test kitchen, where I develop the recipes. We shot some of it here, but we mainly shoot in a studio in a place in Connecticut that’s actually a kitchen showroom. So they have lots of different kitchen setups there, and people come there to pick out cabinets and stuff for themselves. It’s called Clark Kitchens. But they let us use one of their kitchens for the show. That’s where we do it.

What’s your favorite dish to make?

Oh, goodness. It’s impossible for me to pick a favorite honestly, but I do like to make things like this — salads and soups. I like to make things that I could change as I go as opposed to some things like baking, where the recipe’s very, very formal and you have to follow that exact formula. I like to do things a little more free-form, like salads and soups and stews and things like that.

Did you go to college and where?

I went to Cornell University and I studied nutrition, clinical nutrition, and that was for my undergraduate bachelor’s degree. I got my master’s degree at Columbia University Teachers College in nutrition education, which is basically teaching people about nutrition. I’m doing exactly what I love. I did take some culinary education also, but more after college. I did some classes at the Culinary Institute of America and different classes more on my own, as continuing education.

What’s your favorite book you’ve written so far?

Oh boy, and they’re all like my babies, right? It’s like picking a favorite baby, which you’re not supposed to do. I have to say my two latest ones. My two latest ones are “Weeknight Wonders” and “You Have It Made,” which this recipe is from.

Do you like working with sweet or savory?

Savory. I love savory. I don’t care too much about dessert.

Have you ever had special guests on your show?

Yeah, lots. This is my third TV show. And on my first show I had a lot of famous chefs come and be guests. On my second show, I didn’t really have any guests. More just me. And on this, my special guests are real people. They’re regular people that I visit, that say, “Ellie help me. I don’t have enough time for making breakfast. I don’t know what to do, or my husband’s is a meat eater and I’m a vegetarian. Help, I don’t know what to do.” Or, “My child and my whole family have a crazy sweet tooth and we want to find a healthier way.” So on my new show, I have guests almost every time, in each episode. I think they’re special because they’re great fun, and great people, and they are all dealing with some kind of issue around food that everyone can relate to. It’s really fun to help them solve that problem.

Did anybody inspire you to be a chef?

I think just my passion for food and my family. All of us love food, and my family always took me to different kinds of restaurants in New York and we always experimented with different flavors. Always trying something, tasting things. You never know if you’re going to like something or not. If you don’t taste it, you’ll never know.

Do you have your own restaurant?

No, and I don’t want to, either. My husband used to work in restaurants, and you have to work in the evening, you have to work on the weekends. It’s a hard life. I kind of like the way I do it, with cookbooks and so on. I’ve never even cooked in a restaurant.

Does your daughter like to cook with you?

She does. She likes it if I just cook for her and serve her. She’s a princess. She’ll say, “Mom, I love your lasagna. Can you make lasagna?” I’ll tell her, “I’ll make it if you make it with me.” She will, if she knows the rewards at the end. But if I were willing to do it without her, she would probably be happy too.

Other than cooking, what do you like to do?

I love to ride my bike — one of my favorite things to do. I love to read novels, so whenever I get a chance I’m always reading some good book. I like to do yoga. Those are my three favorite things to do if I’m not cooking.

You can watch her new show, "Ellie’s Real Good Food," and find out more about Ellie by visiting


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