Daphne Oz is such a girl’s girl. We could dish with her for days on everything from throwing parties to making-under our favorite recipes, so it’s a good thing she’s written a book that will let us read her mind while she’s busy doing other things – say, hosting a hit ABC TV show. We were happy when, last April, our readers seemed to love Daphne as much as we do when she served as April Guest Editor. This year, Daphne is on tour talking to folks everywhere about her new book Relish: An Adventure in Food, Style, and Everyday Fun. She came up for air long enough to share a few thoughts with us about the inspiration behind her so-much-more-than-a cookbook and to make us drool over her favorite recipe from inside its pages. Here’s Daphne…

The Chalkboard Mag: Many of us aim to ‘do it all’, but we love that your new book helps us to reclaim focus on what matters: enjoying it all! Talk to us a little about the importance of that…

Daphne Oz: Exactly! The point is not only to be excited for the destination, but to enjoy the ride! “Having it all” means something totally different to every person – but having fun and making our lives more beautiful and fulfilling is something we all want.

The idea for this book came out of all the conversations I’d had with my friends in which we had talked about what we hoped our “real lives” would look like down the road in 20 or 30 years. In one way or another, we realized that we were all living “placeholder lives” in the meantime, waiting for the moment when we would suddenly have it all figured out. It dawned on me that living in the now, making the most of this moment, is where real life begins. If we don’t lay the solid groundwork today for a dream life that has all the elements we crave – delicious, healthy, indulgent food; a beautiful home that makes us comfortable; an easy wardrobe and beauty routine that lets us feel our best and show that to the world; a purposeful life and rewarding career; strong, supportive, loving relationships with family, friends & partners – we’re never going to wind up there. I wrote Relish because there wasn’t any book out there that could show me how to start living my “real life” right now with easy, practical tips and tricks I could put to use right away. And that’s exactly what I filled this book with!

TCM: What is your favorite tip from the book?

DO: Be a guest at your own party. Ahead of time, plan a fail-proof menu, set the scene with fuss-free tablescapes and ambiance, create the perfect playlist. But once the guests start to arrive, change into your party clothes, powder your nose, add a swipe of mascara and a little lipstick, and have fun! The most important element of throwing a great fête is to remember that your guests take their cues from you – so if you’re relaxed and having a wonderful time, chances are they will be, too.

Oh, and always store nuts, seeds and grains in the fridge so the oils don’t go rancid. But then again, all you fine Chalkboard readers probably know that already!
TCM: What would you say your mantra is right now? That phrase you keep coming back to and whispering under your breath?

DO: Don’t worry. If I have one regret in life, it’s all the time I spent worrying that I didn’t know the right answer. Then I realized that no one does, and that even the wrong choices lead us to the right destination one way or another – if we let ourselves learn from them. Plus, worrying never solved anything. Do something about the things you can and forget the rest. A simpler way of saying the same thing is: “Live in Love, Not Fear.”

And don’t be afraid of trying, jumping in, getting your hands dirty, and not being perfect right from the outset. Just because something takes effort doesn’t mean you’re bad at it. Everything worth doing is worth doing well. Anyone who make it look easy is just having fun doing it! That’s my goal.

TCM: That being said, what is your favorite way to regain sanity on a busy morning?

DO: I love to walk outside for 5 minutes – deeply breathe fresh air, walk fast, jump around. Or I’ll put on my headphones and have a little dance party at my desk. I always get the creative juices flowing again once I get my blood moving. Simply being sedentary for too long makes me feel totally inert and overwhelmed. A little Calvin Harris on my iPhone fixes everything.

TCM: We love that Relish is more than just a great cookbook; style plays a big role throughout its pages. What 3 words would you use to define your style?

Structured. Feminine. Easy.

TCM: Lastly, can you share a favorite recipe from the book?

DO: Roasted cauliflower grilled cheese with jalapeño aioli!  Do it. Then tell me how you like it! I’m @daphneoz on Twitter and Instagram.

  • Cauliflower Grilled Cheese with Jalepeño Aioli

  • Ingredients:
    • 1 medium onion, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1/4 small head of cauliflower, sliced into flat, 3/8-inch-thick pieces
    • Sea salt and fresh-cracked black pepper
    • 2 slices whole-grain or favorite bread
    • 2 ounces aged cheddar cheese, shredded (about 3/4 cup)
    • 1/4 cup baby arugula, washed and dried
    • 1/2 tablespoon butter
    • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
    • 1 small garlic clove, peeled and minced
    • 1/4 to 1/2 medium jalapeño, minced (discard the seeds and ribs if you want less heat)
    • Pinch of sea salt
  • Directions:

    1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.

    2. Add the onion and 1½ tablespoons of the oil to a medium sautée pan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the onion is softened and caramelized, 20 to 25 minutes. (You’ll have about ½ cup of onion.)

    3. Gently toss the cauliflower pieces with the remaining 1½ tablespoons of oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and spread the cauliflower in a flat layer on a baking sheet. Roast for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Use a rubber spatula to flip the cauliflower, then roast another 5 minutes, or until golden brown, watching carefully to make sure the pieces don’t burn.

    4. Combine all the aioli ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Spread both slices of bread with aioli. Layer 1 slice with caramelized onions, roasted cauliflower, shredded cheese, and arugula. Top with the other slice of bread. Add the butter to the pan used to caramelize the onion (fewer dishes for you!), heat the pan over medium-low heat, and add the sandwich (the bread closest to the cheese layer should be on the bottom).

    Cook the sandwich for 4 to 6 minutes, or until the bottom is golden brown and the cheese is melting, applying pressure to the top of the sandwich with your spatula or a weighted plate. Flip the sandwich and brown the other side, about 3 or 4 minutes. Slice the sandwich in half before serving.

    Enjoy - and make sure to tell @daphneoz what you think!

  • Win 'Relish'!

    Daphne is giving away one copy of her new book to one Chalkboard reader! Leave your comments below and let us know one of your own tips for making favorite old recipes more healthy and nutritious. Good luck, readers!

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From our friends


  1. Love Daphne on The Chew and have seen her in person 3 times. She is so real! What a role model for young women today.

    Cheryl Sims | 04.18.2013 | Reply
  2. I add veggies as much as I can! A heavy lasagna turned healthy by throwing mushrooms, kale, onions, peppers, carrots and celery in the food processor and adding it to the recipe. Tons of veggies always help lighten up a recipe but keep it fulfilling.

    Ashley | 04.18.2013 | Reply
  3. this grilled cheese recipe looks sooooo good. my husband would love it! I used reduced fat or reduced sugar items whenever possible in recipes. 🙂
    thanks for the chance to win!

    Rachael Hardison | 04.18.2013 | Reply
  4. If you look at any recipe and take each ingredient one by one you can figure out healthy and tasty swap outs that work just as well and still taste amazing. I like to use avocado instead of mayo to make creamy sauces!

    Carol Lustig | 04.18.2013 | Reply
  5. Nice interview. One of the ways I make my old recipes healthier is by using extra virgin olive oil in cooking and whole grains. Will have to try the grilled cheese recipe, I love cauliflower!

    Corinne T | 04.18.2013 | Reply
  6. I am loving this interview so much. The advice is absolutely fantastic. As Daphne stated on The Chew the other day, she loves to constantly eat. As do I! I am a health nut and love to mix in healthy ingredients into an everyday recipe to up the nutrional value. My favorite thing to do is switch out All Purpose Flour and add in Oat Flour or Whole Wheat Flour. Also using Coconut Oil or Grapeseed Oil instead of butter, in some recipes, makes you not feel so guilty about eating more brownies than say a serving a so!

    Vanessa | 04.18.2013 | Reply
  7. Love her!!! Keeping it simple is key. I’m an artist and student, so making meals healthy on a budget is very important. That being said, I believe it’s about quality over quantity and investing in farm-fresh veggies is the way to go! They’re way more filling than pre-packaged processed foods and better looking, too! 😉

    Jessica | 04.18.2013 | Reply
  8. I have turned around my meal planning. I used to plan around chicken, beef, or fish. Now I plan around veggies. If I want broccoli and cauliflower, what can I add to those veggies to make a fun, healthy meal? We eat many more veggie meals now.

    Linda | 04.18.2013 | Reply
  9. That looks delicious! I have started roasting my vegetables as much as possible. They taste better to me and if they taste better, I will eat more!

    Melodie | 04.18.2013 | Reply
  10. Love Daphne and Love ‘The Chew’… Me and my whole family have been trying to live healthier life styles! My husband wanted to change his diet to loose weight, I helped him out by making a homemade “mayonnaise” using avocado and Greek yogurt.. He loved it 🙂

    Corinne | 04.18.2013 | Reply
  11. I have veganized a lot of my childhood faves. Also veganized some of my not so favorite meals and have discovered that I actually like them better now!

    kendy | 04.18.2013 | Reply
  12. Mmmm jalapeno aioli with cauliflower grilled cheese – can’t wait to try this! In general, I add more veg, nuts, and seeds to my meals and use less dairy and refined carbs. I love tempeh and coconut oil as well.

    Kate | 04.18.2013 | Reply
  13. Interested to see the other recipes Daphne’s come up with. My favorite healthy addition to meals are flax and chia seeds – you can pretty much put them in anything and they add lots of fiber.

    Gerard | 04.18.2013 | Reply
  14. Love Daphne! Can’t wait to buy and read her new book. I watch The Chew daily and have watched her find her own voice. Really proud of her and what she’s accomplished!

    Denise Gerdon | 04.18.2013 | Reply
  15. I have made a lot of things I like into raw versions and have made a ton of green juices just like drinking a salad but waaaay better

    Johanna | 04.18.2013 | Reply
  16. I adore any sort of pasta dish. I guess you can call me a carb-a-holic! In order to fill me up with more good for you, and less bad for you (enriched flour pasta), I toss tons of veggies in with my sauce! Anything tastes good when paired with pasta, so i’ll chop up carrots, or mushrooms, onion or eggplant, really anything that is in the crisper, and toss it in with my homemade red sauce. Delish!

    Sarah M | 04.18.2013 | Reply
  17. I love the decadent yet diet smart recipes that Daphne has presented on the show. Beauty and brains, the whole enchilada.

    Leah TAhiry | 04.18.2013 | Reply
  18. One of my favorite healthy spins on an old favorite is pizza, but using a cauliflower crust! There are tons of recipes out there, so delish!

    Sarah | 04.18.2013 | Reply
  19. I’ve replaced the meat in a lot of my old standard dishes with veggies and I have to say, I don’t miss the meat!

    jenny | 04.18.2013 | Reply
  20. I make kale chips to have with lunches instead of potato chips – just as satisfying for me!! I also substitute green juice for coffee everyday. Great interview – would love a copy of the book! thanks for the chance to win

  21. I love doing open faced sandwiches to cut the carbs in half, and using Greek yogurt in place of sour cream or cream. It’s great in mashed potatoes, broccoli soup, and baked goods! Thanks for the chance to win.

    Hannah | 04.18.2013 | Reply
  22. When making homemade cornbread, I like to substitute-out equal parts of the flour, cornmeal, and milk with canned, organic chickpeas. I put them in the food processor with the remaining milk before adding it to the rest of the ingredients. This makes the cornbread moister and lowers its glycemic index. Plus, it’s delicious!

    Jenn V. | 04.18.2013 | Reply
  23. Thank you for all your hard work on this book, Daphne. I must make changes in my lifestyle. I am trying to avoid lap band surgery. I know it has helped many people, but I would really rather make the changes I need to without that drastic step. Help!

    Vicki Poole | 04.18.2013 | Reply
  24. Add veggies wherever possible! That’s my tip.

    Jessica | 04.18.2013 | Reply
  25. I rarely add the amount of salt they suggest

    michele | 04.18.2013 | Reply
  26. I just started watching “The Chew” and I like Daphne so much. She has a sunny personality and is very creative about ways to make recipes both healthy and tasty. I can’t wait to read her new book !

    Beth | 04.18.2013 | Reply
  27. Soaking and sprouting grains, nuts and beans has helped to make my family’s meals more digestable. I can’t wait to check out Relish. I have a hold on it at the library as soon as it comes in…but if I win a copy, I will have to let them know to take me off the list!!!!!!! ;o)

    annette | 04.18.2013 | Reply
  28. Love all the healthy, but realistic cooking and nutritional tips Daphne has. She is not afraid to let people know that she is a “real” person who enjoys eating like the rest of us. She is a good sport on the CHEW when her fellow cook/chefs hassle her about stuff. Love the thought of winning her new book. : )

    Lulu Bayless | 04.18.2013 | Reply
  29. I have lighten up our meals by swapping out white pasta with whole grain choices as well as with the addition of beans and grains

    Dianne | 04.18.2013 | Reply
  30. I love Daphne Oz! My favorite way to make dishes even healthier has been to turn dinner salads into main meals: we will have tofu or chicken or beans mixed with every kind of salad green, fresh herbs, and lots of mixed vegetables- topped with homemade vinaigrette. Varied and delicious!

    Kneale | 04.18.2013 | Reply
  31. My health tip is I add more vegetables to everything and sometimes substitute them for something else, like I use zucchini or spaghetti squash for pasta.

    Jana | 04.19.2013 | Reply
  32. i love Daphne Oz! she is my hero! the Dorm Room Diet changed my life. my favorite way to make dishes even healthier is to add more veggies and fruit where ever possible, and always cook/bake using natural ingredients. =)

    kelly carman | 04.19.2013 | Reply
  33. This book looks great! My favorite thing to do is to use greek yogurt as a substitute. It can replace mayo and sour cream, and makes dips and things really delicious.

    Cind | 04.19.2013 | Reply
  34. I love Daphne and her creativeness. Her lifestyle has been eye opening to me seeing that you can live healthy and still eat what you enjoy.

    Stephanie | 04.19.2013 | Reply
  35. I have recently lost 27 pounds. I owe a lot of that to just tracking what I eat. There are lots of ways to make old recipes more healthy, but I don’t think that’s what matters. Why reinvent the tire? If the recipe is good why change it? The more impotant thing is portion control and monitoring what you are eating. Awesome job on the book Daphne. I can’t wait to read it and try some new ideas!

    Alyssa | 04.19.2013 | Reply
  36. Portion control is key. And avoiding the hidden calories. And use spices. That’s the key.

    Tracy | 04.19.2013 | Reply
  37. I’m very excited to get a copy of this book. I just love all the recipes on the chew and I especially love Daphne’s recipes because they really concentrate on our health and lowering our fat.

    Melissa | 04.19.2013 | Reply
  38. I love using greek yogurt whenever I can. And I love adding a ton of veggies… I recently ‘discovered’ roasting veggies and I can’t get enough of them!

    Izabella | 04.19.2013 | Reply
  39. Daphne Oz is such an inspiration for being a great role model for healthy eating in this country. I love how my 20 year old daughter is even watching The Chew with me and learning. We have gone through all of our old family heirloom recipes and are enjoying seeing that our great grandmothers recipes are all made with natural fresh ingredients usually fresh from the garden. We love how Daphne is trying to bring this way of cooking back. I would love to win her book and have it in our family for many more generations to learn from.

    Dolores Boland | 04.19.2013 | Reply
  40. We love using wine like chardonay to marinate things rather then butter and lot of herbs.

    Betsy | 04.21.2013 | Reply
  41. can’t wait to try this recipe though I’ll need to tweak a bit… just found out I have a gluten sensitivity. I like to use avocados, greek yogurts and sub in more veggies where I can to amp up the health factor. Now I’ll be searching for a perfect GF bread recipe too : )

    christie | 04.22.2013 | Reply
  42. Saw you on your fathers show today and your chili chicken looked wonderful. I also Liked your facial mask and smoothie . Im very interested in changing my eating habits by eating better. I’m looking forward to reading your new book “relish”. And trying your recipes. Best of luck To you.

    Laura Schlichting | 04.22.2013 | Reply
  43. Can’t wait to get this new book! Green smoothies in the Vita Mix daily is what starts off my day. Lots of kale, cucumber, apple, lemon, ginger and a touch of pineapple.

    Heather S | 04.23.2013 | Reply
  44. I love Daphne and her new book. I read it cover to cover and found it so interesting. The lentil soup and coconut pecan cake are both to die for!

    Laura Dembowski | 04.24.2013 | Reply
  45. Make whole grains tastier by soaking prior to cooking. Soaking brown rice, for example, makes it softer and fluffier (which is perfect for finicky eaters) and it ALSO makes these grains more digestible. Soaking is my secret to perfect, light and fluffy quinoa!

    Kaitlin | 04.25.2013 | Reply
    • Great point, Kaitlin – soaking is such a simple secret to healthy cooking!

      Suzanne Hall | 04.25.2013 | Reply

    The Chalkboard | 04.30.2013 | Reply
  47. I veganized this with Daiya cheese and veganaise and substituted the jalapeño with sriracha sauce. Delicious!!!

    Tammy | 07.28.2014 | Reply

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