between Erewhon runs for clients like Mindy Kaling and Adam Sandler, we tracked down celebrity private chef Brooke Baevsky to give us a few tips around holiday entertaining.
The busy private chef (Chef Bae to you, TikTok and Instagram) and Overheard Eats host can usually be found innovating health-forward recipes in her signature food-prep-friendly jumpsuit. We trust her taste and crave her food, so we knew she’d guide us right with this list of fun and practical tips for entertaining at home this season.
Should you have volunteered yourself as Holiday Host Tribute this year, Chef Bae wants to help you dispel the misconception that healthy food cannot be decadent and delicious. “Using flavorful spices, acid, and heat in your food can make it taste so satisfying without unnecessary calories and empty carbs—just food that makes you feel amazing.”
7 Ways to Host a Healthier Holiday with Brooke Baevsky
01 | Look For Additions Over Swaps | Most of my clients are gluten and dairy-free. For gluten “swaps,” I instead like to think about what I can add! For example, in a salad, instead of swapping out croutons, I add roasted seeds, nuts, and chickpeas for added fiber and crunch! For dairy-free swaps, I love using fermented cashew-based cheeses for alfredos and charcuterie board cheeses. For a dairy-free parmesan, I make my almond parm with almonds, nutritional yeast, and sea salt!
02 | Focus On Flavor | I love breaking the stigma that better-for-you and allergy-friendly food is anything but scrumptious and indulgent-tasting! I always feature at least two salads and three roasted vegetable options at the beginning of any holiday buffet spread! I make the salads fun with colorful produce, protein-filled dressings, and savory granolas. I then ensure there is a plant-based and animal-based protein option. Lastly, a fiberful carb option like an herby wild rice side.
This way, guests will naturally build their plates with at least 50% veggies and 25% protein. I never forget a dessert spread, but if guests feel satisfied and have steadied their blood sugar levels from protein, they will be less likely to over-indulge on sugary treats!
03 | Always Make Use Of Leftovers | I love making frittatas and veggie pancake avocado toasts with leftover veggies! Hot tip: for salads during a dinner party, I dress as I go and refill. Once you dress a salad, it’s hard to save it as leftovers, so don’t dress it all at once or keep the dressing on the side!
04 | Focus On Fiber + Protein | Keep your plate 50% fiber-rich veggies and 25% protein! Drink a glass of water between alcoholic beverages or mocktails and digest for 30 minutes to an hour before dessert. This way, you will be able to tell how full and satisfied you are before you indulge on sweets.
05 | Maintain Your Regular Routine | I keep my same routine! I workout four-to-five days per week, and eat a protein-filled breakfast. I try to get 100-120g of protein per day, and this helps with sugary cravings and getting low blood sugar. I also don’t restrict myself or stress about eating something. If I’m craving it, I’ll have it in moderation.
06 | Mind Your Shopping | Don’t over-shop! People typically buy 50% more food than they need. Make a list with the amounts of each item ahead of time to prevent over-buying or over-cooking. Also, cook in batches.
Desserts, dressings, soups, and prepped veggies can be frozen ahead of time. The only food I make the day-of are the oven-roasted veggies and proteins. You want to enjoy the holiday as the host and not spend the entire day in the kitchen! Also, instead of guests bringing wine or flowers, it’s okay to request a specific dish to lighten the holiday cooking load!
07 | Nourish Your Body (And Perspective) | Don’t think of eating clean as a diet or detox. It’s a lifestyle to feel your best. Swap the thinking of “I can’t have xyz” to “I can add more water, sleep, healthy drinks, and veggies to my diet to feel like I’m running on jet fuel!”
Chef Bae’s Dairy-Free Egg Nog Smoothie
1 cup Malk Almond Nog
1 frozen banana
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
½ cup frozen cauliflower rice
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp almond extract
¼ tsp vanilla extract
A dash of nutmeg
Water to blend
1. Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender until you’ve reached your desired consistency. Add more water if you want a less thick smoothie.
2. Pour into a large glass, and enjoy!