Introducing ACLP Recipe Developer, Ananda Kaplan: My Love of Food

Ananda Kaplan holding vegetables
Ananda Headshot Ananda Kaplan

I am looking forward to developing nutritious and hearty meals for the Anticancer Lifestyle Program each month!

I grew up in a transcendental meditation community in Iowa. Eating healthy, organic and local foods was a deeply-rooted part of my childhood. I was always a true food lover. I remember being five years old and begging my father to give me a bit of his raw
octopus sushi. Food always seemed like this magical part of life that could bring so much joy and excitement.

One of my happy places as a teenager was in the kitchen. I loved experimenting with new flavor combinations and techniques to create scrumptious delights. It was a way to express myself that had the power to melt away frustrations and negative emotions. The pure joy and creativity I felt in the kitchen led me to pursue a career in the culinary industry.

I attended the French Culinary Institute in New York and for ten years was a practicing chef for restaurants, catering companies, and individual families. Working as a personal chef challenged me to produce seasonal, local, healthy meals at an affordable price for my clients. Later on, I was able to apply some of these skills to help myself manage
celiac disease.

Soon after my celiac diagnosis I accepted a job as a pastry chef to assist with the opening of Carbone, a highly anticipated restaurant in New York City. This should have been a career high, but something was missing. I had a moment of clarity and realized that I
didn’t want to just make amazing food—I wanted to use food as a means of healing, both myself and others.

I decided to go back to school to deepen my understanding of the relationship between food, nutrients, and health. Through my studies at New York University to obtain my master’s degree in nutrition, I learned to combine two of my loves, cooking and nutrition, and have been  fortunate to pave a new and exciting career path as a culinary dietitian. By creating and offering healthy, simple and scrumptious recipes, I hope to educate people about nutritious foods and to boost their confidence that they, too, can learn to prepare nourishing meals that delight!

In the meantime, I hope you will check out my Lentil Soup with Herb Drizzle recipe and Cauliflower Mash and Mushroom Chickpea Gravy recipe. And check back often, as there are more recipes to come!


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