Meet Wendee, aka Queen of Veggies, aka the Spice Queen. She first learned to cook as a Senior in High School. She had a class called Chefs Foods (Home Economics but “more modern”) in which her favorite food she learned to make was homemade pasta. In College she switched from Pre-Med to Interdisciplinary Studies and earned a BA in Child Development, and taught ski classes to kids while a student. During this time the book FOOD IS YOUR BEST MEDICINE fell into her hands with the powerful message “Let Food be Thy Medicine and Medicine be Thy Food”, which inspired her to start paying close attention to food and eating. Wendee started reading food labels, became a vegetarian and learned to cook with incredible diversity by learning to put vegetables in virtually everything. She even became a gardener.
Having always been interested in alternative medicine healing, herbs and nutrition, she later worked for a chiropractor and acupuncturist and a spark went off. She graduated from Chinese Medical School in 2000, became a rock climber and stopped being vegetarian, exploring what felt good for her body needs. With her new knowledge of medicinal herbs, she learned to incorporate traditional Chinese dietary principles into her cooking, using herbs as food. Still and always, there’s LOTS of veggies in her cooking!
After graduating from Chinese Medical School Wendee moved to Bend, OR. As an avid skier, rock climber and mountain biker, Bend seemed like paradise. She’s lived in Bend ever since. She now considers herself an omnivore, yet she first and foremost listens to her body, feeding it exactly what it needs instead of following a strict diet trend or label. This is the most important underlying value in the way she cooks for you or teaches you to cook for your body and lifestyle. Oh, and did we mention she’s been eating organic since before it was a thing? That is the only rule she applies to her food life. Ask her about the Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15! Furthermore, due to the tremendous digestive health value, she is a huge proponent of traditional cooking methods such as soaking techniques for legumes and grains, fermenting and sprouting.
Once Wendee became a mom she wanted to feed her child the best she could. Making food delicious was a top priority as well as ensuring it was rich in nutrition. She would hide certain foods and mix them in when she started weaning him, making more digestible the foods that are not so popular so that he could eat it and love it. And she also loves making food beautiful! Wendee appreciates beauty everywhere, so why not also bring it to the plate. Hiding nutritious food by chopping really tiny or pureed became a daily practice, being able to incorporate lots of veggies in a sauces, soups, even lasagna, etc. Introducing key foods when they’re little and young was important to her: mushrooms, cauliflower, onions, zucchini, beets, etc. And healthy versions of common favorites that may not be so healthy became second nature in her cooking style.
What else does Wendee know in the kitchen? She knows her brands. A trip to the grocery store with her could be life-changing. She is also a master at kitchen spice rack revamps and at teaching how to store foods properly and with smart planning for future meals.
What cooking style and focus does Wendee teach? Lots of vegetables and lots of flavor! Healthy modern versions of common comfort foods, ethnic inspired (Thai and Indian, Spanish and Mexican flavors), and cook it, eat it and freeze the rest for later. Wendee can also teach quick preps, healthy lunch, dinner and breakfast, and create custom meal plans complete with shopping and prep instructions.
Wendee teaching you how to cook involves: How to stock your kitchen, how to shop, oils, spices, herbs, HEALTHY choices and brands, how to read labels, tricks and tools for the kitchen, smart food storage, meal prep AND cooking delicious, nutritious, beautiful meals!