Lunch with actress Tabitha Holbert

 

It’s a little past noon at The Latin Beet Kitchen, a new pan-Latin, health-focused eatery in NYC’s Flatiron neighborhood. Outside, it’s raining, but inside there’s a lunchtime crowd queued up for zucchini noodle bowls, organic arepas and housemade nut milks.

 

Fresh from a yoga class, Tabitha Holbert, the actress best known for her role on SVU Law and Order, admires the whole-grain and legume-based bowls—Holbert is a longtime vegetarian—but settles on a bottle of Kombucha to quench her thirst instead. (My pick: Salmon Ceviche over greens and brown rice, with a side of minty Yogurt Huacatay sauce; recipe below.)

 

Holbert slides into a booth and begins to explain why she created Boho Yogo, a brand-new app that allows you to book private yoga sessions (choose gentle, intermediate or power; $125 for an individual, $150 for couples) in your home. Currently, the service is only available in New York, but the company has plans to expand into other cities. What’s cool about the app—and the real reason Holbert, who has her yoga teacher training certification, was inspired to found the company—is that for every class a customer books, another yoga session is donated to a women’s shelter (the company works with Safe Horizon in NYC) or military rehabilitation center. “It’s one-to-one, like Tom’s shoes,” explains Holbert.

 

As a child growing up in the foster care system in Texas, Holbert owned one pair of pants and didn’t learn how to read until she was sixteen. Neglected, abused and sent from home to home, Holbert’s main goal in life was to “do hair” and stay out of prison. “I was a really hard kid,” she says.

 

But then she met a teacher who changed everything. She taught Holbert how to read, brought her a box of clothing that she said was used but Holbert realized was full of brand new tops and jeans. She also enrolled Holbert in beauty pageants as a way for her to pay for her continuing education.  “I was a ghetto girl. Pageants made me well-spoken,” says Holbert, who did so well she earned enough money to pay for community college and, eventually, come to New York, where she would land every wannabe actor’s dream gig: A recurring role on a major television show.

 

Now Holbert, who says she healed her PTSD through restorative yoga, wants to give back. By giving women in at-risk situations access to yoga and meditation classes, she hopes to teach them how to break from the cycle of abuse and poverty and take control of their lives. Yoga, says Holbert, can help these women end the negative self-talk (“you’re a dummy,”) in their heads and come into their power. “How you practice yoga is how you go through life,” says Holbert. “You have to breathe through the uncomfortable moments. You have to forgive yourself and let go of your mistakes,” she says. “And then you have to re-up.”

 

For more information about Boho Yogo, go to: http://www.bohoyogo.com

 

Yogurt Huacatay

 

Huacatay is an herb found in Peru that is a variety of peppermint and often referred to as “black mint.” You can find it in fresh form in some speciality grocery stores or online, as a paste. At The Latin Beet kitchen, they typically serve the sauce over The Andina, a bowl filled with carrots, broccoli, avocado, purple cabbage slaw, lentils and other ingredients.

 

The Andina at The Latin Beet Kitchen
The Andina at The Latin Beet Kitchen

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

3 tbsp  Huacatay leaves (start with 1/2 tbsp paste)
1/3 cup water
1 cup Greek Yogurt (Fage brand)
Salt, to taste

Directions:

In a blender, add water and Huacatay leaves and blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and add yogurt; mix until you reach the right consistency. Season with salt to taste. If using a paste rather than fresh leaves, start with 1/2 tbsp and add more if you prefer a stronger flavor.

 

We Get Cooking for InStyle Magazine

Heather and Tatiana visited the kitchen studio of Time, Inc. to talk eating for nutrition—and pleasure—and the secrets to maintaining healthy weight-loss with InStyle’s executive editor Amy Synnott. Watch the video to learn how to make three easy recipes from The Model Trainer Method: The Dutch Baby Pancake; Shrimp Pasta Arrabbiata; and Turkey Zucchini Meatballs.

 

This Mexican Chef’s Lightened-Up Salmon is All We Want for Dinner Tonight

 

Mexican-born, Connecticut-based chef Gina Pacheco’s approach to cooking is pretty straight-forward. She uses fresh ingredients, combines them with the techniques and flavors she grew up with in her hometown of Mexico City, and creates elevated dishes any home cook can master. Trained as a classical chef, she hosted her own cooking show, La Cocina de Gina, on Mexico’s biggest TV network, Televisa. The show aired in 30 countries across the globe and earned Pacheco praise from The Los Angeles Times for “reinvent(ing) the Mexican cuisine for a discerning audience.” Lately Pacheco, an avid tennis player and distance bike rider, has been focusing on making healthier versions of her favorite recipes.

 

 

img_0294“I love to eat, and I love the social part of food—that’s why I went to culinary school in the first place. After having kids I understood more deeply how food is mainly for nutrition and not only for our pleasure,” says Pacheco, who is a mom of three currently following The Model Trainer Method. “That’s when I started looking for healthier options. Mexican food relies heavily on tomatoes, onions, garlic, peppers and other vegetables as the base for soups and sauces, so it’s easy to just change how you cook them to make them healthier.”

 

We love her salmon with cilantro pesto recipe because it sounds super-sophisticated but involves only a handful of steps and ingredients you can find in pretty much any grocery store (no hunting the gourmet spice rack for minutes you don’t have to spare). From start to finish it takes just 30 minutes (20 minutes of prep, 10 minutes of cook time). Try to find wild salmon (it has more of those heart-healthy fatty acids) if you can, and feel free to add a grain-based or vegetable side—Pacheco recommends roasted cauliflower—to round out the meal.

 

 

SALMON WITH CILANTRO PESTO AND TOMATOES

Makes 4 Servings

INGREDIENTS

4 fillets of wild salmon
1 tablespoon avocado or coconut oil
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 diced roma tomatoes
¼ cup pecans
¼ cup toasted sesame seeds
2 cloves garlic
1 bunch cilantro
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup water
Salt
Black pepper

DIRECTIONS

1. Place the pecans, sesame seeds, garlic, cilantro and vinegar in a food processor. Process to form a thick paste. Add olive oil slowly and season with salt and pepper. Add water and mix again to combine.
2. Season the salmon with salt and pepper.
3. Heat the avocado or coconut oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Arrange the salmon fillets skin side up and cook for 4 minutes until golden brown. Turn them over and cook for another 4 minutes.
4. While the fish is cooking prepare the vinaigrette by combining in a bowl the mustard, balsamic, garlic and mixing add the olive oil. Add the tomatoes and mix to coat with the vinaigrette.
5. To serve, arrange the salmon fillets on a platter, decorate one side with the tomatoes with vinaigrette and the other with cilantro pesto.

 

Recipe courtesy of Gina Pacheco. Click here to check out her website.