Conversation with a Food Blogger: Nutritionist in the Kitch

In this column, we're interviewing the tastemakers, foodies and chefs that are dominating the web. This week: Christal Sczebel from Nutritionist in the Kitch.
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A Holistic Nutritionist with an insatiable appetite for wellness and delectable food, Christal Sczebel realized that creating a food blog was the optimal way to share her nutritional knowledge and passion for food and cooking. And so Nutritionist in the Kitch was born! The blog also boasts a beautiful Instagram account, full of nutrition tips and boundless inspiration. Christal's popular domain encompasses everything from simple, scrumptious recipes to nutrition advice to consulting services. She believes that food can be medicine, but it should also taste delicious. The real life magician in the kitchen loves a challenge, like taking indulgent recipes and altering them to enhance the health benefits without sacrificing flavor. Based out of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Christal says she feels most relaxed in her kitchen, where she loves creating nourishing meals daily.

If you could describe your blog in three words what would they be?

Simple, down-to-earth (is that "one word"? lol!), and nourishing.

What inspired your blog name?

I love to cook, create, and make delicious food in my kitchen, and I'm a nutritionist, so I thought Nutritionist in the Kitch had a great ring to it!

What are the biggest challenges and greatest rewards of being a food blogger?

The biggest challenges are probably being on the ball with posts and staying on top of content creation, and standing out amongst the crowd. There are so many amazing talented bloggers. The greatest rewards are meeting awesome readers and other bloggers from all around the world and creating friendships. I also learning about how readers have improved their health by incorporating my recipes or nutrition information into their lives!

Why are you so passionate about eating healthy?

Healthy eating helped me to improve my health in many ways. I had a ton of digestive issues growing up, and it wasn't until I learned about and implemented nutritional changes into my life that I was able to feel truly amazing from the inside out!

What is your favorite meal of the day?

Breakfast, hands-down. One of my first thoughts when I wake up is: breakfast! I love starting the day with healthy, filling, delicious food!

One ingredient that you just can’t live without?

Eggs! I love to buy local, organic eggs and enjoy them for breakfast or as a snack for a nice hit of protein!

In your opinion, what’s the most overrated ingredient right now?

Hmmmm... That’s a tough one. I'm not sure that there is an "overrated" ingredient because everyone is different, so any trending ingredient like kale, coconut oil, or bee pollen might be beneficial to someone with a particular health issue or goal, and that could never be overrated!

This year I have been trying to eat more...?

Sprouts! There is a fantastic local producer in my hometown who grows sprouts and I've been trying to support the company as well as reap the benefits of this superfood!

I think everything tastes better with...?

Coconut! Sweet or savory, coconut is amazing in every dish. Seriously!

What’s one piece of cooking advice you’d like to share with our readers?

Keep it simple! Unless you really love to create labors of love in the kitchen, I think that choosing recipes with 10 ingredients or less can make cooking fun, easy, and enjoyable! And without a huge cleanup!

Do you have any recipes that stand out for being epic fails?

Haha...too many to count!! The inevitable happenings of being a food blogger are lots and lots of epic fails in the kitchen. At least my husband is a trooper and he always does his best to at least try them!

What's your favorite kitchen gadget?

My Vitamix!

One cookbook that you just can’t live without?

A friend gave me Green Kitchen Travels for my birthday and I absolutely love everything about this cookbook; it's beautiful, intriguing, and filled with healthy recipes!

Are there any food blogs that YOU follow?

TONS! I love Nutrition Stripped, With Food & Love, Running On Real Food, Will Frolic For Food and Healthful Pursuit. All of these amazing ladies really inspire me!

Who would you consider a culinary icon?

Chef Gordon Ramsay! I don't really watch the shows that illustrate his tough side, but I do love the ones that show his softer, amazingly talented, family side -- his yearly Christmas special is spot on!

Favorite late-night snack?

Coconut yogurt with frozen berries and cinnamon!

Sweet or salty?

Well, I LOVE dark chocolate WITH sea salt... so, both?! Do I really have to choose?

What’s next in your career?

Growth, and lots of it! I plan on continuing to expand and improve my online presence and myself as a nutritionist, blogger, and entrepreneur!

Finally, can you share one of your favorite recipes?

Absolutely! Unfortunately, I can’t take full credit... I wish I could, but I can’t. My wonderful hubby (hey sweetie!) is the master behind this amazingly delicious spice rubbed chicken– so therefore I am happy to say it is also man-approved.

Spiced-Rubbed-Chicken-with-

Spice-Rubbed Barbecue Chicken & Pineapple Salsa Rice Plate

INGREDIENTS:

For the chicken:

  • 8 chicken thighs, skinless/boneless (preferably organic)
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp Keg spice (or run of the mill steak spice)
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

For the salsa:

  • 1 cup diced pineapple
  • 1/2 cup diced tomato
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • juice of 1 whole lime
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

For the rice:

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 cups organic chicken broth

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Prepare the rice in a rice cooker or on the stove top by combining 1 cup brown rice with 2 cups broth. Once cooked set aside, or while cooking, prepare the rest.
  2. For the salsa, in a bowl combine all of the ingredients and mix well. Taste and add more salt or lime as preferred. Set in the fridge to chill.
  3. For the spiced rubbed chicken. Add all of the spices to a bowl and stir to combine.
  4. Dredge each chicken thigh in the spice mix and rub the spice thoroughly into each chicken thigh.
  5. Grill the spice rubbed thighs on the BBQ until done.
  6. Between 4 plates divide the cooked rice, top with 2 chicken thighs (or more), and a big spoonful of the salsa.

Check out Alexis Nilsen’s blog Cow Crumbs where she is proving one recipe at a time that gluten-free can be so much more than rice flour and tapioca starch.