Teen Chef Cooks: 80 Scrumptious, Family-Friendly Recipes: A Cookbook

Teen Chef Cooks: 80 Scrumptious, Family-Friendly Recipes: A Cookbook

by Eliana de Las Casas
Teen Chef Cooks: 80 Scrumptious, Family-Friendly Recipes: A Cookbook

Teen Chef Cooks: 80 Scrumptious, Family-Friendly Recipes: A Cookbook

by Eliana de Las Casas


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More than 75 fresh, flavorful, seasonal recipes from award-winning chef and the 2016 Chopped Teen Grand Champion, Eliana de Las Casas.

With her newest book, Chef Eliana inspires kids, teens, and families to embrace seasonal cooking and to use fresh, local ingredients when possible. Eliana is particularly in tune with seasonal cooking—she has been working with and performing live cooking demos at farmers' markets for many years. Arranged by season (spring, summer, fall, and winter) each section of the book will have 20 recipes showcasing the best ingredients of that season. Recipes are divided by ingredient, so with arugula available in the spring you can make an easy skillet lasagna. Use watermelon in the summer to create Watermelon Panzanella; in the fall, extra apples can be baked into an inside-out apple pie, and winter cabbage for Latin Slaw will warm you up in the colder months. Eliana's mission is to inspire families to cook creatively for themselves and to gain skill and experience in the kitchen so that they live healthier lives.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781635651942
Publisher: Harmony/Rodale
Publication date: 09/10/2019
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 211,714
Product dimensions: 7.30(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author

Chef Eliana is the Chopped Teen Grand Champion and CEO of Spice It Up!, a seasoning blend company. She is the author of several cookbooks, and as the National Food and Beverage Institute Kids Ambassador and the Crescent City Farmer's Market Ambassador, Eliana's mission is to encourage kids and families to eat fresh and become culinary explorers. At just 15 years old she was named "2014 Best Up and Coming Chef in Louisiana" by the American Culinary Federation. She has been seen on Food Network, the Today show, The Wendy Williams Show, PBS, Nickelodeon, and more. Visit her website at kidchefeliana.com

Read an Excerpt


My journey into the kitchen began when I was four years old. I was drawn to the smell of the food, and I asked my mom if I could help her cook. She gave me a step stool, and I mixed the potatoes in the pan as she watched over me very carefully. When the potatoes were finished cooking, I was so excited for my dad and sister to taste what I had helped my mom make. We served them our dish, and they ate every last bit. Ever since that moment, you can always find me in the kitchen with my apron and chef’s hat on, cooking up a storm.

I come from an international family of cooks, which means that our dinner table is always filled with global delicacies. My nana is Filipina, my paw paw is Cajun, my abuela is Honduran, and my papi was Cuban. These culinary influencers, along with my growing up in New Orleans, contributed to my passion for cooking. In New Orleans, we don’t eat to live—we live to eat. We bond over our love for food but also debate whose grandma makes the best gumbo. And whether it’s deciding what new restaurant to eat at or where to get a good king cake, our conversations always end up being about food.

I graduated from the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA), a high school arts conservatory with a full four-year culinary arts program funded, in part, by the Emeril Lagasse Foundation with a Johnson & Wales curriculum. Some of our culinary training included working in Press Street Gardens, an urban farm used for teaching NOCCA students and educating the public about gardening and nutrition. There we seeded, planted, and harvested many different varieties of produce. We also raised chickens, goats, and ducks. 

For many years, I have been working with the Crescent City Farmers Market as their Marketeer Ambassador. In this capacity, I shop the market for what is fresh and in season, invent a recipe on the spot, and cook it for the hungry, anticipating crowd. My favorite part about doing cooking demonstrations at the market is when people who are reluctant to try new foods taste my dishes and love them. My samples always run out, and people are inspired to buy the seasonal produce to re-create my recipes. 

In my backyard at home, I have my own kitchen garden. I grow many types of herbs, including basil, oregano, thyme, mint, sage, chives, and rosemary. I like to plant different fruits and vegetables such as strawberries, blueberries, bell peppers, jalapeños, carrots, squash, arugula, and lettuce. I even have an orange and a lemon tree. My nana and abuela also have gardens and often supply me with fresh fruit, veggies, and herbs from their surplus crops. I love being able to pop right into my backyard to select ingredients for whatever meal I’m cooking.

This book’s recipes are divided by season: spring, summer, fall, and winter. There are lists on pages 14–15 showing what produce is commonly grown during each season. The recipes correspond to many of the fruits, veggies, and herbs. When you shop at your grocery store, look for produce that is grown locally. Produce that is local and in season is always the freshest and tastiest.

From my garden to your table, I hope you enjoy these recipes and are inspired to cook fresh and seasonally.

Coffee-Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Apple-Vanilla Compote

A food company once mailed me a box of their products and asked me to use those products to invent a recipe they could share with their customers. I created this dish because I loved the idea of using the company’s coffee to make a rub. The combination of the sweet compote with the smoky, coffee-infused tenderloin is so delicious that you’ll want to go back for seconds.


2 tablespoons ground coffee
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chile
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 (3-pound) pork tenderloin

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and chopped (2 cups)
1 1/2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon torn fresh mint leaves

1. For the tenderloin: In a small bowl, mix the coffee, brown sugar, paprika, chipotle, and salt. Place the tenderloin on a plate or baking dish. Rub the mixture onto the tenderloin, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. 

2. Heat a grill to medium-high (400ºF). 

3. For the compote: In a medium saucepan, combine the apples, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and 1/2 cup water. Cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, or until the water has completely evaporated and the apples are tender. Remove from heat and stir in the mint.

4. Grill the tenderloin over direct heat, turning it often, for 25 to 30 minutes, until a thermometer inserted into the thickest portion registers 145ºF. Set the pork on a cutting board to rest for 5 minutes.

5. Slice the pork and serve it with the compote alongside.

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