Now-a-days there aren’t many members of the online food community who are properly trained in the culinary world, myself included. That’s why I always love highlighting the true experts such as Megan Hysaw who was formally trained at the world-renowned Culinary Institute of America. Megan has since worked for numerous Michelin star and James Beard Award winning chefs, as a host for the Food Network and shares tons of her incredible creations and her journey online on her personal platforms. Today, Megan is sharing one of her secret recipes on PLSR as well as her favorite cookbooks, food cities & so much more!
What is your favorite recipe? How did you learn to make it?
“The first recipe that came to mind was my banana bread with walnuts! I started playing around with this recipe in college after re-watching the 90’s classic Clueless with my roommates at USC. Cher had advised to “always have something baking when a boy is coming over.” Whether it was a study group, a potential suitor, new friends, or old, this became my go-to. I would whip up a quick batch and offer up my apartment as a study hub. Quickly, my place became the destination for all matters Business School. To this day, I make this recipe to have on hand for when guests visit and often gift it when I am heading over to a friends house, as to never show up empty handed.”
- 1-3/4 cup of AP Flour
- 1-1/2 cup Mashed Banana (about 4 Medium very ripe Bananas)
- ¾ cup Melted Butter
- ½ cup Walnuts, chopped
- ½ cup Granulated Sugar and Packed Dark Brown Sugar
- 3 Large Eggs
- 1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- ½ tsp Salt
- ½ tsp Baking Soda
- ½ tsp Ground All Spice or Cinnamon
- ¼ tsp Nutmeg
- ½ cup Chocolate Chips (optional)
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large bowl whisk flour, walnuts, granulated and dark brown sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, nutmeg and allspice.
- In a separate bowl, add mashed banana, melted butter, eggs and vanilla extract and mix until combined.
- Add banana mix to flour and stir until well combined.
- Pour batter in a lightly greased 9×5 loaf pan, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs, about 40-45 minutes, loosely covering the top with foil during the last 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool for at least 30 minutes.
- Serve & enjoy!
9x5 loaf pan
5 pantry, 5 fridge & 5 freezer essentials?
1. Pink Himalayan Salt-if you’re going to use salt, which lets face it everything needs, might as well pick a variety that does more good for your body than harm!
2. Avocado oil-unfortunately olive oil can’t be used for everything due to its low smoke point, whereas avocado oil can!
3. Vinegar (Champagne, Apple Cider and/or Red Wine)-perfect for salad dressings, tonics, sauces such as chimichurri, and doubles as cleaning agent!
4. Rice-rice plays a huge part in my life and I can’t imagine not having it on hand
5. Psyliium Husk-great source of drinkable fiber
1. Lemons & other Citrus-brightens up just about any dish, and when paired with vinegar makes for a great natural cleaning agent
2. Kimchi-being part Korean and growing up eating Korean food, I can’t go more than 3 days without kimchi.
3. Fresh Herbs-a game changer to elevate any dish, both flavor wise and aesthetically
4.Seasonal Fruits & Veggies- it’s so important to eat seasonal, as you are enjoying heightened flavors when nature intended.
5. Sparkling Water-I’m addicted to sparkling water. You can also add a splash to any juice for a hint of effervescence
1. Minced Garlic-I love to throw a big bag of garlic cloves in a food processor then spread them out flat in a zip lock bag and throw it in the freezer. It makes life so much easier for when you need minced garlic. Just break off a piece and throw it in whatever dish you are making.
2. Spinach-amazing to have on-hand for smoothies and stir fries
3. Berries-also amazing to have for smoothies, but can also be used to stew easily as a topping for oatmeal and various desserts
4. Cookie Dough-I love making a big batch of cookie dough and throwing the leftovers in the freezer to have ready in the event that an unexpected guest is heading over. Or for when you have a sudden sweet tooth.
5. Leftover Soup-I also love making big batches of soup and freezing it for later. Your future self will be so grateful, especially if future you is sick and in need of homemade soup.
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What does a normal food day look like for you?
“For me, there is no such thing as a “normal” food day, per say. I love variety and like to switch it up! With that said, I always start my day with a tonic made of hot alkaline water, apple cider vinegar, cayenne pepper and a little molasses followed by fresh seasonal fruit. From there breakfast itself can range from oatmeal with toppings, a Japanese purple sweet potato with kimchi, yogurt parfait, or pancakes and bacon—it really just depends on how much time I have and what mood I’m in. Lunch is always my biggest meal of the day and where I indulge if I’m in need of comfort. Dinner is always the lightest. I typically have some sort of Korean soup and side dish. I always have dessert or I don’t feel complete. I’m really in to making my own ice cream lately, so I’ll have a small bowl. Otherwise, dessert also ranges from tea with honey to a square of good dark chocolate.”
What are 3-5 kitchen essentials?
1. Kitchenaid Stand Mixer: with as many attachments as possible, especially the pasta making attachment.
2. Breville Juice Fountain Plus: I love having fresh fruit and veggie juices everyday. I also compost the waste, so everything gets used!
3. Multiple Cutting Boards: I like to have several to separate meats, fish, and produce
4. Good Knives: I love Shun cutlery, but if that seems too intense Cutco is always amazing. Plus you can ship Cutco to the warehouse and they will sharpen the knives for you.
5. Le Crueset Pepper Mill: Black pepper has the ability to increase the amount of nutrients you absorb, also referred to as “potentiating bioavailability.” When you purchase pre-ground black pepper, you lose freshness and the potency of the bioavailability. So, as with all things food, the fresher the better!
What are 3-5 Black businesses you love?
WELLNESS: Honey Pot and Golde
BEAUTY: Mented, Pat McGrath Cosmetics and Black Girl Sun Screen
FASHION: Brother Vellies, Telfar, and Fenty
FOOD (Los Angeles): Sweet Red Peach Bakery and WiJammin
You’ve traveled to some pretty incredible places! What is your favorite food destination?
“It’s so hard to pick just one! Food plays a huge part of my travels and always has! My parents would pick a lot of our family trip destinations based on the culinary scene. I’ve definitely followed suit with that practice. I decided I would break it down based on region.”
ASIA: Seoul, Korea and Akita/Aomori, Japan
EUROPE: Florence and Prague
SOUTH AMERICA: Lima, but note not to eat any fresh fruit or vegetables, stick to fully cooked meals!
AFRICA: I have yet to visit, but love the various foods. Evi Aki’s cookbook Flavors of Africa has further propelled my interest in visiting the motherland.
If you could spend the day in the kitchen with one person who would it be & what would you make?
“I would have to say Anthony Bourdain. I really admired his perspective and passion—he was one of the main reasons I chose to attend The Culinary Institute of America, although I attended the Napa Valley location. I would really let him take the reigns and decide what we would make, as I would just have been honored to be in his presence in the kitchen.”
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