Top (Spa) Chef: Healthy Kitchen Executive Chef Karla Williams of Hilton Head Health
This month’s Top (Spa) Chef is one who has given us lots of tips and recipes of the years, Healthy Kitchen Executive Chef Karla Williams of Hilton Head Health, recognized as one of the top resorts for weight loss. Don’t let the goal of Hilton Head Health fool you, food here is flavorful and you’ll barely believe it’s good for you, just check out the recipe for a peanut butter hummus below!
Chef Karla’s culinary journey began at the age of 16 out of necessity. “I was the result of a single parent home,” she shared. “My dad wasn’t the best cook and eating out became the new normal, unless we wanted scrambled eggs for dinner. I had an interest in nutrition and realized eating out was not the healthiest lifestyle for my dad and me. I started watching cooking shows, reading cookbooks, and playing in the kitchen with food, and before you knew it, I became the chef of the family. The more I played and tried new things, the more I enjoyed cooking. With the support of my dad, two years into an Exercise Science degree, I transferred to The Chef’s Academy, a local Culinary school in Indianapolis. Upon graduation, I relocated to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina for a Culinary Internship at Hilton Head Health. Within three years I became the Healthy Kitchen Executive Chef. Hilton Head Health a joins my love for food, fitness, and overall healthier happier people!”
“Food is so in right now,” Chef Karla said when we asked her which culinary trends were booming and which needed to fade into the night. “Foodies are the new majority. With that being said, culinary trends are booming. Up next in culinary trends:
- Locavores – Farmer’s Markets, CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Programs, locally manufactured beers and wine. It is trendy to be local! Enjoy this yummy trend, when food is local, it tends to be higher in nutrition content because it is fresh and seasonal. Local foods will add nutritional variety to your diet too, eat with the season and you will see a variety of fruits and vegetables on your plate throughout the year.
- Volumetrics– Food is big! But let’s make it a good kind of big – using volumetrics. Bulking up your favorite foods with delicious and nutritious vegetables will become all the fad. By practicing volumetrics our eyes will be pleased by the size of what’s on our plate and our bodies will be satisfied nutritionally. Everybody wins! Move over cheese, expect your pizzas to now have spinach, onions, mushrooms, peppers, and artichokes. The added vegetables will add volume to the slice of pizza but will actually fill you up with just one slice rather than 2 or 3 slices of cheese pizza.
On the flip side a trend she’s happy is fading away, fat-free. “It is passé to eat ‘fat-free food products.’ Fortunately, everybody is embracing healthy fats; avocado, nuts, and olive oils. Say so long to fat free, chemically enhanced, flavorless food products. Whole foods are taking plates by storm.”
Want to whip up one of Chef Karla’s favorites at home? Try this recipe for a Peanut Butter Hummus, perfect for dipping veggies and fruits!
Peanut Butter Hummus
Serving Size: 1/4 cup; Serves 20
2 cups garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup PB2
1/2 cup peanut butter or almond butter
1 cup water
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
2 tablespoons sugar or honey
Combine all ingredients into a food processor, puree until smooth and whipped. Add a 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips to make a “cookie dough dip.” A half cup of mini chocolate chips will add 30 calories per serving. Serve with an apple, banana, or graham crackers.
Nutrition Information: Calories 150kcal | Fiber 5g | Carbohydrates 17g | Protein 12g | Sodium 210mg