I wear many hats but they’re mostly all related to great food that includes vegetables and other plant-based cuisine. I’m a vegetable and plant-food cooking expert, in vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free eating. My specialty is vegan pressure cooking- on the stove top or with the Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker.
Don’t worry about me turning you into a vegetarian or a vegan, or making you eat planet-based foods; you have to do that on your own time. I just want to help you get more vegetables and plant foods into your diet, no matter what other foods you choose to eat.
Culinary Educator – I taught culinary students academic and cooking classes at Santa Rosa Junior College for 30 years, until I “retired” in 2019. I have been presenting cooking demonstrations at conferences, libraries and other events across the country including Vegetarian (now vegan) Summerfest, Sonoma County VegFest, Arizona Vegfest, Los Angeles Vegetarian Festival, NW Vegfest , the Boston Vegetarian Food Festival and Mother Earth News Fairs at various locations in the U.S. , including Washington state, Texas, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Maryland.
My type of cooking is uniquely my own but has commonalities with doctors such as John McDougal, M.D., Joel Fuhrman, M.D., T. Colin Campbell and programs such as the Engine 2 Diet and Forks Over Knives. However, my goal is for everyone to think about eating a diet that is based on plants and other foods from Mother Earth.
Pressure Cooking expert – featured in Plant-Based Electric Pressure Cooking: Basics and Beyond, Pressure Cooking: A Fresh Look, Delicious Dishes in Minutes 75 minute DVD, featuring 14 plant-based recipes from breakfast through dessert. I wrote my first pressure cooking article for Cooking Light magazine in 1998.
Author of the very popular Vegan Under Pressure (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016) cookbook. I have written 3 other award winning cookbooks: The Veggie Queen: Vegetables Get the Royal Treatment cookbook with more 100 seasonal vegetable-based recipes, the seminal work on modern vegan pressure cooking: The New Fast Food: The Veggie Queen Pressure Cooks Whole Food Meals in Less than 30 Minutes which has 150 recipes, of which 138 of them are naturally gluten-free and always delicious. (Readers have called it their pressure cooking bible.) Nutrition CHAMPS; The Veggie Queen’s Guide to Eating and Cooking for Optimal Health, Happiness, Energy and Vitality has more than 200 plant-based recipes from Jill and 44 other contributors. It is the most nutrition oriented book.
Alternative Registered Dietitian – with out-of-the-box thinking, I break your image of a dietitian as the woman in the white coat wearing sensible shoes and serving bad hospital food. I have been behind the lunch line but I was serving vegan options at the cafeteria. I was a Registered Dietitian for 40 years, which might count for something – or not.
Consultant – working on diverse projects such as revamping the cafeteria menu at Kaiser Permanente, Santa Rosa to include vegan offerings and local, organic produce, writing 2-week eating plans for Amy’s Kitchen that include gluten-free and vegan options and working with a school to make their menu more healthful. I also do recipe development for food companies such as Lotus Foods and Renewal Mill and magazines such as Cooking Light using wholesome, healthy and organic ingredients.
Writer – guest writer for Vegan Culinary Experience magazine, former contributing editor for Natural Food Network magazine, contributor to food and cooking websites including Savvy Vegetarian and newsletters including Mended Hearts in Santa Rosa, CA and Triple Whammy Cure. I can write press releases for your food-related business or food, nutrition or travel articles for your newsletter, magazine or website. I got my start writing freelance stories for Cooking Light magazine and Vegetarian Times.
Speaker – for professional health and nutrition organizations, for women’s groups, for your business or organization. I speak to groups throughout the United States and beyond entertaining and educating while providing “real life” health, nutrition and cooking solutions for busy people. I am a frequent speaker at Rancho La Puerta spa in Tecate, Mexico. (I suggest that you make it a point to go there at least once.)
I have been a speaker at SOMA Wild Mushroom Camp since 2012. I have also been a featured speaker at the Farm to Fermentation Festival for 8 years while it was in existence (now defunct). I have a wide variety of topics which I can address when speaking that intermingle my love of cooking with nutrition and health.
Volunteer – In addition to my paid work I like to help where I can. In the past I was coordinator for the California section of the Vegetarian Nutrition Practice Group of The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for 6 years, a newsletter correspondent for the Cooking Schools and Teachers section of the International Association of Culinary Professionals and I’m a fellow of the Leadership Institute for Ecology and the Economy in Sonoma County. I was the founder of the now-defunct Sonoma County Culinary Guild and led that group for 4 years. The group existed for 25 years in total.
As if I didn’t have enough to do, I truly enjoy new projects and exploring creative ways to bring vegetables and plant-based information to people. In addition to everything listed above I can design a private cooking class for you or your group. I am also available to be a spokesperson and represent your products or organization at events. If you are interested in finding out more about what I can do for you please contact me.
What is New: Teaching Breath Awareness Classes (mostly through Zoom)
In 2020, prior to the pandemic shut down, I started studying breath work, which coincided with attending a free online breath work summit. Once I started studying, I did it most weekdays for 30 to 45 minutes. It was a huge change in my life, and how I felt. While many people experienced a sense of loss and connection during the pandemic, I actually grew more into myself, using my breath to learn to calm myself, slow my heart rate, regulate my cortisol levels (an issue with those who have diabetes, which I don’t). I got into the rest and digest system most of the time, rather than fight, flight or flee.
While many people think that this might be a bit “out there”, we always have our breath with us. Using the breath in a conscious way has incredible benefits, the most recent of which is helping to prevent Alzheimer’s.
I believe that breath is life, and anyone can learn to become more aware of their breath for a more positive and less stressful life.
Organizations I belong to:
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:Vegetarian Practice Group, Food and Culinary Professionals, Nutrition Entrepreneurs
- SOMA – Sonoma County Mycological Association
- North American Vegetarian Society
- IACP – International Association of Culinary Professional