Welcome to your next “plating” of Ask Jack, featuring the prodigious culinary talents of professional chef, writer, and OMSer Jack McNulty answering food and cooking questions from our community that inform their healthy Overcoming MS (OMS) lifestyle. You can submit your questions for Jack anytime by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep on reading for the key episode takeaways. If you’re interested in more recipes from the Overcoming MS Program, take a look at the collection on our website. We have easy, intermediate and hard recipes, so there’s something for all skill levels!
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Jack McNulty has been involved in food and cooking most of his life. He’s walked many paths during his culinary journey, including transforming himself from an interested home cook to a professional chef with classical training. He has worked for talented and knowledgeable chefs in high-end restaurants in Switzerland, Italy, and France. Jack operated his own catering business and cooking school for 15 years, while also finding time to write about cooking.
Jack’s current activities include operating myfreshattitude.com – a website dedicated to providing healthy vegan recipes and useful vegan cooking instruction and techniques. He also writes and distributes a weekly international newsletter - VeganWeekly – to inspire people to cook healthy vegan food. Jack has followed the Overcoming MS lifestyle since 2009. He has actively worked on providing recipes and information to the Overcoming MS website, was the contributing editor to the OMS Cookbook, and authored the ‘Eat Well’ chapter in the latest Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis Handbook.
Selected Key Takeaways
Making your own veggie broth is easy and cost-effective
“A lot of people say, "Oh, you know, I don't have time to make my own vegetable broth." Well, vegetable broth takes all of, maybe, 30 minutes to make as you could put it together while watching a sitcom on TV in the background. It's one of those things that you can make in a large quantity, always have on hand, [and] you can freeze it easily. And it doesn't really require a huge effort. In terms of cost: probably not that much more significant than buying (stock) cubes and powder.”
Use a large, heavy bottom pot to cook soup
“[Thinking about the cooking pot], what I find really important is a heavy bottom. So stainless steel works really well. Thin bottom pots tend to develop hotspots and that will scorch ingredients on the bottom. That becomes very important when you're using things like lentils that like to sink to the bottom. If they grab onto one of those hotspots, they're going to scorch, they're going to burn and basically that will ruin the flavor of the entire soup.”
An umami broth makes a great stew base
“A stew basically is going to be the same as a soup, it just has a different amount of liquid in it. But if you wanted to make it that stick to your ribs kind of consistency, you need to have a very rich broth. And it needs to be something with color. So I make what I call an ‘umami broth’ using dried mushrooms, mushroom powder, I use some soya sauce in there, and a little bit of miso in there. And it turns out very, very dark, and actually has quite a meaty flavor to it.”
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