Calling all foodies!
It’s my pleasure to introduce you to SMU’s very own 22-year-old version of Betty Crocker (but a way cuter blonde version), Lizzy Nielsen. She is style, she is grace, and let me tell you, she whips up a mean batch of chocolate peanut butter balls.
When I asked Lizzy if I could write about her love for cooking, she invited me over for dinner so I could get a first-hand look.
Standing in her kitchen on Haynie street wearing a silk navy blouse and a white apron tied around her waist, the petite, blue-eyed chef poured me a glass of wine and put me on onion chopping duty.
“We’re having turkey bolognese, zoodles, and chick pea pasta,” she announced.
Lizzy is a firm believer in filling up your body with the most nutritious food possible and enjoys substituting fattening ingredients with healthier alternatives.
“I love all food. I’m such a foodie. But I’m really into healthy eating and treating your body well. Like instead of pasta I’ll make zucchini noodles, or instead of sugar I’ll use honey, organic maple syrup, or coconut oil.”
Lizzy spent her junior year studying abroad in Paris and took cooking classes at La Cuisine along the way. One class concentrated strictly on Parisian pastries where she mastered everything from chocolate croissants to cinnamon twists. She also took a class that focused on how to find the freshest, most perfectly ripe ingredients when shopping in a grocery store or at a Parisian market.
“The feel and texture will indicate if it’s fresh or if it’s been there for a few days. For example, you know a rhubarb is perfect when the color is a mixture between rosy red and magenta,” she explained.
Growing up with her grandmother’s legendary Thanksgiving pies and her mother’s insistence on preparing a home cooked meal every night, it’s safe to say Lizzy’s knack for cooking is basically engrained in her DNA.
“My mom cooked all the time. Every single meal would be completely her – she wouldn’t even use a recipe. She just threw things together and it was always delicious.”
Lizzy’s cooking comes straight from the heart. She likes to prepare healthy meals for the people she cares about, filling the stomachs of those she loves with nutritious energy and fuel. For Lizzy, cooking is a gift she can give, a stress outlet, and an expression of creativity.
“To be honest, I like to cook for others more than I like to cook for myself. It’s just fun and enjoyable and a great quality to have in life.”
Lizzy hopes to have her own cookbook one day where “every single recipe would imitate unhealthy ones – such as a healthy version of pasta bolognese or a delicious pizza on cauliflower crust.”
I have no doubt that this ambitious, culinary cutie is going big places!
- French pastry: Pan au chocolat
- Protein: Shrimp or veal
- Red wine: Decoy Merlot
- Summer wine: Domaine Ott
- Vegetable: Brussel sprouts
- Pasta: Rigatoni or Angel hair
- Flavor of cake: Cream-cheese frosting with red velvet or triple chocolate
- Comfort meal: Ham and swiss on a french baguette (with butter, of course!)
- Meal to cook: Chili lime shrimp with pesto pasta or zucchini noodles
- Cooking Instagrams: @bonappetitmag and @buzzfeedtasty
- Cookbook: Barefoot Contessa
Special thanks to Lizzy for sharing her delicious hobby with us.
For more of her tasty creations, check out the pics below!