Katzie Guy-Hamilton may be the food and beverage director for the health club Equinox, but her first love is desserts.
“I have loved desserts since I was quite young,” the Gramercy resident says. “I just really loved to feed people, and it was a really great creative outlet for me.”
Before overseeing all things food and beverage for Equinox, Guy-Hamilton was a pastry chef, training at the French Culinary Institute and representing chocolate restaurant Max Brenner as an international brand ambassador.
A desire to improve her health and feel good overall led a burned-out Guy-Hamilton to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become a certified health coach, before landing at Equinox more than two years ago.
With the release of her first cookbook, Guy-Hamilton doesn’t forget her pastry past, but instead blends her two interests. “Clean Enough: Get Back to Basics and Leave Room for Dessert,” out Jan. 1, focuses on eating real foods and balancing a healthy diet with more indulgent items, like her generous chocolate chunk cookies and Grandma’s chocolate-chocolate-chocolate cake.
“I think with the explosion of the wellness industry, people have so much shame if they’re just living their lives, and I think that’s crazy,” Guy-Hamilton said. “That’s what made me write this.”
As far as confusion around what eating clean means, for Guy-Hamilton, it’s a personal approach (“One person’s healthy ingredient — say cauliflower — is another person’s digestive distress”) that above all stresses whole foods prepared simply.
“Eating clean means eating real food, and preparing as much of it as you can yourself so that it is clean,” said Guy-Hamilton, 32. “Whole ingredients, unprocessed, simply prepared. The simplicity of eating single ingredients is the most important concept in what is eating clean.”
The cookbook features more than 100 recipes divided by “Clean” (your bowls, toasts, greens, prepared vegetables and soups) and “Enough” (cookies, cakes, pie, ice cream and more sweets) that are largely inspired by her travels (see her congee recipe).
All the recipes are vegetarian, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pair them with fish or meat.
“I wanted to provide the foundation, because the foundation is the most important part of it,” Guy-Hamilton said.
The author stresses using high-quality ingredients, from dairy to plants, and that pertains to the desserts, too.
“Buy the best foods you can always buy, within your price range, especially if you’re making things that are treats,” she said.
Given her background, Guy-Hamilton wanted to share techniques and skills in making cookies, meringues, pies and ice cream, and she hopes that people embrace baking more. But she is quick to add that the “Enough” section of the cookbook is for special occasions.
“I call dessert ‘sometimes foods,’” she said. “They are not an everyday thing.”
Sweet or savory congee
Guy-Hamilton knows from experience the virtues of congee. After falling ill during a business trip to Beijing, congee “nursed me back to life,” she said. “It is so gentle on your stomach.” Even if you’re not sick, you can enjoy the rice porridge any way you please. “It’s like a blank canvas — you can make it sweet, you can make it savory,” Guy-Hamilton says. “I like it plain even.”
Makes 4 servings
- 12 cups filtered water
- 2/3 cup short-grain white rice
- 1/2 tsp. Himalayan pink salt
- 1 runny egg, any variety
- Pickled ginger
- Rooster Sauce (see recipe below)
- Ground turmeric
- Sliced scallion
- Super Seed Blend, optional (see recipe below)
- Ground cinnamon
- Ground turmeric
- Raw honey
1. Combine the water, rice, and salt in a large heavy-bottomed, lidded saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, whisking three times spaced evenly along the cooking process, until the rice is cooked down and porridge-like.
2. To serve, ladle the congee into a bowl and top with a runny egg, pickled ginger, Rooster Sauce, turmeric and scallion along with Super Seed Blend, if using. Or, for a sweet porridge option, dust with cinnamon and turmeric and drizzle with honey.
3. Congee can be cooled and stored in the fridge for reheating.
Makes 3 cups
- 5 cups red Fresno chiles
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 3 or 4 unsulfured prunes, pitted (3/4 oz.)
- 1 tbsp. Himalayan pink salt
- 2 tbsp. cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp. organic tamari (wheat-free soy sauce)
- 1 Proviotic, cap opened
1. Keeping the green tops intact, snip the stems off the whole chiles using kitchen scissors.
2. Combine the chiles with the garlic, prunes and salt in a high-powered blender and blend on high speed until fully pureed.
3. Transfer to a sterilized glass jar. Place the lid on the jar and let sit on the counter at room temperature for 4 days.
4. On the fifth day, stir the mixture with a clean spoon and replace the lid.
5. On the sixth day, stir the mixture with a clean spoon and replace the lid.
6. On the seventh day, transfer the bubbling contents back to a clean blender, adding the vinegar, tamari and contents of a Proviotic. Blend on high speed until smooth, about 90 seconds.
7. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer, such as a chinois, using a small ladle to push all the paste through, with only the chile seeds remaining.
8. Store in the fridge for up to a month and a half.
Super Seed Blend
Makes 1 cup
- 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 3 tbsp. ground turmeric
- 3 tbsp. raw hemp seeds
- 2 tbsp. flaxseeds
- 2 tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp. sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp. Himalayan pink salt
1. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the pumpkin seeds have become roughly ground.
2. Store in an airtight container in the fridge or at room temperature for up 2 weeks
Recipes from “Clean Enough: Get Back to Basics and Leave Room for Dessert” © Katzie Guy-Hamilton, 2019. Photography © Brian Kennedy, 2019. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold. experimentpublishing.com