Meet the chef: Balance with Jess

We are so excited to shine a light on one of our fave chefs and her incredible recipes. Jessica is a brilliant American chef with her own website called Balance with Jess, which she launched in 2020 during the epidemic: she's always enjoyed cooking and has done so since she was a child. During the holidays, she worked as a sous chef for her father and learned her family's dishes!

Her recipes are balanced, yet nothing is off-limits! Because she believes diets are restrictive, she wants to encourage complete food freedom, including the ability to eat whatever you want with balanced meals and no calorie counting.

Jessica's goal is to create recipes that are simple, flavorful, and (usually) healthy enough for anyone to make. She feels that everyone's diet should be centred on authentic, healthful items, but that supper isn't complete without dessert. Everyone's health is different, and she believes that eating should make you feel good rather than making you lose weight.

Now it's time to share some of Jessica's favourite recipes from her website (and on the Plate Up App), which she thinks you'll love making!

Scroll down for the recipes!

Pumpkin and Mushroom Risotto

Pumpkin and Mushroom Risotto | Feel Good Food

This Pumpkin and Mushroom Risotto elevates an Italian staple by infusing it with pumpkin purée and caramelised mushrooms. Each spoonful is deliciously seasoned and creamy, dripping with cheesy deliciousness and meaty mushrooms. It's the ultimate in comfort food!

The name "risotto" comes from the Italian word "riso", which means "rice." To produce this rich and creamy northern Italian favourite, short-grain rice is cooked in broth with other ingredients such as butter, garlic, and cheese. As the rice cooks, starch is released, causing it to become thick, sticky, and creamy.


  • It's a nutritious mushroom and pumpkin risotto recipe to add to your repertoire of fall-flavored foods.
  • Risotto has a reputation for being time-consuming and difficult to prepare. But it's actually less difficult than you think! All of my best suggestions and tricks can be found by reading the complete blog post.
  • Pumpkin and Mushroom Risotto is a robust and savoury dish that can be served as a main course or as a side to your favourite entrées.
  • This gluten-free risotto recipe is simple to make. With a few simple substitutions, you can make it dairy-free, paleo, or vegan.

If you love the way the recipe sounds check it out on the Plate Up app or on Jessica’s website with the link below
Link to Recipe: Pumpkin and Mushroom Risotto - Balance With Jess

Vietnamese Shrimp Toast

Vietnamese Shrimp Toast | Feel Good Food

Vietnamese Shrimp Toast, also known as Banh Mi Chien Tom, is a quick and easy appetiser or snack. A tasty mixture of shrimp, mayo, green onion, and cheese is spread onto a crusty baguette and baked till golden brown. They're great little bites!

This Shrimp Toast is oh-so-creamy and cheesy, with a generous helping of umami. Caramelized shallots, fish sauce, and green onion give soft morsels of shrimp a tonne of flavour. I recommend using a food processor to finely chop the shrimp, but some handy knife work will suffice! The crispness of the buttery toasted baguettes provides a fantastic textural contrast to the richness. What's the best part? They're portable and easy to eat, making them ideal for a picnic, potluck, or any other get-together!


  • Do you want more seafood? For more protein and heartiness, top the Shrimp Toast with flaky crab flesh.
  • Use whichever bread you have on hand! A decent twist might be ciabatta, sandwich bread, Italian/French style baguettes, or hoagies.
  • Do you want a more unique flavour profile? Cilantro, chives, a smidgeon of ginger, or fresh lemon juice would taste delicious!
  • Use a gluten-free bread of your choice to make this gluten-free.
  • Use dairy-free shredded cheese, such as this mozzarella and cheddar-style cheese, to make the dish dairy-free.

If you love the way the recipe sounds check it out on the Plate Up app or on Jessica’s website with the link below

Link to Recipe: Vietnamese Shrimp Toast - Balance With Jess

One-Pot Sausage and Couscous

One-Pot Sausage and Couscous| Feel Good Food

This One-Pot Sausage and Couscous has it all: healthy grains, chicken sausage, loads of vegetables, and cheese! It's simple, fast, and tasty. And it's sure to be a hit with the whole family!

Are you sick of eating the same thing every night? This is where this One-Pot Sausage and Couscous recipe comes in handy! It's not only delicious, hearty, and flavorful, but it's also incredibly flexible. Use whichever sausage flavour you like and whatever vegetables you have in your fridge!

Because it just takes 35 minutes from start to finish, this Sausage and Couscous dish is ideal for a weekday. Everything is prepared in a single pot for ease of handling and cleanup. It's also a wonderful pantry and fridge clean-up dinner!


  • leftover sausage and couscous can be left in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • Easy to reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.
  • You may prepare the dish ahead of time, and it's simple with only one pot and an oven required to complete the recipe!
  • Feel free to use your favourite grains or vegetables to make this recipe your own!
  • Meal is full of vitamin A and C as well as Calcium and Iron.
  • The recipe is under 400 calories!

If you love the way the recipe sounds check it out on the Plate Up app or on Jessica’s website with the link below

Link to Recipe: One-Pot Sausage and Couscous - Balance With Jess

If you're interested in trying some of Jessica's recipes from our blog or browsing more of her delicious recipes, visit her website Balance with Jess. Link below.

Balance With Jess | Delicious Home Cooking That's Good For You

#balancewithjess #meetthechef #recipes #chefs

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