Jill Fergus

I began cooking as a child and feeding family and friends has always been my passion. My kitchen is a busy one. I love to experiment and embrace the kitchen successes along with the accidents. I love to cook and collaborate with friends. I am seasonally driven (I love the farmer's market!), avoid processed foods and focus on whole and organic (mostly plant-based, but not exclusively) choices. In my home, my family has a variety of eating preferences from plant-based, gluten free, refined sugar free to full on omnivore. My goal is to create dishes to please all, either as is or with minor adjustments to the recipe. Where did "Feed the Swimmers" come from? When my kids began swimming competitively and growing into young adults, I realized, even more, how important nutrition is to performance, growth and overall health and emotional well being. Everyone (including the coach during travel meets) would ask "what are you feeding the swimmers?" This has become my mantra whenever I'm in my kitchen cooking for family and the friends I love.



Brussels Sprouts with Roasted Shiitake and Chestnut

Brussels Sprouts with Roasted Shiitake and Chestnut

This vegetable dish is delicious any time of year, but it always makes an appearance at my Thanksgiving table. it will convert those who believe they hate Brussels sprouts and is a wonderful vegan dish to have on hand when family and friends have different dietary preferences  I love finishing these with hazelnuts, but you may choose your favorite. Sometimes I’ll add some diced crisp apple to add some brightness. If you really want to take these up a notch, finish them in the pan with a touch of maple syrup.  


Brussels Sprouts with Roasted Shiitake and Chestnut


Serves 6-8 side dishes


1 1/2+ lbs (~750 grams) Brussels sprouts, trimmed and slice in half (larger ones quartered and loose leaves reserved)

1 shallot and/or garlic clove, minced (or some confit of either of these)

1/4+ olive oil

4 oz (~100 grams) Shiitake, stems removed and sliced about 1/4” thick

1/3 cup chopped roasted chestnuts (pre-roasted, vacuum packed or jarred work well)

1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts, lightly roasted, for topping (optional, sub almonds, walnuts, pecans..., diced crisp apple)

Flaky Sea Salt

Fresh ground pepper

1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper (may sub chili flakes)

2 tsp dark maple syrup (optional) 



1- Prepare Shiitake (recipe below). While these are roasting...

2-  Pre heat heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add 1/2 the olive oil and half of the Brussels sprouts (work in batches so as not to over crowd in order to achieve caramelized edges), cut sides down preferable, and shallot/garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Allow to rest in pan, undisturbed for 4-5 minutes until a golden brown finish is achieved. Toss and continue to cook for another 3-5 minutes and remove from pan. Repeat with remaining oil and sprouts. Just before final batch is cooked, add any loose leaves and continue for the remaking few minutes. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

3- Return all Brussels sprouts to pan with roasted shiitake and chopped chestnuts over low heat. Combine to allow flavors to meld. Adjust seasoning and add Aleppo (or red chili) pepper. Optionally, you my finish these in the hot pan with a touch of maple syrup, stirring to coat. 

4- Plate and sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts.

Roasted Shiitake " Shiitake Bacon"


Per every 100g shiitake mushrooms, sliced with stems removed. Combine:

1 tbsp tamari or good soy sauce

1 tsp sesame seed oil

1 tsp coconut aminos

1 tbsp pure maple syrup

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

Pinch cayenne pepper (optional)

1 tsp olive oil


1- Whisk all together and toss with sliced shiitakes by hand until coated. Allow to rest for 15 minutes.

2- Preheat oven to 350F, bake for 20 minutes, tossing halfway through. Be careful not to over crowd on baking sheet as you want these to crisp.

3- Allow to cool for about 10 minutes once cooked so the edges and smaller slices may crisp up. These should be crispy and chewy.



With apples... 



I made this batch in my Hestan @hestanhome skillet which made attaining that perfect caramelized finish a simple reality. It’s exclusive #hestannanobond technology fuses titanium to create the hardest surface yet in stainless steel cookware, which provides superior heat conductivity and distribution along with a virtually non stick surface. This pan is a dream to cook with. Really.  #ambsdr

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