As an actor, singer, writer, TV host and fashion designer, Haylie Duff is a powerhouse. While she’s certainly got plenty of work to do, her real passion is food. She wasn’t always talented in the kitchen, but with time and perseverance, she found her friends were regularly asking her for recipes. So she started her blog, Real Girl’s Kitchen, which led to The Real Girl’s Kitchen Cookbook and a TV show called — you guessed it! — The Real Girl’s Kitchen on the Cooking Channel.
But what’s really going on in her refrigerator? We asked her to give us the details of all the food she’s loved and hated, and how she really gets dinner on the table.
SheKnows: Tell us a little bit about what’s in your fridge.
Haylie Duff: I keep a very well-stocked home. My pantry is always full, and so is my fridge. But at any given moment, I need to be able to whip up a meal and I need options. I usually keep fresh greens, fruit, cheeses, tortillas, lemons, etc.
SK: What about your freezer?
HD: My freezer is all about entrées. I keep lots of fresh pork and other lean proteins in there so I always have meal options. And [daughter] Ryan also loves salmon, so I cut big filets in to individual servings so I can make quick meals for her.
SK: Are there any items you always make sure to keep in stock?
HD: I can usually make most things with onions, carrots, lemon, celery and a protein.
SK: What’s your go-to healthy snack?
HD: We love avocado in our family. So we do avocado crackers for midday snacks. And Ryan loves raw veggies and ranch.
SK: What about snacks for Ryan?
HD: Ry digs fruit for snacks. She loves dried mango, avocado and chips, carrots and ranch, raisins, etc.
SK: Can you give us an example of one of your favorite weeknight meals?
HD: One of my favorite recipes that I like to cook for the family during a busy weeknight is my pork gyros with fresh tzatziki. It uses Smithfield slow-smoked mesquite-marinated fresh pork loin filet because it’s preseasoned, so there’s no prep work, and I can get a flavorful, home-cooked meal on the table in 30 minutes or less. Not only is this dish packed with flavor, but everyone can customize it and add their favorite toppings.
SK: What would you consider the ultimate comfort food?
HD: My mind instantly goes to mac and cheese [laughs].
SK: Any foods you absolutely can’t stand?
HD: Raw onion! It’s really the only thing I won’t eat.
SK: Which country’s cuisine is your favorite, and why?
HD: I would probably choose Italian. I love French food too, but I love the Italian way of eating. Leisurely and often! Plus, I always have cheese, meats, great bread and a glass of wine.
SK: If you could only use one small kitchen appliance (microwave, blender, slow cooker, etc.) for an entire month, which one would you choose?
HD: The slow cooker. I have really fallen in love with mine recently. It’s a fantastic way to cook anything that comes in big portions like carnitas or ribs. I have been shredding the meat and eating it on top of crisp green salads with spicy avocado dressing. So yummy!
SK: What’s the strangest food you have ever eaten?
HD: I don’t really know… I’m not so down with the strange stuff!