219. A Man, A Pan, and a Plan | Rodale’s Men’s Health Magazine | Guy Gourmet Paul Kita


Paul Kita is the James Beard Award-winning Food & Nutrition Editor at Men’s Health. He’s the founder of MensHealth.com’s popular food and cooking blog, Guy Gourmet.

In 2013, he co-wrote Guy Gourmet: Great Chefs’ Amazing Meals for a Lean & Healthy Body. Paul has appeared on the Travel Channel and Fox & Friends, as well as numerous national radio and broadcast stations.

Today he is here to talk to us about his new book: A Man, A Pan, A Plan: 100 Delicious & Nutritious One-Pan Recipes You Can Make Right Now! !


I thought this would make a great Bonus Valentine’s Episode since it’s all about cooking (men cooking for their girl but could be girls cooking for their guy – overall just the share a healthy homemade meal idea)

You can hear the full episode here on the Organic Gardener Podcast

Can I ask about your audience and how you got started etc?

I have  a lot of listeners who want to be market farmers and they are always interested in how to get their customers to cook the food in their CSAs and also the people who grow their own food or get food at the market want to know how to cook more vegetables from their garden.

The eternal CSA question what do I do with this produce I only partly recognize.

We’ve been married for 25 years and my husband built this mini farm last year. but we just dug a well a few years ago 560′ deep and we’re working on making the change from gardener to market farmer. It’s a huge learning challenge somewhat like going from PC to Mac or vice Versa

I’m so excited because I always wanted to work at Rodales.

worked at Rodale for 10 years. It’s part of a small community in Emmaus, PA.

The farm where Bob Rodale organic movement even started before the word organic!

Are you a millennial I talk about millennials a lot if you’ve been there for 10 years maybe your not. 

IDK, I’m 32.

I think millennial’s are born between 1980-1995, my step-daughters are born in 1980 and 1984 and they’re are. I think it’s still weird because a generation should be 18 years shouldn’t so IDK but I think you qualify.

There’s a little more pre-chat here but then it jumps to our intro!


Paul Kita is the James Beard Award-winning Food & Nutrition Editor at Men’s Health. He’s the founder of MensHealth.com’s popular food and cooking blog, Guy Gourmet.

Today he is here to talk to us about his new book: A Man, A Pan, A Plan: 100 Delicious & Nutritious One-Pan Recipes You Can Make Right Now! ! When you see his videos you’re gonna love them as much as I did.

I heard about you on this new podcast called Food Republic. One thing I love about this is your videos are short and simple!

Tell us a little about yourself.

Thanks for the kind introduction. I’ve been the food and nutrition editor at Men’s Health. for 10 years for those of you who aren’t looking to get a 6 pack abs chiseled.

We’ve been reporting on food and nutrition before other magazines and websites were doing it. 

We’re owned by Rodale Press as many of your listeners might know we’re founded by JI Rodale who is thought of as the father of the organic movement. 

It was not even called that in the day. JI was just doing some interesting things at the farm and said we never needed them before why do we need them now?


  • Lehigh Valley
  • Pennsylvania

An hour and  1/2 from  Philidelphia

open for visitation

One thing a lot of listeners might be interested in, last year I talked to Maggie Saska so people might also be interested in a job or an internship or volunteering at the farm.

birth place


Rodale has other titles under its umbrella

  • runners world
  • prevention
  • bicycling

Rodale title

I’ve always been hungry

I had to learn to cook

My mom was a wonderful cook probably didn’t want me in the kitchen that was her turn to take a break from 2 rambunctious children

When I went to get a journalism degree I quickly realized I wasn’t gonna get delicious food like my mom made in the dining hall.

  • beefstock
  • college apartment
  • much to the displeasure
  • roasting cow bones
  • no formal culinary training school and is very expensive

My sister was kind enough to gift me the Culinary Institute of America’s 

The Professional Chef  cookbook

one Christmas and I’ve been cooking my way through it. 






Also through Men’s Health. incredible pleasure of working with some of the best chefs in the country.

I’ve been in the kitchens of restaurants 

I really have this sort of this tutelage under some of the world’s best cooks! I’ve taken their recipes and transmuted them into the magazine in a culmination of the book for the home cook.

I do kind of always ask about your first gardening experience but first I must ask, do you live in NYC or PA?

Offices in PA

primary headquarters

I live in Allentown

grown up here, went to college in Ohio


I love the Lehigh Valley

Tell me about your first gardening experience?

My first powerful

lives in Bethlehem

grandfather bought a plot of land across the street

potato bugs off of his potato plants, off of his probably  1/8 of an acre plot

I remember how good the potatoes and corn tasted

Through my grandfather and plot I knew the more direct involvement the better how it’s gonna taste. I probably have a smaller plot then even my grandfather, I’m working on that. 

  • tomatoes
  • Japanese eggplants
  • everything I grow

taste better because I put in that sweat equity!

Why don’t you tell us about the book and things you’re cooking and growing. 

A Man, A Pan, A Plan: 100 Delicious & Nutritious One-Pan Recipes You Can Make Right Now! !

It’s been out since October and if you’re a woman please do not let the tittle deter you! My wife is a marathon runner she has personally approved every single recipe!


It is very much a book is geared towards the 

beginner to intermediate chef

You can hear the full episode here on the Organic Gardener Podcast

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The Good Seed Company

Now Let’s Get to the Root of Things!

Art Of Simple Food Cookbook Alice Waters Slow Food Movement

It’s just like Alice Waters, isn’t that her book Simple foods?

Slow Food Movement

I think the idea of practical home cooking and gardening really fit together. You can’t pick a tomato till the tomato is ready to pick. You can’t rush garlic and onions or you’ll burn them.

In cooking let cooking slow your life down

When I’m in the kitchen,  I put my phone into a dock and it plays music. I’m not texting, I’m not watching the news. 

I let cooking become the entirety of the moment

come home from work. I work in a very deadline oriented business. I can’t set deadlines for cooking because I will

  • burn the sauce
  • or eat underdone chicken

There’s a rhythm to home cooking

let go

there’s a relaxation that happens with cooking

food tells you when it’s done like the tomato says its ready to eat.

The more we give up the control to the process to cooking

I love all of this, we’re gonna be hearing about you like Alice Waters and Julia Child and people who have shaped a generation. you’re mixing things people are craving today and really want and doing it in a healthy nutritious way.

Another reason I love millennials.

And I had a listener give me a review on iTunes, not all millennials are rockstars, my husbands a baby boomer, I loved putting cell phones away. Another thing she said in that book, we spend 4.5 hours per week on social media, I think people need that and parents want that to put their phones aside.

I go through the other argument I go through, if I’m on my phone I’m building relationships that think like I do that seem the world the way I do, i feel closer to my listeners then I do a lot of the people I work with a lot. To me social media is not just pushing a button and like.

I love my one friend who post meals.

People would love to see what you’re cooking for lunch. What about crazy things in your CSA or obscure recipes. Like kale, I had no idea kale is so much more nutritious then swiss chard. It grows really well in Montana. I’m gonna try to grow that lacinto kale because I don’t really like curly kale


If your already eating kale and swiss chard you’re better then a large percentage of Americans!

Kale is  a tough one

  • it’s fibrous
  • grassy taste to it

It can be difficult to cook but it’s one of the most delicious sources of fiber to man

You need to know how to cook it

Maybe someone’s tried kale chips


those are really afflictions of prepackaged kale chips


Take a hot cast iron skillet

  • briefly saute kale
  • oil
  • salt and pepper

Throw it in the oven



I love

salt and vinegar chips

What if we try these things doused in salt and vinegar

  • twang of vinegar
  • kosher salt
  • sauted
  • fantastic
  • spinach

kale responds really well to any acid thrown in at the end

  • white vinegar
  • cider vinegar
  • lemon juice

thrown in at the end of cooking process

helps to cut grassy earthy taste some people recoil from!

That’s awesome! I’m into textures, I like crunchy stuff in my food, even ice cream I like chocolate chips. Kale chips is a great substitution. I like crunchy with sandwiches. My doctor told me cause I’m turning 50 I need calcium and fiber.

  • dark leafy greens
  • so much nutrition
  • very few calories
  • inexpensive
  • large bundle of kale
  • plant it in my backyard and it just grows like crazy
  • you can get so much of it for so cheap
  • and you get get so much of it week after week

That’s what everyone’s saying, kale, kale, kale was the answer to what grows well, we hadn’t grown it. I love swiss chard. 

Got any fruit recipes, I love veggies and I have a hard time eating fruit. Got any fruit recipes?


every recipe

pages of men’s health

I try to include one piece of produce

regardless of breakfast lunch or dinner

Americans do a poor job of fruits and vegetables

Restaurant industry has the major food groups of carbohydrates and cheese

protein thrown in there

poor job of it

The single best thing you can do for your diet is start eating more fruits and vegetables

  • disease fighting
  • belly filling fiber
  • incredibly delicious

recipe in the cookbook

breakfast sandwich

slice of tomato

sad out of season

sear it in a pan


heat helps to soften and sweeten the tomato

a little bit of produce to start your day

Big fan of pairing fruit

  • with meat
  • with fish

Skillet crisped chicken thighs

orange segments and green olives really is a great pairing of the

  • sweetness of the fruit
  • savory flavors of chicken
  • salty pop of olives

People look at eating fruits and vegetables

I have to eat an apple today as a snack


  • apple wedges
  • turkey sausage
  • butter
  • sage

fruit into the meal


something I have to do on my list

My mom makes it look just like you super easy. My poor tiny mom, my brother and I took after my overweight dad, she does that a lot, she’ll eat a poached pear for desert or I remember my parents sauting apple slices in maple syrup.

I also have had a hard time wrapping my head around Sally Fallon saying if you don’t butter on your vegetables you don’t get the mineral.

The one thing we have learned form the low fat craze is you can’t do it better then mother nature

You can engineer fake fats in a lab but your body is not going to respond to fake fats as it is to mother nature. 

One of my favorite nutrition studies about two groups of study participants

One group ate a salad with

  • low fat dressing
  • with full fat dressing

just like your guest said

  • full fat
  • non fat
  • more nutrients
  • fat soluble

need that fat to work their way into your blood stream

unfortunate that we took of eliminating real food like butter we’ve been eating since we figured out what butter was

typifies the idea that science is not always better then mother nature

It has helped us in other realms, but hasn’t really helped us in our diets

bunch of them  in the last five years, people who cook at home

  • not only eat less junk
  • processed foods
  • eat more good stuff
  • fruits and vegetables

Not just me as food and nutritions editor

research that i read

single greatest thing you can do for your health today is 

  • start cooking
  • better for you
  • more inexpensive

Three Excuses Debunked

I don’t have enough cooking gear

Well you only need one pan

Don’t have the money to afford purchasing foods

cheaper to do it at home

why wouldn’t you?

I don’t have the time

look these are the same people

sit 8 cars deep brown bag of greasy burgers

spending an hour watching television


making the time

budgeting in that time

The great thing about cooking is if you do it you will be rewarded

not only

  • financially
  • nutritionally
  • healthier
  • soulfully
  • well rounded person

I think listeners will love this. I can see them recommending your book. I can see them with stacks of your book on the farmer’s market table. Joyce Pinson talked about sampling, maybe you don’t want to sample but you could have the book and say here’s some great recipes.

Here’s some great ways to cook the food. People want to buy more produce and incorporate it into your day. I’m not a green smoothie girl because putting spinach in the blender kills me!

If you have a business to you have any advice for our listeners about how to sell extra produce or get started in the industry?

really about trial and error

I haven’t started my own business

I don’t have farmer’s markets experience. I’ve been on the other side at Farmer’s Markets. It’s really about this concept of building a bird house

I’m not gonna et on my first try

  • second or third try
  • but each try I’m gonna learn a bit more

beautiy of cooking


end up with a bird house

end of cooking I get to eat the birdhouse and that to me! 

I get to

  • work with my hands
  • control
  • self-sufficency
  • eat well

ultimate reward

putting my work directly back into my body. If that isn’t a positive? IDK what is.

You remind me of my best friend Dacia. She came on and talked about a healthy organic life. You’re both super healthy. You also remind me of Bill Maher you’re funny but fit and have these super muscles!

How do we connect with you?

A Man, A Pan, A Plan: 100 Delicious & Nutritious One-Pan Recipes You Can Make Right Now! !

check outMen’s Health. 

follow our food prepares

Guy Gourmet.


through there you’ll be able to scroll back and see the videos that we posted and learn some of the cool techniques.

thank you. This has been great to sort of sit down and talk about what I’m passionate about but what a lot of people are curious but excited about and don’t have that guidebook

strongly believe

I put all of my passion into this book

untapped passion in people who have the urge to cook but think that they can

I’ve provided a platform to say yes you can do this

You can hear the full episode here on the Organic Gardener Podcast

The Organic Gardener Podcast is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

If you like what you heard on the Organic Gardener Podcast we’d love it if you’d give us review and hopefully a 5 star rating on iTunes so other gardeners can find us and listen to. Just click on the link here.

and don’t forget if you need help getting started check out our new 

Free Garden Course.com

 Free Organic Garden Course 

Remember you can get the  2018 Garden Journal and Data Keeper to record your garden goals in 

You can  download the first 30 days here   while you’re waiting for it to come in the mail. 

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If you like what you heard on the Organic Gardener Podcast we’d love it if you’d give us review and hopefully a 5 star rating on iTunes so other gardeners can find us and listen to. Just click on the link here.

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