What Food Network Star Molly Yeh Eats in a Day to Fuel Her Busy Life
When she launched her blog My Name is Yeh in 2009, Molly Yeh never imagined her kitchen would someday become a set for a Food Network show and the test kitchen where she'd develop recipes for cookbooks like the award-winning Molly on the Range: Recipes and Stories from An Unlikely Life on a Farm ($22.99, Target) and the forthcoming Home Is Where The Eggs Are.
Yeh grew up in a musical family, loved writing and attended Juilliard before working as a celebrity chef. After meeting and marrying her now-husband, a fifth-generation farmer, she moved from Brooklyn to a farm on the border of North Dakota and Minnesota.
She created My Name is Yeh as a journal and to document the unique, colorful and healthy-ish cuisine she developed to combine her new Midwestern home with flavors from her Jewish and Chinese heritage. Quickly after the blog's debut, Yeh became known for her peppy, down-to-earth personality as well as her showy cakes (see: Wild Blueberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting), creative fusion fare (such as Chinese Hotdish) and homemade snack upgrades (like Everything Bagel Cheez-Its). In 2018, she premiered her show, Girl Meets Farm.
Yeh now juggles being a wife, mom to daughter Bernie, TV host, author, entrepreneur (don't miss her adorable apron design inspired by bagel and lox!)—whew! But she recently carved out time to chat with us about a day in her life.
Before we dove in, though, we couldn't resist asking if there's one recipe she thinks everyone should try from her site, which would it be?
"Probably the naturally dyed rainbow cake that I developed for my daughter, Bernie's first birthday. I dreamt about it for months and months and I was just so happy with how the colors turned out," Yeh says. "Then of course seeing her stuff it into her mouth with her little birthday crown on was the best!"
What Molly Yeh Eats in a Day
"Breakfast is almost always a fruit and veggie smoothie or yogurt and granola," says Yeh, like this Apple and Peanut Butter Green Smoothie. That way, she can kick the day off with some produce and protein—and balance out the many desserts she often tests and samples on a typical day. A seven-minute egg with a slice of seedy toast is also an A.M. fave.
"Lunch is a toss-up," she adds. "Often, it's leftovers, but if we don't have leftovers then I make this quick stew where I throw a whole head of garlic, a bay leaf, a Parmesan rind, and canned tomatoes or stock in with white beans and let it simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. I spread the garlic on a piece of bread and use the bread as my spoon for the beans." Homemade miso soup and congee (an Asian rice porridge) has also been "on repeat" lately
Dinner and Dessert
For dinner, salads and casseroles are frequently on the menu. She loves this smoked salmon Bagel Salad and this Spinach and Artichoke Chicken and Biscuits is one of her go-to family nostalgia dishes to whip up when she's in the mood for comfort food. Pizza Fridays are also a tradition in the Yeh household.
We couldn't resist asking Yeh about her kitchen MVPs. (We can't be the only ones who love spying inside celebs' fridges and pantries?!)
"It's probably a three-way tie between butter, bread and beans. I could live on those three things! And since we have wheat and beans on our farm, I don't have to go very far to get them," Yeh told us, explaining why it's a perfect fit that her newest role is as a partner with Northarvest Bean Growers Association for their "Beans for Life" campaign. "I keep dry beans on hand at all times because they are so versatile. I put them in soups, casseroles, stews—and between their nutrition benefits and creamy dreamy flavor, I feel so great about eating them all the time. For me a perfect lunch or dinner is a bean stew with freshly baked bread and good salted butter."
And no day is complete without a treat.
"For dessert, I sneak bites of whatever cookies are lying around from being recipe tested. They're always cookies that celebrate holidays that won't happen until months from now because that's what I'm developing," she says. "Like today, I had a hamantaschen [a traditional Jewish cookie] since I'm working on the Girl Meets Farm Purim episode. But it's December, so my tastebuds were confused, but they're used to it by now."
The Bottom Line
We love Yeh's nothing-off-limits approach to eating, and the way she naturally balances out her day with sweets, plant-based protein and produce. Her all-foods-fit philosophy and love for (rather than stress over or fear of) food will be a great example for Bernie as she grows older and begins making her own food choices. Plus her ample use of leftovers and snacks throughout the day are brilliant ways to reduce her overall food waste, even while developing recipes. Yeh's menu gets a "yay" from us!