Jessica Ruvalcaba
Jessica Ruvalcaba

Jessica Ruvalcaba

Title: Writer and Recipe Contributor

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Education: University of California, Riverside; Los Angeles City College; Waldorf Institute of Southern California

Expertise: Mexican food, early childhood education, Waldorf education, handcrafts and intentional communities (EcoVillages)


Jessica Ruvalcaba is a new contributor at EatingWell. As a child of immigrants from Mexico, Jessica grew up biculturally and bilingually. From an early age she took to cooking and crafting with her grandmother. Ever since, Jessica has been obsessed with her grandmother's delicious recipes. She loves sharing her family traditions and adapting them to vegan and vegetarian palates.

After attending university, Jessica worked in fine art as well as film and television, which led her to catering freelance. She changed direction, as many mothers do, when she became pregnant, and decided to pursue a career in early childhood education, focusing specifically on teaching Spanish, Latin American culture, and cooking skills to elementary-school-aged children. She has taught at several different Waldorf schools, including two in Southern California and one in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

Jessica has always had a deep curiosity for different ways of living. When she is not chasing children, she can be found making delicious food for her neighbors at the Los Angeles EcoVillage. During the pandemic, she ran a kitchen from her home for her neighbors, and she's a favorite chef at her community potlucks. Jessica's writings on her life in an intentional community can be found in Communities Magazine.

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Estofado de pollo is a hearty chicken stew. The recipe is simple but takes a bit of time, so pick an afternoon that you aren't busy so you can enjoy the process. If you'd like, you can use blanched almonds and skip Step 2. Serve with a side of rice and beans.