When Jennifer Peters lived overseas in London six years ago, she was trying to incorporate energizing foods into her diet. She was a rugby player who needed to stay light on her feet. So she sought the help of a holistic nutritionist who prescribed a different way of eating right. With his guidance, she filled up on healthy animal proteins and fats and loaded up on vegetables. She also dropped gluten, grains, and processed sugars from her meals. What he had prescribed was something akin to the “Paleo” diet, though he didn’t exactly call it that. Jennifer was so bowled over by the results—she felt healthier than ever, and she was psyched to eat the food—that it inspired her to open up her restaurant and catering business, Just Be Kitchen, in Denver.
At the time, many of the restaurant meals that Jennifer Peters encountered were packed with processed ingredients and not exactly healthy. The nutritious choices that were available didn’t appeal to her. The menus were healthy, sure. But she jokes that she saw a lot of kale and quinoa bowls. A lot of pick-your-protein-and-add-two-sides concepts. She also saw meals squeezed into smaller portions.
Beyond the health benefits, the food had to be delicious to meet Jennifer’s standards. After all, she had cravings, too. Sometimes she craved a decadent burger. Sometimes all she wanted was pizza. She considered herself a foodie, and she was frustrated by healthy options that she felt defined a meal by retracting all the good stuff. To her, eating was one of life’s great pleasures. She wanted an alternative that was better than what she saw out there. And that’s how her restaurant and catering business, Just Be Kitchen, came to be.
Collaborating with chef Carrie Baird, Jennifer Peters put together a smart, tasty menu with a rich variety of foods. The Just Be Kitchen menu is heavy on comfort, filled with grass-fed meats, tender vegetables, vibrant spices, and scrumptious desserts, all made from scratch. The food is 100 percent free of gluten, grains, and refined sugar, too, as well as 99 percent dairy-free.
Plus, the dishes are craveable. In creating the Just Be Kitchen menu, Jennifer Peters struck up conversations with people about the foods they craved. “I’d go and hang out at the CrossFit gyms, and I’d ask people, ‘What’s your cheat meal?’” she said.
It’s for this reason that the menu is full of comforting dishes like sausage patties and herbed biscuits smothered in white gravy. The brownie trifle is served with rich faux-crème anglaise sauce. Some menu items look like high-end takeout favorites, like the plump, juicy burger topped with pulled pork and a runny egg on a bun smeared with bacon mayonnaise. As indulgent as they seem, the dishes are healthy (and if you don’t have time to dine out, the restaurant offers catering).
The selling point of Just Be Kitchen is that it serves real food—tasty mainstream food, made healthful. Its menu allows you to indulge in delicious flavors without tripping up your diet, if you have one, whether you are gluten-averse or abstaining from sugar. Those who don’t have a dietary plan will enjoy the food, too. The menu hits the sweet spot between healthy and tasty—and you don’t have to think too hard about it. You can have a burrito, a hamburger, or chicken dumplings at Just Be Kitchen and that wouldn’t be cheating. To Jennifer Peters, that’s the way it should be.
Help your team eat better without giving up craveable burgers.