Be Well in 417-Land

DISCLAIMER: The information in this article was fact checked and accurate at press time, but 417 Magazine cannot guarantee its accuracy indefinitely.

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Food Fight

If a busy schedule is keeping you from cooking the meals you want, there’s no need to fret. Let your to-do list and your dinner plans duke it out later. Until then, there are some cooking pros here to help. 

Known as The Nude Foodie, Grace Rybarczyk is a personal cook who prepares nutritious meals for clients and their families. 

Between rushing to work, picking up the kids, grabbing the dry cleaning and, oh yeah, taking time to breathe, there’s not always time to figure out a nutritious dinner. But that doesn’t mean you have to drop something from that overflowing to-do list of yours. Instead, why not let somebody else handle dinner for you?

Grace Rybarczyk, the mastermind behind The Nude Foodie (417-655-4159, is here to help. Between cooking at MaMa Jean’s Natural Market and teaching yoga at Sage Yoga Studio, Rybarczyk moonlights as a personal cook. She developed her cooking prowess from working in the kitchen at MaMa Jean’s where, as she puts it, “nutrition is the main priority.” It also helps that Rybarczyk has a tailored diet. As a vegetarian and all-around health buff, Rybarczyk’s diet is always evolving, which has helped her understand the diets of her clients. After taking on a new client, she spends one day a week in that client’s home busily cooking three meals the family can enjoy during the week. The cost is $125 a week plus the cost of groceries. She has catered to vegans, vegetarians, paleo diets, dairy-free—you name it. Rybarczyk can even host a cooking class in your home if you’re in the market for a few new health-focused cooking tips and tricks. 

Dawn Cosby owns Social Suppers, a local business that prepares healthful recipes that can be purchased, easily transported and cooked at home.

Another local business helps aspiring home cooks get started with a little assistance. Dawn Cosby is owner of Social Suppers (2936 A E. Sunshine St., Springfield, 417-823-4881,, and her business’s concept is pretty simple. Cosby develops recipes that are healthful and can easily be transported and cooked at home. Customers can either pick up a ready-to-go meal from the freezer or call in an order ahead of time.

The menu changes each month, but Cosby tries to fit the menu around what’s in season in order to provide the freshest ingredients. The menu is posted on the Social Suppers website, and there are even several meals that cater to paleo, gluten-free and dairy-free diets.

Before Cosby bought Social Suppers, she was a regular customer balancing work and family time. “I loved the variety and the concept,” she says. “You get so busy that you have to best utilize your time.” Since taking the reins at Social Suppers, Cosby has learned a ton about the food she’s making. From looking for items with lower sodium to learning to make MSG-free taco seasoning, she’s looking for healthful meals you can pop into your oven without wondering if you’re getting the nutrition you need. Busy schedule: 0, healthful diet: win.

Poached Spring Veggies drizzled with Lemon Tahini 

Mix of spring veggies such as asparagus, carrot, broccoli, mushroom, kale, radish
1 quart vegetable stock
2 cups cooked brown rice
1/2 cup tahini
juice from 1 to 2 lemons
1 tablespoon agave or honey
salt to taste
hemp seeds

Bring veg stock to boil, drop in vegetables, one type at a time. Cook until vegetable begins to soften but still has a crunch. Remove with slotted spoon, and repeat with all veggies. For the sauce, combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth, add just enough water to make it pour-able. Serve veggies over rice. Drizzle with lemon tahini and sprinkle with hemp seeds. 


Avocado Salad with Fresh Basil and Mango

2 avocados, sliced
1 cucumber, sliced
1 mango, cubed
7 fresh basil leaves, sliced
2 scallions, sliced
1 tsp black sesame seeds
juice of one lime
sea salt to taste

Combine avocado, lime juice and cucumber. In a separate bowl combine remaining ingredients and serve over avocado mix. Garnish with fresh basil. 

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