The Dietitian’s Day: Claudia Tjan

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Claudia Tjan

This is the day of Claudia Tjan, dietician and recipe developer at Green Chef. She develops recipes for meal boxes that also suit certain preferences or diets.

I am…

Claudia Tjan, dietitian and recipe developer at Green Chef. After completing my nutrition and dietetics training, I started looking for a job where I could practice my profession, but in combination with my greatest passion: cooking (and eating!). That’s how I ended up at Green Chef. I work here as a dietitian and recipe developer. Green Chef is a meal box that offers different diets, so the perfect place where I can combine my profession, creativity and passion for cooking.

My workplace…

Varies per day: usually at the office in Amsterdam and sometimes from home. Both have advantages. As a recipe developer, I have a creative profession. Working from home allows me to completely shut down and concentrate on new ideas and recipes. At the office I can discuss and brainstorm with colleagues much more easily. That’s nice if I sometimes get stuck or have questions. Once a month we have an “inspiration day” in which we brainstorm with our team of 4 dietitians/recipe developers about new recipe ideas that suit certain diets that Green Chef offers. To keep inspiration and creativity high, it helps me to work in different places.

My working day started…

Today, Tuesday, I work in the office. Last week we had our monthly inspiration session and that means: transforming recipe ideas that were created at that time into real written recipes that we can test cook. Today this is my focus.

I always start the day with a glass of water or tea. Often mid-morning I go and get a coffee with colleagues in the lobby of our building. There is a coffee shop here with all kinds of tasty things. I usually have a cappuccino and sometimes a matcha latte. Every Tuesday we start the morning with a team meeting with the culinary team, in which we first provide brief updates about the weekend, privately or whatever you want to share. We also discuss the work focus points for the coming week.

My agenda for this day consists of…

After this meeting I had nothing planned for a few hours until lunch. So I was able to get started with my recipes. Recipes always start with a briefing. An example could be: vegan recipe with potato and without broccoli. From there we come up with a suitable recipe for our menu. A recipe must always fit within one of the diets: keto, low-carb, vegan, vegetarian, <550 kcal or fast & healthy. Every diet has its own guidelines, but Green Chef also has rules that apply to all diets, such as: each portion contains at least 250 grams of vegetables, as much whole grain as possible and we also focus a lot on quick recipes of up to 25 minutes. And there is a budget. This can sometimes be quite a puzzle.

Today I want to finish all my recipes so I can order groceries. Then I will cook these recipes next week and we will taste them with the team. If the recipes are approved, it will be cooked again by someone else from the team. If it is approved, the recipe is ready for the menu and the customer can choose this recipe to receive at home.

We will have lunch at 12:30. An extensive, fresh lunch is prepared for the entire office every day. This is really well organized and every day is different. I normally take soup and eggs and today I also had some couscous salad and some fruit. After lunch we walked around for another 10 minutes and I continued with my recipes. Even though I often have endless ideas for recipes, it is always a challenge to stay within budget and have the recipe meet all nutritional guidelines.

At the end of the afternoon I had a taste test for a potential new product for our recipes. In addition to developing recipes for Green Chef, I also think about new ingredients that we can add to the box. We work with a database of ingredients and we regularly add new products to it. I test the product for taste, texture and appearance, among other things. Together with the food safety team, I also check whether the product meets all nutritional guidelines, such as for salt and sugar. After the taste test I provide feedback for the supplier. At 5:30 PM I closed my laptop and it was time to go home.

What I enjoy/challenging about my work is:

The great thing is that I can combine my profession and passion. I prefer to be creative and I can certainly express that in my job. I also really like the variation in my work. Today I spent a lot of time behind my laptop, but there are also days when I mainly spend time in the kitchen. On other days I work from home or visit a supplier. We also sometimes have promotions where we offer our customers the opportunity to book a consultation with one of our dietitians, so this can also end up in my agenda. Mega varied and never boring. The most challenging thing for me is to make all my recipe ideas fit the Green Chef nutritional guidelines.

Today I was surprised by…

Today I was surprised by this recipe: Asian tortillas with tempeh and mango ketchup. The customer can provide feedback on any recipe and we monitor this closely. We also use this to improve existing recipes. This recipe is quite “fusion” so I was excited to hear what the customer thought. I was surprised by the high score. This will therefore return to the box more often.

Looking back on this day….

I love working on new recipe ideas, especially the very first phase where you select the ingredients and ensure that they meet the nutritional values ​​we have set, like what I did today. These are really my favorite days when I lose track of time, put on some nice music and dive into recipes. I always plan this on days when my agenda is not completely full with meetings. Sometimes it is difficult to be creative on command, but especially if I have the time and can think things through properly, then it all comes naturally.

Participate?

Would you also like to participate in the section “The Day of the Dietitian”? Nice! Send an email to info@nieuwsvoordietisten.nl and we will send you the submission instructions. As a thank you you will receive a book as a gift.

Also read:

In memoriam: Coby Wijnen February 5, 2024
Plants for joints: promotion by dietitian Wendy Walrabenstein February 2, 2024
NAV Public Lecture; Marian de van der SchuerenJanuary 26, 2024
British dietitians association speaks out against fat shaming by politician January 25, 2024

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