Marcela Valladolid shares what she really makes her family for dinner in her San Diego kitchen—and introduces her new baby Anna!

By Gabrielle Olya
March 24, 2017 03:06 PM
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Credit: Jessica Sample

Food Network host Marcela Valladolid believes that making healthy weeknight dinners doesn’t need to be a fussy affair. When it comes to feeding her family of five, her go-to is a hearty protein and flavorful roasted veggies.

“We do two things almost every week — either grilled steaks marinated in herbs or roasted chicken,” the star of The Kitchen tells PEOPLE of what she cooks at home in San Diego. “There’s always a roasted vegetable, like Brussels sprouts or sweet potatoes or broccolini — whatever’s in season. I love to shop at the farmer’s market or grab something from the garden and roast that.”

Even if you cook for a living like Valladolid, it can be tough to make every element of every meal from scratch— especially with three kids at home (new baby Anna Carina, 3 months, joins sons Fausto, 12 and David , 2). So, she and her fiancé Phillip Button have found a few creative ways to incorporate fresh ingredients to store-bought staples.

  • For more about Valladolid’s mealtime routine, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday
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“We’ll do frozen pizzas and then I’ll get arugula from the garden and do a fresh salad over the top with shaved Parmesan,” says Valladolid, whose book on California-inspired cooking Casa Marcela comes out April 25. “Or we’ll buy a rotisserie chicken already made, and then we’ll make tacos and a fresh salsa and we’ll grill some vegetables to accompany it. We definitely try to make it a little bit homemade if it’s not completely homemade.”

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One of Valladolid’s goals when cooking for her family is to put dishes on the table “that everybody likes,” she says. “The kids eat steak — they might not eat sweet potatoes, but they will eat [regular] potatoes. I have to make sure that everybody partakes because I’m not cooking for kids and cooking for adults — there’s only one meal.”