Maple Grove Dad Starts YouTube Channel to Help Aspiring Home Cooks

by | Mar 2019

Home cook Dan Greer, Cooking with DFG

Photos: Rachel Nadeau

Home cook demonstrates familiar, elevated recipes.

Try two fresh, healthy farro recipes from Dan Greer’s kitchen. 

Dan Greer’s a normal guy.

He’s a dad and husband with a full-time job in sales. He’s the first to admit his kitchen is small-ish and pretty run-of-the-mill. But he also has a decade of professional cooking under his belt. He’s worked as a contract chef at places like the MN Landscape Arboretum, Edinburgh Golf Course and Como Park Zoo and Conservatory. Then a back injury ended his beloved career. Long days on his feet, hoisting 50-pound bags of flour, were simply out of the question. “But I wanted to keep the passion alive,” he says.

Greer thought of the countless overextended parents out there who, just like him, want their families to eat well, on a budget, without the fanciest gadgets or high-end cuts of meat, so he started a YouTube channel, Cooking with DFG, demonstrating familiar yet elevated recipes he makes at his Maple Grove home for his wife and 2-year-old daughter. Along the way, he’d throw in cooking tips and instructions on which ingredients or tools to buy—things he learned in culinary school and then as a chef.

“I like simple but gourmet-ish, wholesome foods—things that bring people together,” Greer says. He has a lot of picky and sensitive eaters in his life, so many of his dishes can accommodate someone who avoids seafood or is a Keto dieter or a vegan by making a few simple ingredient swaps. After he posted consistently on YouTube for a while, he launched an Instagram account in September 2017, followed by a blog in April 2018. Greer’s on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest, too, and—while he doesn’t have a lot of followers yet—that’s not really the point.

“I like to please people. It makes me happy to put myself aside. This is a way for me to serve others and make something nice, when—honestly—I could just go pick up McDonald’s on the way home from work. We all could,” Greer says.

“I want people to feel like they’re able to put something delicious on the table, no matter their level of experience.”

Home cooked recipe for lemon-glazed salmon with farro

Stock Up, Dan-style

The best way to bring variety and nutrition to your family’s diet is to have the right ingredients on hand, so a delicious meal is just minutes away. Here are a few tried-and-true staples that are always at the ready in Greer’s kitchen:

“I use tons of them,” Greer says. “It’s a cheap protein, and you can make ’em 100 ways.”

Olive Oil
Greer goes Greek, always, and buys it in bulk when he visits family in Chicago, where he grew up. He keeps a mild variety on hand for cooking, but keeps a fuller-bodied version to whip up flavorful, preservative-free dressings.

There are a million options out there to accommodate any diet or food sensitivity, but Greer saves money by going traditional, usually buying generic brands. He’ll dredge meat in it or bake with it, going through a pound or two a week testing out recipes for his blog.

Jasmine Rice
“It has lots of nutrition,” says Greer, who always tosses in a bit of rice vinegar while it cooks—it helps rid the rice of extra starch, making it fluffier without negatively affecting the flavor.

Frozen Produce
Greer’s daughter never ate store-bought baby food, because he always puréed his own. Quality frozen fruits and veggies are flash-frozen at peak ripeness, so they have great flavor and stay fresh for a long time. “You can amp up the nutrition on just about any recipe—and they only take a few seconds to cook,” Greer says.


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