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Eat Great, Lose Weight: Top Ingredients Celeb Chefs Use

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Just because they can whip up a mean lobster mac and cheese doesn't mean top chefs drown everything in butter. We got the skinny on the surprising ingredients they use to make good-for-you food taste anything but.

Grocery-Cart Do's

Silken Tofu

"Although it's low-fat, silken tofu has a rich texture. I blend it with Dijon mustard, lemon juice, capers, shallots, and Worcestershire sauce for a creamy salad dressing. Bonus: One cup of tofu contains 11 grams of protein and almost 20 percent of the calcium you need daily."
-- Cheryl Forberg, RD, the nutritionist for The Biggest Loser and author of Flavor First


"This whole grain has a hearty bite and six grams of protein per cup, so it works well as a vegetarian replacement for ground beef in chili, stew, and lasagna. And preparing it is so easy: Just add hot water, cover, and let sit for 20 to 30 minutes."
-- Mollie Katzen, the author of The New Moosewood Cookbook and The Heart of the Plate

Orange Juice

"To add flavor -- and vitamin C -- but no fat or sodium, I mix OJ into butternut squash soup and whipped sweet potatoes. I also poach fish in the juice, then add a few garlic cloves and peppercorns and reduce the liquid to make a delicious sauce."
-- Claire Robinson, the host of the Food Network's 5 Ingredient Fix and Food Network Challenge


"I char a whole one directly over a high gas flame or in a grill pan, turning it every few minutes. Then I scrape out the flesh and combine it with an egg white and lean ground turkey to make moist, mama-approved meatballs."
-- Rocco DiSpirito, the author of Now Eat This! Italian, the host of Now Eat This! Italy and a FITNESS advisory board member

Cocoa Powder

"Most chocolate sauces are made with cream or butter. For a fat-free version, I whisk five tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder with a half-cup of agave syrup. You can also mix this combination with nut butter to make a spread that tastes like Nutella but has about one-third the sugar and no palm oil, which is high in saturated fat."
-- Devin Alexander, the chef for The Biggest Loser and author of The Biggest Loser Dessert Cookbook

Dijon Mustard

"I spread a thin layer of Dijon on seared lamb before I put it in the oven to roast. It infuses the meat with flavor and creates a perfectly crisp crust, no oil necessary. I also coat asparagus spears with Dijon before grilling them and add a dollop to sauteed greens and pan-seared brussels sprouts."
-- Marc Murphy, a judge on the Food Network's Chopped and the chef-owner of Benchmarc Restaurants and Events in New York City

Coconut Milk

"For fluffy whipped cream with half the calories, refrigerate a can of coconut milk, scrape the solids off the top, and beat them in a chilled bowl with one-third cup of powdered sugar. Use the leftover coconut water, which contains the electrolyte potassium, in smoothies."
-- Chloe Coscarelli, the author of Chloe's Vegan Desserts


"To lighten up vinaigrettes, I substitute half the oil with chicken or vegetable stock. One of my favorite combos: fresh basil, shallots, and vinegar pureed in a food processor with a half-and-half mixture of oil and stock. I freeze any leftover stock in an ice-cube tray and pop out a cube, which equals about two tablespoons, as needed."
-- Robin Miller, the author of The Robin Takes 5 Cookbook for Busy Families and host of the Food Network's Quick Fix Meals with Robin Miller

Sun-Dried Tomatoes

"I drain and puree the oil-packed kind with low-fat ricotta cheese for a creamy dip that delivers a dose of lycopene, a heart-healthy antioxidant. Then I use the leftover oil to saute vegetables; it punches up the flavor and costs less than infused oils."
-- Robin Miller

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