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Eat Great, Lose Weight: Top Ingredients Celeb Chefs Use

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More Healthy Ingredients

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

"For an easy, healthy take on danishes, cut the dough into squares and spoon fruit onto the center. Then brush the edges with light butter, sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar, and bake according to the package directions until golden brown."
-- Devin Alexander

Chopped Onions, Celery, and Carrots

"Pulse this classic veggie mixture, which you can often find already diced at the grocery store, in a food processor until it reaches the consistency of ground meat. Then mix it with an equal amount of lean ground turkey or beef to make burger patties. Because the veggies are made up mostly of water, your burgers will be extra juicy."
-- Anthony Stewart, the executive chef at the Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa in Miami

Cashews

"These are a great replacement for heavy cream in chowders and sauces. Just soak two cups of raw cashews in water in the fridge overnight. In the morning, drain and blend them with a little fresh water, then strain the protein-packed puree through a fine-mesh sieve."
-- Tal Ronnen, the chef-owner of Crossroads in Los Angeles and author of The Conscious Cook

Rolled Oats

"Try adding a few tablespoons of fiber-rich oats to your next smoothie for a thicker, creamier consistency. Or mix them with equal parts water and apple juice until just moist, spread on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake at 350° until crisp for a low-sugar, low-fat alternative to granola."
-- Anthony Stewart

Amaranth

"This whole grain cooks up into a polenta-like porridge you can chill, cube, and panfry, then serve as a side dish. You can pop it too: Simply stir the grains over medium heat in a large pot for two to three minutes, then use them as a salad topper. With seven grams of fiber and eight grams of protein per quarter cup, they're a lot healthier than croutons."
-- Sarah House, a recipe specialist for Bob's Red Mill Natural Foods

Greek Yogurt

"Most hummus recipes call for two tablespoons of tahini, but I swap in a half cup of nonfat Greek yogurt for a rich-tasting dip with 16 fewer grams of fat. You can also make mac and cheese with it in place of flour, butter, and milk. Just remember to take the pasta off the burner before folding in the yogurt, because heat can cause it to separate."
-- Bobby Flay, the host of the Food Network's Bobby Flay Fit

Pesto

"This sauce is packed with healthy fats, so I use it in pasta and potato salads in place of mayo. I also toss steamed or grilled veggies with pesto instead of butter. To make it, puree one-quarter cup of toasted pine nuts, one garlic clove, three cups of basil, one-quarter cup of grated Parmesan, one tablespoon of lemon juice, and one-quarter cup of olive oil in a food processor."
-- Ellie Krieger, RD, the author of Small Changes, Big Results and host of the Food Network's Healthy Appetite with Ellie Krieger

Puffed Brown Rice

"Instead of bread crumbs, I crush this cereal and use it in my meat loaf and burger patties. It has less than 30 calories per quarter-cup serving compared with more than 100 in the same amount of bread crumbs."
-- Rocco DiSpirito

Cilantro

"I sprinkle chopped cilantro, which has just one calorie per quarter cup, over stir-fries and mix it into plain brown rice with a little freshly squeezed lime juice. If you rinse it, wrap it in paper towels and pop it in a plastic bag as soon as you get home from the market, it can last up to 10 days in the fridge."
-- Katie Lee, the author of The Comfort Table

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, November/December 2013.

 

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