Gourmet cooking is often about packing in the flavor with lots of butter, cream, and rich ingredients, but even celebrity chefs make healthy recipes. When Paula Deen was revealed to have diabetes, people were quick to criticize her unhealthy Southern food as the cause, and even she has come out recently with healthier versions of her favorite recipes. After all, these chefs go home and pull food out of their own refrigerators and freezers to prepare meals they eat day in and day out. When you’re looking for delicious food that will keep you healthy, turn to some of these healthy recipes from celebrity chefs.
Roasted Chicken from Tom Colicchio: It’s time for fried chicken to move aside, thanks to Tom Colicchio’s recipe that uses just three tablespoons of oil to make a delicious roasted chicken. The secret is to brown the chicken in a pan beforehand with a little bit of peanut oil to get the crispy skin, and then to baste it with butter and its own juices as the chicken cooks, infusing the whole bird with flavor. Stuffing the chicken with fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme provides extra flavor, too.
White Bean Soup from Rocco DiSpirito: One easy technique to make a meal healthier is to use less meat and more plant-based proteins, like beans. Celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito suggests preparing a soup with both chicken and beans in low-sodium chicken broth flavored with pasta sauce. The addition of fresh basil and spinach in the last few minutes of cooking provides flavor, color, and plenty of nutrients, and a touch of grated Parmesan on top packs the flavor without too much added fat.
Chopped Salad from Bobby Flay: Even real chefs eat simple salads, and the best part is that they’re easy to replicate at home. That’s important for Bobby Flay, co-host of Worst Cooks in America, who has a delicious chopped salad. The base ingredients are simple: romaine, tomatoes, small cubes of cheese, olives, and canned beans for added protein. The flavor really comes in the dressing, which uses balsamic vinegar and Dijon mustard for plenty of flavor, plus a little canola oil to help it coat the leaves. Using a light touch with the dressing will keep the salad super healthy.
Linguine with Red Clam Sauce from Giada De Laurentiis: You may associate seafood pasta dishes with rich, buttery, creamy sauces, but they don’t have to be prepared this way. You can actually pair seafood with a spicy red sauce very easily, not only cutting fat but also adding vegetables to the mix. Celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis recommends making a flavorful sauce with sautéed onions and garlic, canned diced tomatoes, white wine, and clam juice. Then you can cook the clams right in the sauce and pour it all over a bed of linguine. Using whole-wheat linguine will make it even healthier by adding fiber.
As these celebrity chefs have proven, delicious food can be healthy too. It’s all about flavoring the food well, using herbs, spices, low-fat broth, and similar ingredients to make the food taste wonderful without all of the fat. Try some of these recipes yourself, and soon you’ll find yourself branching off to create your own healthy adaptations of your favorite recipes.