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By Chef Devin Alexander, Special to BiggestLoserClub.com
Just when you feel as if your wallet can't be flattened any further, I've got just the thing. It's my new book, "The Biggest Loser Family Cookbook-Budget Friendly Meals Your Whole Family Will Love." You'll be able to get it Nov. 11, but since we're not quite there yet, and I'm getting daily inquiries about the content, so here's a sneak peek and a few recipes!
Q: Are the recipes as fun as the recipes in the first cookbook?
A: Yes! In fact, some of it is even more fun since some of the dishes are designed to get your kids in the kitchen too!
Q: Did the contestants write some of the recipes again?
A: Though many of the dishes are inspired by the contestants' cravings, this time around, they were all created by me (www.devinalexander.com for more information about me).
Q: Healthy food is expensive. Will I be able to afford to feed my family if I use recipes from the book?
A: The book was designed specifically for families on a budget. It's true that healthy food costs more than eating purely processed junk. By nourishing your body properly, you'll save a fortune on doctor visits, etc. But even so, healthy food doesn't have to break the bank. You'll find everything from money saving tips on using ground chicken breast instead of ground turkey to navigating the freezer section to stock up and take advantage of the sales.
Q: Are the dishes difficult?
A: No! Many of you know that I first started writing recipes for "Muscle & Fitness" Magazine. Thus, I learned early, how important it is to write recipes that even the novice can cook. Plus there's a whole section called, "Notes for the Chef (you), From the Chef (me)," that will guide you through a few pieces of very basic equipment you might want to consider investing in; an in-depth look at a few of the ingredients; and then even a few simple techniques that will transform your healthy home cooking into restaurant-quality masterpieces.
Q: Are there a lot of recipes?
A: Yes, there are over 125 recipes for dishes from Baked Ziti, BBQ Bacon Meatloaf, Sweet and Sour Chicken Stir-fry to Peppered Pot Roast, Chocolate Cherry Truffles and Chocolate Peanut Butter Sundaes.
Now that I've tempted you, it's only fair that I leave you with a few of the recipes.
Happy cooking (and eating)!
Scrambles are an ideal breakfast for weight loss or maintenance because you can eat such a large portion for so few calories-and they're packed with protein. Here, I love the smoky sausage flavor with the cool freshness of the uncooked tomatoes. It's definitely a breakfast that feels indulgent without actually doing any damage.
Spray a large, shallow microwave-safe bowl with spray. Add the egg whites and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Set aside.
Place a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly mist the skillet with the olive oil spray. Add the sausage or kielbasa, onion, and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the sausage is heated through and the onion is tender but not browned.
Meanwhile, spray a large, shallow microwave-safe bowl with the spray.
Add the egg whites and cover the bowl with microwave-safe plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 1-1/2 minutes. Uncover the bowl and, using a fork, push the cooked portions of the whites into the middle of the bowl, letting the runny, uncooked parts run toward the outer edge.
Re-cover the bowl and microwave in 30-second intervals until the egg whites are just a bit runny on top. Uncover, then using a fork, stir the whites to break into large "scrambled" pieces. By the time you scramble and stir them, the residual heat should have cooked away the runniness. If they are still undercooked, re-cover and continue cooking in 10-second intervals until just done (be careful not to overcook).
Add the scrambled egg whites and the tomato to the sausage mixture. Stir well to slightly warm the tomatoes and incorporate the egg whites. Season with salt and pepper. Divide the scramble among 4 plates and serve.
Makes 4 servings
Per serving: 141 calories, 19 g protein, 8 g carbohydrates, 3 g fat (1 g saturated), 20 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 471 mg sodium
To save money and calories, skip buying the grilled chicken breast at the store and make Simple Grilled Chicken (see below) instead: Just follow the recipe exactly, swapping out the garlic and herb seasoning for a Mexican or Southwest seasoning (I use Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle). Also, be sure you either wear plastic gloves or wash your hands immediately after working with jalapeños. Though you're sure to love this dish, you won't enjoy it nearly as much if your jalapeño-affected hands make even minimal contact with your eyes.
Lay the chips on a dinner plate. Top them evenly with the beans, followed by the chicken. Drizzle the cheese evenly over the top. Top with the tomato and jalapeño slices and serve.
Makes 1 serving
Per serving: 321 calories, 32 g protein, 36 g carbohydrates, 5 g fat (less than 1 g saturated), 65 mg cholesterol, 5 g fiber, 498 mg sodium
This chicken is perfect to keep on hand for munching or for using in other dishes like quesadillas, salads, sandwiches, and more. If you buy your chicken in bulk and cook extra, you'll save time and money when hunger and the dinner hour strikes.
Preheat a grill to high heat.
Lightly mist the chicken breasts with olive oil. Rub the seasoning evenly all over each breast and lightly season with salt. Grill for 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until the chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear. Serve immediately or store in an airtight plastic container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Makes 4 servings
Per serving: 127 calories, 26 g protein, 0 g carbohydrates, 2 g fat (trace saturated), 66 mg cholesterol, 0 g fiber, 74 mg sodium
I hadn't made enchiladas since the mid-'80s until one of the season two contestants mentioned that they were one of his favorite cheat foods. I was instantly inspired to try my hand by making an enchilada-inspired chicken dish. It was such a hit, it ended up being featured on my show, Healthy Decadence. Since then, I've tried all sorts of permutations, making it leaner and leaner. This version is the leanest yet, and since the dish is packed with lean protein, low in saturated fat, and virtually carb-free, our very own Biggest Loser Dr. Michael Dansinger, is a fan, too!
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Season each chicken breast evenly on all sides with the seasoning. Place a large ovenproof nonstick skillet over high heat. When hot, lightly mist with the olive oil spray and add the chicken. Cook, turning once, for 1 to 2 minutes per side, or just until the chicken is golden brown on the outside.
Remove the pan from the heat and top each chicken breast with 1 tablespoon of the enchilada sauce, followed by one-fourth of the cheese and one-fourth of the cilantro. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 4 to 6 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink inside and the cheese is melted.
Makes 4 servings
Per serving: 162 calories, 31 g protein, 1 g carbohydrates, 3 g fat (1 g saturated), 71 mg cholesterol, trace fiber, 23 0 mg sodium
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