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Published: Tuesday, January 7, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

Healthful recipe ideas from a Top Chef

  • A blend of mushrooms and meat make up the patty of this burger created by chef Richard Blais.

    The Mushroom Council

    A blend of mushrooms and meat make up the patty of this burger created by chef Richard Blais.

You may have heard of Richard Blais, and probably not because he won Bravo's "Top Chef: All-Stars" competition two years ago. It's because his new HLN network show, featuring chefs who turn unhealthful recipes into nutritious ones, is called "Cook Your A-- Off."
A piece in Men's Health about the show (and about Blais' losing more than 50 pounds following his own advice) offers up three ideas worth considering:
1. Roast and grind mushrooms, and substitute them for half the beef in your hamburger. This swap reduces fat and calories while adding umami, the savory flavor in mushrooms that makes your mouth water.
"This therefore increases flavor impact. It's a win-win," Blais says.
2. Make an indulgent rice dish with a more healthful grain: Substitute steel-cut oats for rice in risotto, or quinoa for rice in a fried-rice dish.
"A great way to add health benefits and come off as a creative genius," he says.
3. Making apple pies or apple turnovers? Substitute cinnamon or vanilla for some of the sugar.
"Our minds register cinnamon and vanilla as sweet, but they aren't," Blais says.
It might take a little experimentation, but you can cut both calories and carbohydrates.
Nancy Szokan,
The Washington Post

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