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Over 20 years ago, I lost 70 pounds. In 2008, I released a book called, “The Most Decadent Diet Ever!” that starts, loosely, with the story of how I did that eating the foods I love. Since 1994, I’ve been coaching others – some celebrities, some everyday people, empowering them to lose weight. My proudest accomplishments are helping one person lose about 170 pounds and another lose 140. Plus I’ve helped a few celebrities look “sick” for movie roles in which they’ve played patients and then coached thousands of pounds off others (collectively).

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French Toast with Sautéed Bananas

French Toast with Sautéed Bananas
Serves 2
Over the past year or so, I’ve gotten slightly addicted to cooking fruit—it’s really amazing how heat can bring out the natural sugars. It all started when my friend Rasha, who was one of the contestants on the “Engaged Couples” special episode of “The Biggest Loser” sent me a recipe for baked grapefruit that I included in “The Biggest Loser Cookbook.” All she did was bake the grapefruit with a little bit of cinnamon and sweetener on the top, and it was suddenly transformed from the same ol’, same ol’ into such a treat. That inspired me to roast pineapple, see “Roasted Pineapple a la Mode” (page TK) which is also exceptionally satisfying. And now, here’s another dish with warmed fruit. This one definitely helps start your day on a indulgent note, while helping your quest to get much needed fruits and veggies in your diet.
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For the bananas
  1. 1 medium-sized firm banana
  2. 1 tablespoon sugar
  3. 1/2 teaspoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  4. 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  5. 2 teaspoons light butter
For the French Toast
  1. 1/4 cup fat-free milk
  2. 2 tablespoons egg substitute
  3. ½ tablespoon sugar
  4. ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  5. 1 teaspoon light butter
  6. 2 slices whole wheat bread
For the bananas
  1. Peel the banana and cut it on a diagonal, creating ¼-inch thick slices. Transfer the slices to a medium bowl and add the sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Toss to coat them evenly.
  2. Place a small, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter. When it bubbles ever so slightly, add the bananas. Cook them, stirring frequently until they are tender and slightly caramelized, about 2-4 minutes. Remove them from the heat and cover them to keep them warm.
For the French Toast
  1. Mix the milk, egg substitute, sugar, and cinnamon in a large shallow bowl.
  2. Preheat a large nonstick skillet to medium-high heat. Add the butter.
  3. Soak one slice of the bread in the mixture until just soft, turning once. Let any excess egg drip off and transfer it to one side of the skillet. Repeat with the second bread slice, placing it next to the first slice in the pan. Cook them until golden brown on both sides, about 1-3 minutes per side. Transfer each piece of toast to a serving plate and top each with half of the banana mixture. Serve immediately.
Notes
  1. Makes 2 servings. Each serving has: 202 calories, 6 g protein, 40 g carbohydrates, 4 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 8 mg cholesterol, 4 g fiber, 244 mg sodium
  2. You save: 156 calories, 9 g fat, 4 g saturated fat
  3. Traditional serving: 358 calories, 10 g protein, 49 g carbohydrates, 13 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 127 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 566 mg sodium
  4. Recipe taken from Devin Alexander's THE MOST DECADENT DIET EVER!
  5. Copyright © 2008 by Devin Alexander published by Broadway Books, a division of Random House Inc.
  6. www.devinalexander.com
Devin Alexander - "The Secret of Food" http://qod.devinalexander.com/

Punched-Up Piña Colada

Punched-Up Piña Colada
Serves 2
Most cocktails contain a lot of calories and empty carbohydrates. Here I've replaced calorie-dense coconut creme with light coconut milk, and used frozen pineapple chunks and dried egg whites to thicken the drink. The frozen pineapple retains more nutrients than the sugar-sweetened pineapple juice typically used in a pina colada, and the egg whites add about 5 grams of protein. In the end, you save a whopping 307 calories, 13 grams of fat, and 12 grams of saturated fat over a typical same-size pina colada!
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup light coconut milk
  2. 8 ice cubes
  3. 3 cups frozen pineapple chunks
  4. 2 tablespoons 100% dried egg whites (I used Deb-El Just Whites), optional
  5. 3 tablespoons light rum
  6. 2 pineapple wedges for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. To the jar of a blender with an ice crush setting, add the coconut milk, ice cubes, pineapple chunks, egg whites (if desired), and rum.
  2. Blend on high just until the mixture is smooth.
  3. Divide it between 2 chilled Collins glasses or other tall, thin glasses.
  4. Garnish with the pineapple wedges, if desired, and serve immediately with straws and/or drink umbrellas.
Notes
  1. Per serving (with egg whites): 219 calories, 6 g protein, 33 g carbohydrates (23 g sugar), 4 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 83 mg sodium
  2. Per serving (without egg whites): 204 calories, 1 g protein, 33 g carbohydrates (23 g sugar), 4 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 8 mg sodium
  3. Reprinted from: The Biggest Loser Quick and Easy Cookbook by Devin Alexander (c) 2011 by Universal Studios Licensing LLLP. The Biggest Loser (TM) and NBC Studios, Inc., and Reveille LLC. Permission granted by Rodale, Inc. Available wherever books are sold.
  4. Photo Credit: Mitch Mandel
Devin Alexander - "The Secret of Food" http://qod.devinalexander.com/

Potato Chip Crusted Chicken

 

Potato Chip Crusted Chicken
Serves 2
People often ask how I come up with my recipes, and I often say, “Trial and error and error and error.” And it’s true. Sometimes I get lucky and a dish comes together immediately. But more often, it takes attempt after attempt to get a recipe right. This dish is an example. I set out to make the recipes in this book defy the label “diet food.” I wanted you to be able to flip through the book and say, “How could that be healthy?” and then dig in and realize that healthier food can actually taste great. As I was reading a magazine one day, I saw a version of potato chip chicken where they dipped the whole chicken parts with the skin still on in butter, then in tons of crushed full-fat potato chips. Yikes! But I thought it was an interesting, definitely decadent-sounding idea. So I set out to coat the chicken in Baked! Ruffles. The first attempt was really bland. We decided that perhaps the sour cream and cheddar ones would work better. But they didn’t. Then we tried Doritos-crusted chicken, thinking that the strong nacho cheese flavor would give it the right zip. Wrong again. Finally, after many spice variations, I arrived at this version using the baked Ruffles one afternoon. My computer consultant, Corbin, happened to be working on my computer that day (he loves food and his mom is a chef), so I had him try it. He was a huge fan, and a recipe was born. It’s really easy to crush the chips if you put them in a resealable plastic bag and pound them with the flat side of a meat mallet or a rolling pin. They should be pretty finely crushed or you won’t be able to coat the breasts completely.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. Two 3-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts, visible fat removed
  2. 1/3 cup low-fat buttermilk
  3. Olive oil spray
  4. 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  5. 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  6. 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  7. 1/8 teaspoon salt
  8. Pinch of cayenne
  9. 1-1/2 ounces (about 1/2 cup) finely crushed Baked! Ruffles potato chips
Instructions
  1. Place the chicken breasts between two sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper on a flat work surface. Use the flat side of a meat mallet to pound them to an even 1/2-inch thickness. Put the chicken breasts in a resealable plastic bag that is slightly larger than the breasts. Pour the buttermilk over the breasts, seal the bag, and then turn the bag to coat. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight, rotating once or twice.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450°F. (continued)
  3. Lightly mist a small nonstick baking sheet with spray. Mix the onion powder, paprika, black pepper, salt, and cayenne in a small bowl. Put the chips in a medium shallow bowl.
  4. Remove one chicken breast from the buttermilk and let any excess buttermilk drip off. Sprinkle both sides of the breast evenly with half of the seasoning mixture. Then transfer the breast to the bowl of crushed chips and cover completely with the chips.
  5. Place the coated breast on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining chicken breast. Discard any remaining marinade.
  6. Lightly mist the top of both breasts with spray. Bake for 4 minutes, and then carefully flip the breasts with a spatula, being sure not the remove the coating. Lightly mist the tops with spray and bake for another 3 to 5 minutes, or until the coating is crispy and the chicken is no longer pink inside. Serve immediately.
Notes
  1. Each (1 chicken breast) serving has: 206 calories, 22 g protein, 20 g carbohydrates, 4 g fat, trace saturated fat, 51 mg cholesterol, <1 g fiber, 376 mg sodium
  2. Recipe taken from Devin Alexander's THE MOST DECADENT DIET EVER!
  3. Copyright © 2008 by Devin Alexander published by Broadway Books, a division of Random House Inc.
  4. www.devinalexander.com
  5. Photo Credit: Theresa Raffetto
Adapted from The Most Decadent Diet Ever
Adapted from The Most Decadent Diet Ever
Devin Alexander - "The Secret of Food" http://qod.devinalexander.com/