"Many top chefs have discovered some surprisingly tasty ways to keep the pounds at bay. [Their] tantalizing suggestions [are] put forth in Smart Chefs Stay Slim, a new book detailing the eating strategies of today’s culinary superstars." -- OPRAH.COM

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Entries in Rick Bayless (2)


10-Day Smart Tips Countdown: Fire Up with Chilies

Get many more of Rick's great ideas (including his workout) in Smart Chefs. "Chilies can be your friend if you are trying to lose weight," says Rick Bayless, chef-owner of Frontera Grill and other landmark Mexican restaurants in Chicago. He points to research that chilies may speed up your metabolism. But he likes them mainly because, he says in Smart Chefs, "chilies help you feel more satisfied. They fire your mouth on all cylinders."

One of his favorite easy ways to cook with chilies at home is to pop open a can of chipotles in adobe (smoked, dried jalepeños in a vinegar-tomato broth), whirr the contents in a blender, and use the resulting puree on "practically anything: soups, beans, or as a marinade for fish or chicken. Superdelicious."

Tomorrow: Another favorite chef tip as we count down to the new year and the paperback release. Meanwhile, what's your favorite way to harness the heat of chilies? Comment here, or Tweet me at @editgirlnyc.


Think like a Chef: Stocking your menu items

The first (and to my mind perhaps the most important) lesson in Smart Chefs is to EAT WHAT YOU LOVE. If that seems an obvious point -- don't we all eat the foods we love? -- take a look in your refrigerator and cabinets and see if  most or many of the foods you really love and want in your diet on a regular basis are on-hand.  If you want to eat great food, you have to have great ingredients available. Forget about ever acquiring the cooking skills of your favorite chef -- you probably won't and you don't need to. But think about how they shop. It helps to imagine your home kitchen a bit like a restaurant, not in terms of preparing fancy meals, but rather in stocking your basics. Rick Bayless: chef, yogi, healthy eater, Mexican food savant

During our interview for the book, the wonderful Chicago chef Rick Bayless told me, "What I want to eat is the stuff that is going to keep me the size I am." Me too. So that means this week I'm probably going to eat at least one meal that includes salmon, another with beans (probably a salad since it's warm right now), a few that include salad or spinach and I'm going to want Greek yogurt and fruit most mornings, and I'll be grumpy if I can't have it. 

In the extremely exclusive restaurant that is my apartment dining room, these are the usuals.  If I don't have the components, I can't make the dish (even if the "dish" is just bananas in yogurt). You know how you feel when you go to a real restaurant and they have 86'ed your favorite item? Don't do that to yourself. Know the foods you love and keep them around.