The culinary preferences of Americans are as diverse as our population. Unfortunately, the way most of us enjoy our Mexican, Chinese and even Italian food is very Americanized – fried, greasy and cheesy. When we start thinking about all the things we have to “give up” to lose weight, our favorite internationally inspired dishes are the first to go. However, the new Biggest Loser Flavors of the World cookbook will put all of your quesadillas, potato pancakes, and even tiramisu right back in your diet.
Chef Devin Alexander is the recipe author for the new cookbook, as she has been for all of the Biggest Loser cookbooks (last year she released the Biggest Loser Desserts cookbook). Devin told us “We really dug deep to find ingredients that were really healthy.” She boasts about the book an all-natural cookbook. So, not only are the recipes all under 400 calories, they also use wholesome ingredients. She’s “all about decadence” and “figured out ways not to sacrifice flavor.” Biggest Loser Flavors of the World is a first-of-its-kind cookbook: it’s so all-natural Devin couldn’t even use evaporated cane juice or fructose and the recipes are lower in fat, calories, saturated-fat, cholesterol, etc. Best of all, it’s still really decadent.
Listen now to our interview with Devin. Her enthusiasm for the book is completely contagious. You’ll hear how she and her team worked to put together the recipes, the stringent parameters Biggest Loser had her working within, and her list of favorite recipes from the book.
Devin compares working on a Biggest Loser cookbook to a Jillian Michaels workout: “They’re that brutal.” She had to keep the recipes to no more than 350-400 caories, no more than 3 grams of saturated fat, less than 10 grams of fat (and usually significantly lower than that), less than 500 milligrams of sodium and the ingredients had to be all natural without preservatives or chemicals. This is how she found ingredients like almond cheese, which she says “is so good on the three-cheese spinach lasagna that you’d be blown away.” She describes the almond cheese as a perfect solution to get that melty, gooey texture, but not something she’d want to snack on.
The result is a collection of 75 recipes you’ll want to make part of your family’s regular meal rotation. I’ve had the chorizo prepared by Devin, and I’ve made it myself, and I can tell you that it’s easily one of the heroes in the Flavors of the World cookbook. The texture is just like the popular Mexican sausage, thanks to oats, red wine vinegar and egg substitute, and the flavor is spot on thanks to fresh garlic, dried oregano and chili powder. However, the missing 28 grams of fat and “salivary glands and all sorts of weird things” typically used in sausage are long forgotten in this lean, 101-calorie serving for Devin’s recipe.
Other favorites of Devin include the potato pancakes that she had to “step away from,” a warm German potato salad (made with sweet potatoes), a tiramisu silk custard, ahi tuna, garlic Southern-fried chicken, an Indian chicken curry, and a tender carne asada.
Fans of the show will enjoy seeing recipe contributions from some of their favorite past contestants, like Sione Fa, Amy Parham, Brady and Vicky Vilcan, and Jessica Delfs. Throughout the book you’ll find beautifully appetizing photographs of many of the recipes, as well as each recipe’s nutrition information. Plus, peppered across the pages are tips on diet and fitness from Biggest Loser alumni, including season 11 contestants, as well as all four trainers.
Enjoy these complimentary recipes from Flavors of the World:
Buy your copy of Biggest Loser’s Flavors of the World Cookbook.