Last season, we watched celebrated chef, Rocco DiSpirito, challenge the Season 5 contestants of The Biggest Loser to create a full meal (appetizer, entree and dessert included) within a strict time limit. The team who delivered the best combination of taste versus calories was declared the winner and was awarded a delicious meal prepared by Rocco himself and a special take-home surprise.
Here’s a clip from Rocco’s appearance last year when he helped Roger make a delicious and low-cal version of Pepper Steak.
Rocco will offer the same challenge during this season. If it’s anything like last season, I can’t wait to see what he dishes up and the healthy cooking tips he’ll offer.
Last season, as he made Pepper Steak with Roger, he encouraged the use of flavor enhancers like organic chicken broth, red wine, and fresh herbs in addition to thickeners like corn starch, all of which don’t add calories to the finished product. He also offered time-saving tips like using pressed or crushed garlic rather than whole cloves that you have to peel and dice yourself. His take-home message to all of the contestants and to the viewers was to take the time to cook for yourself, even if it’s just once a week. It’s healthier, more cost-effective and much more satisfying. Plus you’ll get to enjoy leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch.
Here is Rocco’s recipe for Pepper Steak. One serving has 385 calories.
3 ½ cups Free-Range Chicken Broth, low sodium
fresh ground pepper and NuSalt
1 cup short-grain brown rice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
12 Anaheim peppers
4 5-ounce portions lean beef tenderloin
1 vidalia onion, slice thinly
5 cloves chopped garlic
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
½ cup Trader Joes Fat Free Salt-Free Marinara
½ cup Evaporated Fat Free Milk
½ cup chopped fines herbs (parsley, chives, tarragon and chervil)
1. Bring 2 cups chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepot. Season with NuSalt and add rice. Cover, turn down heat to a very low simmer and cook for about 1 hour or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Fuff rice with fork and toss with olive oil. Keep warm.
2. Char Anaheim peppers over an open flame, turning to cook evenly, until skins are mostly burnt. Place peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap for about 7 minutes to steam off skin. Remove as much charred skin as possible with a paper towel. Seed peppers and cut into rings about ½ inch thick.
3. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Season steaks with pepper and NuSalt and spray pan with Pam. Saute until golden brown, about 4 minutes per side. Remove steaks from pan and keep warm.
4. Spray pan with Pam again and add onions. Saute until onions are starting to become tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for another minute. Deglaze with balsamic vinegar. Add 1 cup chicken stock to the pan and bring to a simmer. Mix remaining ½ cup chicken stock with cornstarch to make a slurry and whisk into pan. Stir in marinara and evaporated milk and bring to a simmer. Add peppers, cayenne and simmer until vegetables are tender. Return beef to the pan to reheat, for about 2 minutes. Stir in fines herbs. Serve with rice.
You can also get Rocco’s recipe for Mark’s Mint Chocolate Chip Frozen Yogurt right here.