Each season of the Biggest Loser, there are a few episodes where a certain Aussie chef makes a guest appearance to help the contestants prepare healthy food that also tastes and looks amazing. The contestants swoon, the fans drool (over the food, of course) and everyone leaves with a few new recipes. Chef Curtis Stone has a way with food that is creative without being complicated and delicious without being bad for you. We like to think it’s a gift!
It seemed only fitting that if you plan on throwing a watch party for the live Biggest Loser season 10 finale on Tuesday, December 14, that you should do so with a meal designed by Curtis. He made several appearances this season, each time leaving us a little more enlightened about healthy cooking. You’ll find below his recipes for pan seared halibut with quinoa and a roasted acorn squash salad, along with a decadent dessert recipe for a cider poached pears.
First though, we spoke with Curtis about what’s next for him, his tips for a healthy party, as well as how the Australians celebrate the holidays.
How has being a part of Biggest Loser influenced your own diet and cooking?
I’m generally a pretty healthy eater and try to exercise and watch what I eat as much as possible. Being a chef and being surrounded by food all day it’s pretty easy to put on weight without even realising it, so I have always been mindful of making sure I stay pretty fit and do everything in moderation. I think The Biggest Loser has really opened my mind up to how easy it is to substitute ingredients that may be lower in fat but taste just as good.
How do you manage holiday eating without overdoing it? Or, do you go ahead and let yourself splurge?
We all tend to “over do it” from time to time and the holiday season is a great time to really enjoy some home cooked food and spend time with our loved ones. I think you just need to keep an eye on what you’re “putting in” and acknowledge that you might have to “put out” a bit more and work twice as hard in the gym the next day to burn it off!
You’ve shared some recipes with us for hosting a Biggest Loser finale party, what other tips do you have for hosting a party that’s delicious without being in-your-face healthy?
The most delicious food in my opinion is food that is fresh, seasonal and where possible grown locally. The best part about this is that it is also a really healthy way to eat. You can generally find a low-fat substitute to a lot of ingredients when you’re preparing a recipe and they will more often than not taste just as good. I also think it’s a great idea to serve freshly chopped vegetables like carrots and celery to present as part of your dip platter which not only add an extra crunch but are also a lot healthier than crackers.
Curtis provided these three recipes for your finale watch party:
You’re currently in Australia, how do holiday recipes differ there? Any healthy lessons the U.S. could borrow?
In Australia we traditionally celebrate the holiday season with roast turkey, ham, lots of roasted vegetables and a plum pudding for dessert. As it’s summer in Australia during the holiday season it has become more and more popular to celebrate the holidays with fresh seafood like prawns and salmon served with fresh salads. This is a super healthy way to celebrate and perfect for the warmer climate.
When will we see you next? You are the U.S.’ favorite Aussie chef, you know?
I will be back in the United States at the end of the month and getting reading for the premiere of the new show “America’s Next Great Restaurant” (which will see competitors trying to get backing to turn their restaurant idea into a chain that launches in three U.S. cities) which is scheduled to air in the U.S. March 2011.