Top Chef fan favorite and Life After Top Chef star Fabio Viviani took time out to share healthy and simple cooking tips with a group of lucky editors in New York City.
Here are our favorite tips for making simple, healthy food taste buonissimo!
2 of 8Sarah Klein
Think you need to stick to the rules to be a good cook? Not true!
"Recipes are guidelines, not the law," says Fabio. "You can stretch them, bend them."
Fabio's tip: Swap out ingredients to end up with a healthier dish. If a recipe calls for butter, try heart-healthy olive oil instead. Or use a natural sweetener like honey as a substitute for refined sugar.
3 of 8Sarah Klein
You don't need fancy ingredients for a dish to taste good, says Fabio.
So don't feel bad if you pass on wild Alaskan salmon or black truffle oil, even if the recipe calls for it.
Fabio's tip: If you want to splurge on your favorite brand, that's great. However, you can save cash and still eat healthy by selecting generic products, produce, meat, and more.
4 of 8Sarah Klein
Don't waste a thing
There's no sense in letting perfectly good ingredients go to waste!
Fabio's tip: To stretch the life of an onion, use the root side last; it saves better. And if a tomato starts to look a little overripe, soak it in ice water overnight and it'll perk right up.
5 of 8Sarah Klein
Fabio certainly adds some drama to a dish by swirling his arm about a foot above a sizzling skillet. But turns out it’s not just for show.
Fabio's tip: “You want to season from a good height to get an even spread,” he says. Otherwise, you’ll end up with some bites so heavily seasoned they’re inedible, and others that are just bland.
6 of 8Sarah Klein
Want to cook like Fabio?
Try Fabio’s recipe for Sea Bass With Garden Caponata, which serves 2 (or 4 smaller tasting plates).
Health note: Antioxidant-rich olive oil can protect against heart disease by controlling LDL, or bad cholesterol, while raising HDL, or good cholesterol. Plus, fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids and lean protein.
7 of 8Sarah Klein
What you’ll need
Ingredients: 1 lb. sea bass, 2 cups red wine vinegar, 1 cup brown sugar, 2 cups pine nuts, 2 large eggplants (medium diced), 4 large carrots, diced, 4 stalks celery, diced, 2 large onions, diced, 6 cups pitted green olives (sliced), salt, pepper, tomato paste, olive oil
8 of 8Sarah Klein
To make the caponata: Warm olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add eggplant, carrots, celery, onion, and olives to skillet.
Add vinegar and brown sugar and stir.
Dilute 1 tablespoon tomato paste with about 2 tablespoons water, add to vegetable mixture, and stir.
Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until carrots cook to desired crunchiness.
Add pine nuts and remove from heat.
To make the sea bass: Season fish skin-side down with salt and pepper. Cook on high heat for about 4 minutes. Flip, and season skin side. Cook for about 2 to 3 more minutes.
Serve fish over caponata and drizzle olive oil on top to finish.
You May Like
Get easy recipes, 30-day fitness challenges, videos, and more.