Most Decadent Diet Ever!: Featuring more than 125 recipes that only taste fattening

Overview

Devin Alexander, author of the New York Times bestseller, The Biggest Loser Cookbook, lets you have your cake and lose weight, too, with sinfully tempting — yet amazingly healthy — recipes for America’s all-time favorite foods.

Chef and former L.A. caterer Devin Alexander has maintained a fifty-five-pound weight loss for over sixteen years by transforming the dishes she and millions of other Americans love best into guilt-free (yet still outrageously mouth-watering) ...

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Overview

Devin Alexander, author of the New York Times bestseller, The Biggest Loser Cookbook, lets you have your cake and lose weight, too, with sinfully tempting — yet amazingly healthy — recipes for America’s all-time favorite foods.

Chef and former L.A. caterer Devin Alexander has maintained a fifty-five-pound weight loss for over sixteen years by transforming the dishes she and millions of other Americans love best into guilt-free (yet still outrageously mouth-watering) indulgences--Rigatoni with Meat Sauce, BBQ Bacon Cheeseburgers, Eggplant Parmesan, Sinless Yet Sinful Sticky Buns, and even Dark Chocolate Layer Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting.

These simple-to-prepare recipes for the kind of delectable dishes people crave but feel they can’t eat when trying to be healthy and trim, actually can be the basis of a personal weight-loss plan. They can also be a way to add “off-limit” foods back into an already successful diet. Or they can simply be part of an exciting new way to eat healthfully — and with pleasure.

In The Most Decadent Diet Ever! Devin Alexander proves that even the most decadent dishes — Chipotle Chili with Blue Cheese Crumbles, "Fried" Jumbo Shrimp, Super-Stuffed Steak Soft Tacos, Fettu-Skinny Alfredo, Godiva Brownie Sundaes, and Chocolate Chip Pancakes — can lead to weight loss, good health, and carefree enjoyment.

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  • Devin Alexander
    Devin Alexander  

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The first step to getting in shape is finding a nutrition plan that you can stick with, and you've just found it! Devin is the master of creating healthy recipes that won't sabotage your weight loss goals!" —Kim Lyons, Red Team trainer, NBC’s The Biggest Loser
Library Journal

Alexander (The Biggest Loser Cookbook), the engaging host of the Discovery Health Channel's cooking show Healthy Decadence, has created a third cookbook with healthy recipes. After years of dieting, she decided to stop looking at food as the enemy and started cooking creatively. The 100-plus recipes here reflect how she rethought what she was eating. Anyone tired of feeling deprived while dieting will appreciate this cookbook with such approachable recipes as Potato Chip-Crusted Chicken, Godiva Brownie Sundaes, and Super-Stuffed Steak Soft Tacos. Alexander's experiences with the frustrations of losing weight make her book very accessible; she is extremely encouraging as she gives tips on healthy living and eating and explains how the recipes evolved. Nutrition notes include fat and calories for each dish, and a list of basic pantry items and handy kitchen tools is included. Recommended for most libraries.
—Ginny Wolter

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780767928816
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/22/2008
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 360,700
  • Product dimensions: 7.35 (w) x 9.12 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Meet the Author

DEVIN ALEXANDER is the author of Fast-Food Fix and The Biggest Loser Cookbook. In addition to Healthy Decadence and The Biggest Loser, she has appeared on Good Morning America, The View, and other television shows. She writes a monthly column for Women’s Health magazine, and lives in Los Angeles.

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Read an Excerpt

Breakfasts

We've heard it over and over: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. As much as I resisted the notion for years, I truly believe it is. When I was overweight, I was never hungry in the morning (probably because I ate too much at night).

Some days I "made it" until afternoon without eating, and I thought that was a good thing. But when I'd cut my calories down so that I should have been losing weight and wasn't, I went to a nutritionist. She was sure I'd lose weight if I ate early in the day. My big fear was that if I started eating earlier, I'd eat way too much, since I've always been a late–afternoon and early-evening eater. Finally, after much pressure, she convinced me that if I woke up and had just two bites of a banana, it couldn't possibly kill my caloric intake for the day and it would help kick-start my metabolism early.

She was right. I started with that and then added a small snack in the morning—that's all that felt safe at the time—and I started losing quicker. Now I eat five meals a day that are spread out throughout the day when I'm not in my kitchen. When I am cooking, I eat a few bites here and there all day. The latter is not ideal, but it's the one really challenging part of my work. If I can endure that and maintain my weight loss, you can do it too!

CHOCOLATE CHIP PANCAKES
 
Aaah, chocolate for breakfast, what could be more heavenly? One of my downfalls has always been warm chocolate chip cookies. I just love those slightly melty chips! This recipe is my solution to that chocolate chip craving, guilt free. These pancakes are chock-full of chocolate chips, so I actually prefer them without butter. But if you like a more buttery taste with just a hint of chips, use only 1 tablespoon of chips and spread 1 teaspoon of light butter over the top of each pancake. You'll add 17 calories and 2 grams of fat per teaspoon. You'll also notice that the recipe calls for very little syrup. Each teaspoon has 17 calories and 0 grams of fat. If you love syrup and want to add more, you can. Just try the pancakes first and then add only as little syrup as you possibly can to feel that you're eating a truly decadent meal. Being a true chocolate lover, I prefer them exactly as is.

If you're harried like most, you can double or triple this recipe with great success. The batter will keep in your refrigerator for up to three days, which will save time in the mornings.

1 large egg white, lightly beaten
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/2 cup whole-grain oat flour (see page 17)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
Butter-flavored cooking spray
4 teaspoons pure maple syrup, divided

Preheat the oven to 200¡F.

Whisk the egg white, buttermilk, flour, baking soda, vanilla, and salt in a small mixing bowl. Stir in 11/2 tablespoons water until well incorporated. Then stir in the chocolate chips and let stand for 10 minutes.

Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When a spritz of water causes the skillet to sizzle, working in batches and respraying between each batch, mist the skillet with spray and pour 1/4 cup of batter per pancake onto the skillet. Cook until there are bubbles on the top and the bottom is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Flip each pancake and cook until lightly golden brown on the bottom, about another 2 minutes. Transfer the finished pancakes to an ovenproof plate, cover with foil, and keep them warm in the oven until they are all cooked. Serve immediately with 1 teaspoon maple syrup per pancake.

Can be made in 30 minutes or less / No more than 20 minutes hands-on prep time

MAKES 4 PANCAKES; 2 SERVINGS OR 4 PORTIONS

• Each 1-Decadent-Disk portion (1 pancake) has: 105 calories, 4 g protein, 16 g carbohydrates,
3 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 2 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 272 mg sodium

• Each 2-Decadent-Disk serving (2 pancakes) has: 209 calories, 8 g protein, 31 g carbohydrates,
6 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 544 mg sodium

You save: 218 calories, 17 g fat, 3 g saturated fat

• Traditional serving: 427 calories, 9 g protein, 51 g carbohydrates, 23 g fat, 6 g saturated fat,
117 mg cholesterol, fiber N/A, 470 mg sodium

ORANGE RASPBERRY PANCAKES
 
I'm single…and I am the queen of befriending women. Though I'd love to meet a great guy, no matter where I go or what I do, I walk away with a new female friend. I even tried speed dating; I didn't hit it off with any of the men, but the woman who ran it, Christina, quickly became one of my best friends.

Christina loves to cook and entertain. One weekend, she had a brunch and made the most amazing orange raspberry pancakes. I only had a piece of a pancake because they were a bit fattening for me, but I kept thinking about them, so I recreated them using whole grain oat flour and less fat. One of these days I may end up with a husband; for now, at least I have the best girlfriends in the world!

1/2 cup frozen raspberries
1 teaspoon sugar
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/2 cup whole-grain oat flour (see page 17)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried orange peel
Butter-flavored cooking spray
4 teaspoons pure maple syrup or 2 tablespoons 100% fruit orange marmalade
Fresh raspberries, optional

Preheat the oven to 200¡F.

Put the frozen raspberries in a sieve and allow them to defrost in the sink, or microwave on low for about 30 seconds until defrosted, and then drain them. Coarsely chop the raspberries and transfer them to a small bowl. Add the sugar and stir until well combined.

Whisk the egg white, buttermilk, flour, baking soda, orange extract, vanilla, salt, and orange peel in a small mixing bowl. Stir in the raspberries and let stand for 10 minutes.

Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When a spritz of water causes the skillet to sizzle, working in batches and respraying between each batch, mist the skillet with spray and pour 1/4 cup of batter per pancake onto the skillet. Cook until there are bubbles on the top and the bottom is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Flip each pancake and cook until lightly golden brown on the bottom, about another 2 minutes. Transfer the finished pancakes to an ovenproof plate, cover with foil, and keep them warm in the oven until they are all cooked. Serve immediately with 1 teaspoon maple syrup or 11/2 teaspoons marmalade per pancake. Garnish with raspberries, if desired.

Can be made in 30 minutes or less / No more than 20 minutes hands-on prep time

MAKES 4 PANCAKES; 2 SERVINGS OR 4 PORTIONS

• Each 1-Decadent-Disk portion (1 pancake) has: 98 calories, 4 g protein, 18 g carbohydrates,
2 g fat, trace saturated fat, 2 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 278 mg sodium

• Each 2-Decadent-Disk serving (2 pancakes) has: 197 calories, 7 g protein, 35 g carbohydrates,
3 g fat, <1 g saturated fat, 4 mg cholesterol, 4 g fiber, 557 mg sodium

SAUSAGE BISCUIT SANDWICH

If you were to tell me that I could eat any breakfast without consequence any time, I'd likely choose a sausage biscuit sandwich with egg that was dripping with cheese. There's something about that combo in the morning that I just love. Here's one that's sensible. But when I say "sensible," don't mistake that for small. This sandwich, when assembled, weighs a full 8 ounces. Though it has much less fat, many fewer calories, and even significantly less sodium than any you could grab at a drive-thru, it's even larger than the large size at most. Plus it adds plenty of protein.

In the recipe, I instruct you to make the sausage mixture from the Breakfast Sausage Links, but omit 1/4 teaspoon of salt when doing so. Eaten on its own, this sausage needs at least that much salt to compare to ones you'd buy. But in this sandwich, the biscuit is a bit salty so you don't need the extra salt.

If you love this sandwich as much as I do and need a quick, before-work option, simply freeze the baked biscuits and freeze the patties separately in a single layer or stacked between sheets of wax paper in an airtight container. The patties will "fry" up quickly and the biscuits can be wrapped completely in foil and reheated in a 400¡ oven while you shower, do your makeup, or shave. You'll need only five minutes hands-on in the morning, which is less time than it would take to sit in the line at the drive-thru.

1 recipe Better Buttermilk Biscuits dough (page 225)
3/4 recipe Breakfast Sausage Links mixture, unshaped (page 44)
Olive oil spray
5 large egg whites

Make the dough for the Better Buttermilk Biscuits. Continue to follow the directions but instead of forming 6 biscuits, use a knife or pastry cutter to cut the rectangle of dough into 5 equal pieces. With your hands, shape each piece into a 31/2-inch-diameter biscuit to make 5 biscuits. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes instead of 13 to 15.

Meanwhile, prepare the Breakfast Sausage Links mixture, omitting 1/4 teaspoon of the salt (use only 1/4 teaspoon total). Divide the mixture into 5 equal parts, and then shape each into a ball. Flatten one of the balls into a 4-inch-diameter patty on a sheet of wax paper. Repeat with the remaining balls, forming each into a patty.

Preheat a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Lightly mist it with spray and add the patties, side by side. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes per side, until lightly browned on the outside. Turn the heat to medium and cook for another 1 to 3 minutes, until just barely pink inside. Transfer the patties to a plate and cover to keep warm.

Respray the skillet and return the heat to medium-high. Add the egg whites, one at a time, working in batches if necessary, to "fry" them, making sure they do not run together (pour into a 31/2-inch-diameter cookie cutter lightly misted with spray or a hollowed-out tuna can, if desired). When the bottoms are set, after about 1 minute, flip and continue cooking until set throughout.

Cut each biscuit in half and place the bottom half, inside faceup, on a plate. Add one egg to each, followed by one sausage patty. Place the biscuit tops atop each. Serve immediately.

Note how much protein is in the Most Decadent Diet Ever! version compared to the traditional. Though both have virtually the same amount of carbohydrates, my version uses a much bigger sausage patty for added protein with way less fat and calories.

MAKES 5 SANDWICHES; 5 SERVINGS

• Each 3-Decadent-Disk serving (1 sandwich) has: 306 calories, 26 g protein, 35 g carbohydrates,
8 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 66 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 767 mg sodium

You save: 194 calories, 23 g fat, 7 g saturated fat

• Traditional serving: 500 calories, 10 g protein, 36 g carbohydrates, 31 g fat, 10 g saturated fat,
250 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 1,080 mg sodium

QUICK CANADIAN BACON AND EGG BREAKFAST SANDWICH

It's really important to get lots of fiber in your diet. Fiber helps you fill up without filling out. Obviously, eating lots of veggies is one way to get your needed fiber intake, but you can also get fiber from fruits, whole grains, and some great new products found on the shelves at grocery stores all over the country. One of the products I love best are light English muffins, which often contain lots of fiber. I also love high-fiber tortillas and fiber-enriched pasta. Recently, I've found a lot of granola-type bars that pack in the fiber. Those are great to curb hunger, especially when you just don't have time to cook and need a little pick-me-up in the middle of the day or before or after a workout.

I love this sandwich on the light English muffin. If you can't find them, or just prefer to swap out the light one for a whole-grain one, you can do that. But then you should skip the cheese to keep it to a 200-calorie sandwich.

Olive oil spray
1 large egg white
1 light English muffin
1 slice (3/4 ounce) Canadian bacon, heated if desired
1 slice (3/4 ounce) 2% milk American cheese

Lightly mist a 31/2- or 4-inch-diameter ramekin or microwave-safe bowl with spray. Put the egg white in the ramekin.

Toast the English muffin in a toaster or under the broiler.

Microwave the egg white on low in 15-second intervals until it is no longer runny. Then assemble the sandwich by placing the bottom half of the English muffin, inside faceup, on a plate. Top it with the bacon, the egg, the cheese, and the top half of the muffin. If desired, wrap the sandwich in wax paper and microwave on low for 15 to 30 seconds to melt the cheese. Serve immediately.

Can be made in 30 minutes or less / No more than 20 minutes hands-on prep time

MAKES 1 SANDWICH; 1 SERVING

• Each 2-Decadent-Disk serving (1 sandwich) has: 208 calories, 21 g protein, 26 g carbohydrates,
6 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 22 mg cholesterol, 8 g fiber, 757 mg sodium

You save: 152 calories, 10 g fat, 4 g saturated fat

• Traditional serving: 360 calories, 17 g protein, 36 g carbohydrates, 16 g fat, 6 g saturated fat,
200 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 1,300 mg sodium

FIVE-MINUTE SUPREME BREAKFAST NACHOS

Though I'm definitely a "relationship girl," one of the few things I love about being single is that it almost forces me to try new restaurants. When a date asks me where I want to eat, I always tell him to pick his favorite spot. That way, even if I don't hit it off with him, I can scour the menu to find a unique dish that might be fun to transform.

These nachos are the result of a leisurely Sunday morning date by the beach. We met at a little café and he ordered the breakfast nachos. I was excited about his choice because I knew I wouldn't eat traditional nacho chips since they're deep-fried, but I wanted to see the dish.
It was as appealing as I thought it would be. And now I can eat it too, since my version is much healthier. It's likely you'll like it as much as I do.

1 ounce lightly salted, baked tortilla chips (about 14 chips)
2 tablespoons salsa verde
11/2 tablespoons red taco sauce
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons jarred reduced-fat zesty cheese sauce
Olive oil spray
4 large egg whites
Salt and pepper
3/4 cup coarsely chopped tomatoes

Spread half of the tortilla chips evenly in the bottom of a medium shallow bowl.

Combine the salsa and taco sauce in a small microwave-safe bowl.

Pour the cheese sauce into a second small microwave-safe bowl.

Mist a third small microwave-safe bowl with spray. Add the egg whites and season with salt and pepper to taste. Microwave all three bowls on low for 30 seconds. Remove the salsa mixture and cheese sauce when they are hot (be careful not to overcook the cheese--it won't melt). Continue microwaving the eggs in 30-second intervals until they are just a bit runny on top. Then stir with a fork, breaking them apart into large pieces. By the time you "scramble" and stir them, the residual heat should have cooked away the runniness. If they are still undercooked, microwave them on low in 10-second intervals until just done.

Spread half of the scrambled eggs over the chips. Then drizzle half of the cheese sauce over that. Spread the second layer of tortillas on top, followed by the remaining eggs and the remaining cheese sauce. Spoon the salsa mixture evenly over the center. Sprinkle the tomatoes evenly over the top of the salsa mixture. Serve immediately.

Can be made in 30 minutes or less / No more than 20 minutes hands-on prep time

MAKES 1 SERVING

• Each 3-Decadent-Disk serving has: 292 calories, 20 g protein, 38 g carbohydrates, 5 g fat,
2 g saturated fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 4 g fiber, 812 mg sodium

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2008

    A reviewer

    The Most Decadent Diet Ever: The Cookbook that Reveals the Secrets to Cooking your Favorites in a Healthier Way, presents a sensible diet plan and easy to prepare recipes. The diet plan includes proteins, vegetables and carbohydrates, so all food groups are included. The recipes are heavy on meat from my point of view, but will appeal to many, as they are based on American favorites. The book includes a sample 7 day meal plan. It also has tips and words of encouragement to help the reader. Deven Alexander shares what she stocks in her pantry and helpful tools to have in the kitchen. There are lots of breakfast recipes, which is nice for those seeking variety for this meal. I tried the open-ended buffalo chicken wrap and it was quite delicious. I also tried the spicy Szechuan steak salad and really enjoyed it. Entrees included honey-glazed spiced pork tenderloin, skinny scampi and chicken piccata. Alexander gets it: flavor can trump fat for making food taste good. To that end, she uses lots of flavorful--but not fattening--spices, oils and such. What I don't like is the use of 'fat free half and half', which consists of nonfat milk, milk, corn syrup solids (sugar), artificial color, and sugar. There are healthier substitutes. Overall, if you like 'All-American' type food, you will enjoy this cookbook of lower calorie--but still tasty--recipes. You will not feel deprived! Ny the author of the award winning book, Harmonious Environment: Beautify, Detoxify and Energize Your Life, Your Home and Your Planet.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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