Cooking Like the Stars

If you’re passionate about excellent food, it can be a little daunting when your cholesterol numbers signal that it’s time to take a second look at your plate.

Although this can be tricky for any of us, it can be particularly challenging for chefs who have enjoyed a lifetime of cooking and savoring wonderful meals. But as they overcome this occupational hazard,  we can learn from their experiences. Many times, their appreciation for great food drives them to create mouth-watering healthy dishes.

Magazines report that when doctors warned famed restaurateur Joe Bastianich about his blood pressure, cholesterol levels and weight gain, he dropped 60 lbs. by revamping the way he ate and plunging into an increasingly rigorous exercise regimen. Rather than turning to the latest fad diet, he opted for “moderate consumption,” as he explained in West Chester Magazine, enjoying wine, grains, vegetables and lean proteins.

Although I am inclined to engage in brisk walks rather than the marathons Bastianich now prefers, I admire his approach. And it’s reassuring to hear once again that we don’t need to radically abandon all of the foods we love to live a healthier lifestyle.

Bastianich shared some of his energizing healthy pasta recipes in the October 2010 issue of Runner’s World that I’d like to try, as well as this Quick White Bean Stew with Swiss Chard and Tomatoes he prepared on Today in October 2009. As you will see, when preparing the stew on the program, he adds a bit of sausage and some consommé to the ingredients printed on the website.

I’m going to give this a shot, and I’ll report back.

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