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Penne Alla Vodka
The dirty little secret about Penne alla Vodka is not the vodka but the hefty amount of heavy cream. Vodka is colorless, odorless, and without much flavor—not really attributes of a superstar ingredient. It's the combination of cream and tomato sauce that gives this dish its signature flavor. The traditional cream is swapped here for low-fat Greek yogurt.








Penne Alla Vodka
Recipe from Now Eat This! by Rocco DiSpirito
Servings: Serves 4
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces whole wheat whole wheat penne
  • 2 cups Rocco's How Low Can You Go Low-Fat Rocco's How Low Can You Go Low-Fat Marinara Sauce (page 206) , or store-bought low-fat marinara
  • Pinch of crushed crushed red pepper
  • 1 container (7 ounces) 2 percent 2 percent Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup chopped fresh fresh basil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 Tbsp. grated Parmigiano Reggiano Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
Directions
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions, about 9 minutes; drain.

While the pasta is cooking, bring the marinara sauce and crushed red pepper to a simmer in a large nonstick sauté pan over medium heat.Cook the sauce, stirring it occasionally with a heat- resistant rubber spatula, until it is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove the sauté pan from the heat.

Stir about 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce into the yogurt until smooth (this tempers it and prevents the yogurt from curdling). Then whisk the yogurt mixture back into the marinara sauce.

In a large serving bowl, toss the sauce with the drained penne and the basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the cheese on top, and serve.
Nutritional Information
 Before: 60g fat, 618 calories

After: 4.8g fat, 320 calories

18g protein, 55g carbohydrates, 11mg cholesterol, 6g fiber, 416mg sodium
 
Healthy Tips:

Whole-wheat pasta has a dense texture that makes it a little tougher than regular pasta. Some people like that chewiness; some don't. If you're in the latter category, overcook it a bit. Toward the end of the cooking time, keep testing it until it's as tender as you like it.

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    Rocco DiSpirito's Chicken Noodle Soup
    Chicken noodle soup has long been lauded as soup for the soul. However, it is not always so good for your body. My version of this recipe uses shirataki noodles, which have zero net carbs, zero calories and zero gluten. This recipe also yields almost 24 ounces per portion, which is three times that of a normal soup, so you can fill up for less than 200 calories! Packed with vegetables and a low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth, my chicken noodle soup can not only cure a somber soul but also actually keep you healthy and trim. Plus, these noodles will never overcook, so you can make this soup and keep it for days without having soggy noodles!
    Rocco DiSpirito's Chicken Noodle Soup
    Serves 4

    Ingredients
    • 64 ounces of reduced-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
    • 1/2 cube salt-free vegetable bouillon (such as Rapunzel)
    • 12 ounces bone-in, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of all visible fat
    • 2 fresh bay leaves
    • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme, tied with a string
    • 1 1/2 cups carrots, cut into a 1-inch dice
    • 1 cup celery, cut into a 1-inch dice
    • 1 1/2 cups onions, cut into a 1-inch dice
    • 16 ounces shirataki noodles, rinsed in cold water
    • Salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/2 tsp. Old Bay seasoning

    Directions
    Place the chicken broth in a 6-quart pot with bouillon cube, chicken thighs, bay leaves, thyme and vegetables. Bring to a very gentle simmer and cook until the vegetables are soft and chicken is cooked, about 25 minutes.

    Meanwhile, cut the shirataki noodles into 3-inch long pieces. Then, add to the soup. Remove the chicken thighs and place on a cutting board. Remove the bones and discard, shred the chicken and add back to the soup.

    Remove the bay leaves and thyme, season with salt, pepper and Old Bay, and pour into four large soup bowls.

    Tips
    The yield is based on a slow simmer, not a boil. If the soup boils, there will be increased evaporation, and the yield will be less.

    You can make your own stock too by simmering chicken bones or parts. This way you can add zero salt if you like, and you can chill the stock and scrape all the fat off the top for a homemade, virtually fat-free broth.

    Nutritional Information
    Per serving: 197 calories, 5.95 g fat (1.875g sat, 0g mono, 0g poly), 67.5mg cholesterol, 408mg sodium, 12.625g carbohydrate, 3.025g fiber, 21.525g protein

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      Chef Rocco DiSpirito
      Dr. Oz and Rocco DiSpirito
      A Jamaica, Queens native, Rocco DiSpirito took his passion for food and became one of New York City's top superstar chefs, not to mention the star of his own hit TV show, The Restaurant. Rocco talks with Dr. Oz about his fourth book, Rocco's Real-Life Recipes, and his hands-on approach to cooking.

      Filled with over 150 recipes that take less than 30 minutes to prepare, with 10 ingredients or less, Rocco says his latest cookbook is all about empowering today's everyday home cook. "This recipe book starts with the concept that the average everyday home cook is okay the way they are," he says. "I'm not about providing a fantasy that you should aspire to—I'm here to say, 'Whatever you can do is fine with me,' because just about everyone can do a little something."
      The information provided here is for entertainment and informational purposes. You should consult your own physician before starting any treatment, diet or exercise program. The opinions expressed by the hosts, guests and callers to Oprah Radio are strictly their own.

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        Rocco DiSpirito's Chocolate Brownie Cupcake
        These chocolate cupcakes are not only moist and delicious but also good for you! They are packed with black beans and made with a widely available gluten-free oat flour, so they are 100 percent gluten free, as well.
        Rocco DiSpirito's Chocolate Brownie Cupcake
        Makes 16 cupcakes

        Ingredients
        • 15 ounces black beans
        • 1/4 cup raw agave nectar
        • 2 tsp. instant espresso powder
        • 1 tsp. baking powder
        • 2 Tbsp. oat flour
        • 1/2 Tbsp. butter, melted
        • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
        • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
        • 5 egg whites, beaten until stiff
        • 5 Tbsp. vanilla flavor sugar-free, fat-free pudding (such as Jell-O)
        • 5 Tbsp. fat-free cream cheese
        • 18 packets stevia
        • 1/4 cup Fage Total 0% fat-free Greek yogurt
        • 96 mini dark chocolate chips

        Directions
        Preheat oven to 325°.

        Lay out 16 cupcake papers into a cupcake pan. Spray each one with cooking spray.

        Blend the beans, agave, stevia, yogurt, espresso, baking powder, oat flour, butter and vanilla extract until very smooth. Scrape out into a bowl and add cocoa powder. Whisk until smooth. Fold in the egg whites in three separate additions, making sure to keep as much volume as possible. Pour the cupcakes into the paper molds and place in the oven and cook until they are just cooked through, about 15 minutes.

        Meanwhile mix the pudding and the cream cheese in a bowl with a whisk until smooth. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the icing into a small piping bag.

        Remove the cupcakes and move to a wire rack to cool. Ice the cupcakes evenly with the pastry bag and place 6 chips on each cupcake. Put the cupcakes on a large serving platter.

        Tips
        Use a 2-ounce ladle to easily and evenly pour the cupcake batter into each paper.

        Nutritional Information
        Per serving: 77 calories, 1.83 g fat (.9g sat, 0g mono, 0g poly), 2mg cholesterol, 44mg sodium, 11.62g carbohydrate, 2.4g fiber, 4.5g protein

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          Grilled Chicken Parmigiano
          Chicken Parm is one of my all-time favorite dishes. It's as much an American classic as a burger and fries or angel food cake. The good news is that Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is made from skim milk to start with, so there is no need to replace it with "cheese food" or anything else that's unsuccessfully impersonating the real thing. In this version, thin chicken cutlets are grilled and topped with reduced-fat mozzarella and then sprinkled with breadcrumbs just before finishing the dish for a crispy browned topping.






          Grilled Chicken Parmigiano
          Recipe from Now Eat This! by Rocco DiSpirito
          Servings: Serves 4
          Ingredients
          • Nonstick Nonstick olive oil cooking spray
          • 4 boneless, skinless boneless, skinless chicken breasts (4 ounces each) trimmed of all fat, pounded thin
          • Freshly ground pepper
          • Salt
          • 2 cups Rocco's How Low Can You Go Low-Fat (page 206) Rocco's How Low Can You Go Low-Fat (page 206) Marinara Sauce , or store-bought low-fat marinara sauce
          • 1 cup drained canned whole plum whole plum tomatoes , roughly chopped
          • 1 cup roughly chopped fresh fresh basil leaves
          • 1 cup shredded reduced-fat reduced-fat mozzarella cheese , such as Weight Watchers
          • 1 1/2 ounces (about 6 Tbsp.) grated grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
          • 1/2 cup whole wheat panko whole wheat panko breadcrumbs , such as Ian's All-Natural
          Directions
          Preheat the oven to 400°. Lightly spray a 9×13-inch glass baking dish with olive oil spray and set it aside.

          Heat a grill or grill pan over high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper to taste. When the grill is hot, spray the chicken lightly with olive oil spray. Grill until just cooked through, about 1 1/2 minutes per side.

          Spread a little less than half of the marinara sauce over the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Lay the grilled chicken breasts on top of the sauce. Spoon the remaining marinara sauce over the chicken; scatter the chopped tomatoes over the top. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the chopped basil, the mozzarella, and the Parmigiano Reggiano.

          Bake the chicken until the cheese has melted and is beginning to brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Sprinkle the panko and remaining basil on top, and serve.

          Nutritional Information
          Before: 49g fat, 1,090 calories

          After: 9.3g fat, 332 calories

          39g protein, 20g carbohydrates, 91mg cholesterol, 3g fiber, 767mg sodium

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            Pappardelle with Peas and Parmesan
            Gentle yet powerful, sophisticated yet earthy, rich yet not the least bit ostentatious. And one more thing: capable of leaving a woman satisfied beyond her wildest imaginings. If you're thinking George Clooney, think again. This is pappardelle with peas and Parmesan from Manhattan's Pó restaurant. "The sauce has a bright, straightforward flavor," says Pó chef John Baron. "It's a simple recipe that relies on the quality of its ingredients." So keep in mind that all olive oil is not created equal, and walk that extra block for the grainy, buttery, sharp tang of true Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. The result will be a bowl of pasta that's nothing short of bliss.
            Pappardelle with Peas and Parmesan
            Recipe created by John Baron
            Servings: Serves 4
            Ingredients
            • 1 pound fresh fresh pappardelle or fettuccine
            • 1/3 cup and 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin extra-virgin olive oil
            • 1 cup coarsely chopped red red onion
            • 2 Tbsp. sugar
            • 1 Tbsp. salt
            • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
            • 2 cups fresh fresh or frozen frozen peas , thawed
            • 1/2 cup chicken broth or water
            • 1 Tbsp. butter
            • 12 whole whole mint leaves , optional
            • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese to taste
            • Whole cooked peas for garnish
            Directions
            Note: It's fine to use frozen peas (try petit pois for a more delicate flavor), but don't skimp on the fresh pasta.

            Boil a large pot of salted water and cook pasta until al dente.

            Meanwhile, in a wide skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat until hot. Add the onion, sugar, salt, pepper, and fresh peas. Cook 10 to 12 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. (If using frozen peas, add them when onion is tender, and cook 2 minutes more, stirring.) Reserve whole peas for garnish, then transfer mixture to a blender and puree with broth or water and remaining olive oil, scraping sides of blender with a rubber spatula.

            When pasta is done, drain it. Mix pea puree and butter in a saucepan; add pasta and stir until it's evenly coated. Add mint leaves and toss well. Serve with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and garnish with whole cooked peas.

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