A diet you can sink your teeth into
By Tim Talevich
POPULAR CHEF AND Costco member Rocco DiSpirito is on a health
kick, and that’s good news for all of us. He has given many favorite foods,
from lobster bisque to Red Velvet Chocolate Squares, calorie-cutting
makeovers for his latest cookbook, Now Eat This! Diet. The book also
gives exercise tips and other weight-loss strategies. The Connection
recently asked the New York City–based chef about his latest creations.
The Costco Connection: Tell us about the old Rocco and the new.
Rocco DiSpirito: The old Rocco being the guy who used to eat foie
gras seven days a week? [laughing] Fast-forward 20 years, and calories
and fat and nutrition had become an issue in my life. I was at a moment
where I could start taking lots of medicine for cholesterol and high blood
pressure problems, or I could listen to my doctor and do what he said,
which was to eat well and exercise. For once I actually listened to him.
CC: In your book, you’re saying we can eat a lot of the foods we love,
but with better ingredients. How does this work?
final result. Also, I experimented with cooking techniques to reduce calories while retaining flavor. I sometimes found I’d have to add back in a certain ingredient, such as butter for a butter sauce. But I experimented to find how I could use the least amount so it would have a real presence, but not in a calorically significant way. CC: Have a good example? RD: My Red Velvet Chocolate Squares. All the flavor of chocolate comes from cocoa powder, none from cocoa butter. So I found that cocoa powder in a base of puréed vegetables like red beans tasted great, and with a little flour, egg substitute, and vanilla and almond extract I was
able to duplicate very respectably the flavor of red velvet and chocolate in
a 106-calorie square. They’re so ridiculously satisfying. C
RD: Oddly, my background in the type
of cooking I did really helped me in this. The
flavor memories of these dishes in their most
indulgent state was my goal for every dish.
MARKUS KLINKO & INDRANI
It starts with thoughtful ingredients. For
example, whole milk or skim milk? Fatty beef
or lean beef? Thousands of small choices like
those add up to an enormous change in the
The Costco Connection
Rocco DiSpirito’s new cookbook, Now Eat This! Diet, is available at
most Costco locations. While you’re at Costco, you’ll find many of
the ingredients you’ll need for delicious meals.
36 ;e Costco Connection APRIL 2011
Per serving: 283 calories, 12 g fat ( 3 g sat/6 g mono/1.6 g poly), 180 mg cholesterol, 207 g sodium,
18 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 27 g protein
Lemon Pepper Shrimp
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and
deveined, tails removed
2 teaspoons coarsely ground
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup hot pepper jelly
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 bunch broccoli rabe
Heat a large nonstick sauté pan over
Meanwhile, blot the shrimp with paper
towels to ensure that they are dry.
Season one side of the shrimp with
salt to taste. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of
pepper onto one side of the shrimp
and lightly press so that the pepper
adheres. Repeat on the other side with
the remaining pepper. Add 1 table-
spoon of olive oil to the pan, and then
add the shrimp, salted side down. After
about 2 minutes season the other side
with salt and turn the shrimp over.
Cook the shrimp until done, about
2½ minutes on each side. Transfer
the shrimp to a plate and set aside.
Turn off the heat and, while the pan
is still hot, add the lemon juice, pep-
per jelly and butter. Stir until well
mixed. Toss the shrimp back into the
pan and coat in the sauce. Set aside.
Heat another large nonstick sauté pan
over medium-high heat. Add the
remaining oil and the garlic. Sauté until
the garlic begins to brown, about 2
minutes. Add the broccoli rabe and
cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve the shrimp with the broccoli
rabe. Makes 4 servings.