Chef Devin Alexander often lends her expertise to the contestants of “The Biggest Loser.”
Now, Devin brings her healthy tips & her family budget-friendly recipes to Access Hollywood Live, with some great meals that can feed a family of four for under $12!
Here are the recipes featured on Monday’s Access Hollywood Live:
SOUTH-OF-THE-BORDER LOADED SWEET POTATO
(Makes 1 serving)
1 (8-ounce) sweet potato - $2
4 ounces extra-lean ground turkey - $6
3/4 teaspoon all-natural salt-free fajita or Southwest seasoning - .50 cents
Olive oil spray (propellant free) - pennies
1/3 cup fresh salsa, drained - $1.50
2 tablespoons jarred all-natural roasted green salsa - .50 cents
2 tablespoons fat-free Greek yogurt - $1
Using a fork, poke the potato 5 times on all sides and place it in a microwave-safe bowl or dish. Cover the dish loosely with a paper towel. Microwave it on high for 3 minutes. Carefully flip the potato (it will be very hot) and continue microwaving for 2 to 4 minutes longer, or until cooked and tender.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the turkey and seasoning.
Place a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, lightly mist it with the olive oil spray. Cook the turkey for 3 to 4 minutes, or until no longer pink, breaking it into bite-size chunks as you do.
Cut an opening in the potato that stretches 1” from each end of the potato and deep enough to open the potato completely without cutting it in half. Put it in a medium shallow bowl. Stuff the potato with the fresh salsa, then the turkey, then the green salsa. Top it with the yogurt. Serve immediately.
* Per serving: 342 calories, 35 g protein, 47 g carbohydrates (13 g sugar), 2 g fat, trace saturated fat, 45 mg cholesterol, 8 g fiber, 304 mg sodium
GRILLED CHICKEN OVER MAFIA COUSCOUS
1 cup dry, whole wheat couscous - $2
1 cup, 1/4-inch diced, seeded tomatoes $1
1 cup 1/4-inch diced green bell pepper $1
1/2 cup 1/4-inch diced red onion $1
1/2 cup canned, drained, sliced black olives $1
1/3 cup pepperoncini slices, or to taste $1
2 teaspoons freshly minced garlic (so important that these are fresh, not jarred) .25 cents
3-1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar .50 cents
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil .50 cents
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, or to taste .25 cents
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste pennies
Crushed pepper flakes, to taste pennies
6 “Simple Grilled Chicken” Breasts (see recipe below) $3.50
Bring 1-1/2 cups water to a boil in a medium nonstick pot with a lid. Add a touch of salt. (Couscous should be added as soon as the water starts boiling or some of the needed water will evaporate.) Stir in the couscous. Cover the pot. Remove it from the heat and let it stand for 5 minutes (all of the water should be absorbed.) Fluff the mixture with a fork. Then allow it to cool to room temperature.
Add the tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, olives, pepperoncini, and garlic to a large glass or plastic bowl. Toss well to combine. Stir in the cooked couscous until well combined. Stir in the vinegar, and olive oil. Season with oregano, salt and pepper flakes.
Divide it evenly among shallow salad bowls (or plates). Top each with 1 chicken breast.
* Makes about 7 cups (about 1-1/4 cup + 1 chicken breast) servings: 370 calories, 35 g protein, 45 g carbohydrates, 3 g sugars, 7 g fat, <1 g saturated fat, 66 mg cholesterol, 8 g fiber, 502 mg sodium
SIMPLE GRILLED CHICKEN
(Makes 4 servings)
This chicken is perfect to keep on hand for munching or for using in other dishes like quesadillas, salads, sandwiches, and more. If you buy your chicken in bulk and cook extra, you’ll save time and money when hunger and the dinner hour strikes.
4 (4-ounce) trimmed boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Olive oil in a sprayer (not store-bought spray that contains propellant)
2 teaspoons salt-free garlic and herb seasoning
Salt, to taste
Preheat a grill to high heat.
Lightly mist the chicken breasts with olive oil. Rub the seasoning evenly all over each breast and lightly season with salt. Grill for 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until the chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear. Serve immediately or store in an airtight plastic container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
* Per serving: 127 calories, 26 g protein, 0 g carbohydrates, 2 g fat (trace saturated), 66 mg cholesterol, 0 g fiber, 74 mg sodium
CHINESE PEPPER STEAK
(Makes about 6 cups; 6 servings)
In addition to loving this dish served hot from the stove, it’s become one of my favorites because it makes such excellent leftovers. Toss it on some rice for a complete meal then save some to reheat in the microwave at work the next day, and your co-workers are sure to be jealous.
Please note: the meat is cooked in batches so it browns properly and ends up being tender.
1-1/2 pounds trimmed top round steak, cut into 1/2 -inch-thick strips - $4/pound so about $6 ( this is often found on sale for $1.99 – 2.99 / pound)
1 teaspoon black pepper pennies
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder pennies
1/4 teaspoon salt pennies
3-1/2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided .50 cents
1-1/2 cups 1/2 -inch-wide, 2-inch-long sweet onion strips $1.00
1-1/4 cups 1/2 -inch-wide, 2-inch-long green bell pepper strips (about 1 large pepper) $1.00
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic .25 cents
2 cups canned crushed tomatoes $1.50
1-1/2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce .50 cents (use the leftover packets that you got from Chinese tackout and save the 50 cents!)
Serve with Brown Rice – No more than $1.00
Place the steak in a medium bowl. Add the black pepper, garlic powder, and salt. Toss to season the steak evenly. Let stand for 10 minutes.
Place a large nonstick saucepan over high heat. When the pan is hot, put in 1 teaspoon olive oil. Add half of the steak and brown it on all sides, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove from the pan. Add another teaspoon of olive oil, then the remaining steak. Brown that on all sides. Remove from the pan. Turn the heat to medium, and then add the remaining 1-1/2 teaspoons olive oil, onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, about 5 minutes. Return the steak to the pan, and then stir in the tomatoes and soy sauce. Turn the heat back to high. When the liquid reaches a boil, cover the pan and turn the heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender enough to fall apart with a fork, about 1-1/2 hours. Serve immediately, or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
* Each 2-Decadent-Disk serving (1 cup) has: 192 calories, 26 g protein, 12 g carbohydrates, 6 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 50 mg cholesterol, 3 g ﬁber, 480 mg sodium
(All recipes courtesy Devin Alexander. Her new cookbook “The Most Decadent Diet Ever” is in stores now. For more, visit DevinAlexander.com)