Robert Irvine's Healthy Tips
Don't think healthy foods have to taste bad.
"When you say healthy eating, a lot of people think lettuce, tomatoes, that's it," Robert says. Healthy eating is just the correct balance of foods — mostly healthy recipes with a few sinful treats now and then.
Don't deprive yourself of the things you really want.
"A 'diet' implies that you're deprive the body of something. I can eat french fries every day of the week if I want, but the time I eat them and what I eat in between and what exercises I do is the important thing," says the Worst Cooks in America host. "I believe if you eat correctly, you'll never have problems exercising or maintaining your weight."
Do keep it simple.
Flavorful, healthy meals don't have to be complex, and they don't have to include two sides and a protein, Robert says. "I love to cook lean proteins like chicken, salmon and sea bass on a grill, then top with a simple black bean salsa made with canned tomatoes, black beans, onions and a little hot sauce."
Do look beyond the olive oil.
"If you watch Dinner: Impossible, you know I use grapeseed oil for all my cooking — it has omega-3 fatty acids, a higher smoke point and no flavor, so it's the perfect all-purpose cooking oil."
Don't kill the vegetables!
"I grew up with my mother cooking vegetables; it was like drinking them through a straw," Robert jokes. It only takes a couple of minutes to cook fresh veggies — any more and they start to lose precious nutrients, not to mention taste.
Do learn to regulate heat.
Robert thinks it's the most essential skill to cooking healthy meals. Heat your skillet before you cook a protein so it spends the least possible amount of time in the skillet. "Master heat control, then with any grill, any pan, any oven, you can cook nutritious meals," he says.
Do keep your pantry stocked with flavor boosters.
"Rice wine vinegar and ginger are my go-to flavor boosters — they travel with me anywhere I go! I can make them into a sauce and a dressing," Robert says. "I also keep stone-ground mustard with me at all times to emulsify dressings."
Do make friends with your blender.
"A blender is an amazing thing — you can throw (almost) anything in to make a flavorful sauce. I use a lot of fruit, like strawberries and mangoes, to blend into sauces for proteins. For a more savory sauce, try red onions and olives atop roasted vegetables, salads, chicken or fish."