Chef Tesia Cannella
Tip #1 Using cottage cheese instead of mayonnaise in cold salads is a great way to reduce fat, especially when using the low fat cottage cheese. This works well in tuna salad, egg salad, chicken salad, etc. If you add a little salt and pepper and a bit of citrus zest, you will boost flavor in any if these salads.
Tip #2 Use ground oats instead of flour if you’re trying to cut carbs or avoid gluten. Place Old Fashion oats in a food processor or “Magic Bullet” and blitz until it is the consistency of flour. You can use this to coat proteins for sautéing or in batters such as pancakes, etc.
Tip #3 If you’re trying to reduce sodium in your diet, you can do so by using lots of fresh herbs, citrus juice and citrus zest. Try mixing fresh parsley, mint or basil in with your salad greens to boost the fresh flavor of those greens, and lightly toss in self-made Vinaigrettes of lemons, limes, oranges, and pink grapefruit. You can even add a little honey or coconut sugar for sweetness if you desire.
Tip #1 I am famous for my gluten free options. The sneakiest source of gluten is often soy sauce. Soy sauce is wheat-based and shows up everywhere. I abolished soy sauce in favor of gluten-free tamari. As a side benefit, tamari has less sodium than soy sauce, and most brands do not contain preservatives or MSG. Tamari has more protein than soy sauce, too. Tamari keeps its flavor when it’s cooked and does not get nuclear-salty in the way soy sauce can. Once I made the soy-to-tamari switch, a hundred gluten recipes I’d been making were suddenly gluten-free! Korean barbecue beef, vegetable stir-fry, chicken satay, beef teriyaki, all gluten-free!
Tip #2 Pasta with punch! Why have the empty calories of a simple pasta when the option for high-protein pasta was out there waiting to be loved? Chickpea or red lentil pasta is gluten-free and a fabulous source of protein. It’s loaded with nutrients, and it’s delicious. It’s not like all the healthy switches I make are based on gluten. I do actually care about other edible things.
Tip #3 My mother had a sugar addiction. It basically was what killed her. She was hundreds of pounds overweight and diabetic when she died of heart failure. Maybe because of that, I love to find delicious ways to make healthier choices than refined sugar. My favorite substitute is maple syrup. I will use it instead of sugar in cookie doughs. Add it instead of sugar to sweeten up barbecue sauces. Unlike sugar, which may be hurting you just a tad, maple syrup is actually good for you. It’s loaded with calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and super high in anti-oxidants. I am not a martyr for the healthy cause. I still eat sugar especially in dark chocolate, but mixing in some healthier options that make you feel better too? Why not?
About the Experts:
Private Chef Tesia has multiple degrees in business, finance, and entrepreneurship and a never-ending passion for making great food. After culinary school, Chef Tesia Cannella landed a prestigious role working at Ritz Carlton Palm Beach and then at the Boca Raton Resort & Spa, a Waldorf Astoria property. She currently enjoys being a full-time private chef in the South Florida area.
The Raging Skillet has been widely known as NYC’s best kept secret, but they have actually been catering non-traditional weddings, international soirees and fabulous holiday bashes for over 26 years! The Zagat’s Guide has called Chef Rossi “the wildest thing this side of the Mason Dixon Line.” The New York Times has called Rossi, “a new breed of rebel anti-caterer.” And Go Magazine has voted Rossi “one of the 100 women we love!”