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‘Cook Your Ass Off’ cooks ‘Diabetes-Friendly’ on HLN/UpWave

Richard Blais host of Cook Your Ass Off on HLN/UpWave
Photo by Timothy Hiatt

On tonight's HLN/UpWave semi-final episode of “Cook Your Ass Off,” host and chef Richard Blais challenges three chefs who won their preliminary round, to compete to help people with bad eating habits, spruce up their diet with healthy versions of the unhealthy food they love on this episode titled “Diabetes-Friendly.” Richard knows what poor habits can do, as he has lost 50 pounds in his journey to regain his health and vitality.

As the semi-final episode begins, the three chefs are introduced; Chef Michel Nischan who won the week Angel Rodriguez appeared, Chef Josephine Proul, who won with Tobey and Lynn Rector and Chef Chris “Ted” Jackson, who competed with Roger Bonilla. Recipes from this episode are found here.

The competition is dedicated to something that is reaching epidemic proportions in the United States; diabetes. It affects 25 million Americans, causes 250,000 deaths per year and 27% of patients are undiagnosed.

The three judges are nutritionist Keri Glassman and Chef Claudia Fleming and model and dancer, Damaris Lewis.

The first round is Snack Attack. They had to find a healthy substitution for sweet unhealthy chocolate candy. They must makeover chocolate candy that can contain 498 calories, 25 grams of fat and 53 grams of sugar. So this competition worked the same way as the previous ones. No elimination in this round, but the winner would receive an advantage in the next round.

Chef Chris made a buckwheat chocolate waffle & white chocolate brittle. Chef Michel has two children living with Type 1 Diabetes, and knows how difficult it can be. He made a raw chocolate snack cake with mixed fruit. Chef Jo made a pear, chocolate & oat protein ball with chocolate drizzle. The winner of the round was Chef Jo.

As they were sent by Richard, to “Cook Your Ass Off,” they rushed to the pantry for round two, an elimination round, they had to do a Meal Makeover of spaghetti & meatballs with garlic bread. This dish contains 1,200 calories, 50 grams of fat and 132 carbohydrates. Keri explained how refined carbohydrates turn to sugar in the body. As the winner of the first round, Jo got to choose an ingredient that both of her competitors had to use in their dish, his choices were; Bottarga (fish roe), Stilton (a blue cheese) and coffee beans. Jo chose all three because it was a semi-final round and gave the coffee beans to Chef Michel and the Bottarga and Stilton to Chef Chris. Chris made bison meatballs with quinoa pasta puttanesca. Michel made sunchoke pasta with sweet potato and squash puree. Joe made pork meatballs with whole wheat spaetzle. The chef who was eliminated was Michel.

The last round was the Ideal Meal, a diabetes inducing meal that people love. They each must use two mystery ingredients in their meal; edamame and monkfish. Monkfish is low in fat & cholesterol and similar to lobster in taste and texture; edamame provides 16% of daily vitamin C and has more fiber than four slices of whole-wheat bread. Jo made a curry-spiced monkfish with coconut soup. Chris made monkfish in papillote with udon noodle stir fry. Chef Jo was the winner of the competition, and she now has a chance to win the $50,000 in the grand finale.

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