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‘Cook Your Ass Off’ experiences ‘Calorie Paralysis’ on HLN/UpWave

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

Richard Blais host of Cook Your Ass Off on HLN/UpWave
Photo by Ilya S. Savenok

As the episode begins, the three chefs are introduced; Chef James Briscione, a culinary teacher, Chef Ulrich Sterling, who believes everyone should go back to the days before processed food and Chef Louisa Shafia a restaurant consultant, cookbook author and recipe developer. Recipes from this episode are found here.

The competition is for Danielle Carrington, 34, who craves doughnuts, ice cream and chicken wings. She is 36 pounds over her goal weight and suffers from multiple sclerosis; she is a para-legal by day and a stand-up comic by night and needs to get her diet under control, to lose weight, stay healthy so her illness does not progress.

The three judges are; Danielle, nutritionist Keri Glassman and Chef Nate Appleman. The winner will get to work with Danielle and help redesign her menu and help with her poor eating habits. The winner will also be entered into the finals, where the winner could bring home $50,000.

The first round is Snack Attack. They had to find a healthy substitution for her favorite snack; a sweet frozen coffee drink and a chocolate donut. Kerry stated that with multiple sclerosis, her body was loaded with inflammation. The frozen coffee and doughnut snack contains 750 calories, 78 grams of sugar, the equivalent of 19.5 teaspoons of sugar; the last thing her body needs. With 20 minutes in this round, the chefs flew to the kitchen to create something she would like that would be healthy, and she would enjoy. James made Summer Berry Oatmeal with Chocolate Mousse. Louisa made Gluten-Free Banana Muffin with Frozen Berry Smoothie, and Ulrich made Fried Eggplant Doughnuts with Cacao Almond Milk Smoothie. Each plate had a fault, but Louisa did not get the muffins on the plate. The chef who won this round was James, who won the advantage in the next round and will choose an ingredient for the other chefs to use in their recipe.

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 her favorite Shrimp Scampi Risotto. This dish contains 627 calories, 30 grams of fat and 2530 milligrams of sodium. As the winner of the first round, James got to choose an ingredient that both of his competitors had to use in their dish, his choices were; Smoked Tea, Sardines and Molasses. James chose Sardines. Louisa made Saffron Vegetable Paella with Quinoa and Sardines. Ulrich made Three Seed Risotto with Grilled Sardines & Shrimp. James made Brown Rice Shrimp Risotto with Kale & Butternut Squash. The chef eliminated in this round was Louisa.

The last round was the Ideal Meal round. They each must use two mystery ingredients; Mangosteen and Razor Clams. The Mangosteen is a Southeast Asian fruit high in magnesium and four grams of dietary fiber. The Razor Clams only have 84 calories in four ounces, are high in omega-3 fatty acids and are a lean source of protein. Ulrich goes by the “paleo” or caveman diet, that mimics the eating habits of hunter-gatherers. So he is making Razor Clam Ceviche with Mangosteen. James made a Chicken & Razor Clam Stir-Fry with Sweet Potato Slaw.

Chef James earned a spot in the finals because his sweet potato slaw was a huge hit, even though everyone was shocked to see how he used it. He will have a chance to win the $50,000 grand prize.

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