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‘Cook Your Ass Off’ warns ‘Stop, Drop and Diet’ on HLN/UpWave

On tonight's HLN/Up Wave episode of “Cook Your Ass Off,” host and chef Richard Blais challenges three chefs to compete to help a person with bad eating habits. The chefs will spruce up their diet with healthy versions of the unhealthy food they love on this episode titled “Stop, Drop and Diet.” 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 Timothy Hiatt

As the episode begins, the three chefs are introduced; Chef Scott who is a sous chef, who once weighed 300 pounds. Chef Rachelle who was a perpetual dieter until she learned how the eliminate processed foods. Chef Leo has a young brother who was born with a hole in his heart, hence, he learned to eat healthy food at an early age. Recipes from this episode are found here.

The competition is for firefighter Dean Singer, who had his annual physical, which required him to be put on medication for his cholesterol and high blood pressure. At 46 years old, he loves sweets and fried foods. She weighs 235, and his goal is 210. The three judges are; Dean, nutritionist Keri Glassman and Chef Madison Cowan. The winner will get to work with Dean and help redesign his menu and help with his 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 20 minutes to redesign his favorite snack; blueberry cheesecake. Keri explained that this snack contains 520 calories, with 30 grams of fat and 38 grams of sugar. This round is not an elimination round, but the winner will have a big advantage in the next round. Rachelle made Lemon Curd topped with Fresh Berries. Leo made a Deconstructed Cheesecake using good ingredients. Scott made Macadamia & Flax Seed Crumble with Pannacotta and Fresh Fruit.

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 his favorite Drunken Chicken. This dish contains 608 calories, 39 grams of fat and 846 milligrams of sodium. As the winner of the first round, Scott got to choose an ingredient that both of his competitors had to use in their dish, his choices were; Rambutan, Goji Berries or Uni the reproductive organ of the sea urchin. Scott chose Uni. Scott made Drunken Chicken with Sautéed Vegetables and took all the chicken breasts in the pantry. Leo intended to make Almond and Parmesan Crusted Chicken with Drunken Vermouth Sauce, so he used the thighs rather than the breast. Rachelle made Turkey Breast Coated in Pine Nuts and Parmesan Cheese. The winner of the round was Rachelle, even though she left off the Uni. Leo was eliminated from the round.

The last round was the Ideal Meal round. The toughest meal for Dean is his lunch, but they each must use octopus and hazelnuts. As Dean cringed at the thought of octopus, Keri stated how it was an ideal ingredient because it is a good source of protein, has 1/3 the calories of beef and is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. The hazelnuts are rich in vitamins and minerals and lower in fat than macadamia nuts. Scott made octopus meatballs, zucchini spaghetti and hazelnut tomato sauce. Rachelle made grilled octopus with Romesco sauce.

Chef Scott earned a spot in the finals and a chance for the $50,000 grand prize.

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