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Healthy Cooking Tips from Top Chef Masters Season 5

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The fifth season of Top Chef Masters premiered July 24, and the 13 contestants not only have skills, they also have guts, as 12 of them decided to skydive in order to earn an extra hour of cooking time. Clearly they are serious about vying for the title of “Top Chef Master” and $100,000 for their selected charity.

To kick off the season, Chase Sapphire Preferred and Bravo co-hosted a premiere tasting event in New York City, where Curtis Stone, Gail Simmons, and several of the Top Chef Masters shared their top tips for making healthy food with SHAPE.

“I make salad dressings with plain nonfat Greek yogurt, lemon juice, dill, and pepper, and then thin it out with a little water or a little tahini. It’s really healthy and has barely any fat, just a bit from the tahini and that’s good fat.” –Gail Simmons, Top Chef Masters head critic

“Quinoa, lentils, chickpeas, garbanzos, black beans, pinto beans—all of those legumes are so good for you, are so full of protein, and absorb flavor very well. You can make a nice, healthy vinaigrette and toss it through them, stew them, or braise them with some chicken legs.” –Curtis Stone, Top Chef Masters host

“For a different quinoa recipe, I’d put it into some pasta to give it texture. I also like to do things with phyllo, and you can put quinoa and nuts between the layers of phyllo and bake it together.” –Jennifer Jasinski, Top Chef Master and executive chef and owner of Rioja, Bistro Vendome, and Euclid Hall Bar & Kitchen

RELATED: 15 Healthy Cooking Tips from the Food Pros

“I add honey and orange juice to Greek yogurt and then freeze it in an ice cream maker for a dessert that’s much better for you than ice cream.” –Sang Yoon, Top Chef Master and and executive chef and owner of Father’s Office and Luksohn Restaurant

“I like to puree avocados into dressing. I roast a whole jalapeno with some olive oil, and throw that into a blender with avocado, mint, and a little bit of lemon juice. It’s really spicy and has a great body. I use on fish or on really crisp romaine or butter lettuce.” –Jenn Louis, Top Chef Master and executive chef and co-owner of Lincoln and Sunshine Tavern

You can watch Top Chef Masters every Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Bravo.


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