If good-for-you mac 'n cheese sounds like an oxymoron or a compromise for your taste buds, you haven't tried Vikki Krinksy's. As co-host of CBS's Recipe Rehab, the self-taught private chef to A-Listers whips up slimmed-down versions of all-American favorites. "People think that healthy eating has to be limiting, but it actually opens you up to an array of new flavors and textures," says Krinsky. Her inspiring ideas will make you want to play Iron Chef in your kitchen, too.
Shape: What's your trick to make any recipe healthier?
VK: I love to sneak spinach into everything. I'll puree of spinach with a little water in a blender and add it to an egg white omelet, smoothie, brownie batter—you name it. It doesn't affect the taste, just adds nutrients. (See: 11 Crazy Delicious Desserts with Hidden Healthy Foods)
Shape: What's your must-have kitchen tool?
VK: My Global Knife—it has a nice grip and feels lighter than other chef's knives. When you're doing the wrist motion of chopping, the knife should glide, not get stuck.
Shape: You learned your chops informally working in restaurants. Any advice for home cooks looking to up their skills?
VK: Read cookbooks. You'll start to understand proportions and pick up techniques, so you'll build more confidence in the kitchen to experiment and have fun. Right now I'm reading Molecular Gastronomy by Jose Sanchez. I'm trying to challenge myself, and this method is very formulaic. I made a deconstructed caprese salad, turning the balsamic vinegar into little balls like caviar!
Shape: What's your favorite, easy weeknight dinner?
VK: Breakfast for dinner—poached eggs over a salad with goat cheese and pumpkin seeds.
Shape: Tell us the best multi-tasking ingredient.
VK: Coconut oil! I use it to take my make-up off.
Shape: How do you stay healthy outside of the kitchen?
VK: I try to play soccer once a week as part of a rec league. I earned my personal trainer certificate, so some people even call me the Athletic Chef!
Shape: What's your go-to energizing post-workout snack?
VK: I make these fun energy bars using about 10 pitted dates, 1 cup cashews, 1 cup almonds, a quarter cup of coconut oil, and a handful of chia seeds. Put it through the food processor, then pat it down into a 9-by-9 inch pan and refrigerate until solid.
Shape: Matcha or espresso?
VK: Matcha. I use matcha powder to crust fish, top a healthy cheesecake, and I even put it in my salt that I leave next to the stove. (Psst...We have 20 Genius Ways to Use Matcha.)
Shape: Fill in the blank. "I love my shape because..."
VK: It's who I am and I love who I am!