Eat this, not that with the Diva Chef

The Diva Chef dish (ABC7)

Making a resolution to eat healthier doesn’t mean we have to give up on our favorite bites. With just a few tweaks you can slash hundreds of calories, and Elise the Diva Chef dished her best swaps in a round of eat this, not that.

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Double Protein Mac and Cheese


12 oz Barilla Protein Pasta

1 1/2 tbsp butter

1/4 cup minced onion

1/4 cup flour

2 cups 2% milk

1 cup vegetable broth

2 cups shredded cheddar (Daiya vegan)

12 oz fresh broccoli florets

2 tbsp parmesan grated

1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs

cooking spray

salt and pepper to taste


In a large pot of salted water, cook the pasta and broccoli together, according to package directions for al dente. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray, and set aside. Preheat oven to 375 F. In a large. heavy skillet, melt the butter, then add the onion and cook over low heat for 2 minutes. Add the flour and cook 1 minute or until flour is golden and well-combined. Whisk in milk and broth, raise heat to medium-high until it comes to a boil, then cook an additional 5 minutes or until smooth and thick. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Remove from heat, add cheese, and stir until melted. Stir in the cooked pasta and broccoli, then pour into the prepared baking dish. Top with the breadcrumbs and parmesan. Spray a little more cooking spray on top. Bake 15-20 minutes, then broil a few minutes until the breadcrumbs are golden.

Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs


1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes

1 3-pound spaghetti squash

2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided

1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese, divided

1 1/4 teaspoons Italian seasoning, divided

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon salt, divided

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 pound 93/7 lean ground turkey

1/4- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper


1.Halve squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place facedown in a microwave-safe dish; add water. Microwave, uncovered, on High until the flesh can be easily scraped with a fork, 10 to 15 minutes.

2.Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Scrape the squash flesh into the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the moisture is evaporated and the squash is beginning to brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup parsley. Remove from heat, cover and let stand.

3.Meanwhile, combine the remaining 1/4 cup parsley, 1/4 cup Parmesan, 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning, onion powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Add turkey; gently mix to combine (do not overmix). Using about 2 tablespoons each, form into 12 meatballs.

4.Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs, reduce heat to medium and cook, turning occasionally, until browned all over, 4 to 6 minutes. Push the meatballs to the side of the pan, add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, crushed red pepper to taste, the remaining 3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning and 1/4 teaspoon salt; stir to coat the meatballs. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meatballs are cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes more.

5.Serve the sauce and meatballs over the squash, sprinkled with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan.

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