Wednesday, December 31, 2008


In the south, tradition (and our mamas!) dictate eating black-eyed peas and a green (typically cabbage) on January 1st for luck and prosperity, respectively, in the new year. In my family, the typical New Year's day meal is meatloaf, coleslaw, and black-eyed peas. This year will be no exception, the only change will be all of the above will be leener. To get you ready for your healthy and prosperous 2009, here is our suggested Paul Leen menu:

Live and Let Lean Loaf : Get the recipe and watch the video on!

Skinny Peggy's Coleslaw: Get the recipe and watch the video on!

Fee-leen Lucky! Black-eyed Peas:
Our mama's traditional recipe for black-eyed peas is something along the lines of drop a big ol' hamhock in a pot of water and peas. Cook to death. Salt and pepper to taste. But this year, we're letting the flavor (and health) of the peas shine through. Black-eyed peas and most all beans are a perfect leen food. They're good for your wallet (the bag of peas I bought cost 80 cents) and your health (high in fiber and nutrients).

1 16oz bag bag dried black-eyed peas, rinsed and picked through (sometimes tiny rocks make their way into the bag, so just be sure and give it a quick sort through)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced (optional)
1-2 tablespoons light olive oil
1 teaspoon each salt and pepper plus additional to taste

In a large pot, saute the onion in the olive oil unti soft and transluscent. Add the garlic and jalapeno (if using) and cook about 1 minute more. Add the peas and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil then turn heat down to simmer. Cook until peas are tender (could be an hour or more). Season to taste. Serve with meatloaf and coleslaw and have a happy, healthy new year!

-- Bever-Leigh

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Top Chef Season 5: New York Episode #6 Recap WITH SPOILERS!

Quickfire Challenge:

This weeks challenge? To make it through this episode.

You know what the "reality" is? I am SO mad at this episode that I don't even want to review it.

IS THAT WRONG? (Please don't judge me the way Tom judges the chefs.)

Fine, here's the jist: Fabio was charming, Jamie was whining about Ariane, Carla had her eye thing and Eugene is getting more cocky than Stefan. Oh, also it was a Christmas Show where they had to make a holiday menu for Martha Stewart (yawn) and no one got eliminated even though THREE PEOPLE deserved to. (SUPER YAWN! I HATE YOU EPISODE SIX!)

Paula's Judging Table:

"Y'all, the wheels still turning, but the hamster's dead." -Paula Leen

*Next week they get a new judge and everyone hates him and he eliminates two people, not including Gail. THANK YOU!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Wishing everyone the healthiest and happiest of holidays! From all of us at!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Putting the 'LOT' in Latkes!!

According to the Associated Press, A 23-year-old mechanical engineering student has downed 46 of the potato pancakes in eight minutes to win a contest at a Long Island deli.

Ummm, he knows Hanukkah lasts EIGHT days, right?

Pete Czerwinski, a Toronto bodybuilder, said he'd never eaten a latke before consuming about seven pounds of them Sunday at Zan's in Lake Grove, NY. Association of Independent Competitive Eaters (Don't get me started on THAT title y'all...) Chairman Arnie Chapman says Czerwinski demolished the contest's previous record of 31 latkes, set in 2006.

So in honor of that, we would like to remind you of Paula Leen's Low Fat Sweet Potato Latke recipe:

Sunday, December 21, 2008


It's been no-calorie sweetening the world for some time now, but until now stevia had not been a "legal" sweetener in the U.S. Per

"The newest no-calorie sugar alternative, Stevia, is a substance naturally found in the Peruvian stevia plant...With 300 times the amount of natural sweetness of the popular sugar cane we have used for centuries, Stevia has been used in sodas marketed as dietary supplements and in other countries for sweetening treats and other foods but before now was not officially approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)."

So, what do you think of stevia? How about "artificial" sweeteners in general? The Paula Leen team is divided. Some believe natural sugar only and just in vastly reduced amounts (yes, Virginia, there is black coffee) while others are a-okay with a little sweet help from science.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Top Chef Season 5: New York Episode #5 Recap WITH SPOILERS!

The episode starts out with Melissa saying that her "almost" being eliminated was a wake up call. Here's another wake-up call: you're boring. The girls start bitching about Stefan and Jamie thinks he's SUPER cocky but appreciates the gifts he gives her even though she's an advertised lesbian and he still wants in.

I guess THIS is television.

Quickfire Challenge:

In this quickfire challenge they are playing IDENTIFY THAT INGREDIENT! The game that is as exciting to Chef's that CLUE is to normal people.

The Chefs draw knives and they soon find out they get paired up for this challenge. Stefan and Jamie (sitting in a tree) go head to head with competing to name the most ingrediants, from taste, of a sample sauce.

Hosea says he can name 4 and Danny says he can name 4 as well but rules state he has to go one higher and he calls Hosea's bluff saying that Hosea can't name 4 just by tasting the sauce. Well, Hosea names 4 ingrediants and Danny loses.

Jeff and Ariane. Jeff guesses wrong and Ariane wins.

Stefan and Jamie. Stefan wins. (DAMN!)

Leah and Eugene. Eugene fails.

Radhika and Fabio. Radhika wins.

Carla and Melissa. Carla wins.

Then there's ROUND TWO and they get re-paired and taste a new sauce:

Hosea and Ariane. Hosea wins with naming 7.

Leah and Stefan. Stefan wins with 8 (and Leah calls him an asshole. LOVE IT!)

Carla and Radhika. Radhika loses.

ROUND 3 is round-robin:

The remaining chefs have to taste a new sauce and each name a new ingredient after each other:

Carla fails on the first go. (DOH!)So, Hosea and Stefan remain. But Stefan guesses incorrect with Tomato Paste and Hosea guesses one more correct and wins immunity.


Elimination Challenge:

They draw knives again and are split up into teams: OLD, NEW, BORROWED, BLUE. The challenge is for Gail's bridal shower the following evening for 30 women. No veal or black beans are requested and the guests are mostly from Food & Wine Magazine.

BORROWED Team: Radhika, Jamie and Ariane.

BLUE Team: Melissa, Fabio and Leah.

NEW Team: Daniel, Eugene and Carla. Daniel pushes pickles. Why? We have NO idea... but Carla is NOT speaking up. (Tragic foreshadowing?)

OLD Team: Stefan, Jeff and Hosea. They are going tomato-y and Jeff and Hosea are already OVER Stefan. (Much like the rest of America...)

They go shopping and Fabio looks gorgeous in a pink polo and Stefan calls Hosea a douche.


Once back in the kitchen, they have 2 1/2 hours to prep. Team BORROWED is the third course, Team NEW is doing the second course, Team BLUE is the fourth course and Team OLD is first course. (Did they just say Tomato sorbet as a course? Ugh.)

Tom comes in and let's Team BLUE know there is NO such thing as blue food in the food world, it's all purple. Blueberries, included. The team tells him they are going with an ocean theme and that's how they are working in the Blue. BORROWED tells Tom that they are borrowing food from Radhika's Indian culture...Cultu-HER if you will and NEW tells them they are doing Sushi, BBQ Sauce and Wonton Salad cups, giving the guests "NEW" insight into Sushi... as the world as a whole rolls it's eyes... and OLD shares with Tom that they are going "Old" Country for their entrees.

Recapping, Tom is NOT excited about Team Blue and can't figure out what to think about Team NEW and then there's Carla.
Oh, Carla.

Eugene changes his entree because his rice got screwed up and Hosea is concerned that he doesn't get to taste Stefan's dish and frankly, it's getting old with Team OLD.


The Bridal Shower:

The guest judge is revealed to be Editor-in-Chief of Food & Wine Magazine: Dana Cowin.

Nothing really happens during this segment except produced non-drama and really BAD faux-shadowing. You can already tell who is going to be eliminated and it's only about half way through the episode.

Here are the perspective teams and or their dishes:
Leah, Fabio, Melissa: Blue Corn Sea Bass, Roasted Corn, Swiss Chard

Ariane, Jamie, Radhika: Lamb Marinated in French and Curry Spices, Vadouvan Carrot Puree, and Kale

Eugene, Danny, Carla: Chili Sticky Rice, Yuzu Giner Granita, Miso BBQ

Hosea, Stefan, Jeffery: Tomato Gazpacho, Tomato Carpaccio, Tomato Terrine

Judges Table:

Team Borrowed and Team Old get called into the judge's room and they are told that they are the judge's favorites. The top two dishes are down to Jeff's Tomato Sorbet (again, blech!) and Ariane's Lamb. Jamie is NOT happy because she REALLY wants to win adn thinks her puree was better than Ariane's meat, while Stefan is pissed that Jeff's dish was liked more than his. (HAHAHAHAHA!!!!)

The winner of the challenge is Ariane (YEAH!) even though she was SUPER surprised and now Jamie is SUPER pissed:
...and you can check out the recipe for her/their dish HERE. (FYI: It's got twelve thousand ingredients and it looks a little ridiculous to make.)

They are told to send back the other two teams but not before Jamie starts to sound more whiny then Stefan sounds cocky.

As the two least favorite teams are walked in, they tell Eugene that they didn't understand his dish at all. They call him out on his rice (and a note to him AND ALL OF US: if your rice sucks, chuck it. Don't try to save it.)

Carla says she allowed the crap to happen and then Daniel says that he LOVED the dishes and stands by it... even adding mushrooms to someone else's dish...DANIEL... and they hated that too. Leah says she was overall 'happy' and the Gail says that the flavor the guests liked, but the texture of the dish was no good. Tom is OBVIOUSLY in a bad mood and being a total jerk and then Fabio steps in and starts standing up for himself but then as the judge's table starts to turn on him, he shuts up.

Smart move, kid.

They release Team Blue and start to wreck Team New a 'new one'. Is it going to be Eugene or Daniel? Carla is safe, but is told to start standing up for herself. (It's SO going to be Daniel but Eugene knows it's going to be him and I still think Carla has REALLY big eyes...)

All the judges came together and the chef that was eliminated was:

Next week: Martha Stewart and rotten meat. Ironic?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sangria 'Sass'-pacho

You want your Gazpacho with a little sass?
Then here's Paula Leen's Sangria Sasspacho!

2 Mangos, peeled and pitted*
1 Cup fresh strawberries*, washed and stems removed
1 Cup Soy or Low Fat Milk
1 Cup Red Wine
3 tbsp Sugar Free Vanilla syrup
2 tbsp chopped fresh Mint
Mint leaves, for garnish

In a blender, place, well: EVERYTHING and blend until smooth and creamy. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

This is not only a great appetizer and/or soup, it would also be AHHHMAZING over ice cream or...shoot: as a cocktail! Just replace the milk with more red wine!

("That's what my momma always did!" -Paula Leen)

*Frozen can also be used depending on the season. Also, here is a video of the PERFECT way to peel a mango:

PLEASE pay no attention that it looks like he's in his garage or has broken into a house where the person who isn't home (or is tied up in the bedroom) is apparently a hoarder.

I'm just sayin'

Friday, December 5, 2008


The last bag of leftover turkey clings to the farthest reachest of the freezer, refusing to be part of another sandwich or casserole. Next to it sits the first holiday gift received - a huge slab o'meat from Cooper's BBQ in Llano, Texas. What to do with this meat bouny and still be leen? Heat the turkey or brisket with a little BBQ sauce and serve with a side of Skinny Peggy's Coleslaw. This isn't just great for a healthy coleslaw, it's just plain great! The crispy, salty bites of turkey bacon, the crunch of the cabbage, the creamy tang of the dressing, and the fresh herbal note of dill? Yee haw! Yee slaw! Watch Paula Leen's video demonstration of the recipe here!

1 package coleslaw mix (such as Dole Classic Cole Slaw)
1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1 cup low-fat yogurt
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dill
6 slices turkey bacon, fried and crumbled.

Place coleslaw and bacon in large serving bowl. Toss to combine. Mix mayonnaise, yogurt, brown sugar, vinegar, and dill. Pour over coleslaw mixture. Toss to completely coat coleslaw with dressing. Chill before serving.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Top Chef Season 5: New York Episode #4 Recap WITH SPOILERS!

Okay, when did Alek join team Rainbow? I mean I get that Richard is gone, but did we REALLY need someone to fill his clogs shoes ?

Quickfire Challenge:

Rocco DiSpirito is the guest judge for a quickfire BREAKFAST challenage. They have to create a Breakfast Amuse-Bouche. (a single, bite-sized hors d’Ĺ“uvre.)

Stefan starts talking about blah, blah, cocky, blah and Jack does the same thing. Daniel pulling out corn flakes = me terrified. and Ariane plans.

Melissa: French Toast Eggs in a Nest - LOVED
Stefan Huevos Rancheros - LOVED the presentation
Radihka- Latke. um, no. Didn't she see Paula Leen's brilliant version?
Daniel - Um NO!
Ariane - Stuffed French Toast. LOVED
Jamie- Egg BLT. LOVED

Leah EGG BLT -THE PERFECT SIZED (and she made sure to say to the judges AND the camera) Quail Egg BLT. -LOVED
Husband Fabio - Briouche Brulee - IFFY
Jeff- Twice Baked Potatoe


and sorta Jamie

And the winner is:

LEAH with her Fried Quail Egg with Tomato and Cheese:

...and then Rocco pushes his new cookbook.

Elimination Challenge:

They have to make an entree that they can teach on a television segment. (That means in like 2 minutes, people)

Okay, I officially hate Jeff. And FYI: Carla, Leah and Radhika are a mess.

Jamie served raw egg white because she ran out of time and Alex is SO about to get screwed trying to make a creme brulee in under an hour.

The judges went back and forth on Daniel and weren't impressed at all with Stefan. (Thank goodness!)

In the end they like Jeff, Fabio (of course) and Ariane and they become the top three.

The bottom three:
Melissa, Alex and Jaime.


SO, it turns out the top three will get a chance to have their meal tasted on The Today Show and so they woken up at the buttcrack of dawn (the time, not the person) and as they watch the hosts taste and rate their food Kathy Lee Gifford spits out Jeff's food.


Ariane wins the challenge with her Watermelon Caprese Salad:

... and Meredith comes back and congratulates her.


Judges Table:

Jamie did REALLY good defending herself. Like, REALLY good. (Not ugly, not snotty, just very stand-up-for-yourself meets You-Go-Gurl!)

Alex, was kind of whiny and I could care less about whatever he said because I totally zoned out because, well, who cares.

Oh crap, then Melissa starts talking again about how SHE wants to be here and OH MY CRAP WHO CARES!!!

Alex realizes that Melissa JUST threw him under the bus. DUN, DUN DUNNNNNNN!!!



Monday, December 1, 2008

Jew-SWISH Low Fat Sweet Potato Latkes

Latkes (Latkas/Potato Pancakes) are traditionally eaten during Hanukkah and came from a preference for fried food to celebrate the miracle involving olive oil. (Or in the South, just from a preference for fried food...)

Paula Leen's Low-Fat Sweet Potato Latkes are baked, not fried and by using yams instead of potatoes, this treat will be rich in fiber, complex carbohydrates, protein, vitamins A and C, iron, and calcium not found in the common potato.
That's right...the potato is common.

2 Large grated sweet potatoes
I Medium onion, finely chopped
2 Egg whites
1/4 cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1/4 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Nutmeg

-Pam Cooking Spray

*Also, Latkes may be topped with a bunch of different things ranging from low-fat or fat-free sour cream (if you want savory) to Mott's® Plus Applesauce (if you should want the sweet).

Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and then spoon by 1/4 cupfuls onto a Silpat Baking Mat and then flatten with a spatula. Sprinkle salt on top and then spray with Pam. Bake for 13 minutes; flip and bake for another 13 minutes.

"We're taking The Festival of Lights
and making it The Festival of Lite Food!"

-Paula Leen

Friday, November 28, 2008

Top Chef Season 5: New York Episode #3 Recap WITH SPOILERS!

Okay, first things first: I (heart) Fabio. Now that that's out of the way, Richard: PLEASE STOP SAYING TEAM RAINBOW!!!!

Quickfire Challenge:
with guest judge Grant Achatz
(Sounds like Agate...but plural...agates...incase you needed to know.)

Okay, the chefs pick out a knife from the knife block and each blade has a number on it. It turns out that the numbers are actually page numbers from the Top Chef Cookbook and the challenge is to put a personal spin on the recipe on that in on the numbered page using whatever they find in the Top Chef kitchen with only 60 minutes.

Just as they are about 10 minutes into the challenge, Padma comes in and screams STOP and decides to change the challenge to a soup competition. DUN, DUN, DUHNUNNNN!!!!!! WITH THE REMAINING TIME, the chefs have to create a soup using ONLY the ingredients they were already using combined with broth provided by Swanson. (Hey, if they get a mention on TV, they get one here too.)

Of course my husband Fabio doesn't stress out and Ariane is a mess...AS ALWAYS! (GET OVER IT ARIANE!!!) Also, I can't tell if Carla is freaking out (LOL) cause she ALWAYS looks like that and Jamie feels pretty confident.

Did I mention I LOVE Padma's blouse?

Now then, the guest judge picks the top three: Jamie with her Chick Pea Soup, Leah with her White Asparagus and Daniel with his Mushroom/Leak Soup with Ham and Egg.

And the winner is:

LEAH (yea!). She now has immunity from the Elimination Challenge.

Elimination Challenge:

They have to make Thanksgiving dinner for some "VERY" important people and since Leah won the quickfire challenge, she gets to pick SIX chefs to work with. She chooses: Jamie, Hosea, Stefan (Duh), Melissa, Fabio (Duh-er) and Radhika.

Like seriously, who WOULD pick Ariane, Carla and Richard... this is High School ALL over again. I'm so sorry. Let's just hope they're 'shirts' and everyone else is skins, OKAY!?!?

It turns out that they will be cooking for The Foo Fighters and their entourage for the Elimination Challenge while sticking to their 'riders' of what they like and don't like backstage. They need to cook for over 60 people including 18 Vegetarians.

The Chefs get to the Bluecross Arena to check out the kitchen and location. The winners of the challenge get to watch the show, the losers get to clean up. As it turns out, there IS NO KITCHEN, THERE IS NO REFRIGERATOR, THERE ARE NO FREEZERS. All it is, is microwaves, toaster ovens, one burner ALL, frankly: they're SUPER screwed:


Once at the supermarket, Team Sexy Pants (aka Leah's team) stops, makes a plan and attacks the shopping. Team Cougar (the left over chefs): Run like they are on the final episode of Supermarket Sweep. (God, I miss that show...GET THE HAMS! GET THE HAMS!)


Okay, once they get from the store, Eugene is a genius and builds a grill. I'm stressed out and Stefan is taking control.

Then, of course, it rains. LOL!!! That's brilliant. Daniel starts screaming. Fabio runs for his tiramisu, Ariane is whining. (Imagine THAT!) and all the chefs run and set up INSIDE THE STADIUM as The Foo Fighters enter with Tom.

At the start, everyone seems VERY happy. I don't know who The Foo Fighters are, but they 'seem' nice and start the judging.

Team Cougar-
Stuffing: No
Mac & Cheese: YES
Potatoes: NO
Turkey: YES, YES, YES!
Parfait: SO, NO. 'Barf-fait.'
Cobbler: Flounder.
Banana Smore: No

Team Sexy Pants-
Stuffing: SUPER GOOD!
Yams: YES!
Turkey: NO
Tiramisu: REALLY into it!

So as the FOO's and judges start discussing, it sounds like there is a tie (ish) and no one was a SURE FIRE winner.

Crap. More drama. Where are Carla's eyes? Let's see what she looks like she's feeling. Oh...Crazy... so that was no help. Umm, does anyone else think that Daniel sounds drunk, like, ALWAYS!?

The Foo's pick their favorite and their favorite is: COMMERCIAL! AGGHHH!!!!


After commercial we find out Team Sexy Pants is the winner and now someone from Team Cougar will be going home.


Judges Table:

Team Cougar walks out to the judges table and say they were surprised they were the losing team. Jeff sounds stupid complaining about whatever and then Alex says that Jeff is the leader. Richard says that's not REALLY true but...whatever. Ariane gets kudos for her turkey (thanks Goodness, now we don't have to hear anymore from her.) Jeff's stuffing gets SLAMMED. Daniel's potatoes were one of the judges LEAST favorite dishes. Carla defends her cobbler. Jeff gets nailed again, this time for his pumpkin mousse barf-fait:

THEN just when you think it's over, guest judge Grant let's Richard know that the smores, sucked...smore or less... and then Richard went into something about bananas and chocolate and all I kept thinking was: "smore" or less is funny.

It looks the chopping block is gonna be: Daniel, Jeff and Richard.

OMG is Richard gonna get eliminated? NO WAY! JEFF! TAKE JEFF!!! HE HAS BANGS!!!


OMG, that was THE longest commercial break ever!

Eugene is safe. Alex is safe. Carla is safe. Ariane is SUPER safe (and redeemed). SO it turns out YES the chopping block consists of Daniel, Jeff and Richard. OH MY GOD!!!

They tell Daniel the choice is as hard as his potatoes, Jeff bit off too much and Richard...well, RICHARD is NOT over the rainbow and... is eliminated:

Damn it. Oh well. He's sad and I'm sorry.
No, no. NO crying. I'm so sorry. ...oh, honey.
Team rainbow? NO? Not gonna help?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

From Team Paula Leen, Bobby and some Martina McBride knock off!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Pumpkin Sling for Thanksgiving!

Paula Leen believes in recycling, y'all, so we're hauling our Halloween pumpkin cocktail out to the curb to become a Pumpkin Sling for Thanksgiving!

3 1/2 oz Vodka
1/4 oz Sugar-Free Vanilla syrup
1/4 oz Pumpkin liqueur or Pumpkin spice syrup
1 Tbsp PURE Pumpkin Filling (Libby's 100% is perfect!)
1 Tsp Fat-Free Whipped Topping or Whipped Cream
Cinnamon stick for garnish

Pour the Vodka, Vanilla and 'Pumpkins' into a shaker filled with ice.
Shake REALLY well.
Strain into a chilled martini glass rimmed with cinnamon.
Top with a teaspoon of Fat-Free Cool-Whip or Whipped Cream.
Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Paula Says!

Leen Tip #256

"Y'all! Eat the lower calorie items on your plate first! Start with salads, veggies, and light soups, THEN eat meats and starches last.
By the time you get to the higher calorie items, you'll be full enough to be content with smaller portions of the high-calorie choices."

Friday, November 21, 2008

Best/Worst Burgers in America

Chili’s Smokehouse Bacon Triple-The-Cheese
Big Mouth Burger w/ Jalapeno Ranch Dressing

2,040 calories
150 g fat (53 g saturated)
110 g protein
4,900 mg sodium

"You know this burger's in trouble when it takes more than 20 syllables just to identify it." says Eat This, Not That @ Yahoo Health. "If you think the name’s a mouthful, just wait until the burger hits the table. You’ll be face to face with two-and-a-half day’s worth of fat — a full third of which is saturated. To do that much damage with roasted sirloin, you’d have to eat about eight 6-ounce steaks. It’s nearly three days’ worth of saturated fat."

In-N-Out Protein-Style Cheeseburger
330 calories
25 g fat (9 g saturated)
720 mg sodium

"Y'all, you'll be seeing me go in and out at In-N-Out whenever I'm on the west coast!" -Paula Leen

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Top Chef Season 5: New York Episode #2 Recap WITH SPOILERS!

Okay, so what do I think about 'who' this time? Fabio is still super cute, but I'll HATE if he and Stefan become BFF's. Carla is the new coo coo and if I have to hear the words Team Rainbow out of Richard's mouth again, I'm gonna scream.

Quick Fire Challenge:

They need to make the New York favorite: Hot Dogs up against legendary Dominick's Hot Dogs of Queens.

Jill made a summer roll hot dog, without making her own hot dog. (WTF?) Hosea's looked amazing. Stefan made a Panini. Ariane made a chicken dog. Fabio went Mediterranean...which is where we're gonna get married... Jamie's had bone in hers. (DOH!)

They liked Radikah's and Fabio's along with Hosea's.

and the winner is:

So she wins immunity from the elimination challenge.

Elimination Challenge:

They have to create a three course American lunch and each person is responsible for one dish for some of the most ruthless customers ever: New Yorkers. (I waited tables in New York for a summer and you know what? They ARE ruthless. It's no joke.)

They have 30 minutes to shop and $2500 between the 15 of them.

Team Appetizer: Fabio, Hosea, Melissa, Leah and Jamie.
Team Entree: Stefan, Jeff, Alex, Jill and Eugene.
Team Dessert: Carla, Ariane, Richard, Radhika and Daniel.

Tom comes in and announces that HIS is the restaurant that they are cooking and serving in. Dun, Dun DAAAAnnnunnn! Also, all the customers are New York chefs that wanted to compete on Top Chef, but didn't make it.

Umm, wow.

Okay, crap. Stefan and Fabio are forming some kind of European alliance.

The chefs go into Craft, Tom's Restaurant with 2 hours of prep time. Jamie loves her soup. Her cold corn soup. Fabio loves his Olive crap. His chemically reacted Olive crap. Hosea loves his crabs (LOL). Jill is stressing out about her quiche. Carla is nervous about her pie (lol) and Ariane gets everyone's opinion about her Meringue Martini and they all think it's too sweet and she feels she doesn't need to change it.

The guests start to arrive and we hear all about how successful they are even though they didn't make it on the show. Tom shows up and he and his chef will be expediting the food and let's the chefs know: it's about to go down.

Padma walks in wearing this salmon blouse that I don't think I like and then the appetizers begin where she uses the word Chiffonade while talking about the corn soup.
This is the process of Chiffonade.

The people love it.

Hosea's crabs are next out and they all hate it. Leah's Potatoes and Scallops don't go over well, either. Fabio's Carpaccio is next out and they REALLY love it. Chemical reaction and all. Mellisa's Avocado salad apparently sucks. Big time.

It's time for the entrees and Jill's Ostrich Egg Quiche is first out and apparently it resembles dog food and tastes like glue. Eugene creates a deconstructed Meatloaf sandwich. Stefan does pan seared Halibut and the feedback is good. Jeff is slow in the kitchen and his chicken with honey mustard is fine. No complaints. Alex does tenderloin and they really, REALLY hate it.

Like, really.

Dessert time is here and Radhika does Avocado mousse with chocolate wontons and it sucks. (Thank goodness she has immunity.) Daniel made Ricotta Pound Cake. That they think is excellent. Ariane's martini made Padma want to puke. Richard does a banana Bread sandwich that 'only kids would like' and Carla does an apple tart that she's feeling insecure about... but it turns out being one of Padma's favorite desserts.

I am STRESSED OUT y'all!

The people they take out to the judges table are:

Jamie, Carla, Jill, Hosea, Ariane and Fabio

Padma tells them that they were VERY upset with the food overall. They rave about Carla's dessert and if her eyes could bulge out anymore, they would have bulged out. Fabio is charming and smiles a lot. (and did I tell you he loves me?) They also raved about Jamie's Corn Soup.

It's revealed that they are the top three. And the winner is:


That makes the bottom three: Hosea, Jill and Ariane.

Jill says blah, blah, blah and Hosea thought he was a winner. Ariane freaks that Padma spit hers out.

The third to be eliminated from Season 5 is:

...Jill.(That's okay. We already have an Anne Hathaway.)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Micah and Paula Leen are going for it! The Next Food Network Star audition tape is uploaded and waiting (hoping) for your views and positive comments. CLICK HERE for the direct link to my...errr...our video!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Healthiest City in the U.S.!

It appears to be Burlington, Vermont. (Hi Margo!)

"It's among the best in exercise and among the lowest in obesity, diabetes and other measures of ill health, according to a recent report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention." says

How could it get any better? Jet Blue (my favorite airline, like EVER) flies there.

FYI: Huntington, West Virginia is the unhealthiest.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Yo Gurl! Smothered Chicken and Peachy Queen Cobbler

Micah and Paula Leen do a low-fat but luscious smothered chicken and the last of this summer's peaches are plucked from the freezer for a healthy peach cobbler. Watch the video now! Recipe for smothered chicken, below. Cobbler recipe and photo coming soon!


1 tbl olive oil
4 skinless chicken breasts
1 med. onion sliced into thin rings
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
1 c. chicken broth
1 tbl chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp dry mustard
1/8 tsp cayenne (optional)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 c. low fat yogurt

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken breasts and cook until very lightly browned on each side (no more than a couple of minutes per side). Spread the onion rings evenly over the top of the chicken, then spread the mushrooms on top of the onions.

In a separate bowl, mix the chicken broth, parsley, paprika, mustard and cayenne. Pour this mixture over the top of the chicken. Cover the skillet and reduce the heat to a medium-low and simmer for about 1 hour or until chicken is very tender. Carefully remove the breasts and set aside. Put yogurt in a small bowl and, with spoonfuls of chicken jus from the skillet, slowly bring the yogurt up to temperature. This helps prevent the yogurt from curdling. Once the yogurt is heated in the small bowl, pour into remaining chicken jus in the skillet and stir. Return the chicken to the skillet, coat completely and let everything heat through. Do NOT let it boil. Serve over brown rice and top with more chopped parsley, if desired.

Friday, November 14, 2008


We posted this recipe video earlier this week, but as Thanksgiving draws closer we can't seem to get mashed potatoes off the brain. Potatoes are tough cookies, they've survived blights, but Atkins and the low-carb frenzy gave them a whipping. At PaulaLeen, we'ere about moderation (because depravation leads to desperation!) and no matter how many "fauxtatoes" we tried -- a pureed turnip is a pureed turnip is a pureed turnip -- at the end of the day, sometimes you just crave a potato. But, in the "leen" tradition, we also need to cut the carbs and the fat in our beloved comfort food, which brings us to...

Good Golly Miss Molly's Caulitatoes!
1 medium baking potato, peeled and cut into chunks
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound fresh or frozen cauliflower florets
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup low-fat yogurt, room temperature
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1 tablespoon soy milk, room temperature
Salt and pepper
Green onion, slivered (optional)

Boil potatoes in 4 cups salted water until just turning tender. Add cauliflower and cook until all is very tender. Drain. If you like a little texture, return potato/cauliflower mix to the pan and blend in remaining ingredients with a hand mixer. If you prefer a smoother texture, place all in a food processor and blend until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste. To create a little visual interest, sprinkle with the slivered green onion!

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Hey all y'all in the Los Angeles neck of the woods, Paula Leen's doppelganger, Micah McCain will be starring, once again, in the (zero fat, zero calories) Fruitcake Follies! The holiday shenanigans return for the 10th fabulous year with 9 hysterical shows featuring classic and all new musical numbers, special surprises and featured guests! The show's entire run ALWAYS sells out and just a little FYI: MICAH WILL NOT BE PERFORMING IN THE WEDNESDAY 12/10 SHOW and as of this posting: Friday 12/19, Saturday 12/20 and Sunday 12/21 are already SOLD OUT!

To get the date(s) you want: Get your Groups/Party, Family/Friends
and/or Holiday Trick lined up and coordinated, THEN start clicking:

The Tickets!

The Website!

The Mailing List!

Top Chef Season 5: New York Episode #1 Recap WITH SPOILERS!

Here are this Top Chef's Season 5 competitors:

Fabio is from Florence, Italy and he loves me.
Jamie Lauren, San Francisco lesbian.
Eugene/Gene from Hawaii. Live in Vegas.
Jeff McInnis from Miami. Already hate him.
Radhika, Chicago
Lauren Hope Stationed at Fort Stewart, in Georgia.
Ariane from New Jersey
Daniel/Danny from New York
Patrick, originally from MA and who needs to lay off the tweezers, honey.
Stefan from Finland, but lives in Santa Monica, California and is a cocky perse. (That's Finnish for ass)
Richard Sweeney, resides in San Diego...The new Richard Hatch?
Leah Cohen, New York
Alex currently lives in Los Angeles.
Hosea, Boulder, CO
Carla, from Tennesee. Crazy, no?
Jill Snyder, Baltimore.
Melissa, also from Boulder CO. (Did I miss a storyline?)

First Quick Fire Challenge. There are 17 chefs but only 16 chef coats to be had. So whoever finishes last, will be eliminated on the day that they arrived (Ouch. That's gotta hurt.)

They have to peel 15 apples by knife. The first 9 are safe, the others have to complete in another task. (Ummm, yeah. I would simply go play Apples to Apples, because we all know Apple peelers were invented for a reason.)

Stefan was first to finish (no pun intended) so he won immunity in the upcoming elimination challenge.

The remaining 8 have to brunoise the apples. (Brunoise is a snotty way to say diced, y'all!)

The first 4 to complete the task, are safe.

The losing four 4 have to do another task. That task is to cook something WITH the apples, in 20 minutes, that says WHY they should say in the compeitition.

The four worst performers in the first quickfire are:
Lauren -Salad
Radhika -Pork and Chutney
Patrick - Salad

The chef that Tom considers to have the weakest dish will be the first to go home in Season 5.

It's SO gonna be Patrick's sad salad. (His very, very sad salad.)

The two individuals who placed last were Patrick (of the sad, sad salad) and Lauren (of the not-so-sad salad) and SHUT UP! PATRICK'S SAD, SAD SALAD WON!?!?? Nice.

Okay, peace out Lauren.

Elimination Challenge:

The knife block comes out. Each knife has an area of New York written on it and each chef has to pair up with the matching chef/city and design a dish that represents that particular suburb/borough.

Brighton Beach=Russian, Chinatown = are you REALLY gonna ask?, Queens=Jamaican, etc., etc., etc.

I can't quite figure out if Daniel is a jerk or not. I guess that's a YES to Carla being crazy special. Stefan is already that evil Asian guy from last season. Jeff is a mess.

Okay, what is that DRESS that Gail Simmons is wearing? It looks like a pillow case from the set of Too Close For Comfort!

When it's all said and done the pairs are divided into two groups: winners and losers.

Winners safe from elimination with the opportunity to win the current elimination:

Losers who will be up for elimination from the entire completion:

Padma comes in and asks to see winners Stefan, Eugene, Leah and losers Patrick and Ariane. As it turns out Stefan is the elimination challenge winner: no shit.

Okay, now Ariane and Patrick. Tom's being a TOTAL bastard to them but I understand that this is what the show is about. They start jumping on Ariane who says she's from Jersey and I guess that excuses everything. Patrick says that he is still in culinary school and deserves to be there to work it out and grow.

The second to be eliminated from Season 5 is:

...Patrick. Sorry, Princess.