Zinc @ The Shade Hotel with Devin Alexander

DSC_0768When The Cheesecake Factory’s Bistro Shrimp Pasta recently topped the list of Xtreme Eating Awards with 3,120 calories, (put out by the Center for Science in the Public Interest) I shuddered to think of all the calories I consume when I go out to dine.

A friend told me about a terrific chef, Devin Alexander, who cooks up nutritious low-calorie dishes at The Shade Hotel in Manhattan Beach. Her dishes are lower in fat than at most restaurants.

Currently, Devin has published eight popular books, including “The Biggest Loser” cookbooks. She hosts “America’s Chefs on Tour” on PBS and has a show “Healthy Decadence” which can be viewed on FitTV.

Recently. I went with a friend to meet Devin and try her healthier dishes. She shared with us that at the age of 15, she weighed 70 pounds more than she does today. After being bullied and feeling bad about herself, she learned that if she could cut 100 calories from her diet each day, she could lose weight. In one year, she lost about 20 pounds and felt better about herself.  She realized that you don’t have to deprive yourself of good food to be fit and trim, and learned how to cook healthier and more wholesome dishes.

Restaurant and hotel entrepreneur Michael Zislis, the owner of Shade Hotel, met Devin last year and asked if she would cook for him. He was so impressed with her delectable dishes, that he hired her to create “30-Days of Devinly Decadence” menu to be served at his restaurant, Zinc. Zislis has proudly lost almost 10 pounds by eating Devin’s food.

A group of us sat down to enjoy nine of Devin’s dishes featured on her menu. Each week Devin creates some new items, so those who want to dine at Zinc daily, will always have a brand new dish to experience.

We started with a chocolate peanut butter breakfast banana split. What? How can that be low calorie and healthy? Devin splits a banana in half and scoops fresh ground peanut butter on top. Next she adds non-fat vanilla yogurt and high-fiber Grape Nuts cereal to give the dish texture and a delightful crunch. It was heavenly.

When the egg white goat cheese omelet arrived, it was topped with fresh tarragon and chives. The goat cheese makes this dish pop with wonderful flavors. The best part of this dish is it’s DSC_0771only 141 calories and a miniscule amount of fat.

For lunch, Devin serves a bountiful salad with a twist on buffalo chicken wings. It’s a grilled white meat chicken dipped in Devin’s secret wing sauce. The chicken is cubed and tossed with mixed greens, celery, tomatoes, carrots and red onions. This pleasing dish is less than 500 calories, even with Devin’s housemade low-cal blue cheese dressing.

To read the rest of my review, click on this link: http://parklabreanewsbeverlypress.com/news/2013/01/healthy-dining-zinc-shade/

This article is published in the Beverly Press on Jan. 24, 2013. http://parklabreanewsbeverlypress.com/news/2013/01/healthy-dining-zinc-shade/

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