This holiday season, Chef Huda caught up with the busy reality star Omarosa Manigault to talk about food, family, healthy eating and the holidays.
S2S: During the holidays, what is important to you?
Omarosa: When cooking for the holidays, it is important to me that love is the main ingredient for all of my dishes. It is a great time to bring loved ones under one roof in one kitchen. I love cooking with my mother, Momarosa, during the holidays.
his holiday season is a special one. Momarosa and I are spokeswomen for the American Heart Association’s Power to End Stroke campaign. I believe it is critical to raise awareness of stroke symptoms. African-American’s have a greater risk of developing heart disease and suffering from stroke more than any other ethnicity in the world. The Power to End Stroke campaign offers helpful, and easy, lifestyle and cooking tips to reduce the risk. I think it is important to eat healthy even during the holidays.
S2S: We all know you as a Reality star, but I’ve heard you are quite the cook. What’s on your menu for the holidays?
Omarosa: My family loves soul food, but this holiday season, we are finding creative and delicious ways to make it healthier. It is important to look at your holiday favorites and find healthy alternatives. For example, we bake our chicken instead of frying it. Our greens are made with turkey sausage, or turkey meat, instead of pork. A favorite dish of mine is roasted sweet potatoes with maple syrup versus all the sugar we normally use.
S2S: What are your celebrity tips for healthy eating during the holiday season?
Omarosa: People always ask me, “Is there a secret way to eating healthy during the holidays?” I believe it is very hard to eat super healthy during the holidays—especially when visiting family and friends. My recommendation is portion control. You can have all of your favorites—grandma’s stuffing, auntie’s ham—as long as you watch your portion size.
S2S: Will you be trying any new or unique dishes for the holidays?
Omarosa: I think it is always great to try something new during the holidays, but nothing too crazy. I have been to holiday dinners where everything from Deviled Ostrich eggs to Hamburgers were on the menu. Be adventurous, but do what works for your family.
S2S: Has it been a challenge incorporating more vegetarian friendly dishes this year?
Omarosa: This year is an exciting experience for me. My boyfriend [Michael Clarke Duncan] is vegetarian, so I have been trying all of these wonderful new recipes and dishes using meat alternatives and substitutes. It’s been a great opportunity for me to include lots of fresh veggies into our daily and holiday meals. Momarosa is heart healthy this year and it is important to make sure we all stay happy and healthy.
S2S: With your busy schedule how do you stay in touch with your loved ones?
Omarosa:The holidays are a special time of the year. It is important to stay in touch with loved ones even when we can’t be together. I love being able to keep in touch with family and friends on Facebook and Twitter. Social networking is a great way for me to stay in touch with the world and find great charities to donate my time to. It’s always great to give back during the holidays.
So let’s recap on Omarosa’s holiday food tips to get on the Nice List:
• Use love as the main ingredient for all of your dishes
• Try something new this holiday season
• Find creative and delicious ways to make your holiday favorites more healthier
• Use social networking to spread holiday joy to loved ones
• Donate and give to charity
For more information on Omarosa, visit: http://www.omarosa.com. To learn about the American Heart Association’s Power to End Stroke (PTES) campaign please visit: http://www.powertoendstroke.org.
And don’t forget to scroll down for a special healthy recipe from S2S to try this holiday season!
CHEF HUDA’S ROASTED MAPLE SWEET POTATOES
• 5 medium sweet potatoes (peeled & cut into 1-inch cubes )
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest – grated
• 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 2 teaspoons nutmeg – grated
• 1 pinch kosher salt
• 1 pinch ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
2. In a small bowl, combine lemon juice, lemon zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, pepper and 1/2 of the maple syrup. Pour the mixture over the sweet potatoes and toss. Evenly spread the coated sweet potatoes onto a baking or roasting pan and cover.
3. Let cook for 30 minutes or until tender.
4. After the first 15 minutes uncover and continue to roast the sweet potatoes until tender. Once the sweet potatoes are done remove from oven.
5. Drizzle the remaining maple syrup over the sweet potatoes before serving. Enjoy!
– Chef Huda