The world knows her as a top swimsuit model. We know her as the quick-witted mastermind behind So Delushious, her drool-inducing food blog. Christine Teigen, who goes by Chrissy, is a boss in the kitchen and a hot commodity in the modeling world (she was dubbed “Rookie of the Year” in Sports Illustrated 2010 Swimsuit Issue). She’s also the first to admit that her long, lean limbs and killer bod take hard work. After Teigen launched a successful low-carb diet to prep for a major photo shoot last summer, we requested her arsenal of low-carb recipes for ourselves. The supermodel happily revealed her top five—all in her own words!
YUM NUA (THAI BEEF SALAD)
“My mom made this for me all the time growing up. It was one of the few Thai dishes I actually enjoyed. What a silly child I was. Now I love Thai food. She made this for potlucks at school and I always felt so cool and special because everyone else had boring, bland casseroles. Sure, it has a bit of sugar in it, but this is low-carb, not no-carb.”
Well-marbled New York steak, grilled to your liking, but preferably no more than medium rare (Note: Allow to rest at room temperature before slicing.)
1 small red onion, sliced into skinny wedges
1 bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped, no stems
Large handful cherry tomatoes, sliced in half (or 1/2 vine-ripened tomatoes cut into wedges)
1 tbsp. palm sugar (Note: Brown sugar may be substituted, but you may need to add more since it’s not as sweet. Use the minimum and adjust to your liking.)
1.5 tbsp. fish sauce
Thai chili powder to taste (Note: This is roasted sun-dried chilies ground into a fine, very spicy powder. I use about a tsp., while my sister uses a tbsp. And I like it very hot. She’s nuts.)
Grill the steak as directed above and slice into thin strips after allowing to rest for 15-20 minutes. Add to a large mixing bowl. Because the palm sugar is so pasty, put it in a small bowl, add some of the lime juice and mush into a thick liquid form. Add non-vegetable ingredients, including lime juice, fish sauce and palm sugar, first into the steak bowl. Toss with your hands to incorporate all over the steak. Add the rest of the veggies, toss and taste. Tasting as you go is the most important part. Add more fish sauce if it needs more salt, or more sugar if it is too lime-y. If you want to get fancy, mound into a shallow bowl or platter on a bed of frilly lettuce and garnish with lime wedges, additional cilantro and a chili pepper flower.
BAKED EGGS IN HAM CUPS
“One of my favorite things in the world! Sure, there are effortless omelets, but this dish is so cute, so filling, and such a crowd pleaser that you’ll find yourself experimenting with new fillings any chance you get. There is no real list of ingredients other than eggs and thinly sliced ham, but that makes it easy and fun.”
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line small, lightly greased ramekins with two thinly sliced (but not too thin) pieces of your favorite ham, making sure there are no large holes or gaps. One of my favorite ham cups is the Greek ham cup. Sauté some spinach in hot oil with a minced clove of garlic until soft. Put a spoonful into your ham cup. Add a few small cubes of feta and a bit of diced cherry tomato. Gently crack an egg on top and pop into the oven for 22-25 minutes until the egg is set how you wish. The ham edges will look crispy, but just snip them with scissors. Gently lift out of the ramekins and onto a plate. Serve with sliced avocado, salt and pepper for the perfect brunch or breakfast.
Other fillings I love:
Southwestern cup with sautéed diced red bell peppers, mushrooms, onions and tomatoes, with cracked egg on top.
Tomato, mozzarella and pesto cup. Put mozzarella pearls into ham cup, add a tiny scoop of pesto and a small scoop of diced tomato. Crack egg on top, and bake.
GRILLED PORTOBELLO WITH ARUGULA AND TOMATO
“I love portobello mushrooms. I often say that if I were vegetarian, I would live off of these. Now it would never happen, but it’s still nice to know that they exist. So meaty, so flavorful. Sometimes I feel like I need to pair this with something [else] to make it a real entrée, but I’ve had this a few times now and my belly always ends up very full and happy.”
4 portobello mushroom caps
2 handfuls arugula, usually half a bunch
4 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic
Salt and pepper
1 large tomato
1 c. shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 c. marinara sauce (your favorite)
1/2 lemon, juiced
Remove the stems and insides of the mushroom caps with a spoon. In a food processor, add arugula leaves and whole garlic cloves. Puree. Add the butter, lemon juice, dashes of salt and pepper and olive oil. Puree. Generously spread the arugula butter onto the inside of the mushroom cap. Add a small spoonful of marinara sauce, then a slice of tomato. Sprinkle top with parmesan. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
STUFFED RED BELL PEPPERS
“This is one of my favorite recipes, but I have omitted the typical rice, sour cream, and oil that goes into the usual recipe to give it a more meaty, low-carb feel. With the combo of pork, ground chuck, onions, and garlic, you don’t really miss it, trust me.”
4 large red bell peppers
3/4 lb. ground chuck
1/2 lb. ground pork
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. beef bouillon granules
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
Dash of seasoning salt, preferably Lawry’s
1 c. tomatoes, diced
1 c. mushrooms, finely chopped
1 c. shredded cheese (Note: I use 4-Cheese Mexican pre-shredded in the bag.)
1/2 c. green onion, thinly sliced
1 c. hot water
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Halve the red bell peppers through the stem. Clean out the insides and seeds. In a hot skillet, sauté the beef, pork, chopped onion and garlic until just brown. Add 1 tsp. beef bouillon, garlic powder, salt, pepper and seasoning salt. Stir. Drain the fat. Add the tomatoes, mushrooms and cheese. Stir until cheese is melted and remove from heat. Set aside. Mix the hot water with the remaining bouillon. Stir and let dissolve. Fill the red pepper halves with filling. Pour water/bouillon mix into baking dish until the bottom is covered. Tightly place the filled peppers into the baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. After 35 minutes, remove cover and spoon some juice onto the meat filling. Replace cover and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
PROSCIUTTO-WRAPPED, BOURSIN CHEESE AND BACON-STUFFED CHICKEN BREAST
“This is heavenly. When on a low-carb diet, I am so used to using chicken thighs and drums so I get that yummy, juicy fattiness that replaces the rice, pasta, or potatoes I so very much miss. But this is such an amazing way to use chicken breast. The creamy Boursin cheese oozes and the bacon is apparent in each bite. Carbs who?”
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 pckg. Boursin cheese (Note: I used the herb and garlic flavor. You can also use a packed herb goat cheese.)
4 slices thickly cut bacon
4 slices prosciutto
1/2 lemon, juiced
Salt and pepper
1 c. chicken stock
10-12 cherry tomatoes
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly oil the bottom of a deep oven pan, like a rectangular or square cake pan. Place one piece of the chicken breast on top of a piece of Saran wrap. Cover with another piece and gently beat it with the rounded end of a metal ladle or just a meat tenderizer (I use a ladle to keep from making holes). Do this until chicken breast is large and fairly thin. Repeat with other piece. Generously spread Boursin cheese onto each chicken breast. Lay 2 slices of bacon across each, cutting if necessary. Roll from the short side in. Wrap two pieces of prosciutto around each chicken roll, making sure not to overlap too much. Place into lightly greased pan. Season with lemon, salt and pepper. Pour chicken stock into bottom of the pan, toss in cherry tomatoes. Bake on middle rack for 55 minutes. Make sure to spoon juice onto tops of chicken every 15 minutes or so. Slice diagonally and serve with sautéed veggies.