Evette Rios of "Recipe Rehab" Talks Healthy Food Choices

by Z Living Editors

Evette Rios has one of the most terrific jobs in the foodie nation. As host of Z Living's Recipe Rehab she gets to weigh in as two top chefs vie to rehab all the ingriedients of one family's longtime favorite but very, unhealthy meal. The newly transformed dishes aren't just delicious they're fantastically good for you-- all  high in nutrition and vitamins and low in calories, sodium and sugar. 

Watch a clip from Recipe Rehab below and find out where to watch!

We checked in with Evette to discuss what she loves most about Recipe Rehab, what she learned from Chefs Vikki Krinsky and Rich Rosendale, and how the food series can change your life!
You’re all around the tube on shows like The Chew, The Rachael Ray Show and The Today Show but tell us about your hosting duties on Z Living's Recipe Rehab. What do you like most about the show’s premise-- that food and nutrition can change people’s lives?

I have worked on all sorts of shows for year, but honestly I am proudest of Z Living's Recipe Rehab. The show is so necessary in this day and age.

We all love our family recipes and we use them to reconnect with our culture and our roots. But unfortunately so many of those recipes are laden with fat, sugar, and unnecessary calories we now realize that many of these recipes are really not very good for us.

But how do you keep the flavor of some your favorite foods while making them meals that you can enjoy day in and day out? That is what Recipe Rehab is all about. Teaching people to make easy healthier versions of their family favorites. I have people come up to me all the time who tell me Recipe Rehab has had a huge impact on their eating habits.

We tell people what swaps to make and why certain ingredients are worth the extra money and maybe the trip to the health food store. The result of each show is that you get two delicious versions of each recipe so you can choose one or the other.

Or you can do what I do and combine elements and ingredients of BOTH recipes to make something of your very own.

What specifically do you love about shooting Recipe Rehab?

I LOVE working with Chef Vikki Krinsky and Chef Rich Rosendale. I learn something every day that I work with them. These guys are brilliantly creative and SO passionate about getting Americans to eat better. And what I especially love about them is that they aren't preachy about it.

They both indulge and enjoy rich, robust and tasty foods that are sometimes greasier, saltier and have more added sugar than you should have every day but they enjoy those things in moderation. They give such realistic real world advice and I so appreciate that! I also love that the cast and crew have become a bit of a family. We have worked together for 2 years and we all  trust and respect one another. It is such an awesome team to work with!

When we are done shooting at the end of the last day everyone brings bags and grocery baskets and we get to take all the leftover veggies, fruits and fresh ingredients home! We all look forward to that day! Last shooting I scored 6 pomegranates, I peeled and scooped out all the fruit and had a GIANT bowl of those tasty, red, juicy jewels, it was awesome!

Tell us a bit about what you’ve learned from the chefs on the show?

Recipe RehabWe have had some AMAZING chefs on the show and I learn something from each and every one! They each have their favorite ingredients that they swear by and manage to add them to their recipes in unexpectedly delicious ways. Chef Vikki Krinsky loves Spinach and sneaks it into everything she makes, even her chocolate milk shakes! And Chef Richard Rosendale is always subbing Buffalo meat for ground beef. I learned from him that it is leaner and just as flavorful as beef.

You’ve expanded your brand outside of food into lifestyle, design, and becoming an entertaining hack expert. How did your New York City roots and Puerto Rican heritage inform your approach the field?

I grew up in a family that did everything themselves, my mom's motto growing up whenever I found something that I wanted to buy was "Ay, eso se hace,"  which means "Oh, you can make that" in Spanish, and she meant it! As a kid we would make everything, our own donuts, slipcovers for our sofas, skirts for picture day and even hair and skin treatments.

My parents are like Urban Homesteaders! I owe them so much, my entire "Can-Do" attitude comes from them. Not everything that I try is a complete success but I try it and that’s what matters. I honestly believe that if you put your mind to it, and devote some time to it anyone can make everything they could possibly need in life.

You could have that beautiful, elegant, healthy and well-appointed life you want with just some creativity and elbow grease :)

recipe rehabWATCH on Z Living: Recipe Rehab, where each week two chefs face off in a competition to give one family's high-calorie recipe a new low-calorie twist.

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