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Video: Joy Bauer reveals home chef challenge winner

TODAY recipes
updated 7/9/2012 8:33:30 AM ET 2012-07-09T12:33:30

TODAY asked readers to send in their best healthy comfort food recipes, along with their weight loss success stories as part of our Home Chef Challenge. TODAY nutritionist Joy Bauer picked her three favorites, and viewers voted on the top one. Ilana Bucholtz took the title of TODAY's Home Chef, with her spaghetti squash primavera. Learn more about Ilana's healthy cooking tips, and get her recipe below, along with recipes from the runners up, and judge for yourself!

Want to enter your own recipe? Click here.

Recipe: Creamy spaghetti squash primavera (on this page) Recipe: Hot mama pizza (on this page) Recipe: Shrimp, quinoa and coconut waffle (on this page)

More Home Chef Challenge winning recipes:

© 2013 NBCNews

Recipe: Creamy spaghetti squash primavera

  • 1/2 of a medium-sized spaghetti squash
  • 1 Laughing Cow Light Creamy Swiss wedge
  • 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper and onion
  • 2 button mushrooms
  • 6 grape tomatoes
  • Ground pepper
  • Fresh basil (optional topping)

For the squash:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Microwave the whole squash for 2 minutes and 45 seconds to slightly soften (this will make it much easier to cut in half).

Cut the ends off of the squash and stand it upright. Slice the squash straight down the middle and scoop the seeds out of each half. You may choose to save these and roast them later or simply discard them.

Place the squash halves cut side down on a baking sheet that has been covered with foil and sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Bake the squash for approximately 40 minutes, or until very tender.

Allow the squash to cool for 10 to 15 minutes before using a fork to remove the inner goodness, or strands of “spaghetti.”

To complete the dish:
Over medium heat in a medium-sized skillet, heat the oil and add the chopped vegetables, starting with the onions and peppers; season with a dash of ground pepper and add in the garlic. You don’t want this to burn, as it will become bitter. Saute until veggies are tender and caramelized.

Cut up the cheese wedge and add it to a bowl containing ½ of the stranded spaghetti squash. Reheat in the microwave for 30 seconds and stir well. Add the vegetable mixture and mix until all ingredients are combined.

Top with parmesan cheese and chopped basil. Now enjoy every last bite!

Nutrition information
1 entrée serving (1/2 recipe)
Calories: 160
Total Fat: 6 g
Saturated Fat: 1.5 g
Cholesterol: 5 mg
Sodium: 195 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 26 g
Dietary Fiber: 2 g
Protein: 5 g

Serving Size

Makes 2 entree-sized portions (or 4 servings if using as side dish)

Recipe: Hot mama pizza

  • For crust:
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup shredded low-fat sharp cheddar or mozzarella cheese
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • For toppings:
  • 1/2 of a 10-oz can of Hunts tomato sauce
  • 3/4 cup low fat mozzarella cheese
  • Optional toppings:
  • Turkey pepperoni
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • Banana pepper rings or sliced jalapenos
  • 3 slices of prosciutto or capacola ham
  • Capers, mushrooms, peppers, sausage, etc.

For crust:

Cut up the whole head of cauliflower and put into a food processor, pulsing until it becomes the consistency of grits. Cook the cauliflower in a microwave safe dish for 5 minutes on high. Let it cool.

Press the cauliflower with a paper towel to remove as much moisture as possible. Measure out 1 cup of the cauliflower mixture (reserve the rest for another pizza crust).

In a separate bowl beat the egg. Add the cauliflower, cheese and garlic powder and mix together. Press it out into a round pizza stone. Cook in the oven for 15 to 18 minutes until golden to dark brown depending on how you like the crust. Take out and put toppings on.

For topping:

Cook the prosciutto or capacola on the stove top until crispy. Drain off excess grease and put to the side. Add the sauce, toppings (except prosciutto or capacola) and cheese. Top with prosciutto or capacola. Put the pizza back in the oven for approximately 10 to 15 minutes, but remove when cheese is brown and bubbly. Cut into 8 slices.

Nutrition information
2 slices plain cheese pizza (no toppings)
Calories: 160
Total fat: 8 g
Saturated fat: 3.5 g
Cholesterol: 65 mg
Sodium: 495 mg
Total carbohydrate: 5 g
Dietary fiber: 1 g
Protein: 15 g

Serving Size

Makes 4 servings

Recipe: Shrimp, quinoa and coconut waffle

  • For shrimp:
  • 1 cup jumbo shrimp
  • 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • For waffle batter:
  • 1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups soy milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon xantham gum (optional, to thicken batter)

Prepare 1 cup of jumbo shrimp by boiling until pink and tossing with Old Bay seasoning, cilantro and onions.

Mix waffle batter ingredients, then add in one cup cooked quinoa.

Pour your batter on top of a hot waffle iron. Right away, place your cooked shrimp, onions and cilantro on top of the batter (spread them out as evenly as possible, without taking too long).

Close waffle iron lid, cook until done.

Nutrition information
1 serving = 1 waffle
Calories: 425
Total Fat: 10 g
Saturated Fat: 3.5 g
Cholesterol: 180 mg
Sodium: 400 mg

Serving Size

Makes 4 servings

Gallery: 10 recipes to help you reach your diet goal

Click through our gallery of recipes featuring low-calorie strawberry cream cake, nachos and delicious beef and veggie dishes to help you stay on track.

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