See How Rev Run And Justine Simmons Schooled Me In The Kitchen

MIAMI, FL - FEBRUARY 28:  Rev Run and Justine Simmons give a cooking demonstration at Badia Spices' Fun And Fit As A Family Sponsored By Carnival Featuring Goya Foods Kidz Kitchen during 2016 Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival Presented By FOOD & WINE at Jungle Island on February 28, 2016 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by John Parra/Getty Images for SOBEWFF®)

See How Rev Run And Justine Simmons Schooled Me In The Kitchen

They're taking our favorite comfort foods and making them healthy!

Published October 16, 2017

Chances are, if you’re a millennial like myself, growing up you watched Run’s House. The show that starred Rev Run and the entire Simmons fam was a cult classic that didn’t follow the dysfunction and toxicity taking over reality television today. Justine Simmons was the perfect balance to her husband’s sometimes off-the-wall shenanigans to keep the kids — Jojo SimmonsVanessa SimmonsAngela SimmonsDiggy Simmons and Russy Simmons — grounded. Some of the show’s most memorable moments took place in the kitchen, and this week I had the opportunity to live out my wildest childhood fantasy by joining the Simmonses in the kitchen while they chef’d it up.

(Photo: Jazmine Ortiz)

Top Chef's Tiffany Derry teamed up with Rev Run and Justine to show them how to make healthier alternatives to comfort foods, much different to the meals they were grubbing on back in their Run’s House days. Yes, the couple have taken a page from Rev’s health enthusiast big bro Russell Simmons and have been slowly making lifestyle changes with the help of Novo Nordisk’s Ask.Screen.Know campaign. The project encourages Americans to know their risk and get screened for diabetes, a cause that hits close to home since it runs in their family. As the trio’s taste tester, not only did I learn that African-Americans are nearly TWICE as likely to develop diabetes as Caucasian-Americans, but I got schooled on how to make guilt-free, yummy dishes.

See their favorite recipes below:

Crunchy Zucchini Fries
Crunchy Zucchini Fries
(Photo: Novo Nordisk Inc.)

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
  • 3 medium zucchini, cut into 4 x1/2-inch lengths, about 42 pieces
  • 1/4 cup plain dry whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 tablespoon salt

 

Sauce

  • 3/4 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 small clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon skim milk or buttermilk
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray. 

2. Whisk together egg white and mayonnaise in a large bowl until blended. Add zucchini and toss until well coated. Place bread crumbs, cornmeal, flour, chili powder and salt in a large food storage bag. Add zucchini a few pieces at a time, shaking the bag to coat all sides.

3. Place zucchini in one layer on the baking sheet. Lightly spray with cooking spray. Bake until lightly golden and crisp, about 15 minutes.

 

Nutrition Facts:

Per serving (about 7 zucchini fries): 60 calories, 1.5 g fat (0 g saturated, 0 g trans0, 0 mg cholesterol, 14 mg sodium, 9 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 3 g protein.

Mediterranean Chicken Stew
Mediterranean Chicken Stew
(Photo: Jazmine Ortiz)

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 chicken breasts, cut in half
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrot, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Greek oregano
  • 28 ounces fresh red tomatoes, finely chopped or crushed by hand
  • 6 ounces chickpeas
  • 1 orange, juiced
  • Pinch of chili flakes 
  • 2/3 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons black olives, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley

Instructions:

1. Season chicken with salt and set aside. Heat a sauté pan on medium and add olive oil.

2. Add chicken and sear until golden brown and turn over. 

3. After browning on both sides, remove chicken. Add onion, bell pepper, celery and carrot. Cook for about 5 minutes until onion becomes translucent.

4. Add garlic and cook for 3 minutes.

5. Add oregano, tomato and chickpeas. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes.

6. Add remaining ingredients and taste for seasoning. Add chicken back to pot and simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes until chicken is cooked through.

Nutrition Facts:

Per serving: 358 calories, 5.6 g fat (1.1 g saturated, 0 g trans), 82.2 mg cholesterol, 484.3 mg sodium, 33.3 g carbohydrate, 10.4 g dietary fiber, 40.1 g protein, 9.8 g sugar, 40.1 g protein, vitamin A 71%, vitamin C 123%, iron 16%

Mexican Dark Chocolate Mousse
Mexican Dark Chocolate Mousse
(Photo: Jazmine Ortiz)

Ingredients:

  • 2 3/4 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 orange, juice or zest
  • 10 ounces silken tofu, drained
  • 1 cup strawberries, sliced

 

Instructions:

1. Place chocolate, milk, cocoa powder and vanilla in a microwave-safe bowl. Melt chocolate either in microwave or over double boiler.

2. Put drained tofu in a food processor and blend until smooth.

3. Add melted chocolate, cinnamon and zest into the food processor with tofu. Blend until smooth and creamy.

4. Divide chocolate mousse into serving bowls and set aside in refrigerator to chill for at least 1 hour. 

5. In a separate bowl, mix strawberries and orange juice. Set aside until ready to serve. 

6. When ready to serve, spoon strawberries over mousse and enjoy!

 

Nutrition Facts:

Per serving 178 calories, 9.9 g fat (5 g saturated, 0 g trans), 0.9 mg cholesterol, 14.5 mg sodium, 22.5 g carbohydrate, 5.5 g dietary fiber, 3.6 g protein, 10.3 g sugar, 3% vitamin A, 61% vitamin C, 22% iron.

People can take the Diabetes Risk Factor Assessment at AskScreenKnow.com and talk to their doctor about getting screened. 

Written by Jazmine A. Ortiz

(Photo: John Parra/Getty Images)

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