Looking at the trim figure and movie-star smile in the photograph, one finds it hard to believe that this man used to be an overweight teenager. His transformation began at age 18, when he finally decided to eat healthy food and ditch junk food.
Three years later, his newly trim figure landed him modeling jobs in Europe, where he posed for famous brand names such as Gucci, British Airways, Vodaphone and Hilton Hotels.
Today Daniel Green has reinvented himself in yet another way: as an apostle of healthy cooking and healthy eating.
Having known what it was like to be miserable and overweight, he now makes it his mission to help others realize that good, delicious meals need not be high in calories.
“I believe healthy food can be cooked to a brilliant standard, full of flavor with great eye-appeal,” he says.
Now based in the US and nicknamed “Model Chef,” he appears weekly as host/chef in ShopNBC, has written five books and has guested in the Food Network with the iconic Paula Deen.
This week, chef Daniel will be at Dusit Thani Hotel Manila to introduce its Eat Well, Feel Well program. Covering all Dusit Thani hotels and resorts across Thailand, the Philippines, Dubai and Cairo, the program offers an alternative menu of healthier, low-calorie food choices in the hotels’ restaurants.
Collaborating with Dusit Hotel is Rustan’s The Beauty Source.
Gourmets and foodies can enjoy lavish cocktail food and have a chance to meet Chef Daniel today (July 7) at Dusit’s Lobby Lounge (at P2,500 net per person).
A five-course dinner featuring healthy dishes from Chef Daniel’s repertoire will also be served at Tosca, Dusit’s Italian restaurant, tomorrow, at P3,500 net per person (call 2398888 for reservation or visit www.dusit.com). A bonus during the Friday dinner is a live performance from the cast of “Sweet Charity The Musical.”
Meanwhile, readers can try this recipe for crab cakes, one of chef Daniel’s own. I’ve adjusted it to suit local ingredients—and it’s quite easy to prepare. You can serve this as appetizer in your next dinner party or it can be a viand if accompanied by rice, vegetables and a favorite sauce (such as sweet and sour, barbecue or honey-mustard).
4-5 slices day-old white bread
1 red bird’s eye chili (siling labuyo)
½ clove garlic, peeled
½ small onion, peeled
1 tbsp ground coriander
4 whole eggs
2 egg whites
450 g (1 lb) fresh or premium canned crab meat (see notes)*
1 tbsp sesame oil
Juice of 1 lime or lemon (around 1½ tbsp)
1 tbsp light soy sauce
3-4 tbsp olive oil (or more if needed)
Process the bread in a blender until they turn into crumbs. You should have around 1¼ cups. Remove crumbs from blender and divide into 2 equal portions (with each portion being about ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons). Set aside.
Put chili, garlic, onion, coriander, 2 of the eggs and the egg whites in the same blender and process until smooth. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and mix in one portion of the prepared bread crumbs plus the crab meat, sesame oil, lime or lemon juice and soy sauce. Mix well then shape into small patties, around 2 inches in diameter each.
In a shallow bowl, whisk the remaining 2 eggs. Place the remaining bread crumbs in another shallow bowl. Heat olive oil in a skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Dip the crab patties, one at a time, into the whisked eggs, then coat each with bread crumbs. Cook in the heated oil for 2 minutes on each side, or until light golden brown. (If the patties brown too quickly, lower the heat.) Add more oil if necessary. Transfer to a serving plate and serve.
Makes around 16 two-inch crab cakes.
So the bread slices can turn into crumbs more quickly, tear them into small pieces before putting them in the blender. You may have to process them in batches.
You can also use frozen crab meat. Thaw the crab meat a few hours in the refrigerator before using. Be sure to inspect the crab meat carefully and remove any bit of crab shell that may have been mixed in with the meat.*
Don’t make the patties too thick so they cook quickly.
If adding more oil to the pan, heat the oil to medium before putting in the patties.
If using fresh crab meat (extracted from fresh crabs), don’t include the crab fat.
If you run out of the processed bread crumbs, you can use store-bought bread crumbs or panko (Japanese bread crumbs), available in supermarkets.
If desired, serve the patties with a squeeze of lemon or calamansi or with a yogurt dip.