Le Cordon Bleu-trained Chef Jesse Brune is a Los Angeles-based lifestyle transformation coach and foodie who has appeared on Bravo's Workout, Food Network's Private Chefs of Beverly Hills, and most recently offered his expertise on Home Made Simple on the Oprah Winfrey Network. Here, Chef Jesse will provide easy, celeb-inspired dishes that anyone can prepare at home.
"Katy Perry challenged me to create a healthier version of nachos -- one of her favorite snacks-- and who doesn't love nachos, right?!" Brune tells Us Weekly of his latest hot snack recipe that you can try at home.
Opting to keep the dish flavorful and waistline-friendly, Brune developed this delicious -- and nutritious -- twist on the calorie-laden original. Says the chef: "By adding butternut squash, Greek yogurt, and coconut oil into the mix, I created a queso fresco that Katy can enjoy as her favorite guilty pleasure... without the guilt!"
HEALTH-CONSCIOUS QUESO FRESCO (Serves 4)
1 TBSP coconut oil (olive oil is OK)
2 shallots, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, seeds removed, diced
1 tsp., cornstarch
1 cup, spicy tomato salsa
1/2 cup, butternut squash, cubed
1/2 cup, plain Greek yogurt
1 cup, organic whole milk
2 cups, light cheddar cheese, grated
salt and black pepper, to taste
Bring a small pot of water to boil over stovetop. Place the cubed butternut squash in water and boil until soft, about 5-8 minutes. Remove pot from heat and strain hot water. Rinse with cool water and place the butternut squash in a small bowl. Smash the butternut squash until it resembles mashed potatoes. Place aside.
Place a medium saucepan over medium heat on stovetop.
Heat the coconut oil in the pan and add the garlic, shallots, and jalapeno.
Cook the ingredients until the shallots become translucent and the garlic becomes fragrant.
Sprinkle cornstarch over the ingredients, and mix.
Add the salsa to the pan and stir with a wooden spoon -- cook for about 1 minute.
Stir in the butternut squash puree -- mixing well, then continue to stir as you add the milk.
Mix in the cheese. Continue to stir until the cheese melts.
Once cheese has melted, remove from heat and mix in the yogurt.
Taste queso and season with salt and/or pepper until desired flavor is achieved.