Giada De Laurentiis Reveals Her Secret to Staying Slim

11/11/2013 at 10:35 AM ET

Giada De Laurentiis Turkey Soup Thanksgiving

She’s got a gorgeous figure, great complexion and loads of energy, yet she eats all day. What’s the Everyday Italian and Giada at Home star’s secret?

“I eat a little bit of everything and not a lot of anything,” explains the Food Network chef, who says her weight is the number one thing her fans ask about.

One of the stay-trim tricks that she reveals in her new book, Giada’s Feel Good Food: My Healthy Recipes and Secrets: When she orders an entrée in a restaurant, she asks for half of the portion on her plate and the remainder in a take-home container.

“Everything in moderation,” she says. “I know that’s really hard for people to understand, but I grew up in an Italian family where we didn’t overdo anything. We ate pasta, yes, but not a lot of it. Pasta doesn’t make you fat. How much pasta you eat makes you fat.”

De Laurentiis also ‘fesses up plenty of non-pasta indulgences, including a hearty turkey soup made with Thanksgiving leftovers. “I absolutely love it,” she says. “It just makes me happy and is one of those dishes I crave when it is cool outside.” Kale, brown rice and olive oil make this a filling, guilt-free bowl.

Want to try it yourself?

Turkey, Kale, and Brown Rice Soup
Serves 4

2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
5 large shallots, chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
1 large red bell pepper, cut into ½-inch pieces
8 oz. ground white turkey meat, broken into small chunks
1 tbsp. herbes de Provence
5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 (15-oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 small bunch (4 packed cups) kale, center ribs removed, leaves coarsely chopped
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. salt, divided
¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat oil, then add shallots, carrots and bell pepper. Stir frequently until vegetables begin to brown and soften slightly, 8-10 minutes.

2. Add turkey and stir until the meat turns white and begins to color very slightly around the edges, 5-7 minutes. Add herbes de Provence and stir for 1 minute.

3. Add broth, diced tomatoes and cooked rice, and bring to a boil. Stir in kale, then season with black pepper and ¼ tsp. salt.

4. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Season with the remaining ¼ tsp. salt.

5. Ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle each serving with parsley and Parmesan cheese.

In 1 serving: 361 calories, 12g fat, 627mg sodium, 39g carbs, 6g fiber, 10g sugars, 24g protein 

—Nancy Mattia

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