Tummy-flattening recipes from the 'Zero Belly Cookbook'

The Social
David Zinczenko is former editor of Men's Health magazine and the New York Times bestselling author of the Eat This, Not That! series. He now has a new cookbook, Zero Belly Cookbook, and today he stopped by The Social to explain how we can turn off our fat genes. 

In the clip above, Zinczenko explains how his cookbook can help readers lose up to 16 pounds in 14 days and shares a recipe for each of the hosts (see below for recipes). 

Serves 4
Cook time: 15 minutes


  • 2 gluten-free English muffins, split in half
  • 4 eggs
  • Olive oil spray
  • 2 cups packed spinach leaves
  • 2 tbsp Zero Belly Mayonnaise (see below) or storebought
  • Smoked paprika to taste (optional)

For Zero Belly Mayonnaise:
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

For Zero Belly Mayonnaise
  1. Place all of the mayonnaise ingredients except the olive oil in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse for a few seconds. Then turn on the processor and pour in the olive oil in a steady stream, allowing the mayonnaise to emulsify.
  2. Serve immediately or store in a BPA-free container in the fridge for up to 10 days.

For Eggs Benedict
  1. Toast the English muffin halves until golden brown.
  2. Poach 4 eggs.
  3. While the eggs are poaching, heat a medium saute pan over medium heat: spray with olive oil spray, and add the spinach. Use a rubber spatula to stir the spinach until wilted. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain any excess water.
  4. Top each toasted English muffin half with one-quarter of the spinach mixture, and one poached egg
  5. Top with 1/2 tablespoon mayonnaise and a pinch of smoked paprika, if desired.

For a lower calorie option, substitute English muffins with four portobello mushroom caps. To prepare the mushrooms, preheat the oven to 300F. Wipe the portobello caps clean of dirt with a damp paper towel, and remove the stems with a paring knife. Place the mushrooms on a rimmed baking sheet, spray the mushrooms lightly with olive oil spray, and bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until soft. 

Per serving (with English muffin):
207 calories / 11 g fat / 9 g carb / 3 g fiber / 9 g protein

Per serving (with portobello mushroom):
148 calories / 10 g fat / 6 g carb / 2 g fiber / 9 g protein 

Serves 4
Cook time: 30 minutes


  • 20 oz skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp Mexican Spice Blend (see below)
  • 1 large white onion (cut into 1/2-inch-thick strips)
  • 2 large red bell peppers (cut into 1/2-inch-thick strips)
  • 2 heads Bibb lettuce leaves
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1 cup Guacamole

For Mexican Spice Blend:
  • 2 1/2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 4 tsp onion powder
  • 4 tsp garlic powder

For Mexican Spice Blend
  1. Mix the spices in a small bowl to combine.
  2. Store in a glass jar away from direct sunlight for up to 1 month.

For Grilled Chicken Fajitas with Bibb Lettuce Wraps:
  1. Heat a grill or grill pan over high heat
  2. Rub the chicken with the spice blend. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Place the chicken breasts on the grill using a pair of tongs and let sit until marked, 3 to 4 minutes. Quarter-turn the chicken on the same side and repeat. Turn the chicken breasts over and let sit on the grill, undisturbed, for 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, place the onion rings and bell peppers on the grill
  5. Quarter-turn the chicken on the same side and let cook for 3 to 4 minutes more. Pull the chicken off the grill and let rest.
  6. Turn the onions and peppers a few times, until tender.
  7. Cut the grilled chicken breasts into strips. Place the grilled chicken and vegetable strips on a platter and serve, family style, with Bibb lettuce leaf “wraps”, salsa, and guacamole. 
Per serving:
257 calories / 10 g fat / 17 g carbs / 6 g fiber / 29 g protein

Serves: 4
Cook time: 20 minutes


  • 1 lb extra-lean ground beef (at least 90%)
  • 3 tbsp Black Pepper Marinade (see below)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 gluten-free English muffins or burger buns, toasted
  • 1 beefsteak tomato, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 8 leaves Bibb lettuce
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard

For Black Pepper Marinade:
  • 2 tbsp whole coriander seeds
  • 2 tbsp whole black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tbsp whole cumin seeds
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced thin
  • 3 shallots, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup (packed) brown sugar

For Black Pepper Marinade:
  1. Grind the coriander seeds, peppercorns, and cumin seeds in a spice grinder or clean coffee grinder until very fine.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl of a small food processor and puree until smooth. Add the ground spices and process to incorporate.
  3. Store in a glass jar in the fridge for up for 1 week. 

For Classic Beef Burger:
  1. In a large bowl, mix the ground beef, marinade, and salt and let sit for 10 minutes.
  2. While the beef is marinating, heat an outdoor grill or a grill pan over medium-high heat.
  3. Form the beef mixture into 4 patties and grill for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. The center should be pink and juicy.
  4. Spread each toasted burger bun top with 1 1/2 teaspoons ketchup and 1 1/2 teaspoons mustard. Place a burger on each toasted burger bun bottom and top with slices of red tomato, 2 lettuce leaves, and a burger top.
Per serving:
343 calories / 9 g fat / 41 g carb / 2 g fiber / 25 g protein

Yield: 12 blondies
Cook time: 25 minutes


  • Olive oil spray
  • 1 15-oz can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 7 tbsp natural, no-salt-added peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Spray a 9x9-inch pan with olive oil spray.
  3. Place the beans in the bowl of a food processor and puree until smooth; if necessary, add a tablespoon of water to help emulsify the beans.
  4. Turn off the food processor. Add the peanut butter, coconut oil, sugar, vanilla, egg whites, baking powder, and salt and blend until smooth. Scrap down the sides of the food processor to make sure that all of the ingredients are incorporated.
  5. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
  6. Sprinkle with the chocolate chips.
  7. Bake, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown and the edges begin to loosen slightly from the pan.
  8. Transfer the pan to a baking rack to cool. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight. Slice into 12 portions and serve chilled
Per blondie:
165 calories / 9 g fat / 15 g carb / 4 g fiber / 6 g protein 
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