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Everlasting Flavor

With a new outlook on eating—and the book to prove it—Ingrid Hoffmann is embracing the lighter side of life in more ways than one.

TV personality/chef Ingrid Hoffmann shares her newfound approach to healthy eating in her latest recipe book.

Since she came on the foodie scene some years back, Ingrid Hoffmann’s popularity has been spreading faster than olive oil on a hot skillet. She doles out weekly recipes on her two cooking programs (Delicioso on Univision and Simply Delicioso on The Cooking Channel). She’s a regular guest on morning TV. She hosts her own talk show on Univision Radio National. And in between, she finds time to share her culinary knowledge via articles in any number of magazines.

“Each episode is three to four recipes, and each video is five days a week, with one recipe each, and then there’s everything else,” says the Colombia-born Hoffmann, who also has a Gibson line of cookware launching on the Home Shopping Network this July and then hitting major retailers in the fall. “It’s X-amount for this. X-amount for that. You do the math!”

Those stringent time commitments eventually took their toll on Hoffmann’s eating habits. “I’m a binger. I once ballooned, in a month and a half, upward of 26 pounds,” she admits. “It was starve or binge—diet pills, excessive working out... lots of craziness.”

That’s when she decided to stop the madness and set about finding a solution in the place she knew best: the kitchen. Healthy eating the Hoffmann way meant experimenting with dishes like mojito-sweet potato mash and corn-chile-crusted tilapia with banana-curry sauce. These recipes would eventually become the base for her new book, Latin D’Lite ($20, Celebra Hardcover), a volume that celebrates Latin American foods but goes easy on the oil. “Everything you typically fry is better not fried,” says Hoffmann. “Reducing fat tastes just as good.”

These days, Greek yogurt, avocado and cilantro top Hoffmann’s list of smart ingredients, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t allow for a treat or two—like the M&Ms she keeps in clear glass vessels throughout her entire Brickell residence. 

“Listen, I’m a typical Miami woman,” she says. “I like to eat. I like to drink. I just can’t be on a diet. You need to live somewhere in the middle and find the gray area when it comes to dealing with food.”

And, as Hoffmann sees it, that’s a tasty balance everyone should embrace.