By Claire Stern
Updated Jan 18, 2016 @ 7:30 pm
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Not all calories are created equal—at least that's what celebrity chef and healthy-living expert Rocco DiSpirito alleges in his new book, The Negative Calorie Diet ($17;, which champions a regimen filled with high-quality, whole foods (what he dubs "negative calorie foods"), that fill you up, fuel your metabolism, and help your body burn fat as opposed to store it. Below, his list of the 10 most nutrient-dense foods, along with a recipe for quinoa porridge that incorporates one of its star players, berries, which detoxify the body and lower cholesterol levels. "I'm hot on quinoa because it packs lots of protein, fiber, and flavor, especially when paired with blueberries and mint," writes Dispirito. Read on for the recipe, so you can be too.

Meet the 10 Negative Calorie Foods

  1. Almonds
  2. Apples
  3. Berries
  4. Celery
  5. Citrus fruits
  6. Cruciferous vegetables (aka broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts)
  7. Cucumbers
  8. Green leafy vegetables
  9. Mushrooms
  10. Nightshades (aka tomatoes, red and green bell peppers, chili peppers, jalapeños, and eggplant)
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Blueberry and Quinoa Porridge with Mint

Chef's tip: Look for quinoa flakes on the shelves of your supermarket; then you can skip the blending step.

Makes: 4 servings

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes


½ cup red quinoa

2 cups unsweetened almond milk, or homemade almond milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

⅛ tsp salt

2 packets monk fruit extract (such as Monk Fruit in the Raw, $5;

2 cups fresh washed blueberries

8 leaves fresh mint, lightly chopped


1. Place the quinoa in a fine strainer and rinse it well under cold running water. Shake off any excess water. Transfer the quinoa to a blender with the almond milk, vanilla extract, salt, and monk fruit extract. Blend on high to break up the quinoa into smaller pieces, about 30 seconds.

2. Pour the mixture into a wide-bottomed saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Cook the mixture until simmering, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Once the mixture has simmered, add half of the blueberries and mix to warm them through, letting them break apart slightly.

3. Divide the mixture equally among four bowls. Sprinkle the remaining blueberries equally over each bowl and top with the mint.