A Heroic Commitment to a Low-Carb Diet

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Peter Rose and family. Jane Balascki

A former advertising exec laid off in the crash of 2008, Peter Rose took on some home repair and maintenance work to tide him over while he looked for another job. He ended up creating a successful business and still uses his advertising and marketing skills, having built a brand around the superhero theme.

The Home Hero recently received two significant honors: the 2017 Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce Award for Excellence in Customer Service, and inclusion in the Philadelphia 100, a listing of the fastest-growing privately held companies in the city.

Rose jokes, “I know, I know, a Jewish handyman. Everybody is skeptical. But never fear, I hire people to do the actual work so my customers are safe.”

Rose confesses that he as grew the business, he also grew his waistline.

“Running a business while raising a family is stressful. I had no free time, so exercise became a distant memory and I was eating too much. Sixty pounds later, something had to change. It was right after Passover last March,” he said. “My wife, Lauren Geltzer Rose, and I have always dieted together, and we decided, after a steady week of eating matzoh, to try a low-carb diet, regular exercise and supplements. It worked.”

The Roses try to keep their carb counts to 120 grams each per day, and they have managed that partly by eliminating bread and white flour from their diet. They use oat flour (made from whole oats they grind in the blender), and snack on nuts, nut butters, high-protein granola and moderate amounts of fruit. “I feel less hungry; these foods are more satiating than simple carbs. And if I really, really want something, I have a small amount. We splurge on weekends at dinner, so we kind of have something to look forward to,” he said.

Rose deems the following recipes “company worthy,” although they regularly appear on his family’s table.

Crispy Chicken Milanese with Roasted Yellow Squash, Tomatoes and Arugula Salad

1 pound chicken breast

4 ounces grape tomatoes, cut in half

1 shallot, chopped (divided)

1 yellow squash, cut in

¼-inch rounds

½ lemon

1 cup whole old-fashioned oats

4 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 bag arugula

2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

Place the oats in a blender and puree until they form a fine powder. Place the oats into a large Ziploc bag and set aside.

Toss the squash on a baking sheet with drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking, until golden brown.

While the squash roasts, pound the chicken breasts thin. Cover each breast on both sides with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Coat each breast with mayonnaise on both sides. Put the chicken inside the Ziploc bag containing the powdered oats and shake until coated on all sides.

Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken in the pan, 3 to 4 minutes per side, until cooked through and slightly browned. Set it aside while you make the salad.

In a large bowl, combine the chopped shallots, juice of half the lemon and a large drizzle of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Mix, then toss with the arugula and tomatoes. Top the salad with roasted squash and thinly sliced chicken.

Crispy chicken milanese with roasted yellow squash, tomatoes and arugula salad. Peter Rose

Serves 2

Seared Mahi-Mahi with Green Gazpacho Sauce

cups of coarsely chopped cucumber

¾ cup coarsely chopped green onion

½ cup coarsely chopped cilantro

5 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons seeded chopped serrano chili pepper

4 8-ounce mahi-mahi fillets

tablespoons ground cumin

6 ounces grape tomatoes, halved

Combine the cucumber, green onion, cilantro, olive oil, vinegar and chili pepper in a blender or food processor. Season with salt and pepper.

Sprinkle the fish fillets on both sides with salt, pepper and cumin. Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook fish for 5 minutes per side, covered.

Divide the gazpacho sauce onto four plates. Top each with a fish fillet. Cover with the halved tomatoes and serve.

Note: The Roses serve this with long-grain wild rice, which is lower in carbs than traditional white rice.

Seared Mahi-Mahi with green gazpacho sauce. Peter Rose

Serves 4

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