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Thu, Aug. 22

These dishes are low fat but still luscious

Most of us are familiar with all the news the past few years on lowering fat contents to reduce cholesterol, etc. And then came the low-carbs (future column recipes on that) and now the obesity epidemic, and much of it to do with children. Learning a few food preparation tricks can save on fat content without sacrificing flavor, which encourages long-term effectiveness. Fat reduction tricks soon become a way of life, and you wont miss the fat! One of the most basic is removing chicken skin before cooking and fat from other meats. You can substitute two egg whites for each egg called for in a recipe or use egg substitutes. Using non-stick cookware avoids adding extra fats. These are a very few generalities, and we will discuss others as they apply to each specific recipe in the next two or possibly three columns. In May, we will salute Mom for one topic! Applesauce and non-fat yogurt are popular substitutes for fat reduction,so lets jump in.

CANYON RANCH CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES (Famous Spa in Tucson)

1/4 c. butter 1/2 c. white sugar - 3/4 c. brown sugar - 1 egg - 1/3 c. nonfat yogurt - 1/3 c. unsweetened applesauce - 1-2 tsps. vanilla extract -2 c. plus 2 T. all purpose flour - 1 tsp. baking soda - 1/2 tsp. salt - 6 oz. mini-semisweet chocolate chips

Lightly spray cookie sheets with non-stick vegetable spray (my personal favorite is using parchment paper.) Set aside. In bowl, cream butter with sugars. Add egg and mix well. Add yogurt, applesauce, vanilla. Mix well and set aside. In med. bowl, combine flour, soda, salt. Add to creamed mixture and stir to blend. Add choc. morsels. Refrigerate dough until chilled. For crisper cookies, freeze dough 2 hours before baking. Measure 1 level T. dough per cookie and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Bake in preheated 350 oven 8-10 min.. or until cookies begin to turn golden on edges. Let cool before removing from pan. About 3-1/2 dz. 2-inch cookies with 80 calories, 2 grams fat, 14 grams carbohydrate each cookie.

This should work fine in our altitude. As with all the reading I have done on substituting in any recipe, you have to experiment and adjust!

BREAKFAST RICOTTA SPREAD

(Like a cream cheese substitute-compare the calories and fat content with margarine, etc. also)

1 c part-skim ricotta cheese -2 T. plain non-fat yogurt

Combine the ricotta and yogurt in small bowl and whisk together. Refrigerate in tightly closed container. Use on fresh or toasted bagels, plain or with a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar. Makes 8 (2T.) servings. For a different flavor from time to time, I would probably add up to 2 T. very well-mashed fresh fruit (strawberries, peaches) and/or up to 2 T. jam (regular or unsweetened) to taste.

44 calories in 2 T. and 2 grams each of fat and carbs.

AS GOOD AS ANY MASHED POTATOES

4 med. potatoes (about 1 1/2 lbs.) scrubbed - 1-1/4 c. water -4 cloves minced garlic -4 T. chopped parsley -3 dashes hot pepper sauce - 1 tsp. yellow mustard - 1 tsp. each grainy mustard and prepared horseradish 1/4 c. fat-free sour cream - 1 tsp. salt in cooking water ALWAYS REMEMBER WHEN REDUCING FAT TO ADD SOMETHING TO REPLACE FLAVOR (here it is the mustards and horseradish and pepper sauce). May peel potatoes or cook with skin on (your choice). Cut into small cubes and place in pan.

Add water, garlic, parsley, hot pepper sauce and salt. Bring to boil and cook, covered, about 20 minutes, stirring and breaking up potatoes with a fork and adding water if become too dry. Continue stirring and mashing about 5 minutes until water is absorbed and potatoes are soft and lumpy. Remove from heat, stir in mustards, horseradish and sour cream. 6 servings.

NOTE: Leftovers can be turned into a potato salad by adding chopped onion, ce1ery, pickles, boiled egg and some fat-free mayonnaise or more fat-free sour cream. Only 110 calories per serving, 0 fat grams, 24 grams carbo and 447 grams sodium.

LOW FAT GRAVY

Are you beginning to see that reducing fat doesnt mean not eating tasty, appealing food?

1 c. defatted turkey or beef broth (Pour any broth into a cup and refrigerate. Fat will rise to top and harden for easy removal or use a fat-separator cup) - 2 T. flour - 1/4 c. skim milk, seasonings such as salt and pepper to taste. Heat broth in pan over med. heat. Combine flour and skim milk in jar and shake until mixture is well-blended and free of lumps. Add to broth. Cook over med. heat, stirring constantly until thick. Add seasonings to taste, reduce heat and cook, stirring to desired thickness. Makes 1 cup. Per 1/4 c. serving: 26 calories, trace fat, 143 mg. sodium. ALWAYS REMEMBER, IF YOU INCREASE THE SERVING SIZE, YOU ALSO INCREASE THE CALORIES AND FAT NUMBERS. WHEN READING LABELS AND SHOPPING, BE SURE TO NOTICE SERVING SIZE, AS THIS CAN BE MISLEADING ON SOME LABELS.

LIGHTER MACARONI AND CHEESE

You can still eat comfort food!!!!!)

8 oz. dry elbow macaroni (2 cups) - 1 c. (8 oz.) non-fat sour cream -2 T. margarine 1 med. onion, finely chopped (1-1/2 cups) - 1 clove garlic, minced - 1-1/2 T. all purpose flour - 1/2 tsp. each salt, paprika - 1/4 tsp. black pepper - 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper 2 c. low-fat milk, warmed -8 oz. sharp fat-reduced Cheddar cheese, grated (2 c.) 3/4 c. fresh rye (or other) bread crumbs.

Note: in low fat recipes using lowfat cheese, shred or buy the finest shred you can find. The finer the shred the better melting, since they dont always melt as smooth as fatty cheese.

Reheat oven to 350. Cook macaroni according to box directions. Drain well, mix with sour cream and set aside. Melt margarine in heavy pan over low heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring until soft and translucent, about 10 min. Stir in flour, salt, paprika, both peppers; mix well. Cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes. Add warm milk a little at a time; continue cooking and stirring constantly until smooth and begins to thicken. Remove from heat and add grated cheese, stirring until cheese melts. Spray a 2 qt. casserole dish with non-stick vegetable coating. Add macaroni mixture to casserole. Pour cheese sauce over macaroni and mix thoroughly.

Sprinkle bread crumbs over top and spray with few sprays of vegetable coating also. Bake in preheated oven 20-25 min. or until bubbly and golden brown on top. Makes 8 cups; eight 1-cup servings with only 12 grams fat each cup.

We will also get into baking fat substitutes and more everyday recipes during this segment!

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