Making `healthful' a main ingredient

BOOKMARK

Dietitians across the country turn regional favorites into dishes they can recommend

September 21, 2005|By Kate Shatzkin | Kate Shatzkin,sun reporter

Cooking Healthy Across America

American Dietetic Association / Kristine Napier, editor

John Wiley & Sons Inc. / 2005 / $24.95

With all the talk about how we're eating too much of the wrong stuff and not enough of the right, we hungry Americans are looking for help. The American Dietetic Association's new cookbook delivers the alternatives our diverse culture demands - deliciously.

Dietitians from around the country have contributed more than 300 recipes - family favorites that, in many cases, they've made over to be more healthful without sacrificing taste. You'll find everything from soul food to Hawaiian breadfruit fries to New England fish chowder. We tested a tasty, low-calorie Oven-Fried Chicken, a gloriously green Bethany Beach Summer Green Soup and a hearty Greek Pastitso.

The Pumpkin Cheesecake Smoothie was so good it has become a regular on my breakfast table. It's high on fiber and protein and scant on fat, simple to prepare and - just in time for fall - it tastes like pumpkin pie.

There's lots of helpful nutritional information and tips, such as tossing a lemon zinger or mandarin orange herbal tea bag into rice cooking water to notch up the flavor. The only downside to the book was that two of the four recipes I tried appeared to have mistakes. The pastitso needed 12 ounces of tubular macaroni instead of 2. And as much as I wanted to believe that each of the chicken thighs was only 80 calories, a serving is really a still-reasonable 156.

Follow Your Heart Cookbook

Recipes from the Vegetarian Restaurant

By Janice Cook Knight

John Wiley & Sons Inc. / 2005 / $18.95

This volume for serious vegetarians offers more than 140 recipes from the Follow Your Heart vegetarian restaurant in Los Angeles. Janice Cook Knight, former head chef of the restaurant, serves up egg recipes without eggs (such as Huevos No Tenemos, which features sauteed tofu), chicken potpie made with "chicken style" wheatmeat or seitan and an alternative Thanksgiving menu. A fat-free chocolate snacking cake gets its flavor from prune baby food.

The cookbook follows the restaurant's "lacto-vegetarian" sensibilities, which means no meat, poultry, fish or eggs, but does permit dairy products. But Knight writes that many of the recipes also are appropriate for stricter vegan diets.

The Disease Prevention Cookbook

By Clara Schneider

Small Steps Press / 2005 / $14.95

Clara Schneider, a nurse and registered dietitian, claims this collection of more than 90 recipes will help fend off diseases like diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer. She fits recipes into daily meal plans for 1,500, 1,800 or 2,000 calories.

The dishes are organized by meal. They feature the homey as well as the healthful, with a blueberry-filled Dutch pancake, chili, oven-roasted fish and turkey moussaka. Each recipe comes with complete nutritional data, but be warned: The details of how much of each kind of food you're supposed to eat may seem complicated enough to drive you back to that bad-for-you convenience food. Desserts are largely missing, unless you count breakfast sweets.

kate.shatzkin@baltsun.com

Pumpkin Cheesecake Smoothie

Serves 2

1 cup canned pumpkin

1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt

1 cup fat-free milk

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoons sugar

sprinkle of nutmeg

Combine all the ingredients except the nutmeg in a blender or a food processor. Blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and garnish with a sprinkle of nutmeg.

Per serving: 210 calories; 12 grams protein; 1 gram fat; 0 grams saturated fat; 41 grams carbohydrate; 4 grams fiber; 5 milligrams cholesterol; 150 milligrams sodium

Recipe and analysis from "Cooking Healthy Across America"

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