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I Can't Believe It's Not Fattening! Part 5

Fortunately, this recipe doesn't skimp on sauce-there's plenty. So it's perfect to toss with steamed snow peas, broccoli, or your favorite vegetables, and/or to serve over brown rice. You can even cook the vegetables in the pan along with the shrimp, but just be aware that the flavor of the vegetables could overpower the delicious orange flavor if you do that.

1 tablespoon cornstarch 1 cup 100% orange juice (not from concentrate, preferably no pulp) 1 pounds 21-25 count shrimp (preferably easy-peel), peeled and deveined Salt and pepper, to taste Olive oil spray 2 teaspoons crushed garlic, divided (1 used Dorot Crushed Garlic) Put the cornstarch in a medium bowl or measuring cup. Whisking constantly, add enough orange juice to the cornstarch to form a paste. Whisk in the remaining juice and continue whisking until the cornstarch is completely dissolved. Set aside.

Season the shrimp with salt and pepper.

Place a large, nonstick skillet over high heat. When hot, lightly mist the pan with the spray and add the shrimp in an even layer along with the garlic. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until the shrimp turns pink and is no longer translucent.

Pour the orange juice mixture over the shrimp, gently stirring it until the sauce has thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.

Makes 4 servings. Each ( cup) serving has: 157 calories, 24 g protein, 10 g carbohydrates, 2 g fat, trace saturated fat, 172 mg cholesterol, trace fiber, 169 mg sodium Each ( cup) serving has: 157 calories, 24 g protein, 10 g carbohydrates, 2 g fat, trace saturated fat, 172 mg cholesterol, trace fiber, 169 mg sodium

buffalo shrimp Hands-on Time: 10 MINUTES 10 MINUTES Hands-off Time: Hands-off Time: 5 MINUTES TO REST 5 MINUTES TO REST Instead of buffalo wings, I love buffalo shrimp at times. The shrimp is great because it's nice and meaty, yet you don't have to worry about tenderizing it. Plus this dish is lean, but will still satisfy that craving for hot sauce that makes us want buffalo wings in the first place.

Buy easy-peel or peeled shrimp to save time and have the kids help with the peeling, if possible.

1 pound large (21-25 count or 26-30 count) shrimp, peeled (tail-on, if desired) and deveined 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour teaspoon cayenne teaspoon garlic powder Pinch sea salt Olive oil spray 2 tablespoons light butter 1 tablespoon hot sauce (an all-natural one like Wing Time, not a thin one like Tabasco), plus more if desired Rinse the shrimp, and then pat them dry with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.

To a large resealable plastic bag add the flour, cayenne, garlic, and salt. Toss to combine. Add the shrimp and toss thoroughly to coat them evenly.

Place a large nonstick skillet over mediumhigh heat. When hot, lightly mist the pan with spray and add the shrimp in a single layer, working in batches, if necessary. Cook them until they are lightly browned on the outsides and cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove the cooked shrimp to a plate or bowl.

When all of the shrimp are cooked, turn off the burner. Add the butter and hot sauce to the skillet and, using a wooden spoon, stir constantly until the butter is just melted, being careful not to overcook it. Return the shrimp to the pan. Toss to coat them completely with the sauce. Season with additional hot sauce, if desired. Let the shrimp sit for 5 minutes, and then toss them again (the sauce will thicken slightly and stick better after sitting). Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings. Each (5 to 7 shrimp) serving has: 159 calories, 23 g protein, 3 g carbohydrates, 6 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 180 mg cholesterol, trace fiber, 245 mg sodium Each (5 to 7 shrimp) serving has: 159 calories, 23 g protein, 3 g carbohydrates, 6 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 180 mg cholesterol, trace fiber, 245 mg sodium bruschettarogies Hands-on Time: 2 MINUTES 2 MINUTES Hands-off Time: Hands-off Time: TIME TO BOIL WATER PLUS 5 TO 7 MINUTES TIME TO BOIL WATER PLUS 5 TO 7 MINUTES I particularly love this dish because of the meld of temperatures-hot dumplings with cool sauce.

If you haven't tried them, pierogies are Polish dumplings that are similar to ravioli, but the "pasta" is made from flour and potato instead of just flour. Numerous brands of pierogies are available these days, so they're relatively easy to find. Just be sure to read the nutrition information, because while some are very low in fat, others can be quite high. It's sometimes even possible to find whole-wheat, all-natural pierogies. Living Right Natural Foods makes them, though using the same serving size of these will add about 3.5 grams of fat to each three-pierogie serving. To keep the calories as low as the recipe below, eat three all-natural pierogies instead of the manufacturer's suggested serving size of four.

Be mindful when you're buying bruschetta sauce as well. This is another item where brands vary widely. Though olive oil is good for you, overindulging can definitely counter efforts to be fit, and some brands have an extraordinary amount of olive oil.

3 potato and Cheddar pierogies (2.5 g of fat or less for 3 pierogies; I used Mrs. T's) 2 tablespoons prepared bruschetta topping (2 g of fat or less per 2 tablespoon serving, I used Trader Joe's) Boil the pierogies according to package directions. Drain them and transfer them to a serving bowl. Top with bruschetta. Serve immediately.

Makes 1 serving. 200 calories, 6 g protein, 35 g carbohydrates, 5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 600 mg sodium 200 calories, 6 g protein, 35 g carbohydrates, 5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 600 mg sodium cheddar pierogies with caramelized onions Hands-on Time: 3 MINUTES (ONIONS MUST BE MADE IN ADVANCE) 3 MINUTES (ONIONS MUST BE MADE IN ADVANCE) Hands-off Time: Hands-off Time: TIME TO BOIL WATER PLUS 5 to 7 MINUTES TIME TO BOIL WATER PLUS 5 to 7 MINUTES This is another recipe where caramelized onions work well. Though they're not actually moist, they ensure you're not eating a dry, bland dish. And if you make them ahead (see this page this page), you can reheat them in a flash to turn what would otherwise be an ordinary meal into a restaurant-quality one.

3 potato and Cheddar pierogies (2.5 g of fat or less for 3 pierogies; I used Mrs. T's) cup Easier-Than-Caramelized Onions (see this page this page), reheated if necessary Boil the pierogies according to package directions. Drain them and transfer them to a serving bowl. Top them with the onions. Serve immediately.

Makes 1 serving. 215 calories, 6 g protein, 37 g carbohydrates, 5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 531 mg sodium 215 calories, 6 g protein, 37 g carbohydrates, 5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 531 mg sodium

pierogies with kielbasa and sauerkraut Hands-on Time: 6 MINUTES 6 MINUTES Hands-off Time: Hands-off Time: TIME TO BOIL WATER PLUS 5 TO 7 MINUTES TIME TO BOIL WATER PLUS 5 TO 7 MINUTES My mom recently made this recipe. She called my office and told Stephanie, our "Test Kitchen Goddess," that it should be called Polish Paradise. She was shocked at how quick and easy it was to make, especially for as much as she and my dad loved it.

When spooning the sauerkraut into the measuring cup, it doesn't actually need to be drained, but it shouldn't be accompanied by a lot of excess liquid.

Please note this isn't a dish that should be eaten every night if you're watching your sodium intake, since the amount of sodium is pretty high. That said, the recipe has only a fraction of the sodium it would have if you were to eat something similar in most restaurants.

3 potato and Cheddar pierogies (2.5 g of fat or less for 3 pierogies; I used Mrs. T's) Olive oil spray 2 ounces smoked turkey sausage or kielbasa (5 g of fat or less per 2-ounce serving), cut into -inch-thick rounds on a diagonal (look for it packaged in the refrigerated section, usually near the breakfast meats) cup sauerkraut from a bag or jar (not canned; look for it in the refrigerated section near the pickles) Boil the pierogies according to package directions.

Meanwhile, place a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly mist the pan with spray and add the sausage and sauerkraut. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes, or until the sausage is warmed through and begins to brown in spots.

Drain the pierogies and transfer them to a serving bowl. Top them with the sausage and sauerkraut mixture. Serve immediately.

Makes 1 serving. 263 calories, 15 g protein, 38 g carbohydrates, 8 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 40 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 1,470 mg sodium 263 calories, 15 g protein, 38 g carbohydrates, 8 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 40 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 1,470 mg sodium pierogies with lemon caper butter Hands-on Time: 3 MINUTES 3 MINUTES Hands-off Time: Hands-off Time: TIME TO BOIL WATER PLUS 5 TO 7 MINUTES TIME TO BOIL WATER PLUS 5 TO 7 MINUTES Though boxes of pierogies tend to provide many cooking options, my favorite for this dish (and many others) is to boil them. They stay nice and tender, and there's no need to add any fat.

The flavor of this dish is subtle, so it's particularly great for those who aren't as in love with spicy foods as I am. Either way, though, it's a great, refreshing recipe for a summer evening.

3 potato and Cheddar pierogies (2.5 g of fat or less for 3 pierogies; I used Mrs. T's) 1 teaspoon light butter (from a stick, not tub; I used Challenge Light) 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice 1 teaspoon drained capers Salt and pepper, to taste Boil the pierogies according to package directions. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, add the butter and lemon juice to a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook the mixture, stirring frequently, until the butter is just melted. Add the capers and the reserved cooking liquid, and continue heating until the sauce is warm, 1 to 3 minutes. Drain the pierogies and add them to the pan. Gently toss them until they are coated with the sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Makes 1 serving. 199 calories, 6 g protein, 35 g carbohydrates, 5 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 647 mg sodium 199 calories, 6 g protein, 35 g carbohydrates, 5 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 647 mg sodium breaded portobello mushrooms with dijon Hands-on Time: 5 MINUTES 5 MINUTES Hands-off Time: Hands-off Time: TIME TO PREHEAT OVEN PLUS 10 TO 14 MINUTES TIME TO PREHEAT OVEN PLUS 10 TO 14 MINUTES Lots of folks are tricked by markets that boast to be health food stores or natural food stores or even have the word fresh fresh in their name. Though there is definitely something to be said for eating foods that are minimally processed, just because you do doesn't mean you'll be healthy in terms of weight, cholesterol, etc. in their name. Though there is definitely something to be said for eating foods that are minimally processed, just because you do doesn't mean you'll be healthy in terms of weight, cholesterol, etc.

I was recently at a natural food market where I saw a breaded portobello mushroom in the deli case. I thought it was a great idea until I looked at the nutritional information. It had a ridiculous amount of total fat, saturated fat, and calories. Believe it or not, the turkey meatballs were almost as bad. So I trudged home and made my own version in minutes. The team in my kitchen was particularly excited about this recipe, especially since each breaded mushroom has only 64 calories!

Olive oil spray (from a spray bottle, not a store-bought, prefilled one that contains propellant; I used a Misto) cup (about 14) fat-free herb-seasoned, Caesar, or Italian-seasoned croutons (I used Marie Callender's Fat-Free Herb-Seasoned Croutons) 2 large portobello mushroom caps, rubbed clean with a damp paper towel 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard, divided Preheat the oven to 400. Line a small baking sheet with parchment. Lightly mist the parchment with spray.

Put the croutons in a resealable plastic bag. Using the flat side of a meat mallet or the underside of a skillet, pound the croutons until they are crushed into crumbs, being careful not to crush them too finely (they should be coarser than bread crumbs). Transfer the crumbs to a medium shallow bowl. Set aside.

Brush all sides of one of the mushroom caps with half of the mustard. Dip it in the crumbs to coat it on all sides. Place it on the prepared baking sheet, gills up. Lightly mist the top with spray. Repeat with the remaining mushroom, mustard, and crumbs. Bake the mushrooms until they are cooked through and the breading is crisp, 5 to 7 minutes per side. Serve immediately.

Makes 2 servings. Each (1 breaded mushroom) serving has: 64 calories, 3 g protein, 10 g carbohydrates, trace fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 229 mg sodium Each (1 breaded mushroom) serving has: 64 calories, 3 g protein, 10 g carbohydrates, trace fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 229 mg sodium penne and asparagus with ricotta cheese Hands-on Time: 8 MINUTES 8 MINUTES Hands-off Time: Hands-off Time: TIME FOR WATER TO BOIL PLUS 8 TO 10 MINUTES TIME FOR WATER TO BOIL PLUS 8 TO 10 MINUTES If you prefer, you can always substitute a brown rice, whole-wheat, or whole-grain pasta for the fiber-enriched variety. I get a lot of letters and e-mails from home cooks around the country saying they are able to make my recipes for the whole family even though their spouses and children won't generally eat healthy food, because my recipes actually taste fattening. To keep with that tradition, I opt for the fiber-enriched pasta since it adds needed fiber to our diets while still tasting more like traditional pasta.

1 (14 -ounce) box of fiber-enriched penne pasta (I used Ronzoni Smart Taste Penne Rigate) 1 pound trimmed asparagus, cut into 2-inch diagonal pieces 2 teaspoons freshly minced garlic 1 cup low-fat ricotta cheese (I used Precious, which is the same as Sorrento in various parts of the country) 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil cup reduced-fat grated Parmesan cheese (look for it in a plastic canister or jar, not in the refrigerated section) Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste, optional Cook the pasta according to package directions, omitting any oil or butter.

Two to four minutes before the pasta is done, add the asparagus to the water (2 minutes for thin spears, 4 minutes for thick). Before draining, reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water in a small bowl. Drain the pasta.

Meanwhile, add the garlic, ricotta, and olive oil to a large serving bowl. As soon as the pasta is drained, mix in cup of the reserved pasta water. Immediately add the pasta and asparagus and gently toss until the pasta and asparagus are coated with the cheese mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Gently toss again. If the mixture seems too dry, add more reserved pasta water, about cup at a time, until no longer dry. Sprinkle the Parmesan over the pasta and sprinkle with the red pepper flakes, if desired. Serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings. Each (about 2-cup) serving has: 318 calories, 15 g protein, 60 g carbohydrates, 7 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 18 mg cholesterol, 9 g fiber, 183 mg sodium Each (about 2-cup) serving has: 318 calories, 15 g protein, 60 g carbohydrates, 7 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 18 mg cholesterol, 9 g fiber, 183 mg sodium

Ravio-Sagne with Arugula Appetizer Salad (this page) ravio-sagne Hands-on Time: 10 MINUTES 10 MINUTES Hands-off Time: Hands-off Time: 50 MINUTES PLUS 10 MINUTES TO STAND 50 MINUTES PLUS 10 MINUTES TO STAND This dish is insanely great for potlucks. Instead of other lasagnes that you can slave over for hours, you can now spend just 10 minutes throwing this together. And the best news is that it can be assembled up to 1 day in advance. After preparing it, simply cover it with plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator (be sure to remove the plastic wrap before baking!) so it can be baked just before serving.

Make sure you find a brand of ravioli with as little fat as possible. Some are laden with tons of fat and calories, yet they don't taste any better than those that are lower in fat and calories. Rosetto also makes a whole-wheat ravioli that's delicious and just as low in fat and calories but packs 6 grams of fiber per serving (I buy it at Whole Foods). Though the bag is slightly smaller (22 ounces instead of 25), so you'll need a bag plus a few more ravioli to make the recipe as written, it's worth buying.

2 cups low-fat, preferably lower-sodium marinara sauce 25-ounce package frozen rectangle cheese ravioli (about 1 inch by 1 inches; no more than 4 g of fat per 9-piece serving; I used Rosetto) 6 ounces (about 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons) reduced-fat, finely shredded mozzarella cheese (no more than 3 g of fat per ounce; I used Lucerne, found at Safeway chains), divided cup finely slivered basil leaves, divided Preheat the oven to 400.

Spoon cup sauce evenly into the bottom of an 11 7-inch ceramic or glass baking dish. Lay one-third of the ravioli (about 18 pieces) side by side in a single layer to cover the bottom of the dish. Spoon another cup sauce evenly over top. Sprinkle one-third of the cheese and one-third of the basil evenly over that. Repeat the layering 2 more times beginning with the ravioli. Cover the dish with foil. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking an additional 10 minutes, or until the pasta is heated through and the cheese is melted. Let stand 10 minutes, and then slice into 6 equal pieces and serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings. Each ( Each (16 casserole) serving has: 301 calories, 18 g protein, 43 g carbohydrates, 7 g fat, 3 g saturated, 26 mg cholesterol, 4 g fiber, 689 mg sodium casserole) serving has: 301 calories, 18 g protein, 43 g carbohydrates, 7 g fat, 3 g saturated, 26 mg cholesterol, 4 g fiber, 689 mg sodium

tuscan pizza Hands-on-Time: 5 MINUTES 5 MINUTES Hands-off Time: Hands-off Time: TIME TO PREHEAT OVEN PLUS 8 TO 10 MINUTES PLUS 5 MINUTES TO STAND TIME TO PREHEAT OVEN PLUS 8 TO 10 MINUTES PLUS 5 MINUTES TO STAND I love olives. If they had no calories, I would eat them by the bucket. Again, though, they are another ingredient that when eaten in moderation provides good fats our bodies do need. Here, I've used them to make pizza, another of my favorite foods. This throw-together meal will take significantly less time than waiting for takeout. And it's especially great because you can stock the ingredients in your kitchen for that night when you just don't have time to cook.

1 (10-ounce) Boboli whole-wheat pizza crust cup low-fat pizza or marinara sauce (lower-sodium, if possible) 3 ounces (about 1 cup) finely shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese (no more than 3 g of fat per ounce; I used Lucerne, found at Safeway chains) 7 pitted Kalamata olives, sliced crosswise 5 green Spanish olives (sometimes called Manzanillas), sliced crosswise 2 teaspoons drained capers to teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste Preheat the oven to 450.

Place the crust on a baking sheet large enough for it to lie flat. Spread the sauce evenly over the crust to cover all but the outer inch. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the sauce, followed by the Kalamatas, green olives, capers, and red pepper flakes. Bake the pizza until the cheese melts and the crust is lightly crisped, 8 to 10 minutes. Let it stand 5 minutes, and then cut it into 8 slices and serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings. Each (2-slice) serving has: 268 calories, 15 g protein, 39 g carbohydrates, 8 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 8 mg cholesterol, 7 g fiber, 897 mg sodium Each (2-slice) serving has: 268 calories, 15 g protein, 39 g carbohydrates, 8 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 8 mg cholesterol, 7 g fiber, 897 mg sodium chicken parmesan pizza Hands-on Time: 10 MINUTES 10 MINUTES Hands-off Time: Hands-off Time: 10 TO 12 MINUTES PLUS 5 MINUTES TO STAND 10 TO 12 MINUTES PLUS 5 MINUTES TO STAND You can buy pregrilled chicken in grocery stores these days for convenience, or you can make it yourself in bulk a couple of days a week (see Basic Grilled Chicken, this page this page). If you make it yourself, you're apt to save a lot of sodium-and likely a lot of money too.

I love adding chicken to pizza. The addition of plenty of lean protein can transform pizza into a very well-balanced meal. Because chicken is so low in fat, it's best to put it under the cheese (instead of on top, like you traditionally would with meat toppings) when making pizza-you'll keep the chicken from drying out.

1 (10-ounce) Boboli whole-wheat pizza crust cup low-fat pizza or marinara sauce (lower-sodium, if possible) 8 ounces Basic Grilled Chicken (see this page this page) or lean, store-bought grilled chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces 2 ounces (about cup plus 2 tablespoons) finely shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese (no more than 3 g of fat per ounce; I used Lucerne, found at Safeway chains) 1 tablespoon grated reduced-fat Parmesan cheese (look for it in a plastic canister or jar, not in the refrigerated section) 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh basil slivers, optional to teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste, optional Preheat the oven to 450.

Place the crust on a baking sheet large enough for it to lie flat. Spread the sauce evenly over the crust to cover all but the outer inch. Top it evenly with the chicken and then the mozzarella, Parmesan, basil, and red pepper flakes, if using. Bake the pizza until the cheese melts and the dough is lightly crisped, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer it to a platter or cutting board. Let stand 5 minutes, and then slice into 8 equal slices and serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings. Each (2 slice) serving has: 310 calories, 26 g protein, 40 g carbohydrates, 7 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 39 mg cholesterol, 6 g fiber, 667 mg sodium Each (2 slice) serving has: 310 calories, 26 g protein, 40 g carbohydrates, 7 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 39 mg cholesterol, 6 g fiber, 667 mg sodium grilled chicken, goat cheese, & roasted red pepper pizza Hands-on Time: 8 MINUTES 8 MINUTES Hands-off Time: Hands-off Time: 10 TO 12 MINUTES PLUS 5 MINUTES TO STAND 10 TO 12 MINUTES PLUS 5 MINUTES TO STAND It's best to buy goat cheese that is precrumbled. This will save you time and make it easier to spread the cheese across the entire pizza, requiring less to get some in every bite. If you do buy it in a tube (it may make sense if it's significantly less expensive that way), freeze it slightly before attempting to crumble it. It will crumble much easier.

1 (10-ounce) Boboli whole-wheat pizza crust cup low-fat pizza or marinara sauce (lower-sodium, if possible) 8 ounces Basic Grilled Chicken (see this page this page) or lean, store-bought grilled chicken, cut into -inch pieces cup drained jarred roasted red bell pepper strips 2 ounces (about cup) goat cheese crumbles Chopped fresh cilantro or basil leaves, to taste Preheat the oven to 450.

Place the crust on a baking sheet large enough for it to lie flat. Spread the sauce evenly over the crust to cover all but the outer inch. Top the sauce evenly with the chicken, bell pepper strips, and then the goat cheese. Bake until the cheese melts and the crust is lightly crisped, 10 to 12 minutes. Top the pizza with cilantro or basil, and then let it stand 5 minutes. Slice it into 8 equal wedges and serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings. Each (2 slice) serving has: 324 calories, 25 g protein, 40 g carbohydrates, 8 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 39 mg cholesterol, 6 g fiber, 700 mg sodium Each (2 slice) serving has: 324 calories, 25 g protein, 40 g carbohydrates, 8 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 39 mg cholesterol, 6 g fiber, 700 mg sodium salad pizza with grilled chicken Hands-on Time: 12 MINUTES 12 MINUTES Hands-off Time: Hands-off Time: TIME TO PREHEAT OVEN TIME TO PREHEAT OVEN I think this might be the most guilt-free pizza I eat. Not only are you getting the health benefits of whole wheat from the tortilla, in addition, nutritious salad greens are included, along with plenty of lean protein.

If you can't find the garlic blend, you can use a garlic spread. Just be sure you find one without too much fat. That said, since you're using only a teaspoon, even one with a bit of fat won't hurt. Just be sure not to use the leftovers of a more fattening one in bulk in another recipe.

1 (about 8-inch-diameter) reduced-fat, whole-wheat flour tortilla (not a low-carb one) 1 teaspoon Gourmet Garden Garlic Blend or frozen garlic (look for Gourmet Garden in a tube in the produce section, or look for frozen garlic at Trader Joe's) 1 teaspoons reduced-fat grated Parmesan cheese (look for it in a plastic canister or jar, not in the refrigerated section) 3 cups (about 3 small handfuls) mixed baby greens 3 tablespoons seeded and finely chopped tomato 1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion 1 tablespoon bottled reduced-fat balsamic or Italian vinaigrette (one with no more than 2 g of fat per tablespoon; I used Newman's Own Light Balsamic Vinaigrette) 4 ounces Basic Grilled Chicken (see this page this page) or lean store-bought grilled chicken breast, sliced into strips on the diagonal Freshly ground black pepper, to taste Preheat the oven to 400.

Place the tortilla on a nonstick baking sheet. Bake it for 3 to 4 minutes. Flip the tortilla and spread the garlic spread evenly over the top, and then sprinkle it evenly with the Parmesan. Bake it another 3 to 5 minutes, or until the tortilla is crisp and lightly browned in spots.

Meanwhile, in a medium glass or plastic mixing bowl, toss the greens, tomato, onion, and vinaigrette.

Transfer the tortilla to a serving plate. Mound the salad atop the crisped tortilla and top it with the chicken. Season with pepper and serve immediately.

Makes 1 serving. 335 calories, 31 g protein, 36 g carbohydrates, 7 g fat, <1 g saturated fat, 65 mg cholesterol, 6 g fiber, 804 mg sodium 335 calories, 31 g protein, 36 g carbohydrates, 7 g fat, <1 g saturated fat, 65 mg cholesterol, 6 g fiber, 804 mg sodium ravioli soup Hands-on Time: 5 MINUTES 5 MINUTES Hands-off Time: Hands-off Time: TIME TO BOIL BROTH PLUS 5 MINUTES TIME TO BOIL BROTH PLUS 5 MINUTES At first glance, it might seem strange to see the words ravioli ravioli and and soup soup together. But I figure if Jewish folks cut through matzo balls and Chinese folks break apart wontons, we Italians should be able to join in by throwing ravioli in our soup. together. But I figure if Jewish folks cut through matzo balls and Chinese folks break apart wontons, we Italians should be able to join in by throwing ravioli in our soup.

Though I'd like to pretend I'm a trendsetter, I've really just created a twist on tortellini soup for the sake of saving fat and calories. In my grocery stores I can find lower-fat ravioli, but I can't find lower-fat tortellini. If you do find the tortellini, feel free to return to the more traditional and make this soup with tortellini. But I'm pretty happy with it as is, and I think you will be too.

Note that if you can find it, Rosetto also makes a whole-wheat ravioli that's delicious and just as low in fat and calories but packs 6 grams of fiber per serving (I buy it at Whole Foods). The bag is slightly smaller (22 ounces instead of 25), so you'd need a bag plus a few more ravioli to make the recipe as written, but it's worth buying.

2 (32-ounce) boxes (or the equivalent) of fat-free, lower-sodium chicken or vegetable broth (not low sodium) 2 medium garlic cloves, smashed with the side of a knife Freshly ground black pepper, to taste 1 (25-ounce) bag of frozen (or the equivalent) cheese ravioli (about 1 inch by 1 inches; no more than 4 g of fat per 9-piece serving; I used Rosetto) 8 teaspoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves 8 teaspoons reduced-fat, grated Parmesan cheese (look for it in a plastic canister or jar, not in the refrigerated section) Pour the broth into a large stockpot with a lid and place it over high heat. Add the garlic cloves and season the broth with pepper. Cover the pot and bring the liquid to a rolling boil. Using a mesh strainer (with a handle) or a slotted spoon, remove the garlic cloves. Add the ravioli and cook for 5 minutes, or until they are al dente.

Divide the broth and ravioli evenly among 8 serving bowls. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon parsley and 1 teaspoon Parmesan cheese over the top of each bowl. Season with additional pepper, if desired. Serve immediately.

Makes 8 servings. Each (6 to 7 ravioli plus 1 scant cup broth) serving has: 183 calories, 11 g protein, 27 g carbohydrates, 3 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 13 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 887 mg sodium Each (6 to 7 ravioli plus 1 scant cup broth) serving has: 183 calories, 11 g protein, 27 g carbohydrates, 3 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 13 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 887 mg sodium

slimming sides & salads Stylin' Steak Fries Old Bay Potato Wedges Buffalo Mashed Potatoes Potato Smashers Super-Speedy Sweet Potatoes Powerhouse Polenta Fries Mexican Mac & Cheese Cheesy Brown Rice Spicy Orange Rice Noodles Lemon Caper Spaghetti Squash Sauteed Cherry Tomatoes Red & Green Stir-Fry Balsamic Roasted Asparagus Cumin & Lime Black Beans Creamy Mustard Tossed Green Beans Green Beans with Roasted Red Bell Peppers Green Beans with Lime Grilled Asparagus with Goat Cheese Crumbles Quick Steamed Lemon Asparagus Snow Peas with Mint & Pine Nuts Italian Herbed Zucchini Steakhouse Mushrooms Mexican Caprese Salad Today's Taco Salad Cucumber Tomato Salad Chicken Caesar Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes Arugula Appetizer Salad stylin' steak fries Hands-on Time: 4 MINUTES 4 MINUTES Hands-off Time: Hands-off Time: TIME TO PREHEAT OVEN PLUS 25 TO 30 MINUTES TIME TO PREHEAT OVEN PLUS 25 TO 30 MINUTES Potatoes have gotten a bad rap in recent years, but the hype is just that-hype. A 5-ounce potato with skin has only 110 calories and more potassium than a medium banana. It also contains 45 percent of the daily recommended value of vitamin C and is a significant source of dietary fiber. It's the toppings that are the problem, not the potatoes themselves.

If you don't love steak fries as much as I do, feel free to make your fries any size-just be sure to watch them carefully, as the cooking time will vary.

2 medium baking potatoes (about 8 ounces each), cut into steak-fry-sized pieces (about 1 inch thick, inch wide, and the length of the potato) 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil teaspoon sea salt, or more to taste For crisper fries, preheat the oven to 450; for softer fries, preheat the oven to 400. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a small mixing bowl, toss the fries with the olive oil and teaspoon salt. Place them on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer, not touching. Bake them for 15 minutes, and then flip them and bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until tender on the inside and golden brown on the outside. Serve immediately.

Makes 2 servings. Each serving has: 196 calories, 5 g protein, 40 g carbohydrates, 3 g fat, trace saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 5 g fiber, 214 mg sodium Each serving has: 196 calories, 5 g protein, 40 g carbohydrates, 3 g fat, trace saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 5 g fiber, 214 mg sodium old bay potato wedges Hands-on Time: 4 MINUTES 4 MINUTES Hands-off Time: Hands-off Time: TIME TO PREHEAT OVEN PLUS 30 TO 35 MINUTES TIME TO PREHEAT OVEN PLUS 30 TO 35 MINUTES I was at a restaurant while on the road for an appearance when I glanced at a menu and saw "Old Bay Potato Wedges." Though the idea seemed perfect, I knew they'd be fried. So instead of ordering them, I immediately texted Stephanie, my Test Kitchen Goddess, and told her we needed to make them. Within days, we created our version, which makes me way happier and more satisfied than any fried version ever could.

2 medium baking potatoes (about 8 ounces each), scrubbed and towel-dried 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil teaspoon 30% less sodium Old Bay seasoning Sea salt, to taste Preheat the oven to 450. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise. Cut each half into 4 wedges, creating 16 wedges total. In a small glass or plastic mixing bowl, toss the wedges with the olive oil and Old Bay. Place them on the baking sheet in a single layer, not touching. Bake them 20 minutes, and then flip them and bake them an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until they are tender on the inside and golden brown on the outside. Season with salt. Serve immediately.

Makes 2 servings. Each serving has: 196 calories, 5 g protein, 40 g carbohydrates, 3 g fat, trace saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 5 g fiber, 156 mg sodium Each serving has: 196 calories, 5 g protein, 40 g carbohydrates, 3 g fat, trace saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 5 g fiber, 156 mg sodium

buffalo mashed potatoes Hands-on Time: 4 MINUTES 4 MINUTES Hands-off Time: Hands-off Time: 10 MINUTES 10 MINUTES Most mashed potatoes are full of butter, cream, and other added fats. But this dish pairs wing sauce with blue cheese, packing tons of flavor and thus eliminating the need for added fats or butter.

1 (24-ounce) package Ore-Ida Steam n' Mash Cut Russet Potatoes cup plus 2 tablespoons fat-free milk 1 tablespoons buffalo wing sauce (try to use a thick, all-natural one, but definitely not a thin one like Tabasco; I used Wing Time Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce) cup (about 1 ounce) reduced-fat blue cheese (I used Treasure Cave) Sea salt and pepper, to taste Microwave the potatoes according to package directions (do not follow remaining package instructions).

Meanwhile, combine the milk and wing sauce in a small microwave-safe measuring cup or bowl. Once the potatoes are cooked, microwave the milk mixture on high in 15-second intervals, or until the mixture is warm.

Put the cooked potatoes in a large bowl. Using a potato masher or large fork, smash them slightly. Add the milk mixture and the blue cheese and continue to mash the potatoes until they are smooth. Season them with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings. Each (about a heaping -cup) serving has: 125 calories, 5 g protein, 22 g carbohydrates, 1 g fat, <1 g saturated fat, 3 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 394 mg sodium Each (about a heaping -cup) serving has: 125 calories, 5 g protein, 22 g carbohydrates, 1 g fat, <1 g saturated fat, 3 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 394 mg sodium potato smashers Hands-on Time: 4 MINUTES 4 MINUTES Hands-off Time: Hands-off Time: TIME TO BOIL WATER PLUS 20 TO 25 MINUTES TIME TO BOIL WATER PLUS 20 TO 25 MINUTES After The Biggest Loser The Biggest Loser Season 6 finale, I went to dinner at a steakhouse with some of the contestants and Alison Sweeney's husband, Dave. We were all, of course, trying to order healthy, but it was definitely a challenge. I wound up getting a grilled chicken breast with salsa and "potato smashers." I was expecting lumpy mashed potatoes. Instead, I was served something similar to this yummy potato...only it was doused in more butter than all of us combined had probably eaten in years. But it was so simple, and even tastier with just a small amount of light butter, that I knew I had to include it here. Season 6 finale, I went to dinner at a steakhouse with some of the contestants and Alison Sweeney's husband, Dave. We were all, of course, trying to order healthy, but it was definitely a challenge. I wound up getting a grilled chicken breast with salsa and "potato smashers." I was expecting lumpy mashed potatoes. Instead, I was served something similar to this yummy potato...only it was doused in more butter than all of us combined had probably eaten in years. But it was so simple, and even tastier with just a small amount of light butter, that I knew I had to include it here.

4 red-skinned or white boiling potatoes (about 6 ounces each), scrubbed Sea salt, to taste 2 tablespoons light butter, melted, divided 4 teaspoons minced fresh chives, divided Fresh ground black pepper, to taste Add the potatoes to a large stockpot. Fill the pot so the water is 1 inch higher than the potatoes and add about 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste. Place the pot over high heat and bring the water to a boil. Cook the potatoes for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they are tender. Drain them well.

Transfer each potato to a serving plate. Press the back of a fork into the top of each potato, smashing it until it flattens slightly (it's okay if the potatoes crumble a bit). Drizzle the butter evenly over the top of the potatoes, about tablespoon on each. Sprinkle the chives evenly among them, about 1 teaspoon on each. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings. Each (1-potato) serving has: 144 calories, 3 g protein, 28 g carbohydrates, 3 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 8 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 58 mg sodium Each (1-potato) serving has: 144 calories, 3 g protein, 28 g carbohydrates, 3 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 8 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 58 mg sodium super-speedy sweet potatoes Hands-on Time: 6 TO 8 MINUTES (MICROWAVE) OR 3 MINUTES (OVEN) 6 TO 8 MINUTES (MICROWAVE) OR 3 MINUTES (OVEN) Hands-off Time: Hands-off Time: NONE (MICROWAVE) OR TIME TO PREHEAT OVEN PLUS 45 TO 60 MINUTES (OVEN) NONE (MICROWAVE) OR TIME TO PREHEAT OVEN PLUS 45 TO 60 MINUTES (OVEN) If you can't find 6-ounce potatoes or don't have them on hand, you can simply use one 12-ounce potato. Add 1 minute to the microwave cook time if the potato isn't tender after the 5 to 6 minutes, or an additional 10 to 15 minutes in the oven, and use all of the butter and brown sugar for the one large potato. A 12-ounce potato will make two servings, so the recommendation is to eat only half.

2 medium sweet potatoes (about 6 ounces each), scrubbed 1 teaspoon light butter, divided (stick, not tub; I used Challenge Light) 4 teaspoons light or dark brown sugar, not packed, divided Microwave Instructions Using a fork, poke each potato 5 times on all sides. Place the potatoes in a microwave-safe dish large enough for them to lie side by side. Cover the dish loosely with a paper towel. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Flip the potatoes, being careful not to burn yourself, and continue microwaving an additional 2 to 3 minutes, or until they are tender through. Cut an opening about 4 inches long in the top of each potato and open it wide enough to spoon teaspoon butter and 2 teaspoons brown sugar evenly into the center. Return the dish to the microwave and cook another 15 to 30 seconds, or until the butter and sugar are melted. Mash the butter and sugar mixture into the cooked potato to distribute. Serve immediately.

Oven Instructions Preheat the oven to 400. Using a fork, poke each potato 5 times on all sides. Wrap each potato completely in aluminum foil. Bake them for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender through. Unwrap the potatoes. Cut an opening about 4 inches long in the top of each potato, and open it wide enough to spoon teaspoon butter and 2 teaspoons brown sugar evenly into the center. Rewrap the potatoes and bake them for an additional 2 minutes, or until the butter and sugar are melted. Mash the butter and sugar mixture into the cooked potato to distribute. Serve immediately.

Makes 2 servings. Each serving has: 162 calories, 3 g protein, 36 g carbohydrates, 1 g fat, <1 g saturated fat, 3 mg cholesterol, 5 g fiber, 109 mg sodium Each serving has: 162 calories, 3 g protein, 36 g carbohydrates, 1 g fat, <1 g saturated fat, 3 mg cholesterol, 5 g fiber, 109 mg sodium powerhouse polenta fries Hands-on Time: 5 MINUTES 5 MINUTES Hands-off Time: Hands-off Time: TIME TO PREHEAT OVEN PLUS 30 TO 35 MINUTES TIME TO PREHEAT OVEN PLUS 30 TO 35 MINUTES It may seem odd to figure out how to slice a tube of polenta into fries, but it's actually quite simple. Just follow the directions below, imagining the polenta halves are large potatoes. Then cut the fries as if you're cutting them from potatoes.

Olive oil spray (from a spray bottle, not a store-bought, prefilled one that contains propellant; I used a Misto) 1 (18-ounce) tube prepared polenta (look for it with the pasta or tomato sauce in many major grocery stores or at Trader Joe's) Sea salt, to taste Ketchup or low-fat marinara sauce, preferably low-fat and lower-sodium, optional Preheat the oven to 450. Place a large piece of parchment on a large baking sheet and lightly mist it with spray.

Cut the polenta in half crosswise, and then cut each half lengthwise into -inch-thick fries. Place the fries on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer so they do not touch. Mist the tops with spray, then lightly sprinkle them evenly with salt.

Bake them for 15 minutes. Carefully flip the fries, then mist the tops with spray and salt them. Continue baking an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until the fries are lightly crisped and golden brown. Serve immediately with ketchup or marinara sauce, if desired.

Makes 4 servings. Each (heaping -cup) serving has: 89 calories, 3 g protein, 19 g carbohydrates, trace fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 388 mg sodium Each (heaping -cup) serving has: 89 calories, 3 g protein, 19 g carbohydrates, trace fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 388 mg sodium

mexican mac & cheese Hands-on Time: 3 MINUTES 3 MINUTES Hands-off Time: Hands-off Time: TIME TO BOIL WATER PLUS 8 TO 9 MINUTES TIME TO BOIL WATER PLUS 8 TO 9 MINUTES The key to good mac and cheese is gooey cheese and the perfect creamy sauce. Here, I've simplified things to create this twist on a classic. Instead of thickening cream or milk, I grabbed a natural cheese sauce, then simply added a Mexican cheese blend to give it that must-have gooeyness.

7 ounces (about 2 cups) uncooked fiber-enriched or protein-enriched elbow macaroni (I used Ronzoni Smart Taste) cup salsa con queso, all-natural if possible 1 ounces (about cup) shredded reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend (I used Sargento) In a large nonstick stockpot, cook the macaroni according to package directions. Drain it well, then return it to the pot. Stir in the salsa con queso and cheese until combined (if the cheese doesn't melt right away, place the pot over low heat and stir for 1 minute, or until the cheese is melted). Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings. Each (about 1-cup) serving has: 243 calories, 9 g protein, 41 g carbohydrates, 7 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 5 g fiber, 324 mg sodium Each (about 1-cup) serving has: 243 calories, 9 g protein, 41 g carbohydrates, 7 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 5 g fiber, 324 mg sodium cheesy brown rice Hands-on Time: 3 MINUTES 3 MINUTES Hands-off Time: Hands-off Time: NONE NONE Make a big batch of brown rice at the beginning of the week and have it ready for reheating in your refrigerator, or buy precooked brown rice in the freezer section of the grocery store.

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