In the spring of 1999, following a series of programs devoted to losing weight, Good Morning America ran a Cut the Calories Cook-off. Over 1,100 viewers of this popular TV show submitted recipes for either an entree or a dessert. The resulting cookbook features 120 recipes, including a few contributed by chefs Emeril Lagasse and Sara Moulton. Dishes include the 50 semifinalist recipes, plus others considered delicious by judges Lagasse, Moulton, Wolfgang Puck, and Michael Lomonaco of Windows on the World in New York City.
The grand-prize winners? Oven Fried Chicken with Andouille Sausage and Caramel Cheesecake with Praline Sauce. The chicken's crunch comes from crispy rice cereal and this all-American dish is seasoned with Parmesan cheese and cumin. The conquering cheesecake, a snap to make, is accompanied by a creamy sauce studded with pecans. The recipes, overall, reflect America's broadening taste for spicy foods and national acceptance of ethnic ingredients, with dishes calling for chili peppers--chipotles, anchos, green, even red jalapeños--and Chinese hoisin sauce, Italian balsamic vinegar, and Cajun Andouille sausage.
Cheesecake is truly a favorite American dessert, with six recipes for it in this book. A cook from Oregon even managed to slim down one with a chocolate crust, chocolate filling, and hazelnut topping. Fruit desserts are well represented, too. Most remarkable is Sweet Nachos featuring cinnamon-sprinkled, crisped tortillas topped with a luscious, warm raspberry "salsa" and creamy topping.
With so many Americans needing to slim down, this book should be a big winner, thanks to its easy and alluring recipes. --Dana Jacobi
ABC's weekday morning show challenged its viewers to come up with new and tasty recipes for low-calorie foods. Ten dozen recipes from the thousand submissions to that contest have been brought together in a single volume. These recipes run the gamut from appetizers through dessert, the unifying theme being calorie skimping without loss of flavor. Fruit-based salsas for fish are a popular way to multiply flavors without adding fat-laden sauces. Egg whites substitute for whole eggs, even in a winning bread pudding enhanced with maple syrup. Vegetarians will revel in the large number of meatless entrees decidedly different from those found in the usual vegetarian cookbooks. Dessert lovers will appreciate the no-fat whipped cream substitute developed especially for this book. Additional contributions from food professionals, including superstar Emeril Lagasse, add sophistication and a touch of glamour. Nutritional analyses included with each recipe. Mark Knoblauch
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