The Rancho La Puerta spa in Baja California has been around for almost 60 years and has gained a reputation for its flavor-packed, low-fat vegetarian meals. Longtime chef Bill Wavrin, known for stunning his guests with his expertise, lets his love of Southwestern cuisine show through in his (mostly) simple recipes. Few dishes require more than a dozen ingredients, and he includes information on calories, total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, protein, carbohydrate, fiber, and sodium for each dish. Orange-Corn Muffins and the Rancho La Puerta Granola have been satisfying guests after the strenuous morning hike for years. Dishes such as Mango Tomatilla Salsa, Broccoli Soup, Curried Rice Salad with Fruit, Banana-Oatmeal Cookies, and Blueberry Cheesecake will make you feel like you're indulging, but won't cost you more than 120 calories per serving. In between the chapters, Wavrin offers cooking tips (how to eat a mango; how to identify and prepare various chilies) and soothing ways to "take the ranch home" with you, including stretches and other fitness tips. If you can't get to Baja, this book is the next best thing.
From Publishers Weekly
Executive chef of this 58-year-old oasis in Baja, Mexico, not far from the California border, Wavrin has created an inspired panoply of spa cuisine, designed to keep daily fat levels below 18%. While he has six acres of organic vegetables to draw from, anyone can apply his tantalizing approaches to food likely to satisfy even those who are skeptical of low-fat dishes. Employing chiles, herbs and spices to energize flavors, Wavrin also assembles components that marry intriguingly. Soups are especially imaginative. Yellow Jubilee Tomato-Mint Soup is served either hot or cold. Appetizers include Thai Spring Rolls, which, filled with nine highly seasoned chopped and sliced vegetables, are baked, not fried. Salads can be warm (Sesame Broccoli Stir-Fry Salad; Warm Red Cabbage Salad with Sprouts and Green Beans) or cold (Lentil and Sun-Dried Tomato Salad). Blue Cheese Pepper Dressing features yogurt flavored with feta and blue cheese. Caesar Dressing leaves in the anchovies but replaces egg and oil with buttermilk. Entrees include sauteed rather than fried Chiles Rellenos, Classic Spa Lasagne slimmed down with a filling of vegetables, crumbled tofu and nonfat cottage cheese, and Chile Pasta with Arugula and Coriander. Blueberry Cheesecake has a baked graham cracker crust and a yogurt and ricotta filling firmed with gelatin. Wavrin's recipes are not complicated and most of the prep time will go into chopping.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.