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Cooking Light Holiday Cookbook: Complete Holiday Guide: Recipes, Menus, and Entertaining Ideas Hardcover – June 1, 2005
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Many appetizer recipes feature veggie-based dips and salsas--Tomato Crostini, Tex-Mex Black Bean Dip, and Warm Mushroom Spread all feature less than 1 g. of saturated fat per serving. "Creamy" dips use lower fat cream cheese to keep these appetizers at about 1 g. of fat per serving. One appetizer made with phyllo dough, usually a no-no for those on diets, uses butter-flavored cooking spray between the layers, instead of butter, to save fat and calories. Vietnamese spring rolls and Chicken/Lemon Pot-Stickers, use rice paper and won ton wrappers, lighter than pastry.
"Light" does not mean "dull" here. Pistachio-Crusted Rack of Lamb, Individual Beef Wellingtons (using phyllo sprayed with cooking spray, instead of puff pastry), or Ultimate Roasted Turkey, with gravy, are all on the menu. A wide assortment of side dishes--soufflés, Caramelized Onions, Potato-Gorgonzola Gratin, Pumpkin-Sage Polenta, and even Leek, Potato, and Caraway Latkes with Spiced Sour Cream--perk up the plate and the palate. The Salad section is outstanding, with unusual combinations of ingredients--Pear, Walnut, and Blue Cheese Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette is a knockout. Fruit relishes, chutneys, salsas, and even candied cranberries are used as garnishes.
The editors have gone "all out" in the dessert section. The traditional pecan pie is here--regular pecan filling inside a lowfat, cookie-like crust--along with Vanilla or Pumpkin Cheesecake (made with 2 ½ pounds of reduced fat and non-fat cream cheese), gorgeous cakes made with less fat and fewer egg yolks, and pies with lowfat gingersnap, graham cracker, or vanilla wafer crusts. Over forty recipes are included for use as gifts--Apricot Amaretto Bread, Cranberry-Hazelnut Coffee Cake, Orange-Pistachio Baklava.
With over 500 tasty recipes offering a huge selection of elegant and even exotic recipes, this is a cookbook useful to everyone who is health-conscious, including vegetarians. Twenty pages of meatless main dishes and a vegetarian Hanukkah menu are included. A terrific compilation of healthier preparations for traditional holiday foods, this is a cookbook that has it all--and that will be used long past the holidays. n Mary Whipple
One of my favorite recipes from this book is the Marbled-Chocolate Banana Bread. I plan on using this book year-round.