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Books for cooks: Building favorites among healthy food

Wed., Feb. 13, 2008

Not convinced that healthy, quick foods can tempt you? Pick up a copy of Ellie Krieger’s new cookbook, “The Food You Crave.”

The host of The Food Network’s “Healthy Appetite” is also a registered dietitian who specializes in health and nutrition communications. But telling you what you should be eating, while banning some ingredients, is not her style.

“The Food You Crave” includes more than 200 recipes for healthy eating, including dishes you never expected to be on your “diet.” Krieger’s philosophy is that nothing is off limits, but recipes are based on her “usually-sometimes-rarely” philosophy.

Most recipes are based on the foods nutritionists are telling you to eat: colorful fruits and veggies, whole grains, lean meats and fish, beans, nuts, low-fat dairy and healthy oils. She includes a few “sometimes” goodies that many people crave such as regular pasta, flour and sugar and higher-fat cuts of meat. Rarely, cream, bacon and full-fat cheeses are included.

Here’s her recipe for Caesar salad:

Caesar Salad with Lemon Pepper Shrimp

1/4 cup pasteurized egg substitute

1 clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)

1 1/2 teaspoons anchovy paste

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

8 cups coarsely torn romaine lettuce

Garlic-Scented Croutons (recipe follows)

Lemon Pepper Grilled Shrimp (recipe follows)

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg substitute, garlic, anchovy paste, mustard, Worcestershire and lemon juice. Slowly add the oil in a steady stream, whisking the whole time. Stir in the Parmesan and season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, toss the dressing with the lettuce until well-coated. Add the croutons and toss again to combine. Divide the salad between 4 places and top each plate with the shrimp.

Note: Drizzling the oil into the other ingredients while whisking creates a rich and creamy dressing without mayonnaise, and using pasteurized egg substitute instead of the traditional raw egg eliminates the risk of salmonella.

Yield: 4 servings

Approximate nutrition per serving: 325 calories, 17 grams fat (3 grams saturated, 47 percent fat calories), 29 grams protein, 14 grams carbohydrate, 174 milligrams cholesterol, 3 grams dietary fiber, 821 milligrams sodium.

Garlic-Scented Croutons

Eight (1/2-inch thick) slices French bread or other crusty bread (about 2 ounces)

1 teaspoon olive oil or olive oil spray

1 clove garlic, peeled

1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Using a pastry brush, lightly brush both sides of the bread with the oil or spray bread with olive oil spray. Cut the garlic in half and rub it over both sides of the bread. Sprinkle both sides with the salt. Cut the bread into cubes and spread it in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until the bread is crispy and golden brown, stirring once or twice, about 10 minutes.

Yield: About 2 cups

Nutrition per 1/2 cup serving: 48 calories, 1.5 grams fat (no saturated fat, 28 percent fat calories), 1 gram protein, 7 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, no dietary fiber, 235 milligrams sodium.

Lemon Pepper Grilled Shrimp

1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 teaspoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat or prepare a grill. Toss the shrimp with the oil, add the salt, pepper and lemon zest and toss again. Grill until just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Transfer the shrimp to a plate and drizzle with the lemon juice. Enjoy hot or at room temperature.

Yield: 4 servings

Nutrition per serving: 144 calories, 4 grams fat (.5 grams saturated, 25 percent fat calories), 23 grams protein, 2 grams carbohydrate, 72 milligrams cholesterol, no dietary fiber, 460 milligrams sodium.


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