Yes, You Can!
Good-for-you versions of diet no-nos

If “losing weight” or “eating well” tops your list of resolutions this year, you’re in luck.

Hamburgers, meatloaf, fettuccine, lasagna, cocktails…on a diet?

Turns out, you can enjoy your favorites without sabotaging your waistline or health.

The following five recent cookbooks offer versions of some of the most craved dishes for almost every nutritional plan:

Mediterranean Burgers
Spice-Crusted Tofu Web Extra!
Classic Meatloaf
3-C Casserole (Chicken, Cheese and Cauliflower) Web Extra!
Zucchini Fettuccine With Sweet Butter
Pan-Fried Chicken Breasts With Sage-and-Ham Butter Web Extra!
Artichoke-Spinach Lasagna
Spaghetti With Puttanesca Sauce Web Extra!
Warm Ginger and Carrot Shots
Banana Soy Latte Web Extra!

The Essential Eating Well Cookbook
Edited by Patsy Johnson
Published by The Countryman Press

Mediterranean Burgers


4 sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
1-1/2 cups vegetable broth or water
1/2 cup millet, rinsed
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 large onion, chopped
3 cups lightly packed baby spinach, stems trimmed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup Olive Ketchup (optional) (see recipe below)
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 tablespoon chopped, fresh basil
2/3 cup fine, dry breadcrumbs
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
7 whole-wheat buns
Arugula and sliced tomatoes for garnish


Place the sun-dried tomatoes in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat and let soak until the tomatoes are softened, about 30 minutes.

Drain and finely chop the tomatoes; set aside.

Meanwhile, bring the broth (or water) to a boil. Stir in the millet and salt.

Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the millet is tender and the liquid is absorbed, 25 to 30 minutes. Let stand, covered, 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork; transfer to a plate to cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes.

While the millet cooks, heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat.

Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until softened and light brown, 5 to 7 minutes.

Gradually stir in the spinach. Cook, stirring, until the spinach is wilted, 30 to 60 seconds.

Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute more.

Transfer to a plate; let cook about 10 minutes.

Prepare the Olive Ketchup, if using.

Place the millet in a food processor and pulse to mix lightly.
Add the spinach mixture and pulse until coarsely chopped.

Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the feta, basil, breadcrumbs, pepper and the reserved sun-dried tomatoes. Mix well.

With dampened hands, form the mixture into 7 (1-1/2 inch-thick) patties, using about 1/2 cup for each.

Using 2 teaspoons oil per batch, cook 3 to 4 patties at a time in a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat until browned and heated through, about 4 minutes per side.

Toast English muffins (or buns).

Garnish burgers with arugula, tomatoes and Olive Ketchup, if desired.

Makes 7 servings.
(309 calories, 9 grams fat per serving)

Olive Ketchup


1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted
1/4 cup chopped, fresh parsley
2 scallions, coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed and peeled
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon red-wine vinegar
2 teaspoons tomato paste


Combine olives, parsley, scallions, garlic, oil and vinegar in a food processor.

Pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to a small bowl and mix in tomato paste.

Makes about 1/2 cup.
(46 calories, 4 grams fat per tablespoon)

Spice-Crusted Tofu


3 tablespoons pine nuts
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt, or to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 (14- to 16-ounce) package extra-firm tofu
3 tablespoon boiling water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil


Toast the pin nuts heating them n a dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, or by spreading them in a small pan and baking at 400 degrees about 5 minutes, until golden and fragrant. Set aside to cool.

Mix paprika, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper in a small bowl.

Drain tofu and pat dry with paper towels.

Cut the tofu crosswise into 8 (1/2-inch-thick) slices. Dredge liberally with the spice mixture, coating all sides.

Mix boiling water, lemon juice and honey in a small bowl.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; swirl to coat the bottom of the pan.

Add tofu and cook on one side until brown and crusty, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip the tofu and cook another 3 minutes.

Add the honey mixture to the pan (it will bubble up and evaporate very quickly) and shake to coat the tofu.

Serve immediately, sprinkled with the toasted pine nuts.

Makes 4 servings.
(206 calories, 15 grams fat per serving)

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The Everyday Low-Carb Slow Cooker Cookbook
By Kitty Broihier, M.S., R.D., and Kimberly Mayone
Published by Marlowe & Co.

Classic Meatloaf


1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (about 4 shakes)
3 eggs, beaten
2 slices low-carb bread, crusts discarded, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground veal
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
7 slices cooked bacon (not crispy)


In a large mixing bowl, combine tomato sauce, Tabasco, eggs and bread cubes. Let the mixture set until bread absorbs the liquid, then blend well.

Mix in the remaining ingredients, except for the bacon, using clean hands.

Place the mixture into the slow cooker crock and form into a loaf shape.

Lay the bacon slices crosswise on top of the loaf, tucking the ends underneath the loaf.

Cover and cook on low 8 hours. Let the loaf set, uncovered, 5 minutes, then transfer it to a serving plate, using a large spatula.

Makes 6 servings.
(357 calories, 18 grams fat, 5 grams net carbs per serving)

3-C Casserole (Chicken, Cheese and Cauliflower)


Cooking spray
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 head cauliflower, cored and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 (10-3/4-ounce) can condensed cheddar cheese soup
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1-1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (about 4 shakes)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese


Coat the slow cooker crock with cooking spray.

Add all the ingredients, except the cream and shredded cheddar; mix well.

Cover and cook on low 8 hours. Before serving, stir in the cream cheese.

Makes 5 servings. (472 calories, 21 grams fat, 7.5 grams net carbs per serving)

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The Low-Carb Gourmet
By Brigit Binns
Published by Ten Speed Press

Zucchini Fettuccine With Sweet Butter


1-1/2 pounds small zucchini (about 6), trimmed of ends and halved lengthwise
1-1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper


Position the zucchini halves, cut sides down. With a very sharp knife, slice the halves lengthwise slightly less than 1/8 inch thick to make “fettuccine.”

In a colander, combine the zucchini with 1 teaspoon of the salt and toss together. Set aside to drain 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a saucepan full of water to a boil and place a large bowl of ice and water near the stove for an ice bath.

Add the zucchini to the boiling water and blanch 1 minute, then drain immediately and plunge into the ice bath to halt the cooking process.

Drain again and pat the zucchini dry gently with a towel.

(This process can be done up to 2 hours ahead of time; wrap the zucchini in the towel and refrigerate until just before time to serve.)

Place a large sauté pan over low heat and add the cream and butter.

When the butter melts, add the zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens and coats the zucchini, about 2 minutes.

Stir in the lemon juice, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper.

Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.
(116 calories, 9 grams fat, 3 grams net carbs)

Pan-Fried Chicken Breasts With Sage-and-Ham Butter


Sage-and-Ham Butter

1 cup dry white wine
1 small shallot, minced
3/4 cup (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 6 pieces
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons minced ham
1 tablespoon finely chopped, fresh sage
1/5 teaspoon fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, patted dry
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons canola or olive oil
3/4 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons water


To prepare the butter, combine the wine and shallot in a small saucepan set over low heat. Simmer, uncovered, 12 to 15 minutes, until the liquid is reduced to about 2 tablespoons. Cool 10 minutes.

In a mixing bowl, combine the butter, lemon juice, ham and sage and stir.

Whisk in the reduced wine and shallot mixture and add the salt and some pepper.

The butter should be creamy; if it is refrigerated before serving (up to 1 week is fine), return to room temperature before serving.

Place 4 dinner plates and a baking dish in a low oven to warm.

Pound the chicken breasts just slightly to an even thickness of slightly more than 1/4 inch. Season both sides of the chicken generously with salt and pepper.

Place a very large skillet over high heat and add the butter and oil (or use 2 skillets and make the sauce in one of the pans; on no account should the chicken be crowded).

When the butter has melted and the foam has subsided, add the chicken breasts without allowing them to touch one another. Cook, undisturbed, 2 minutes.

Turn and cook 2 to 2-1/2 minutes more, until firm and done through to the center with no pink remaining.

Transfer the chicken breasts to the baking dish in the oven, and turn off the oven.

Immediately add the wine and water to the pan.

Still over high heat, stir the bubbling mixture with a wooden spoon, stirring and scraping the pan to release all the flavorful bits.

When bout 2 tablespoons of liquid remain, remove the pan from the heat and let stand 1-1/2 minutes to cool slightly.

Add the sage and ham butter and immediately whisk until the butter has emulsified into the sauce, thickening it slightly.

Place a chicken breast on a plate and top with several generous spoonfuls of the sauce, and serve.

Makes 4 servings.
(581 calories, 46 grams fat, 7 grams net carbs)

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The Change of Life Diet & Cookbook
By Elaine Magee, M.P.H., R.D.
Published by Avery

Artichoke-Spinach Lasagna


1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced or chopped garlic
1 (14.5-ounce) can low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 tablespoon chopped, fresh
1 (14-ounce) can marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 (10-ounce) box frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and gently squeezed of excess water
1 (28-ounce) jar marinara sauce
9 Barilla No-Boil Lasagna Noodles
3 cups shredded, part-skim mozzarella cheese

Garlic-Herb Feta Topping (optional)

5 ounces reduced-fat feta cheese
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-X-13-inch baking dish with canola oil cooking spray.

Spray a large nonstick skillet with canola oil cooking spray and place over medium heat.

Saute onion and garlic 3 minutes or until onion is just tender.

Stir in broth and rosemary; bring to a boil.

Stir in artichoke hearts and spinach; reduce heat to simmer, cover skillet and cook 5 minutes. Stir in marinara sauce.

Spread 1-1/2 cups of the marinara mixture in the bottom of a prepare baking dish.

Top with three of the noodles and 3/4 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat the layers two more times, ending with the marinara mixture and remaining mozzarella cheese.

To make the Garlic-Herb Feta Topping, use a fork to blend the feta, Italian seasoning and garlic powder in a small bowl.

Sprinkle on top of the lasagna, if desired.

Spray a large sheet of foil with canola oil cooking spray, then cover the lasagna with the foil, coated-side-down.

Bake 40 minutes.

Uncover and bake 15 minutes more, or until hot and bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.

Makes 8 servings.
(299 calories, 10 grams fat per serving)

Spaghetti With Puttanesca Sauce


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon minced or chopped garlic
1 (28-ounce) can Italian-style crushed tomatoes
4 anchovy filets, rinsed and finely chopped
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons capers, drained
20 Greek or Spanish olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
About 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
8 ounces uncooked spaghetti noodles
Shredded or grated Parmesan cheese (optional)


Heat oil in a skillet over low heat.

Add the garlic and sauté until golden, about 1 or 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes with juice, and simmer 5 minutes.

Stir in the anchovies and tomato paste. Add the capers, olives and red-pepper flakes. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, cook spaghetti noodles in a large pot of boiling, salted water, according to directions on the package.

Drain the noodles and toss them with sauce. Serve immediately and top with Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Makes 4 servings.
(397 calories, 14 grams fat)

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By Lane Lawson
Published by Laurel Glen

Warm Ginger and Carrot Shots


16 medium carrots
1-1/2-inch piece ginger
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Large pinch ground cinnamon
Large pinch ground cumin
Plain yogurt, to garnish, optional


Juice the carrots and ginger in a juicer.

Transfer to a saucepan with the lemon juice, cinnamon and cumin. Stir over medium heat until just warmed through, then pour into shot glasses or tall glasses.

Top each glass with a small dollop of yogurt and slightly swirl through.

Makes 8 shots or 2 large glasses.
(Without yogurt: 40 calories and 0.2 grams fat per shot or 160 calories and 0.8 grams fat per large glass)

Banana Soy Latte


1-3/4 cups coffee-flavored soy milk
2 bananas, chopped
8 large ice cubes
1 teaspoon powdered drinking chocolate
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Blend the soy milk and bananas in a blender until smooth.

With the blender running, add the ice cubes, one at a time, until well incorporated.

Serve sprinkled with the drinking chocolate and ground cinnamon.

Makes 4 small glasses.
(127 calories and 3.6 grams fat if using regular soy milk or 96 calories and 0.6 grams fat if using low-fat soy milk)

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