Best of the Best: Low-Cal Faves
Slimmed-down dishes to savor


By Anna Thompson


Every January, Carolina Woman prints low-calorie recipes to help our readers stick to their new year's resolutions to lose weight and eat well. This year, we're giving you the best-of-the-best of those recipes.


After polling our Facebook fans on their faves, we're featuring the winning dishes - plus a few bonus recipes. Thanks to all who voted. We hope you enjoy these good-for-you recipes!




Cranberry-Orange Muffins With Spiced "Butter"

For Muffins:
2-3/4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 eggs
1/3 cup applesauce
1 cup skim milk
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 cup dried cranberries, packed
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

For spiced "butter":
3/4 teaspoon orange zest, finely grated
3/4 teaspoon fresh orange juice

For muffins:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, flaxseed and cinnamon.


In a separate bowl, beat the eggs. Add the applesauce to the eggs. Then add milk, honey and orange zest.
Mix the wet and dry ingredients together briefly. (The secret to light muffins is to stir the batter as little as possible.) Gently fold in the cranberries and walnuts.


Spoon batter into a sprayed or lightly oiled muffin tin, filling cups to the brim, and bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.
Muffins are done when center peaks are firm to the touch. If muffins don't peak, either the oven temperature is too low or the batter is too runny.


For spiced "butter":
Once Smart Balance is softened, mix all ingredients together until well blended. Refrigerate until 30 minutes before serving. Let sit at room temperature to soften.

Makes 12 servings


Serving Size: 1 muffin and 1 teaspoon spiced "butter"
Per serving:
Muffins only - Calories: 190, Fat: 4g, Carbohydrate: 35g, Protein: 6g, Sodium: 190mg
Spiced "butter" - Calories: 30, Fat: 3g, Carbohydrate: 0g, Protein: 0g, Sodium: 30mg



Fast Food Fix

Published by Rodale









"McDonald's: Egg McMuffin"
Olive oil spray
2 egg whites or 1/4 cup egg-white substitute
1 English muffin, split
1 slice (1/2 ounce) 2-percent-milk yellow American cheese
1 slice (1/2 ounce) Canadian bacon (2 inches wide)

Lightly mist a 4-inch ramekin or ovenproof glass bowl with oil spray. Add the egg whites or egg-white substitute.
Place the ramekin in a medium baking dish filled with about 1-1/2 inches of warm water. Carefully place the dish in the oven. Bake 20 minutes, or until the eggs are no longer runny.


Just before the egg whites are cooked, toast the English muffin. Place on a plate.


Place the cheese on the muffin bottom. Using a knife to loosen, carefully remove the egg
whites from the ramekin. Place on top of the cheese. Top with the bacon and the muffin top.


Makes 1 serving

Per serving: Calories: 217, Fat: 4g




Published by Laurel Glen







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

Per serving:
If using regular soy milk - Calories: 127, Fat: 3.6g
if using low-fat soy milk - Calories: 96, Fat 0.6g



Main Entree


Cooking Light Complete Cookbook:
A Fresh New Way to Cook

Published by Oxmoor House






Eggplant Parmesan Lasagna
12 uncooked lasagna noodles
2 large egg whites
1 large egg
One (1-pound) eggplant, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
Cooking spray
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
5 tablespoons (1-1/4 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
One (15-ounce) carton part-skim ricotta cheese
One (12-ounce) carton 1% low-fat cottage cheese
1 large egg white
One (26-ounce) bottle fat-free tomato-basil pasta sauce

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain.


Preheat oven to 450 degrees


Combine 2 egg whites and egg in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Dredge each eggplant slice in flour. Dip each in egg mixture and dredge in breadcrumbs.


Place slices in a single layer on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Coat tops of slices with cooking spray.
Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes, turning eggplant after 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees.


Combine 1 cup shredded mozzarella, 3 tablespoons Parmesan, oregano, basil, ricotta, cottage cheese and 1 egg white in a large bowl.


Spread 1/4 cup pasta sauce in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 4 lasagna noodles, slightly overlapping, over pasta sauce; top with half of cheese mixture, half of eggplant slices and 3/4 cup pasta sauce.


Repeat layers, ending with noodles. Spread remaining pasta sauce over noodles. Sprinkle with 1 cup mozzarella cheese and 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese.


Cover; bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Uncover; bake an additional 35 minutes or until cheese melts. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Makes 9 Servings

Per serving: Calories: 432, Total Fat: 11g - mono 3.1g, poly 0.9g, sat 6.2g, Protein: 28.3g, Carbohydrate: 53.8g, Fiber: 3.7g, Cholesterol: 58g, Sodium: 976mg




Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2010

Published by Oxmoor House







Beer-Battered Fish and Chips
1 pound cod fillets, cut into 3-inch pieces
1 cup dark beer (such as Negro Modelo), divided
1 pound baking potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch strips
Cooking spray
1/4 cup canola oil, divided
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine fish and 1/4 cup beer in a medium bowl. Cover and chill 1 hour.
Place potatoes on a jellyroll pan coated with cooking spray. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt; toss well. Bake for 20 minutes or until browned and crisp, stirring after 10 minutes.


Drain fish; discard liquid. Sprinkle fish with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine remaining 3/4 cup beer, flour and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper in a medium bowl. Add fish to beer mixture, tossing gently to coat.


Heat remaining 3 tablespoons oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Remove fish from bowl, shaking off excess batter. Add fish to pan; cook 3 minutes or until browned. Turn fish over, and cook 3 minutes or until done.
Sprinkle fish with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Serve immediately with chips.

Makes 4 Servings

Per serving: Calories 398, Fat 15g - Sat 1.1g, Protein 24.6g, Carbohydrate 40.7g, Fiber 2.2g, Cholesterol 40mg, Iron 2.4mg, Sodium 524mg, Calcium 30mg



The Instinct Diet
Use Your Five Food Instincts to Lose Weight and Keep It Off

Published by Workman Publishing






Barbecue Vegetable Pizza
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups white wheat bran
1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
Cooking oil spray
1 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, preferably imported
1/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and diced
1 cup steamed broccoli florets or raw mushroom slices
4 slices pepperoni (optional), cut in quarters

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.


Mix together the flour, wheat bran, yeast, sugar and salt.


Add enough warm water to make a very soft, but not sticky, dough; start with 1 cup and add up to 1/4 cup more. The dough can be made in a mixer if you have a dough hook.


Knead the dough in the mixer for a couple of minutes or for 5 minutes by hand and then pull out the dough to make a large pizza that's 14 inches in diameter.


Spray a pizza stone or baking sheet lightly with cooking oil spray. Place the pizza dough on top, cover it and let it rise for about 30 minutes.


Spoon the tomato sauce, then sprinkle the Parmesan cheese, onion, bell pepper, broccoli or mushrooms, and pepperoni, if using, onto the pizza dough.


Bake until cooked through and browning nicely, 15 to 25 minutes.

Makes 1 large pizza

Per 2 slices with pepperoni: Calories: 361, Total Fat: 5.5g, Saturated Fat: 2.1g, Protein: 16.4g, Carbohydrate: 70.9g, Fiber: 14.7g



Weight Watchers in 20 Minutes:
250 Fresh, Fast Recipes

Published by Wiley






Double Cheese and Macaroni
1-1/2 cups ditalini or small bow ties (farfalle)
1-1/2 cups fat-free milk
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
One (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green pepper and onion, drained
3/4 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
3/4 cup shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese
Chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Cook the pasta according to the package directions, omitting the salt if desired; drain and keep warm.


Meanwhile, whisk together the milk, cornstarch, mustard and pepper in a large saucepan until smooth; then set over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until the sauce thickens and bubbles, about 4 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and cook, stirring, until heated through, about 2 minutes. Add the cheddar and Monterey Jack; cook, stirring, just until melted. Stir in the pasta and cook until heated through, about 1 minute longer.


Serve sprinkled with parsley, if using.

Makes 4 Servings

Per serving: Calories: 322, Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 12mg, Sodium: 703mg, Carbohydrate: 50g, Fiber: 4g, Protein: 19g, Calcium: 404 mg





Cooking Light Complete Cookbook:
A Fresh New Way to Cook

Published by Oxmoor House






White Russian Tiramisu
1/2 cup ground coffee beans
1-3/4 cups cold water
1/4 cup Kahlua (coffee-flavored liqueur), divided
1/2 cup (3.5 ounces) mascarpone cheese or 1/2 cup (3.5 ounces) cream cheese
One (8-ounce) block fat-free cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
24 ladyfingers (two 3-ounce packages)
3 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa, divided

Assemble drip coffee maker according to manufacturer's directions. Place ground coffee in coffee filter or filter basket. Add 1-3/4 cups cold water to coffee maker; brew to make 1-1/2 cups. Combine brewed coffee and 2 tablespoons KahlĂșa in a shallow dish and cool.


Combine cheeses in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at high speed until smooth. Add sugars and 2 tablespoons KahlĂșa and beat until well blended.


Split ladyfingers in half lengthwise. Quickly dip 24 ladyfinger halves, flat sides down, into coffee mixture; place dipped sides down in bottom of an 8-inch square baking dish, slightly overlapping ladyfinger halves. Spread half of cheese mixture over ladyfingers and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon cocoa. Repeat with remaining ladyfinger halves, coffee mixture and cheese mixture.


Place a wooden pick in each corner and one in the center of tiramisu (to prevent plastic wrap from sticking to cheese mixture); cover with plastic wrap.


Chill 2 hours. Sprinkle evenly with 2 teaspoons cocoa before serving.

Makes 12 Servings

Per serving: Calories: 134, Total Fat: 4.5g - mono 1.5g, poly 0.4g, sat 2.2g, Protein: 3.3g, Carbohydrate: 21.7g, Fiber: 0g, Cholesterol: 31mg, Sodium: 139 mg




The Instinct Diet
Use Your Five Food Instincts to Lose Weight and Keep It Off

Published by Workman Publishing






Chocolate Bread Pudding
1-1/4 cups coarse bran (from regular red wheat, not white wheat)
1-1/4 cups nonfat or 1% milk
1 ounce good-quality bittersweet chocolate
2 cups Egg Beaters, or 2 egg whites
2 to 3 teaspoons Dutch-process cocoa, such as Droste
Sugar substitute equivalent to 5 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
6 tablespoons light whipped cream (optional), for serving

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.


Bring 1/2 cup of water to a boil. Mix in the bran, cover and let stand for 5 minutes.


Heat the milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Turn off the heat, add the bittersweet chocolate and let it melt. Mix well with a whisk or fork.


Place the Egg Beaters or egg whites, cocoa, sugar substitute, sugar and vanilla or orange extract in a bowl and stir to mix.


Add the milk with the melted chocolate and the soaked bran to the egg mixture and mix well.


Divide the pudding among 6 ramekins, spooning about 1/3 cup into each, and keep stirring to distribute the bran evenly.


Place the ramekins in a roasting pan and add 3/4 of an inch of cold water to the pan.


Bake the puddings until just set in the middle, 40 minutes to 1 hour. (The time they take to set is very variable.) Let cool slightly before topping with whipped cream, if desired.


Frozen puddings can be thawed by microwaving them on high power for 30 seconds, letting them stand for 2 minutes and then microwaving them again for 30 seconds.


Makes 6 Servings

Per serving with whipped cream: Calories: 116, Total Fat: 3.3g - sat 1.4g, Protein: 6.4g, Carbohydrate: 20.9g, Fiber: 5.8g



The Food You Crave

Published by Taunton Press







Carrot Cake Cupcakes With Lemony Cream Cheese Frosting
For the cupcakes:
3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour or regular whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup firmly packed light
brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup natural unsweetened applesauce
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups finely shredded carrots
(about 2 carrots)
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts

For the frosting:
4 ounces Neufchatel cheese (reduced-fat cream cheese), softened
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

For garnish:
2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts

For the frosting:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, sift together both flours, the baking soda, salt and spices. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, brown sugar and eggs until well combined. Whisk in the applesauce, vanilla and carrots. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir in the walnuts.
Divide the batter between the muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in a cupcake comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


For the frosting:

With an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and lemon zest until smooth and creamy. Frost the cooled cupcakes and sprinkle with the walnuts.
The cupcakes should be stored in the refrigerator, where they will keep for about 3 days.


Makes 12 Cupcakes

Per serving: 230 Calories, Total Fat: 10g - mono 3.5g, poly 3g, sat 2g, Protein: 4g, Carbohydrate: 32g, Fiber: 1.5g, Cholesterol: 42mg, Sodium: 220mg



Eat Well, Lose Weight From Better Homes
and Gardens

Published by Wiley






1/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup fat-free dairy sour cream
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
Nonstick cooking spray
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder (optional)

In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder, nutmeg and baking soda; beat until combined. Beat in sour cream, egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour. Cover and chill for 1 to 2 hours or until dough is easy to handle.


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat cookie sheets with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons sugar and, if desired, the cocoa powder. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll balls in sugar or sugar-cocoa mixture to coat.


Place balls 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 10 to 11 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; cool.


Makes about 48 Cookies

Per serving: Calories: 53, Total Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 8mg, Protein: 0g, Carbohydrate: 8g, Fiber: 0g, Sodium: 25mg