Wish you could enjoy all your favorite foods, like mac and cheese, chicken enchiladas, spaghetti and meatballs, and fudgy brownies, more often, without the pangs of guilt that usually accompany them? Don’t worry, you don’t have to write these off the menu for good, because we’ve revamped over 175 of your comfort-food favorites to slash the fat by half and the calories by a third. And we did it all without compromising the flavor of our dishes and without using gimmicky shortcuts, like trimming portion sizes. Now you don’t need to reserve meatloaf, clam chowder, chicken pot pie, and chocolate cake for special-occasion, once-in-a-while treats. And though they’re lower in fat and calories, they’re still big on flavor.
To make over our recipes, swapping in light or low-fat ingredients for their fattier counterparts was a good starting place--but it only got us so far. To really make a dent in the nutritional counts of heavyweights like cheeseburgers and chili, the test kitchen had to get creative. A mix of lean ground beef and ground turkey helped slash fat in our burgers, but to keep the lean patties moist and tender, the secret was cooking them covered. Ground turkey was also key in our chili--but to ensure it offered the same hearty, meaty texture as beef, we had to add it incrementally, so it flavored the chili from the outset, and still provided big, meaty bites.
Because some of the typical diet-killers are the ones we typically indulge in only when eating out--think buffalo wings and fried chicken--we took our fat-slashing MO to a number of restaurants and fast-food joints and got to work revamping their menu items as well, for a number of “Restaurant Favorite” dishes that you’ll see highlighted throughout the book. Ditching the deep-fryer in our recipes was a given, but finding other ways to deliver the same shatteringly crisp texture was a challenge. Roasting, then broiling, gave us wings with crisp, golden skin, while baking our chicken elevated on a wire rack and coated in crushed cornflakes meant it had the same ultra-crunchy coating as the real-deal fried versions. “Before” and “after” nutritional figures are included on every page, but with these recipes, we’ve also identified the restaurants we’re comparing to our makeovers.
Throughout the book, we’ve called out a number of our most substantial makeovers, such as spaghetti and meatballs, scalloped potatoes, chicken pot pie, and chocolate chip cookies and explain the details of our testing in depth with full-color photography. Our “Behind the Makeovers” section at the front of the book reveals our most-used makeover strategies and the secret ingredients that helped us revamp our recipes.
Enjoy all of your favorites again with this collection of 175 comfort-food classics that deliver all the great flavor you’d expect--but without all the fat and calories.