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TODAY recipes
updated 2/4/2013 6:43:22 PM ET 2013-02-04T23:43:22

Recipe: Pot-roasted turkey

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 boneless turkey breast (2 pounds), tied
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch chunks (3 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
Preparation

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

2. In a medium Dutch oven, heat the oil and butter over medium-high heat. Season the turkey all over with salt and pepper and add to the pot. Brown the turkey on all sides, about 8 minutes total, and set on a plate.

3. Add the onions to the pot and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the chicken broth, orange juice and rosemary and bring to a boil. Return the turkey to the pot, cover, and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

4. Stir the squash into the pot, coating it well with all the juices. Cover and continue to bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the turkey reads 160 degrees, another 30 to 45 minutes.

5. Set the turkey on a carving board and tent loosely with foil. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the squash to a bowl and cover with foil.

6. In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and 1 tablespoon cold water until the cornstarch is dissolved. Add to the Dutch oven and bring the gravy to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring, until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Season the gravy with salt and pepper.

7. Slice the turkey and place on a serving platter with the squash alongside. Pass the gravy in a sauceboat at the table.

Serving

Before/after: Fat 35g / 7g Calories 1,200 / 244

Tips

Sometimes I swap out the rosemary in this dish for sage. Turkey and sage is a classic pairing that works well with the earthy butternut squash.

Serving Size

Makes 6 servings

Recipe: Artichoke and spinach dip

Ingredients
  • 2 cans (14 ounces each) artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed dry
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup fat-free Greek yogurt (or use low-fat; optional)
  • 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Veggie sticks or healthy crackers, for dipping
Preparation

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray a 1 ½-quart casserole with cooking spray.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the artichokes, spinach, 3/4 cup of the Parmesan, the yogurt, mayonnaise, garlic and pepper to taste. Spoon the mixture into the prepared casserole and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan. Bake until golden and bubbly, 30 to 40 minutes. Serve with veggie sticks or healthy crackers for dipping.

Serving

Before/after: Fat 31g / 4g Calories 650 / 86

Tips

My Mama and my Aunt Peggy used to add a healthy dose of hot sauce to their artichoke dips. If you go in for a little spice, go ahead and shake some in the mix here. But be careful —  besides a kick, hot sauce is a hidden source of sodium.

Serving Size

Makes 12 servings

Recipe: Red velvet cake

Ingredients
  • For cake:
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 3/4 cup 1% buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons red food coloring
  • For frosting:
  • 6 ounces low-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), softened
  • 1∕3 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preparation

1. To make the cake:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray an 8-inch round cake pan with cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and baking soda. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, applesauce, egg and egg white. Whisk in the buttermilk, oil, vanilla and vinegar. Whisk the flour mixture into the batter, then whisk in the food coloring.

3. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely on a wire rack, then invert it onto a serving plate.

4. To make the frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using a handheld mixer, beat together the cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Spread the frosting over the cake, cut the cake into slices, and serve.

Serving

Before/after: Fat 16g / 7g Calories 311 / 199

Serving Size

Makes 8 to 10 servings

Recipe: Shepherd's pie

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped onions
  • 1 cup finely chopped carrots
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1. tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2∕3 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh parsley
Preparation

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. In a large pot, add the potatoes and cover with cold salted water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well and mash with the milk, butter, ½ teaspoon of the salt and pepper.

3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium- high heat. Cook the onions and carrots until soft, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the turkey and cook, breaking up the meat with a fork, until well browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Season with the rosemary, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Stir in the tomato paste and chicken broth and let simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the peas.

4. Scrape the meat mixture into an ungreased 1 1/2-quart baking dish. Top with the mashed potato mixture. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden. Sprinkle with parsley, season with more pepper if you like, and serve.

Serving

Before/after: Fat 25g / 4g Calories 440 / 223

Tips

If you use Yukon Gold potatoes, you will need less milk and butter to make mashed potatoes than if you use starchy russets. Yukons are naturally creamy and soak up fat less readily.

Serving Size

Makes 6 servings

Recipe: Green bean and onion casserole

Ingredients
  • 8 ounces white button mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon The Lady’s House Seasoning
  • 8 ounces green beans, cut into 1 1/2- to 2-inch pieces (about 2 heaping cups)
  • 1 can (10 1/2 ounces) low-fat cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/4 cup 1% milk
  • 1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 cup grated low-fat Swiss cheese
Preparation

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Spray two rimmed baking sheets with cooking spray.

2. Place the mushrooms on one baking sheet and the onions on the other. Spray lightly with cooking spray and season with 1/4 teaspoon of the House Seasoning. Place in the oven. After 5 minutes, give the mushroom baking sheet a shake and turn the onion baking sheet around (this will help them to cook evenly). Roast until browned, about 3 minutes more for the mushrooms and 7 minutes more for the onions. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

3. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the green beans until tender, 5 to 7 minutes, and drain.

4. In a medium bowl, stir together the drained green beans, the mushrooms, onions, mushroom soup, milk, soy sauce and remaining ¼ teaspoon House Seasoning.

5. Lightly coat a baking dish with cooking spray and fill with the green bean mixture. Bake for 20 minutes, then top with the Swiss cheese and bake until melted and bubbly, about 10 minutes.

Serving

Before/after: Fat 18g / 3g Calories 252 / 111

Serving Size

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Recipe: Bittersweet chocolate cheesecake

Ingredients
  • 1 cup finely crushed chocolate wafer cookies
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2∕3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) fat-free cream cheese (or use low-fat; optional), softened
  • 1 package (8 ounces) low-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup fat-free Greek yogurt (or use low-fat; optional)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Fat-free whipped topping (or use light; optional), thawed, for serving
Preparation

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch springform pan lightly with cooking spray.

2. In a small bowl, combine the cookies, 2 tablespoons of the sugar and the butter. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.

3. In a small microwave-safe bowl, heat the chocolate in the microwave on medium heat for 10-second intervals, stirring between each round, until the chocolate is melted and smooth.

4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using a handheld mixer, beat together the cream cheeses, the remaining 2/3 cup sugar, melted chocolate and salt. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until combined, then beat in the yogurt and vanilla.

5. Pour the batter into the prepared crust. Bake for about 1 hour, or until the filling is almost set. Cool completely on a wire rack at room temperature, then place in the refrigerator to chill for 1 hour. Gently remove from the springform pan and serve, with whipped topping dolloped on top.

Serving

Before/after: Fat 38g / 12g Calories 562 / 248

Tips

Here’s a trick for cutting a clean slice of cheesecake. Use a hot, dry knife that has been heated up under running water, then wiped dry with a kitchen towel. Repeat heating and drying knife between every two slices and your wedges will come out nice and clean without sticking to the knife.

Serving Size

Makes 16 servings

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