Foods That Cause You to Lose Weight: The Negative Calorie Effect - Neal D. Barnard (2016)

HOW TO TURN YOUR FAVORITE MEALS INTO NEGATIVE CALORIE EFFECT MEALS

 width=

Don’t throw away that old family recipe. Chances are you can modify it, turning a fattening food into a fat-burning food. If you cut out the fatty ingredients, you cut out a lot of useless calories. And if you boost the complex carbohydrates, you can increase your metabolism, helping you burn calories faster.

Doing that means substituting other ingredients in place of meats, dairy products, and oils, which tend to be very fatty and have no complex carbohydrate at all. Sometimes just one or two changes is all you need. Other times, you will want to give a recipe a major facelift.

In the following pages, you will find everything you need to get started: easy tips for modifying recipes, twelve sample recipes that show just how to do it, plus nutrition analyses that show how well you can get rid of extra calories and fat.

The idea is not to eliminate all the calories from your recipes. The important thing is to reduce the fat content and to build in more calorie-burning complex carbohydrate.

Reducing Fats and Oils

Fats and oils are the most calorie-dense parts of any food, with 9 calories per gram, compared to only 4 calories per gram of carbohydrate or protein.

•When you fry foods, use a nonstick pan. Avoid deep frying. If you need to add a little oil to prevent sticking, use a spray oil.

•Remember to sauté onions and garlic or other vegetables in water instead of oil. Just simmer a quarter-cup of water in a saucepan, and add the vegetables, heating for about five minutes. Or, for a little extra flavor, use vegetable stock, wine, or dry sherry.

•Steaming or baking add no fat at all. Steamer racks work wonderfully for vegetables.

•When you bake, the amount of oil or shortening in recipes is often arbitrary and can easily be cut in half or less, with no noticeable change in the taste. Sometimes you can leave it out altogether, and substitute mashed banana, applesauce, or canned pumpkin.

•For pies, leave off the top crust. A fat-free pie crust can be made by mixing one cup of Grape-Nuts cereal and a quarter-cup of apple juice concentrate, patting the mixture into a piepan, and baking for ten minutes. Let it cool before you fill it.

•Add a sprinkle of lemon or lime to green vegetables or salads, instead of butter or oil. Delicious fat-free salad dressings are now available at all grocery stores.

•In salad dressing recipes, use water, vegetable stock, or seasoned rice vinegar instead of oil.

•In sauce recipes made with flour, liquid, and oil or fat, you can easily leave out the oil or fat. Toast the flour in a dry pan over medium heat to brown it, then add the liquid and seasonings called for in the recipe. Stir with a whisk to remove lumps, and heat, stirring constantly, until thickened.

•When nuts or peanut butter are used in recipes, they add loads of fat. You can omit them, or replace them with crunchy vegetable or fruit chunks, or Grape-Nuts cereal, depending on the type of recipe you are making.

Replacing Meat

Remember that when you replace meats, chicken, and fish with healthier ingredients, your waistline gets a real break, because all meats have substantial amounts of fat and not a speck of calorie-burning complex carbohydrate. Health food stores have products that make the switch easy.

•A full range of meatless hot dogs, burgers, and luncheon “meats” is available. Most are made from soybeans or wheat, and many are fat-free. Try different brands. Many are as tasty as they are healthful.

•To replace ground beef in spaghetti sauce, chili, sloppy joes, etc., use texturized vegetable protein (TVP). It is a fat-free soy product that is virtually indistinguishable from ground beef.

•To replace chunks of meat in stews, soups, or stir-fries, try seitan. It is an amazing product, made from wheat. Like TVP, it is fat-free and very much like the real thing.

•Tempeh is made from soybeans. It is typically marinated in soy sauce or other sauces and then grilled or barbecued. Health food stores also sell it already marinated in burger sizes. You just heat it in your toaster oven, and slip it in a bun.

•Instead of meat in tacos or chili, use pinto or black beans.

Replacing Dairy Products

Most dairy products are loaded with fat, and even the skim versions have no complex carbohydrate at all. Here are healthier choices.

•Health food stores now stock a huge range of delicious milk substitutes. Choose those with the lowest fat content. Making the transition from cow’s milk to soy or rice milk is as easy as switching from whole milk to skim.

•You will also find many ice cream and yogurt substitutes, some of which are zero fat.

•To add a cheeselike taste to pizza, spaghetti, or casseroles, try nutritional yeast flakes (not baking or brewer’s yeast), which are sold at all health food stores.

•For soup recipes that normally call for cream or butter, a potato provides a neat trick. Dice and boil a potato until it is just tender. Then put the potato and its cooking water into a blender, puree it, and add it to the soup.

Replacing Eggs

Eggs are loaded with fat, cholesterol, and animal protein, none of which help your waistline—or your arteries—at all.

•For binding loaves or burgers, try cooked oatmeal, mashed potato, fine bread crumbs, or tomato paste.

•For baking recipes that call for one or two eggs, just leave them out, and add a little extra water to keep the intended moisture content. If more than two eggs are called for, commercial egg replacers are available at health food stores, or substitute the following for each egg:

•an egg-sized piece of mashed banana, applesauce, canned pumpkin, or pureed soft tofu

•a tablespoon of flaxseeds with ¼ cup water, pureed in a blender

•2 tablespoons cornstarch

•1 tablespoon soy flour mixed with 2 tablespoons water.

BURGERS

 width=

The Old Way

Serves 6

½ cup chopped onions

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound ground round

1 to 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce

¾ cup cooked bulgur

1 teaspoon salt

pepper to taste

In a large skillet, heat olive oil and sauté onions until lightly browned. In a large bowl, add the onions and remaining ingredients and mix well. Form into 6 patties and brown evenly on both sides.

A Better Way

Whole grains give this very low-fat burger a great taste and texture and pack it with “fat-fighting” carbohydrates.

Serves 6

1 cup cooked or canned butter beans

¾ cup cooked bulgur

¾ cup cooked barley

½ cup quick oatmeal, uncooked

1½ tablespoons soy sauce

1 to 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce

1 teaspoon dried basil

½ cup finely chopped onions

1 clove garlic, finely minced

1 stalk celery, chopped

1 teaspoon salt

pepper to taste

With a fork or potato masher, mash beans just slightly. They should be chunky, not pureed. Add the rest of the ingredients and form into 6 patties. Spray skillet with oil and brown patties on both sides.

NUTRITIONAL ANALYSIS PER SERVING

Old Way: 73% calories from fat; 332 calories; 14 grams protein; 7 grams carbohydrate; 27 grams fat

Better Way: 11% calories from fat; 133 calories; 6 grams protein; 24 grams carbohydrate; 1.5 grams fat

CHILI

 width=

The Old Way

Serves 4

1 pound ground round

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

¼ cup olive oil

1 cup chopped onions

2 minced cloves garlic

1 chopped red or green pepper

2 16-ounce cans Italian-style peeled tomatoes, chopped

½ 6-ounce can tomato paste

1 jalapeno pepper, chopped

2 tablespoons chili powder or more to taste

1 teaspoon dried oregano

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon allspice

⅛ teaspoon cloves

1½ cups cooked pinto or black beans

1 cup (4 oz) of grated cheddar cheese for garnish

Heat oil in large pot, add ground round and brown, drain off fat and reserve meat. Add ¼ cup olive oil to pot along with onions and garlic, saute until lightly brown. Add ground round and rest of ingredients except beans and cheese. Simmer for 1 hour, then add beans and simmer an additional 25 minutes. Garnish each serving with cheddar cheese.

A Better Way

Even “dyed-in-the-wool” chili lovers won’t be able to tell that this is a low-fat version of a classic chili recipe.

Serves 4

1 cup dry TVP (textured vegetable protein)

1 cup boiling water

2 16-ounce cans Italian-style peeled tomatoes, chopped

½ 6-ounce can tomato paste

1 cup chopped onions

1 chopped red or green pepper

2 minced cloves garlic

1 jalapeno pepper, chopped

2 tablespoons chili powder or more to taste

1 teaspoon dried oregano

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon allspice

⅛ teaspoon cloves

1½ cups cooked pinto or black beans

½ cup chopped cilantro (optional garnish)

1 bunch finely chopped green onions, some green tops included

Pour boiling water over the TVP and let stand 5 minutes. Along with the rehydrated TVP, combine the remaining ingredients except for the beans, cilantro, and green onions. Simmer covered for about 1 hour. Add beans and cook an additional 25 minutes. Serve over brown rice, garnish with chopped cilantro and chopped green onions. Make early in the day or, better yet, the day before; the taste just gets better and better.

NUTRITIONAL ANALYSIS PER SERVING

Old Way: 60% calories from fat; 697 calories; 34 grams protein; 32 grams carbohydrate; 47 grams fat

Better Way: 3% calories from fat; 236 calories; 19 grams protein; 31 grams carbohydrate; 0.75 gram fat

CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH CHOCOLATE FROSTING

 width=

The Old Way

Serves 14

2 ounces chocolate

5 tablespoons boiling water

½ cup butter

1½ cups sugar

4 eggs, separated

1¾ cups cake flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup whole milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Melt chocolate, add boiling water and cool mixture. In a large bowl beat butter until soft, add sugar gradually, beat in egg yolks one at a time, then add chocolate mixture. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl, add to butter/chocolate mixture along with milk and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Add four stiffly beaten egg whites, and fold in carefully. Bake in a greased pan 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

A Better Way

This rich-tasting cake has far less fat than the above recipe, yet it’s sure to please any chocolate lover with its rich flavor and moist, light texture.

To make it almost totally fat-free follow the Fat-Free Variation and substitute a dusting of powdered sugar instead of the frosting.

Serves 10

1½ cups unbleached flour

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 ripe banana, mashed or sliced

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup cold water

Sift the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, and salt together in a large mixing bowl. In a small bowl, combine the banana, oil, vinegar, vanilla, and water and beat until blended. Add to dry ingredients, blend well and pour into an ungreased 9-inch cake pan. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

FAT-FREE CHOCOLATE CAKE VARIATION

 width=

This variation will give you an almost totally fat-free cake. Although it is slightly denser, it is rich tasting, wonderfully chocolatey, with just a hint of banana flavor.

Use the above recipe, but omit the oil and use a whole large ripe banana. Instead of the frosting dust the cake when it is cool with powdered sugar. If you place a paper lace doily over the cake and sift the powdered sugar over it, when you remove the doily you will have a pretty, decorative pattern!

RASPBERRY DREAM CAKE

 width=

For a delicious variation on chocolate cake, use the Better Way cake recipe in a 4½ by 8½–inch bread loaf pan. Cook for 35 minutes. Cool, then cut the cake in 2 or 3 layers. An easy way to do this is to encircle the cake with a two-foot piece of string or thread, making sure that it is even all around, then pull the ends of the string together until the string has “cut” through the cake. Then spread with 2 to 3 tablespoons raspberry jam and frost with Chocolate Cream Frosting.

NUTRITIONAL ANALYSIS PER SERVING

Old Way: 37% calories from fat; 313 calories; 4 grams protein; 47 grams carbohydrate; 13 grams fat

Better Way: 13% calories from fat; 254 calories; 3 grams protein; 56 grams carbohydrate; 4 grams fat

Fat-Free: 2% calories from fat; 181 calories; 2 grams protein; 41 grams carbohydrate; 0.5 gram fat

CHOCOLATE CREAM FROSTING

 width=

The Old Way

1½ cups powdered sugar

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

3 tablespoons margarine, softened

2 tablespoons half-and-half

1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream together sugar, cocoa, and margarine. Add half-and-half and vanilla, beat until smooth.

A Better Way

1¼ cups powdered sugar

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

2 tablespoons margarine

dash of salt

2 tablespoons plain or vanilla soymilk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream together the sugar, cocoa, margarine, and salt. Add the milk and vanilla to make a creamy, spreadable consistency.

LASAGNE

 width=

The Old Way

Serves 8

1 can Italian-style peeled tomatoes

2 8-ounce cans tomato sauce

1 teaspoon salt

1½ teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon onion salt

1 cup minced onions

2 minced cloves garlic

⅓ cup olive oil

2 pounds ground round

1 teaspoon salt

¾ pound lasagne noodles

½ pound ricotta cheese

½ pound thinly sliced mozzarella

½ pound grated Parmesan

In a large pan combine the tomatoes, tomato sauce, salt, oregano, and onion salt. In a fry pan, sauté the onions and garlic in olive oil until golden; add ground meat and cook until meat loses it red color. Add onion meat mixture to tomato sauce and simmer gently 2½ hours.

Prepare lasagne noodles; cook 18 minutes in boiling salted water, drain and separate noodles.

In the bottom of a well-greased 9 × 13–inch baking dish, put a thin layer of sauce, then criss-cross a layer of the lasagne noodles and a layer of cheese. Repeat twice with sauce, noodles, and cheese. The final cheese layer is covered once more with sauce and a dusting of Parmesan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.

A Better Way

Instead of being loaded with fat this new lasagne is filled with delicious, healthy ingredients. By removing the meat and cheese, we have drastically and instantly reduced the fat and boosted the percent of carbohydrates. In place of meat we have used tasty brown rice and pinto beans to add fiber as well as increase the fat-burning carbohydrates. Aside from the healthy aspects of this revised lasagne, it takes less than half the time to prepare than the original recipe.

Serves 8

1 12-ounce package lasagne noodles

1 package frozen chopped spinach thawed and drained

1 16-ounce can of pinto beans

1 14.5-ounce can Italian-style stewed tomatoes

1 cup chopped onions

½ cup chopped red pepper

2 cups cooked brown rice

½ cup medium salsa

black pepper and garlic salt to taste

1 26-ounce can or jar of light spaghetti sauce with mushrooms

¼ cup minced parsley for garnish (optional)

Boil lasagne in water 18 minutes. Drain and cool. Combine spinach, beans, tomatoes, onions, red pepper, brown rice, salsa, and black pepper and garlic salt. Spread about 1 cup of the tomato sauce in the bottom of a large casserole (or two smaller 9 × 13 ones). Place half of the lasagne noodles on top of the sauce and spread with half of the bean mixture; repeat with the noodles and bean mixture. Cover with the remaining sauce. Bake covered 20 minutes at 350 degrees, remove the top and bake an additional 10 minutes or until piping hot.

NUTRITIONAL ANALYSIS PER SERVING

Old Way: 48% calories from fat; 555 cal; 26 grams protein; 12 grams carbohydrates; 30 grams fat

Better Way: less than 4% calories from fat; 310 calories; 14 grams protein; 64 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fat

CREAM OF MUSHROOM SOUP

 width=

The Old Way

Serves 4

1½ cups chicken broth

½ cup chopped onion

1 teaspoon herbs de Provence

½ pound of mushrooms, sliced

3 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup half-and-half

¼ cup dry sherry

In a sauce pan, combine broth, onions, herbs, and mushrooms, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Melt butter in a separate pan, add flour and cook for 2 minutes; slowly add the half-and-half. Stir constantly so that no lumps form. In a blender, coarsely chop half the mushroom/broth mixture. Add both onion/mushroom mixtures to the cream mixture, stir well, and add salt and pepper. Simmer gently for 1 minute. Add sherry right before serving.

A Better Way

This full-bodied mushroom soup is not only low-fat, but is fast and easy to make as well. Pureed silken tofu gives it its creamy rich taste. Vogue Vegetable Broth is a tasty substitute for homemade vegetable stock; it comes in a powdered form and can be found in most health-food stores.

Serves 4

1½ cups vegetable broth (made from Vogue Instant Vegetable or Knorr Vegetarian Bouillon cubes)

½ cup chopped onion

1 teaspoon herbs de Provence

¾ pound of mushrooms, sliced

10½ ounces silken soft tofu

1 cup water (or ¾ cup for a thicker soup)

1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce

1 teaspoon salt

pepper to taste

¼ cup dry sherry

In a saucepan, combine broth, onions, herbs, and mushrooms and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Coarsely chop the mixture in a food processor and return it to the pan. In the food processor, blend until smooth the tofu, water, and soy sauce. Add slowly to broth/mushroom mixture, blend well. Add sherry and salt and pepper to taste.

NUTRITIONAL ANALYSIS PER SERVING

Old Way: 70% calories from fat; 209 calories; 4 grams protein; 13 grams carbohydrate; 44 grams fat

Better Way: 23% calories from fat; 89 calories; 8 grams protein; 2 grams carbohydrate; 2 grams fat

POTATO SALAD

 width=

The Old Way

Serves 4

2 cups sliced boiled new potatoes

½ cup French dressing

3 hard-cooked eggs, chopped

¼ cup chopped onions

½ cup chopped celery

2 tablespoons chopped olives

1 teaspoon salt

pepper to taste

½ cup mayonnaise

Boil potatoes in their jackets in a covered saucepan until they are tender. Let marinate in ½ cup French dressing. Add chopped eggs, onions, celery, and olives. Season with salt and pepper. Let stand at least an hour, then add mayonnaise. Toss carefully.

A Better Way

This potato salad is loaded with flavor and low in fat. Only 3 tablespoons of an eggless, low-fat mayonnaise (compared to a ½ cup French dressing and ½ cup mayonnaise) lowers the fat content from 41 grams to just 2 grams per serving. Carrots and peas replace the hard-cooked eggs. Whether using fresh or frozen peas, add them just before serving to keep their color bright green.

Serves 4

1 pound red potatoes, unpeeled, sliced ¼ inch thick or cut into pieces about the size of a walnut

2 carrots, peeled, cut lengthwise and then cut into small pieces

2 tablespoons dry sherry

1 tablespoon balsamic or wine vinegar

3 tablespoons eggless mayonnaise (Nayonaise)

1 teaspoon crushed dried tarragon

salt and pepper to taste

½ cup green peas

1 tablespoon roasted sunflower seeds (optional)

Cook potatoes in boiling water until just tender about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon and let drain in a colander. Cook carrots in the potato water for 3 or 4 minutes, drain. Mix together sherry, vinegar, mayonnaise, herbs, and salt and pepper and pour over potatoes and carrots. Mix well and let sit at least an hour. Stir in peas and sprinkle with roasted sunflower seeds right before serving.

NUTRITIONAL ANALYSIS PER SERVING

Old Way: 76% calories from fat; 482 calories; 6 grams protein; 16 grams carbohydrate; 41 grams fat

Better Way: 18% calories from fat; 99 calories; 3 grams protein; 21 grams carbohydrate; 2 grams fat

STRAWBERRY MILKSHAKE

 width=

The Old Way

Serves 2

2 scoops strawberry ice cream (½ cup)

1 cup whole milk

2 tablespoons strawberry or other fruit syrup

3 medium ice cubes

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high speed until smooth.

A Better Way

It’s hard to believe that this thick and creamy shake is low in fat. For a totally fat-free shake, omit the soymilk and replace with ½ cup of water instead.

Serves 2

1 frozen banana cut in chunks (peel and wrap banana in plastic before putting in freezer)

½ cup frozen strawberries or mixed berries

½ cup vanilla soymilk

2 tablespoons strawberry or other fruit syrup

3 medium ice cubes

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high speed until smooth and creamy.

NUTRITIONAL ANALYSIS PER SERVING

Old Way: 41% calories from fat; 152 calories; 5 grams protein; 17 grams carbohydrate; 7 grams fat

Better Way: 11% calories from fat; 83 calories; 3 grams protein; 18 grams carbohydrate; 1 gram fat

SLOPPY JOES

 width=

The Old Way

Serves 4

1 pound ground round

1 cup chopped onions

½ cup chopped celery

2 medium red or green bell peppers, coarsely chopped

¼ cup vegetable oil

1 16-ounce can tomato sauce

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon dried mustard powder

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

pepper to taste

Brown ground round. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and discard fat. Add oil and sauté onions, peppers, and celery. Add the remaining ingredients including the browned ground round and mix well. Simmer 20 minutes. Serve over hamburger buns.

A Better Way

This is the same recipe minus the hamburger and oil. We have substituted TVP, textured vegetable protein (see glossary), for the ground round. For sautéing the onion, instead of using the suggested ¼ cup of oil, we use either ¼ cup wine or tomato juice. These two substitutions save a whopping 44 grams of fat, bringing the fat content from 69% to 0%!

¼ cup red wine, sherry, or tomato juice

1 cup chopped onions

½ cup chopped celery

2 medium red or green bell peppers, coarsely chopped

1 cup TVP

1½ cups boiling water

1 16-ounce can tomato sauce

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon dried mustard powder

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

pepper to taste

In a frying pan, heat the wine or tomato juice, add onions and braise, or simmer very gently covered, for 3 or 4 minutes, then add celery and peppers and simmer an additional 5 minutes. Add the TVP, boiling water, and rest of ingredients and simmer 20 minutes. Serve over hamburger buns.

NUTRITIONAL ANALYSIS PER SERVING

Old Way: 69% calories from fat; 571 calories; 21 grams protein; 15 grams carbohydrate; 44 grams fat

Better Way: 0% calories from fat; 177 calories; 13 grams protein; 16 grams carbohydrate; 0 grams fat

SPAGHETTI SAUCE

 width=

The Old Way

Serves 4

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 pound Italian sausage, casings removed (4 sausages per pound)

¼ cup olive oil

1 cup chopped onions

2 minced cloves garlic

2 16-ounce cans Italian-style peeled tomatoes, chopped

1 6-ounce can tomato paste

1½ teaspoon Italian herb mix

¼ teaspoon fennel seeds

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

⅓ cup parsley

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large pot, add sausage, and break up with a fork; brown, drain off fat, and reserve meat. Add ¼ cup olive oil to pot along with onions and garlic, sauté until lightly brown. Puree one can of tomatoes, add it, browned sausage, and rest of ingredients, except for parsley, to the pot. Simmer for 30 minutes. Remove sauce from heat and stir in chopped parsley.

A Better Way

A delicious low-fat alternative to traditional spaghetti sauce, this recipe goes well with brown rice or even a baked potato as well as pasta. It’s also great over broiled, thickly sliced eggplant.

Serves 4

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound mushrooms, chopped or sliced, tough stems removed

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

¼ cup red wine or sherry

1 cup chopped onions

2 minced cloves garlic

2 16-ounce cans Italian-style peeled tomatoes, chopped

1 16-ounce can tomato paste

1½ teaspoon Italian seasoning herb mix

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

⅓ cup parsley

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in large pot, add mushrooms and fennel and brown over fairly high heat. Remove mushrooms and set aside. Add ¼ cup wine or sherry to pot, heat and add onions and garlic, sauté until limp. Puree one can of tomatoes, add it as well as browned mushrooms and rest of ingredients, except for parsley, to the pot. Simmer for 30 minutes. Remove sauce from heat and stir in chopped parsley.

NUTRITIONAL ANALYSIS PER SERVING

Old Way: 59% calories from fat; 287 calories; 8 grams protein; 22 grams carbohydrate; 19 grams fat

Better Way: 21% calories from fat; 174 calories; 6 grams protein; 28 grams carbohydrate; 4 grams fat

TACOS

 width=

The Old Way

Serves 4

1 pound ground round

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

½ cup chopped onions

1 cup tomato sauce

¼ cup chopped cilantro (optional)

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon salt

pepper to taste

8 corn or flour tortillas

1 cup (4 oz) grated cheese

chopped tomatoes

shredded lettuce

salsa

chopped red onions

Brown ground round; remove from pan with a slotted spoon and discard fat. Add vegetable oil and sauté onions. Add tomato sauce, cilantro (if using), chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper to taste, mix well. Add browned ground round. Simmer 20 minutes. Serve in warmed tortillas, top with cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, salsa, and onions.

A Better Way

As with the Sloppy Joes, we have substituted TVP (textured vegetable protein), for the ground round. For sautéing the onion, instead of using the suggested ¼ cup of oil, we used either ¼ cup red wine or tomato juice. By omitting the beef, oil, and cheese, the fat content drops dramatically, but you still have a flavorful, satisfying taco!

Serves 4

⅞ cup boiling water

1 cup TVP

¼ cup red wine, sherry, or tomato juice

½ cup chopped onions

1 cup tomato sauce

¼ cup chopped cilantro (optional)

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon salt

pepper to taste

8 corn or flour tortillas

shredded lettuce

chopped tomatoes

salsa

chopped red onions

Pour boiling water over the TVP and set aside. In a frying pan, heat the wine or tomato juice, add onions and braise, or simmer very gently covered, for 3 minutes. Add the TVP, tomato sauce, cilantro (if using), chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper to taste, and simmer 20 minutes. Serve in warmed tortillas, top with tomatoes, lettuce, salsa, and onions.

NUTRITIONAL ANALYSIS PER SERVING

Old Way: 63% calories from fat; 792 calories; 33 grams protein; 42 grams carbohydrate; 56 grams fat

Better Way: 17% calories from fat; 311 calories; 17 grams protein; 40 grams carbohydrate; 6 grams fat

PIZZA

 width=

The Old Way

Serves 4

¼ cup olive oil

1 cup chopped onions

2 minced cloves garlic

½ pound ground sausage meat or ground beef

1½ cups chunky tomato sauce

1 prepared pizza crust

2 cups grated cheddar cheese and 1 cup grated mozzarella, mixed

1 package sliced pepperoni (approximately 1 ounce per person)

1½ teaspoons Italian herb mix

salt and pepper to taste

Heat ¼ cup olive oil in a frying pan. Add onions and garlic, and sauté until lightly brown, then remove with a slotted spoon. In the same pan, brown sausage meat or ground beef. On a prepared pizza crust, spread the tomato sauce and add half the cheese mixture. Then add the onion mixture and meat, and the rest of the cheese. Top with slices of pepperoni and the Italian herb mix. Bake for 10–15 minutes at 425 degrees until piping hot.

A Better Way

A pizza can be delicious and nutritious, without the typical fattening, artery-clogging cheese, sausage, or pepperoni. The crust is almost always low in fat. A Chef Boyardee crust has less than 1 gram of fat per serving. A Pillsbury Pizza Crust has 2.5 grams, and Boboli Italian Bread Shells have 3 grams of fat. Or make your own—it’s easy with this No-Fat Pizza Crust recipe (p. 304).

For the toppings, commercial tomato sauces are quick and tasty, but check the labels. Their fat content varies all the way from 0 grams of fat to 10 grams or more. The fat-free brands are delicious and much better for your waistline.

NO-FAT PIZZA CRUST

 width=

1 package active dry yeast

1 cup warm water

⅛ teaspoon sugar

3–3½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dried crumbled basil (optional)

cornmeal

Combine yeast, warm water, and sugar, and stir until yeast dissolves. When small bubbles form, add to flour, salt, and optional basil. Stir or process mixture in food processor until a ball is formed, then knead for about 10 minutes. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour gradually. Lightly oil a bowl, add dough, cover and place in a warm spot. Let dough rise until double in bulk, about 30 to 50 minutes. Punch down, remove from bowl, and knead an additional minute or two. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

On a heavy baking pan sprinkled with cornmeal, stretch the dough out to make a circle, keeping it thin in the middle and thicker around the outside edge. The heavy, black, non-stick cookie sheets make excellent pans to use. If you like crisp crusts, you may want to bake your crust for about 8 minutes before you fill it, then add toppings and finish baking an additional 7 to 10 minutes.

BUILDING YOUR PIZZA

 width=

Serves 4

This is a great way to make pizza, using the Negative Calorie Effect. Sautéing onions in wine, sherry, or tomato juice makes a fat-free topping. Some may prefer olive oil, but it adds a touch of fat.

1½ cups chunky low-fat tomato sauce

¼ cup red wine, sherry, or tomato juice (or 2 teaspoons olive oil)

1 cup chopped onions

1½ cups mushrooms, sliced about ¼ inch thick

1 medium zucchini, sliced in half lengthwise and then cut into ¼ inch thick slices

½ red pepper, cut into ¼ inch strips

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon herbs de Provence or Italian herb mixture

½ teaspoon garlic salt

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For a thicker sauce, simmer the tomato sauce on low while you are preparing the rest of the pizza.

Heat sherry, wine, or tomato juice (or olive oil) in a frying pan. Add onions and cook until they are transparent, then add mushrooms, zucchini, red pepper, and rest of ingredients. Mix well and sauté until tender, but still crisp. Don’t overcook. Spread tomato sauce on prepared pizza crust, top with sautéed vegetables, and cook about 10 minutes or until the crust is nicely browned and the topping is bubbling hot.

NUTRITIONAL ANALYSIS PER SERVING

Pizza Topping

Old Way: 77% calories from fat; 854 calories; 39 grams protein; 7 grams carbohydrate; 73 grams fat

Better Way: 0% calories from fat; 61 calories; 2 grams protein; 7 grams carbohydrate; 0 grams fat (With olive oil: 20% calories from fat; 81 calories; 2 grams protein; 7 grams carbohydrate; 1.8 grams fat)

FROZEN BANANA DESSERT

 width=

Serves 2

Frozen bananas make a thick and creamy dessert with no added fat. To freeze the bananas, peel and break them into pieces. Place them loosely in a covered container to freeze.

½ cup soymilk or rice milk

4–6 pitted dates

2 cups frozen banana chunks

1 teaspoon vanilla

Place the soymilk and dates into a blender and blend until the dates are in very small pieces. Add the bananas and vanilla.

Blend on high speed until thick and smooth, stopping the blender to stir any unblended fruit to the center.

Per serving: 143 calories; 3 grams protein; 30 grams carbohydrate; 1 gram fat; 46 mg of sodium; 0 mg cholesterol