Sweet savory and lowA year ago, the good folks at Good Morning America decided to find out how the good folks of America were decreasing the fat and calories in the food they prepared at home. To that worthy, weight-reducing end, they established the GMA Cut the Calories Cook-Off. More than 1,100 recipes poured in and the best have now been collected in The Good Morning America Cut the Calories Cookbook: 120 Delicious Low-Fat, Low-Cal Recipes from Our Viewers by Sara Moulton with Jean Anderson, and a foreword by Emeril Lagasse. Contestants had only two categories entrees and desserts yet that seems to have ignited imaginations. Cheesecakes (a caramel version with praline sauce won one grand prize) and chicken dishes (oven-fried with andouille sausage won the other) were the most numerous, but seafood, beef, pork, veal, venison, and vegetarian mains get their day in the culinary sun. The champion cheesecake, too, gets plenty of competition from a sweet array of pies, puddings, cakes, and cookies. Moulton and the GMA food staff share their collective kitchen wisdom in the headnotes and tips that preface each recipe, and in the exceptionally clear cooking instructions. When recipes are low in fat and low in calories, you have nothing to lose but unwanted weight; when those same recipes are high in flavor, quality, and appetite appeal, you have everything to gain but unwanted pounds. No contest here it's a win-win situation for every cook and eater.
Sybil Pratt has been cooking up this column for more than five years.