Magic makeovers September brings us back to school, back to work, and back to reality, and in the kitchen it's back to basics to back up all those "back-to's." More Healthy Homestyle Cooking: Family Favorites You'll Make Again and Again: 200 All-New Recipe Makeovers, Evelyn Tribole's sequel to her best-selling Healthy Homestyle Cooking, is the timely ticket to tempting meals, basic yet brimming with taste and flavor. What makes these family favorites stand out is what they've lost. It's as though the 200 recipes included here worked out with a personal trainer, building up nutritional muscle and losing unwanted fat and calories. The author (and recipe coach) is an accomplished culinary makeover artist who knows exactly what to trim, what to replace, and what to adjust without tampering with taste. She shares her secrets here, and the savvy cooks who follow her lead don't have to spill the low-cal beans when they are showered with compliments. A review of nutrition basics is followed by a master list of recipe substitutions that shows how to use Tribole's makeover methods on any recipe. Then comes the main event hearty, wholesome dishes from warm, welcoming Spiced Apple Muffins and Gingerbread Pancakes to Apple-Carrot Cake topped with Best-Ever Light Cream Cheese Frosting. Just so you'll know what you've missed, calorie and fat-wise, Tribole supplies a before and after "Nutritional Scoreboard" with each recipe and a complete nutritional analysis. There's a lot to gain from eating healthy, homestyle food and very little to loose.

Sybil Pratt has been cooking up this column for more than five years.

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