Five Hundred More Fat-free Recipes

FIVE HUNDRED MORE FAT-FREE RECIPES is primarily a cookbook for fat-free purists, people with heart problems and people who cook for a loved-one with such problems. Author Sarah Schlesinger provides a wide variety of recipes for fruit and vegetable dishes, soups, salads, rice and pasta dishes, sauces and relishes, breakfast dishes, snacks, and desserts. There are no recipes for meat, poultry, or fish, but a whole chapter is devoted to beans. A nutritional analysis follows each recipe, and the book has a comprehensive index.

Like other cookbooks, this one depends on onions, garlic, and all sorts of peppers for flavor. Schlesinger uses many readily-available ingredients like no-fat yogurt and sour cream. (Her strawberry jam cookies call for a cup of no-fat yogurt.) She employs a wide variety of herbs and spices, from the usual dill and ginger to the more exotic cumin and turmeric, found in her Cumin-Cilantro Black Beans dish. Often she adds touches of fruit, either as juice or peel. Lime juice replaces butter for corn-on-the-cob, for instance. She often uses no-fat low sodium chicken broth to simmer or saute. Throughout the book, Schlesinger derives her flavors from different ethnic traditions: Italian, Spanish, Mexican, and Thai.

Although Schlesinger’s primary audience is limited, ordinary cooks will like this book. Her dishes can be part of a low-fat meal, and recipes can easily be adapted to less strict diets. Instead of using no-fat Parmesan cheese, many cooks will prefer to use smaller quantities of the real thing. Rather than employ no-fat broth, many will prefer to saute in small quantities of olive oil. All cooks will find this book a mine of wonderful combinations of flavors.