My kitchen is a no-butter zone! Well, with the exception of a teeny-tiny amount for toast. The worst part: it’s not my rule. It’s my fiance’s. He doesn’t loathe butter, he actually loves the stuff, but saturated fat is his #1 enemy. (Andy has high cholesterol and he’s one of a few fortunate people I know who can keep it in check with a healthy diet and regular exercise.) And because butter is basically straight-up fat, most of which is saturated, we opt instead for some of these low-fat EatingWell dinners.
Dr. Philip Ades who wrote EatingWell for a Healthy Heart agrees. (The book was just nominated for a James Beard Award as one of the best healthy cookbooks of the year.) And, in fact, his cookbook puts together more than 150 delicious EatingWell recipes, none of which use butter!
Andy and I also make a point to eat sparingly other foods that are high in saturated fat—such as cheese and red meat. I may grudgingly respect his “no butter” rule, but I don’t mind eating a low-fat diet if it is made up of some of our favorites:
Chickpea Burgers & Tahini Sauce: A light chickpea patty—served in a whole-wheat pita with a flavorful but light tahini sauce—replaces a heavy, fried falafel, for a healthier version of this pocket sandwich. And it only takes 25 minutes to make!
Almond-Crusted Pork with Honey-Mustard Dipping Sauce: Sliced almonds add an almost-like-fried-chicken crunch to the breading. We slice the pork thinly to keep the cooking time quick. The resulting pork “fingers” are great dipped in a simple honey, soy and mustard sauce.
Shrimp Po’ Boy: This twist on the Louisiana favorite piles grilled shrimp and creamy-dressed cabbage onto a crusty bun. Bread that’s soft on the inside and crusty on the outside is perfect for a Po’ Boy sandwich. This sandwich wins rave reviews at our house—and it only takes 30 minutes from start to finish!
Honey-Soy Broiled Salmon: A sweet, tangy and salty mixture of soy sauce, rice vinegar and honey does double-duty as marinade and sauce. Toasted sesame seeds provide a nutty and attractive accent.
Tijuana Torta: This is a weekday favorite because it only takes 25 minutes to make! A Mexican-style torta is just like a burrito, except the “wrapper” is a hollowed-out roll instead of a tortilla. Here it’s filled with mashed spiced black beans and a quick guacamole.
The EatingWell Tuna Melt: In this updated version of the tuna melt, we go light on the mayo and top it with fresh tomato slices and shredded sharp Cheddar, which allows us to use considerably less cheese while ensuring that there’s great cheese flavor in each gooey bite. Throw this sandwich together in 10 minutes and set the table in the 5 minutes it takes to melt the cheese.