Sample columns




  Dear Jeanne,

  Attached is a recipe from Louisiana for Crabmeat and Shrimp Fettuccine that, as you can see, is very rich but very good. Could you please lighten it up? Thank you. -- Dee A., Alpine, Calif.


  3 sticks butter

  3 medium onions, chopped

  3 stalks celery, chopped

  3 sweet green peppers, chopped

  1/2 cup flour

  4 tablespoons chopped parsley

  1 1/2 pounds shrimp

  1 1/2 pounds lump crabmeat (crawfish can be substituted)

  2-3 cups half-and-half

  1 pound Velveeta cheese, cubed

  2 tablespoons chopped jalapeno peppers

  3 cloves garlic, minced

  Salt, to taste

  Cayenne pepper, to taste

  1 pound fettuccine, cooked and drained

  1 cup grated Parmesan cheese 

  1. Melt the butter in a large, heavy saucepan. Saute the onions, celery and green peppers until they are translucent. Add the flour and stir for 15 minutes, mixing well. Add the parsley and seafood, then cook for 20 minutes, stirring gently. Add the half-and-half, Velveeta cheese, jalapeno peppers and garlic, and mix well. Season with the salt and cayenne pepper, then simmer for 15 minutes. Add the fettuccine and toss gently. Pour into a 3-quart buttered casserole dish and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 F until bubbly.

  Makes 12 servings.

  Dear Dee,

  You are right -- this is very rich! I find that cooking seafood for as long as the recipe calls for is too much. It not only wastes your time, but it also overcooks the seafood! You will complete the dish must faster using my directions. I suggest that you have everything chopped, measured and ready to go before you start, so that you don't overcook the shrimp. I also replaced the processed cheese with a cream cheese. I feel that the recipe was looking for creaminess, and the yellow color will go well with the cheese. I added the Parmesan into the mix instead of on top of the dish as well. This is still very rich. In fact, you won't believe that this is a reduced-fat recipe -- it is that good! I suggest adding lots of vegetables to the dish to cut the richness, either steamed on the side or directly into the mix. A salad on the side also would be a good idea.


  12 ounces whole-grain fettuccine 

  2 tablespoons butter

  3 medium onions, chopped

  3 stalks celery, chopped

  2 green peppers, chopped

  Fat-free chicken broth, or pasta-cooking water, as needed

  1/4 cup flour

  1 pound fresh mushrooms, chopped

  3 cloves garlic, minced

  4 cups fat-free half-and-half, divided use

  1 pound shrimp, roughly chopped

  8 ounces Greek-yogurt cream cheese, cubed 

  2 tablespoons jalapeno peppers, chopped

  1 pound lump crabmeat (crawfish may be substituted)

  4 tablespoons parsley, chopped

  1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated, divided use  

  1. In a large pot of boiling water, cook the pasta al dente, then drain.

  2. Spray a large broiler-proof casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

  3. In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onions, celery and green peppers. Cook, stirring often, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the chicken broth or pasta-cooking water as you go, if needed, to keep the vegetables from scorching. Add the flour and coat the vegetables with it. Cook for 3 more minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic, and cook for another 2 minutes. 

  4. Add 2 cups of the half-and-half and stir rapidly to boil. Add the shrimp, the remaining half-and-half and the jalapenos. Add the cubed cream cheese to melt in the sauce. Add the crabmeat, parsley and 3/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese. Stir until it returns to a boil and the cream cheese is thoroughly melted. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and mix thoroughly. 

  5. Spread the noodle mixture in the prepared pan and sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Broil until the top is browned.

  Makes 10 servings. 

  Each serving contains approximately: Original Recipe: 799 calories; 48 gm fat; 267 mg cholesterol; 1,616 mg sodium; 49 gm carbohydrates; 45 gm protein; 2 gm fiber. Revised Recipe: 421 calories; 9 gm fat; 125 mg cholesterol; 555 mg sodium; 48 gm carbohydrates; 31 gm protein; 5 gm fiber.


  (c) 2013 by King Features Syndicate Inc.


  Dear Jeanne,

  I love biscotti, but I would love to make these lower in fat. Can you help me? Thanks for whatever you can do. -- Melissa, Bend, Ore.


  3 1/2 cups flour 

  1 cup sugar

  1 teaspoon baking powder

  1/2 teaspoon salt

  4 eggs

  1 cup oil

  2 teaspoons vanilla

  1 cup chopped almonds 

  Mix together the dry ingredients, then add the eggs, oil and vanilla, and mix well. Add the almonds. Divide the batter into 3 long loaves and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 F. When cool, slice each loaf into 12 pieces, then put the pieces back in the oven for 10 more minutes, or until browned. 

  Makes 36 biscotti.

  Dear Melissa,

  There are all kinds of things you can add to biscotti: dried cranberries, chocolate chips, cocoa, walnuts or any other kind of nuts you prefer. These are the classic almond version.


  3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  1 cup sugar

  1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

  2 eggs

  2 egg whites

  2 tablespoons canola oil

  2 tablespoons water

  2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  1 teaspoon almond extract

  1/2 cup chopped almonds, toasted 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar and baking powder. 

  3. In a small bowl, beat together the eggs, egg whites, canola oil, water and vanilla and almond extracts. Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture and stir gently. Add the almonds and combine well.

  4. Divide the dough into 3 parts, and roll on a lightly floured surface into logs about 10 inches long. Place the logs on the prepared baking sheet and press down so that they are about 4 inches wide and about an inch high. Bake for 30 minutes, or until lightly golden on the edges.

  5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Then, using a serrated knife, slice the logs into approximately 1-inch slices, on the diagonal. Lay the slices down on their sides on the baking sheet and return to the oven. After about 10 minutes, turn the biscotti over and bake another 5 to 10 minutes, or until lightly golden and dry. 

  Makes 36 biscotti. 

  Each biscotti contains approximately: Original Recipe: 151 calories; 9 gm fat; 24 mg cholesterol; 52 mg sodium; 16 gm carbohydrates; 3 gm protein; 1 gm fiber. Revised Recipe: 90 calories; 2 gm fat; 12 mg cholesterol; 28 mg sodium; 15 gm carbohydrates; 2 gm protein; 1 gm fiber.


  Beans are low in fat and sodium and contain no cholesterol. My booklet "Beans and Legumes for Every Occasion" is full of healthy recipes for a variety of beans. To order, send $3 (check or money order made payable to King Features) and a stamped (61 cents), self-addressed, No. 10 envelope to Beans, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475.


  (c) 2013 by King Features Syndicate Inc.