love to try new recipes, but I almost always need to make changes to meet our ideas for healthful eating.

Your chances for success are greater if you start with a recipe that features vegetables, fruit, beans, seafood or grain products. There's not much hope if the main ingredients are flour, sugar or meat.

»If the recipe calls for pasta or white rice, substitute any of the cooked whole grains.

»Eliminate any added fats – oils, butter, margarine. If the recipe instructs you to fry or saute ingredients, try steaming them in a little bouillon or other flavored liquid to soften them. Add more liquid if needed: bouillon, lemon juice, tomato juice or whatever goes with the other flavors.

»Replace whole eggs with egg whites or egg substitute.

»If the recipe calls for meat as a minor ingredient, substitute a soy meat product such as soy burger, broken up; or tempeh or seitan. You can also use beans or lentils, or one of the chewier whole grains such as kamut, in place of ground meat.

»Fat-free salad dressings can replace oils some recipes; look for a brand that is not sweet.

»If flour is used as a thickener, try using a small amount of cornstarch instead.

»Add a package of tofu with liquid ingredients for a creamy sauce or salad dressing; puree in your blender.

»You may want to increase the amount of spices and seasonings in the recipe if it seems bland without the fatty ingredients. Always taste and adjust seasonings to your preference.

Checked 9/1/05

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