Dear Jeanne:

My husband and I are mainly vegetarians. I came across the following recipe recently and would like to try it. Could you please perform your magic and reduce the high cholesterol? Thank you in advance. Margaret Athens, Ferndale, Wash.

FINNISH COUNTRY VEGETABLE PIE

Sour Cream Pastry:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut up

3/4 cup sour cream

Filling:

3 tablespoons butter, divided

2 cups shredded carrots

1 cup shredded parsnips

1/2 cup chopped green onions

1 teaspoon minced garlic

6 cups finely shredded green cabbage

1 cup shredded Jarlsberg cheese

1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice

1/4 cup heavy or whipping cream

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/4 teaspoon oregano

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 egg, beaten

1 tablespoon milk

1. For Sour Cream Pastry, combine flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. With pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in sour cream. Knead two or three times, just until dough holds together. Wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

2. For Filling, melt 1 tablespoon butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add carrots, parsnips, green onions and garlic; cook until just tender, 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add cabbage and cook, stirring occasionally, until cabbage is wilted and tender, 15 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. When cool, add cheese, brown rice, cream, parsley, oregano, allspice, nutmeg, salt and pepper.

3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Divide pastry into two pieces, one slightly larger than the other.

Between two sheets of wax paper, roll larger piece into 12-inch circle. Fit pastry into 10- or 11-inch tart or quiche pan. Spread filling over pastry, pressing until compact. Dot with remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Roll remaining pastry into 11-inch circle.

4. Combine egg and milk and brush on pastry and edge of tart. Cut pastry into 1/2-inch-wide strips and arrange in lattice pattern over filling; flute edge. Bake 25 or 30 minutes or until pastry is golden. Serve warm.

Makes 8 servings.

Dear Margaret:

Your recipe has a unique flavor which can be enjoyed by vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. To make it easier and more healthful, I used deep-dish frozen pie crusts instead of making the sour cream pastry. The distinctive flavors of the filling came through beautifully, the amount of fat was cut by half, and the cholesterol was reduced as well.

LIGHT FINNISH COUNTRY VEGETABLE PIE

2 frozen deep-dish pie crusts

1 tablespoon butter

3 medium carrots, shredded (2 cups)

1 medium parsnip, shredded (1 cup)

3 green onions, chopped (1/2 cup)

2 cloves garlic, minced (1 teaspoon)

10-ounce package finely shredded cabbage (6 cups)

4 ounces light Jarlsberg cheese, shredded (1 cup)

1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon 1 percent lowfat milk, divided

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 egg white, beaten

1. Remove frozen pie crusts from freezer and allow to thaw. Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add carrots, parsnips, green onions and garlic; cook until just tender, 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add cabbage and cook, stirring occasionally, until cabbage is wilted and tender, 15 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. When cool, add cheese, brown rice, 1/4 cup milk, parsley, oregano, allspice, nutmeg, salt and pepper.

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Remove one thawed pie crust from its aluminum container and carefully place in a 10-inch tart or quiche pan. Press edges gently up the sides to cover the inside of the pan. Spread filling over crust, pressing until compact.

3. Remove the remaining thawed crust from its container and gently place it on a flat surface. Combine beaten egg white and remaining 1 tablespoon milk and brush over crust and edge of pie. Cut crust into 1/2-inch-wide strips and arrange in lattice pattern over filling; flute edge. Bake about 25 minutes, until crust is golden. Serve warm.

Makes 8 servings.

Each serving contains approximately: Original recipe: 447 calories; 29 gm fat; 104 mg cholesterol; 648 mg sodium; 38 gm carbohydrates; 10 gm protein. Revised recipe: 324 calories; 14 gm fat; 18 mg cholesterol; 471 mg sodium; 42 gm carbohydrates; 10 gm protein.