"MAKE IT LIGHTER," by Angela Nilsen, Hamlyn, 224 pages, $24.99
Maintaining full flavor while trimming calories in classic “naughty but nice” recipes is the aim of the cookbook from the food director of BBC Good Food magazine.
In “Make It Lighter: Healther Version of Your Favorite Recipes: All of the taste — none of the guilt,” Angela Nilsen attempts to give popular dishes a waistline-friendly makeover but ultimately falls short of her goal of avoiding the tastes and portion sizes associated with diet food.
In order to cut calories, Nilsen makes healthier ingredient substitutions. For the spaghetti carbonara, she suggests eliminating cream and instead using pasta water to create the sauce, but the result is a dish that misses any semblance of fat. While the chocolate chip cookies are more enjoyable, the portion size leaves one feeling cheated — the 97 calories come in a cookie the size of a 50-cent piece. In other recipes, lentils are substituted for meat and frying gives way to baking, creating textures and flavors not quite reminiscent of the full-fat recipes.
The cookbook is easily navigable and the recipes are easy to follow for both experienced and novice chefs. Most recipes include photos of the final product, and many have photos of the dish in progress.
Jennifer Ball is a freelance journalist based in Los Angeles. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org