The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

Food

June 20, 2012

Lighten Up

TARBORO — I am always trying to watch what I eat and get more healthy. However! I don't want to give up great tasting food to do it. You don't really have to give up anything. You just have to re-invent it a bit. Reduce the fat and calories and you can have your favorites in moderation.

The first is banana pudding.  This makeover recipe takes the calorie count from 819 to 295 and from 49 grams of fat all the way down to 6. But, you don't lose the taste. This recipe is cooked, so it does not use instant pudding.

The second dish is Carrot Cake, my personal favorite. This one takes the calies from 1,460 calories per slice to 284 calories. It also takes the fat count from 99 down to 9! Plus, you don't lose any flavor!

Our third recipe is chicken salad. It has all of the flavor of the original but only a few of the calories. This one goes from 784 down to 339. This recipe is great served in a lettuce cup.

Our last recipe is my favorite pasta! It's Fettuccini Alfredo and it's terrific. It even uses "real" pasta instead of the whole wheat flavorless kind.

I hope that you will try some of these recipes. I also hope that you will let me know how you like them and even share some of your own!

Roasted Banana Pudding

5 ripe unpeeled medium bananas (about 2 pounds)

2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk

2/3 cup sugar, divided

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon butter

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 (12-ounce) container frozen fat-free whipped topping, thawed and divided

45 vanilla wafers, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place bananas on a jelly-roll pan covered with parchment paper. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Remove 3 bananas; cool completely. Peel and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Bake the remaining 2 bananas at 350 for an additional 20 minutes. Carefully peel and place the 2 bananas in a small bowl, and mash with a fork until smooth.

Combine milk and 1/3 cup sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer (do not boil).

Combine remaining 1/3 cup sugar, cornstarch, salt, and eggs in a medium bowl; stir well with a whisk. Gradually add hot milk mixture to sugar mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Return milk mixture to pan. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly (about 3 minutes), stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add mashed bananas, butter, and vanilla, stirring until butter melts. Place pan in a large ice-filled bowl for 15 minutes or until mixture comes to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Fold half of whipped topping into pudding.

Spread 1 cup custard evenly over the bottom of an 11 x 7-inch baking dish. Top with 20 vanilla wafers and half of the banana slices. Spoon half of remaining custard over banana. Repeat procedure with 20 wafers, banana slices, and custard. Spread remaining half of whipped topping evenly over top. Crush remaining 5 wafers; sprinkle over top. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until chilled.

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