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Eat Healthy without Losing Flavor
Entertaining the Question
May, 2005 - Issue #7
Berry Kissel with Vanilla Cream
Berry Kissel with Vanilla Cream
Delicious food can also be good for you. As caterers, we've often designed menus based on health and dietary needs, and you know what? Clients and guests are often amazed that they are eating (and enjoying) dishes that address high cholesterol, low-sodium needs, diabetes, and more. With research and attention to detail, anything is possible!

Here are some of the tricks that we use that can easily be adopted:
• Cooking with nonstick cookware decreases the need for oil and butter
• Grill food whenever possible to add flavor without fat
• Poach or steam instead of fry
• Entrees and desserts calling for high-fat pastry dough can be replaced with Phyllo dough
• Use herbs, aromatic vegetables and other lower-in-fat flavorings and condiments as seasonings in place of oils, butter and excessive salt
• Lemon juice often can act as a substitute to salt
• Fruit, vegetables or vinegars make excellent sauces
• "Game" meats and poultry are lower in cholesterol - choose these meats over beef
• Blanch vegetables to set color and flavor
• Roast vegetables to enhance flavors and allow sugars to caramelize
• Use citrus peel to add "savor" without calories or fat
• Substitute high-fat ingredients with their low/non-fat equivalents

Fire up your grills, get out the roasting pans and turn on the ovens. Here are some recipes to enhance the flavor of your fish, meats, veggies and desserts.

Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette
3 roasted red bell peppers
3 tablespoons champagne vinegar
3 tablespoons water
3 - 4 Tablespoons lemon-flavored oil
Salt and pepper to taste


Put the bell peppers in a blender, pulse, then add the rest of the ingredients. Delicious drizzled over meat, poultry, veggies, or as a spread for sandwiches.

Berry Kissel with Vanilla Cream
(Adapted from Moosewood Low Fat Cookbook, pictured above)
Berry Kissel
2 cups grape or raspberry juice
Sugar to taste
3 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in AŻ cup grape or raspberry juice
1 1/2 pounds fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced (20 ounces frozen)
3 cups fresh whole raspberries (12 ounces frozen)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Splash of Amaretto


Combine juice, sugar and cornstarch mixture in saucepan and slowly bring to a simmer, about 10 minutes. Stir for five minutes until cloudiness disappears. Stir in berries and vanilla and remove from heat. Stir in Amaretto and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or until chilled.

Vanilla Cream
(This can be substituted for a Creme Anglaise Sauce with other desserts.)
1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1 cup nonfat or low-fat vanilla yogurt
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Serve chilled. Top with Berry Kissel.

Marinade for Chicken or Fish
3 garlic cloves, mashed and chopped
Seeds from 10 Cardamom pods
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 Tablespoons plain non-fat yogurt


Blend all ingredients, then add fish or chicken. Marinate for two to four hours. Grill whole or make into kabobs.

Creating menus with dietary concerns can be fun and tasty, but sometimes you may be tempted to cook with prepared marinades or other food items. If that's the case, keep the following in mind.
• Low fat = 3 grams of less per serving
• Low Saturated Fat = 1 gram or less per serving
• Low Cholesterol = 20 milligrams or less per serving
• Low Sodium = 140 milligrams of salt or less per serving

We caterers love to eat, so we know that exercise has to be part of our daily routine. Healthy eating and exercise is a way of life.

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Cindy and Tamra own RSVP Catering, headquartered in Santa Clarita.
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