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Elaine Magee: What's In My Fridge?

'The Recipe Doctor' gives you a guided tour
By
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Expert Column

What's in the Recipe Doctor's refrigerator? Well, I'll warn you right now, there will be a few items that might surprise you -- even a few that might horrify you!

For example, you'll probably find only one quart of low-fat milk (maybe a half-gallon if you're lucky) in my refrigerator. Strangely enough, no one in my family foursome likes milk as a beverage. My husband and I both must have missed the "got milk" gene, and we passed this to our two daughters. The quart of milk, used for cereal, cooking and smoothies, lasts about a week for our family. I know that's hard to imagine if you have milk-drinking family members!

You will find a quart of low-fat buttermilk in my fridge, though -- I use it for waffles and pancakes and assorted other baking and cooking purposes. And, in our calcium defense, you will find the selections of part-skim cheeses and low-fat yogurts are plentiful.

On a more predictable note for a dietitian, the fruit and vegetable crisper in my refrigerator is always chock-full. I keep the fixings for a 5-minute salad on hand. I buy those pre-washed bags o' salad, like the baby spinach bags, and the Romaine lettuce blends that also boast "double carrots" or exotic greens like arugula.

There are apples, grapes, strawberries and cut melon, too. Why cut melon? Because I've learned if I just suck it up, and seed and cube the melon as soon as I get it home from the market, everyone wins! My family has ready-to-eat melon that we can pull out of the fridge in a hurry over the next couple of days. The melon gets gobbled up before it can even threaten to go bad.

I have baby carrots in my crisper, which I serve almost every day as a cold, crunchy snack or a pre-dinner munchie. Along these same lines, you'll notice that I have four different types of light salad dressing. We eat salad so often I like to have plenty of dressing options on hand.

I also have a jar of light mayonnaise, which I blend with fat-free sour cream as a mayo substitute. Working your way up the shelves of my refrigerator, you'll find the deli drawer contains reduced-fat cheese, some turkey breast slices, and Parmesan cheese.

I have been buying the higher omega-3 eggs for a couple of years now, and that white carton sits proudly on one of the shelves alongside the carton of Egg Beaters. Then there's that tub of Fat Free Cool Whip that I bought the other day because it was on sale and the market was out of Light Cool Whip (it tastes better than I thought).

For hectic weeknights, I always have a container of cheese tortellini and my favorite commercial pesto sauce (Armanino) on standby. Yes, I make my own pesto, but this one is for those nights when homemade just isn't going to happen.

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