Recipe Makeovers for All-American Food
Cook up lighter versions of American cuisine classics.
American Food Makeover No. 3: Cornbread
This is an All-American quick bread that's made in all different styles
(Southern, skillet, sweet) with all sorts of possible accoutrements (green
pepper, cheese, bacon, onion, etc.). There have been all sorts of names for
cornbread, and it has many variations that are part of American culinary
history, such as johnnycakes, hushpuppies, and spoon bread.
Makeover Tips: Lighten cornbread recipes by using less fat in the
batter (substitute a less-fat margarine with plant sterols for bacon grease,
lard, or shortening) and replacing that fat with low-fat buttermilk or fat-free
sour cream. For some recipes, you can make a fat substitute blend using canola
oil and fat-free sour cream. Use fewer eggs (substitute two egg whites or 1/4
cup egg substitute). If your recipe calls for "stir-in" ingredients
like bacon or cheese, you can use a reduced-fat option and add less of it. Up
the fiber in your cornbread by substituting whole-wheat flour for half of the
white flour called for.
American Food Makeover No. 4: Corn Dogs
This favorite carnival and state fair treat, in which a hot dog on a stick
is dunked into thick cornbread batter and deep-fried, was created in 1942 by
Texan Neil Fletcher for the State Fair, according to The New Food Lover's
Makeover Tips: Use leaner dogs (there are several "light"
brands available), and bake your corn dog until the cornbread batter is firm
instead of deep-frying it. If deep-frying is a must, at least use a cooking fat
that's higher in monounsaturated fat, preferably one that also contributes
plant omega-3s too (like canola oil).
American Food Makeover No. 5: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Most of us grew up on Mom's grilled cheese sandwiches. They're also standard
fare at diners across the country.
Makeover Tips: Make a healthier grilled cheese sandwich by using
whole-wheat or multigrain bread (multigrain sourdough is yummy), reduced-fat
cheese or a little less of the regular cheese. Instead of spreading them with
butter, spray the outer sides of the bread quickly with canola oil before
placing on your nonstick griddle or skillet.