Foreword by Emeril Lagasse
As we approach the new millennium, it has been obvious to me and others just how exciting food and cooking have become to a vast audience: men, women, and children. It has been the most exciting time for all of us to eat in America.
When a group of us at Good Morning America decided to see how creative people were cooking, we said, "Lets try to see how America is cutting calories." It wasnt a matter of cutting corners or cutting quality, just plain calories. We established the criteria that each entry in the Good Morning America Cut the Calories Cook-Off must be an original recipe, either savory or sweet, and certainly low in fat and low in calories. This would be a challenge. We were shocked by the number of entries. These were all narrowed down to five finalists in each category--Entrees and Desserts--after being screened and tested by Good Morning America Food Editor Sara Moulton and her GMA team.
The most popular dishes we received were cheesecakes, trifles (layered desserts in footed clear bowls), and chicken recipes. Surprisingly, we had more main dishes than desserts, but nearly everything we saw was creative, thoughtful, moderately priced, delicious but low in calories. Dishes like Turkey Salsa Meat Loaf; Spicy Salmon Salad; Grilled Halibut with Rum Sauce, Great Greens, and Olives; Chicken Cutlets with Roasted Red Peppers, Clelia Style; and of course our entre winner, Oven-Fried Chicken with Andouille Sausage.
Or how about Luscious Lemon-Berry Parfait, "Not" Cream Cheese Cake, Plain and Fancy Tea Cake, or our dessert winner, Caramel Cheesecake with Praline Sauce?
Under the direction of Chef Michael Lomonaco of New Yorks Windows on the World, Wolfgang Puck and I judged the ten finalists, the top five entres and the top five desserts, on the basis of taste (most important), originality, and healthiness. Wow, were we surprised by the amount of excitement! ABCs mail room was swamped with over 70,000 written requests for these creations!
So, congratulations to all who sent us entries, to our finalists, and of course to our winners. I, Wolfgang, Sara, and everyone else at Good Morning America say, "Enjoy, keep eating, and keep cooking!"
Good Morning America Food Correspondent