Low-Fat Cooking to Beat the Clock: Delicious, Inspired Meals in 15 Minutes


Can low-fat cooking be fast-really fast-and tasty too? You bet! Expanding on the successful formula of Cooking to Beat the Clock, food journalist Sam Gugino is back with Low-Fat Cooking to Beat the Clock. Using clever time-saving (and fat-busting) techniques, Gugino shows busy cooks how to get a healthy dinner fit for a gourmand on the table in 15 minutesincluding the time it takes to chop and prep. Low-Fat Cooking to Beat the Clock drastically cuts the preparation time for meal-sized entrees, while offering ...

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Can low-fat cooking be fast-really fast-and tasty too? You bet! Expanding on the successful formula of Cooking to Beat the Clock, food journalist Sam Gugino is back with Low-Fat Cooking to Beat the Clock. Using clever time-saving (and fat-busting) techniques, Gugino shows busy cooks how to get a healthy dinner fit for a gourmand on the table in 15 minutesincluding the time it takes to chop and prep. Low-Fat Cooking to Beat the Clock drastically cuts the preparation time for meal-sized entrees, while offering creative new ways of thinking about any recipe that will change the way you cook. It's amazing but true: a healthy, great-tasting dinner can be ready in 15 minutes, start to finish!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Imagine being able to prepare a delicious, low-fat meal from scratch in the same time it takes to order a pizza. It may sound too good to be true but--for the most part--it's not. Gugino builds on the concept behind his first book, Cooking to Beat the Clock, with all of its time-saving strategies such as filling pots with hot water from the tap to save on boiling time, but reduces the fat for the health- and diet-conscious. For flavor, cooks will need a pantry stocked with such specialties as candied ginger, raspberry vinegar and fish sauce, and for speedy preparation, a food processor (to save time chopping) is critical. For the most part, the recipes are low-fat versions of traditional favorites: Spicy Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry, Beef Stroganoff and Spaghetti Carbonara with Prosciutto and Peas. Nevertheless, there are a few original surprises with strong, clear flavors, including Pan-Seared Scallops with Napa Cabbage and Gingered Carrots. Disappointingly, many of the recipes consist of meat and a starch or meat and a vegetable--not necessarily a complete meal. That said, these recipes are clearly written (though the oddly blurry photos don't do the recipes justice) and will be a boon for cooks with little time on their hands. (Jan.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780811827126
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books LLC
  • Publication date: 11/1/2000
  • Pages: 156
  • Product dimensions: 1.00 (w) x 1.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Sam Gugino is a columnist for Wine Spectator and a frequent contributor to the New York Times. He lives in New York city. Visit Sam's Web site at: www.samcooks.com.

Frankie Frankeny is a San Francisco-based photographer whose work has illustrated many books, including Wookiee Cookies (0-8118-2184-6) and The Christmas Cookie Book (0-8118-3095-0).

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Spicy Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry


CALORIES: 426.86

There is a delightful sweet and hot melody to this dish. However, if you're more sensitive to hot food than I am, you might cut back on the red pepper flakes or cayenne. Pre-cut broccoli florets, which many supermarkets now carry in their produce sections or on their salad bars, help to speed things up. Some markets have broccoli crowns, essentially small heads of broccoli with no stems. Crowns can then be broken up into florets.

1 cup basmati rice
1 teaspoon salt plus additional for seasoning
1 head broccoli (about 1 pound) or 1 pound broccoli florets or crowns
3 cloves garlic
One 2-inch piece fresh ginger
2 tablespoons dry sherry or rice wine
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon peanut or canola oil
1 1/4 pounds boneless and skinless chicken
breasts or chicken tenders
1/2 cup fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken stock
2 teaspoons cornstarch
One 8-ounce can diced water chestnuts

FAT: 6.27g /13.18%


01 While the hot-water tap runs, put the rice in a 2-quart saucepan. Add 2 cups hot tap water and the 1 teaspoon salt. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and keep covered until ready to serve. (Or put the rice, 2 cups hot tapwater, and the 1 teaspoon salt in a 2-quart, microwave-safe container. Cover and cook in a microwave oven on high power for 10 minutes. Keep covered until ready to serve.)
02 Meanwhile, cut the bottom 1 inch from the stem of a head of broccoli. Separate the stem from the head. Peel the stem and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Separate the heads into florets. Set aside.
03 Peel the garlic. Peel and halve the ginger. With the motor of a food processor running, drop the garlic and ginger down the chute and finely chop. Turn off the motor and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the sherry, hoisin, soy, and red pepper flakes. Leave the ingredients in the food processor.
04 Put the oil in a wok or a 12-inch, nonstick sauté pan over medium-low heat. Cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes. Raise the heat under the pan to high. Add the chicken, season with salt, and stir. Add the broccoli and cook for 3 minutes, stirring periodically. Meanwhile, mix the chicken stock and cornstarch in a cup. Add to the food processor and turn on the machine while you open and drain the can of water chestnuts.
05 Add the sauce and water chestnuts to the pan. Stir well and cook for 2 minutes, or until the chicken and broccoli are cooked through and the sauce is lightly thickened. (Add a bit more chicken stock or water if the broccoli and chicken aren't done when the sauce has thickened.) Serve over the rice.

Pan-Roasted Chicken Breast with Lima Bean Puree


CALORIES: 493.69

In Cooking to Beat the Clock, Chicks and Bricks was my take on the Tuscan pollo al mattone, chicken weighed down with foil-wrapped bricks so it cooks quickly with a crisp skin. My low-fat version has no skin but is delicious nonetheless. Actually, you don't really need bricks to make the dish work. An enameled cast-iron Dutch oven or similar heavy pot sitting on a sheet of foil works even better because it's easier to remove.

FAT: 9.98g /18.68%


1 tablespoon olive oil 1 pound bag frozen baby lima beans 2 teaspoons salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 4 skinless chicken breast halves on the bone, about 12 ounces each, pounded flat (by the butcher if possible) to half their original thickness 5 sprigs fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried 4 chives or 3 sprigs parsley, preferably flat-leaf 1 tablespoon butter

01 Put the olive oil in a heavy, 12-inch skillet over medium heat.
02 While the hot-water tap runs, put the lima beans in a wide saucepan. Add 1 1/2 cups hot tap water and put the saucepan over high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of the salt, cover, and cook for 5 minutes.
03 Meanwhile, mix the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt, black pepper, and cayenne in a small bowl. Season the fleshy part of the chicken with half of the spice mixture. (If the butcher hasn't done so, pound the chicken between two sheets of aluminum foil or plastic wrap with the side of a cleaver or a meat pounder before seasoning.)
04 Increase the heat under the skillet to high. Put the chicken in the skillet, fleshy side down. Season the other side of the chicken with the remaining half of the spice mixture and cover with foil. Put a Dutch oven or similar heavy pot weighing at least 5 pounds on top of the foil. Cook for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat under the lima beans to medium-high and cook for 8 minutes more or until the beans are just tender.
05 While the chicken and lima beans cook, chop the leaves from one of the rosemary sprigs. You should have about 2 teaspoons. (Save the other sprigs for garnish.) Chop the chives or the parsley leaves. Turn the chicken over and put the foil and weight back in place. Lower the heat to medium-high and cook for 5 minutes or until no pink shows in the meat. (Cut into one piece to check if you're not sure.)
06 When the lima beans are done, put them and their cooking liquid in a food processor with the chopped rosemary and butter. Pulse just until pureed, scraping down the sides of the bowl to fully incorporate the mixture. Add a little hot tap water if needed to make a smooth puree. Put the chicken breasts on 4 individual plates. Divide the bean puree among the plates and garnish each by sticking a rosemary sprig in the puree like a flag.

Honey-Mustard Salmon with Cucumber-Dill Salad


CALORIES: 401.24

This is the only recipe in the book in which the grams of fat and percentage of fat are over the limit. But there's nothing unhealthful in this dish. Salmon is naturally fatty, but the fat is heart-healthy Omega 3 fatty acids. I could have reduced the fat in this dish by making the portion of salmon smaller, and I could have lowered the percentage of fat by adding more vegetables. But that just seemed silly. The dish is terrific—and healthful—the way it is.

Canola oil spray Four 5-ounce salmon fillets with pin bones removed Salt Freshly ground pepper 2 cups nonfat plain yogurt 1 1/2 pounds English (seedless) cucumbers or other cucumbers 4 ounces sweet onion, such as Vidalia 8 to 10 large sprigs fresh dill, enough for 1/4 cup leaves chopped 4 tablespoons honey mustard or sweet and hot mustard 1 tablespoon cider vinegar

FAT: 17.48g /40.47%


01 Turn on the broiler and set the broiler rack 6 inches from the heat source. Spray a large, cast-iron skillet with canola oil spray, and put it over high heat on top of the stove. Season the salmon with salt and pepper to taste. Put the salmon skin side down in the skillet. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
02 Meanwhile, put the yogurt in a fine mesh strainer over a bowl to drain excess liquid. Peel the cucumbers and halve lengthwise. (Scoop out the seeds if using regular cucumbers.) Thinly slice crosswise. Put the cucumber in a tea towel and squeeze out some of the moisture. Put the cucumbers into a large mixing bowl. Peel and thinly slice the onion. Add to the mixing bowl. Chop the leaves from the dill. Add to the mixing bowl.
03 Brush each salmon fillet with 1 tablespoon of the mustard and put under the broiler for 2 minutes. Remove the skillet from the broiler. Spoon the pan juices over the salmon and cover to keep warm.
04 In a small bowl, mix the drained yogurt, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Add to the cucumber mixture. Toss well. Serve with the salmon.
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