Serves 4

Per serving: 162 calories, 13.3g protein, 4.3g carbohydrate, 1.3g dietary fiber, 10.3g total fat (3.2g saturated fat), 216mg cholesterol, 308mg sodium; Carbohydrate choices: 0.3

A frittata is a flat Italian omelet, good for breakfast or a light supper, and a tasty way to stretch a few eggs into a meal for four. (For two, halve the ingredients and use a six-inch skillet.) Slow cooking over very low heat is essential for a smooth custardy interior. Replace the artichoke hearts with any seasonings you like, such as sautéed mushrooms or bell peppers, asparagus, green peas, cooked brown rice, shrimp, crabmeat, or crawfish tails. For even less fat, replace the eggs with an equivalent amount of cholesterol-free egg substitute.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ small onion, finely chopped
  • About ½ of a 13-ounce can of quartered artichoke hearts
  • 4 large eggs, plus 4 large egg whites
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) freshly grated Parmesan cheese

HEAT a 10-inch ovenproof nonstick skillet on medium. Swirl the oil around the hot pan. Cook the garlic and onion until golden and tender, but not browned, 3 to 5 minutes.

RINSE the artichoke hearts; pat dry; chop coarsely. (Reserve the remaining half-can for another use.) Add to the skillet; toss for a minute or so, until warm. Remove the skillet from the burner and turn the heat down as low as possible.

WHISK the eggs and egg whites until blended; season well with pepper.

Pour the eggs over the seasonings and return the skillet to the burner. Cook very slowly, until the underside has set, but the surface still appears runny, 15 to 20 minutes.

MEANWHILE, preheat the broiler. Sprinkle the surface of the frittata with the grated Parmesan. Slide the skillet under the broiler and cook just until the surface of the frittata is softly set and light golden brown, 1 to 3 minutes.

LOOSEN the edges of the frittata with a spatula and slide it onto a serving plate. Serve hot or at room temperature, cut into 4 wedges.

Serves 4

Per serving: 285 calories, 35.7g protein, 6.1g carbohydrate, 3.2g dietary fiber, 12.9g total fat (3.6g saturated fat), 75mg cholesterol, 77mg sodium

Carbohydrate choices: 0.4

Chipotle paste keeps for months in the refrigerator, great to have on hand, ready to add a quick shot of smoky heat and brick-red color to many foods. To make it, just purée a can of "chipotle peppers in adobo sauce" (stocked with the Latin imports at most supermarkets) in a food processor or blender.


  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle paste (see headnote)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • One 1-pound boneless sirloin steak, about 1½ inches thick
  • Nonstick spray to coat grill
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, cored and sliced
  • 1 ripe Hass avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced

MASH the garlic into a paste with the cumin and oregano. Add the chipotle paste and limejuice. Rub all over the steak; refrigerate for several hours or overnight, covered airtight.

LIGHT A FIRE in a charcoal or gas grill; coat the grate with nonstick spray. Grill the steak, turning once, for about 4 minutes per side (medium rare), or until done to your taste. Let rest for 3 minutes. Trim off all fat; then cut against the grain into thin slices. Serve with sliced tomatoes and avocado.

Serves 4

Per serving: 229 calories, 32g protein, 12.6g carbohydrate, 2.6g dietary fiber, 6.7g total fat (1.6g saturated fat), 65mg cholesterol, 93mg sodium, Carbohydrate choices: 0.8

Low-fat Creole sauces get plenty of flavor from tomatoes and herbs. Our grandmothers may have sautéed the onion and celery in lots of bacon fat, but just a bit of olive oil brightens the seasonings and transforms some of our best old family dishes into health food. Use any firm-fleshed fish, such as red snapper, grouper, or catfish. You could use this same method to cook shrimp, crawfish tails (rinse off the fat), boneless skinless chicken breasts, or sliced pork tenderloin.


  • 1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 celery rib, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 coin-sized slices fresh gingerroot, lightly crushed (optional)
  • Two 14½-ounce cans no-salt-added diced tomatoes
  • 3 thin lemon slices, seeds removed
  • Cayenne and black pepper
  • 4 tilapia fillets, 6 ounces each, rinsed and patted dry
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
  • Lemon wedges for garnish

HEAT a large nonstick skillet on medium high. Swirl the oil around the hot pan; then add the onion and celery; stir until tender and golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic, oregano, thyme, bay leaves, and gingerroot (if using); stir for a minute or so, until the garlic is fragrant.

Fresh ginger revs up Creole sauces and court bouillons.

ADD the tomatoes and lemon slices. Season with cayenne and black pepper. Bring to a boil; then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. (The sauce could be prepared to this point a few hours ahead, or refrigerated for 2 or 3 days.)

ADD the fish; spoon sauce over it. Cover and cook until the fish is done, 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the size of the fillets. Discard the ginger, bay leaves, and lemon slices.

SERVE with cooked brown rice, whole grain pasta, or spaghetti squash. Garnish with parsley and lemon wedges.

Serves 4

"Oven-fried" chicken gets heart-healthy crunch from cornflake crumbs. (Experiment with other dry cereals and seasonings.)

Per serving: 191 calories, 28.6g protein, 6.2g carbohydrate, 0.5g dietary fiber, 4.9g total fat (1.2g saturated fat), 73mg cholesterol, 125mg sodium

Carbohydrate choices: 0.4


  • Four 4-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large egg whites
  • ½ cup lowfat buttermilk
  • ¼ cup whole-wheat flour
  • ½ teaspoon, plus 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 cup cornflake crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon olive or canola oil

RINSE the chicken and pat it dry; season both sides with pepper. Whisk the egg whites, buttermilk, flour, and ½ teaspoon poultry seasoning in a shallow bowl until well blended. Mix the cornflake crumbs with 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning; spread in a pie plate or rimmed dish. DIP the chicken in the buttermilk mixture; then dredge it in the crumbs, coating evenly. Set aside to dry for 15 minutes.

PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Swirl the oil in a 9-by-11-inch baking pan, coating the bottom evenly. Arrange the chicken in the pan, without crowding. Bake until the meat is cooked and the crust is crisped and lightly browned, 35 to 45 minutes.

Serves 6 (as a main course)

Per serving: 247 calories, 9.5g protein, 44.5g carbohydrate, 5.2g dietary fiber, 3.7g total fat (0.6g saturated fat), 0mg cholesterol, 16mg sodium; Carbohydrate choices: 3

Black-eyed peas aren't just lucky on New Year's Day. When you leave out the ham hocks, and switch to brown rice, this high-fiber soul food is also good for your heart. For extra flavor and color, garnish with minced red onion and diced fresh tomato.


  • 1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, very finely chopped
  • 1 celery rib, very finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
  • 1 cup raw brown rice, preferably brown basmati rice
  • 1 pound frozen blackeyed peas
  • 2¾ cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Hot pepper vinegar, Tabasco®, or another hot sauce

HEAT a large saucepan on medium-high; swirl the oil around the bottom of the hot pan. Add the onion and celery; cook until lightly browned. Add the garlic and rice; stir to coat well.

ADD the black-eyed peas, water, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the pot. Simmer until the rice and peas are tender, and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 45 minutes. Season well with black pepper. Discard the bay leaf. Place the hot sauce on the table.