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America's Test Kitchen 7x7

Lighter Family Favorites

With these lightened recipes, your favorites will be able to appear on the table as often as you crave them.

Whether we like to admit it or not, there are some dishes that while tasty, are just too high in fat and calories to be enjoyed on a regular basis. Even a modest portion of these dishes such as macaroni and cheese and chicken Parmesan is prohibitive. But do they need to be? What if we could create lighter versions of these dishes so we could enjoy them more often? In our research we tried dozens of versions of “light” macaroni and cheeses, and again and again we were met with disappointing dishes. Gluey sauces full of tasteless, rubbery nonfat cheeses were the norm. Versions made with ricotta and cottage cheese also showed up. We wanted a creamy macaroni and cheese with real cheesy flavor. Light recipes for chicken Parmesan often fall short too. Again and again we were met with soggy crusts and that culprit, nonfat cheese. We wanted a really crisp crust for our chicken and we wanted great flavor.

Recipes:

Everyday Lighter Macaroni and Cheese

Everyday Lighter Macaroni and Cheese with Ham and Peas

Lighter Chicken Parmesan with Simple Tomato Sauce

Tasting Lab:

Alternative Pastas

Whole Wheat Pasta

Equipment Center: Indoor Grills

America’s Test Kitchen: 7×7
Feb. 17, 2007

America's Test Kitchen season 7