1 Our latest book, Everyday Food Light, features delicious, healthful recipes, all under 500 calories. It's organized by season, so you can take advantage of the freshest ingredients.
2 On set with The Today Show gang - Carl Quintanilla (Matt Lauer's stand in), Ann Curry, Al Roker, me, and Natalie Morales
3 The first thing I discussed was the Lighter Blue Plate Special meatloaf. The beef sirloin is combined with finely chopped carrots, celery, onion, panko crumbs, and egg white and then brushed with your favorite barbecue sauce before baking.
4 The meatloaf is served with low-fat buttermilk mashed potatoes and blanched olive oil-tossed green beans. This meal is just 327 calories per serving!
5 I then showed how to make Light Chicken Parmesan. Whole-wheat bread crumbs are mixed with Parmesan cheese. The top side of the breast is dipped in flour, then egg white, and then the breadcrumb mixture.
6 The chicken is baked until crisp and brown and is served with a side of whole-wheat spaghetti, tomato sauce, and melted part-skim mozzarella. 389 calories per serving
7 Next, I moved onto the Saucy Shrimp and Grits, our light version of a Southern staple.
8 I explained to everyone that the grits are enriched with a little butter, but no cheese.
9 The shrimp are cooked in a quick tomato sauce seasoned with smoky bacon, onion, and hot sauce.
10 Did you know that most 'fresh' shrimp have already been frozen and thawed? Look for raw 'easy peel' shrimp rather than peeled. They're already deveined and the shell helps preserve flavor and texture.
11 How delicious is that! The shrimp cooks in the tomato mixture until opaque throughout, just 2 to 4 minutes. Serve over the grits, sprinkled with crispy bacon. One serving is just 362 calories and so satisfying!
12 Everyday Food Light teaches us that we can also eat guilt-free desserts. The secret ingredient in Mini Mocha Cheesecakes, 196 calories each, is nonfat cottage cheese, which is puréed in a food processor until smooth and creamy.
13 The cottage cheese is combined with a couple of eggs, confectioners' sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and vanilla extract. The batter is placed in a muffin tin and topped with a chocolate wafer cookie before baking.
14 Another chocolate-lovers' favorite are Brownie Cookies. I actually discovered these when I had some extra brownie mix and placed spoonfuls of it on a cookie sheet and baked them.
15 So, the next time you crave a rich tasting browinie, reach for one of these lighter cookies instead. They've got just as much chocolate flavor, but far less butter - and thus less fat - per serving. 105 calories per cookie
16 Here are some other creations from Everyday Food Light, all under 500 calories. - Caesar Salad with Spicy Shrimp - The dressing is made with light mayonnaise, reducing calories and fat.
17 Oven-Fried Chicken - Baking the lightly breaded pieces on a wire rack results in 'fried' chicken.
18 Pork Tenderloin with Swiss Chard and Polenta - Instead of water, the polenta gets a flavor boost by cooking it in a combination of skim milk and low-sodium chicken broth.
19 Sauteed Cajun Shrimp - Another flavor boost comes from cooking the rice in chicken broth instead of water.
20 Seared fish with Roasted Potatoes and Tomatoes - In this recipe, flavorful sides complement simply prepared fish without introducing too many extra calories to the meal.
21 Spice-Rubbed Turkey Breast with Sweet Potatoes - A flavor boost comes from a mixture of rosemary, paprika, and lime juice rubbed over lean turkey before roasting. Sweet potatoes cooked alongside soak up the flavorful pan juices.
22 Chicken with Cornmeal Dumplings - Beer flavors this robust chicken and vegetable stew. Pilsner, with its pronounced taste of hops, works best.
23 Light Italian Wedding Soup - This leaner take on a classic soup includes meatballs made with dark-meat ground turkey instead of beef for less fat and fewer calories.
24 Whole-Wheat Walnut-Raisin Biscotti - These crunchy, nut-studded treats contain no butter or oil and are significantly lower in fat than other cookies. Whole-wheat flour provides extra fiber.
25 Angel Food Cake - There's a reason it's called angel food cake - not only is it light as air and divinely delicious, it's also virtually fat-free. It makes an excellent partner for fresh berries or berry sauce.