DEAR JEANNE: My son loves this recipe. Can you please make it with less fat and calories? – Kathy, South Portland, Maine

SHRIMP AND MACARONI CASSEROLE

1 cup elbow macaroni

1 egg

1/4 cup half-and-half cream

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

3/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided use

1 garlic clove, minced

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped

3/4 cup chopped fresh spinach

Cook macaroni according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the egg, cream and butter; set aside. Drain macaroni. Add the Parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese, the garlic, salt, pepper and reserved egg mixture; toss to coat. Stir in shrimp and spinach. Transfer to a 1-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes, or until shrimp turn pink and cheese is melted.

Makes 3 servings.

 

DEAR KATHY: This is a macaroni casserole with a difference! The shrimp is a surprise ingredient, and the spinach adds just enough interest that is not overwhelming. I simply removed the cream, egg yolk and butter, and cut down on some of the cheese, while adding low-fat ricotta to replace the more-fattening components. Using whole-wheat pasta actually adds a few calories, but it improves the nutritional benefits of the dish.

REDUCED-FAT SHRIMP AND MACARONI CASSEROLE

1 cup uncooked whole-wheat pasta

1 egg white

1/2 cup low-fat ricotta cheese

1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup grated low-fat mozzarella cheese, divided use

1 clove garlic, pressed or minced

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 pound shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped

3/4 cup chopped fresh spinach

1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain; set aside. Spray a 1-quart (small) casserole with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 350.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the egg white, ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup of the mozzarella, the garlic and pepper. Add the cooked pasta and coat with the cheese mixture. Add the shrimp and spinach; mix to distribute evenly.

3. Place pasta in the prepared casserole. Top with the remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes or until the shrimp are pink and the cheese is melted.

Makes 3 servings.

Each serving contains approximately: Original recipe: 373 calories; 21 gm fat; 182 mg cholesterol; 748 mg sodium; 18 gm carbohydrates; 26 gm protein; 1 gm fiber. Revised recipe: 307 calories; 8 gm fat; 91 mg cholesterol; 540 mg sodium; 30 gm carbohydrates; 29 gm protein; 3 gm fiber.

 

Jeanne Jones is the author of 33 cookbooks. For more information, go to her website, jeannejones.com. Send your recipe for revision to: Cook It Light, P.O. Box 1212, La Jolla, CA 92038. Please include a stamped (61 cents), self-addressed envelope.

 

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