THE HEART OF THE MATTER
a special program of the National Emergency Medicine Association (NEMA) 

Week: 528.1 Guest: Don Mauer, Food columnist and Author of Lean and Lovin' It! Topic: Using low-fat and non-fat products - One Part Host: Steve Girard Producer: Ed Graham

NEMA: You don't have to buy specially prepared low fat foods...you can make them yourself by learning how to hunt down and reduce the amount of fat in your favorite recipes. Don Mauer, now a food columnist and author, did it and lost 113 pounds...he tells how with many of his favorite dishes in his book, Lean and Lovin' It.

MAUER: Try to identify the major source of fat in any recipe...and its usually fairly obvious, it'll usually jump out at you. If you just change that one thing in any of your own home recipes, you're probably going to go a long way towards removing most of the fat. There's some pretty good products in the marketplace that are either reduced fat or no-fat products, that can be substituted in those recipes.

NEMA: During summer, we're always eating potato salad, macaroni salad, which we'll have a recipe for in just a minute...and trying to avoid fat from dressings and mayo...its hard....

MAUER: I find non-fat mayonnaise, I'm not crazy about it, there's a low fat mayonnaise out there right now that's got one gram of fat per tablespoon...regular mayonnaise, one level tablespoon, has a hundred calories in it, and 99% of those calories are coming from fat because there's 11 fat grams in a level tablespoon of mayonnaise. That's huge... people like to make creamy style potato salad. How do you do that? You boil up a mess of potatoes, ya take a quart of mayonnaise and dump it in a bowl!...right? Can you imagine....you're talking hundreds, I mean hundreds and hundreds of fat grams coming from that mayonnaise.

NEMA: Now the recipe....

MAUER: I love macaroni salad...delicatessen style macaroni salad can have at least ten fat grams per half a cup - that's a serving size. And this is how you can make your own delicatessen style macaroni salad, that has one half gram of fat per half cup. You're gonna need: one and a quarter cups of non-fat, whipped salad dressing, two tablespoons of white wine vinegar, one tablespoon Dijon style mustard, a half a teaspoon of salt, a quarter teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper...now that's gonna make the dressing. Whisk that all up in a bowl. Cook up a half a pound of elbow macaroni...now you're gonna need one cup of sliced celery, a half a cup each of chopped red and green bell peppers and a quarter cup of chopped red onion. Put the cooked macaroni , the celery, the green bell pepper, the red bell pepper into the salad bowl with the dressing, toss it, cover it up, put it in the refrigerator and let it chill for about two hours so the flavors blend and bloom, and at the end you're gonna have a wonderful delicatessen style macaroni salad that's perfect for the summer.

NEMA: Now, for the entree....

MAUER: Everybody's tired of chicken breast, I mean they know that they're healthy, they know that they're low in fat, and they're tired of them. What I do is marinate them before I take them out to the grill, so I'm going to add flavor in two ways: first, in the marinade...and this is the marinade that you're gonna make for this: Take a tablespoon of grated, fresh ginger root, one large garlic clove, minced, a quarter cup of fresh lime juice. One teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil, one bay leaf, chopped or broken into small pieces. One and a half teaspoons of fresh thyme chopped, or a half a teaspoon of crumbled dry thyme leaves....one half teaspoon of salt and a quarter teaspoon fresh ground white pepper. Mix that all up in a bowl, take two whole chicken breast splits...you're gonna have four half chicken breasts..put those in the bowl, toss em, put it in the refrigerator for about an hour, and let it absorb that liquid. Meanwhile, get that grill fired up and when its good and hot...get the chicken breasts out of that marinade, take em out, put em on the grill and you're gonna grill them for about 8 minutes, if you got some monster chicken breasts, you might want to go to about ten to 11 minutes to a side. And these are incredible, the flavor is wonderful, so you've added flavor from the marinade and from the grill.

NEMA: What good is non-fat, or low fat...if it doesn't taste good. Don Mauer says he made it work by taking out most of the fat and substituting other ingredients to keep the flavor in....his book, "Lean and Lovin' It," is from Chapters Publishing. I'm Steve Girard.