HEALTHY COOKING FOR TWO, by Frances Price, Rodale Press, $27.95

"Healthy Cooking for Two" seems a popular title for cookbooks.That tells us something about who's doing much of the cooking these days - folks with shrinking households, expanding waistlines and a growing interest in living better and longer.

This volume is subtitled "Low-Fat Recipes with Half the Fuss and Double the Taste". And it lives up to its billing.

Some recipes are provided in versions for one or two people, others are for two or four people, with the math done on ingredient reductions.

Author Frances Price, a chef, dietitian and food journalist, has tried to create recipes that use an entire container of a packaged food to cut down on waste. For recipes that take awhile to prepare or to simmer, quantities are often purposely larger to allow for freezing leftovers. The cook's time is an important ingredient.

The recipes are easy to prepare and, judging by the first two we tried, quite tasty.

We used Roasted Eggplant Parmesan as the main course of a recent meatless dinner and were impressed. We're printing the directions for four servings, but we tested it with the directions for two, the differences being a direct halving of the ingredients and use of an 8-by-8-inch pan. It was a tasty 248 calories.

Roasting the eggplant instead of breading it and frying it, plus using thinly sliced skim-milk based mozzarella, saves almost 600 calories and 50 grams of fat, according to Price.

Cincinnati Turkey Chili, at only 220 calories a serving, is a real treat and freezes well. We made it "three-way" by pouring it over spaghetti and sprinkling it with low-fat cheese, which boosted the calorie and fat totals, but not beyond acceptable entree range.

Adding chopped raw onion would make it "four-way" and pinto beans on top of that makes it "five-way," in Cincinnati chili lore.

For those not familiar with Cincinnati's reputation for chili, this is not like Texas chili. As Price says, it's "spicy-mellow, not spicy-hot, revealing its Greek origins." The spice blend compensates for the blandness of ground turkey, and once it's in there, you can't tell if you're eating ground beef or turkey, so why not use turkey and cut the fat?

Cookbooks - all books, for that matter - have gotten expensive enough to be an indulgence. But this one is worth the $27.95. There aren't any splashy color photographs, except the one on the cover, but there are plenty of good taste treats to try.

There's also enough basic kitchen set-up information to make this the only cookbook a beginner would need. Advice and tips are scattered throughout, and Price writes in a folksy tone that educates and entertains.

Next on our list of dishes to try from the book: Baked Potato Soup with Broccoli and Cheddar; then Waldorf Salad with Creamy Lime Dressing.




1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 pound ground turkey

2/3 cup finely chopped onions

1/2 cup finely chopped celery

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 bay leaf

4 cups water or defatted chicken broth

6 ounces tomato paste

To make the chili spice blend: In a small bowl, mix the cinnamon, chili powder, paprika, pepper, oregano, cumin, allspice, nutmeg and cloves. Set aside.

To make the turkey chili: In a heavy 2- or 3-quart saucepan, combine the turkey, onions and celery. Cook over medium heat, breaking the turkey apart with a wooden spoon, until the turkey is crumbly and no longer pink. Stir in the garlic, bay leaf and chili spice blend; cook the mixture a minute longer.

Add the water or broth and tomato paste; stir until the tomato paste is dissolved. Bring the chili to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Cook, stirring frequently, for 1 hour, or until the chili reaches the consistency you prefer.

Serves 4, with 220 calories, 9.3 grams total fat, 2.4 grams saturated fat, 83 milligrams cholesterol, 471 milligrams sodium, 22.2 grams protein, 13.2 grams carbohydrates and 2.8 grams dietary fiber per serving.


2 medium eggplants

4 teaspoons olive oil

2 cups marinara sauce

4 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Trim both ends from each eggplant and slice them crosswise into 8 circles of equal thickness. Brush a baking sheet with half the oil, arrange the slices on it in a single layer and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the slices are browned on top and tender in the center.

Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees.

Brush a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with the remaining oil and arrange 8 eggplant slices in a single layer in the bottom of the pan. Spoon half the marinara sauce evenly over the eggplant and top with half the mozzarella. Add a second layer of eggplant slices directly over the first to form sandwiches. Top with remaining sauce and cheese.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the cheese is browned and bubbling. Serve immediately.

Serves 4, with 248 calories, 13.6 grams total fat, 4.2 grams saturated fat, 16 milligrams cholesterol, 924 milligrams sodium, 10.4 grams protein, 25.7 grams carbohydrates and 4.9 grams dietary fiber per serving.