Challenge: To dish up a festive dinner for a special occasion without totally wrecking a healthy eating plan.

Solution: Roast a leg of lamb lavished with such a well-judged symphony of seasonings that it has only 10 grams of fat per serving.

The easy recipe comes from "The New Woman's Day Cookbook" by Elizabeth Alston and the editors of Woman's Day magazine (Filipacchi, 2005, $35). The book promises "simple recipes for every occasion," but a good-taste factor is also evident among the book's goals.

The wide-ranging recipes are indeed relatively simple — or at least they seem so because they're clearly written and helpfully embellished with tips and sidebars. Nutrition information and prep-and-cooking times are provided throughout, and an appendix offers guidance on herbs, spices, cheese, wine, coffee and tea. Some dishes are shown in color photos.


(Preparation about 35 minutes, cooking time 2 to 3 hours)

One 7-pound bone-in leg of lamb, trimmed of excess fat

3 cloves garlic, cut in 12 thin slices


Freshly ground pepper

1 2/3 cups finely chopped onion

1/2 cup grainy mustard

3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary or 1 tablespoon dried

3/4 cup dry red wine or chicken broth

2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger

3 tablespoons flour

3 cups chicken broth

Garnish: Rosemary sprigs and lemon slices

Have ready a large roasting pan with rack. Place lamb on rack. With tip of a knife, cut 12 deep slits all over lamb. Insert a piece of garlic into each slit. Sprinkle lamb with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. In a small bowl mix onion, mustard and 2 tablespoons rosemary. Spread all over lamb (see note 1).

Heat oven to 325 F. Roast lamb 2 to 3 hours or until meat thermometer inserted in thickest part of meat registers 135 F for rare, 145 F for medium, and 150 F for medium-well (see note 2).

Remove to serving platter, cover loosely with foil to keep warm and let rest while preparing gravy. (As meat rests, juices redistribute and internal temperature should rise 5 to 10 degrees.)

Pour wine into roasting pan and stir to scrape up browned bits on bottom. Pour into a small bowl or 1-cup glass measure. Let rest while fat rises to surface. Spoon 2 tablespoons fat into roasting pan; discard any remaining fat.

Place pan over medium-high heat. Add ginger and stir 1 minute until fragrant. Whisk in flour and cook 1 minute. Whisk in wine mixture, chicken broth and remaining 1 tablespoon rosemary. Bring to a boil (mixture will thicken), reduce heat to low and simmer about 5 minutes to get rid of floury taste. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Pour gravy into a sauceboat (makes 2 1/2 cups).

Garnish platter with rosemary sprigs and lemon slices. Serve lamb with gravy.

Makes 8 servings, with leftovers.

Nutrition information per serving (4 ounces meat with 3 tablespoons gravy): 267 cal., 33 g pro., 5 g carbo., 1 g fiber, 10 g total fat (4 g saturated), 102 mg chol., 583 mg sodium.

Note 1: You can do preparation as far as this up to 1 day ahead. Cover the meat with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Unwrap before roasting.

Note 2: When inserting the meat thermometer, be sure it's in the thickest part of the meat, not touching fat or bones.