CHICKEN CACCIATORE (4 servings)

(From "Betty Crocker's Cookbook," 1974 edition)

2 1/2- to 3-pound broiler-fryer, cut up

1/4 cup shortening

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups thinly sliced onion rings

1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1-pound can tomatoes, drained

8-ounce can tomato sauce

3-ounce can sliced mushrooms, drained

1/4 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon salt

Wash chicken and pat dry. Melt shortening in large skillet. Coat chicken pieces with flour. Cook chicken in shortening over medium heat, 15 to 20 minutes, or until light brown. Remove chicken, set aside. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cook and stir over medium heat until onion and pepper are tender. Add chicken to sauce. Cover tightly, 35 to 40 minutes, until thickest pieces are fork tender.

Nutrition information per serving: 518 calories, 1,122 milligrams sodium, 28 grams fat, 7 grams saturated fat, 110 milligrams cholesterol. Percentage of calories from fat: 48.

CHICKEN CACCIATORE (Revised by Greta Pignone) (4 generous servings)

Betty Crocker's version of this classic Italian dish is made by a classically American method of browning the flour-coated chicken in a lot of shortening. Pignone went back to the dish's roots by using olive oil (we cut it down from 1/4 cup to 2 tablespoons) and white wine and spices for flavoring instead of salt. The salt, which has been substantially reduced in this recipe, is seldom missed in tomato sauces, which are acid and full-flavored enough to compensate. Also note that the reason the amount of cholesterol in the original and revised recipes has not changed is because cholesterol is located in the flesh of chicken, not the skin (the skin houses the fat.) Because the revised recipe eliminates the chicken skin, however, there are substantial changes in the amount of total fat and saturated fat.

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 whole chicken breasts, halved and skinned

1 large onion, cut into rings

1/2 cup chopped green or red bell pepper

1-pound can salt-free tomatoes, drained

8-ounce can salt-free tomato sauce

1/4 cup white wine

1/4 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/4 teaspoon basil

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 bay leaf

Heat oil and garlic in a large skillet. Add chicken and brown for about 5 minutes, turning once. Add additional oil if necessary. Remove chicken from pan. Add onion and green or red pepper. Cook until tender. Return chicken to skillet. Add remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes. Remove bay leaf. Serve over linguine or rice.

Nutrition information per serving: 355 calories, 132 milligram sodium, 12 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 110 milligrams cholesterol. Percentage of calories from fat: 30.

Before & After GINGERBREAD CAKE (10 servings)

(From The Washington Post) FOR THE BATTER:

1 1/2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup dark molasses

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature

FOR THE FILLING:

2 to 3 ripe peaches, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

FOR THE TOPPING:

Whipped cream or vanilla custard sauce

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Set aside. Cream butter until light; add sugar, molasses and eggs, one at a time. With an electric mixer on low speed, add half the dry mixture to the wet. Add the sour cream. Add the rest of the dry mixture, beating only until absorbed. Put 2/3 of the batter into a lightly buttered, 9-inch springform pan with waxed paper lining on the bottom. Toss peaches with lemon juice and cinnamon and top cake with mixture. Cover peaches with remaining batter and bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool, remove from springform and serve topped with confectioners' sugar and whipped cream or vanilla custard sauce.

Nutrition information per serving: 333 calories, 180 milligrams sodium, 16 grams fat, 10 grams saturated fat, 96 milligrams cholesterol, 25 grams sugar. Percentage of calories from fat: 43.

GINGERBREAD CAKE (Revised by Susan Meader Tobias) (10 servings)

This recipe replaces the shortenings and sweetener -- butter, sugar and sour cream -- with oil, orange juice and lowfat yogurt. The liquid ingredients are simply blended together, rather than beaten with an electric mixer.

We changed Tobias' use of canned or frozen peaches to apples. We tried defrosted peaches, but their high water content made the cake mushy. The final result is a dense, moist and flavorful cake with half the sugar and fat, twice the fiber and 36 percent fewer calories than the original.

FOR THE BATTER:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole-wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1/4 cup orange juice

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup dark, unsulfured molasses

2 eggs

1/2 cup lowfat yogurt

FOR THE FILLING:

2 large apples, peeled and sliced

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

FOR THE TOPPING:

Lowfat vanilla yogurt (optional)

Sift together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Set aside. In a blender, blend together orange juice, vegetable oil, molasses, eggs and yogurt. Mix half the dry mixture into the wet. Add the rest of the dry mixture, beating only until absorbed. Put 2/3 of the batter into a lightly-buttered, 9-inch springform pan with waxed paper lining on the bottom.

Peel, pit, and cut apples into 1/2-inch slices and toss with lemon juice and cinnamon. Top batter with this mixture. Cover the apples with the remaining batter, leveling the top by gently shaking the pan from side to side. Bake on middle rack at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, and the cake lightly pulls away from the side of the pan. Cool and remove from springform. Serve topped with vanilla yogurt (optional).

Nutrition information per serving: 214 calories, 161 milligram sodium, 7 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 56 milligrams cholesterol, 13 grams sugar. Percentage of calories from fat: 30. Two tablespoons of lowfat vanilla yogurt add 24 calories.

Before & After ZUCCHINI BREAD (Makes 2 loaves, 10 slices each)

(From Fairfax County 4-H Fair, Blue Ribbon Winner) 2 cups diced and peeled zucchini

1 cup vegetable oil

3 eggs

3 cups sifted flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons vanilla

In a blender or food processor, blend zucchini, oil and eggs until smooth. Sift dry ingredients together. Add zucchini mixture to dry mixture. Add vanilla and mix well. Pour into two lightly floured and buttered 9-by-5-inch loaf pans; bake for 1 hour at 325 degrees.

Nutrition information per serving: 228 calories, 110 milligrams sodium, 12 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 41 milligrams cholesterol, 15 grams sugar. Percentage of calories from fat: 46.

ZUCCHINI BREAD (Revised by Marilyn Wavering) (Makes 2 loaves, 10 slices each)

Wavering made a few changes to this recipe and we made a few more to improve the texture and flavor. Our first test produced a gummy product with little flavor, so we shredded the zucchini and whisked it with the wet ingredients instead of pure'eing it. For the purposes of decreasing sodium, the baking powder had been changed to 1 tablespoon; however, the original combination of baking powder and soda actually had less sodium and produced a better leavened product.

Note that the amount of oil and sugar have been decreased by a third, salt was decreased by a half, wheat germ was added for texture and fiber and egg whites replaced two of the whole eggs to reduce cholesterol.

2 cups shredded zucchini

2/3 cup safflower or sunflower oil

1 whole egg

4 egg whites

2 1/4 cups unsifted all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup wheat germ

2 teaspoons vanilla

Whisk zucchini, oil, egg and egg whites together in a bowl. Sift dry ingredients (except wheat germ) together. Add to wet ingredients and mix well. Add wheat germ and vanilla and mix well. Pour into 2 lightly greased and floured 9-by-5-inch loaf pans and bake in a 325-oven for about 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Nutrition information per serving: 172 calories, 88 milligrams sodium, 8 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 14 milligrams cholesterol, 10 grams sugar. Percentage of calories from fat: 41.

Before & After LEEK POTATO SOUP (8 servings)

(From "The Joy of Cooking") 3 medium-sized leeks, minced (white part only)

1 medium-sized onion, minced

2 tablespoons butter

4 medium-sized potatoes, pared and sliced very fine

4 cups chicken stock

1 1/2 cups cream

1/4 teaspoon mace

Salt and white pepper to taste

2 tablespoons chopped watercress or chives Saute' leeks and onion in butter; add potatoes and chicken stock; simmer, covered, 15 minutes, or until tender. Put through a very fine sieve, food mill or blender. Add cream, mace, salt and white pepper. Serve hot or cold.

Nutrition information per serving: 293 calories, 446 milligrams sodium, 20 grams fat, 12 grams saturated fat, 69 milligrams cholesterol. Percentage of calories from fat: 61.

LEEK-POTATO SOUP (Revised by Carolyn Wickline) (8 servings)

A few very simple changes made major differences in the nutritional outcome of this recipe. Changing to homemade or saltless stock decreased the sodium by 85 percent, trading in the cream for evaporated skim milk and the 2 tablespoons of butter for 1 tablespoon oil resulted in a 90-percent reduction in fat and a 98-percent reduction in saturated fat, cholesterol decreased by 97 percent and the calories have been cut in half.

Neither analysis includes salt added at the table. A half teaspoon of salt contains about 1,100 milligrams of sodium. If you do not like the taste of evaporated skim milk, experiment with a combination of yogurt and skim milk or dilute nonfat dry milk in a proportion of 2 parts powder to 3 parts water.

3 medium-sized leeks, minced (white part only)

1 medium-sized onion, minced

1 tablespoon oil

4 medium-sized potatoes, pared and sliced very fine

4 cups chicken stock (homemade, without salt)

1 1/2 cups evaporated skim milk

1/4 teaspoon mace

Salt and white pepper to taste

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley Saute' leeks and onion in oil. Add potatoes and chicken stock and simmer, covered, 15 minutes, or until tender. Put them through a very fine sieve, food processor or blender. Add milk, mace, salt and white pepper. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve hot or cold.

Nutrition information per serving: 147 calories, 68 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fat, .3 grams saturated fat, 2 milligrams cholesterol. Percentage of calories from fat: 12.