In our call for recipes that readers have adapted to make them more healthful we received several from Mollie Katzen's, "Moosewood Cookbook," a popular vegetarian cookbook with recipes that are often high in dairy fat. Two readers made similar substitutions in Katzen's recipes that called for ricotta and sour cream, using lowfat cottage cheese and yogurt in their stead. Remember that part-skim ricotta is considerably higher in fat and calories than lowfat cottage cheese. (A cup of part-skim ricotta contains 340 calories, 19 grams of fat and 12 grams of saturated fat. A cup of 2 percent lowfat cottage cheese contains 205 calories, 4 grams of fat and 2.8 grams of saturated fat.) SPINACH PIE (Makes one 9-inch pie)

Vera Kurlantzick of Bethesda often serves this pie for company, after making these adaptions from Katzen's original recipe: changing the butter in the pie crust to margarine, the ricotta cheese to lowfat cottage cheese, the 1/2 cup grated cheese to 1/4 cup and the 3 eggs to 2. Kurlantzick omits the salt entirely and tops the pie with yogurt instead of sour cream.


3/4 cup white flour

1/4 cup whole-wheat flour

1/3 cup margarine

3 tablespoons water or buttermilk


1/2 pound chopped spinach or 10-ounce package frozen spinach, thawed

1 small, diced onion

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon basil

Freshly ground black pepper

1 pound lowfat cottage cheese

2 beaten eggs

3 tablespoons flour

1/4 cup grated sharp cheese

Dash nutmeg

1 cup plain lowfat or nonfat yogurt


Using a pastry cutter or two forks, cut together flour and margarine. When the mixture is blended, add about 3 tablespoon cold buttermilk or water. Chill the dough at least 1 hour. Roll out and place in a 9-inch pie pan.

Saute' spinach and onion in olive oil in a saucepan. Sprinkle in basil and black pepper. Combine spinach mixture with cottage cheese, eggs, flour, cheese and nutmeg. Spread into unbaked pie shell. Top with yogurt spread to the edges of crust and a generous application of paprika. Cook in a 375-degree oven for 40 to 45 minutes.

NOODLE KUGEL (Makes one 9-by-13-inch casserole)

The adaptions that local registered dietitian Rhonda Gaynor made in the following recipe include: 3 whole eggs to 2 whole eggs plus 2 egg whites, cottage cheese and sour cream to lowfat cottage cheese and yogurt, cream cheese to "lite" cream cheese (at less than half the original amount) and 1/4 cup of honey to 1 tablespoon. Gaynor also decreased all the quantities in the topping ingredients by 2/3 for a lighter final product.

2 whole eggs

2 egg whites

1 1/2 cups lowfat cottage cheese

3/4 cup lowfat yogurt

3 to 4 tablespoons "lite" cream cheese

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 pound egg noodles, cooked

2 apples, peeled and sliced

Margarine for greasing dish


1/4 cup bread crumbs

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon wheat germ

2 teaspoons brown sugar


Beat together until smooth all ingredients except the egg noodles, apples and topping. Combine with noodles and apples. Spread into a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish that has been lightly greased with margarine. Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle on top. Dot with margarine and bake, uncovered, 35 minutes at 375 degrees.

Send us more! We're looking for readers who have revised family, cookbook, magazine or newspaper recipes to make them more nutritious and healthful. Have you found clever ways to lower the fat, increase the fiber, reduce the salt, avoid the cholesterol or cut the calories in your favorite recipes? Please send before-and-after recipes, telling us what you changed, to: Enlightened Recipes, The Washington Post Food Section, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington D.C. 20071. Let us know the source of the recipe and please include your name and phone number, should we need to reach you.