Leslie's Mushroom, Broccoli

and Egg Cupcakes

(10 servings)

There are so many wonderful ways to eat eggs when you Somersize. My stepdaughter, Leslie, makes delicious egg cupcakes by using omelet batter poured into cupcake tins. Her husband, Frank, eats more eggs than anyone I know. That's why we call him "Oeuf Boy." These are great to keep in the refrigerator for afternoon snacks or a fast meal. Leslie favors them with every vegetable or meat you could imagine. Here's one of my favorites.

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons butter

1 pound mushrooms, thinly sliced

2 cups broccoli florets

6 ounces Swiss cheese, grated

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

9 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease 10 cups of a muffin pan with some of the oil.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until they are brown and crusty around the edges, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms to a food processor or blender and process until minced. (If you don't have a food processor, you can mince the mushrooms with a knife.)

In a medium pan fitted with a steamer basket, bring about 1 inch of water to a boil. Place the broccoli florets in the basket and steam until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the broccoli to a mixing bowl, add the remaining oil and, with a fork, lightly mash the broccoli mixture. Add the mushrooms, cheese, salt and pepper to taste and mix thoroughly.

Spoon the mushroom-broccoli mixture into the prepared muffin cups; they will be about half full. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with a splash of water until light and fluffy. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the batter into the vegetable cups until about 3/4 full.

Bake the cupcakes in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes. Serve immediately or wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze.

Per cupcake: 283 calories, 17 gm protein, 17 gm carbohydrates, 16 gm fat, 217 mg cholesterol, 7 gm saturated fat, 210 mg sodium, 5 gm dietary fiber

St. Germain Beaupre

(4 to 6 servings)

Parboiling the chicken first removes a lot of the fat and allows for a shorter roasting time, which leaves the chicken very moist and juicy with crispy, crackling skin. You must try this!

For the chicken:

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

5- to 7-pound chicken

3 tablespoons olive oil

4 to 6 tarragon sprigs (or 2 tablespoons dried)

1 tablespoon herbes de Provence*

2 to 4 tablespoons butter

3 onions, quartered

For the pan drippings:

2 cups boiling chicken water

2 tablespoons unsalted butter (optional)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Have ready an ungreased roasting pan.

Fill a large stockpot half full of water and add 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil. Add the chicken and cover. Return to a boil and cook for 20 to 25 minutes. Carefully remove the chicken from the water and transfer it to a roasting pan; reserve 2 cups of the cooking liquid.

In a small bowl, combine the oil, tarragon (reserving 1 sprig), herbs de Provence and salt and pepper to taste. Brush the outside of the parboiled chicken with some of the herb-oil mixture. Place the reserved tarragon sprig inside the cavity. Dot the chicken with pats of butter. Rub the onions with any remaining herb-oil mixture and add them to the roasting pan.

Roast the chicken in the preheated oven, basting often with the pan juices, until the skin is crispy brown and the leg jiggles back and forth easily, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and reserve the pan juices. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm; set aside.

Leave the onions in the roasting pan. (It is not necessary to pour the fat from the pan because most of the fat was removed during the boiling process.) Heat the roasting pan on the stove over high heat. Add the 2 cups reserved cooking liquid and bring to a boil, stirring and scraping the crusty bits from the bottom of the pan to release their flavor. Cook, stirring, until the sauce is reduced by one half. Remove from the heat. If desired, add the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, and stir until melted. Season the pan drippings with salt and pepper to taste. Serve the sauce over the carved bird.

Per serving (based on 4; with the skin): 445 calories, 60 gm protein, 5 gm carbohydrates, 21 gm fat, 242 mg cholesterol, 8 gm saturated fat, 347 mg sodium, 1 gm dietary fiber

Baked Caramelized Onions

(8 servings)

I prefer red onions, but Vidalia or Maui onions will also work well. The balsamic vinegar and wine cook down to a sweet syrup.

8 small onions (preferably sweet onions, such as Maui or Vidalia, or red onions)

4 cloves garlic

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 bunch fresh thyme

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 1/2 cups balsamic vinegar

1 1/2 cups red wine

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Remove the skins from the onions. Trim the base of each onion so it can sit upright without falling over. Cut a deep cross on the top of each onion, slicing about midway into the onion. With an apple corer or the tip of a potato peeler, carve a small piece from the center of each onion to create a cavity. Be careful not to carve all the way through to the bottom of the onion. Set aside.

Slice each clove of garlic into 4 slivers, creating 16 slivers.

In a small dish, mix together the butter and thyme.

Place 2 slivers of garlic and 1 tablespoon of the butter-thyme mixture in the cavity of each onion. Transfer the onions to the prepared roasting pan and season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle 3/4 cup of the balsamic vinegar and 3/4 cup of the red wine over the onions.

Roast the onions in the preheated oven until they are soft, about 1 hour. Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees. Continue to roast for another hour, basting frequently with the pan juices. When the juices begin to dry up, add the remaining 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar and 3/4 cup red wine. The onions are ready when they look slightly crispy and caramelized on the outside edges and are soft on the inside. The pan juices will be thick and caramelized.

Per serving: 181 calories, trace protein, 12 gm carbohydrates, 11 gm fat, 31 mg cholesterol, 7 gm saturated fat, 185 mg sodium, trace dietary fiber

THE BOOK AND AUTHOR: "Get Skinny on Fabulous Food" by Suzanne Somers. If you've turned on your television set in the last 20 years, somewhere you've encountered Suzanne Somers--the ditzy blonde in "Three's Company," the unlikely title character in "She's the Sheriff," the gorgeous mom and step-mom in "Step by Step," or, for that matter, hawking for Thighmaster. So you know this is a pretty terrific looking woman. But once she was much less svelte: That was before "Eat Great, Lose Weight," her best-seller that introduced almost 600,000 readers to her dietary secrets. This current book continues that conversation. Somers is a disciple of Diana Schwarzbein (the author of "The Schwarzbein Principle") who provides both the introduction to the book and its underlying science. Packaging those principles--sugar is the dietary enemy, not fat--as Somersizing, Somers has come up with a slew of new low-carb recipes, along with guidelines for combining foods. (Crown Publishers, Inc., $24.)

FORMAT: Much of the appeal of this book and its predecessor comes from Somers's personal principles. Her approach mixes family pictures and personal details with success stories from happy customers and more than 130 recipes.

WHO WOULD USE THIS BOOK: If you have a sweet tooth and can't face life without a chocolate bar, this book is not for you. Dieters who like to cook and eat well without counting calories, however, and who are willing cut out white bread, white rice, white pasta and what Somers calls "funky foods" (sugary and starchy foods, caffeine, alcohol) will welcome it. The recipes are designed to yield flavor and satisfaction. Nevertheless, two words of caution: 1) Some of these dishes are loaded with cholesterol, and if that's your problem, run them by your doctor; and 2) Be aware that you can't use the recipes successfully without following her food-combining principles.

--Judith Weinraub