Pastry chef Marisa Churchill uses fat-free yogurt to enrich these honey-topped panna cottas. "People think that fat equals flavor," says Churchill. "That's a common misconception. I think freshness, balance and texture are more essential."
"Really spicy salsas give me a 'chile buzz,' almost an endorphin rush, so I tend to eat less," he explains. The jalapeño in this tomatillo-based salsa is also good source of vitamin C and can be either mild or fiery (depending on whether you leave in the seeds).
Cookbook author Pam Anderson likes to serve sliced tenderloin—a very lean cut of pork—with a tangy raisin-and-ginger-flavored sauce that tastes much more decadent than it actually is, thanks to a secret ingredient: cornstarch, which gives the sauce body while avoiding added fat.
To make this Italian-style salad, Joy Manning tosses cubes of bread with just a little B and lots of healthy L (soft butter lettuce) and T (small yellow and red tomatoes). Instead of mayonnaise, she blends the basil-inflected dressing with protein-rich soft tofu.
To create this tasty dip, Lee Anne Wong blends soft or silken tofu (which has an especially custardy texture) with high-potassium avocado and a little bit of low-fat sour cream and yogurt. For extra fiber, she serves the dip with raw vegetables and rosemary whole wheat pita chips.
Bravo's Top Chef Season 1 contestant Lee Anne Wong considers tofu key in helping her slim down because it provides lots of protein and folate without too much saturated fat. Wong plays with an array of Asian ingredients to create a wonderful marinade for extra-firm tofu or high-fiber tempeh (cakes made from fermented whole soy beans). Tempeh's nutty flavor and grainy texture make it an acquired taste, but Wong loves it here.