Lighten Up Secrets Revealed!

20 of our most innovative techniques for making any dish more healthful.

When it comes to making food delicious and light, our Test Kitchens professionals have learned all the tricks. Here, they share some of their tried-and-true techniques for making dishes more nutritious without sacrificing an ounce flavor.


1. Study the recipe. Closely examine the original to see where changes can be made. "You can't just wing it, no matter how familiar you are with the recipe," says Test Kitchens Professional Kathryn Conrad. "Look at each ingredient to see where you can take away, add, or substitute."

2. Reference lightened versions of similar recipes before starting. Check out past issues of Cooking Light, cookbooks, or visit

3. Limit sodium. Try the recipe with half the recommended sodium.

4. Reduce portion sizes. When plating, start with a smaller amount and see if that satisfies you.

5. Give yourself some slack. "We try different versions of the same recipe three or four times," says Test Kitchens Professional Jan Moon. "Recipes are a science; you may need a few attempts to get it just right."

Read on for tips on toppings and baking...


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