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Recipes by the Rules?

April 01, 1993

You've heard it all before--you should cut down on fat, limit your consumption of alcohol and eat a varied diet that includes lots of fruit, vegetables and high-fiber foods such as whole-grain cereals.

The American Cancer Society knows that you've heard it before, but still, they'd like you to think about it once again. After all, scientific studies show that up to 35% of all cancers are linked to diet. To kick off National Cancer Awareness Month, which starts today, they've published a brochure called "Mother Was Right" and set up a nutrition hot line, (800) ACS-2345. They also asked eight local chefs to create recipes using their nutritional guidelines.

The recipes were unveiled last week at a party at the Regent Beverly Wilshire. It quickly became clear that these were not the same old health food recipes. There are no tricks here, no strange ingredients and if you served these dishes to your friends they'd never even know they were good for them. And to tell the truth, some of them are surprisingly high in fat.

We left out the salad from Wolfgang Puck, which has a dressing that includes 1/4 cup of oil per person. But, despite the fact that it has 42 grams of fat per serving, we left in Ken Frank's fettuccine; it's so delicious you really might want to serve it at your next party. You could cut the amount of oil in the recipe. But even if you didn't, you could start by serving the Grilled Vegetable Terrine as an appetizer (14 grams of fat) and end with Angel Food Cake With Blood Orange Ice for dessert (zero fat). You'd still be within the American Cancer Society guidelines--which suggest that fat should be less than 30% of your day's calories--provided that you didn't eat much for the rest of the day.


This terrine, created by Urs Balmer, executive chef of the Regent Beverly Wilshire, is extraordinarily beautiful. It's not difficult to make, although it is very difficult to cut; an electric knife will help.


3 sweet red peppers

2 sweet yellow peppers

2 green peppers

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 medium Japanese eggplants or 1 large regular eggplant

3 medium green zucchini

3 medium yellow squash or golden zucchini

5 medium shiitake mushrooms, optional

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon ground dried thyme

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon ground dried oregano

Salt, pepper

Rub peppers with little olive oil and place on baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees 30 minutes. Turn to brown all sides. Remove and peel peppers under running water. Cut each pepper into 4 large strips. Trim ends and remove seeds.

Slice eggplant and zucchini lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Cut stems off shiitakes. Toss all vegetables together with remaining olive oil, thyme and oregano. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place vegetables on hot grill, turning to cook both sides and making sure they are completely cooked. (Vegetables can also be cooked under broiler.)

Allow vegetables to cool. Oil inside of 12x3x4-inch pate mold. Layer vegetables in mold, alternating colors and flavors. Cut piece of thick cardboard to fit inside of terrine, wrap with foil or plastic wrap and place on top of vegetables. Press with 3- to 5-pound weight (cans will do). Place in refrigerator and leave, with weights, 24 hours.

Remove, unmold and slice carefully with very sharp knife. Serve with chilled vinaigrette dressing. Makes 12 servings.

Each serving contains about:

151 calories; 28 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 14 grams fat; 6 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram protein; 0.65 gram fiber.


"What I love about this dish," writes Ken Frank in his book, "Ken Frank's La Toque Cookbook" (Simon & Schuster), "is the great flavor you get from the garlic, pepper, and tuna with good olive oil. And it is deliciously versatile: Use diced mushrooms, shrimp, or scallops if you can't get great tuna--it's hard to go wrong." Indeed.


1 pound fresh tuna, cut into 1/2-inch dice

4 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced

8 cloves garlic, chopped

12 large Kalamata olives, pitted and slivered

12 basil leaves, chopped

1 tablespoon cracked black pepper

1/4 cup capers


2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

8 ounces hot cooked fettucine

Combine tuna, tomatoes, garlic, olives, basil, pepper and capers in mixing bowl. Season to taste with salt.

Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add tuna mixture and saute about 1 1/2 minutes.

Immediately pour over hot pasta and toss in skillet. Makes 4 servings.

Each serving contains about:

526 calories; 239 mg sodium; 43 mg cholesterol; 42 grams fat; 8 grams carbohydrates; 28 grams protein; 0.9 gram fiber.


Carlito Jackson, the chef of Antonello in Santa Ana, makes a traditional risotto, which means that it requires a lot of stirring and must be cooked at the very last minute. It's worth the work.


8 cups chicken broth

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped shallots

1/2 cup chopped onion

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