Going naked Undressed veggies

Victorians boiled vegetables into a yucky muck — no color, no texture, no taste. Then came 20th century butter, cheese, and cream sauces, often burnished under the broiler to a browned crust. Now, smart restaurant cooks rely on herbs and spices, reduced (boiled down and thickened) fat-free bouillons, unusual salad combinations, and imaginative treatments such as purees and kabobs to make their vegetables tasty but trim. The result? Food heaven and nutrition joy. The vegetable flavors come through, and the calories stay very, very, very low.

You don't have to settle for that boring steamed stuff and definitely not veggies so raw they have no taste. The difference between raw cauliflower and cauliflower that's been steamed for 15 or 20 minutes and dusted with dill is so vast that people who insist on passing out the stuff cold should be charged with vegetable abuse.

To reap the low-calorie rewards, avoid veggie dishes labeled

1 Au beurre (with butter) 1 Au gratin (with cheese sauce) 1 Batter-dipped (eggs, oil, fried) 1 Breaded (breadcrumbs, oil, fried) 1 Fritters (fried) 1 Fritto (fried)

1 Hollandaise (sauce with butter and egg yolks) 1 Tempura (battered and fried)

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