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Why is the food at many restaurants better than anything you can cook yourself? There are several reasons. Chefs have training and knowledge that home cooks do not. They have access to finer ingredients.

And they are not afraid to do things that would give home cooks pause. Specifically, they feel free to make their meals memorable by loading them up with calories and fat.

The late Anthony Bourdain once wrote that patrons of some fine dining restaurants can expect to consume an entire stick of butter over the course of some meals.

Home cooks generally don’t cook that way. I, for one, suffer from a medical condition that keeps me from indulging in such excesses. The condition is called I’m Glad I’m Living and I Don’t Want to Stop Anytime Soon.

But restaurant food tastes so good. So what I like to do is take restaurant recipes and strip them of some of their sugar and some of their fat. The idea is to do that without removing too much of their flavor, though the restaurant versions are certain to taste better.

This week, I have endeavored to take four requested restaurant recipes and bring them back down to earth. I have nipped them and tucked them, edged them and trimmed them, removing fat where I could in an effort to turn them into recipes you could serve your family without causing instant cardiac arrest.

In general, I used less butter and oil than the recipes call for — and the butter that I did use, I often browned for a nutty flavor. In place of heavy cream, I used a mixture of half-and-half and whole milk, which I also used as a substitute for half-and-half. For recipes requiring Parmesan cheese, I used a greatly reduced amount of Parmigiano-Reggiano, which has a more intense flavor.

I did not use any product that that is specifically marketed as low calorie. The whole point was to make these dishes taste great, not be vaguely reminiscent of something that tastes great.

The results were highly satisfying. They hit that sweet spot of being delicious while still being far better for you than the original restaurant versions, though that is not always saying much.

I started, as one should, with a first course, a soup. It is a cream of broccoli soup served at Lumen, an event space that frequently caters celebrations such as weddings. You would expect the food at such a place would be rich, and indeed it is. One serving of their Broccoli Soup With Gougeres contains 475 calories, with 46 grams of fat.

I cut the butter in half and used a 50-50 mixture of half-and-half and whole milk in place of heavy cream, adding yogurt instead of sour cream. And to replace some of the flavor I was removing, I actually added a few calories — but a lot of taste — in the form of chicken stock, which I used in place of plain water to make the broth.

The soup is also served with a cheesy gougere, which is a little puff pastry. I cut back on the butter here, too, and used water instead of milk — gougeres are traditionally made with water, anyway. I did use the full complement of cheese, though, because you’ve got to have some fun in this life.

The soup was sublime, even with my substantial changes. I mean it was really good. And it is much better for you: My version has just 249 calories, with 13 grams of fat.

Feeling emboldened, I tackled the mushroom risotto served at Cellar House. The bad news is that it has a lot of rice, and there is nothing you can do about that; that’s what risotto is. The good news is that it is the short-grain arbrorio rice, which is relatively low in carbohydrates, for rice.

This time, I cut way, way, way back on the butter: just three tablespoons, instead of the recipe’s 11. But then I added a little more butter, half of a tablespoon, to bump up the flavor when I was removing two tablespoons of olive oil. And I used half as much Parmigiano-Reggiano as the called-for regular Parmesan.

The risotto was creamy, even without the butter, and rich with a hearty, mushroom flavor. It has substantially fewer calories than the original version, 723 compared to 972, but it is still kind of fattening. The problem is all that rice, because the portion is huge. Maybe too huge; one way to knock down the calorie count would be to serve a smaller portion.

The fat content, incidentally, is greatly improved: 18 grams, compared to 42.

Portion size is also a problem with the other entrée I made, the seafood pasta from the Concord Grill. The Concord warns that their recipe makes enough to serve two, but even then they are being more than generous. They call for 10 ounces of uncooked spaghetti, enough to make four cups.

All I could do was to cut back on the amount of olive oil and use half as much Parmigiano-Reggiano as the recipe’s Parmesan. And while the restaurant version of the dish essentially swims in half-and-half, I used half as much of the half-and-half/milk mixture. A bit of flour helped thicken the liquid, in place of the fat from the half-and-half.

It is easy to see why we got the original recipe request. This is a hearty and, heaven knows, filling dish. And it should be filling, because even my version checked in at a scale-tipping 937 calories and 36 grams of fat. On the other hand, that is down considerably from the staggering 1,360 calories — and 78 grams of fat — in the original restaurant version.

My advice would be to make this three servings, or even four, instead of two.

I ended, as one should, with dessert, the coconut cream pie from the Hawthorne Inn. Their version begins with a crust made from crushed shortbread cookies, a cup of sweetened coconut and a whole stick of butter.

That sounds amazing, but no. I used a regular pie crust, which I bought because I didn’t have time to make my own. I am so ashamed.

The only other change I made was to use whole milk in place of the half-and-half that the restaurant uses to mix with instant pudding mix. Yes, instant pudding mix. It’s actually called instant pudding and pie filling, and it doesn’t make a bad pie filling at all.

The original version has 797 calories, with 52 grams of fat. My version checks in at a trimmer 435 calories, with 20 grams of fat.

It’s not exactly healthful, but nothing that tastes this good ever is.

Lumen broccoli soup with gougeres

Yield: 10 cups soup and about 20 gougeres

Ingredients

For the soup:

3 stalks broccoli

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 large onion, sliced thin

2 ribs celery, diced small

8 medium cloves garlic, sliced thin

1 medium Yukon gold potato, peeled and diced

4 cups water

4 cups heavy cream

1 bouquet garni (see notes)

1/2 cup sour cream

Kosher salt to taste, be generous

For gougeres:

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup whole milk

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt

1/2 cup all-purpose flour, fluffed to aerate before measuring

2 large eggs

1 3/4 ounces white cheddar, grated

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Freshly grated nutmeg

To serve:

Bacon sand (see notes), reserved broccoli florets, gougeres and fresh chive

Notes: A bouquet garni (pronounced boo-kay gar-nee) is a bundle of herbs and seasonings used to gently season a dish. For this soup, Lumen wraps 2 bay leaves, a sprig of fresh thyme and a few pink peppercorns in cheesecloth and secures with kitchen twine. The cheesecloth can be skipped, just remember to remove everything before pureeing the soup.

• For bacon sand, cook bacon on a roasting rack at 350 degrees until crisp, about 25 minutes; let cool, then mince fine.

• A chinois is a conical metal strainer. When food is pressed through its tiny holes, the result is a velvety liquid. This step may be omitted although the soup will be less smooth.

Directions

Be sure to purchase broccoli with both heavy stems and crowns of florets, both are needed although will be cooked separately. To prep the broccoli, first cut the crowns off the stems with a knife; set the crowns aside. Use a vegetable peeler or sharp knife to remove the stems’ tough outer skins, then cut the remaining tender, light-green centers into thin rings. Cut the crowns into small florets.

In a large, heavy pot, melt butter on medium heat, then gently sauté onion, celery and garlic just until soft. Add broccoli stems (no florets), potato, water, cream and bouquet garni. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to maintain a fast simmer and let simmer until stems and potato are fully cooked.

Meanwhile, bring a pot of well-salted water to a boil and fill a large bowl with ice cubes and cold water. Cook broccoli florets in the boiling water for about 5 minutes, just enough to begin to soften but keeping their bright green color, then drop the florets into the ice water to stop the cooking process. Remove the florets from the ice water and let drain completely; if needed, pat florets with paper towels to remove any liquid. Reserve 2 small florets for each soup serving.

Remove and discard bouquet garni. In a blender, in batches, puree the milky liquid and partially cooked florets together until smooth. (Caution: To avoid spewing hot liquid, always puree hot liquids in batches, filling blender no more than half full at a time.)

Press soup through a chinois into a bowl, discarding the solids. Stir in sour cream. Taste and add salt, be generous.

Soup may be made ahead of time, just keep refrigerated. Reheat before serving.

When you are ready to eat, make the gougeres. Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium-size heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring water, milk, butter and salt to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, stir in flour, working batter hard and continuously with a wooden spoon until batter becomes slightly glossy and begins to stick to the pan’s bottom.

Mix in eggs one at a time, each time working batter hard to incorporate the egg until dough becomes glossy. Mix in cheese, nutmeg and pepper. Let cool to room temperature.

Transfer dough to a piping bag fitted with a 1-inch star tip. Pipe onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, creating dollops about an inch wide, lifting and twisting the piping bag to build height on each one.

Up to an hour before serving, bake gougere until crisp and golden, about 7 minutes. (Alternately, the gougere may be piped up to several hours beforehand and left at room temperature, then baked right before serving.)

To serve in dramatic Lumen-style, place small white asymmetrical bowls at each place setting. In the center, arrange a gougere and 2 small broccoli florets. Dust with bacon sand and sprinkle with fresh chive. Serve hot soup tableside into bowls from hammered metal pitchers.

Nutrition information per serving: 475 calories; 46 g fat; 28 g saturated fat; 175 mg cholesterol; 7 g protein; 12 g carbohydrate; 4 g sugar; 1 g fiber; 380 mg sodium; 121 mg calcium

One serving is about 1 cup of soup, 1 gougere, 1 tablespoon of bacon dust, and 1 teaspoon of chives.

— Recipe adapted for home kitchens by the Post-Dispatch

Less fattening recipes 03

Thinner broccoli soup with gougeres.

Thinner broccoli soup with gougeres

Makes: 10 cups soup and about 20 gougeres

Ingredients

For the soup:

3 stalks broccoli

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 large onion, sliced thin

2 ribs celery, diced small

8 medium cloves garlic, sliced thin

1 medium Yukon gold potato, peeled and diced

4 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock

2 cups half-and-half

2 cups whole milk

1 bouquet garni (see notes)

1/2 cup Greek yogurt, 2 percent fat

Kosher salt to taste; be generous

For gougeres:

1/2 cup water

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup all-purpose flour, fluffed to aerate before measuring

2 large eggs

1 3/4 ounces white cheddar, grated

Freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

To serve:

Reserved broccoli florets and gougeres

Notes: A bouquet garni is a bundle of herbs and seasonings used to gently season a dish. For this soup, Lumen wraps 2 bay leaves, a sprig of fresh thyme and a few pink peppercorns in cheesecloth and secures with kitchen twine. The cheesecloth can be skipped, just remember to remove everything before pureeing the soup.

• A chinois is a conical metal strainer. When food is pressed through its tiny holes, the result is a velvety liquid. This step may be omitted although the soup will be less smooth.

Directions

Be sure to purchase broccoli with both heavy stems and crowns of florets, both are needed although they will be cooked separately. To prep the broccoli, first cut the crowns off the stems with a knife; set the crowns aside. Use a vegetable peeler or sharp knife to remove the stems’ tough outer skins, then cut the remaining tender, light-green centers into thin rings. Cut the crowns into small florets.

In a large, heavy pot, melt 1 tablespoon butter on medium heat until it turns light brown, then gently sauté onion, celery and garlic just until soft. Add broccoli stems (no florets), potato, chicken or vegetable stock, half-and-half, milk and bouquet garni. Bring to a boil, immediately reduce heat to a simmer and let cook until stems and potato are fully cooked.

Meanwhile, bring a pot of well-salted water to a boil and fill a large bowl with ice cubes and cold water. Cook broccoli florets in the boiling water for about 5 minutes, just enough to begin to soften but keeping their bright green color, then drop the florets into the ice water to stop the cooking process. Remove the florets from the ice water and let drain completely; if needed, pat florets with paper towels to remove any liquid. Reserve 2 small florets for each soup serving.

Remove and discard bouquet garni. In a blender, in batches, puree the milky liquid and partially cooked florets together until smooth. (Caution: To avoid spewing hot liquid, always puree hot liquids in batches, filling blender no more than half full at a time.)

Press soup through a chinois into a bowl, discarding the solids. Stir in yogurt. Taste and add salt; be generous.

Soup may be made ahead of time, just keep refrigerated. Reheat before serving.

When you are ready to eat, make the gougeres. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium-size heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring water, 3 tablespoons butter and salt to a boil. Remove from heat and dump in flour all at once, stirring immediately and continuously with a wooden spoon until batter becomes slightly glossy and begins to stick to the pan’s bottom.

Mix in eggs one at a time, each time working batter hard to incorporate the egg until dough becomes glossy. Mix in cheese, nutmeg and pepper. Let cool to room temperature.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a pastry bag with a 1-inch star tip or a tablespoon to portion out dollops of the dough about 1 inch wide onto the prepared baking sheet.

Up to an hour before serving, bake gougeres until crisp and golden, about 20 to 25 minutes. (Alternately, the gougeres may be piped up to several hours beforehand and left at room temperature, then baked right before serving.) Serve soup with gougeres and the reserved broccoli florets.

Nutrition information for broccoli soup per serving: 205 calories; 10 g fat; 6 g saturated fat; 31 mg cholesterol; 10 g protein; 20 g carbohydrate; 10 g sugar; 2 g fiber; 493 mg sodium; 201 mg calcium

Nutrition information per gougeres piece: 44 calories; 3 g fat; 2 g saturated fat; 26 mg cholesterol; 2 g protein; 3g carbohydrate; no sugar; 1 g fiber; 53 mg sodium; 23 mg calcium

— Adapted from a recipe from Lumen Private Event Space

Cellar house mushroom risotto

Makes: 4 servings

Ingredients

For the rice:

3 tablespoons butter

1/3 cup finely diced shallot

Pinch salt

3 cups arborio rice

3/4 cup dry white wine

About 2 1/3 cups chicken stock

For the mushrooms:

2 tablespoons oil

8 ounces crimini and oyster mushrooms, sliced

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

Salt and pepper to taste

To serve:

Parcooked rice

About 3/4 cup chicken stock

Cooked mushrooms

8 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons grated fresh parmesan

Salt and pepper to taste

Fresh chives and additional fresh parmesan, for garnish

Directions

The trick to serving risotto fast, either in a restaurant or at home, is to separately parcook the rice and the mushrooms a day or two ahead, then to combine the two just before serving. However, the risotto can also be cooked from start to finish on the same day.

Parcook rice. Melt 3 tablespoons butter on medium heat in a large, heavy saucepan. Stir in the shallots and salt and cook until translucent. Stir in the rice and cook, stirring often, until interior becomes opaque and the exterior a little shiny. Stir in the wine and cook, stirring often, until wine cooks off. A cup at a time, add stock and bring to a simmer, letting the rice absorb each cupful before adding another. The rice is parcooked when the outer portion of the rice grains are softened but the interior remains opaque and uncooked. (Skip the cooling and refrigeration steps if making risotto from start to finish.) Transfer rice to a large baking sheet to cool, then move to a refrigerator container and refrigerate until ready to finish and serve. Makes about 6 cups parcooked rice.

Cook mushrooms. In a large, nonstick skillet, heat the oil until shimmery. Stir in the mushroom slices and garlic and cook until the mushrooms are soft and supple but not mushy. (Skip the refrigeration step if making risotto from start to finish.) Transfer to a refrigerator container and refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes about 1 cup cooked mushrooms.

To serve. About 20 minutes before serving, heat the parcooked rice in a wide, heavy skillet, pressing it flat against the heat. Add about 1/4 cup chicken stock at a time and bring to a hard boil to finish cooking the rice; repeat until the rice is fully cooked, it should be firm but not chalky. Stir in the cooked mushrooms, 8 tablespoons butter, parmesan, salt and pepper, vigorously incorporating these with a wooden spoon, fluffing in as much air as possible for a creamy, velvety risotto.

To serve Cellar House-style, divide risotto among 4 serving bowls, top each bowl with about a tablespoon of grated parmesan and 2 teaspoons fresh chive.

Nutrition information per serving: 972 calories; 42 g fat; 22 g saturated fat; 88 mg cholesterol; 16 g protein; 125 g carbohydrate; 4 g sugar; 4 g fiber; 672 mg sodium; 137 mg calcium

— Recipe adapted for home kitchens by the Post-Dispatch

Less fattening recipes 04

Lower-cal mushroom risotto

Lower-cal mushroom risotto

Makes: 4 servings

Ingredients

For the rice:

2 1/2 cups chicken stock

1 tablespoon butter

1/3 cup finely diced shallot

Pinch salt

3 cups arborio rice

3/4 cup dry white wine

For the mushrooms:

1/2 tablespoon butter

8 ounces crimini and oyster mushrooms, sliced

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

Salt and pepper to taste

To serve:

4 cups chicken stock

The parcooked rice

The cooked mushrooms

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

Fresh chives, for garnish

Note: The trick to serving risotto fast, either in a restaurant or at home, is to separately parcook the rice and the mushrooms a day or two ahead, then to combine the two just before serving. However, the risotto can also be cooked from start to finish on the same day.

Directions

Parcook rice. Heat about 2 1/2 cups of stock to a gentle simmer in a small saucepan. In a large, heavy saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon butter on medium heat until it turns light brown. Stir in the shallots and salt and cook until translucent. Stir in the rice and cook, stirring often, until interior becomes opaque and the exterior a little shiny.

Stir in the wine and cook, stirring often, until wine cooks off. A ladle at a time, add hot stock and bring to a simmer, letting the rice absorb each ladleful before adding another. The rice is parcooked when the outer portion of the rice grains is softened but the interior remains opaque and uncooked. (Skip the cooling and refrigeration steps if making risotto from start to finish.) Transfer rice to a large baking sheet to cool, then move to a refrigerator container and refrigerate until ready to finish and serve. Makes about 6 cups parcooked rice.

Cook mushrooms. In a large, nonstick skillet, melt 1/2 tablespoon butter. Stir in the mushroom slices and garlic and cook until the mushrooms are soft and supple but not mushy. (Skip the refrigeration step if making risotto from start to finish.) Transfer to a refrigerator container and refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes about 1 cup cooked mushrooms.

To serve. Bring the remaining 4 cups of stock to a gentle simmer. About 20 minutes before serving, heat the parcooked rice in a wide, heavy skillet, pressing it flat against the heat. Add a ladle of hot chicken stock at a time, stirring to incorporate it into the rice. Repeat until the rice is fully cooked; the rice should be firm but not chalky. If you run out of stock, add simmering water. Stir in the cooked mushrooms, the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, Parmigiano-Reggiano, salt and pepper, vigorously incorporating these with a wooden spoon, fluffing in as much air as possible for a creamy, velvety risotto.

Garnish with chopped fresh chives.

Nutrition information per serving: 723 calories; 18 g fat; 8 g saturated fat; 38 mg cholesterol; 23 g protein; 123 g carbohydrates; 6 g sugar; 1 g fiber; 1,543 mg sodium; 45 mg calcium

— Adapted from a recipe from Cellar House

Concord grill seafood pasta

Makes: 1 serving at Concord Grill (enough for 2 large or 4 side servings)

Ingredients

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2 tablespoons olive oil

3/4 cup sliced button mushrooms

1 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic

1 1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 teaspoon ground black or white pepper

1 tablespoon margarine

4 cups (10 ounces) of cooked spaghetti

3 ounces medium or large shrimp, peeled, deveined and roughly chopped (if desired)

3 ounces lump crab meat

3 cups half-and-half (divided)

4 to 6 ounces finely grated parmesan cheese (1 1/3 to 2 cups)

1 1/2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes or fresh roughly chopped Italian parsley leaves

Notes: The entree size at Concord Grill is big enough for two main dish servings of pasta. This recipe divides in half easily and maintains its tastes and textures.

• Garlic powder can substituted for granulated garlic, but the texture of granulated is nice with this dish. Don’t use garlic salt for this recipe.

• We made this dish in a full-size and half-size version in nonstick skillets. For the full-sized version, use a 10- or 12-inch skillet. An 8-inch skillet will work for the half-sized version. You can use one skillet for cooking both the mushrooms and the dish.

• Warm a pasta plate in the oven or in hot water before plating this dish.

Directions

Warm the skillet over medium heat. Add oil and heat until the oil just shimmers. Add the mushrooms and saute for 3 to 4 minutes, turning once.

Mix granulated garlic, salt and pepper together in a small bowl to make the seasoning mix. Set aside.

Add margarine, cooked spaghetti, shrimp, crabmeat and prepared seasoning mix to skillet. Add half-and-half until all ingredients are covered. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring occasionally.

Once the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat and cook at a low boil for 3 to 5 minutes.

Turn off the heat, and stir in 2 ounces of the parmesan cheese. Turn heat back on to a low simmer, and stir as the pasta sauce thickens. Add the rest of the parmesan in increments until the sauce is not runny and clings to the pasta.

If the sauce becomes too thick, add more half-and-half.

Plate the pasta on a warmed pasta dish and sprinkle with parsley flakes. Serve.

Nutrition information per serving (based on 2): 1,360 calories; 78 g fat; 40 g saturated fat; 293 mg cholesterol; 64 g protein; 104 g carbohydrate; 33 g sugar; 4 g fiber; 3,320 mg sodium; 1,297 mg calcium

— Recipe adapted for home kitchens by the Post-Dispatch

Less fattening recipes 01

Sort-of healthier seafood pasta

Sort-of healthier seafood pasta

Makes: 2 enormous servings, or really more

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil

3/4 cup sliced button mushrooms

1 1/4 teaspoons granulated garlic or garlic powder

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

3/4 teaspoon ground black or white pepper

1 tablespoon butter

4 cups cooked spaghetti (from about 8 ounces dry pasta)

3 ounces medium or large shrimp, peeled, de-veined and roughly chopped (if desired)

3 ounces lump crab meat

3/4 cup half-and-half

3/4 cup whole milk

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

3/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Directions

Warm a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add oil and heat until the oil just shimmers. Add the mushrooms and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes.

Mix granulated garlic, salt and pepper together in a small bowl to make the seasoning mix. Set aside.

Add butter, cooked spaghetti, shrimp, crabmeat and prepared seasoning mix to skillet. Add half-and-half and milk. Heat to a simmer, then stir in flour. Cook until sauce thickens somewhat, about 3 minutes.

Add the Parmigiano-Reggiano and stir until sauce is thick and clings to the pasta. If it becomes too thick, you can thin it out with more milk. Garnish with parsley.

Nutrition information per serving: 937 calories; 36 g fat; 18 g saturated fat; 192 mg cholesterol; 52 g protein; 100 g carbohydrate; 12 g sugar; 4 g fiber; 1,987 mg sodium; 681 mg calcium

— Adapted from a recipe from Concord Grill

Hawthorne Inn coconut cream pie

Makes: 6 servings

Ingredients

For the crust:

6 packs (6 ounces) Lorna Doone Shortbread Cookies

1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, melted and cooled

For the pie:

3 cups half-and-half

2 small (3.4-ounce) boxes instant vanilla pudding and pie filling

1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained well

2 cups frozen nondairy whipped topping (such as Cool Whip)

Additional whipped topping, for edge

Toasted coconut, for garnish

Fresh mint leaves, for garnish

Directions

Make the crust. Heat oven to 350 degrees. With a mini food processor (or a freezer bag and rolling pin), crush shortbread cookies into fine crumbs, you should have about 1 1/2 cups of crumbs. In a bowl, combine the crumbs, coconut and butter until wet and sandy. Press wet crumbs evenly into a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan, sides first, bottom second. Bake the crust until it turns golden brown, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely.

Make the pie. In a bowl, stir together half-and-half and instant pudding mix until thick, then gently fold in the coconut. Let rest a few minutes to thicken. Turn the pudding mixture into the cooled crust, mounding higher in the center.

Gently fold pineapple into whipped topping and spread across the top of the pie filling. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

To serve Hawthorne Inn-style, pipe additional topping along the outer edge of the pie for decoration, then sprinkle with toasted coconut. Cut into 6 pieces and plate with fresh mint leaves on the side.

Nutrition information per serving: 797 calories; 52 g fat; 36 g saturated fat; 83 mg cholesterol; 6 g protein; 79 g carbohydrate; 60 g sugar; 3 g fiber; 801 mg sodium; 145 mg calcium

— Recipe adapted for home kitchens by the Post-Dispatch

Less fattening recipes 02

Slimmer Hawthorne Inn coconut cream pie

Slimmer coconut cream pie

Makes: 6 servings

Ingredients

1 pie crust, see note

3 cups whole milk

2 small (3.4-ounce) boxes instant vanilla pudding and pie filling

1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained well

2 cups frozen nondairy whipped topping (such as Cool Whip)

Fresh mint leaves, for garnish

Note: If you make your own pie crust, you can add 1 cup of sweetened flaked coconut to the mixture to make it Hawthorne Inn style. Doing so will add 65 calories, 4 grams of fat, 40 milligrams of sodium and 5 grams of sugar to each serving.

Directions

Bake pie crust according to the directions on the package or your favorite recipe. Allow to cool.

In a bowl, stir together milk and instant pudding mix until thick, then gently fold in the coconut. Let rest a few minutes to thicken. Turn the pudding mixture into the cooled crust, mounding higher in the center.

Gently fold pineapple into whipped topping and spread across the top of the pie filling. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Cut into 6 pieces and plate with fresh mint leaves on the side.

Nutrition information per serving: 435 calories; 20 g fat; 12 g saturated fat; 12 mg cholesterol; 5 g protein; 56 g carbohydrate; 42 g sugar; 2 g fiber; 429 mg sodium; 148 mg calcium

— Adapted from a recipe from the Hawthorne Inn

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