Guilt-Free Mac And Cheese

In theory, we all want healthier, lighter versions of our favorite dishes. But in reality, they usually don't taste as good as the originals. That's a challenge for Chris Kimball and his team from America's Test Kitchen.

Their new book offers all sorts of solutions. It's called "The Best Light Recipe," and Kimball joined The Early Show Tuesday with some of his favorite dishes. On the menu:

Classic mac and cheese
Mac and cheese is by nature not a low-fat dish — but it's an American favorite. Kimball and his team developed a recipe that is lighter without sacrificing the flavor. The key is to use low-fat milk, instead of whole milk. Cut back on the butter or get rid of it completely, and use cornstarch instead of flour. Also, use less cheddar cheese.

Chocolate cake
Who doesn't love a delicious chocolate cake? Traditional low-fat versions are often dry and spongy, without real chocolate flavor. So why bother? Kimball has a solution: Substitute oil for butter, creating a moister texture and a more intense chocolate flavor. His team also cut back the number of eggs and used less sugar.

New York cheesecake
Of all desserts that people long for in a low-fat form, this could be No. 1. A single modest slice has more fat than most people should consume in a day. Traditional low-fat recipes result in a rubbery, gummy mess. It took a lot of experimenting, but Kimball and his team finally came up with a solution: cottage cheese, processed with light cream cheese to smooth it out. They combined this with yogurt cheese to get tangy taste without sacrificing the flavor.

For all three of these light recipes, click here.