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Betty Crocker Cookbook

Heart Health Edition

Betty Crocker Cookbook: Heart Health Edition

See our exclusive interview with Kristen Olson, assistant food editor at Betty Crocker

Betty Crocker has been a trusted name in American cooking since this advertising icon for the Washburn-Crosby Company (now General Mills) first lent her name to a cookbook in 1950. Nearly 60 years and 62 million cookbooks later, the Betty Crocker Cookbook remains a classic cooking reference and recipe guide, the kind that is passed down from mother to daughter. In the most recent Heart Health Edition, Betty has gotten a bit of a makeover: she's now donning the Red Dress, a national symbol of women and heart disease that aims to raise awareness about the prevalence of heart disease among women. Though often thought of as a man's disease, heart disease is the #1 killer of American women, affecting 8 million individuals. Betty Crocker has partnered with WomenHeart, a national organization that seeks to improve the life and health care of women with heart disease, to dedicate a section of the cookbook to information on risk factors and prevention.

The emphasis on heart health is threaded through the recipe chapters as well. Many traditional Betty Crocker recipes have been spruced up with heart health in mind. There are "lighter" versions of mainstays like chicken tetrazzini casserole, sole amandine, meat loaf, oven fried chicken, and cream cheese brownies. Then there are more modern recipes that take a cue from heart-healthy Mediterranean diets like Moroccan spiced chicken, vermicelli with fresh herbs, and grilled sea bass with citrus-olive butter. But certain indulgences remain; no one is going to argue that Cajun deep-fried turkey or cornbread and bacon stuffed pork chops are cardiologist-approved. Vegetable recipes still come at the end of the book while breads and cakes are featured up front, an organization we found slightly odd for a book touting the virtues of antioxidants. Sometimes, however, tradition is comforting, and the hope is that the heart-healthy message in this accessible package will reach as many women as possible.


Lighter Chicken Tetrazzini

1 package (7 oz) spaghetti, broken into thirds
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup skim milk
2 tablespoons dry sherry or water
2 cups cubed cooked chicken or turkey
1 jar (4.5 oz) sliced mushrooms, drained
¼ cup Parmesan cheese

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees
2. Cook and drain spaghetti as directed on package.
3. Meanwhile, in 2-quart saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Stir in flour, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and bubbly; remove from heat. Stir in broth and milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute.
4. Stir spaghetti, sherry, chicken and mushrooms into sauce. Pour spaghetti mixture into ungreased 2-quart casserole. Sprinkle with cheese.
5. Bake uncovered about 30 minutes or until bubbly in the center.

Reviewed by Rachel Levin

(Updated: 05/16/11 CT)

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