I love corn! It was one of the few vegetables my mom could get me to eat as a kid. Corn on the cob was my favorite, but I would eat it any way I could. When I saw Sunny Anderson make Baked Corn Pudding, I was shocked that there was a corn dish I’d never had! However, with all the fattening ingredients in this dish, I knew it would still be a dish I had never eaten unless I made some changes.

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BAKED CORN PUDDINGAnthony J. Caruso

INGREDIENTS

Butter cooking spray

3 tablespoons light butter spread (recommended: Smart Balance Light)

1/2 large onion, chopped

1 jalapeno, chopped

3 tablespoons white whole wheat flour

2 cups skim milk

2 tablespoons corn starch

1 cup reduced fat shredded Cheddar

1/2 cup egg substitute

1 (10-ounce) bag frozen corn

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup crushed natural potato chips (recommended: Ruffles Naturals)

DIRECTIONS

Special equipment: 8 by 8-inch casserole

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Spray an 8 by 8-in casserole dish with butter cooking spray and set aside.

In a large saucepan on medium heat, melt butter and saute onions and jalapenos until tender, about 5 minutes. Add flour and stir to coat evenly, being sure to not burn the onions. Cook flour until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Mix together the cornstarch and milk and let it sit until it starts to thicken. Whisk in milk and cheese and stir until melted, then remove from heat. Add the eggs to a small bowl, and stir in 1/4 cup of hot mixture to temper the eggs. Add the egg mixture into the pan, along with corn, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Pour into the casserole dish. Take crushed potato chips and sprinkle evenly over top of casserole, place in the oven and bake until custard sets and top starts to brown, about 45 minutes. Place under the broiler and broil until crust becomes golden brown.

Here’s the skinny:

First, I used a butter cooking spray to coat the dish instead of butter. There is no fat in the spray, but with the 2 tablespoons of butter you would need to butter the dish, there is 70% of your saturated fat for the day – just in coating the dish! Even if you put raw carrots in there, it’s already an unhealthy dish.

Speaking of butter, I swapped out butter for a light butter spread. You are saving about 17 grams of saturated fat, which, coincidentally, is your entire allotment of saturated fat for the day. That’s a day’s worth of fat gone in one step, not to mention the fat you saved by using cooking spray.

Also, I used white whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour. All-purpose flour is bleached, stripping it of the fiber and proteins your body needs. White whole wheat flour is a complex carb, restoring all those things your body needs for fuel but it is milled in a way to taste like all-purpose flour. You get the taste without all the refined carbs. Win-win!

Instead of using whole milk, I used skim milk and thickened it with corn starch. I don’t like to use corn starch often as a thickener, but hey – this is a corn dish! It fits! By thickening your milk, you save 9 grams of saturated fat, or about half the daily allowance.

I also used reduced fat cheddar cheese. Fat free doesn’t melt well enough for this dish – believe me, I tried! By doing this, you save about 2 grams of saturated fat, or 10% of your daily allowance.

I swapped out egg substitute for the real eggs. By doing this, you cut out all the fat and cholesterol from the eggs, but still get the fluffiness you need to make a delcious custard. You cut out 3 g saturated fat and a whopping 430 mg of cholesterol (about 150% DV)!!!

Lastly, I cut out the topping of white bread crumbs and parmesan cheese and used potato chips instead. The bread crumbs are a simple carb (see flour above) and the parmesan, although not as fattening, still isn’t figure friendly. The potato chips I used are cooked in a healthier manner, making them extremely low in fat and cholesterol when compared to traditional potato chips. It adds a nice crunch and a little salty kick to make up for the loss of the salty parmesan cheese, but without all the fat.

I hope you enjoy this wonderfully delicious corn pudding!