Taking part in traditions and spending time with family go hand in hand at the holidays for Recipe Editor Christine Rukavena. “Every Christmas Eve, my future mother-in-law, Carole, prepares manicotti with homemade crepes,” Christine notes. “We all help roll the manicotti and then enjoy a fantastic feast together.”
With one bite of the delicious main dish, with its creamy filling and savory sauce, the makeover team was hooked. But they wanted to duplicate the recipe’s decadent taste in a lighter form.
They started with the crepes, replacing some of the eggs with egg substitute. They also added a teaspoon of oil to the crepes’ batter to make them easier to prepare in a nonstick skillet.
To lighten the filling, they used lean ground beef and Italian turkey sausage and decreased the amount of cheese. Chopped green pepper and garlic were added to boost flavor and volume. And to slash sodium overall, they reduced celery salt and salt in the sauce and filling.
As a result, Makeover Manicotti Crepes have 60% less fat and saturated fat and 343 fewer mg of sodium per serving. Christine couldn’t be happier.
“I love the lightened-up version,” she raves. “Green pepper and garlic give it a fresh vegetable aroma. I’m happy that I can serve this special-occasion dish without all the fat!”