Salmon Creek chefs aim for healthful, delicious

Local woman, daughter reduce fat, keep flavor

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It was like an I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! commercial at a recent party at Salmon Creek resident Alice Bolen’s home. Guests played the part of Fabio, milling through the kitchen sampling sweet and savory recipes from Bolen and daughter Janelle Woolley’s new low-fat cookbook, “Simply Deliteful.”

“I can’t believe this is low fat,” friends said again and again, trying everything from hummus to Italian amaretti cookies to bruschetta topped with red peppers and sweet onion in balsamic vinaigrette with a hint of brown sugar.

Healthy cooking is more than a hobby for Bolen, a petite, 66-year-old who’s also an avid runner, it’s a necessity.

About seven years ago, Bolen discovered that her cholesterol levels were dangerously high despite an active lifestyle and reasonable diet. Bolen said she hoped to avoid statin drugs, so she revamped her arsenal of recipes, reducing the fat content, and substituting less healthy fats for olive and canola oils. Bolen was able to decrease her cholesterol count by more than 100 points.

In “Simply Deliteful,” the mother and Utah-based daughter share almost 200 pages of heart-healthy recipes, nearly all accompanied by a photo taken by Woolley. The book also contains nutritional analysis conducted by the University of Utah, as well as recommended grocery shopping and preferred ingredients lists.

Bolen, a foodie and self-professed “cookie junkie,” believes that it is possible to eat healthful foods without sacrificing taste.

“If we can find a way to sort of have our cake and eat it too, that’s perfect,” she said.