- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Some fat-free foods just aren’t worth eating. Cream cheese is among them. Nonetheless, that isn’t to say a food has to be brimming with saturated fats (or any other kind) to be good.

Some ingredients lose so much in the transition to fat free that maybe going all the way isn’t such a good idea. As the fat-free boom of the 1980s demonstrated, no fat doesn’t mean no calories. If you’re going to consume calories, they might as well taste good.

Unless you really dig the taste of Spackle, skip the fat-free cream cheese. Instead, splurge for a few extra calories and go for reduced-fat varieties. (They usually are marketed as “light.”)

Smoked mackerel vegetable wrap

6 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese

2 smoked mackerel fillets

1 shallot, cut into quarters

Pinch salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 large whole-grain flat bread

1 cup loosely packed watercress

1 carrot, grated

3 slices avocado

2 button mushrooms, thinly sliced

In a food processor, combine the cream cheese, mackerel, shallot, salt and pepper. Pulse until smooth. Spread 1 to 2 tablespoons of the cream cheese over one side of the flat bread, then top with watercress, grated carrot, avocado slices and mushrooms. Roll out the flat bread and cut in two. Other ingredients to consider adding or substituting include black olives, roasted red peppers, marinated artichoke hearts and canned corn kernels. Makes 1 sandwich.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

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