It’s frustrating for them, too. Calorie-watchers love good food. That’s how they put on the weight in the first place. You put them in a no-win situation – either to consume two days’ calories in one delicious meal, or to starve and insult the hostess at the same time.

Why not include a couple of these delicious dieting dishes on the menu, and let them know in advance? If you do it quietly, the non- dieters will never suspect that they’re eating a low-calorie meal.

These recipes will serve four to six people. Because they are all quick and simple to prepare, your own family can enjoy them even when they are neither “partying” nor dieting.

CITRUS CHICKEN

  • 6 halves of chicken breast, all skin and fat removed or 3 lb. broiler, cut up
  • 1 tsp. rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp. basil
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 5 green onions, minced (bulb and part of green)
  • 1/4 cup lemon or grapefruit juice cup orange juice
  • 1 tsp. orange rind
  • 1 tbsp. soya sauce
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. packed brown sugar (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. coriander (optional)

Combine rosemary, basil and pepper. Rub into dry chicken pieces. Arrange in a baking dish, thicker parts to the outside. Sprinkle green onions over chicken.

Combine juices, rind, soy sauce, paprika, sugar and coriander, if using. Pour over chicken.

Note: This can be done early in the day, and the dish covered and refrigerated.

Cook, High, covered with wax paper, for 10 minutes. Baste. Turn dish, then cook, level 8 (Medium High) until fork-tender. Baste and let stand, loosely covered, for five minutes before serving.

Serves four. This dish can easily be increased or doubled.

Calories in 1/6 of recipe – 225.

SWEET AND SOUR GREEN ONIONS

Green onions are cooked until they lose their pungent onion flavor and are very tender. We found this vegetable dish a delightful change and, because of the hint of lemon, very complementary to fish.

Cooking time: six or seven minutes.

  • 1 large unblemished lemon
  • 1/2 to pound (about 3 bunches) green onions
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tsps. sugar
  • Salt

Peel lemon, spiralling from top to bottom to produce one wide, long peel. Cut peel lengthwise into quarters to form four long, thin strips. Set aside. Extract one teaspoon lemon juice (the rest can be refrigerated for another use).

Remove tips and ends of green onions, and peel outer layer. Divide onions into four bunches, tying each with a strip of lemon peel. Arrange bunches of onions in a two-quart microwave dish (12 by eight inches).

In a small bowl, combine one teaspoon lemon juice, the chicken stock, sugar and salt to taste. Cook on High for a minute or two or until hot. Pour over onions.

Cover onions with plastic wrap. Cook on High for three minutes. Rearrange bunches from the inside to the outside. Re-cover and cook for two or three minutes more, until tender. Allow to stand for two minutes.

Calorie count for recipe – 35.

Serves four.

VEGETABLE FIESTA

This looks like a party dish. The ingredients can be prepared in advance, and assembled and cooked in less than 10 minutes. It is a favorite with both my family and my classes.

  • 1 cup rice (I use brown rice)
  • 2 cups chicken stock (use bouillon crystals if necessary)
  • 1 tsp. butter
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Cook rice in stock. Add butter, and salt if it is needed. Fluff with a fork, and allow to stand, covered.

Spread rice on large glass pie- plate, and decorate with some (or all) of the following:

Cherry tomatoes, halved Pineapple chunks Pieces of apple, with skin Slices of zucchini Small florets of broccoli Small florets of cauliflower Squares of sweet pepper – red, green, yellow Pieces of onion, cut into eighths and divided into three- or four-layer sections.

Make an artistic arrangement, or sprinkle them at random. Just make sure you have a variety of colors.

Sauce:

  • 1/4 cups warm water
  • 1 tsp. chicken bouillon crystals
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice (or to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp. sugar

Mix ingredients and sprinkle over vegetables. Season to taste. Seasonings:

  • Salt (optional)
  • Pepper (I like lemon pepper)
  • Basil Garlic powder
  • Celery salt

Cover with plastic wrap and cook on High three to five minutes, until vegetables are barely crisp-tender. Allow to stand, covered, for five minutes.

APPLE CLAFOUTI

  • 4 tsp. butter
  • 3 medium-sized apples (Granny Smith or Spy)
  • 1/3 cup sugar (divided)
  • 1-2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. rum
  • Ground cinnamon to taste

Melt butter in nine-inch pie plate.

Peel, core, and thinly slice apples. Arrange in an overlapping, circular pattern in a single layer on top of the melted butter. Sprinkle with half the sugar (or a little less) and the lemon juice. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Cover loosely with wax paper and cook on High power until apples are tender and translucent (six to eight minutes).

In a small bowl, combine eggs, yogurt and remaining sugar. Add rum and beat lightly. Pour over apples. Cook, uncovered on medium (50 per cent) for 8-10 minutes or until custard just sets, rotating twice if necessary. If sides are done and centre is not, an aluminum foil “doughnut” may be used for the last minute or two.

Sprinkle top with cinnamon. Remove from oven, and allow to stand for 10 minutes. Serve warm or chilled.

During standing time, clafouti should be on a flat surface, not a cooling rack, to allow cooking to continue.

Calories: 1/6 of recipe, 137; 1/8 of recipe, 100.