Boring Menu: Ways to “Healthify” Your Favorite Recipes

healthify

Do you feel like a healthy diet consists of a daily grilled chicken salad?  Rabbit food anyone? Carrots?   

I remember my son asking me one evening “What’s for dinner?”  And my husband sarcastically replied, “Chicken, chicken, or chicken?”   

Ok, so I could get by with eating the same thing everyday.  I don’t mind that my daily meals are pretty much the same, but my family wants a little variety.  So how do you keep some variety and stick with healthy choices?  

 

Protein and Dairy Options

Besides chicken, you have turkey, pork, and lean cuts of beef.  Starkist tuna has so many different flavors of tuna in their ready-to-go packets.  I love the new buffalo flavor, and the sweet and spicy has been a longtime favorite of mine as well.  My husband and son deer hunt, and we enjoy venison.  Bacon, anyone?  You haven’t had bacon until you’ve had deer bacon…just sayin!  We get most of it ground, so I use that in meatloaf, chili (well, my husband makes chili, not me!), tacos, spaghetti, hamburgers.  

Low fat cottage cheese is a good source of protein as well as nonfat plain greek yogurt.  In a recipe calling for cream cheese, you can use lowfat or nonfat cream cheese or greek yogurt.  In a recipe calling for sour cream, you can use plain greek yogurt.  

When it comes to milk, you can gradually switch from whole to 2% to 1% to maybe even skim eventually.  And now there are several alternatives.  I use unsweetened almond milk in cooking a lot.  Again, big reduction in calories and the lactose in regular milk can have negative effects on some tummies.

 

Salads

You can do so much with a salad.  After your lettuce, you can toss in all kinds of cut up veggies, maybe even some fruit (grapes, strawberries, or oranges), low fat cheese, lean protein, a few nuts (slivered almonds or walnuts).  

 

Baking Options

I love baking with oat flour these days.  There’s also almond flour and coconut flour as well as whole wheat flour.  (Be sure to read about measuring adjustments if you use a different type of flour.)  For sweeteners there’s stevia.  Honey and pure maple syrup can be used in some recipes.  Coconut oil is very popular these days in both solid or liquid form to replace oils or butter in a recipe.  Protein powder is also an option to add a little flavor (vanilla or chocolate) in the place of the sugar and/or flour.  

These are just a few quick ideas to get you thinking about how to make small changes to recipes to either add nutrition or lessen the fat, calories, and processed stuff.  

 

Here’s one I make often….it’s a healthy alternative to rice krispy treats.  My son often eats them for breakfast.ricekrispy

1 cup nut butter (I use natural PB (Kroger brand is great!), but you can use nut butter of choice)
1 cup honey
Melt on stove over low heat
Add crisp rice cereal (or cheerios or maybe even a Kashi cereal) 4-6 cups depending on the cereal you choose.  Stir together to coat.  
Press into 9×13 pan.  Let set.  

This week in my closed Facebook group, I’ve been sharing some recipe ideas like this one with the girls.  If you’d like one of those recipes, sign up here to be added to my weekly email list, and I’ll send you one (or two!) of the recipe ideas.  

 

What is one of your favorite recipes that you’d like to healthify?
What is one of your favorite healthy recipes?
Let’s share some ideas and help each other with some new ideas!  

My Favorite Kitchen Appliance

freezer

The kitchen is one of the most popular and most used rooms of a home.  It can make us or break us some days.  But we do have to eat, right?!?!  So let’s use it wisely and make the most of it.  My favorite kitchen appliance is my freezer.  And it’s because……..
Ice
     I drink ice water all day everyday!  I remember reading one time that ice water gives a boost to your metabolism, because your body has to work to bring the water to body temperature.  Now, have I researched that?  No.  But hey, if it works, great!  If not, I’d still drink my water with ice.
     I also put ice in my morning shake.  It makes it thicker and gives it more volume which means I get fuller 🙂
Frozen Food
     I use frozen berries for my morning shake.  I can stock up on chicken breast and other lean meats.  My Ezekiel bread keeps well in the freezer.  Ice cream anyone???  I like the healthy options like Arctic Zero and Halo.  I also like to put a container of plain Greek yogurt in the freezer while I’m eating dinner, and when I’m finished, it’s frozen just enough to taste like ice cream (add a tablespoon on chocolate chips and it’s perfect!)
Hiding Place
     Yes, it’s a great hiding place for foods you want on hand but you don’t want them to be at your fingertips.  How about your dark chocolate?  There’s nothing wrong with a chocolate here and there, but I know me, and if it’s in plain sight, it’s easier to go grab.  Plus it takes longer to eat something that is a bit frozen!
Storage
     You can make ahead about anything and freeze it until you’re ready to use it.  I make a big batch of protein balls and store them in the freezer.  For the holidays I will make fudge.  Instead of spreading it out over several days or making a new batch every time I need one, I put on my self-control and get it all done in one day and then put it in the freezer and forget about it!
What’s your favorite kitchen appliance and why??