13 Simple and Healthy Recipe Substitutions

By Chrissy MacDonald

Most of us eat the same meals all the time. Some food choices may be healthier than others. Whether your goal is to lose weight or simply to eat healthier, making simple changes to your favorite standby recipes can add up.

Meals can be made lower in fat, salt and calories without sacrificing taste. Here are a few ideas I’ve tried:

  1. Use skim milk or 1 % milk instead of 2 % milk in any recipe for the same amount of vitamins and minerals without the fat.
  1. Plain yogurt can be used in place of sour cream in casseroles and dips. I love plain Greek yogurt for everything. It’s thick, rich and high in protein.
  1. For tuna or egg sandwiches or any pasta dish, use half mayonnaise and half plain yogurt. Real Hellman’s mayonnaise is tastier than low fat versions. Adding yogurt helps cut back the fat without losing flavor.
  1. Make tomato-based casseroles instead of creamed.
  1. Instead of salt, try substituting herbs, spices, Dijon mustard or Jalapeno peppers.
  1. Instead of sour cream on baked potatoes, try salsa or yogurt and chives.
  1. Instead of store-bought salad dressings, make your own with red wine or balsamic vinegar, honey or maple syrup, olive oil and herbs.
  1. Saute onions and mushrooms in vegetable broth instead of butter.
  1. Make your own vegetable broth with ends of vegetables and scraps and freeze for use later. Store-bought broths are usually loaded with salt.
  1. Try honey or apple juice to sweeten muffins instead of white sugar.
  1. Use grated firm tofu and grated cheese for casserole topping.
  1. Instead of ice cream and high fat desserts, try plain Greek yogurt sweetened with fruit and honey or maple syrup.
  1. Choose recipes that call for baking, roasting, broiling or grilling. Avoid frying and deep frying.

Before you prepare a meal, look at the ingredients listed in the recipe and see if you can substitute a healthier alternative. Try to make even one healthy change to every meal to make it lower in salt, fat and calories but just as delicious.