Make Your Favorite Recipes More Healthful

Everyone’s got their favorite “comfort food” recipes. Unfortunately, many of these are also high in fat and ultra-caloric. But these days more chefs are creating healthier versions of beloved dishes. Here are some of the suggestions.

To slim down sauces, substitute low-fat soy milk for milk or cream. Use whole-wheat pastry flour and water — instead of white flour and butter — to make more nutritious baked goods such as cakes, pie crusts, scones, cookies or pastries.

Actress and vegetarian gourmet chef Marilu Henner offers these guidelines in her cookbook, Healthy Life Kitchen:

 

  • Use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock to cut calories in soups, sauces, stews and main dishes.
  • SautĂ© vegetables and meats in olive oil or soy margarine instead of butter.
  • Make potato salad with a vinaigrette and fresh parsley dressing, instead of one bulging with mayonnaise.

    Detroit chef Kathleen Daelemans, author of Cooking Thin With Chef Kathleen: 200 Easy Recipes for Healthy Weight Loss, says, “People often ask me for a trimmed-down meatloaf recipe. It’s easy to make it taste great while cutting calories.”

    Daelemans advises making only enough to feed the amount of people who will be eating. For four people, that means 12 to 16 oz. of meat. Order lean cuts from the butcher counter, and cut the ground beef by a third or in half with ground chicken (ask for ground white meat only).

    Use egg whites instead of egg yolks; soak your bread crumbs in only enough milk to cover them, as they will moisten the meatloaf. Increase the healthy calories and stretch the meatloaf by adding cooked, chopped spinach, diced garlic and/or mushrooms. Add fresh chopped parsley and thyme to the raw meat mixture.