Eating healthy and trying to lose weight doesn’t mean that you have to say goodbye to your favorite foods. Helpguide.com says there are a number of ways to improve your favorite recipes and make them healthier – while keeping the tastes, textures, and flavors that drew you to them in the first place. Below are some tips to make your recipes healthier as listed by Helpguide.com:
Stews and casseroles – to make your favorite stew and casserole dishes healthier, add more vegetables and cut out more meat to your recipes.
Pasta and bread – if you like pasta and bread, opt for their whole grain versions. When baking, you can also use whole-wheat flour instead of bleached white flour. You might also want to try making whole-grain side dishes kasha, rather than carb-loaded white rice or pasta.
MSG – avoid cooking with soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and other products that contain monosodium glutamate or MSG. Though the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), in behalf of the FDA, reported that MSG was safe for most people when "eaten at customary levels," it also said (according to anecdotal reports) that some people may have MSG intolerance which causes MSG symptom complex or Chinese restaurant syndrome, and/or a worsening of asthmatic symptoms. (Wikipedia)
Salts – instead of garlic or onion salt, use onion or garlic powder; and when using broths, opt for unsalted or low-salt broth products. Salt is known to increase your risks of high blood pressure, and other diseases.
Cheese – if your favorite recipe includes cheese, use reduced fat cheese or mozzarella, which is normally lower in fat.
Fats – fats like certain oils, butter, or margarines can be cut by as much as ½ in recipes. Start by cutting back only a small amount then cut back more and more, until you have reduced the fat in your favorite recipe by half. In baked goods, you can use prune purees or applesauce as fat substitutes in baked goods. You can also lessen the fat in your dishes by using non-stick skillet when cooking.
Milk and cream – use reduced fat versions of milk or cream in your recipes which call for them. You can also use other "milks" such as coconut milk, nut milk, or soy milk. You might also want to use low-fat cream cheese, yogurt, and mayo in your recipes.
Sugar – instead of using sugar use fresh fruits. If they are unavailable, opt for fresh-frozen fruits. Use cinnamon, vanilla or almond extracts to sweeten waffles and quick breads to lessen their sugar content.
Dressings – substitute salad dressings or butter with salsa to decrease their fat content.