Tried and True Recipes for a Healthier Diet

Please share your healthy recipes with me.

My family is trying to change its eating lifestyle, lose weight, and become healthier; and I have a request for the Thrifty Fun community. If you have a healthy recipe that tastes great, please send it my way. I have tried many recipes from healthy cookbooks and healthy recipe internet sites, but I have to try several before finding one that is good. I am hopeful that there are a few of you out there that have discovered some good ones to share so that I don't have to go through 20 recipes to find one or two good ones.


We are trying to change from white to wheat, so I'm making my own pastas and bread using as much whole wheat as my family can tolerate (I'm looking for some more wheat bread recipes. I have found good ones, but am just sure there are still better ones to be found.).

We are trying to increase our veggies, of course, and reduce the amount of starches at our meals. Although we've decreased our meat, we are not looking to eliminate it from our diets. I hope this helps you understand what kind of recipes I'm searching for.

I'm not looking for diet tips, nor am I looking for links to other places on the internet that have recipes, so please don't recommend those. I'm just looking for recipes that you've tried and can recommend. Thank you so much.

By Tina from OR

November 11, 20090 found this helpful

Tina, I *love* this soup. No meat. Very surprisingly no salt, and my salt-a-holic dad went back for seconds! Seriously, you'd never know that there is no added salt. Here is a link. Be sure to read the reviews, because people will post their hints:

It's a very forgiving recipe. You can add just about whatever veggies you happen to have around. To serve, I normally offer reduced fat shredded cheese and reduced fat sour cream. Sometimes I'll squeeze a little fresh lime into it, and sometimes I'll offer chopped avocados (I don't normally like avocados, but they sort of melt in the hot soup).

Mmm good any time of year! If I think of any other healthy standby recipes, I'll come back and share!

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November 16, 20090 found this helpful

I just made whole wheat Irish soda bread yesterday.


4 cups whole wheat flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 cups milk, may use reduced fat


Sift flour, salt, soda and baking powder into mixing bowl. Make well in center and pour in milk. Gradually mix in all flour. Dough should be moist, so use more liquid if necessary. Turn onto floured board and knead lightly to form a loaf. Cut a deep cross in the center of the loaf. Place in loaf pan and bake at 400 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes. Makes 1 loaf. Raisins or currants may be added.

It is very good. You may need about 1/4 cup more milk. You'll have to check the consistency of your dough. It was very easy and it's very dense--you certainly don't need (or want!) more than one slice. And, hardly any fat as there's only what's in the milk, I believe.

We also tried a new thing yesterday--butternut squash. Just cube it, put on a cookie sheet with a few tsp. olive oil (mix it around to get some oil on each piece) and bake about 35 minutes at 375. Then, we tossed it with some fresh garlic cloves we diced up and cooked in another tsp. of olive oil in a fry pan. Also put in some fresh parsley at the end. it was great, and again not much fat.

I also found a recipe that makes a great oil-free tomato sauce in the Crock Pot. One large can of tomatoes (I used crushed), 1 pound of eggplant cubed, 1 small can tomato paste, 1/2 cup wine (or water) and oregano. Cook on low about 6 hours until the eggplant is soft. My husband, who thought he despised eggplant, doesn't despise it anymore--at least not this way! Hope these help a little.

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November 16, 20090 found this helpful

I have two simple recipes. Both very good and low in fat and calories. Can be used on baked potatoes, as a veggie dip. Could also be used as a chip or cracker dip.


1/2 cup nonfat sour cream

1/2 medium cucumber, pelled and finely chopped

1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice

1/8 tsp. black pepper

Mix all together and chill.


1 cup low fat mayonnaise

8 ounce no fat sour cream

1 tablespoon dry onion

1 tablespoon parlsey

1 teaspoon dill seed

1 teaspoon Accent

3/4 teaspoon garlic salt

3/4 teaspoon seasoning salt

Mix together and chill.

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November 16, 20090 found this helpful

I suggest using Barilla multigrain pastas. They taste the closest to original yet they have a high fiber, high protein and vitamins content.

The best thing you can do for recipes is to convert the recipes you already like by substituting lower fat and sugar substitutes and increasing veggies.

In my experience low fat cookbooks and recipes are designed for gourmet appetites and if you are used to down home cooking, you will enjoy down home cooking that is lower fat, lower sugar with extra veggies you know what I mean?

Just purchase your groceries as you normally would, except get light sour cream, splenda instead of sugar, 1% milk or skim, light cheeses, etc. Get lots of yummy veggies and fruits too.

Choose lower fat cuts of meat. Eat more beans. Get fat free refried beans instead of regular for Mexican food nights etc.

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November 16, 20090 found this helpful

You may like the HealthyEats Website also.

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November 16, 20090 found this helpful

You really can't beat Cooking Light magazine. It has a huge mixture of recipes. Something for everyone! It is my favorite magazine!

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November 17, 20090 found this helpful

I don't have specific recipes in part because each family is different-we have health issues that keeps our salt intake low, where that may not work for you. but I will suggest the two best healthfood books I've ever found, both written years ago.

Diet For a Small Planet

Let's Eat Right

you may find they lean toward Vegan, but not completely, and you can always incorporate meat and dairy into a Vegan meal. play with it. also, there are tons of websites online, I've checked a number of them, focusing on our need to limit salt for both of us and sugar for my husband, both of which are part of the weight problem, anyway.

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November 17, 20090 found this helpful

Thank you to everyone who responded. There were some nice ideas for me to try.

Carly, you mentioned Splenda. As a diabetic of about four years, I have learned to substitute Splenda for sugar when it comes to my coffee or on my oatmeal, but I haven't done much baking with it. I have tried two recipes for cookies using Slenda, and they've helped me when I have sugar urges (LOL).

I have not made any recipes that didn't specifically call for Splenda. I'd like to learn to adapt some of my current recipes to Splenda rather than sugar, and it seems that you might have some experience in that area. If so, I'd be appreciative of any pointers that you (or anyone else on this site) would send my way :)

Mrs. Story, I tried the soup, and you're right - it's mmm- good, and I especially liked the advice about squeezing lime into it.

Marcie, I'm trying the soda bread later today. I roast butternut squash in a similar way to what you do. You're right - it's very good. I puree the leftovers to make a soup the next day and add some curry powder. That's good, too. Thanks!

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Anonymous Flag
November 17, 20090 found this helpful

Sautéed Green Beans

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 3/4 cups fresh green beans

1 cup white cooking wine

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat and brown the garlic.

Add the green beans and toss to coat.

Pour the white wine over the green beans and simmer for about fifteen minutes, stirring occasionally.

Drain and serve.


Bahamian Boiled Fish

(I know you mentioned cutting down on starches but this recipe is a nice treat)

1 1/2 lb Snapper

2 large potatoes, peeled and sliced

1/4 cup onion, diced

1/4 cup butter, melted

1/4 cup lime juice

1/4 tsp thyme

1/2 tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

Layer Snapper, potatoes and onion in medium pot

Mix butter, lime juice, thyme, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and drizzle evenly over Snapper and potatoes

Cover and cook over medium heat for 25 to 30 minutes


Grilled Citrus Cod, Halibut or Tilapia

(This one can also be baked in the oven)

1 lb Cod, halibut or tilapia filets

1 1/2 tsp minced garlic

2 lemons, quartered (or 6 tbls concentrate)

2 limes, quartered (or 4 tbls concentrate)

Fresh chives, chopped, if desired

Heat grill to medium-high.

Squeeze lemon and lime juice in to a small bowl. Add garlic and whisk.

Pour part of the mixture in to an aluminum foil boat.

Add the fish and pour the rest of the liquid over the fish, top with chives if desired, wrap foil and close loosely.

Grill for 10 to 15 minutes or until fish easily flakes with a fork.

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November 17, 20090 found this helpful

Splenda Pointers:

For chocolate chip cookies, I substitute splenda for the white sugar. I use real brown sugar because it usually calls for less. Cookies need some sugar and fat to get the right consistency.

I cut the fat by 1/3, so if the recipe calls for 3 sticks of butter, I put 2 sticks. I will also try to get away with using less chocolate chips.

Next: since you have reduced fat and sugar, the two yummy ingredients, it is important to rescue the flavor by adding extra vanilla extract and adding butter flavor extract.

When I bake a cake mix such as Betty Crocker, Duncan Hines, Pillsbury etc. I add 1 can of diet soda instead of water, eggs, and oil. There are also reduced sugar cake mixes. Just remember, Splenda bags are a great help. You can measure cup for cup just like sugar.

You can also put dry splenda in the food processor or blender and grind it finer into a powder to use as confectioners sugar to make your own sugar free frostings.

I also like to use Sugar Twin. It's cheaper and they have brown sugar twin. has recipes also. Just remember there are some things like cookies that need some sugar and fat for consistency purposes. I hope this helps.

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November 17, 20090 found this helpful

Products I like to use:

Fat Free 1/2 & 1/2

Sugar Free flavored coffee creamers

Light Sour Cream

Light Mayonnaise

Ranch Dressing Packets made with light sour cream, light mayonnaise and skim milk.

Skim Milk

Real Eggs (I don't have to worry about cholesterol)

Turkey Bacon

Turkey Sausage


whole grain anything

Sugar Free pancake syrup

Sugar Free chocolate syrup

I avoid too much packaged food and make things from scratch.

I endeavor to healthify things by reducing sugar, fat and increasing fiber.

Oat Bran

Wheat Bran/Germ

Whole wheat flour

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November 17, 20090 found this helpful

First of all, I highly recommend the American Heart Association cookbook. I borrowed one from our library and copied what I thought sounded good. So, far everything that I tried are keepers!

Tonight's dinner was Turkey Lasagna

8 oz package lasagna noodles (I used whole grain)

1 lb. ground turkey breast

8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced (2 1/2 to 3 cups)

1/2 cup chopped onion

3 medium cloves garlic, minced

3 cups no salt added tomato sauce (couldn't find, but used one with sea salt)

2 tsp. dried basil, crumbled

1/2 tsp. dried oregano, crumbled

pepper to taste (I used 1/8 tsp.)

10 oz. frozen spinach (I used the lowest sodium), thawed and squeezed dry

16 oz. nonfat or lowfat cottage cheese (2 cups)

dash of nutmeg

8 oz. part-skim mozzarella cheese, grated (2 cups)

Spray 13 x 9 x 2 baking dish with non stick spray

(I used two smaller to eat one now and freeze one for later)

Cook noodles according to directions, omitting salt and oil.

In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, combine turkey, mushrooms, onion, and garlic.

Saute until turkey is no longer pink, stirring occasionally.

Cover skillet and cook over low heat until mushrooms have released their juices. Uncover and cook over high heat until juices evaporated. (I had to drain it out.) Stir in tomato sauce, basil, oregano, and pepper. Reduce heat to low and heat through. 5 to 6 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine spinach, cottage cheese, and nutmeg, stirring well.

Arrange 1/3 noodles in baking dish; add 1/2 spinach mixture, 1/3 of turkey mixture, and 1/3 cheese. Repeat layers. Finish with remaining noodles and turkey mixture, and cheese.

Cover dish with foil and bake 34 to 40 minutes, or until thoroughly heated. 375 degrees F. It was yummy! My new favorite. You will not miss the salt.

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November 20, 20090 found this helpful

Tips to use with Existing Recipes. One of the simplest changes my husband and I have done is switch from using sour cream in some of our dishes to Greek Yogurt (which is thicker than traditional yogurts). It's been a big help!

When appropriate in my baking, I replace the oil with apple sauce. We also try to make as much as possible home-made because everything "prepackaged" seems to have added sugar. So now we make our own pasta sauces, salsa and dressings, using healthier methods (olive oils, yogurts, and lots of fresh and dried herbs). Hope this helps.

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November 21, 20090 found this helpful

Tonights dinner (American Heart Assoc. cookbook)

I have a non stick deep always medium heat. Yummy!

Curried Vegetable Wrap

1 cup brown rice

1 medium onion

3 medium zucchini (about 1 lb.)

2 medium green bell peppers

1 tsp. vegetable oil (I used olive oil)

3 medium tomatoes OR 14.5 can no salt added tomatoes, drained (I used that and saved the drained juice for another recipe)

1/4 cup dried currants or raisins (optional) I used raisins and diced them small...really saw no major difference

2 tsp curry powder

1 tsp ground cumin

3/4 tsp. red hot-pepper sauce, or to taste (I used what it said...not spicy)

8 10-inch nonfat or low-fat flour tortillas

Prepare rice using package directions, omitting salt and margarine. (I used instant brown rice)

Meanwhile, cut onion in half lengthwise, then in thin half-moon slices; cut zucchini into 1/2 inch cubes; and cut bell peppers into 1/2 inch squares.

Add oil and saute onion for 2 to 3 minutes or until it starts to soften, stirring occasionally.

Add zucchini and bell peppers. cook for about 10 minutes, or until vegetables are soft.

Stir in remaining ingredients except tortillas.

They kept the rice separte from the veggies...I just added the rice to the veggies. Heat up your tortillas and spoon inside. Could be eaten without the tortillas as well.

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November 21, 20090 found this helpful

Oh, the curried vegetable wraps look good. I will definitely try them soon. Thank you to everyone who shared recipes their families currently enjoy. It was a wonderful selection of things to choose from.

This evening, we had an early Thanksgiving dinner at our friends' house (their daughter is leaving for three months, so we did our Thanksgiving dinner early to include her). I made four pies; I substituted whole wheat pastry flour for white flour in all four pie crusts, and three of the four recipes were Splenda recipes. Two of the Splenda recipes were real hits, and no one even knew they weren't made with sugar. They were the cherry pie and the banana cream pie. If anyone's interested, I'd be glad to share those recipes. They were yummy!

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November 22, 20090 found this helpful

The pies sound delish! I'm making a pumpking pie that I got from too will use splenda.

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