How To Make Recipes Your Own

It seems like every recipe, or almost every recipe I use that isn’t originally mine I’ll end up adjusting it so much it becomes a different recipe. I think a lot of us do that, it’s our culinary creativity coming out of us and its fun.

Over the holidays, one of my friends made a “Cheesy Potato” recipe that was easy and simple.  It was exciting to change a couple ingredients to create a dish to my families liking.  Actually when you think about it, adjusting recipes is also an opportunity to think healthy.  Sure, it is a challenge, but it is worth it.  For instance, take a standard Lasagna recipe and instead of meat sauce and noodles let’s make it all veggie lasagna without the noodles.  On the other hand, we could make Chicken Chili verses a Chili made with beef.  How about all the different substitutes we can use for meals on the lite side.

Pasta & BroccoliYou can do a quick search on the internet, and you will find plenty of substitute charts for healthier choices.  Not only will the meals you create be healthier, many of them will be easier and quicker to prepare.  I know you think the flavor will not be what you want if you go with the healthy ingredients.  But, believe me you will not have to give up yummiest foods for healthy meals.  Once you experiment enough you will find the right combinations of herbs and spices to season your food to your liking.

Try a couple of these healthy alternative recipes.

Lemon-Garlic Chicken 

  • 6 chicken breast fillets
  • 1/2 cup melted margarine
  • 3 clove garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 1/2 t parsley, minced
  • 1 t salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 2 T melted margarine
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Paprika to taste

Rinse chicken and pat dry. Dip in mixture of 1/2-cup butter and garlic. Coat in mixture of bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, parsley, salt and pepper. Arrange in nonstick baking pan. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons butter and lemon juice. Sprinkle with paprika. Then bake at 325 F for 30 minutes or until chicken is tender.

Pot Roast with Vegetables 

  • 3 lb blade or cross rib pot roast
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 14 oz stewed tomatoes
  • 1/4 t cayenne
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 cup each chopped onions and celery
  • 1 each red and green pepper, chopped
  • 6 carrots, cut into chunks
  • 6 potatoes
  • 1 cup each frozen corn and okra

In large, lightly oiled pot, brown roast on all sides. Reduce heat and add remaining ingredients (except corn and okra). Simmer covered on stove for 2-1/2 hours. Season with salt to taste. Add corn and okra and cook covered for another 15 minutes. Remove roast and vegetables; discard bay leaf. Thicken juice left in pot with a paste made from 2 tbsp each of flour and water. Slice roast and serve with vegetables and sauce. Makes 10 servings

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