This post is all about comfort food at its finest updated for modern times! Let’s talk Have you ever taken an old time family recipe, passed down from generations and lighten it up? I have taken several of my family’s recipes and made them over for our current lifestyle with amazing results. These recipes can be transformed to work for variety of health conditions. One of my favorite activities to do with clients is to take an old recipe that they love and make it new, improved and delicious while better meeting their dietary needs!
I also have to honest that sometimes you just can’t really change a special family recipe and we talk about how to work it in while eating mindfully, savoring it and enjoying it even more than ever. Some recipes should not be changed to keep their integrity. A good example is a holiday cookie that is eaten and shared once a year so if the texture and flavor is affected a lot by changes, I think that they need to stay as they are. However, many times the recipes that have been adapted are better than before. I wanted to share two family recipes that have been passed down from our families that I have made been lightened up. I think you will love the changes that I have made! .
Here are a few tips that I use to update a recipe:
- Choose a healthier fat in your recipe instead of the old one listed.,
- Reduce sugar & fat in a recipe by about 25 % in many of my recipes.
- Add herbs and spices in savory recipes and dried fruits, fruit peels and flavoring extracts.
- Try making some of my favorite meat recipes more plant based by including more vegetables and meat alternatives.
- Reduce salt in recipes and increase the flavor with herbs, spices, vinegar and citrus juice.
It’s soup season! And soup is a great way to get some additional vegetables in your day and warm your heart and soul on a cold day! With all the additional veggies, it is a great cancer prevention, builds a healthy immune system, keeps you full so you don’t overeat to help maintain and achieve a healthy weight! Soups are also a great way for seasonal eating because you can use what’s available at the local farmers’ markets!
Grandma Ida’s Famous Vegetable Soup
I adapted my great grandmother Ida’s recipe to make it vegetarian. Growing up, it has been one of my son’s favorites and he even asked to have it on his birthday! This recipe went from fatty hamburger meat that Grandma Ida used to make it during the depression and beyond. She used canned veggies also. Next came my mom’s changes when she started using beef stew and fresh carrots, potatoes and frozen vegetables. And then to my latest plant based, vegetarian version!
46 ounce tomato juice or tomato and vegetable mixture
2 1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 stalk chopped celery
1/3 cup chopped onions
1 ½ cup sliced carrots
16 ounce frozen mixed vegetables
3-4 potatoes, cut into ¾-1 inch chunks
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1-2 large bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
15 ounce can tomatoes
½ teaspoon pepper
½ head cabbage-cut into wedges and chunks
In a large stock pot saute onions, potatoes and carrots until softened. Add 2 ¼ cup water for and simmer for about 20 minutes. Add frozen vegetables, ¼ teaspoon salt, 15 ounce tomato sauce and pepper. Simmer 30 minutes longer.
You can also add seasonal greens in it also or even beets! You can also use fresh herbs!
The other recipe that I want to share is one from my husband’s family. His Aunt Lillian had made it every Christmas Eve for their family gathering and celebration of her husband’s birthday. My mother-in-law Wanda started making it also and later I started making a version of it. Wanda’s recipe uses hamburger and flavored taco chips and mine is now a vegetarian version!
I love giving my recipes a little face lift whether it is just to freshen it up or to make it a little healthier. As a registered dietitian nutritionist working in Asheville, I love to help my clients find ways healthy to eat that they will enjoy! Recipe makeovers can be one of the ways that we can do it! Hope that you feel inspired to make a few changes in the kitchen to make your favorites even better! On the Vine Ripe website, you can find some of the ways that I work with my clients! What recipe have you lightened and how did it work out?