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Easy Swaps to Lighten Up Your Favorite Recipes


Easy Swaps to Lighten Up Your Favorite Recipes

One of our favorite things to do is take super heavy recipes and lighten up the calories without lightening up the flavor. If that sounds impossible to you, then you’ll just have to come over for dinner sometime! Better yet, wow your entire family with some of our tricks for adding lots of flavor (and creaminess) to recipes, while reducing the calories.

Greek Yogurt Instead of Mayo
This works especially well for dishes like tuna or salmon salad—simply replace half of the mayo in the recipe with nonfat plain Greek yogurt and half with reduced fat mayo.

What you save: 83 calories per tablespoon

Recipe to try: //www.bumblebee.com/recipes/lightened-up-classic-salmon-salad-pita-/

Evaporated Skim Milk Instead of Cream
Think dishes like crab bisque or other super creamy soups are total diet disasters? Not if you make them yourself and replace the heavy cream with evaporated skim milk. Because much of the water is removed in the evaporation process, the skim milk acts more like heavy cream in the recipe—but without the abundant saturated fat!

What you save: 215 calories per cup

Recipe to try: //www.bumblebee.com/recipes/lightened-up-crab-bisque/

Zucchini Ribbons Instead of Fettuccine or Spaghetti
You don’t need to replace ALL your pasta with veggie ribbons—try replacing half your serving of pasta with the veggie version to cut calories nearly in half. For instance, if you normally have 2 cups of fettuccine, opt for one cup fettuccine tossed with 1 cup of veggie ribbons. Also, if you typically reach for white sauce, try making it using evaporated skim milk instead of cream!

What you save: 180 calories per 2 cups (2 cups pasta vs 1 cup pasta mixed with 1 cup zucchini ribbons)

Recipe to try: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ellie-krieger/zucchini-ribbon-pasta-recipe/index.html

Herbs and Spices Instead of Salt
If you typically add a pinch of salt here and there throughout your cooking process—or find yourself making recipes that call for a teaspoon or two of salt—experiment with replacing half the salt with fresh or dried herbs and dried spices. A few basics to keep on hand: fresh basil (use with lemon to add a really fresh flavor to fish, chicken, tofu, or bean dishes); garlic powder; smoked paprika; fresh rosemary (amazing on chicken and potatoes); and dried dill (great to add to tuna or salmon salad).

What you save: 1163mg sodium per teaspoon (1 tsp salt vs 1/2 tsp salt + 1/2 tsp dried herbs)

Recipe to try: This recipe http://pinterest.com/pin/24910604159893058/ in this book http://www.amazon.com/Crazy-Sexy-Kitchen-Plant-Empowered-Mouthwatering/dp/1401941044/ref=la_B001JP0SEI_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1369098470&sr=1-1 or this recipe http://www.yummly.com/recipe/Salmon-moqueca-307373?&columns=3&position=1/36

Do you have any kitchen secrets you use to lighten up the calories, fat, and sodium in dishes without lightening up the flavor? Share them in the comments!

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