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Reinventing Your Food

Last week on Top Chef: DC the contestants were brought to the CIA and asked to disguise their dishes. While, I am still not sure how you could create a “cover” for French onion soup, it got me thinking. How can you reinvent your favorite foods so that they are healthier? So I took some of MY favorite foods and tried to figure out how to make them better.

Tell me in the comments how you make your meals healthier without losing the tastiness.

Mac ‘n Cheese

There are days, especially when it has been raining a ridiculous amount outside, when I just want a steaming bowl of mac ‘n cheese. But instead of reaching for the blue box, I create a different kind.

Adding a vegetable (I like cauliflower or broccoli), nonfat milk and whole wheat macaroni adds more fiber without losing the deliciousness. The recipe below is for 6 servings (I like to make for multiple meals) and is about 294 calories per serving

What you need:

  • 1 box (13.25 ounces) whole-grain penne pasta
  • 4 cups borccoli florets (about 2 stalks)
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Pinch   cayenne pepper
  • 8 ounces 2% sharp Cheddar cheese, grated (2 cups)

How you do it:

  1. Heat large pot of lightly salted water to boiling. Add pasta and cook 6 minutes. Add broccoli and cook an additional 4 minutes. Drain.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk milk and flour together in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then simmer 3 minutes, until thickened. Remove from heat and whisk in mustard, salt, pepper and cayenne.
  3. Add grated Cheddar, whisking constantly until melted. Transfer pasta and broccoli to serving bowl. Pour cheese sauce over pasta-broccoli mixture and stir until coated.

BLT (with a fake B and no added B)

Coming home late from work or the gym means I want something quick, tasty but not too high in carbs. Enter BLT in a bowl. Also, what I love about this is that my meat loving fiancé can still eat it, by adding real bacon to his. And by making your own dressing you can save a lot of calories. Recipe below is for 2 servings, 185 calories per serving.

What you need:


  • 4  slices cooked bacon (FAKE)
  • 2 cups  sliced green-leaf lettuce
  • 1/2 cup  halved yellow and red grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup  low-fat croutons (optional)


  • 1/8 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tablespoon  water
  • 1/2 tablespoon  cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon  sugar
  • Pinch of pepper

How you do it:

  1. Combine all the ingredients for the salad in a large bowl. Then, in a smaller bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients; toss salad with dressing

Socialize Your Diet

Tasty Tuesday 8/24