Healthy Recipes from Home
No matter how old you get, there is something special about a home cooked meal by mom or grandmother. From the plating to the fragrance to the very first bite -- it all has the ability to fill your heart (and tummy!) with memories and joy. I still remember one of the things I missed most about leaving home for the first time was family dinner. A lot to time it isn't even about the food - though don't get me wrong, good food makes it even more enjoyable! The laughter and love that surround a dinner table are quite possibly some of the best memories we make together.
To pay tribute to our mothers and grandmothers and any other women in our lives that taught us a thing or two about home cookin', I have asked friends and colleagues to share with you some of their memories that go along with some of there very favorite recipes from home.
"I am partial to Southern comfort foods thanks to my Arkansas-born mother, who prepared her trademark savory grits and greens on a regular basis. This dish marries these two Southern staples into one easy, nutrient-packed casserole. The bitter greens and caramelized onions partner with the creamy grits beautifully. Add a side of stewed black-eyed peas and you’ve got a plant-powered match made in heaven. The hefty dose of greens puts this meal off the charts with bone-loving nutrients, such as calcium and vitamin C. "
"A while back, one of my sister’s went digging through my mom’s old recipes and rediscovered this one. I was excited to try it but one look at the recipe and I knew I had to give it a healthy makeover. While delicious, it was high in saturated fat (the not so good kind that can lead to high LDL cholesterol) and short on other good for you nutrients. So I made some changes to not only lighten it up, but also boost the nutrition overall."
"You don’t need to give up meat to eat a plant-based diet, and this recipe proves it, as one portion supplies a full serving of vegetables, along with protein, iron, and about 25% of your daily requirement for choline. The stew is rich in mushrooms, which take the place of some of the beef. Mushrooms are the only product in the fruit and vegetable section with vitamin D."
"These stuffed cabbage rolls are mixed with green lentils and brown rice as a healthy, plant-based meat substitute beef. To make a “perfect” cabbage roll, boil the leaves to soften them. Boiling the whole cabbage in a large pot of water makes it easier to gently break apart the leaves. The softer leaves become more flexible and easier to roll up with fillings. Cabbage rolls can be baked in tomato sauce, but I prefer simmering them in sauce to keep the lentils and rice soft."
Oven Fried Green Tomatoes
"I absolutely LOVE fried green tomatoes! I can eat them for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, fourth meal, etc…lol! Even though I love this dish, I don’t always love the extra fat and calories that come from frying the tomatoes in copious amounts of oil! My version of fried green tomatoes provides the same great taste and flavor without compromising your waistline!"
"My mom makes a pretty good meatloaf. I know some people do not like meatloaf at all, but I never really understood that because my mom’s meatloaf was tasty! In fact, I had a friend who would ask to come eat at my house for dinner on meatloaf night. Thus, it was decided. I was going to make some meatloaf."
"This zucchini bread is moist and delicious and absolutely passes for a dessert! My assistant said she had been craving chocolate cake all day and thought it was miraculous that we had this for her to try. She thought it was even better than chocolate cake! I've tested it out on children, teenagers, and adults and it was a big hit. They didn't realize they were eating vegetables. It does have a half cup of sugar and 3/4 cups of pure maple sugar, but for a dessert-type food, it's still fairly healthy with cocoa, zucchini, plain Greek yogurt, sprouted whole wheat flour, and health-promoting oil. Make sure to take the bread out of the oven as soon as the toothpick comes out clean. Enjoy!"
"Somewhere back in the recesses of my brain, I do remember eating Beefaroni as a kid (not often since my mom was an awesome home cook who loved cooking meals from scratch), but today, it’s something I prefer to make myself … and this recipe for Homemade Healthy Beefaroni is almost as easy to make as opening up a can."
"This is what puts the comfort in comfort food. It brings back good memories and makes us feel good, not just in our tummies, but in our soul. I will be the first to admit this soup isn’t the healthiest soup out there (it’s not the worst, either), but I still think including some comfort food in our diets every now and again is just what we need. I also feel a sense of pride in being able to share a part of my Grandma with all of you. Even though you never knew her, you can still enjoy this little part of who she was. And, you’ll fill your belly with some good food, too."
"My mom is all about our ancestry, and has tracked back our families to the beginning of the revolutionary war. One of my great great great great greats served with George Washington. I think that is pretty amazing! I think about my “great” and his wife. She was a military spouse too, just like me! I think about the fear she must have felt in her own homeland. But then, I also think about how proud she must have been that her husband was fighting for freedom. I totally relate, because I am pretty proud of my husband who serves.
This recipe is probably one of my all time favorites. It has quickly turned into one my husband’s favorite dishes. Even though I make it, I think my mom’s is better. It’s her recipe, but there is something about her making it that makes it magical."
"I made it my mission to “healthify” this recipe and add some wholesome ingredients to the mix! In most of my recipes, I like use plain non-fat Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. It cuts the calories and adds more nutritive value. I also like to cut my starchy components in half and add in more veggies. I like to increase my veggies every chance I get; mainly because I try to make sure that my kids get their daily recommend veggie servings. It’s tough getting most toddlers to eat their veggies, but when they are combined with their favorite foods (like cheese and potatoes) they will barely notice the veggies! I know, I know, that’s being a bit sneaky but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do! Lol! Try this recipe tonight! I’m sure that your family will enjoy it!"
"This recipe is a healthier spin on a favorite treat that my mom made while growing up. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!"
"This simply delicious baked chicken parmesan is so easy. I hope it can come to your rescue on a busy night, too."
"My grandma is from Germany and luckily for us, she is a fantastic cook. One of my favorite recipes of hers is Spaetzle. Spaetzle is a tiny type of egg noodle that is a traditional dish in Germany. Everyone in my family learns how to make spaetzle when they get old enough to boil water. My sisters and I all have our own spaetzle makers and even have our grandma’s recipe framed on our walls. It’s served at every holiday function and is a staple in our family."
"I would like to also take the time to give a very special thank you to our dear friend, Jordan Edwards. He has been a best (and loyal) friend of my husband’s since early college days and living abroad in Ireland. With his amazing culinary skills, especially in Asian cooking, he helped me create this delicious recipe. I still can’t believe we created an amazingly crispy textured tofu with half the calories! In addition to feeding my husband and I often with his cooking talents, he has also welcomed us into our new city of beautiful Boulder, Colorado. This recipe would not be as tasty without his help!"
"Growing up, my great grandma Liz used to make us these amazing Hungarian cookies whenever we visited her. They’ve got a dough base that gets wrapped around a sugary walnut and raisin filling. I honestly don’t even know if they are actually authentically Hungarian but that’s what everyone called them so I’ll stick with it.
The recipe got passed down to my mom, and when my great grandma passed away, my mom took to making them for me each year for Christmas. To this day each year I get a gallon size ziplock bag of the most amazing cookies in existence at the end of December. They are seriously one of my favorite foods in the world."
"My grandma Lee was the world’s best cook. At least, that’s how I felt growing up. Her mother was born and raised in Hungary, and basically everything she cooked featured Hungarian paprika. The whole house always had an aroma resembling a combination of onions, oil and paprika. When we would go on vacation and leave our dog with grandma, her fur would smell like onions, oil and paprika for days. Mmmmmm. At least to me.
One of my favorite meals growing up was Grandma’s Paprika Chicken. I could eat it every day. We called it chicken fricassee or “Chicky Fricky” as my kids know it, though I think in reality that’s nothing like what she was actually cooking so we’ll stick with “Chicken Paprikash”. I’m pretty sure my younger cousin would not have grown at all had it not been for this signature dish."