I’ve been blogging a lot lately about my quest to prepare and serve real food to my family. I thought I was doing a really good job of it– I mean, I cooked dinner at home at least 5 times a week, and we ate all the leftovers, too. But when I really started to look at some of the recipes, I realized that I could do better than some of the ingredients included. I turned to Pinterest to see if I could find replacements for some of the pre-packaged mixes and chemical-filled base ingredients I needed.
I’ll be the first to admit that this isn’t a health food. But the reality is, there are a few recipes for which nostalgia trumps health. Tuna noodle casserole, anyone? But I knew there had to be a way to make this old favorite a bit healthier (in addition to reducing the amount of cheese significantly), and swapping out the canned cream of mushroom soup for a DIY version does just that. By starting with a base of nonfat milk powder and adding spices, this mix has a significantly better fat and sodium profile than even the “Healthy Request” versions of canned creamed soups. Bonus: for about $3 of ingredients, I was able to make nine cans worth of cream soup mix.
I’m from Texas. I use taco seasoning in everything.
There’s rarely a day that someone in my family doesn’t eat unfried refried beans. Because we have a wide variety of palettes in this house, I don’t spice up the beans too much when I make them. But when I want to eat some, a little dash of taco seasoning makes them a super delicious, high protein, inexpensive snack. This seasoning is easy to make, includes ingredients you probably already have in your pantry, and *doesn’t* include anything funky with four syllables.
We are big ranch dressing eaters in this house. Love the tang on my salad and love the way the kids eat raw veggies with a little dip-dip motivation. Don’t love the chemicals in store-bought ranch dressing.
With a base of buttermilk powder and a few spices you probably already have, you can add this dip to light mayo to get the familiar flavor without any chemical extras you don’t want. Even better, it mixes up fabulously with plain greek yogurt for a protein-packed vegetable dip. Talk about a big step up from the original.
As you can see from my photos, although I use Pinterest quite a lot to find information, I feel no need to make everything Pinterest-Gorgeous. Sure, I’d love to have a kitchen filled with matching canisters and adorable printed labels. But my priority is what’s inside, even when the outside looks a little ragged.
Just like last time, the links above go to the original posts for each recipe. I have pinned each of these on my balancepft Pinterest boards, so follow me there for easy access.
Good health and great happiness to you.