The Healthy-ish Recipe Fairy

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading your responses to the Now Eat This! giveaway, and I thought it would be fun to try to hunt down some healthier alternatives for some of the requests. Whether these taste good, I have no clue, but they’re possibilities.

I didn’t have to look far for Sharon, Karen, and Jen, who all wished for healthier versions of lasagna. Chef Rocco offers two versions in his book: a Zucchini-Eggplant Lasagna (p. 171) and a meat-based Lasagna (p. 172). I don’t eat lasagna*, but his mixture of fat-free ricotta, reduced fat mozzarella, and parmigiano reggiano cheeses is tempting.

Colleen asked for “the sloppiest, goopiest, meat-and-cheese-and-guacamoliest plate of nachos”. Chef Rocco has a tasty-looking nacho recipe (p.25), but they don’t look very gooey and they don’t have guacamole. They might scratch that nacho-needing itch, though!

Teresa & Christine both wished for lighter versions of macaroni and cheese*. Rocco to the rescue (p. 174)! It would be rude to type the recipe here, but I’ll tell you the surprise (to me, anyway) ingredient: Greek yogurt! Who would’ve thought!

Now Eat This! also has recipe alternatives for Christina, who wants Chicken Pot Pie (p.116) and Laura, who wants Chicken and Dumplings (p.110).

I turned to our friend, Google, for some other possibilities. Again, not one clue if these are tasty possibilities, but they might be worth a click.

For Lori, this fettuccine alfredo recipe uses evaporated skim milk and good cheese, which seems to be one of Rocco’s favorite tricks.

Leslie, here’s your turkey tetrazinni.

DietMaven, you asked for NY-style cheesecake. This recipe might purge the urge.

Milxx wishes for “a brown sauce for veggies like they do in Chinatown”, and I wonder if this recipe would do the trick.

Laurie wants chicken enchiladas ranchera, which I don’t think I’ve had before, but I did find a tasty-looking dish that might substitute.

Lori Z wants a healthy pierogi recipe. I don’t know pierogis, but this seemed promising.

TJ wants fried plantains. I haven’t really thought of these as unhealthy. Not in a fatal way, I mean. If you use healthy fat in a small amount, it seems they’d be okay for a now-and-then side dish.

Michele, here’s a possibility for the stuffed shells* you requested.

Moving along to the last group. Some of us are wishing for miracles. :)

Rob and Ellen want donuts, and while I found a recipe for healthier donuts, I doubt it’s a replacement for the gooey fried kind.

Tami wishes for Hummingbird Cake. I love Hummingbird Cake, and I did find a recipe for a lightened up version. It has only 400 calories a slice vs. 500 calories for the real thing. :)

Elise wants Molten Lava cake. Who doesn’t? This recipe might be worth a look.

Lee hopes for a healthier version of See’s candy. Wouldn’t it be wonderful? I did find some truffles that might fill the void.

Melissa seeks a healthier version of Texas Sheet Cake, and this one could be tasty, even if it looks kind of dry in the photo.

I even found a possibility for my beloved Swiss Rolls. I just need to find a healthy chocolate ganache for it. :)

Lots of linking going on there. I’ve tried to double-check, but I killed most of my brain cells at the gym today. If I flubbed a link, let me know, and I’ll fix it. If you happen to have a tried-and-true makeover recipe for any of these requests, please feel free to make like a fairy and share!

Meanwhile, the giveaway contest is open until Monday. You can’t win if you don’t enter!


*Little known Cammy-fact: I don’t eat thick pasta. Spaghetti and fettucini are about it for me, and considering that a serving is about 4 noodles, I generally just skip it completely.



23 thoughts on “The Healthy-ish Recipe Fairy

  1. Great links, Cammy. I might have to try Lori’s fettuccine alfredo recipe tonight. Cheers!

  2. Awesome work for all these links (especially my molten lava cake 😉 ). Bookmarking this page!!

  3. What a thoughtful idea! I had actually put a sticky note on my desktop to remind myself to go back and look at what people wished for. Not only have you done that, but have provided links to their blogs and recipes. Thanks a bunch! You may spoil us into expecting something similar every week!

  4. I re-make a lot of recipes and I have a lot of fun with it, although the cookies that resembled wig wams were not a family favorite. :-)

    I did modify a lasagna recipe using whole wheat pasta, eggplant and really good cheese ( just less of it). I have the recipe posted on my blog.

    I’ve also been known to make a mean mac-n-cheese – the old fashioned kind that is baked in the oven…just occurred to me that it might be a good one to put on my blog since people ask me about it fairly frequently…be on the look out and thanks for the thought

  5. Thanks for all the recipes, Cammy. Very nice of you to find them for us. I like trying new recipes – especially if they are modified to healthy.

  6. Is it sad that I’m equally excited about seeing my name on the blog as I am about the actual recipes? It’s my one shot at fame!

  7. Well you sure have been busy looking up recipes!

    Thanks for the link for the hummingbird cake. It looks yummy but is very different from my moms recipe. Mom’s is baked in a bundt pan and has a glaze poured over it! Not the traditional Southern recipe although it did come from a friend of hers who lives in Louisiana.

  8. Dang, girl! How long did it take you to find all those?! I bet some of them are really good! I’ve been hearing a lot about substituting Greek yogurt for all kinds of ingredients but have yet to try it.

  9. Many of those “lightened” recipes can be found on the Cooking lIght site and on The Food Network I like to go to Healthy Appetite with Ellie Krieger. It is a lot of work to find good tasting recipes, though – thanks for the reviews of the Rocco book.

  10. Wow, you have been busy!! I never though of using wonton wrappers for pierogis! Definitely want to try that, and the mushroom filling and see what everyone thinks!
    Can’t wait to check out all these other recipes too!

  11. Wow, you are amazing to provide all those links for folks!
    Unfortunately, I am now looking for extremely low carb takes on food given my struggles with ungodly high cholesterol and reaction to treatment (statins=bad for me). Perhaps a boring diet is just what I need right now – NOT!

  12. Cammy, (sing it with me now) have I told you lately that I love you? I am going to tuck this recipe safely away and when I get the urge to bake chocolate chip cookies again (and we know it will happen) I am going to bake these instead. Thank you so, so much for putting in all of this effort for everyone.

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