Healthified Recipes

Good morning from rainy North Carolina! It was massively storming last night — woke me up! Oh, well… at least if it’s rainy I won’t be sad I’m stuck inside in class all day :)

Speaking of class — last night in Food Science was fun, as always!


Last night’s adventure was our group project — each four groups had to pick an original recipe, then modify it in some way (including using a soy product) to decrease the calories from fat to less than 30%. It was fun seeing what other groups came up with!

My group’s original recipe was classic Beef Chili:


And our modified recipe was Tempeh Chili! Tempeh is mashed soybeans, like tofu, but it has a much heartier texture. We were originally thinking of making tofu chili, but decided the tempeh would create a better texture, more similar to beef. We were right!



The tempeh chili was delicious — a lot of people liked it better than the beef! To make it, we followed the beef chili recipe exactly, except that we used tempeh instead of beef. No other changes were made.


When each group was done with their before and after recipes, we all tasted them! Each group had to create an analysis tool for everyone to use to rate their recipes. We had everyone taste both the beef and the tempeh chili and fill out a sheet rating the taste, texture, flavor, aroma, etc.


One of the other groups made stuffed peppers — both a Paula Deen recipe and a healthified version with lower fat cheese, fat free sour cream, a soy meat instead of beef, etc.


Yum! I liked both of these — but probably the modified a bit better… the original was SO rich!

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And another group made a sort of egg casserole — the first with lots of full fat cheese, milk, etc., and the second with lower fat cheese, more veggies, cottage cheese, and soy milk.


I have to say I liked the original better of this one — their modified recipe using soy milk came out kind of sweet tasting because of the soy… skim milk would have been better!

(Original on left — modified on right)


The last group made a chocolate éclair cake!


The modified version came out a bit too runny and TOO sweet though, surprisingly — I think because they used banana and soy milk in addition to all the sugar? (modified is in the background)


What a fun class! Interesting to see how the changes they made affected the taste, texture, etc.

Have you ever “healthified” a recipe? Did it work? Feel free to share links to your favorite revamped recipes in the comments :) As you all know, I’m a huge fan of healthifying recipes — pretty much everything on my blog is some version of it! I’m particularly proud of my non-calorie bomb or sugar coma but still delicious muffins :)

I’m off to school — have a wonderful day!


  1. 1

    I love stuffed peppers, they look wonderful, as well as the egg casserole. I can’t wait for cooler weather so I can make chili. Big fan of all the food you made last night. Have a good day.

  2. 2

    Awesome class project! Out of curiosity, though, what was the reasoning behind needing to add a soy product?

  3. 4

    Great fun, Anne. Well done — and thanks for sharing. But please hold the soy!

  4. 5

    What a great project! I always try to health-ify a recipe to make it better for you – I have made a few recipes though where the newer version doesn’t compare to the old version. Sometimes you just need to go for the old version – just in moderation and smaller portions!

  5. 6

    I am pretty curious about the reasoning behind healthifying with soy as well. I am not an RD, but the recent research on unfermented soy seems to be pointing toward thumbs down. Of course, this question is coming from the point of view of someone who healthifies things by doubling the butter or olive oil in recipes. As well as someone who is about to drench her sushi in soy sauce later tonight, but still.

    • 7

      Yeah the jury is definitely still out on soy – having to add soy to the recipes wasn’t related to health at all – it was just meant to be an added variable to make the assignment more challenging!

  6. 8

    I healthified my tuna salad last night by using Nayonaise instead of real mayo. It was my first experiment with Vegan mayo and I LOVED it!

    I also love your muffins, as you know:)

  7. 9

    I need to try your healthified muffins! I have one recipe for banana choco chip protein muffins that I love but I need more muffin variety :)

  8. 10

    I want to take this class with you, pleeease! Nothing better than a hands-on class to make it interesting. I want to try the tempeh chili.

  9. 11

    I usually tend to like the lighter versions of recipes too. I don’t like things too rich. Well except maybe desserts. ;) That sounds like a great class!

  10. 12

    I tried to healthify a chocolate chip peanut butter cookie and it flopped. I also tried to healthify a pumpkin apple muffin and it worked!
    There is definitely a science of the ingredients and what it does to consistency, taste, etc. and it’s interesting to try to understand them.

  11. 14

    Those stuffed pepps look WAY better than the ones that I make! How did the get the stem to stay on like that!

    I made short cake once and modified the biscuit recipe to where I used earth balance instead of butter, almond milk instead of milk and flax seed “egg” instead of regular egg :) I love getting creative and healthifying recipes.

  12. 15

    holy crapp. can we please have the recipe for that chocolate eclair cake?! <3

  13. 16

    oooh I love those stuffed peppers!

  14. 17

    I’m all about healthifing recipes. I love going through and seeing ways to make dishes “lighter.” I don’t think it works as well in baking though..

  15. 18

    I healthify everything. Sometimes my boyfriend will ask, when I’m baking cookies, “are you making REAL chocolate chip cookies, or something healthy?” Once in a while I’ll surprise him and actually make something like the recipe says to :)

  16. 19

    LOVE hearing about this class! You get to do so many fun things! (and eat them too!)

  17. 20

    Gosh I want to take this class just for fun! :)

  18. 21

    When I took food science at East Carolina in the undergraduate program…it really sucked! We didn’t do anything fun like you all did! I hope ur classes are going well!

  19. 22

    I usually like the heathier foods better than the rich foods too!

  20. 23

    Your class looks so much fun! I love healthifying foods, plus I usually like the healthier version better than the original! :-)

  21. 24

    So fun! I try to hide veggies to some of my favorite recipies to make them more nutritious b/c the boy is def a meat and potato guy. :-/

  22. 25

    That is a cool project! I have healthifided a lot of recipes, usually it works out. I think i will have to try tempeh chili, I have switched beef with ground turkey breasts and it was good. I love tempeh!

  23. 26

    That looks like such a fun class! Can I audit it? :) I have to say- further proof that sometimes desserts should be indulgences without modifications! Hooray for butter!

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