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How to Modify Your Favorite Recipes

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How to Modify Your Favorite Recipes

Ann Stoll

Welcome back! I know I threw a lot at you last week, so let’s take this even slower. When you decide to clean up your eating habits, you may wonder what’s left for you to eat. I really wanted to break down a bunch of recipes for you, but instead, I’m going to modify just one of my favorite recipes to show you how I make it more healthy. This is already a clean recipe, but I need to eliminate the gluten and the dairy for my body.

Changing the Way You Cook

You can eat delicious meals, even when you eliminate the sugars, dairy, gluten and more. Some of the things I hear a lot from people that I talk to about changing their eating, is that they think their families won’t eat the new meals or that they have to cook two different meals.

Nonsense!

My advice:

  1. Don’t tell them! Keep the phrase, “I made some substitutions” all to yourself. They don’t need to know!

  2. Do it slowly. Change just a little at a time. Alter one or two ingredients instead of five in your family’s favorite recipe this time, and then one or two more the next time you make it. Start a food journal, and keep track of the changes you make, or write directly on the printed recipe.

  3. Did I mention, don’t tell them? Seriously, they won’t know if you don’t complain or talk about the substitutions. Instead, think of it as a new recipe. An Adventure! New tastes!

Developing a Sense of Taste

While I can totally change out a favorite recipe with minimal, if any, complaints (really, my family doesn’t complain about food, at all), I love to take a brand new recipe we’ve never tasted before, alter it, and present it. Since we haven’t tried it before, they don’t even know the difference.

I think most of our food prejudices were birthed from our parents and others who may have crinkled their noses at certain foods. You may have never tried that food, yet you don’t like it either.

For example, my mom hated pineapple, so I hated pineapple.

But you know what? I had never had it, except for the occasional Hawaiian salad, which I loved. But it was canned pineapple. Blech.

Fast forward lots of years. I decided to try a fresh pineapple.

Where have these been all my life? I adore and love fresh pineapple! Canned pineapple, not so much.

So all those years I hated pineapple was just because my mother hated pineapple. With my kids, I decided to make a conscious effort to not let them know of foods I disliked. They tried and ate lots of different things. To this day, they eat loads of nutritious foods and actually love things I won’t touch. Now that they are grown, I don’t mind sharing with them (or you!) about what my dislikes are, because they have a wonderfully developed sense of taste.

How to Modify a Recipe

Below, is a recipe I use quite often. I love comfort food and we all love creamy soups. When you make your own soup from scratch, there is nothing quite like it. You will NEVER go back to canned soup. Winter is the perfect time to fire up the crock pot and make some delicious homemade soup!

My assortment of gluten free flours. My favorite is white rice flour. Out of all of these, it acts normally. It really depends on what you are making as to the type of flour to use. If you are looking for a more low-carb option, then cream soups are not for you. Stick with the broth and you will still have a yummy soup.

My assortment of gluten free flours. My favorite is white rice flour. Out of all of these, it acts normally. It really depends on what you are making as to the type of flour to use. If you are looking for a more low-carb option, then cream soups are not for you. Stick with the broth and you will still have a yummy soup.

I like to use these two products as my milk substitutes. They are both sugar free, dairy free, and for the most part, hold up the same as milk in a recipe. It depends on the flavors you are going for as to which one you would use. You can also find cashew and coconut milk by Blue Diamond (and other brands) in these cartons. I love the full-fat coconut milk for curry soups, Asian flavors, and creamy white sauces. For this recipe, I will be using the unsweetened almond milk.

I like to use these two products as my milk substitutes. They are both sugar free, dairy free, and for the most part, hold up the same as milk in a recipe. It depends on the flavors you are going for as to which one you would use. You can also find cashew and coconut milk by Blue Diamond (and other brands) in these cartons. I love the full-fat coconut milk for curry soups, Asian flavors, and creamy white sauces. For this recipe, I will be using the unsweetened almond milk.

Creamy Chicken Wild Rice Soup

(This is a slow cooker recipe by Little Spice Jar. I found it on Pinterest.)

{My modifications appear in these special brackets.}

creamy chicken rice soup

Ingredients:

1 c. uncooked wild rice blend (not parboiled) {I love wild rice from Wisconsin}

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast {I use whatever I have handy}

1 c. chopped onions

3/4 c. chopped celery

3/4 c. chopped carrots

4-5 garlic cloves, minced

2 bay leaves

6 c. chicken broth

2 c. water or additional chicken broth

2 Tbs salt-free season blend (Mrs. Dash or something similar)

3 Tbs butter

2 Tbs olive oil or more butter {I love butter!}

1/2 c. flour {substitute rice flour, corn starch, or any GF flour}

2 c. milk {For this recipe, I use unsweetened almond milk, but coconut or cashew milk would also be delicious replacements. Just make sure there are no added sugars!}

salt and pepper to taste

This couldn’t get any easier! You can even find pre-chopped veggies at the grocery store.

This couldn’t get any easier! You can even find pre-chopped veggies at the grocery store.

Place the uncooked rice, chicken, onions, celery, carrots, garlic, bay leaves, chicken broth, water and the seasoning blend in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on high setting for 3-4 hours, or on low for 7-8 hours. In the last half hour of cooking, remove chicken and shred, using two forks.

When rice is done cooking, add the shredded chicken back into the soup. Melt the butter and/or oil in a small saucepan. Add the GF flour of choice and whisk. Let the mixture cook for 1 minute. Slowly add the milk alternative, whisking continuously. When it’s well blended, thick and creamy, add to crock pot and mix well. Add additional water or milk substitute if preferred. Salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy!

Did You Try It?

I would love to know if you try this recipe. Let me know how you like it! You can leave a comment below, or hop over to my Facebook page and leave a comment.