Healthy Updates: How to Turn Mom's Casserole Recipe into a Healthy Favorite



Call it a casserole and its relegated to the 50s but call it a “strata” or a “bake” or a “pie” and suddenly its new again. Everyone has one of their mom’s recipes in their head, whether they hated it or loved it.

Casseroles rock because they can be assembled and baked unmonitored. The traditional formula is simple: throw ingredients in a glass dish and bake in the oven. The outcome is especially good for sharing at parties or for making on the weekend and enjoying all week.

What could use a little healthy push is the choice of items that go into the dish. Your mom used cans of soup, high carb pasta and maybe some corn flakes on top. We can do better. Switch it up with these healthier, more updated substitutions to any casserole recipe:

Instead of                                                        Use
Ground beef                                                         Canned lentils or cooked chicken
Ground lamb with fat                                         Cook and rinse all meat before adding
Heavy cream sauce                                             Low fat evaporated milk
Pasta                                                                      Spaghetti Squash/Quinoa/Brown Rice
Grated cheese                                                      White sauce made with milk or yogurt
Canned soup                                                        Pureed vegetables
Corn Flake Topping                                           Whole wheat bread crumbs
Crispy Onions                                                     Crushed whole wheat crackers
Pastry or Puff pastry                                         Phyllo layers

Every casserole has the same formula: Body of protein, heart of creamy and moist, and topping of crisp. With a little imagination, you can update old favorites without making a dent in the flavour. Mix and match as you please and serve with a great big salad and everyone is happy.


About Author

Theresa Albert is a Food Communications Expert, Brand Spokesperson, Author (Cook Once a Week, Eat Well Every Day and Ace Your Health: 52 Ways to Stack Your Deck), Speaker, Toronto-Area Nutritionist, Columnist for the international Metro Newspaper and The Huffington Post and regular contributor to both lifestyle and news media.

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