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Recipe Variations and Makeovers

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Don’t Be Scared to Substitute. Once you feel comfortable with the recipes you are familiar with, experiment with them. Host a pizza party—whip up a batch of Whole-Wheat Pizza Dough and have everyone bring their favorite toppings. As you feel more comfortable at the stove, you’ll enjoy the challenge of creating your own meals.

Making Your Recipes Healthier. Now that you’re feeling more comfortable at the stove, take a look at your favorite recipes and you’re likely to find a few ways to make them better for you.
Here are some of our best secrets for giving your own recipes a healthy makeover:

* When sautéing you can cut some of the oil and use a nonstick pan.
* Try substituting canola or extra-virgin olive oil for some or all of the butter in a recipe.
* Add more vegetables and less meat to your favorite stir-fry.
* Use reduced-sodium or no-salt-added products.
* Substitute quick-cooking, lean meats like boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pork loin chops, flank steak and turkey breast cutlets for fattier cuts. Always cut off visible fat from meat and poultry.
* Try to use whole grains whenever possible. When buying bread, look for whole-wheat flour as one of the first ingredients on the label. Substitute quick-cooking or regular brown rice for white rice. Experiment to find your favorite brand of whole-wheat pasta to replace your boxes of white pasta.
* See more Secrets to Cooking Healthier

Explore these other Healthy Cooking topics to learn more or check out some of our menus and recipe collections:

* Making a Healthy Start
* Healthy Eating Looks Like...
* Meal Planning
* Shopping Basics
* Tools for the Healthy Kitchen
* The Healthy Pantry
* Make-Ahead Meals Make Healthy Eating Easier
* Basic Cooking Techniques
* EatingWell Menus
* EatingWell Recipe Collections

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