Recipe Remake - Stuffed Acorn Squash

recipes tips and tricks Dec 13, 2021

I get questions all the time about how I transform my recipes, so I have decided to let you see behind the scenes! We are going to break down not only the how but also the why! 


I hope that sharing my thought process on how I transform recipes to make them healthier, gives you the knowledge and confidence to transform recipes of your own!


The first thing I always do is calculate the recipe nutrition facts as it is listed. Then I start making simple swaps like the ones below to help make the recipe more balanced.


The recipe that I will be referring to is the stuffed squash recipe. 

Let’s post a side-by-side of the original recipe and then the one that I edited to be healthier.
Here is the original recipe
Scroll down to check out the remake!

  1. Swap for leaner protein: The original recipe called for a half-pound of sausage. To decrease the amount of fat in the recipe I swapped that out for turkey sausage. You could also use chicken sausage! Choosing a leaner protein not only saves you a ton of calories from fat but also lowers the amount of saturated fat that you are consuming. Consuming a lot of saturated fat every day is often linked to heart problems and high cholesterol. 
  2. Use a spray oil or reduce the amount of oil: most recipes call for 2 tablespoons of oil right off the bat. That is almost 250 cal just from fat! While choosing olive oil is a heart-healthy fat, we can reduce the number of calories consumed by choosing spray oil instead. Spray oil uses less oil while still giving an even coating to the pan so your food does not stick! I like to use Mr. Misto because I can choose what type of oil goes into the sprayer!
  3. Reduce the number of breadcrumbs: The original recipe had a fair amount of carbs per serving, so by reducing the number of breadcrumbs, the carbs are lower.  What I found when making the recipe was that a ¼ cup of breadcrumbs was all it needed to hold the filling together!
  4. Reduce or omit the cheese: just like we talked about saturated fat with choosing a leaner protein, reducing or omitting the cheese can’t take that one step further!  I opted to use 3 ounces of goat cheese for personal preference, but this recipe has also been made without cheese at all!


Want more recipe transformations?  Check out my seasonal cookbook with 30+ free healthy recipes.


This is just one of the MANY tools that I teach my clients in the Health First Program.  Learn more HERE.