Upgrade Traditional Family Holiday Recipes with Healthy Substitutions

By Kendra Thiel from Adventures of the Headless Family

One of the great pleasures of the holiday season is the family recipes that are passed from generation to generation. The tastes of the holidays bring back warm memories of simpler times spent with our favorite people. My grandmother was a spectacular cook and many of my childhood memories are centered around her dining room table. Most of those recipes, though, don’t take into account our more modern need to watch our calories, fat content, and carb counts.

If you’re a Biggest Loser fan like I am, one of the biggest take-aways from the show is “How do I eat healthier, without sacrificing the taste that I crave?” Modifying your existing holiday recipes is a perfect way to get the best of both worlds.

My grandmother’s recipe for Squash Casserole is the perfect example. With just a few substitutions and modifications I have dropped the calorie count significantly and preserved all of the yummy memories of my youth.

Granny’s Squash Casserole

  • 8 yellow squash, sliced
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • Boil squash and onions until slightly tender. Set aside to drain and squeeze out extra liquid.


  • 1 can Healthy Request Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 4 oz. light sour cream

Mix drained squash with sauce mix. Put in 8×8 pyrex sprayed with cooking spray. Top with 1 cup soft bread crumbs, (1 cup bread crumbs mixed with 1 Tablespoon melted butter.)

Bake at 350 until hot, about 20-30 minutes.

My modifications: Low fat/low sodium soup, light sour cream, bread crumbs with less butter, and 1 layer of bread crumbs vs. 2 layers.

The added bonus of this recipe is that it can get your kids to try a new vegetable!


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