Healthy Up Your Recipes!

Related topics: Eating Right, Just for Fun

Some of our favorite dishes—especially the "comfort food" we seem to be craving right now—can be awfully high in fat, sugar and salt. The National Institutes of Health has given some of these delicious classics a makeover. Enjoy!

macaroni & cheese

Classic Macaroni and Cheese

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 40 minutes

Total time: 45 minutes

Number of Servings: 8


  • 2 cups macaroni
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fat-free evaporated milk
  • 1 medium egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 and 1/4 cups (4 oz) low-fat sharp cheddar cheese, finely shredded
  • Cooking spray


  1. Cook macaroni according to package directions—but do not add salt to the cooking water.  Drain and set aside.
  2. Spray casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 °F.
  4. Lightly spray saucepan with nonstick cooking spray. Add onion to saucepan and sauté for about 3 minutes over medium heat.
  5. In a bowl, combine macaroni, onion, and the remaining ingredients, and mix thoroughly.
  6. Transfer mixture into casserole dish.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Tip: Pairs nicely with steamed broccoli and garlic.

Nutrition Information: Serving size: 1 cup pasta
Calories per serving: 200
Total fat 4g; saturated fat 2g; cholesterol 34 mg; sodium 120 mg; total carbohydrate 29g; dietary fiber 1g; protein 11g; potassium 119 mg.

Healthy Carrot Cake Cookies

carrot cookies

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Total time: 35 minutes

Number of Servings: 24


  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce or fruit puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats (raw)
  • 1 1/2 cups finely grated carrots (about 3 large carrots)
  • 1 cup raisins or golden raisins


  1. Heat oven to 350 °F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix sugars, oil, applesauce, eggs, and vanilla thoroughly.
  3. In a separate bowl, stir dry ingredients together.
  4. Blend dry ingredients into wet mixture. Stir in raisins and carrots.
  5. Drop by teaspoonfuls on greased baking sheet.
  6. Bake 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown.
  7. Store in airtight container.

Calories per serving: 170. Total fat 6g; saturated fat 0.5g; trans fat 0g; cholesterol 15mg; sodium 110mg; total carbohydrate 28g; dietary fiber 2g; total sugars 13g (includes 8g added sugars); protein 3g.

Source: MedlinePlus, National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus brings together authoritative health information from the National Library of Medicine (NLM), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other government agencies and health-related organizations.