Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Your Recipes...Made Natural

By Kate Rowe, March 11, 2009  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Kate Rowe
Do you have a favorite recipe that could use a natural makeover? Let us help!
  • Maybe your recipe is chock full of processed ingredients. We'll show you how to swap those out for natural versions.
  • Could the nutrition profile use some lightening up of calories, fat or sodium? Or maybe you want to get more of the good stuff - like fruits, veggies and whole grains. Let us tweak the ingredients to improve the nutrition without losing any flavor.
  • Special diets call for special recipes. Whether you focus on gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian or vegan, one of the hardest challenges of changing your diet is missing out on old favorites. Send us those family classic dishes that you crave and let us make them fit your new dietary needs.
  • Maybe you've already created a healthy makeover of a favorite recipe. Send us that, too!
Peanut Butter cookies Post your recipe, along with any interesting background on the recipe and why you are looking for a healthier version, in the comments section below. If we select your recipe for a healthy makeover and publish the improved version on our website, we'll send you a $25 Whole Foods Market gift card. Here's a sampling of some of the favorite "make it natural" recipes we've created: Broccoli, Rice and Cheese Casserole This crowd-pleasing casserole traditionally calls for condensed cream of mushroom soup, butter, heavy cream, and/or sour cream. Our version uses all-natural soup (we recommend our 365 Everyday Value cream of mushroom soup) and skips the butter and heavy cream to reduce calories and saturated fat.   Colorful Turkey Chili Turkey Chili Swapping ground turkey for ground beef saves calories and fat in this chili recipe. Bell pepper, two kinds of beans and mushroom marinara sauce add great flavor and boost the nutrition.     Gluten-Free Tabouleh Tabouleh Tabouleh, the wonderful Middle Eastern dish featuring bulgur wheat tossed with parsley, tomatoes, onions, olive oil and lemon juice, can easily be made gluten free by replacing the bulgur with quinoa.     Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies Who knew how easy it was to make these gluten-free peanut butter cookies? You don't need any special gluten-free flours or baking mixes for these treats-they can be assembled with basic pantry and fridge staples.

Send Us Your Requests!

Post your recipe in the comments section and let us make it natural! If we select your recipe for a healthy makeover and publish the improved version on our website, we'll send you a $25 Whole Foods Market gift card.




Jean says ...
Hi there! I love Whole Foods and I love the blog. My blog, MindfulEats.com, promotes the eating of whole foods in a very practical, how-to kind of way. It's very complementary to the Whole Foods philosophy. Can I be added to your blogroll? I'm a product manager by day, and blog at night since I believe that eating whole foods truly helps people be healthy, which then makes them happier. Thanks! Jean Tsai
03/11/2009 11:31:21 AM CDT
Kristin says ...
The dish my mom makes for every family gathering is taco salad. I've lightened it up a little by using ground turkey (or, sometimes, black beans) instead of beef, low-sodium, all-natural taco seasoning, hormone-free cheese, about three times the tomato she used, plenty of lettuce, organic blue corn chips in place of Doritos, and all-natural roasted red pepper dressing in place of Catalina (WHY does salad dressing have so much sugar???). Although I've been eating hers for most of my life, honestly -- I like mine better!
03/11/2009 11:44:38 AM CDT
Kristin says ...
Oh, and -- organic Romaine lettuce instead of boring, nutrient-lacking iceberg!
03/11/2009 11:45:27 AM CDT
Lacey says ...
Our family has *the* best fudge pie recipe. It's been handed down from at least my great-great-grandmother, and we make it for many special occasions, and whenever my sister, who lives abroad, comes to visit. She is coming in April, and I would love to have a "lighter" version that tastes similar to the original to present to her. Please help! Thank you! (P.S. I usually double the vanilla!) Fudge Pie 1 cup sugar½ cup butter or oleo 2 eggs, beaten¼ cup cocoa 1/4 cup flour pinch of salt 1/2 tsp. Vanilla½ cup pecans (if wanted) Combine first 6 ingred., stir well, stir in pecans if wanted. Pour mixture into pastry shell. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Serve with ice cream if desired.
03/11/2009 4:31:21 PM CDT
Sue says ...
Warm Orzo Salad Salad:Dressing: 3 cups cooked orzo pasta, drained 2 Tbs. olive oil 1 chopped tomato 2 Tbs. lemon juice 2 chopped green onions garlic powder to taste 1 C. chopped broccoli, cooked salt to taste ¼ C. sliced pitted Greek olives coarsely ground black pepper to taste 2 Tbs. pine nuts ½ C. crumbled feta cheese 1 C. cooked chopped chicken breast (optional) Mix all other ingredients with warm pasta and broccoli, and serve immediately.
03/11/2009 4:42:46 PM CDT
Lydia says ...
This recipe has always been a family favorite, and was probably the first thing I ever got to "cook" on my own. I've always thought of this as my comfort food, but when you look at the nutritional values, it is anything but comforting. I'd love help "naturalizing" this and making it light(er) without losing the flavor! No-Bake (Boiled) Cookies: 1/2 cup margarine, 2 c. sugar, 1/2 c. milk, 4 Tbsp cocoa powder, 1 tsp vanilla, 1/2 c. Peanut butter, 2 1/2 c. old-fashioned oatmeal. In large saucepan over medium heat, melt margarine. When melted, add sugar, milk and cocoa powder. Stir well, then bring to full rolling boil. Once fully boiling, time for 1 minute, then remove from heat. Immediately add in vanilla, peanut butter and oatmeal, and stir well to blend. Drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper and allow to cool. Cookies will harden after about 15 minutes. (The boiling process is key to getting the cookies to set. Also, the weather will affect the process too - I don't know how, but it is true!)
03/11/2009 5:07:06 PM CDT
Richard Kemp says ...
This one comes from Fess Parker and is a family favorite.. yummy! Fess's mother created this recipe. Fess is from San Angelo, Texas and played Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett on TV and now has a vineyard in Los Olivos, California. Fess Parker Burgers 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef, chuck or round 3 cloves of fresh garlic (chopped) 1 small white onion (chopped) dash of garlic salt French's Prepared Mustard (1/2 cup or to taste) Torrido peppers (jalapenos peppers can be substituted) seeded and chopped hot dog buns grated cheddar cheese Saute ground beef with garlic, garlic salt, onion and prepared mustard Drain any excess fat. Pour into the beef mixture a small amount of the juice from the bottled peppers and add the chopped and seeded peppers to taste. Spoon beef mixture into hot dog buns, top with grated cheddar cheese, and broil in oven until cheese melts. Serves 6
03/11/2009 5:29:50 PM CDT
Jennifer says ...
Rice Crispy treats need a natural make-over. Original recipe uses white puffy rice, marshmallows, and butter. Any suggestions for a more nutritious rice treat?
03/11/2009 5:37:01 PM CDT
Theresa Pevey says ...
Danish with Cream Cheese Filling (super good, but super unhealthy) Pour water and milk into cup and add egg, beating with fork. Put flour, yeast, salth, and sugar in the food processor for a second. Add cold slices of butter and process briefly so the butter is cut up a bit. Empty these contents into large bowl and quickly add wet ingredients. Fold ingredients together, cover with plastic wrap, and put it in the refrigerator overnight or up to 4 days. To turn it into pastry, take it out the refrigerator and kneed it, adding flour as necessary (be careful not to use more than you need). Roll it into a long tube and wrap it up with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. (You can keep it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days if you haven’t already done so.) Roll dough out into a rectangle, aprox the size of a dishtowel. Gently fold the dough into thirds, careful not to smash it down as you will be unfolding it again. Cut 1¼ inch strips like so (though you will probably only have 7 or 8 strips total): Unfold each strip and gently twist the dough as you lay it in a circular motion (like a bun) onto a greased cookie sheet. Cover the trays and let the dough rise for 1 hour in a warm place. Create a well for the filling by pressing down a 1.5-2 inch circle into the center of each danish with your finger. Using a pastry brush, brush each danish with an egg wash (1 egg and 3 Tbs water, beaten well). Fill as desired; you can use the cream cheese filling (below) or any canned pie filling. Bake at 350 degrees for 13-17 minutes, until golden brown. Place on a wire rack and while they are still warm brush with sugar glaze ( ½ c sugar, ¼ c water microwave 60 second or until sugar dissolves). Once cooled, I also drizzle a powdered sugar glaze on top for extra sweetness. Cream Cheese Filling 8 oz cream cheese (softened) 1 egg 1 tsp vanilla Sugar, sweeten to taste (I use about 1c of powered sugar) Beat well with a whisk to remove all lumps.
03/11/2009 6:20:46 PM CDT
Jenny says ...
Love smoothie? Homemade smoothie is one of the best breakfast you can have in the morning. Substitute whole milk with tofu (use the silken form only because it provides a smooth silky texture. You could add your favorite fresh or frozen fruits such as banana, strawberry, mango, avocado to make create your favorite combination of favor. Add a touch of honey or fruit juice (apple, orange, pineapple juice) to sweeten it up to your liking. Add a couple tablespoon of flaxseed meal or oatbran to boost the fiber content. Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend before serving. Only add ice cubes if you have a powerful blender that could crush ice well.
03/11/2009 8:57:55 PM CDT
james says ...
how about rice pudding, could it be made over? - i was thinking brown rice and almond milk and maybe some dried fruits. I'd also love to see a healthy recipe for a traditional fruit cake like this one 300g Plain Flour 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon mixed spice 1/2 teaspoon salt 100g candied peel 100g cherries 480g currants 200g sultanas 200g raisins 100g blanched almonds 4 eggs 4 tablespoons milk or sherry or brandy 1 lemon grated rind 200g margarine 1 tablespoon black treacle 200g demerara sugar
03/11/2009 9:22:57 PM CDT
Yvonne says ...
My daughter used to love to bake. However, we recently found out from her naturopath's tests that she is gluten-, dairy- and egg-intolerant. Do you have any kid-friendly (cookies, cakes, muffins) baking recipes which are dairy, wheat and egg free? Thanks a million!
03/11/2009 10:01:50 PM CDT
Charlene says ...
I would love a makeover on either pancakes or waffles. We love breakfast and I would love to make something healthier for my family than basic pancakes, butter and syrup.
03/11/2009 10:16:28 PM CDT
Elena says ...
I love baking and my son loves cookies. I try to make healthy food for my family. so, please look at one of our favorite cookie reciept. 1 cup prunes 1 cup walnuts 1/2 cup brown sugar place into your cooking machine and chop together in a bowl combine together 1 egg, 1 teaspoon vanila, pinch baking soda, 2-3 oz baby prune or apple sauce, 1/4 cup canola oil add 1 cup (or 3/4 cup) flour, stir well, add chopped prunes and walnats, srir well and finally1 cup old-fashioned oats. bake 20-25 min 350F (use baking paper)
03/12/2009 12:07:42 AM CDT
ERICA says ...
My family loves to make and eat banana bread...but the recipe that I have seems to be so high in sugar and oil... I would be SO happy if you could come up with a lighter and healthier version, (but make sure you keep the bananas because that is how we use up the ones that turn brown :o) ) Here is our original recipe (which makes 2 loaves, usually one for us and one to give away to a neighbor or teacher) FABULOUS BANANA BREAD 3 c. flour 1 tsp. soda 1 tsp. each - cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg 2 c. sugar 1 tsp. salt 1 c. nuts (optional) 3 eggs 1 1/2 c. salad oil 1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple, undrained 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla 2 c. mashed bananas Sift dry ingredients, add remaining ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon only until well blended. Pour into two greased loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees for 60-80 minutes.
03/12/2009 12:33:38 AM CDT
Melissa Keune says ...
I love this dessert recipe, but it has some very unhealth ingredients. It needs a natural makeover! Oreo Ice Cream Dessert: 1 pkg Oreos (crushed) 1 - 1/2 Gallon of Cookies N Cream Ice Cream 1 jar Dove hot fudge 1 stick of butter 1 tub of Cool whip Melt the butter and mix with the Oreos. Press in a 9x13 pan. Melt Dove hot fudge and pour over Oreos. Spread ice cream on next and then spread on the Cool Whip. Freeze.
03/12/2009 8:05:39 AM CDT
Maria J Reyes-Ku says ...
Hi: I have a recipe that I changed to get an almost low fat version. I would like to improve it but so far have not find evaporated and condensed organic milk. Here it goes: Cheese Flan 1 Can Evaporated Milk (I use fat free) 1 Can Eagle Brand Condense milk (I use the fat free too) 6 eggs (I use egg whites only) 1 8oz Cream Cheese (maybe we can substitute with organic one) Sugar for caramel. I prepare the caramel first by melting plenty of sugar slowly. In the meantime, I mix all the above ingredients in a blender. It will be liquid. When the caramel is light brown, I pour it in a glass or metal container and immediately pour the mix on top of the caramel. I bake this on the oven for an hour (double boil). I place the container inside another container full of water. It is ready when you insert the knife in the middle and it comes out creamy, but not liquid. Everyone loves my recipe. Can you improve it? Maria
03/12/2009 9:17:11 AM CDT
Kathy says ...
I would like to know how to substitute all those recipes that I used to make with concentrated cream soups. I have tried and it never seems to come out quite right. I would like to be able to do the entire recipe from scratch w/o using a canned soup at all. Here is one recipe I would like made natural: Chicken with rice 1 chicken cut-up or 4 chicken breasts 1 can cream of mushroom soup(concentrate) 1 can of milk 1 packet of dry onion soup mix 1 small can of mushrooms 1 cup of white rice Mix all ingredients together in a 13 x 9 oven proof pan except chicken. Save a little of the dry onion soup mix to sprinkle on top of chicken. Place chicken pieces on top of rice mixture and sprinkle remaining dry onion soup mix on top. Cook for about 1 hour @ 350. This has been one of our family favorites for years but I have not been able to duplicate the flavor without the dry onion soup mix and concentrated soup. It is not as flavorful and seems to be missing something. Also, what is the best way to cook brown rice in a casserole so that is well done.
03/12/2009 10:29:22 AM CDT
Glenda says ...
I love tiramisu and I just know there has got to be a healthier way to make it! My friends and family depend on my tiramisu at all gatherings. The recipe is from Southern Living. Ingredients 8 ounces mascarpone cheese* 1/2 cup sugar 2 1/2 cups whipping cream, divided 1 cup hot water 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules 1/4 cup coffee liqueur 2 (3-ounce) packages ladyfingers 1 teaspoon cocoa Preparation Beat cheese, sugar, and 1/2 cup whipping cream at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat remaining 2 cups whipping cream with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Fold into cheese mixture. Stir together 1 cup hot water and coffee granules until dissolved. Stir in liqueur. Split ladyfingers in half, and brush cut sides of ladyfingers evenly with coffee mixture. Arrange one-fourth of ladyfingers in bottom of a 4-quart trifle bowl. Top with one-fourth of cheese mixture. Repeat layers 3 times. Sprinkle with cocoa. Chill tiramisu at least 2 hours.
03/12/2009 11:21:42 AM CDT
Amelia says ...
Tuna noodle casserole; my favorite comfort food! Is there a way to make it more nutritious? Our family recipe includes: Egg noodles Canned tuna; preferably solid white Frozen green peas Cream of mushroom soup Italian-style breadcrumbs Parmesan cheese. Boil noodles until they begin to soften. Place in 9x13" baking pan; stir in one can mushroom soup, enough milk to gain proper texture, tuna, green peas. Top with cheese and breadcrumbs and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
03/12/2009 4:45:19 PM CDT
Jennifer says ...
My family loves this chicken tetrazzini, and it's an easy recipe to double for freezing or for feeding a big crowd. I'd love help in making this into a more healthful, lower sodium recipe. Chicken Tetrazzini 1 lb. of Spaghetti 1 Large Can White Chicken in a Can (12.5 oz) 1/2 cup Chopped Onions 2 Cans Cream of Chicken Soup 1/2 cup Milk 1 cup Shredded Colby Jack Cheese, divided in half 1 tsp. Garlic Powder 1/2 tsp. Pepper Break spaghetti in half then cook according to package directions and drain. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray 9x13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Open chicken, drain well, then use a fork or knife to separate into smaller pieces. Pour spaghetti into baking dish then add chicken, onion, soup, milk, half of the cheese, garlic powder, and pepper. Mix well then spread evenly in pan. Cook at 375 for 20 minutes then take out and spread remaining cheese on top and cook for 5 more minutes.
03/12/2009 4:49:21 PM CDT
Judy Pokras says ...
I'd love a raw vegan version of the following cheese knish recipe that my grandmother used to make, and that my mother posted on her blog. I know that raw vegan is not a typical way of eating, but it's a very healthful diet, and the recipes are delicious. I can make raw vegan lasagna, pizza, pasta, ravioli, pad thai, ice cream, "milk" and even chocolate chip cookies, among other delights. But I haven't figured out how to convert this one yet: http://secretsfrommykitchen.blogspot.com/2005/06/mouth-watering-cheese-knishes.html
03/12/2009 5:03:43 PM CDT
JoElla Lukehart says ...
Italian Stew 2 cans tomato/cheese sauce 2 cans mexicorn 2 cans french style green beans 1 lb hamburger 1 lb ground pork 1 pkg shredded mozzerella italian seasoning brown meats together, add other ingredients except cheese, stir in cheese before serving joella
03/12/2009 5:18:47 PM CDT
Eric B says ...
This recipe for quick Beef Stroganoff was a standby comfort food in my single and omnivore days. I would love to have a vegan alternative and have tried to come up with one on my own, but with mixed results. Add to large frying pan: 1 lb ground beef 1 medium chopped onion 3 cloves finely minced garlic 6 oz sliced button mushrooms 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning Saute over medium heat until meat is browned. Reduce heat to low and add: 1 Tbsp Worcester sauce 1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup (undiluted) 1 8oz container sour cream Stir to blend and continue to heat until sauce is warm and bubbling. Serve over noodles.
03/12/2009 5:20:49 PM CDT
Sheila says ...
Help me make this recipe more natural and healthy. My whole family loves this lasagna, but even now at age (49 and kickin 50 in the behind) would like to lighten this up 1 lb of Lasagna noodles 1 to 1 1/2lb Ground Beef 1 to 1 1/2 lb of Hot Spicy Sausage 1 Green Pepper 1 Large Onion 5 Cloves of Garlic 1 lb of Mozarella Cheese (low fat is good) 1 small container of Rigotta cheeze (low fat is good) Sauce is normally Organic and than add 1 large can of Tomato Puree Brown all meat together add chopped up pepper and onion and garlic. Simmer the sauce at the same time, while cooking the lasagna noodles. After meat is brown drain and cool while the noodle and sause cook. Layer Noodles, First layer is all the Ricotta and a handful of meat and couple of spoons of sauce. Next layer is meat and sauce and mozarella cheese, next layer is the remaining ingredients. Bake at 350 for 40 min until cheese is melted. Serve
03/12/2009 7:28:08 PM CDT