One big food and cooking trend that we’re keeping an eye on is the continued resurgence of old-fashioned recipes and methods. You may see this trend showing up in food magazines, which are emphasizing cooking techniques your grandmother would recognize (like roasting and slow cooking) or in your favorite restaurant (wood-fired breads and pizzas are hot).
Old-fashioned recipes have lots of appeal: They’re time-tested favorites. They don’t require fancy ingredients. These are easy recipes for uncomplicated dishes. From breakfast to dinner to dessert, here are a few of our favorite—healthier—versions of old-school comfort foods you’ll love.
You’ll remember this classic combination from childhood: grilled cheese and tomato soup. This soup is creamy and delicious without a bit of dairy. And the grilled cheese sandwiches feature whole-grain bread and added vegetables.
What’s more old-fashioned than apple pie? And this easy recipe is made with store-bought phyllo dough instead of high-fat pie crust, so it’s not only tasty, but it’s lower in fat. These individual hand pies are great for kids’ lunches.
Traditional meatloaf gets an update: Instead of dense-as-bricks slices, the meat mixture is formed into individual meatloaves for faster baking, a nicer presentation (and easy portion control). Photo courtesy of the author
While we’re on the subject, this slow-cooker meatloaf recipe involves a clever cooking technique, to make the meatloaf moist and tender. Set it to cook and forget it.
The sausage-and-egg casserole has been a family favorite for generations; Chef Meg’s recipe uses low-fat cheese, low-sodium pork sausage and whole-grain bread to make a more healthful breakfast casserole. This is also great for dinner.
This easy chocolate cake recipe gets mixed up in one bowl. The recipe dates back to the 1930s, and it’s just as good now as it was then. Perhaps your grandmother made a simple chocolate snack cake like this one. Photo courtesty of the author
Homemade pot roast is another comfort classic; this “fix-it-and-forget-it” slow-cooker recipe is packed with vegetables and is only 350 calories per serving.
It’s hard to imagine a family gathering without deviled eggs, another retro dish that’s popular in trendy restaurants now. Chef Meg’s lower-fat deviled egg recipe is lightened up with fat-free mayo and a flavor-boosting secret ingredient.
Lighter Classic Cheesecake
Is it possible to lighten up cheesecake? Absolutely. This low-fat cheesecake recipe has a toasty graham cracker crust; low-fat Greek yogurt and low-fat milk help keep the calorie count down. Use a light sugar blend to reduce the calories in this cheesecake; top with fresh berries. Photo courtesy of the author
What is your favorite retro re-do recipe?
Bryn Mooth is extending her 20-year career in publishing as an independent journalist and copywriter. She shares seasonal recipes, kitchen techniques, healthy eating tips and food wisdom on her blog writes4food.com.