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  • Applesauce (1 cup) ~ Pumpkin puree (1 cup), pear puree (1 cup), or plum puree (1 cup)


  • Bacon ~ Turkey bacon, Canadian bacon, smoked turkey or lean prosciutto (Italian ham)
  • Bread, white ~ Whole-grain bread (make sure the ingredients read ONLY the minimal ingredients required to make bread and not a whole bunch of added chemicals), whole wheat pitas, or lettuce leaves
  • Bread crumbs, dry ~ Whole wheat bread crumbs, rolled oats or crushed bran cereal
  • Butter (1/2 cup), in baked goods ~ Applesauce or prune puree for half of the called-for butter. For example: If the recipe calls for 1/2 cup butter, use 1/4 cup butter + 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce or prune puree. When shopping for butter, choose REAL butter over margarine or other highly processed butter substitutes.
  • Butter (1 Tbs), to prevent sticking or for sauteing ~ Cooking spray (Olive Oil), Organic coconut oil (1 Tbs), Olive oil or nonstick pans


  • Cheese ~ Soy Cheese or reduced-fat cheese NOT fat-free
  • Chocolate chips, semisweet (1 cup) ~ Semisweet mini chocolate chips (1/2 cup), raisins (1 cup), or chocolate covered raisins (1 cup)
  • Corn syrup, light (1 cup) ~ Honey (1 cup) or molasses (1 cup)
  • Cream, for cooking ~ Coconut milk or evaporated skim milk
  • Cream cheese, cooking ~ Reduced-fat cream cheese, reduced-fat ricotta cheese, dry curd cottage cheese, pureed soft tofu, or tofu cream cheese



  • Eggs (1 egg) ~ 2 egg whites, 1/4 cup applesauce + 1 tsp baking powder, 1 Tbsp ground Flax seeds +3 Tbsp water, 1/4 cup pureed banana, 1/4 cup soy or plain yogurt, 1/4 cup olive oil, or 1/4 cup blended silken tofu


  • Flour, all-purpose (1 cup) ~ Pureed black beans for darker baked goods such as brownies (1 cup), whole-wheat flour (7/8 cup), oat flour (1 cup minus 3 Tbs), or rice flour (1 cup minus 3 Tbs). Note: Whole-wheat pastry flour (1 cup) is less dense and works well in softer products like cakes and muffins.
  • French bread ~ Whole wheat French bread or Italian bread, whole wheat baguettes
  • French fries ~ Baked  fresh potato French fries, Sweet potato French fries, or my potato/sweet potato wedges
  • Fruit, canned in heavy/light syrup ~ Fresh fruit or fruit canned in its own juices without added sugar


  • Garbanzo beans (15 oz can) ~ Black beans (15 oz can), Pinto beans (15 oz can), or edamame (15 oz bag)
  • Garlic powder (1/4 tsp) ~ Fresh minced garlic (2 cloves or 1 tsp)
  • Ground beef ~ Extra-lean or lean ground beef, ground turkey or ground chicken


  • Hamburger buns ~ Lettuce leaves, whole wheat pita bread, or whole wheat hamburger buns
  • Heavy whipping cream (for soups or baking) ~ Original coconut milk or evaporated skim milk


  • Ice cream ~ Smoothies or freeze 2-3 bananas or fresh strawberries (1 cup) then puree in blender with 1/2 cup coconut milk or almond milk. Add more coconut/almond milk as needed.




  • Lettuce, iceberg ~ Arugula, chicory, collard greens, dandelion greens, kale, mustard greens, spinach or watercress


  • Margarine ~ see BUTTER
  • Mashed potatoes ~ Mashed cauliflower or half mashed potatoes with half mashed cauliflower.  Check out my Mashed Potatoes with Cauliflower recipe.
  • Mayonnaise/Mayo (1 cup) ~ Greek plain yogurt (1 cup)  or mashed avocado (1 cup)
  • Meat as the main ingredient ~ Three times as many vegetables as the meat on pizzas or in casseroles, soups and stews.
  • Milk, dairy ~ Coconut milk, almond milk, hemp milk, flax seed milk, rice milk or soy milk
  • Milk, evaporated ~ Original coconut milk or skim evaporated milk
  • Molasses (1 cup) ~ Honey (1 cup)



  • Oil (1 cup) ~ Extra virgin or extra light olive oil (1 cup), coconut oil (1 cup), avocado oil (1 cup), flaxseed oil (1 cup), or unsweetened applesauce (substitute 1 cup oil with ½ cup oil and ½ cup unsweetened applesauce)
  • Oil-based marinades ~ Replace oil with vinegar, fruit juice or fat-free broth
  • Onion powder (1 tsp) ~ 1 small onion finely chopped (about 1/3 cup)
  • Onion soup mix (60 mL) ~ 1 small onion finely chopped, 1/4 tsp parsley, 1/8 tsp celery seeds, and pinch of salt, pepper, and paprika


  • Pasta, enriched (white) ~ Zucchini ribbons (zucchini sliced thinly then sautéed for a few minutes until soft), Spaghetti squash (cut in half, seeds removed, face down in 13x9x2 in. baking pan with 1 inch of water, baked at 400 for 60 to 75 minutes until soft), whole-wheat pasta, quinoa pasta, rice pasta, spelt pasta or asian rice noodles
  • Peanut butter (1 cup) ~ Almond butter (1 cup), sunflower butter (1 cup), or soy nut butter (1 cup)
  • Potato chips ~ Food Should Taste Good chips, baked fresh potato or sweet potato chips, baked kale chips, whole wheat pretzels, or popcorn



  • Refried beans (1 cup) ~ Reduced-fat refried beans, 1 cup of black beans or pinto beans mashed with 1/4 cup of canning or cooking liquid. READ THE INGREDIENTS on refried beans because lard is sometimes added.  Is there any word more disgusting than lard?  Well, maybe the word ‘diet’.
  • Rice, white (1 cup) ~ Brown rice (1 cup), wild rice (1 cup), whole wheat cous cous (1-1/4 cup), quinoa (1 cup), millet (3/4 cup), or barley (3/4 cup). TIP: Combine 1/2 cup brown rice with 1/2 cup quinoa, cous cous, millet, or barley. This will begin introducing new healthy grains while keeping the texture and taste of rice.


  • Salad dressing ~ Fat-free or reduced-calorie dressing or flavored vinegar such as balsamic vinegar combined with fresh lime juice and extra virgin olive oil.
  • Salt (1 tsp) ~ Italian seasoning (2 tsp), fresh herbs (1 to 2 Tbs), or lemon juice or zest (1 tsp)
  • Seasoning salt such as garlic salt, celery salt or onion salt ~ Herb-only seasonings, such as garlic powder, celery seed or onion flakes, or use finely chopped herbs or garlic, celery or onions
  • Soda ~ Seltzer water with citrus fruits (lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, etc.), BUT hopefully you’re almost converted to drinking ONLY water!
  • Soups, creamed ~ Mashed potato flakes, or pureed carrots, potatoes or tofu for thickening agents
  • Soups, sauces, dressings, or broths ~ Low-sodium or reduced-sodium versions also with organic, natural ingredients. READ THE INGREDIENTS!
  • Sour cream (1 cup) ~ Plain Greek yogurt (1 cup), reduced-fat or low-fat plain yogurt (runnier consistency than Greek yogurt), or pureed low-fat cottage cheese (1 cup)
  • Soy sauce ~ Low-sodium soy sauce
  • Sugar ~ In most baked goods, you can reduce the amount of sugar by half. To intensify sweetness use additional vanilla, nutmeg or cinnamon.  You can also add honey, unsweetened applesauce, sweet potato puree, pureed banana, pumpkin puree, or prune puree.
  • Syrup ~ For cooking or baking, use honey or molasses.  For toppings, use pureed fruit such as applesauce or pureed raspberries or sliced fruit such as bananas or fresh strawberries.  You can also use peanut butter or almond butter as a topping.


  • Table salt ~ Herbs, spices, citrus juices (lemon, lime, orange), rice vinegar, salt-free seasoning mixes or herb blends
  • Tortillas ~ Whole wheat tortillas or Lettuce leaves. READ THE INGREDIENTS on your tortillas. Lard is sometimes added. Again, disgusting.
  • Tortilla chips ~ Food Should Taste Good chips






  • Yogurt, fruit-flavored ~ Soy yogurt or plain yogurt with fresh fruit slices.


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