Menu Makeover

Menu MakeoverFinding a meal that pleases every palate in your family — and is at least somewhat healthy — is a tall order. With a few tweaks and tricks, you can turn familiar family favorites into good-for-you meals. 

Healthy Hot Dogs?

If hot dogs are your kids’ dinner of choice most nights, you’re not alone. Bump up your frankfurter’s nutrition factor by choosing nitrate-free dogs or ones made from free-range meat. 

Top Dog

Switch out salty toppings such as ketchup, relish and cheese with these tasty twists. 

  • Make It Mexican. Scoop on some fresh salsa or guacamole, then sprinkle on a little cilantro.
  • Go Greek. Greek yogurt, garlic tahini and cabbage turn a traditional dog into an exotic one.
  • Hello, Hawaii. Say Aloha to fresh pineapple, cherry bell peppers and cilantro. 

Healthy Mac & Cheese

This recipe requires a few sneaky substitutes. Dr. Ancy tried it, and gave it a thumbs up! 

Spaghetti Squash Mac ’n Cheese


  • One large spaghetti squash
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 2 cups broccoli florets, steamed
  • 1 tablespoon clarified butter (ghee)
  • 1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 1 cup reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus 1 teaspoon grated parmesan as optional garnish
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes


  • Step 1: Preheat oven to 400° F. Cut the spaghetti squash in half. Scoop out and discard the seeds. Spray the center of both halves of the squash with cooking spray. Place the cut side up on a cookie sheet. Roast until tender when pierced with a knife, about 50 minutes.
  • Step 2: Remove the squash from the oven, and let cool. Once it's safe to handle, scrape the flesh into a large bowl. Add the steamed broccoli florets to the bowl, and set aside.
  • Step 3: In a large saucepan, melt the ghee on medium heat, and whisk in the whole wheat flour. Add the milk, and whisk quickly. Turn heat to low, add the cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup grated parmesan, and stir until melted. Remove from heat.
  • Step 4: Pour the cheese sauce over the spaghetti squash and broccoli mixture, and toss until all the squash is covered.
  • Step 5: Dish into four portions. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, red pepper flakes and extra parmesan to taste.