Meal makeover recipes

Midday News
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Meal Makeover Moms is partnering with Chicago-based health and well-being company HumanaVitality to help people make healthier choices with simple solutions, like giving their favorite meals a nutritious makeover

As 2012 comes to an end, it’s a good idea to think ahead to New Year’s resolutions and get started early – one easy way to do this is to give your favorite meals or dishes, like a Chicago-style hot dog and fries – a healthy makeover. Liz will demo a recipe for a heart-healthy Chicago-style hot dog and nutrient packed Parsnip Fries.

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French Fries
8 Idaho potatoes, peeled
1/2 gallon peanut oil, neutral flavor, for frying
Salt to taste

Cut the french fries with mandoline or french fry cutter 1/4-inch strips. Heat a saucepan or stock pot (at least 2 gallon capacity) with the oil about 250 degrees (use a thermometer to gauge). Add the french fries and cook, stirring to avoid clumping together, about 3 minutes, until soft but not mushy. Remove with a mesh strainer and drain onto paper towels. Turn heat to high and heat oil to 350 degrees. At the last minute before serving plunge the fries into the oil and cook until golden brown. Remove from oil, drain onto towels and season with salt to taste.

Chicago-Style Hot Dog

1 all-beef, natural casing, Vienna hot dog, char-broiled to perfection
1 poppy seed bun, well steamed
1 heaping teaspoon mustard
1 tablespoon green relish
Fresh chopped, steaming hot, grilled onions
2 large pickle wedges
4 slices red-ripe plum tomatoes
A dash celery salt
Hot sport peppers, optional

Place char broiled hot dog in bun. Top with mustard, relish, onions, pickles, and tomatoes. Finish it off with a dash of celery salt. Hot sport peppers are optional.


Perfect Parsnip Fries

One 1-pound bag parsnips
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 teaspoons fresh chopped rosemary (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Peel the parsnips and trim the tops and bottoms. Slice each in half crosswise to separate the thick end and the narrow end. Cut the narrow piece in half lengthwise and the thick piece in quarters. Each “fry” will be about 2 1/2 to 3 inches long and 1/2 to 3/4 inches thick.
Place the parsnip pieces in a bowl and toss with the oil, salt, garlic powder, pepper, and rosemary as desired Spread in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven, turn each parsnip with a fork or tongs (this will allow even baking), place back in the oven and bake until golden brown and tender, an additional 10 minutes.
Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Heart-Healthy Chicago-Style Hot Dog

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 medium onion, cut in half and then sliced into thin half-moon shapes
1 large red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
4 hot dogs (choose an all-natural, nitrite-free brand that is turkey, beef, or vegetarian)
4 whole wheat hot dog buns
Yellow mustard
4 tomato slices, halved
4 dill pickle spears
Sweet pickle relish
Diced cucumber (optional)

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper strips and cook, stirring frequently, until caramelized and tender, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
Cook hot dogs according to package instructions.
Open the buns, spread one side with mustard, and lay tomato slices on top.
Place hot in the center; top evenly with the onion and bell pepper mixture, pickle, relish, and cucumber as desired.


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