Those Three Little Words

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Turns out that cauliflower mashed potatoes is a healthy side dish. (

Turns out that cauliflower mashed potatoes is a healthy side dish. (

Healthy. Wealthy. Wise. These three words are more than just a famous saying. They are words to live by in every aspect of life – even in the kitchen.

Healthy is more than a six pack, or fitting into the ideal size jeans. It is longevity, and conditioning, and the well-being of the body. Wealth is more than robust bank accounts and million dollar real estate. It is accomplishment, and comfort, and traditions that stand the test of time. To be wise is more than acing a test or graduating with a 4.0. Wisdom is continual learning, enlightenment, and making that knowledge actionable.

So much of what we put into our bodies goes against health, wealth and wisdom – mostly because the deliciousness of those sinful dishes far outweigh our sensible side.

The average American spends over $2,000 eating out at restaurants every year. That’s a lot of dough, a ton of calories, and very little nutrition. Let’s not even get into how many bags of chips and boxes of cookies are in the pantry at home. We don’t have to talk about how many pounds of leftovers we let go to waste. And we’re not going to touch those late night trips to the grocery store, randomly strolling up and down aisle after aisle which eventually leads to a $100 total at the register.

Instead, let’s talk about what we can do to be a little healthier, a little wealthier, and a little wiser.


Sure mashed potatoes, chips and dip, and fried chicken are quick and easy at mealtime, but they are also greasy, and full of fat. Making a few minor changes to your everyday meals may add major years to your life.

Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

-Substitute half of the potatoes in your mashed potato recipe with steamed cauliflower. Mash it right in with the potatoes!

-Not only will this increase your daily serving of veggies, it will cut the calories in your side dish by almost half.

“Pita” Chips and Salsa

-Make your own chips by cutting wheat tortillas into triangles and baking them on an ungreased cookie sheet at 385 degrees until crisp.

-Dipping these tasty crisps in salsa (homemade is best) instead of greasy potato chips and creamy ranch dip, means a much lower sodium intake, and about 100 fewer calories per serving.

Breaded Baked Chicken Tenders

-Instead of finger-licking-good fried chicken, try cutting boneless, skinless chicken breasts into strips. Season them to taste, dip in marinade or dressing of choice, coat evenly with finely ground breadcrumbs, and bake at 400 degrees.

-Experiment with different flavors like garlic parmesan, barbeque, and buffalo. This eliminates saturated fat almost completely!


So many recipes call for fresh herbs, wines, and oh so fancy cheeses. But are they really necessary to create a dish worth eating? The answer is no.

Dry Herbs

-Dry herbs have a more potent flavor than fresh herbs. Substitute them in everyday recipes but be sure to use a much smaller portion.

-One jar of a dry herb can be as economical as 1.5 times the cost of a bunch of fresh herbs. That’s pretty amazing when the shelf life is anywhere from 2-4 years.


-Not stocks and bonds. We’re talking chicken, beef, vegetable and even seafood stocks. For lighter flavors (calling for white wine), use chicken or vegetable stock. Beef and seafood stocks generally work better with heartier and more complex dishes (calling for red wines).

-Stocks can be homemade or store-bought, but will always be less expensive than an average bottle of wine.

Colby Jack, Mozzarella, Grated Parmesan

-Colby Jack cheese is a mixture of both orange and white cheese. This works on most any American recipe. Mozzarella is a staple in Italian cooking, as is Parmesan.

-Buy Colby Jack and Mozzarella in blocks – straight from the fresh deli section of your grocery store if possible. This gives you the most bang for your buck, especially if your wrap the block tightly in foil to preserve. Oh and one jar of parm can go a very long way.


The wisdom comes in not only knowing what to substitute, but actually putting these tips into action. Anyone can read about how to improve their diet, and save a little money doing it. But it takes a truly wise person to take the steps, make the changes, and pass the new recipes down to the ones that they love.

Be healthy. Be wealthy. Be wise.

Nichole Jones is a Staff Reporter for Living Out Loud - LA, covering lifestyle, entertainment and sports. Follow her on Twitter: @Cinnam0nBun
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