5 Renovated Recipes

By: Sara Elliott

Add some eggs and have the classic BLT for any meal. See more easy weeknight meals pictures.
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Food styles are always changing, and being able to reinvent old favorites or update new ones to suit your changing needs is the mark of a savvy cook. You may not spend all your weekends trying out new recipes, but innovators in fusion cuisine and cooking gurus everywhere are mixing things up, scaling things down and finding ways for us to cook amazing meals with minimal effort. If you've been doing more home cooking and want additional variety from your favorite ingredients, these recipe makeovers will open your eyes to some scrumptious options you may not have thought of. Most of these recipes use one extra or alternate ingredient that makes all the difference.


5: The Stylish BLT

These classic sandwiches taste fresh, salty, savory, crunchy and soft all at the same time. You can't do much better for an afternoon's lunch or even an evening entree. You may think you've found the perfect blending of ingredients, but re-evaluating the players in this dish can yield an even creamier and more satisfying result.

We have some recommendations here that will amp up your BLT and make you do a happy dance. Use potato bread. This soft, flavorful bread is the perfect base for our next suggestion: thick sliced bacon. Most major bacon brands offer this option. Once you've found a ripe tomato that isn't too juicy like a Roma and some crispy lettuce (our favorite is a simple iceberg), slather on some mayo or lunch spread and a layer of sliced avocado. Avocado has a creamy texture and mild flavor that will renovate a simple BLT and give you something to celebrate. Nothing this simple ever tasted so delicious.


4: Black or White Chili

White beans and chicken can add a unique touch to your chili.
White beans and chicken can add a unique touch to your chili.
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Almost everyone has a favorite chili, and whether you like it hot or mild, you might want to consider a completely different chili option that will open up new mealtime vistas and give you a second, very different chili option.

Opt for a better bean, or at least a different one. You can go with black beans, a petite and colorful choice that will give you an earthy tasting chili that will hold together well and look exotic. Want something lighter? Go with a pairing of great Northern beans and chicken or turkey instead. Both will make wonderful vegetarian chili, too. Chili is one of nature's gifts to cooks everywhere, so explore the bounty.


  • Black Bean Chili
  • White Bean Chili
  • Three Bean Chili

3: Chicken Marsala

This take on the classic veal dish uses sweet Marsala dessert wine, sherry, mushrooms and butter to make a creamy sauce you won't forget any time soon. You can prep this meal in a few minutes, and it'll look and taste like it took hours of grueling effort. Don't let the wine requirement fool you. This one's so simple, and once you have the potables onboard, it's economical, too. Pounded chicken breasts go a long way and have an altogether different texture from what you'd expect. Chicken Marsala makes a nice presentation for guests or for romantic dining à deux.

  • Tofu Cutlets Marsala
  • Classic Chicken Marsala


2: Shrimp Tacos

If you don't feel like a heavy Mexican fiesta, try shrimp in your tortilla instead.
If you don't feel like a heavy Mexican fiesta, try shrimp in your tortilla instead.
James Baigrie/FoodPix/Getty Images

If your kids like tacos, give the grown-ups a tasty and refined handful with a marinated shrimp filling the next time temps hit the stratosphere. Shrimp is a natural with folded flat bread and adds sweetness to the mix that you'll love. A little marinade with citrus or your favorite exotic fruit will make it special enough to prepare for company. Oh, shrimp tacos make a satisfying and simple appetizer, too.

  • Garlic Shrimp Vegetables
  • Tequila Lime Prawns


1: Chicken Saltimbocca

Add something exotic to your repertoire. This dish is another classic that substitutes chicken for veal, this time with a complement of Italian spices and ham that will give your mouth something to sing about. Saltimbocca literally means "jumps in the mouth," and refers to the use of a whole sage leaf in one of the more traditional ways to prep this dish. Whether you use smoked ham or thinly sliced prosciutto and provolone cheese, chicken saltimbocca will give you a new appreciation for the flavors of the Mediterranean and a lusty appetite for more recipes that expertly blend meats and a host of spices.

  • Chicken Saltimbocca


Lots More Information

Related Articles

  • Berberoglu, Hrayr. "Innovative Cooking." Food Reference. Undated. 4/20/10.http://www.foodreference.com/html/artinovativecooking.html
  • Clevely, Andi. Katherine Richmond, Sallie Morris, Leslie Mackley."Cooking with Herbs and Spices." JG Press 12/2009
  • Davidson, Alan. "The Oxford Companion to Food." Oxford University Press. 1999
  • GI News. "Renovate Your Recipes." 1/1/10. 4/19/10.http://ginews.blogspot.com/2010/01/renovate-your-recipes.html
  • Italian Made. "Saltimbocca Alla Romana." Undated. 4/19/10.http://www.italianmade.com/recipes/recipe314.cfm
  • Smith, S.E. "What Is Fusion Cuisine?" Wise Geek. 4/9/10. 4/19/10.http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-fusion-cuisine.htm