People hate the duggars’ lousy recipes but we know how to redeem them

From time to time, the Duggars will post a recipe on their family’s blog. Homemade spaghetti sauce recipe food network They’re usually pretty simple, the sort of foods you would expect an enormous family on a budget to eat.

But (if you’ve ever been on the internet before) it should come as no surprise that some people have taken it upon themselves to lecture the Duggars on nutrition, how to feed their kids and how terrible in general they and their recipes are.

Take some of the comments on their recently posted recipe for Chicken Etti, which calls for cream of chicken soup, pasta, chicken, Velveeta and grated cheese:

This is the 4th recipe I’ve read and really, they all sound horrible and horribly unhealthy. Homemade pasta sauce recipe for canning If you need to resort to all of this salty, fatty, highly processed foods because you have such a large family, perhaps you had too many kids.

Unhealthy much??? First tater tot casserole then spaghetti pie? And Jill wonders why she can’t loose her baby fat? Nothing but carbs and empty calories on a daily basis.

These comments go above and beyond recipe critique, attacking the family’s parenting, religious devotion and work ethic, with a healthy measure of body-shaming thrown in, to boot. Easy homemade spaghetti sauce canning As the recipient of some bizarrely hostile online comments posted to a few food articles I’ve written, I must say it’s jarring to see how terrible people can be when you’re writing about something as innocuous as what to make for dinner this week.

I made this and my family loved and to this day I make it all the time. Pasta sauce from scratch using fresh tomatoes Thank you for this wonderful recipe it got my 6 year and 4 year and 2 year old to Eat.

It seems the people commenting positively are facing the same obstacles as the Duggars. Homemade tomato pasta sauce from scratch They’re trying to feed a family — often multiple kids with different likes and dislikes — something filling, inexpensive and easy to make. Homemade italian pasta sauce recipe These recipes hit the nail on the head.

The reality is that foods like pasta, processed cheese and canned “cream of” soups are cheaper per calorie than vegetables and whole grains. Fresh pasta sauce recipe tomato Have you seen what a bag of quinoa costs these days? It’s hard to justify buying a $7, 8-ounce bag of ancient grains when you have hungry mouths to feed and can get 7 pounds of pasta for the same amount of money.

1. Homemade pasta sauce recipe fresh tomatoes Swap plain pasta for whole-grain pasta. Easy homemade pasta sauce recipe It’s only a little more expensive, and when it’s on sale, it’s usually the same price as refined white pasta.

2. Homemade tomato pasta sauce for bottling Look for low-sodium options. Homemade pasta sauce diced tomatoes Canned soups and jarred sauces can have a lot of extra salt, but low-sodium options are usually available. Homemade pasta sauce with italian sausage recipe That way, you can taste your dish and add extra salt only if it’s needed.

3. Homemade italian spaghetti sauce from scratch recipe Look for low-sugar. Homemade tomato basil pasta sauce recipe Lots of canned, jarred and boxed foods are loaded with sugar to make them palatable. Homemade spaghetti sauce recipe using fresh tomatoes Look carefully for low-sugar sauces, cereals and nut butters — you may be surprised at how tasty and affordable these options still are.

4. Simple homemade sauce for pasta Add some veggies. Recipe homemade pasta sauce Spaghetti pie becomes a lot more nutritious when you use whole-grain pasta and add a few handfuls of spinach or some sautéed bell peppers and onion.

If you live far from a grocery store and keeping fresh veggies on hand isn’t an option, then go with frozen. Easy homemade pasta sauce with fresh tomatoes They’re preserved at the peak of freshness and can add tons of flavor to your food. Tomato pasta sauce jar Get a few bags of different frozen vegetables to throw into casseroles, soups and stews. Homemade pasta sauce recipe easy You can even add a cup or two of frozen veggies to your slow cooker during the last 30 minutes of cooking to add more vitamins and fiber to your favorite meal.

5. Cheese sauce recipe for pasta bake Buy in bulk. Sauce for pasta dishes You can buy brown rice, dried beans (which are super easy to make in the slow cooker), whole-grain pasta and more in bulk sizes that will help you save money in the long run. A sauce for pasta Having these nutritious, filling ingredients on hand will make it easier than ever to cobble together a healthy meal.

6. Easy homemade white pasta sauce recipe Take baby steps. Tomato pasta sauce recipe If you’re not ready to give up all your favorite foods and change your family recipes, try committing to one night a week where you experiment with a new meal. Healthy homemade pasta sauce from scratch Enacting a Meatless Monday is a great way to save money (meat is quite expensive, after all) while trying out new recipes that feature vegetables you may not have tried before.

Using these tips, you can have the best of both worlds: the classic, easy, comfort food recipes you love, with the added nutritional value you and your family need.