Another Peek Inside "Better Than a Box" – FREE Printable Real Food Substitution Chart

This post may contain affiliate links, including Your price won't change but it enables free content & supports our family business.

It’s been a long time since I stood in front of a classroom of eager learners every day, deciding how to package information to be engaging, interesting, and easy to understand.

Wiggling my toes in my “teacher shoes” once again feels good, like riding a bike for the first time on a sunny springtime day after a long, cold winter.

In Better Than a Box, my goal is to tap into that gift of teaching that is such a part of my being. Better Than a Box 300x300

My subject area?

Real Food.

The classroom?

Your kitchen.

The students, my dears, are all of you, and the curriculum? It’s fantastic:

Students of Better Than a Box will learn to:Better than a Box soup can 150x225

  • Target processed foods that sneak into homemade recipes
  • Reverse engineer the fake foods, using only real food ingredients
  • Use basic cooking skills and good homemade habits to remake those processed recipes
  • Build a foundation of good meal planning
  • Strategize food purchasing and preserving habits so that dinner prep is a snap
  • Create their own recipes using food that’s available
  • Adapt others’ recipes for the whole foods kitchen
  • Make any casserole into a simple, one-pot meal
  • Identify what herbs and spices complement which foods
  • Healthify baking recipes, slashing the sweetener and more
  • Adapt recipes for soaking grains
  • Use fewer dishes and make more food

BetterThanABox cover smaller

Along with the book, I’m offering printable recipe cards, access to a private group on Plan to Eat with the Better Than a Box recipes available, and printable charts and lists, such as the one I’m sharing for FREE for one week only.

You can download, print, and keep this free gift forever, whether you plan to buy the book or not, but in 7 days, it will be tied to the eBook and no longer available without purchase.

(Did I really just write that? I sound like late night television infomercials! It’s accurate the way I wrote it, but it sounds mighty corny…)

Corny or not – and you’ll love the C.O.R.N. references in the book, too – I hope this substitution chart helps you get a first step to remaking old recipes anew.

BETTER THAN A BOX IS HERE! The chart is now a free download with book purchase. Check it out right here.

If you haven’t tried the sample recipe download from Better Than a Box, it’s the reverse engineering job of that casserole with chicken, cream of whatever soup and stuffing mix on top – made with real food, no boxes or cans allowed! Click HERE to download that printable. (Thanks in advance for any pins on Pinterest that you’re inspired to make!)

A Giveaway & Some Winners

Tiffany of Don’t Waste the Crumbs, my partner in crime for the Back to Basics series this month, has an awesome related giveaway at her blog: she’s got a copy of Mystie Winkler’s “Simplified Dinners” right HERE for you!

Here are the winners for last week’s Santa Barbara Chocolate Company giveaway and their answer for the question, “What would you make with a SB Chocolate product?”:

    • Grand prize: Christine P. “Right now I think I just want to take some of their dark chocolate bars and eat them just like that!”
    • 1st prize: Holly “I would use the Belgian White Chocolate to make delicious chocolate covered cherries!”
    • 2nd prize: Jennifer N.B. “I would take the chocolate hazelnut spread, make a giant ball on a spoon, and insert it into my mouth!”
    • 3rd prize: Kathleen T. “Rainforest Red Gourmet Drinking Chocolate.. mmm just drink it!”

Don’t forget you can use the code SWEET5 for 5% off any order all month long.

If you see your name, email me at kitchenstew at with your name, address, and phone number so I can get some chocolate into your hands! Congrats and enjoy!

Click here for my disclaimer and advertising disclosure - affiliate links in this post will earn commission based on sales, but it doesn't change your price.

25 Bites of Conversation So Far

  1. Stephanie says

    I can’t wait for the new ebook to come out. When visitors come over they aren’t always use to the way we eat so its nice to have a few healthy and familiar favorites to serve. Thanks for the recipe substitution cards….so handy! If someone needs a velveta substitute with the same texture, try this: I substitute raw milk for the instant stuff and use grassfed gelatin. It has the same (albeit strange) texture of Velvetta but with much better ingredients.

    • Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship says

      Thanks! I saw those recipes with gelatin but I thought they looked like way more work than I was willing to put in! I bank on the fact that other people like to cut corners and by lazy like me. 😉 It’s cool to know you can absolutely and totally mimic the fake stuff though. :) Katie

      • Stephanie says

        I totally understand :) It actually isn’t too time intensive, the worst part for me is cleaning the blender! I always feel like so many Velveeta recipes are chock full of other unhealthy ingredients so I’m excited to see if you have any new ways of using it with your healthier substitutions.
        Looking forward to buying the book!

  2. Colleen Mayberry says

    Can’t wait for this book! I just bought your others. I am getting started with helping my family to become healthy. Your books are sure to be a great help!

  3. Meghan says

    So when do we start?! I’ve just recently found your website and I’m learning so much! Thanks. Is this an actual book or online book?

    • Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship says

      I process a lot of food in my own kitchen, yes, by cooking, but also by cutting, blending, fermenting, etc. I’m talking here about processing that happens in factories. Raw foods are very important to health, but I am not a 100% raw foodist and have no desire to be, so I don’t agree that any cooked food is the MOST processed. I think that title might have to go to Twinkies. 😉

      • Oliver says

        We mock the twinkie (some of just enjoy it) as if it was the embodiment of all things void of nutrients. In fact, every recipe above (with the exception of course of your garden variety salads), is also void of nutrients – when we post these recipes as “healthy”. Where’s the health in a vegetable soup? Real “good meal planning” should mean meals that have all of their nutrients intact instead of being modified or irradicated alltogether by ovens and frypans and cook pots.
        Raw foods aren’t just important to good health – they are key, and essential. Just because you don’t eat 100 perent raw food (neither do I), doesn’t mean that it isn’t the most processed. Cooking anything at 212 F( Boiled water -rice, beans, soups, pasta) 350 degrees farenheit (bread, meats, etc ) totally and dramatically alters the molecular makeup of the nutrients (vitamins and proteins etc). Some minerals can remain intact at those temps. How is this not the most extreme form of food processing ?- you have essentially processed real food and made it a non food (my definition of food without nutritional value)

        • Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship says

          Thanks for your breakdown. I’m not interested in getting into a debate about raw foods and what is and isn’t a food right now (although it’s tempting). You may want to frequent another blogger who does blog about “real” food.

          • Oliver says

            First, there is no “debate”about what raw foods and what is or isn’t food. There is also no debate about what has nutrients. Well, I should rephrase that; there is no debate among true chemists and macro biologists etc. Nutrient damage by way of cooking is a debate among those who wish to sell products that need to be cooked to be eaten – rice, pasta, bread etc. and those who sell books with recipes that require cooking for their meals. When one comes across these blogs, we like to beleive they are about searching for the best ways to nutrate ourselves and our children, and evolving as new information comes along – as opposed to telling the poster to go to another blog. Why is that? Is profit more important than the health of us and our children and learning all we can towards that end? We blame big companies for putting profit over the truth and the facts yet you are doing the same thing. – or at least avoiding the subject.
            Especially when the subject/topic head speaks about ‘real food’. If your not willing to grow as a blogger but more interested in selling stuffs, books etc. then that is your prerogative and your right (and don’t make you a bad person) – it’s just seems somewhat inconsistent, contradictory, and disingenuine.

            • Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship says

              I was awfully tempted to delete your comment rather than address it, but I can’t. I do take pride in being honest, forthright, and genuine. If I truly believed raw foods were the only things we should be eating, then I would take my books off the market and blog about raw foods.

              My site is based on BABY STEPS. I don’t expect people to come here and drop everything they’ve been eating for decades to eat just exactly how I think they should. I’d like to ask the same respect of you. In our culture, people cook things. Perhaps we lose nutrients that way. I know you are right about many foods, but I’m also not willing to believe that the Lord never, ever intended for anything to be cooked. So today, you’re right – I’m very busy. I do not want to research raw foods. But it’s not because I want to sell books. It’s because I will self-destruct if I suddenly have to change every single thing we eat. Baby steps. Perhaps today I’ll eat carrot sticks for a snack instead of cheese, or pour a glass of raw milk at midnight instead of roasted pumpkin seeds. For now, I’m going to keep moving through my day and doing the best I know how, today, this month, this year, for my family, and my readers.
              Thanks, Katie

              • Oliver says

                Katie, I get “baby steps” but at the same time there might be some of your readers who can jump right in and change their diet in giant leaps and bounds. When one goes to a gym they see all of the heavy weights and the adjustments one can make on the equipment to lesson or increase the load – it provides them with the option to do baby steps or go for it. Some people just stop drinking and smoking on a dime and some need to ween – but the option and knowledge of how to do either should always be available to them – I am sure you don’t just have an audience of 8 on your blogsite – I am equally sure that they don’t all think alike. And I am most confident that there will be those who want to hear and learn those other options – or at least read and try to understand some other takes on food etc – that makes for the best blog imho.
                You say that if you truly beleived raw foods were the only things we should be eating u would take your books off the market – there are those who believe alcohol is not bad – even good for you. There are those who believe cigs are harmless and they continue to sell them…
                I like to think, call me naive, that these blogs are truly about broadening the dialogue, expanding the narrative that will lead humans, the most unhealtiest species (among the 2 million on earth), towards the correct path that links good diet with good health – the way early man used to do 1 to 6 million years ago.
                You can delete this if you care to – I am used to it. I am used to bumping into someones blog and messing up their “theme or thread”, and trying to steer them in the proper direct of food as it relates to health. I am used to bloggers feeling threatened (for some reason) – or at least not willing to embrace the dialogue full on and make it part of the overall effort to get at the truth of nutrition – in fairness there is one blogger who is happy to present to her audience the widest ranges of views on the subjects of food and family and children and health etc (regardless of the theme of the day)- she is the minority among bloggers but the discussions/posts are spirited and every one walks away a better learned person.
                BTW I probably mentioned this earlier but I love bacon and burgers and pasta and chicken and rice and pancakes and icecream and beer and red wine, and did I mention bacon – who doesn’t love bacon :)
                Take care in your endeavors.

            • Linda says

              Oliver, did you know carrots are better for you cooked? So I am sure there are probably some foods that may be better for you cooked than raw. Do You have a bog about raw food?

              • Oliver says

                Hi Linda. That cooked carrot stuff is all marketing hype – just like cooked tomatos increase the lycopene factor – or even resveratrol (and sadly in some stretches, nicotine).Any real chemist (or rabbit) knows that raw is the way mama nature intended. Any real chemist, one who is not hired by food companies, one who is not a member of the food science community but the real ACS American Chemists Society folk knows this (actually some of them work in the food industry as well as a few who work in labs creating more enticing cigs).Those who also don’t know this are nutritionists and dieticians who have zero chemistry backgrouns – as in years of chem work and lab work etc – as opposed to some online course that is availble for most nutritionists.
                Food science and food marketing exist to make money and when cash is king they will come up with, discover a molecule within a food that they will claim heals this or that – again resveratrol and lycopene – we also see this with chocolate, coffee, green tee, aloe and on and on – the market, the masses, the gullible masses, make for wealthy manufacturers of “product”.
                Anyhoo, back to that carrot. The only reason the rabbit eats it, and the only thing it can ever provide anyone, cooked or raw, is a carb source- starches etc – all to be converted into glucose. As I have mentioned on this blogsite, glucose and and fatty acids are the two sole, not main but sole, source for energy that the body needs that it can get from “foods”. The other sources of fuel for energy are oxygen, water (which has oxygen in it) and sunlight). Once we have those things our body can then produce every nutrient it needs – vitamins and proteins etc. You see, the vitamins in that carrot were created solely for that carrot – by oxygen and water and sunlight. You can get vitamin a say that is in a carrot, extract it, and expect for that molecule to remain in tact on it’s way to your body matrix. But it doesn’t need to – your body makes it’s own vitamin A – it used to make it’s own vitamin C but humans screwed that up with our crazy diets over the millenniums. There are still some humans on earth alive today who can synthesize their own vitamin C (u can google that). Yes, our body synthesizes everything, all our proteins and vitamins etc.Just like so many species we too can exist on a single blade of grass (and water).
                I am not a raw foodist – I just know the chemical/biological/physiological truth about nutrients. I love bacon and burgers, and ice cream = happiness. I am doing what I can however to ween myself away from these things(baby steps…).
                At the end of the day however raw is always the best way to go – and we need to remember that we used to eat only raw foods. For seven million years, humans ate only raw food – and water – the other species didn’t forget this and they are better for it.

    • Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship says

      A week from today! I am swimming in edits, silly of me not to include that in this post! :) Katie

  4. Joyce says

    hi Katie,

    How much will the book cost? (Maybe I missed it.) And do the recipes all have gluten-free versions?

    thanks, Joyce

    • Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship says

      For the first few days, it’s so inexpensive I don’t even want to tell you yet…but then it will be around $15-20. I haven’t decided yet, to be honest! I also still need a final count on allergy-friendly notes, but since my family is largely GF now, I can assure that ALMOST all the recipes have GF versions. Enough for the book to be worth it, for sure!

      Thanks for asking! :) Katie

  5. Heather says

    Just printed this chart and posted it next to the fat chart for easy reference. Can’t wait for the new book to come out. If your previous hints at the intro price are any indication I’ll be buying several copies for the cooks in the family.

  6. says

    This is a fantastic idea, it’s so hard to get started with real food. I found it incredibly overwhelming when I first started and would’ve loved something like this – it helps you take it a bite at a time!

    – Katie

Take a Bite (of conversation)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *