The cold weather is here, and nothing feels better than settling in with a hot bowl or plate of your most favorite dish that’s heavy, fatty, and oh-so-satisfying. Well, it’s certainly oh-so-satisfying until of course you realize you’re so full you can barely move!
Believe it or not, comfort foods can be tweaked so that they’re much less heavy and contain far fewer caloriesthan their full-fat counterparts. Check out some of the healthy comfort food ideas below and suggested recipes to bring warmth and nourishment to your body all throughout the autumn and winter months.
Skip the canned soups instead for your stock pot or slow cooker and lots of fresh veggies. Making your own vegetable with vegetable/chicken broth and optional chicken and/or noodles will help you cut down on the sodium content often found in canned varieties.
Try adding veggies like onions, mushrooms, carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, peas, corn, and anything else you think would go lovely in a soup. Here’s a loaded vegetable soup recipe to try if improvising isn’t your thing.
Vegan mac n’ cheese
Whether it’s from a box or homemade, regular mac n’ cheese certainly packs a lot of calories and fat from all that dairy. But making it vegan with a cheese substitute is a much healthier alternative—and it still tastes amazing!
Nutritional yeast is what you’re going to need, along with some almond milk, spelt flour, your pasta of choice and a few more ingredients to pump of the taste. Follow this easy, cheesy vegan mac n cheese recipe to get it just right.
You could order a pizza from your favorite pizza place… or you could just break out a few pitas and use them to make your own mini personal pizzas. This way, you have complete control of all the ingredients that you decide to top onto your pizzas.
Pita pizzas mean no dough making and no mess. This five-minute pita pizza recipe uses pocketless pita flatbreads. Best of all, you can make them in a toaster oven if you’d rather skip preheating the big oven.
Baked sweet potato chips
Settling in for a movie night calls for snacks, and chips are often a first choice. But instead of grabbing a bag from the grocery store, why not make your own healthier baked variety from sweet potatoes?
All you need is a mandolin slicer, a bit of olive oil, some kosher salt, and of course a sweet potato. This baked sweet potato chips recipe will show you how to turn that sweet potato into yummy chips in just 20 to 25 minutes.
Lasagna sure is delicious when it’s loaded with ground beef, noodles, and lots of yummy cheese, but you can make a healthier version by at least swapping both the beef and noodles for veggies (and go easy on the cheese, please). Instead of noodles, use zucchini slices!
Veggies like spinach, eggplant, bell peppers, and onions turn this comfort food casserole into something much more nutritious yet still very filling. Take a look at this recipe to make it in your slow cooker!