#WellnessWeds: 3 Healthy Winter Comfort Food Recipes

Cold weather is here and that means delicious comfort foods are, too. Here are some healthier ways to enjoy these three foods that warm the soul.

1. Potatoes

I love potatoes, whether they are baked, mashed, or oven turned into fries. My favorite way to enjoy a baked potato is to add some homemade veggie-filled chili to it or by simply adding some salsa, guacamole and light sour cream. My garlic mashed potato cauliflower and white beans concoction is another way that I enjoy potatoes. It is nice because this one dish is like a full meal, chock full of nutrients, fiber and is very satisfying. Lastly, I love oven baked potatoes. In this recipe for oven roasted red potatoes with rosemary and garlic, it is simple and tasty. Sometimes I even use fingerling potatoes to mix it up a bit.

2. Macaroni and Cheese

Who doesn’t love macaroni and cheese? If you don’t, then you pretty much aren’t human. Ha!

Simply, you can make macaroni and cheese healthier by picking a lower fat version of your favorite cheeses. Another one of my favorite tricks, is to add more nutrition by including some bright-colored veggies like peppers, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, spinach, mushrooms or tomatoes. These vegetables don’t only add color, vitamins and minerals, but also a nice texture. It is a great way to get your kids to eat veggies in their favorite dish too.

Here are two of my favorite healthy macaroni and cheese recipes:

  • Mac and Cheese Lite – I love the creaminess and flavor from the greek yogurt. I also enjoy the flavor from the onion and garlic puree, which I have used in other soups and recipes too.
  • This macaroni and four cheese recipe is great too, especially because you add winter squash to it. I also use whole wheat pasta and light cheese. I have tried different cheeses to change the flavor profile a bit. Tweaking and adjusting recipes is always a wonderful learning experience.

3. Fettucine Alfredo

I don’t know if  this is really a comfort food, but since my dad’s name is Alfredo, it is comforting to me. Or maybe I view it as a comfort food because in the movie, The Holiday (one of my faves), Kate Winslet makes this as her comfort food in the movie and it always looks so good. Regardless, I want to share with you my healthier version of this popular pasta dish. In general, if you can add more vegetables, it will add vitamins, minerals and fiber with very little calories. It will also add color, texture and flavor too. Always use whole wheat pasta when you can and if you are able to and you do not have a gluten allergy or intolerance. The base of this alfredo sauce is cauliflower. Yes, you read that correctly: cauliflower. I have made this many times, and no one ever knows. Check out the recipe in detail here.

What are your favorite comfort foods? Have you figured out a way to make them healthier? I shared mine, now it is your turn.

Photo Credit:  leoslo

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