Better-for-You Comfort Food
When the weather outside is frightful, comfort food—rich, filling and like mom used to make—can be especially delightful. But too much of it can lead to the not-so-comfortable feeling of a tight waistband. Make your favorite dishes healthier by swapping in non-fat or low-fat milk and cheese, using whole-grain pasta or replacing fatty ground beef with lean ground turkey or finely diced mushrooms.
Or whip up one of these already slimmed-down spins on comfort food classics.
Photo credit: Jeffreyw
- 1 medium butternut squash (3-4 cups uncooked cubed)
- 2 cups shell pasta or pasta of choice
- 7 oz. low-fat milk or milk substitute
- 1 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- Salt and pepper to taste
Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Cut the butternut squash in half lengthways. Scoop out the seeds and place the two halves of squash flesh side up on a baking tray. You can also use pre-cut cubed butternut squash. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until the squash is soft and has fully cooked through.
3. Meanwhile cook the pasta according to the package instructions.
4. Once the squash has cooked, spoon out the flesh straight into a blender or food processor. Add the milk, cheese and butter and process until all the ingredients have combined to a sauce consistency. If it seems too thick then add a little extra milk. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Drain the pasta and mix it with the butternut squash sauce. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
Option: Add cheeseburger mixture to make it a Butternut Squash Cheeseburger Mac and Cheese
- 1 head cauliflower, chopped
- 2 ½ pounds potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 12 oz. can of Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained (or any white bean of choice such as navy or cannellini)
- 1/3 cup low-fat chicken stock or chicken broth
- 1/4 cup butter or butter substitute of choice
- 1/4 cup milk or milk substitute
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
Lots of pepper
Salt to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika (or rosemary)
1 head roasted garlic, squeezed out of skins (yes whole bulb, not just a clove), you can also use pre-minced garlic to save time
White Bean and Cauliflower Garlic Mashed Potatoes
1. Boil potatoes through in a large pot with chicken stock for about 30 minutes, or until tender.
2. Add cauliflower and beans to potatoes. Place lid and let simmer for about 15 minutes or until cauliflower is tender.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients and use hand immersion or a traditional blender to get to your favorite mashed potato consistency.
4. Serve warm. Enjoy!
1 serving = 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat 4.0 g
Saturated Fat 2.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.1 g
Cholesterol 10.8 mg
Sodium 105.6 mg
Potassium 391.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate 15.8 g
Dietary Fiber 3.6 g
Sugars 1.5 g
Protein 3.9 g
Vitamin A 3.8 %
Vitamin B-12 0.1 %
Vitamin B-6 13.0 %
Vitamin C 36.4 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 0.5 %
Calcium 5.3 %
Copper 6.5 %
Folate 11.0 %
Iron 6.0 %
Magnesium 6.9 %
Manganese 13.7 %
Niacin 4.3 %
Pantothenic Acid 3.8 %
Phosphorus 8.1 %
Riboflavin 2.9 %
Selenium 2.2 %
Thiamin 6.3 %
Zinc 2.9 %
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
- 1 small to medium sized head of cauliflower – should yield 2 to 3 cups once processed
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 1 clove of garlic minced
optional a few shakes of crushed red pepper
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
Cauliflower Pizza Crust
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
2. Wash and dry cauliflower. Cut off stems and use florets. Pulse the cauliflower florets in your food processor to "rice" the cauliflower. Do this for about 30 seconds until the cauliflower looks like rice. Place riced cauliflower in microwave safe bowl and place in microwave for about 4 minutes.
Let cauliflower cool for a few moments. Then dump into clean dry kitchen towel and squeeze out the excess moisture. This will make sure that your pizza crust sets and doesn't turn into a crumbly mess.
3. Mix all ingredients together. Using your hands works best.
4. Spray your cookie sheet or pizza stone with cooking spray. Then mold your cauliflower pizza crust onto it. Think thin crust pizza and it should be about 10 inches in diameter.
5. Bake your pizza crust in the oven for 8-12 minutes.
6. Take out crust and let cool for a few minutes.
7. Place your favorite pizza sauce and toppings on cauliflower crust and bake until cheese melts (about 5-7 minutes). I recommend vegetables and light cheese. Serve and enjoy!
Total Fat 2.4 g
Saturated Fat 1.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.6 g
Cholesterol 31.3 mg
Sodium 110.4 mg
Potassium 118.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate 2.3 g
Dietary Fiber 0.9 g