Healthy Versions Of Your Favorite Comfort Foods

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Oh How we love our comfort food! If you want to stay slim while indulging, here’s how!

PIZZA


 Homemade pizza is always a healthier alternative to eating out. Make it even better by substituting half of the flour with whole-wheat flour and use olive oil.

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The secret is in the sauce. Add oregano, basil, chopped tomatoes, garlic and other fresh spices.

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Choose your cheeses well. To add extra flavor, combine a few types of cheese. Part-skim mozzarella cheese with grated Parmesan and Ricotta cheese is a tasty option.

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Add vegetables: spinach, peppers and basil will bring color to your pizza and taste as well!

MACARONI AND CHEESE


 Never mind those sugar-packed, salty, store-bought mac and cheese boxes. Homemade is the way to go.

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Macaroni and cheese is the perfect dish to experiment with, have fun. To make it healthier, add half a head of cauliflower (pureed) to the cheese sauce. You can also switch some of the full fat cheese for part-skim.

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Get the kids to eat cauliflower without them ever knowing.

CHEESEBURGER


 We all love grilling a good burger. To start, get the best ground beef. It is important that your main ingredient be as lean as possible. To add extra taste, add chipotle peppers to your adobo sauce.

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Use whole grain buns to get all the fiber your digestive system needs to work properly. Add some lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, onions, peppers and other fresh crunchy vegetables to get all the nutrients you need. A slice of cheddar cheese and we are ready to enjoy this classic dish.

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LASAGNA


 A few simple swaps will change this guilty pleasure into a healthy one.

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Use whole grain lasagna noodles, add a lean ground sirloin and a low-fat cottage cheese and you’ll be adding fiber and ingesting far less fat and bad cholesterol. You can replace the noodles with zucchini or eggplant for an even healthier dish.

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Use olive oil instead of butter or other oils, if possible. Olive oil lowers your bad cholesterol while adding texture. Top it off with half-skim cheese.

SHEPHERD’S PIE


 Mashed potatoes. We all love mashed potatoes, but also know how fattening they are. Here’s a secret recipe to change things up.

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Once again, cauliflower will save the day. Replace half of the potatoes with cauliflower. It has great texture, doesn’t change the taste and it contains half the calories!

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Lean ground beef packed with vegetables and spices will make this the greatest Shepherd’s pie you and your family have ever tasted.

BAKED GARLIC FRIES


 The key to making a healthy dish is in knowing what to change to make the greatest impact.

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The idea is simple. Do not fry your fries: bake them. They are just as tasty and the difference for your health is huge.

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Add garlic, parsley and olive oil to give them a tasty twist.

ARTICHOKE-SPINACH DIP


 As with any dips, you can experiment to make it your own. Here is the general idea.

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Beans, cream cheese, garlic and chicken broth are pureed and mixed with cooked spinach, artichokes and whatever spices and sauces you wish to add.

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Cover it in low-fat or semi-skim cheese and bake until it is golden and bubbling. Great dip for our baked fries!

ONION RINGS


 There are many onion ring recipes. Here are some tricks to make them healthier.

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Use vegetable milk instead of whole milk. This will reduce the fat in your batter and can help you add flavor.

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Bake the rings: don’t deep-fry them. This makes a world of difference. You will feel much better after filling up with onion rings. No guilt.

PANCAKES


 The secret to healthier pancakes is easy: switch to Greek yogurt and add all the fruits you can think of. This will guarantee a variety of flavors and nutrients.

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Greek yogurt is the perfect ingredient to reduce the amount of flour in your pancakes without losing any of the texture. Try these and you will never use milk in your pancakes again.

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CHOCOLATE PUDDING


 Chocolate pudding is one of our favorite comfort foods. It is tasty, rich in texture and also in sugar and fat. Here is how to improve it.

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Use fat-free or skim milk. This lowers the fat intake. Buy unsweetened cocoa so you know exactly how much sugar you are adding to your dessert. There are a few variations you can try. Instead of sugar, use honey. Add cinnamon to lower the amount of sugar needed.

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What other healthy version of our favorite comfort foods do you know? We would love to hear about them!

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