Healthy Winter Comfort Foods
Now that winter’s in full swing, you might notice yourself hungering for warm and rich foods to help offset the cold outdoors. These satisfying and familiar comfort foods may keep you warm, but, in their traditional forms, can often pile on a serious helping of calories and fat. On the Wellspring Plan, the aim is to keep your favorite foods in your diet, but to find low fat and fat free versions that will love you back, i.e., ones that will satisfy you in a healthy way. Therefore, I encourage you to give in to your comfort food cravings but to modify your choices in a Wellspring friendly way. You can do this by altering your favorite recipes or by searching for new recipes in books and online. Here are some suggestions for altering a couple popular comfort foods to get your started.
MACARONI AND CHEESE
Traditional Ingredients: white pasta, full fat cheese, cream
Wellspring Friendly Modifications: use whole wheat pasta, add veggies like peas, mushrooms, spinach, broccoli, use fat free cream cheese or cottage cheese to thicken a sauce made with skim milk, use a mixture of fat free and low fat cheese, add flavor with spices like cayenne pepper and paprika
THREE CHEESE MAC AND CHEESE
8oz fiber enriched or whole wheat macaroni noodles
¼ cup fat free Panko breadcrumbs
¼ packet McCormick Veggie Steamers Cheddar Cheese
1/3 tbsp Vegetable bouillon powder
¼ block Cabot 75% Reduced-Fat Sharp Cheddar Cheese
½ tbsp fat free Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
2. Spray a baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and butter spray.
3. Boil pasta according to directions with 2 tablespoons bouillon and 1 tablespoon salt until tender.
4. In a saucepan combine cornstarch with the fat-free half and half.
5. Heat until the mixture thickens, and then add the cheese sauce packet, mustard, turmeric, garlic powder, parmesan and the cheddar cheese. Taste the sauce and season if needed.
6. Stir in the noodles and pour into pan. Top with Panko breadcrumbs and spray with butter.
7. Bake until breadcrumbs are golden brown, about 10-15 minutes.
Nutritional Information (per cup): Calories………………..294
Fat ………………………..3 g
Traditional Ingredients: full fat ground beef, whole eggs, oil
Wellspring Friendly Modifications: use extra lean ground beef or turkey, lean ground buffalo meat, fill it out with chopped veggies like carrots, celery, pepper, use egg whites instead of whole eggs to hold everything together
1 ½ lbs extra lean ground buffalo meat (sub 24 oz Gimme Lean for vegetarian)
¼ cup egg beaters
1 cup fat-free milk
¾ cup fat-free bread crumbs
1 each envelope dry onion soup mix
2 tbsp ketchup
salt and pepper
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a bowl, combine above ingredients.
3. Press into a greased loaf pan and bake for 1 hour.
4. Take ketchup and spoon it down the center of the loaf and continue to cook an additional 12 to 15 minutes.
Nutritional Information: Calories………………..236 (vegetarian- 213)
Fat …………………………3 g (vegetarian- 0 g)
Protein…………………..36 g (vegetarian- 18 g)
Traditional Ingredients: cream, butter
Wellspring Friendly Modifications: use buttermilk or fat free sour cream or
cream cheese instead of cream, add garlic, peas, green onion for additional flavor, leave skins in for extra fiber and vitamins.
½ cup fat free sour cream
½ cup fat free vegetable broth
1. Boil potatoes until tender.
2. Drain potatoes and transfer to large mixing bowl.
3. On slow speed, begin whipping potatoes. Slowly add sour cream, broth, and seasonings.
4. Whip until smooth consistency is reached.
Nutritional Information: Calories…………………..130
Protein……………………4.5 g[insert author’s bio here]
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