The holiday season is upon us, which means cooler weather, crisp air and the joys of curling up beside the fire with a comforting, delicious meal inside. Comfort food is not what would typically be considered “healthy”, however, we’ve got delicious, nutritious solutions to warm you up - who says healthier mac ‘n cheese isn't still delicious? With these five simple, healthy twists on classic comfort food dishes, you’ll enjoy every bit and still feel great.
1. Cauliflower Risotto
Risotto is the type of dish that your family is bound to love. There are so many ways to make it your own. This healthy twist on the classic dish is still creamy and cheesy, just without the rice. Instead it uses grated cauliflower, which is a common substitute in many pastas and pizzas nowadays! Check out The Cook’s Hideout to indulge.
Image Source: Cook's Hideout
2. Baked Turkey Meatballs With Quinoa
Looking for some scrumptious, speedy and superb meatballs? Just a Taste has got you covered.
This recipe is a lighter take on the classic Italian comfort food. You’re skipping ground beef and the starchy spaghetti but still packing a whole ton of flavour into every bite.
Check out the recipe: https://www.justataste.com/baked-turkey-meatballs-quinoa-recipe/
Image Source: Just a Taste
3. Potato and Kale Brown Rice Casserole
Over here in Raincouver, nothing beats a warm casserole on a dreary winter day. This one-of-a-kind creamy and cheesy casserole is bound to be a family favourite. Incorporating real foods - brown rice, some broth and a pinch of cheese. Plus, the stars of the dish - sweet potatoes and kale! The greek yogurt addition helps to keep the dish nice and creamy.
PERK: This dish is gluten free except for the one tablespoon of breadcrumbs. Either replace with gluten free breadcrumbs or just leave them off!
4. Feel Good Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes that I can feel good about eating?! Feel Good Foodie has got you covered. These lighter mashed potatoes are made with buttery yukon potatoes. Simply boil the potatoes with garlic, and then mash them with light sour cream, vegetable broth and a tiny bit of butter to get the creamiest, fluffiest mashed potatoes you’ve ever tasted.
The only reason potatoes are ever unhealthy is typically due to the way they’re prepared - It’s easy for the calories and fat to add up when you load on the butter, milk and cream. Don’t skip the potatoes, just make a few substitutes for healthy mashed potatoes. Sounds like a winner to us!
5. Protein Packed Healthy Mac ‘n Cheese
Concerned you aren’t getting enough protein? Well worry no more! Healthy, protein packed mac ‘n cheese is here! This dish incorporates spinach and broccoli and uses chickpea pasta which has 13 grams of protein per serving - wow!
Check out Eating Bird Food’s Recipe: https://www.eatingbirdfood.com/healthy-mac-and-cheese/
Image Source: Eating Bird Food
Now, tell us your mouth isn’t watering?! Because ours sure are. Give these recipes a try, whether you’re hosting a dinner party, making a holiday meal or preparing your family’s dinner, you really can't go wrong with “healthier” comfort food. Let us know what you think in the comments below. Check back for more healthy tips and recipes in the coming weeks!