Everyone has at least one favorite dish they fall back on when the weather gets cold and they crave warm foods and the comfort of family dishes passed down from generation to generation. And though they satisfy your taste buds, traditional comfort foods aren’t always good for your waistline. Savory meatloaf, creamy mac n’ cheese, hot chocolate topped with whipped cream and lamb stew are all notoriously high and fat in calories. However, I had the pleasure of stopping by CBS this morning in Washington DC to share my 3 favorite tips for choosing lower calorie comfort foods that will keep you warm all winter long.
1. Choose Comfort from Classic Dishes
Homemade Mac ‘n Cheese is a household favorite for both kids and adults alike. But, your grandma’s recipe is probably packed with butter and full-fat cheese topped enriched macaroni noodles. You can lighten this up, make it seasonal and make it taste so much better at a fraction of the cost by using either whole wheat noodles or better yet, cubed butternut squash with a mix of cheeses including 50% reduced fat Cabot Cheddar and grated Pecorino Romano cheese – both of these are full flavor cheeses so you need less to achieve incredible taste. For a little crunch (and extra fiber), top your mac n’ cheese with whole wheat Panko.
2. Set it and Forget it
If you don’t have a slow cooker, ask for one this holiday season. Lower cost ones are just $25 and work very well. The beauty of a slow cooker is that you can throw everything in, set it and forget it until you come home to the wonderful smell of dinner in the air. Though there are several single dish meals you can make, this delicious easy black bean soup is both high in fiber and protein plus it’s budget friendly at just about $1.65 per serving.
3. Ring the New Year a Little Early
Southerners often turn to blackeyed peas and collard greens on New Year’s Day for good luck. Well, why not take this Southern tradition and improve your luck all winter long with this low cost comfort dish? At just $1.65 per serving, this Black-eyed Peas and Greens dish from myrecipes.com combines high fiber, nutrient rich black-eyed peas with turnip greens and flavor from vinegar, low sodium chicken broth and turkey bacon for an award winning, easy-to-make meal.