As the cold days of January blow in after the holidays, many of us resolve to eat healthy yet we still want creamy, velvety comfort foods to ward off the chill.
No need to panic – craving comfort food doesn’t mean dumping your healthy eating plan. There are many ways to have your mac and cheese and other winter favorites with alternative ingredients. You’ll still get the flavor and creamy texture you’re seeking, however, you’ll consume far fewer calories and fat.
The following are some delicious ideas with links to recipes and more:
- Cauliflower is well established as a substitute for potatoes, pizza dough, rice, cous cous – you name the carb and there’s a way to use low cal cauliflower instead. Additional bonus – many stores now carry cauliflower that is already riced and ready to use in these great alternatives. Check the fresh produce section and frozen vegetable section at your grocery store.
Mock Mashed Potatoes – there are many recipes on the Internet using cauliflower as a healthier mashed potato substitute. This one from Pickles & Honey is one of the best. Your family will never know. http://www.picklesnhoney.com/2012/01/03/mock-mashed-potatoes/
- Creamy Soup is a favorite of many people at this time of year – cream of chicken, cream of tomato – the wonderful scent permeates the house as it simmers. Ah, yes. Fortunately, there are many low calorie, low fat substitutes for adding that silky, smooth texture. You get all the enjoyment and none of the guilt.
Check out http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/18204/soup/creamy/ for ways to convert your favorite recipes and you’ll also find some delicious new recipes to try.
- Grilled Cheese Sandwiches are a beloved winter staple – gooey and crispy, dipped in hot tomato soup. You don’t have to give them up if you’re watching your weight – EatingWell.com and many other Internet resources provide healthy alternative ideas without sacrificing flavor. http://www.eatingwell.com/blogs/food_blog/5_secrets_to_make_grilled_cheese_healthier
- Mac and Cheese. There are many healthy pasta substitutes to choose from, including pasta that is made from products other than flour. This link takes you to recipes for mac and quinoa, mac and spaghetti squash, mac and zoodles (zucchini squash noodles). http://greatist.com/eat/healthier-macaroni-cheese-recipes
Stay warm and enjoy!
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