Do you remember your first bite of one of your favorite comfort foods, like, say, fried chicken? Discovering a taste bud-altering comfort food can cause you to vow to eat it every day for days on end. (But you shouldn’t!) Almost every true foodie loves classic comfort foods, but not everyone loves the calories that come with classic comfort foods. Here are eight classic comfort foods with healthy twist ideas. And these lightened up versions taste good!
Broccoli Soup — Add potatoes to broccoli soup to thicken it up, and use reduced-fat sour cream to add rich flavor.
Chicken Noodle Soup — Use reduced-sodium chicken broth and whole-wheat egg noodles for extra fiber. You can also make homemade chicken broth to use for this soup. The good thing about making your own chicken broth is that you control how much salt goes into it.
Chicken Pot Pie — Use whole-wheat biscuits (for the topping) and reduced-fat sour cream for less calories and fat.
Mashed Potatoes — Reduced-fat sour cream and low-fat milk make this dish better for you. But if you’re feeling defiant, you can top your better-for-you mashed potatoes with crumbled bacon bits. Because bacon makes everything better.
Oven-Baked ‘Fried’ Chicken — Enjoy the crunch of fried chicken but without all the fat by using skinless chicken, using a whole-wheat breading, and baking instead of frying.
Potato Salad — Make a simple potato salad with mayo, celery, hard-boiled eggs, onion, and relish. For added flavor add in a dash or two of vinegar.
Scalloped Potatoes — This comfort food favorite can be lightened up by simmering the potatoes in skim milk and using reduced-fat sour cream.
Twice-Baked Potatoes — Lighten up your baked potatoes with reduced-fat Cheddar cheese and sour cream, as well as turkey bacon or lean ground beef.
With any dish, you can lighten it up by figuring out which ingredients can be substituted with their healthier versions. Think extra-lean, fat-free, low-fat, part-skim, and reduced-fat products.