Healthy Comfort Food: 7 Dinner Ideas for Your Favorite Classics
With winter setting in, it’s time to wrap yourself up in a warm comfy blanket, switch on your favorite TV show, and binge eat almost like you’re trying to hibernate for the season. Comfort food is great for just that mood, giving us an opportunity to indulge in our favorite dishes.
However, that doesn’t have to mean unhealthy food, no matter how much we may want it to. Here are seven dinner ideas for your favorite classic comfort foods that won’t wreck your health goals.
1. Lentil Shepherd’s Pie
Shepherd’s pie is the perfect winter warmer, but it’s not always the healthiest option. However, swapping out the meat for lentils makes it a fabulous comfort food with an added protein kick. You can add plenty of spices to the lentils to ensure that it still packs a flavor punch.
2. Spicy Turkey Chili
Chili is another go-to comfort food in winter. You can make a fantastic version with turkey mince which will be high in protein and low in fat. With plenty of kidney beans, bell peppers, and spices, it’s sure to warm you up on a chilly night.
3. Spicy Lentil Soup
Soup is one of the classics of winter comfort food, and there’s no need to be deprived with such a variety of healthy options. A lentil soup is a great go-to for a light and warming meal that will fill you up, and the delicious spice can give it that satisfying tang.
4. Vegan Mac and Cheese
Mac and cheese is never going out of style in the comfort food world, but what can we do to make it healthier? Create a vegan version! Using nutritional yeast as a cheese substitute along with whole wheat pasta will make it a healthier option while still satisfying your craving for cheesy noodles.
5. Tomato and Mushroom Risotto
Risotto is such a delicious and creamy comfort food, but very often full of cheese and butter. A simple vegetarian version uses stock and mushrooms to create that same comforting texture, and with the addition of sun-dried tomatoes, it will surely highlight the flavors.
6. Baked Sweet Potato Fries
Although fries may not technically be in the comfort food category, most of us can agree that they do make us oh so comfortable. Well, good news, you can make them healthier! Bake some sweet potato fries in the oven with the skins on. Add spices like paprika and rosemary, and you’ll feel like you’re indulging in the real thing.
7. Chicken and Vegetable Pot Pies
Pot pie is often loaded with butter and flour-laden crusts. But, by using whole wheat flour, olive oil, and chicken broth mixed with plenty of veggies and lean chicken breast, you can create a comforting version without all the unhealthy aspects.
In conclusion, comfort food doesn’t have to mean calories and unhealthy options. With healthy swaps and imaginative ingredients, we can create delicious meals that will keep the doctor away while also keeping your taste buds happy. So, go ahead and indulge guilt-free this winter season!