I LOVE to eat and I LOVE certain comfort foods such as pizza, fried chicken, lasagna, mashed potatoes, and cheeseburgers with French fries. Do you see a carb-lovers trend here?! Unfortunately, I’m not one of those lucky people who can eat whatever he/she wants and not gain an inch. Sometimes, I feel as though if I even look at the pizza, I’m going to gain a pound and it’s going to stick to my waistline. Because I love all these comfort foods and I don’t like feeling deprived, I’ve modified them so they are healthy, low fat, reduced-calorie, and portion controlled.
Here are the latest and greatest updated versions:
Pizza: (Click HERE for the recipe): reduce the fat and calories by using one of my Favorite brands of cheese, Cabot 75% reduced fat cheddar cheese! It’s tasty and low fat! We also made pizza cooking with Kids In The Kitchen.
Total calories in 1 slice of an 8-slice pizza: 247 calories.
“Fried” Chicken: (Click HERE for the recipe): instead of frying the chicken, bake it in the oven! You still get the crispy, breaded coating but a LOT less oil! In fact there’s only 7 grams of fat in 7 ounces of this “fried” chicken and a HUGE difference in clean up! Have you ever cleaned after deep-frying something? It’s a lot of work! This version is fast and easy because you back the chicken on tin foil! No fuss clean-up!
Total calories in 7-ounces of “fried” chicken: 328 calories.
Vegetable Lasagna: (Click HERE for the recipe): I like to add in veggies to get a complete meal-in-one-dish. Substitute fat free ricotta cheese and use reduced-fat mozzarella to lighten up this classic Italian cuisine.
Total calories in ¾ cup lasagna: 388 calories.
Mashed Potatoes: (Click HERE for the recipe): instead of using a ton of butter, use herbs and spices to flavor it up. I also add cottage cheese to make it cheesier and moist without the extra fat.
Total calories in ½ cup mashed potatoes: 155 calories.
You can also do a Cauliflower Mash! (Click HERE for the recipe): we ate this at a friend’s house and the guests didn’t even know it was cauliflower! They thought they were eating mashed potatoes. This version is full of parmesan cheese (low in fat), cottage cheese, and milk. No butter included!
Total calories for ½ a cup: 90 calories.
Cheeseburger with Kale Chips & Baked French Fries: (Click HERE for the recipe): modified by using 96% lean ground beef, Jarlsberg Lite cheese, and baking the fries (oil free!).
Total calories for 1 burger with ½ cup French fries and 1 cup kale chips: 412 calories.
Enjoying food and enjoying life is all about finding balance and moderation. You can eat your slice of pizza. However, it’s not recommended to eat the entire pizza pie. Also making simple cooking changes to reduce calories can help tremendously! Enjoy your modified comfort foods and continue to cook with love and share your meals with your loved ones. What’s your favorite comfort food?
Sarah Koszyk, MA, RDN