By: Nikki Nies
My mother is on her way up for my graduation. If any of you know me, food is not only an entity of my life, but the driving force of my life. I haven’t seen her since Christmas, so of course, I already have a menu of foods planned for her to make for me. You don’t realize how much you appreciate and become accustomed to home made cooking when it’s not as easily accessible.
As many other’s, my mother’s cooking is a fix of comfort. This got me to thinking about some great traditional comfort foods that people gravitate to and how you can enjoy the flavors, while adding a healthy twist.
Although comfort foods are there to “comfort you”, they are not always necessarily the best for you. A lot of times they’re creamy, buttery, juicy and high in fat. So when’re you about to whip up some of your favorite go to foods, but you’re in the mood to be a little more creative, remember these suggestions:
|Food or Meal||Meat–Meat—lasagna, hamburgers, Sloppy Joe’s, goulash, stew||Meatballs or meatloaf||Mac n’cheese||Burrito||Stuffed Pasta—lasagna and manicotti|
|Substitution||Ground elk or bison||Oats and/or ground turkey breast||-add veggies such as broccoli and spinach-use whole meat, sprouted grain pasta, half regular cheese—i.e. half low fat cottage cheese||-use cooking spray or light amount of butter-eat with a salad||-chicken sausage with onions, garlic and tomatoes-sauteed mushrooms with goat cheese, parsley, ricotta-shrimp sautéed with garlic and spinach with sun dried tomatoes and ricotta
-swamp heavy cream for evaporated milk
|Reasoning||Higher protein content and fewer calories and fat.||Adds fiber, lowers saturated fat||Increase your intake of veggies for the day||Lessens one’s fat intake while including a healthy side||Half the fat, less sodium and calories|
|French Toast||Mashed Potatoes||Sandwich||Mac n’cheese|
|Replace syrup with: strawberries and powdered sugar, blueberries with spoonful of water and spoonful sugar,dash of ricotta and orange||-Use Yukon Gold or Yellow Finn potatoes, which look buttery and can decrease the amount of butter you use when cooking-Chicken or vegetable stock as cream||-skip mayo, choose non fat plain yogurt-choose canned tuna in water instead of oil-Black forest ham, gruyere,Dijon mustard and ground pepper
-roast beef, carmelized onions, provolone, thinly sliced pickles
-roasted vegetables, pesto, fresh mozzarella
|-add veggies such as broccoli and spinach-use whole meat, sprouted grain pasta, half regular cheese—i.e. half low fat cottage cheese|
|Increased fiber, less sugar, great taste||-less creamy and fattening||Lowers calories, feels substantial||Increase your intake of veggies for the day|
What foods can you never say no to, but hit the spot? If I didn’t cover it here, perhaps the above suggestions can be integrated into your meals as well.