Comfort Food: Healthier Versions of Some Classics

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You can have your comfort food and eat it, too, if you check, out some of these healthier versions of beloved classics. Of course, you can always eat these foods in their original forms and simply eat less of them, but as creatures of habit that’s not always an easy thing for many folks to do.

If you’re among them, simply make some of these simple switches to turn your favorite recipes into much healthier options.


  • Nachos

Switch to 93% fat-free ground beef or switch out beef for ground chicken or turkey. Switch from whole fat to fat-free shredded cheese, and if you use sour cream as a topper, follow suit with that as well. These easy switches will barely impact the taste and texture of this tasty treat but will save you countless fat grams and calories.

  • Corned beef hash and eggs

Switch out the corned beef hash for a homemade version made with turkey pastrami. Combine 1/3 pound of turkey pastrami, chopped, with four boiled potatoes, 1 1/2 cups red pepper and 1 1/2 cups onion, thinly sliced. Combine all of this in a large skillet sprayed with cooking spray. Grill, mash, flip and repeat until hash resembles the kind you are accustomed to eating. (No, it won’t be molded in the shape of a can if you’re accustomed to canning corned beef!) Cook eggs in a skillet with cooking spray instead of butter. Incorporating these easy changes will make this a much healthier and less fattening meal.

  • Macaroni and cheese

This has long been a favorite American comfort food, and still can be–along with being a healthy one, too–if you make these easy changes. Substitute your usual cheese sauce for one cup of low-fat shredded cheddar cheese, 1/3 cup of nonfat plain Greek yogurt, and a teaspoon of dry mustard. Simply mix these ingredients in a saucepan until cheddar is melted and the mixture is smooth. Mix in your macaroni and bake per your usual instructions. You will save even more calories and up your fiber intake if you switch out your plain macaroni for a whole wheat version.

Try one or more of these comfort food recipes–especially if you hope to shed a few pounds in the New Year. The fat and calories saved will be worth the extra effort it takes to turn comfort food into healthier food.


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