We all love our comfort foods: pizza, fried chicken, lasagna, mashed potatoes, cheeseburgers…oh, so yummy, but not always great for the waistline!
Nutrition Expert Sarah Koszyk shows us that with a few simple changes, we can make healthier, portion-controlled versions that are just as inviting and comforting as the original. No need to deprive, enjoy yourself!
WHO DOESN’T LOVE PIZZA?
I LOVE pizza! Making your own is actually pretty simple and fun. 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! Get creative with olives, red onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, jalapenos, pineapple, and more!
BAKE IN THE OVEN.
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!
SO MANY LAYERS.
Lasagna seems daunting because there are so many layers to it (literally). However, it is pretty straight forward and if you give yourself some time on a weekend, you can pre-prep it.
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.
DITCH THE BUTTER.
This is a classic spin on mashed potatoes with a bunch of cheese to make the flavors delicious! And instead of using a ton of butter, use herbs and spices to flavor it up. You can sprinkle with chives at the end for some added green color. The cottage cheese, milk, and Parmesan add to the protein content to feel extra full!
AND FRIES Y’ALL!
We love, love, love burgers & fries at my house! I like to modify by using 96% lean ground beef and Jarlsberg Lite cheese. Using 96% fat free lean ground beef can still be delicious, but you’ve got to add seasoning to the meat before you cook it. That’s how you get the flavorful burger.
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.
Sarah Koszyk, MA, RDN is a private practice Registered Dietitian and sports nutritionist based in San Francisco, CA. With a mission of creating deliciously healthy recipes for all ages, Sarah guides others to experience how small changes can make all the difference in improving their daily lives. Visit Sarah for the full article and more fun family meal ideas!