When one thinks of comfort food, some think of the foods that are some of the unhealthiest. Dishes like pizza, pasta and grilled cheese warm our hearts and send our taste buds to heaven. With the use of vegetables and ingredients generally healthier for the body, these dishes still you’re your taste buds to paradise, hiding the fact that they are, in fact, better for you. Here are 10 of the most delicious comfort foods that are worth the making, whether you’re on a weight loss journey, or you’re just trying to generally eat healthier. Recipes may include use of an oven, a Crock Pot, or an Instant Pot.
The first one on this list includes a vegetable that can be used as a healthy substitute for almost any food. In this case, rice. One of my personal favorites, this dish goes well with any entrée, or simply by itself. And it tastes so similar to the fried rice at Panda Express ©, you can’t even tell that it’s all vegetables! Using a food processor (or a super fine knife), chop the veggie into small chunks, and mix it with sesame oil and soy sauce in a pan. If you don’t feel like doing all that chopping, you can find chopped up cauliflower in the frozen section of your local Trader Joes ©.
Pull out your Crock Pots for this next dish! The perfect addition to your favorite pasta, or even by themselves, these Paleo meatballs are definitely worth the time it takes to cook them. It doesn’t even take too long to prepare the meat and tomato-based sauce! So juicy and full of flavor, you’ll wonder how you’ve gone through life without your slow cooker.
Colonel will know none the wiser with this next comfort food recipe. Everyone loves fried chicken, but all the fat and calories from the fried oil it sits in can really make a stomach churn the next time the scent fills the air. This chicken recipe skips the oil bath in the big pot, and, instead, took a trip to the oven. Almost like transitioning from the hot tub to the sauna, the perfect go-to for a lazy day. Cooked with Panko to get that crispy, golden brown tone, this “is how you do comfort food.”
For most people, myself included, pizza is the epitome of comfort food. The delicious combination of tomato sauce and savory Parmesan, along with a big variety of toppings, was enough to satisfy our appetites. This next comfort food takes on a healthier form, in the perfect sized slice. The juices from the cooked cheese and tomato added with the already juicy peppers make for a healthy snack to take your taste buds into a world never imagined.
Inspired by the lovely and talented Rachael Ray, this next comfort food recipe is another one that will get you back on the couch, under a blanket, in less than half an hour. Prep time consists of tossing the shrimp in your salsa and chili powder mixture while you cook the vegetables. And who’s to say you can’t add your other favorite veggies to this dish? Cook and stir the shrimp and veggie combo in a skillet for the amount of time mentioned, serve with salsa and guac and enjoy!
Nowadays, who really needs carbs, right? This is another comfort food that will make you forget that that is not bread in between that gooey, cheesy goodness. Besides, who could turn down a grilled cheese sandwich? It’s easy to make, and it’s perfect if you don’t want to spend hours preparing that perfect snack to enjoy on the couch. After combining the diced cauliflower, roughly the same size as a grain of rice, with eggs, Parmesan and oregano, mold the concoction into patties. Spray a skillet with cooking spray, lay each patty down like a piece of bread, and cook until golden brown. Then, just add your favorite cheese and enjoy!
If you’re looking for sweet comfort food that’s super easy to make, then this fun, three-ingredient ice cream recipe is for you. One of the many fun recipes inspired by Buzzfeed’s Tasty, the only components you need are peanut butter, vanilla extract, and, of course, three ripe bananas. There’s really nothing else to explain about this comfort food recipe other than it truly is tasty and fun to make.
Everyone loves French fries. They’re easy to enjoy, and even easier to obtain at many fast food chains. But, who knows how much oil and fat you’re really getting from the drive-thru window? Taking a spin on homemade French fries, everyone’s good pal the Oven comes into play again, giving this recipe the same crisp taste of fried potatoes without them being soaked in the oil bath.
If you were to ask anyone about the ultimate comfort food, some would probably answer with mozzarella sticks. They’re a simple delicacy and go great with marinara sauce. Another recipe taking a trip to the sauna, this juicy appetizer, made with Sargento, delivers the same taste of this soothing hors d’oeuvre without the oily mess. And, the best part is, there’s no guilt after eating it, because this recipe is only 87 calories! It’s the perfect mouth-watering healthy snack for your next get-together, or even chilling at home at your own one-man party!
And finally, if one craves macaroni and cheese, sometimes the boxed stuff isn’t enough. And you don’t want that feeling of guilt after eating a serving of homemade mac n’ cheese that’s equivalent to the number of calories you eat in a day. That’s why this recipe has such a dear place in my heart. And it never hurts to add veggies into the mix.