7-Day Dinner Plan: Veggie-Swap Comfort Foods
The comforting dishes you love, lightened up with zucchini noodles, cauliflower rice & other healthy veggie swaps.
Answer your comfort-food cravings with these healthy veggie-packed versions of your favorite meals. Here we take traditional comfort-food recipe-like mac and cheese, chicken Alfredo and cheesy lasagna-and lighten them up by swapping in veggie substitutes for typical carb-heavy ingredients. Cauliflower florets, spaghetti squash and roasted eggplant stand in for macaroni, spaghetti and lasagna noodles for a week of delicious veggie-heavy dinners that hit the spot without going overboard on calories and sodium.
Day 1: Broccoli & Chicken Alfredo Spaghetti Squash
Broccoli & Chicken Alfredo Spaghetti Squash: This low-carb take on fettuccine Alfredo is lower in calories than classic versions, thanks to the spaghetti squash that stands in for traditional fettuccine. Mix in lean chicken breast, broccoli florets and a cheesy homemade Alfredo sauce, and the result is a delicious dinner that satisfies your craving for this comfort food.
Day 2: Sweet Potato Carbonara with Kale
Sweet Potato Carbonara with Kale: In this healthy carbonara recipe, spiralized sweet potato noodles take the place of traditional pasta. Kale adds fiber, flavor and crunch, but any dark leafy green, such as spinach, chard or collards, would also be a nice addition.
Day 3: Noodle-Less Lasagna
Noodle-Less Lasagna: Meet the lasagna that cuts carbs, boosts your veggie servings and is gluten-free. This easy dinner recipe uses slices of roasted eggplant and zucchini as the noodles for a healthy, lighter lasagna.
Day 4: Vegan Cauliflower Steaks with Mushroom Gravy
Vegan Cauliflower Steaks with Mushroom Gravy: A vegan take on steak with mushroom gravy, this veggie-forward recipe makes a savory and satisfying plant-based alternative. The highlight of this recipe is the surprisingly rich dairy-free mushroom gravy. Plus, the simple roasted cauliflower is delicious thanks to the caramelization that happens while roasting. To round out this meal with even more veggies, make some vegan Rosemary Mashed Potatoes and smother them with any extra gravy.
Day 5: Spaghetti Squash & Meatballs
Spaghetti Squash & Meatballs: With this spaghetti squash and meatballs recipe, you can reduce the carbs and increase the vegetable servings by skipping pasta and instead serving the meatballs and marinara sauce over thin strands of cooked spaghetti squash. Cooking the squash twice-first in the microwave and then in a skillet to cook off the extra moisture-gives the strands a more spaghetti-like texture.
Day 6: Cauliflower Mac & Cheese
Cauliflower Mac & Cheese: There's no pasta here, but this low-carb cauliflower "mac & cheese" is as comforting and creamy as your family's favorite cheesy dish. Serve this cozy recipe with Roasted Broccoli with Lemon-Garlic Vinaigrette to round out the meal.
Day 7: Shrimp Piccata with Zucchini Noodles
Shrimp Piccata with Zucchini Noodles: The tangy lemon-caper sauce in this healthy Italian makeover recipe is a natural with shrimp. Serving it over zucchini noodles (aka zoodles) as an alternative to pasta keeps the dish fresh-tasting and lower in calories.