Diet-Friendly Comfort Foods
Mac & Cheese with Collards
Dark leafy collards add bold flavor and boost the calcium in this healthy skillet mac and cheese recipe with a crispy topping. If you don't have collards, kale, Swiss chard and spinach are delicious substitutes.
General Tso's Chicken
In this healthy version of a General Tso's Chicken recipe, we cut the fat and sodium in half from the original version by not frying the chicken and by using half as much soy sauce in this Chinese-takeout favorite. Serve with steamed baby bok choy or sautéed spinach and steamed brown rice.
Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes
This healthy recipe is a savory riff on the traditional brown-sugar-and-pecan-topped sweet potato casserole so often found on Thanksgiving tables. Crispy baby kale leaves make a stunning garnish, but any green or herb that suits you will look great, fried or not.
EatingWell's Eggplant Parmesan
This lighter take on eggplant parmesan maintains all the flavors of the classic dish but is baked instead of fried. There are also 11 grams of filling protein in this hearty vegetarian side dish.
Butternut Squash Queso Fundido
This cheesy dip recipe is lightened up by subbing mashed butternut squash for some of the melted cheese. We also loaded it with chili-spiced caramelized onions. Serve this healthy makeover with tortilla chips or sliced jicama for dipping.
Almond Butter-Quinoa Blondies
People likely won't even notice that these delicately nutty, just a little chocolaty, blondies are gluten-free. They use quinoa flour, which you can find in well-stocked supermarkets and natural-foods stores, in place of all-purpose flour. To make your own quinoa flour, grind raw quinoa into a powder in a clean coffee grinder. (Adapted from Quinoa Revolution by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming.)
Spicy Pecan Popcorn Chicken
These spicy and crunchy pecan-crusted chicken nuggets are paired with a quick, creamy ranch dip. If you can't find coarse breadcrumbs, substitute Grape-Nuts cereal instead.
Mediterranean Cauliflower Pizza
In this healthy, gluten-free cauliflower “pizza” recipe, shredded cauliflower is mixed with mozzarella and oregano to make a flourless crust that echoes the flavor of a traditional pizza pie. The Meyer lemon, olive and sun-dried tomato topping adds a sophisticated Mediterranean flavor, but feel free to try more traditional pizza toppings, such as marinara sauce and mushrooms--even pepperoni.
Sausage, Brussels Sprout & Potato Soup
Bake up some Manchego cheese toasts and uncork a bottle of Ribera del Duero to enjoy alongside this healthy pot of soup. Both sweet and hot Italian sausage work well.
Smoked Gouda-Broccoli Soup
Smoked paprika and smoked Gouda give this broccoli-and-cheese soup recipe a double hit of smoky flavor. If you can't find smoked Gouda, smoked Cheddar gives delicious results as well.
Soy-Lime Baked Buffalo Wings
Make this baked Buffalo chicken wing recipe at home to save 138 calories and a whopping 598 milligrams of sodium compared to the same number of deep-fried wings. If your market sells its chicken wings whole, you'll want to separate each into a "wingette" and a "drumette" so they cook evenly. They're easy to split apart with a sharp knife. Serve with carrot sticks, celery and ranch (or blue cheese) dressing.
Strawberry Nutella S'mores
Upgrade classic s'mores when you use chocolate-hazelnut spread instead of a chocolate bar in this quick recipe. We also added fresh strawberries and swapped graham crackers for thin lemon cookies in a fun, healthy twist.
Chili-Topped Sweet Potatoes
Transform ordinary baked potatoes into a full dinner with these chili-topped spuds. In this healthy recipe, we use sweet potatoes for an added nutrient kick. Sprinkle on extra toppings as you see fit--sliced scallions, chopped fresh cilantro, diced avocado and sliced jalapeños are all tasty choices.
Vegetarian Tikka Masala
In this vegetarian tikka masala recipe, we combine crisp tofu pieces and vegetables in a spiced tomato sauce to make a healthy and flavorful dish. If you like spicy food, increase the amount of crushed red pepper. Serve with steamed brown rice for a healthier take on a classic takeout dish.
Creamy Chicken & Mushrooms
Whether you scored wild mushrooms at the farmers' market, found cultivated maitake or shiitake at the supermarket or just have some baby bellas on hand, this healthy creamy chicken recipe is delicious with any of them. Serve over whole-wheat egg noodles or mashed potatoes.
Easy Scalloped Potatoes
In this easy scalloped potatoes recipe, sliced potatoes are roasted in the oven before being mixed with a simple, creamy stovetop sauce and sprinkled with Cheddar cheese. A few minutes under the broiler turns the dish golden and crispy.
Vegan Cauliflower Alfredo
Unbelievably rich and creamy, this easy vegan Alfredo is bound to become a favorite. Be sure to check the ingredient list on your unsweetened almond milk, as some contain vanilla flavoring even if they aren't labeled as such. For this recipe, you'll want almond milk without any vanilla.
Lobster & Corn Chowder
The trick to making this healthy lobster chowder recipe have tons of rich flavor is to start with great fish stock. (The best is often in the freezer case at the supermarket.) Then cook the lobsters in the stock to intensify its flavor. There is no flour added in this healthy soup, so it's lighter than a typical creamy chowder--plus it's gluten-free.
Chicken, Peppers & Pasta Casserole
You can assemble this healthy chicken casserole before you leave for a party and pop it in the oven at the host's house. Or bake it at home and bring it along--it's delicious at room temperature too.
Spiralized Apple Crisp
Use a spiralizer to skip the peeling and slicing in this easy apple crisp recipe. Plus the noodly texture of this gluten-free fruit dessert is a fun adaptation of traditional versions.
Sriracha-Buffalo Cauliflower Bites
This recipe for spicy Buffalo cauliflower bites is a great vegetarian alternative to Buffalo wings. Roasted cauliflower stands in for chicken and provides more fiber and fewer calories. Serve this easy appetizer with carrot sticks, celery and your favorite ranch or blue cheese dressing.
Adobo Chicken & Kale Enchiladas
Put out your favorite toppings for these quick and healthy layered enchiladas. We like cilantro, sour cream, guacamole and jalapeños.
Tofu, Chicken & Eggplant Curry
This tofu curry recipe has a rich and spicy tomato-based sauce studded with cubes of pressed, baked tofu. Serve with brown rice and naan bread to sop up any remaining sauce.
Great news--crunchy, flavorful fried chicken can be healthy with this oven-fried chicken recipe. We marinate skinless chicken in buttermilk to keep it juicy. A light coating of flour, sesame seeds and spices, misted with olive oil, forms an appealing crust during baking. And with only 7 grams of fat per serving in this oven-fried chicken recipe--rather than the 20 in typical fried chicken--that is good news.
Turkish Coffee Float
This is not your typical ice cream float. Instead, this coffee drink recipe packs a punch reminiscent of the notorious Turkish brew where the grounds are boiled right in the coffee. A pinch of cardamom adds a little Middle Eastern flavor and using low-fat frozen yogurt instead of full-fat ice cream keeps it on the lighter side.
Macaroni with Sausage & Ricotta
A bit of sausage goes a long way in flavoring the creamy ricotta tomato sauce in this healthy and quick pasta recipe. Serve with a green salad and crusty Italian bread.