Healthy Comfort Food Makeovers Kids Will Devour
Four-Cheese Macaroni and Cheese
The more cheese the merrier in this baked macaroni recipe, which also features butternut squash and whole-grain pasta.
Nonna's Spaghetti & Meatballs
The meatballs and sauce are cooked in the slow cooker for this traditional Italian spaghetti and meatballs recipe. You could also serve the meatballs over creamy polenta or on a sandwich with melted provolone.
Using lean and light ingredients gives this satisfying one-dish meal all the great taste you expect from lasagna--with only a fraction of the fat and calories.
Almond-Crusted Chicken Strips
Give these oven "fried" chicken strips a try, and you may just find the perfect healthy swap for restaurant chicken fingers.
American goulash, also known as old-fashioned goulash, is the perfect economical family meal. The pasta cooks right in the sauce, so this satisfying dish can cook in just one pot.
Classic Mac & Cheese
No sneaky ingredients here, just delicious comfort food. You can enjoy this super-cheesy mac and cheese in the same time it takes to cook the boxed version. Whole-wheat noodles add fiber, while sharp Cheddar adds richness. A hefty twist of black pepper balances the cheese's salty tang.
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.
Tres Leches Cake
Translating to "three milks" cake, Tres Leches Cake is a traditional Mexican sponge cake that's soaked in, you guessed it, three kinds of milk, for the ultimate moist, decadent cake. Think of it as a poke cake that we've lightened up with this easy recipe.
Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls
These rolls are wonderfully fluffy and packed with cinnamon flavor--you'd never know they're gluten-free. Plus, with only one rise time, this recipe is quicker to make than other yeasted doughs.
Sweet Potato Skins with Guacamole
Top crispy sweet potato skins with guacamole for a healthy take on classic potato skins in this easy crowd-pleasing recipe.
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.
This healthy whole-grain pumpkin pancake recipe produces fluffy cakes with a beautiful orange hue from pureed pumpkin and light crunch from toasted pecans. If you want to experiment with different types of whole grains, replace up to 1/2 cup of the whole-wheat flour with cornmeal, oats and/or buckwheat flour. Or add extra fiber and omega-3s by adding up to 3 tablespoons of ground flaxseed or chia seeds.
Oven Sweet Potato Fries
Making oven fries out of sweet potatoes brings out their inherent sweetness.
Pretzel-Crusted Chicken Nuggets
Adults and kids alike devour these crunchy pretzel-coated chicken nuggets. What really makes them special is the tart-sweet cranberry dipping sauce. Make some extra sauce to spread on post-holiday turkey sandwiches.
Gluten-Free Fudgy Teff Brownies
Whole-grain teff flour (made from a tiny ancient grain) has a nuance of cocoa flavor to start with, making it a natural choice for brownies. These gluten-free brownies are moist and satisfying, intensely chocolaty and have a tender texture.
Skillet Chicken Parm
We skipped breading in this healthy one-dish chicken Parm recipe to save time. There's still plenty of gooey cheese, and the garlic, pepper flakes and oregano lend big flavor. Serve with pasta or in a hoagie roll with the sauce (there's lots of it) spooned on top. In sandwich form, it's easily wrapped in foil and eaten on the go. Excerpted from The Dinner Plan by Kathy Brennan and Caroline Campion, published by ABRAMS © 2017.
Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili
Make a double batch of this quick vegetarian chili, full of black beans and sweet potatoes, and eat it for lunch the next day or freeze the extras for another night. We love the smoky heat from the ground chipotle, but omit it if you prefer a mild chili. Serve with tortilla chips or cornbread and coleslaw.
Two-Ingredient-Dough Margherita Pizza
You won't believe how quick and easy it is to make this healthy pizza. Thanks to a two-ingredient dough that combines self-rising flour and Greek yogurt, there is no need for a rise time. Just roll, top and bake, and you'll have a delicious dinner on the table in under half an hour.
Classic Diner Meat Loaf
Here's a traditional recipe for a family favorite. Buy the leanest ground beef you can find for this home-style meat loaf.