Healthy Winter Comfort Foods Your Family Will Love
When the weather gets chilly outside, you may be tempted to turn to comfort foods to make you feel warm and comfy. But, traditional comfort foods often contain high levels of carbs and fats. They may make you feel good for the moment but probably won't do much for keeping you healthy. But that doesn't mean you need to give up comfort foods altogether. Try these healthy alternatives to your traditional comfort foods this winter to soothe away the blues associated with cold winter weather.
Tasty and Light Slow-Cooker Chicken Tacos
If your family loves tacos, this healthy alternative is just right for you. This recipe couldn't be any easier and provides your family with the delicious goodness of tacos while cutting back on fats and adding fresh ingredients to the diet. Begin by tossing 4 pounds of boneless chicken breasts in the slow cooker with 1 cup of low-sodium chicken broth. Add a packet of taco seasoning, 2 to 4 crushed garlic cloves and let the chicken cook until tender. Shred the chicken with two forks before filling the taco shells. Top with fresh veggies, like tomatoes and lettuce, and add a sprinkle of low-fat cheese. Add a dollop of low-fat sour cream or fresh guacamole for delicious, fresh tacos that just might become your new favorite comfort food.
Healthy Mac 'n Cheese with Avocado and Jalapeno
Ease your family into healthier foods by spicing up traditional Mac 'n Cheese with some healthy fats and a bit of fiery jalapeno. This recipe provides the creaminess associated with comfort foods but gives you a heaping helping of the healthy fats your body craves. Start with 1 pound of your favorite pasta. Blend 2 cups milk (substitute 2 percent to reduce the amount of fat), a can of green chilies and 1/3 cup of pickled jalapeno peppers in the blender and use it as the base for your cheese sauce. Add 3 cups of shredded cheddar (use low fat if preferred) to the milk mixture and thicken with 2 tablespoons flour. Mix the sauce and cooked pasta and stir in 2 mashed avocados.
Shepherd's Pie with Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
Nearly everyone loves Shepherd's Pie, but it can be a bit heavy on carbs. To reduce the carb content of this traditional comfort food, make a lighter version of mashed potatoes by combining mashed cauliflower with the potato. Cook 2 large potatoes and a small head of cauliflower. Place the cooked veggies in a bowl and mash them lightly with a potato masher. Add 2/3 cup of milk and 2 tablespoons of butter. Finish mashing the potatoes with a hand mixer and season to taste with salt and pepper. Make a sauce by combining 2 cups chicken broth with 1 tablespoon each of soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste. Thicken the sauce with 3 tablespoons of flour. Place the ground beef and veggies in a casserole dish and cover it with the sauce. Spread the cauliflower mashed potatoes over the top and bake at 350 degrees until the filling is hot and bubbly and the top is golden brown, approximately 25 minutes.
Eating healthy doesn't mean you need to give up all your favorite foods. Making a few simple changes to traditional recipes can help keep your family healthy this winter, but remember, if you do fall ill, we are always here to help. Call us today at PrimeCare Urgent Care to learn about our services.