Healthy cold weather comfort foods

By: Health Local Staff Nov 20, 2013
Healthy cold weather comfort foods

Below are three healthy comfort foods that won’t pack on the weight.

Who said comfort foods have to be fattening? Winter might be here, but these foods won’t leave you in hibernation.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

On a poor weather day, everyone loves mac & cheese, even your pickiest of eaters. Reduce calories with this healthy favourite:


  • ¼ c breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Paprika
  • 1 frozen spinach package
  • 1 ¾ c low fat milk
  • 3 tbs flour
  • 2 c shredded sharp cheese
  • 1 c low fat cottage cheese
  • Salt to taste
  • Ground pepper
  • 2 c whole grain macaroni

Boil noodles as indicated on the package. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray an 8-inch baking dish with light cooking spray.

Combine breadcrumbs, oil and paprika. Strain spinach and eliminate moisture with a strainer.

Heat milk and whisk in flour, while whisking continuously. After 2-3 minutes or when the sauce is thickened, remove from heat and add the cheese. Stir in cottage cheese, salt and pepper once the cheese has melted.

Mix together with pasta. Layer with spinach and add the breadcrumb mixture over the top. Bake for 30 minutes.

Loaded Baked Potatoes

Prepare 4 large russet potatoes in the oven (wrapped with foil) or in the microwave for a quick and easy dinner. While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the tasty and healthy toppings.

Topping are optional and may include:

  • Steamed broccoli
  • Turkey chili
  • Light sour cream
  • Homemade cheese sauce made with low fat milk
  • Steamed veggies
  • Shredded cheese
  • Salsa
  • Ground Pepper
  • Salt
  • Light ground turkey burger

Chicken-Fried Steak and Gravy

A chicken fried steak that isn’t fattening? Here’s a healthy new approach to this comfort food favourite.


  • 1/3 c flour
  • ¼ c cornmeal
  • 2 large egg white
  • ¼ whole wheat flour
  • ¼ c cornstarch
  • cube steak, cut into sections
  • sprinkling of sea salt
  • sprinkling of fresh ground pepper (as desired)
  • 2 tbs oil (olive or canola)
  • 1 large can of beef broth – light
  • 1 tbs water
  • ¼ c half and half milk


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and coat a baking sheet with light cooking spray. Place the flour on a plate and egg white in a small dish. Whisk the cornmeal and flour, along with cornstarch. Season and dip both sides of the steak. Season with salt and pepper. Dip the steak in the flour and egg whites, then the cornmeal mixture.

Heat the oil in a pan. Place the steaks into the pan until both sides are browned. One side takes about 3 minutes. Transfer the steaks onto a baking sheet. Repeat until all the steaks are done.

Add broth to the pan and stir until heated. Whisk water and cornstarch until smooth. Remove the pan and stir in remaining cornstarch. Once thickened remove from heat. This will serve as the gravy that can be spooned on top of
each steak.

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