Winter comfort foods minus the calories

By: Jan 04, 2012
winter recipes

Healthy takes on your favourite warm winter dishes.

With the cold weather, comes the urge to find warmth in your favourite meals. There’s no reason to let calories rob you of the opportunity to cozy with a bowl of any of your favourite dishes. Enjoy your winter comfort favorites by preparing them with low calorie recipes. You’ll still get the entire flavour with none of the guilt.

Cozy Chicken and Dumplings

There is nothing more comforting than a bowl of homemade chicken and dumplings on a cold winter night. Full of flavour and easy to make, this low calorie recipe is sure to fill and satisfy. This recipe is ideal for having some now and saving some for later or sharing the comfort with family and friends.

Ingredients for dumplings:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 egg whites
  • ½ cup low fat cottage cheese
  • 1/8 cup water
  • Pinch of salt

Ingredients for chicken with broth for dumplings:

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
  • 2 (14oz.) cans chicken broth, remove top fat
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ cup celery, finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • Salt and pepper

Directions for preparing chicken broth:

  • Using a large pot, coated with non-stick spray, add the chicken chunks and cook until nicely browned.
  • Pour in chicken broth, water and other ingredients
  • Cook over low heat, uncovered and allow simmering for ½ hour

Directions for preparing dumplings:

  • Using a mixer, combine egg whites and cottage cheese together. Don’t worry about the lumps; cooking will make them go away.
  • Mix salt and water in. Combine well
  • Using your hand, mix in ½ the flour. Combine well and then add the rest and mix again

Directions for cooking the dumplings:

In the large pot, bring the broth to a rolling boil. Add the dough to the broth with a tablespoon by drops. Once all of the dough has been added to the pot, cover the pot and lower the heat. Allow simmering for 15 minutes. For a thicker broth, cook uncovered for an additional 10 minutes.

Cooking time (duration): 90 minutes
Servings: 8
Nutritional Value: 162.3 calories per serving

Chocolate Chipotle Chili

Everyone knows that chili is one of the best comfort foods on the planet. Another favourite is chocolate. So, what would you get if you combined the two? This recipe is the ultimate experience of comfort in a bowl, with a hint of spice added. Getting warm in the winter can’t get any easier than this!


  • Cooking spray
  • 1 large onion, diced (appr. 2 cups)
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 ¼ pounds ground turkey breast
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ancho chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 (15oz.) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 (14.5oz) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (14oz) can fat-free, less sodium chicken broth
  • 2 chipotle chiles, canned in adobo sauce, minced
  • 2oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • ½ cup light sour cream
  • Chopped green onion, optional


  • Heat a large pot over medium-high heat and lightly coat with cooking spray
  • Sauté the onion, bell pepper, garlic and turkey until the meat is cooked and the vegetables are tender
  • Pour the sugar and next 9 ingredients on the ingredient list into the pot. Combine well and bring the ingredients to a boil.
  • Allow simmering for about 15 minutes or until the mixture is thick. Stir often.
  • While stirring, add chocolate and allow melting.
  • Garnish with onions, if desired

Cooking time (duration): 45 minutes
Servings: 8
Nutritional Value: 257 calories per serving

Breathtaking Banana Bread Pudding

Winter isn’t complete without a favorite dessert to curl up with. This banana bread pudding recipe is sure to take your breath away. Simple to make, you can whip some up whenever you get the urge to indulge in something sweet and sinfully good…without all of the calories.


  • 8oz. day old French or Italian bread, cut into cubes
  • 1 ½ cups fat free half and half
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 small bananas, mashed


  • To start, turn the oven on to preheat at 350 degrees and lightly coat an 11 x 7 baking dish with cooking spray
  • In a large bowl, place the bread cubes and pour half and half over it. Be sure to cover the entire dish and toss to allow bread to soak it in.
  • In a separate bowl; mix eggs, vanilla, sugar and bananas.
  • Add the egg mixture to the bread and mix well.
  • Pour into the baking dish and bake for 40 minutes

Cooking time (duration): 45 minutes
Serves: 8
Nutritional Value: 215 calories per serving