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Old 06-14-2005, 02:09 PM   #1
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Healthy comfort food? Possible?

Anyone have any good recipes for foods that are comforting yet healthy? I am having the hardest time finding these!

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Old 06-14-2005, 02:13 PM   #2
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Grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup is one of my all time favorite comfort foods. While the sandwich is not the healthiest (not terribly unhealthy either though) the soup can be very healthy.

I also consider chicken soup a comfort food and that can be very healthy as well.
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Old 06-14-2005, 02:36 PM   #3
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The epitimy of comfort foods, meatloaf, healthy style.


1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground turkey breast
1 cup oatmeal
˝ onion, diced
˝ bell pepper, diced
2 celery stalks, sliced
2 garlic cloves, pressed
2 eggs
1 Tbs oregano
˝ cup tomato sauce
1 Tbs olive oil

Saute onion, bell pepper, and celery in 1 Tbs olive oil until soft. Add garlic and contiue to saute until onions are transparent. Add tomato sauce and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes, then allow to cool.

Whisk eggs in a large bowl. Add ground beef, ground turkey breast, and oregano to bowl, mix thorougly, thean add cooled sauce to bowl and combine. Pat tightly into pyrex loaf pan with a paper towel in bottom. Bake in 375F oven for 1 hour. Makes 8 servings.

Total protein per serving – 17.0g
Total carbs per serving – 3.5g
Total fat per serving – 9.0g

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Old 06-14-2005, 02:54 PM   #4
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Old 06-14-2005, 03:04 PM   #5
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This is more of a winter dish, but this is my number 1 comfort food. It was my mother's recipe and she would fix it each year when the weather started getting cold.

Spicy Vegetable and Beef Soup

3 quarts boiling water
soup meat (any amount) uncooked
2 packages (1 box) lipton onion soup mix
1 lb. can tomato sauce
1 lb. can tomatoes, petite diced
1 1/2 t. marjoram, dried
1 1/2 t. basil, dried
1 1/2 t. pepper
1 t. garlic powder
1 T. salt
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 t. parsley flakes
2 large bags frozen vegetables of your choice
(over the years I have added small diced pototes and/or okra to the recipe)

Simmer meat and onion soup mix in water for 25-30 minutes.

Add next 9 ingredients and cook on low simmer for 15 minutes.

Add vegetables and cook on low for 2-2 1/2 hours.

Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. (I like to add a slice of american cheese to mine instead of the parmesan).
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Old 06-14-2005, 05:58 PM   #6
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thank you all so much! this really helps me!!~
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Old 06-14-2005, 09:15 PM   #7
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bean soup is pretty healthy if you take it easy on the sodium. either rinse your canned beans or use dried.
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Old 06-15-2005, 07:32 AM   #8
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It's easy to make low fat versions of minestrone, vegetarian lasagne (I've just finished preparing one for tonight), even sausages and mash (my favourite comfort food)

Also, rice pudding can be good, and another of my favourites, and if you use skim milk it's fine, not low GI but hey you can't have everything.
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Old 06-17-2005, 08:20 PM   #9
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I was really excited to read the spicy vegetable and beef soup but looked through the ingredients and can't figure out what makes it spicy?
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Old 06-17-2005, 08:40 PM   #10
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Here are a few ideas. Are you craving something special?

Honey Dijon Meatloaf
1 1/2 lb Ground meat (turkey, chicken, pork or chuck)
1/3 c Dry bread crumbs
2 Eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 c Onion, chopped
1 ts Basil leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tb Dijon mustard
3 tb Honey
2 tb Scallions, chopped

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly oil a large loaf pan.
1.Combine ground meat, bread crumbs, onions, basil, salt, and pepper.
2.Stir the eggs into the meat mixture, mixing lightly but thoroughly.
3.Shape into loaf. Place loaf in loaf pan (can also be made on a baking sheet - the outside gets a bit of a crust).
4.Combine honey and mustard, brush 1/2 of mixture on loaf. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Brush with remaining glaze. Bake for 20-30 more minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with scallions.

Black Bean and Cilantro Chili
1/4 c Dry sherry
1 tb Olive oil
2 c Onion, chopped
1/2 c Celery, chopped
1/2 c Carrots, chopped
1/2 c Red bell pepper, chopped
4 c Cooked black beans
2 c Chicken or vegetable stock
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 c Plum tomatoes, chopped
2 ts Ground cumin
4 ts Chili powder
1/2 ts Dried oregano
1/3 c Chopped fresh cilantro
2 tb Honey
2 tb Tomato paste
MJ cheese for garnish
Tortilla chips for garnish
Orange segments for garnish

1.In large heavy pot over medium heat, combine sherry and oil and heat to simmering. Add onions and saute 8-10 minutes. Add celery, carrots and bell pepper and saute 5 minutes more, stirring frequently.
2.Add all remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, covered, for 45-60 minutes. Mixture should be thick, with all water absorbed.
3.Serve soup warm in bowls with a platter of garnishes.

Just Tomato Soup
2 Onions, coarsely chopped
2 cloves Garlic, chopped
2 tb Olive oil
1 1/2 lb Potatoes, diced
2 ts Oregano
1 ts Basil
2 ts Parsley
Salt and fresh pepper to taste
4 c Fresh tomatoes, seeded and chopped rough
7 c Stock or broth (chicken, beff, vegetable)

1.Heat oil in large soup pot; saute onion and garlic for 5 minutes, but do not let it brown.
2.Add potatoes and fry for 3 minutes. Add oregano, basil, parsley, salt & pepper. Cook covered for 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook covered for another 5 minutes.
3.Add the stock, bring to a boil, reduce heat & simmer for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Check seasonings. Let cool slightly and then blend 1/2 of the soup until smooth. Whisk the pureed soup back into the remaining soup (all the soup can also be pureed).

Honey Gelato
1 pk Unflavored gelatin
1/2 c Nonfat dry milk
2 c Milk, skim
1/2 c Honey
1 ts Orange juice
1 ts Lemon juice
2 Egg whites

1.Mix gelatin and dry milk in a saucepan. Stir in skim milk, cook over low heat, stirring constantly until gelatin dissolves. Remove from heat.
2.Stir in honey and juices. Pour into a cake pan and freeze for 1 hour.
3.Pour the mixture into a chilled bowl and add the egg whites. Beat at high speed with an electric mixer until mixture is fluffy. Return to freezer container, cover, and freeze until firm. 1/2 c = 70 calories

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Old 06-17-2005, 08:40 PM   #11
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Guilt-Free Mac n Cheese

1/2 c fat-free milk
1 c 1% cottage cheese
1/4 c finely chopped onion
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp salt
pepper to taste
3 c cooked elbow macaroni
1/2 c reduced-fat cheddar cheese,divided.

In a blender,combine the milk,cottage cheese,onion,parmesan cheese,salt and pepper.Cover and process until smooth.Pour into a bowl,stir in the macaroni and 1/4 c cheese.

Transfer to a 1-qt baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray.Sprinkle with remaining cheese.Cover and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.Uncover,bake 5-10 minutes longer or until edges are bubbly.
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Old 06-17-2005, 08:48 PM   #12
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My favourite comfort food is spaghetti bolognaise - but I make it healthy by using only 98% fat-free ground beef as the meat, and tons of veggies in the sauce (celery, squash, peppers, onions, mushrooms, carrots). I use extra-virgin olive oil to saute everything in (very good for reducing LDL cholesterol and your heart in general), and bump up the flavour with lots of herbs and black pepper rather than salt. It's very low-fat and packed full of vitamins and antioxidants. Served with wholewheat spaghetti, it's very healthy!

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Old 06-18-2005, 04:38 AM   #13
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hot cocoa is a nice comfort drink. you can get sugar-free mix; my Grandpa gets that and i think it's only 30 or 40 calories per packet. he's made it for me before and it was pretty good. if you add a splash of skim milk you can get in some calcium.
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Old 06-18-2005, 11:25 AM   #14
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mrsdove, I know it seems like there aren't any spicy spices in there, but mine always turnes out pretty spicy. I think it is because I use the already ground, pure ground McCormick black pepper which is pretty spicy pepper, not like freshly ground.
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Old 06-18-2005, 10:03 PM   #15
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Since "Comfort" food is really a subjective personal thing - what food brought/brings you comfort ... and what foods are your trying to make healthier?
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Old 06-18-2005, 10:14 PM   #16
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There is nothing inherently unhealthy about pancakes, or mac & cheese, or spaghetti. What you have to watch out for is eating them and nothing else, or eating too much of them. It sounds to me that guilt is the problem and not food.

Relax and enjoy a comforting meal and read a good book or talk with a friend.

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Old 06-19-2005, 06:09 AM   #17
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A comfort food for me is New England Boiled Dinner, and you can't get much healthier than that. But honestly, most comfort foods aren't any more unhealthy than any other foods. I'm with tj. I, personally, make a lot of soups and stocks -- I really do keep a bag in the freezer where I toss vegs that are getting a little to old, or the ends of vegs I've sliced on the mandolin for salads, and bones and odds and sods. Sometimes they add up to a soup in and of themselves (the hot wings and ribs you don't eat at a restaurant make a really neat stock!!!). Then there's those leg-and-thighs you can get for under fifty cents a pound. I make stock with them, fridge and defat, and toss in the freezer. I used to "always" use dried beans, but have discovered over the years that canned ones are just as good, and you never get a bad batch. Anyway, point being that I make gallons of home made soups all winter long. Very healthy, and very comforting.
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Old 09-24-2005, 11:32 PM   #18
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With colder weather coming up, I thought some might be more interested in this thread. A favorite is a poached chicken.

Very simple. Rinse one whole chicken. Place in a large stock pot, cover with water, and put over medium-to-high heat. Let it slowly approach a boil. You don't want to boil the bird, as soon as bubbles hit the surface, turn the heat down to just below boiling (this will be different on each stove). Boiling the chicken will make it tough.

Now start thinking veggies. I like a few carrots, at least one onion, and a potato or two. I like to keep them large, so add them about a half hour after the chicken. You may need to turn up the heat to bring it to a boil again, but immediately turn it back down.

If I have them fresh, I add a branch of sage and one of thyme. I don't particularly like dried sage in this dish (more because it clouds the broth than anything having to do with flavor), but will use a tablespoon of dried thyme.

If you keep the temperature just right, you can have this onthe stove all day. One great addition is, if you can get them, some fresh green beans tossed in a half-hour or so before serving.

I cook this for a total of at least two hours (great crock pot meal), but as many as 4. Just don't let it boil for more than a few seconds when bringing the pot up to heat.

Put the bird in a large bowl, surround with the veggies, and pour the broth over all. Serve with good bread and butter. You don't even need a salad, there are so many veggies (my aunt also would put in parsnips and/or turnips). As simple as this sounds, you' be surprised at how tender the chicken is and how freh everything tastes.

and the best part is that you bone the leftover chicken, chop the leftover veggies, and you have chicken soup to die for.
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Old 09-25-2005, 10:33 AM   #19
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You can re-invent lots of recipes to make them healthier.
Here are some tips:
*use skim milk instead of whole
*use evaporated fat-free milk in place of cream, or skim milk + reduced fat cream cheese
*use Velveeta Lite instead of cheddar cheese
*use low fat soups...check the label, as some those not labeled as reduced fat are still low fat...golden mushroom,for instance
*use ground turkey instead of ground beef, and turkey sausage instead of pork
*replace butter or other fat with olive oil
*use nonstick skillets, that require only 1-2 tbls oil for flavor
*steam vegies in chicken broth to give them flavor without rich sauces
*use lots of fresh herbs, garlic, onions, etc to flavor your food so you won't need so much salt
*use whole grain pastas and breads, brown rice, and fewer potatoes (the starch turns to sugar)
*avoid boxed dinners, which are full of sodium and preservatives
*avoid processed meats (lunchmeat, etc) for the same reason

Hope I gave you some ideas!

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Old 10-26-2005, 12:16 PM   #20
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Thanks constance, that makes so much sense.
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