6 Healthier Comfort Foods for Rough Days
When a big salad just isn't going to cut it, try one of these satisfying dishes, every one of them under 500 calories.
Photo: Kritsada Panichgul
"How'd You Do That?" Fried Chicken
Flash frying is the secret technique for healthy fried chicken: If you poach the meat first, it needs less time in a frying pan full of oil to develop a golden crust. This recipe from Rocco DiSpirito comes in at nearly 350 calories less than the traditional version.
204 calories per piece
Get the recipe: Flash-Fried Finger-Lickin' Chicken
The Baked Ziti with Benefits
With fat-free ricotta and part-skim mozzarella, this cheesy casserole from Gina Homolka, who writes the blog Skinnytaste.com
, has less than 400 calories per serving. Adding frozen chopped spinach is a painless way to sneak in some greens for picky eaters (or anyone looking for a vitamin boost).
398 calories per 1 3/4 cup
Get the recipe: Baked Pasta with Sausage and Spinach
A Better Burger
Stuffed burgers can taste decadent even without tons of cheese. Just two tablespoons of shredded, reduced-fat Cheddar will give you ooey-gooey results. And using buffalo—aka bison—meat, as suggested in this recipe from Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook
, saves fat and cholesterol but still delivers deep flavor.
343 calories per burger
Get the recipe: Cheddar-Stuffed Burgers
Photo: Emily Koenigsberg, EmilyBites.com
Really Decadent Pizza (No Broccoli!)
Saucy, cheesy pizza piled with sausage, pepperoni and bacon doesn't have to wreck your healthy eating plan. This recipe from Emily Koenigsberg, who posts good-for-you recipes at EmilyBites.com
, uses hot Italian turkey sausage, whole wheat pizza dough, reduced-fat mozzarella cheese, turkey pepperoni and, yes, real crumbled bacon bits (a little bit goes a long way).
207 calories per slice
Get the recipe: Meat Lover's Pizza
A Potpie Where You Won't Miss the Meat
A hearty mix of mushrooms, barley and white beans make these potpies just as delicious as the more familiar chicken versions. This recipe from the new book Meatless: More Than 200 of the Very Best Vegetarian Recipes
suggests phyllo dough; it's a quicker, flakier and lighter alternative to the usual butter-heavy dough.
492 calories per potpie
Get the recipe: Vegetable-Barley Potpies
A Green Bean Casserole You'll Eat All Year Long
Green beans in a cream sauce topped with fried onions are a Thanksgiving treat, but this slimmed-down take on the dish deserves to be on your table throughout the year. Dashing Dish
blogger Katie Farrell makes the sauce with plain low-fat Greek yogurt, and the topping gets its crunch from panko bread crumbs.
110 calories per cup
Get the recipe: Skinny Green Bean Casserole
Next: Weeknight wonder suppers