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Written by The Nutrition Twins
A few weeks ago we confessed that despite being registered dietitians who know all too well what regularly succumbing to comfort food cravings can do the waistline, the arteries, to blood sugar levels and mood, we too, aren’t immune to them. Although we’re all for the occasional indulgence (after all, what would life be without a little bit of chocolate?) we still want to enter the holiday season without feeling like our best holiday dress option is a Mrs. Claus costume (check out these healthy comfort food craving swaps). That’s why last time we shared a tip to help prevent overdoing it when indulging in comfort foods—fill up first on something low in calories like veggies or tea to take the edge off hunger before coming in contact with that food you crave. Having a craving and being ravenous is a dangerous situation for your waistline as it will be very hard to be rationale and keep the portion size modest. Today, we’ll share a few more of our favorite calorie and fat-saving comfort food swaps.
1. Comfort food: Pasta—with cheese, with butter, you name it, it’s calling you
What to go For: Last time we gave you spaghetti squash as a sub for all things pasta. If that didn’t do it for you, try shirataki noodles. There are several varieties of these, all containing ten calories or less in a serving (about a cup!). They come in spaghetti, fettuccini, angel hair and more and you can find them in most supermarkets near the tofu. We just received a sample of Skinny Shirataki Noodles that were fantastic and that did the trick for us, but any should work and hit the spot.
2. Comfort Food: Twice Baked Potatoes (see simple recipe below)
What to Go for: Twice-Baked Fingerling Bites. Instead of using butter, this easy recipe uses I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, a vegetable oil spread instead of butter so it saves your arteries from butter’s artery clogging fat. It also uses less so it lightens the potatoes from the original comfort food. Wrap them in portions of 3 so you can get 100 calorie, portion-controlled comfort-food treat.
Twice Baked Fingerling Potatoes
Makes About 20 potato bites
- 1 package (12 oz.) fingerling potatoes or small red new potatoes
- 3 Tbsp. I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!® Spread
- 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (about 1 oz.)
- 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh chives (optional)
Pierce potatoes with fork or knife, then arrange in microwave-safe casserole dish. Cover with paper towel and microwave at HIGH 4 minutes or until potatoes are just tender. Let cool slightly.
Cut potatoes in half lengthwise. Gently scoop some pulp from shells, reserving shells. Combine potato pulp, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!® Spread, cheese and chives in small bowl. Carefully spread mixture into potato shells with knife, then arrange on baking sheet*. Broil 2 minutes or until cheese is melted. Garnish, if desired, with a mini dollop of sour cream and additional snipped chives.
*TIP: Can be made ahead up to this point. Cover and refrigerate, or freeze, until ready to use. Bring to room temperature before broiling.
Nutrition Information per potato bite: Calories 30, Calories From Fat 15, Saturated Fat 0.5g, Trans Fat 0g, Total Fat 1.5g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 25mg, Total Carbohydrate 3g, Sugars 0g, Dietary Fiber 0g, Protein 1g, Vitamin A 2%, Vitamin C 2%, Calcium 2%, Iron 0%
3. Comfort Food: Apple Pie
What to go For: Baked Apple Graham. Simply slice an apple into 1/4-1/2 inch-thick slices, sprinkle with 1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice and microwave on high for 5 minutes. When you remove it from the microwave there will be a sweet syrup from the apple and spice on the plate, put that and the warm apple on a graham cracker with 1 tablespoon Fat Free Redi whip and enjoy! This treat is 140 calories while a slice of apple pie will set you back about 450 calories. Holy Apple!
4. Comfort Food: Brownies
What to go for: Pumpkin brownies. Add a can of pumpkin to Devil’s Food Cake and make your brownies in mini muffin tins. Not only will your brownies be portioned controlled so you don’t even have to cut them, but they’ll pack in fiber and beta carotene for much fewer calories than the real deal and will taste the same!
For more like this you may like…
Chicken Fried Rice Done Healthy
Homemade Pancakes only 56 Calories each
Skinny, Speedy Walnut Oatmeal Cookies, only 3 ingredients!
For a Get Healthy Guide, Check out The Nutrition Twins Veggie Cure