It’s natural to seek warm, delicious comfort food when the seasons change. Meatloaf, chili, and casseroles are all-natural accompaniments to crisp fall days. Unfortunately, many favorites that stick to your ribs have significant nutritional drawbacks.
You’re in luck if you’re attempting to eat healthily while still enjoying the comfort foods of fall. We’ve assembled a checklist of 10 meals and sides that will warm you up from the inside out without depriving you of essential nutrients. Try any of these healthful, lightened-up options as the weather cools and the leaves begin to fall.
Vegan Chili in a Single Pot
Tailgating? With this easy one-pot vegan chili, you’ll be the life of the (healthy) party. You won’t miss the meat because it’s packed with chunky vegetables, delicious tomatoes, and hearty beans. It’s a weight-loss-friendly, plant-based supper with only 168 calories per dish.
Despite the lengthy ingredient list, this recipe is relatively simple to prepare. After you’ve sautéed the vegetables in olive oil, seasoned them, and added the beans and tomatoes, you may go for a 30-minute walk while the rest of the meal simmers.
Healthy Crock Pot Mac and Cheese
Mac and cheese are the epitomai of comfort food. This step-by-step approach to making a healthy crockpot mac and cheese will lighten things up. You’ll have the opportunity to spice up this classic at every stage, from choosing your pasta to turning on the slow cooker. High-fiber elbow macaroni, low-fat cheeses like Swiss or Parmesan, and nutrient-dense vegetables like cauliflower are all beautiful choices for a satisfying dinner.
Noodle-Free Zucchini Lasagna
You may have regretted the loss of cherished pasta recipes like lasagna if you’ve gone low-carb. This noodle-free zucchini lasagna is suitable for individuals following a low-carb diet. Zucchini strips are layered with ricotta, ground beef, sauce, and more vegetables for a flavorful result. Gluten-free eaters can enjoy a slice of this hearty Italian meal as well.
Homemade Gravy with Roast Chicken
Despite its status as comfort food, Roast chicken can be surprisingly healthful. A slow-roasted turkey is high in protein and low in carbs, making it ideal for Paleo or low-carb diets (or anyone who enjoys a supremely flavorful meal).
Cornstarch is used in this roast chicken with homemade gravy to avoid any stomach difficulties caused by wheat flour. It also foregoes butter instead of relying on the natural fluids of the chicken to make the gravy. Finish the dinner with fiber-rich sweet potatoes, sautéed green beans, or steamed carrots after the chicken roast to crispy-skinned perfection.
Ropa Vieja en Crock Pot
You can likely figure out what ropa vieja means if you understand minor Spanish: old clothes! The beef in this hearty crockpot ropa vieja ends up looking like old, ragged garments after cooking gradually for hours in the sluggish cooker (but tastes so much better than that, we promise).
Chuck roast is used to make ropa vieja. This recipe’s nutritional content is boosted with the addition of antioxidant-rich tomatoes and red and green bell peppers. Meanwhile, salt is kept to a minimum thanks to low-sodium tomato paste and only a spoonful of beef broth. Shred the meat and arranged it over rice when ready to serve, saving any leftovers for tacos or enchiladas the next day.
Healthy Chicken Stroganoff
Stroganoff is generally made with beef, but this healthy chicken stroganoff reveals that chicken goes just as well with mushrooms and a sour cream gravy as beef. This recipe has several additional tricks up its sleeve, including replacing beef with leaner, lighter chicken.
Its gravy is created with sorghum flour, making it gluten-free friendly, while the reduced-sodium chicken broth and lactose-free sour cream make it suitable for those on special diets. Meanwhile, it’s low in FODMAPs, a type of short-chain carbohydrate that can cause symptoms in persons with Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Crohn’s disease.
Pumpkin Soup with Cream
Don’t forget about pumpkin soup during this season of pumpkin everything. Coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, and freshly grated ginger add a spicy note to this creamy pumpkin comfort food. A cup of half-and-half adds a luxurious touch to the dish (and keeps it from getting too peppery).
This hearty, filling soup has roughly 160 calories per cup. To get a boost of vitamin A, fiber, and iron, slurp up some of this earthy delight.
Old-Fashioned Meatloaf with Less Fat
This lighter old-fashioned meatloaf can be made to resemble the one Grandma used to prepare with a few simple modifications. Without sacrificing flavor, use lean ground beef (or turkey), whole wheat bread crumbs, and egg whites instead of an entire egg.
Not only does this healthier meatloaf taste just as good as the original, but it’s also a breeze to prepare! Mix all ingredients in a big mixing basin, then bake in a loaf pan for about an hour. Please take out the ketchup and put it on the table.
Casserole of Mashed Cauliflower Gratin
Consider this mashed cauliflower gratin casserole when you want something warm and creamy. By replacing potatoes with cauliflower, you’ll cut calories and carbs while gaining the cancer-fighting properties of this cruciferous vegetable. And this isn’t any bland side dish; with plenty of Gruyere cheese and a dollop of heavy cream, you’re in for a sumptuous treat.
Chicken Marsala is a healthier version of the classic Italian dish
Chicken Marsala, an intelligent chicken and mushroom dish with a wine-based sauce, is served at many upscale Italian restaurants. This healthier chicken marsala maintains restaurant-quality flavor while lowering calorie intake. (A single serving has only 255 calories.) The chicken is pan-fried in olive oil, which provides lots of healthy monounsaturated fat, and a whole cup of mushrooms ups the antioxidant ante.