5 Comfort-Food Recipes Made Healthy

Jan 9, 2015 //

Almost everybody likes to cook and eat the foods they ate growing up. Unfortunately, many of mom’s (or dad’s) best recipes may not have been all that healthy. Here are five popular comfort foods with healthy twists. You can feel good about sharing these with the whole family!

Veggie-Boosted Meatloaf

To make this traditional recipe more nutritious, we replaced higher-fat ground pork with lean ground turkey, and upped the fiber content by using oats instead of bread crumbs. To boost the flavor and nutrition, we added veggies.


  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 lbs ground turkey
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • ½ cup oats
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup finely shredded spinach or kale
  • 1 shredded carrot
  • 1 red bell pepper, roasted, chopped
  • ½ cup sugar-free ketchup
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 350º F
  2. Sauté onions and carrot in oil, over medium heat, until tender.
  3. Add greens, garlic, red pepper and spices, stirring gently.
  4. Remove pan from heat, and set it aside.
  5. Put uncooked ground beef and ground turkey in a large bowl.
  6. Pour in the whisked eggs and oats, and mix into the ground meat using your (clean) hands.
  7. Mix the vegetables into the meat with your hands.
  8. Now form the mixture into a loaf shape and center it in a loaf pan – it should be a little smaller than the size of the pan.
  9. Cover the top and sides of the meatloaf with the ketchup.
  10. Cook about 60 to 75 minutes until the internal temperature of the meatloaf is 155º F.
  11. Let it cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Lower-Fat Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes can be loaded with high-fat additives like butter, and they lack fiber. We modified this mashed potato recipe by blending the potatoes with cauliflower and replacing high-fat sour cream with high-protein Greek yogurt.


  • 2 medium white potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 3 cups cauliflower florets
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 3 tbsp plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley


  1. In 3-quart saucepan, place potatoes, cauliflower and garlic. Cover them with water.
  2. Bring to a boil on high heat.
  3. Once the pot has reached a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook veggies for 15 minutes or until they’re very tender.
  4. Drain the pot
  5. Mash the potatoes, garlic and cauliflower.
  6. Stir in remaining ingredients.

All-Around Healthier Lasagna

People think of lasagna as an Italian dish, but it seems like moms all over the world have their own special recipe for this rich, family-dinner favorite. But most lasagna recipes aren’t as nutritious as they are tasty.

A few small changes to your mother’s recipe can go a long way to making this dish more healthful, including:

  • Use cottage cheese instead of ricotta. Cottage cheese has more protein.
  • If the recipe calls for ground meat, opt for grass-fed ground beef, which is has more healthy omega 3s than regular beef does. Or use ground turkey which has less saturated fats than beef.
  • Lasagna noodles are a low-fiber carbohydrate. Add fiber and nutrients to your lasagna by using thinly sliced zucchini in place of noodles. We recommend this Zucchini Lasagna Recipe from Skinnytaste.com.

High-Fiber Chili

Chili is the perfect winter dinner, and this version has plenty of extra veggies to add extra fiber and disease-preventing phytonutrients.


  • 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ pound grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 diced bell peppers
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1 finely diced carrot
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans kidney beans
  • ¼ cup tomato paste


  1. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large stew pot.
  2. Add beef and cook until browned (about five minutes).
  3. Add onion, carrots and garlic; cook five more minutes.
  4. Stir in spices.
  5. Add broth, bell peppers, corn, beans and tomato paste.
  6. Bring to a boil then lower the heat and simmer.
  7. Cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.

Guiltless Chocolate Cake

There are several innovative, health-conscious baking bloggers who’ve developed healthy chocolate cake recipes. Here are our favorites:

Erika Volk

Erika is a certified personal trainer, Nutrition Coach, and fitness writer. She holds certifications from the American Council on Exercise (ACE), TRX Suspension Training Systems, Precision Nutrition. She specializes in creating gym-free workouts.

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