Read on for these healthier versions of comfort foods.
Lighter Cures for Complex Cravings
Tacos, roughly translated as “stuff wrapped in other stuff,” are best when bursting with varied flavors and textures. This portobello-and-zucchini version is one of our favorites (and will soon be one of yours too).
Get the recipe: Portobello-and-Zucchini Tacos
Tortilla Soup With Black Beans
Despite its heavy reputation, Mexican food is easily lightened by shifting the focus from meat and cheese to high-fiber beans and high-flavor spice. No need to skip the chips on top -- choose a brand that uses natural ingredients, or make your own using gluten-free corn tortillas.
Get the recipe: Tortilla Soup with Black Beans
Charred-Eggplant And Beef Burgers
A plant-based patty can satisfy in its own right, but a beef-burger craving is a whole different animal. This not-quite-veggie burger mixes rich, savory beef with smoky roasted eggplant, combining the best of both worlds. (If you're going vegetarian, an extra-hearty mushroom burger is your best bet.)
Get the recipe: Charred-Eggplant and Beef Burgers
Lighter Chicken Pot Pie
Like pizza, pot pie is an exercise in contrasts -- the distinct shatter of flaky crust on warm, hearty filling is made no less by white meat, extra veggies, and low-fat milk. Or go all-veg with a lightened-up biscuit topping in our Chunky Vegetable Potpie.
Get the recipe: Lighter Chicken Pot Pie
Macaroni And Cheese With Butternut Squash
We’d never get rid of the cheese in your mac -- after all, it’s right there in the name! But a combination of part-skim ricotta, roasted squash, and extra-sharp cheddar makes less taste like so much more.
Get the recipe: Macaroni and Cheese with Butternut Squash
Mini Deep-Dish Pizzas
Pizza, how do we love thee? We can count the ways -- thy cheese, thy sauce, thy crust -- but these elements hardly capture thy elemental charm. While a sad pinch of part-skim string cheese on a pita might scratch an itch (for now), it won’t deliver the hug-on-a-plate effect we crave in an honest slice.If you find yourself in need of a slightly less-crushing hug on a plate, give these healthier options a try. Since there’s no faking pizza, swap pans instead of ingredients -- a muffin-tin treat offers built-in portion control, preferred ratios intact.
Get the recipe: Mini Deep-Dish Pizzas
Mushroom And Scallion Frittata
Although it makes a delightful breakfast, the frittata could also be served with a green salad for a lunch or light dinner. White button mushrooms can be substituted for the shiitakes; trim but do not remove the stems. Cook the vegetables, then add the seasoned eggs, and bake the frittata -- all in one pan.
Get the recipe: Mushroom And Scallion Frittata
Part of HuffPost Food Group
Carbs can be oh-so comforting. Here are some classic dishes like pizza and mac and cheese a little bit more diet-friendly.
Check out the slideshow above for these lightened up comfort foods.
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