Hipster Sounds Turn Your Office Into A Coffee Shop
Unusual Stuff

5 Healthy Comfort Food Recipes

Posted 2/06/2008 7:30 am by

With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, stress is at an all-time high. For many people, their anxiety turns them to food — and it isn’t usually an apple or handful of pretzels. If you’re like me, comfort foods provide the ultimate feel-good factor. That is until your scale breaks, you become upset, are late for work, lose your job, stay at home and eat even more junk food… Well, that’s an exaggeration, but who’s keeping score.

If you feel the urge to consume satisfying comfort food, finding a healthy substitute can be difficult. Healthier alternatives may not leave you with the same satisfaction as a bowl of steaming chili, for example. That’s why we give you this: Five healthy comfort food recipes that you can enjoy from the convenience of your own kitchen. One serving of each recipe contains around 250 calories or less, so you can get the full effect without feeling the guilt (or pounds) afterwards.

macandcheese.jpgHealthy Mac and Cheese

  • 1 16 oz. package whole grain or whole wheat macaroni
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 red pepper, diced finely
  • 1 orange pepper, diced finely
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced finely
  • 3 Tbsp. white whole wheat flour
  • 1 12 oz can nonfat evaporated milk
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped dry-roasted salted almonds
  • 2 cups seasoned croutons
  • salt and pepper for taste

First things first. Cook macaroni according to the package directions. When fully cooked, drain the pasta. Transfer the macaroni to a large bowl and set aside.

Next, heat a bit of olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium/high heat. Add the diced onion, peppers, and zucchini. Cook about 8-10 minutes or until the veggies are soft. Season with salt and pepper.

Sprinkle 3 Tbsp. of flour over the vegetables and stir until well combined. Add the evaporated milk and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then turn down heat and let the mixture simmer for about 5 minutes, or until thickened. Stir in cheese until melted.

Pour vegetable cheese sauce over macaroni. Fold in until well combined. Spray a 13 x 9″ pan with nonstick cooking spray and transfer the macaroni and cheese into the pan.

Next, put the almonds and croutons in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process until the almonds and croutons are small, fine, crumbs. Sprinkle the mixture on top of macaroni and cheese. Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes until heated through. Remember, this serves 12 so be sure to invite others to relish in your tasty dish!

Why it’s healthy:
A serving of this healthy mac and cheese is 243 calories with 12 grams of fat. The almond topping is full of magnesium, fiber, and absolutely zero cholesterol. Also, because the almonds have natural oils in them, there’s no need to add extra oil or butter.

veggiechili.jpgVeggie Chili


Soak 1/4 cup of sun dried tomatoes for approximately 1 hour. Place sun dried tomatoes in a glass measuring cup or small bowl. Cover them with water.

Use dark red kidney beans for the chili, which you should sprout ahead of time. Sprouted beans have more nutrition than a dry bean, just remember that sprouted kidney beans must be cooked before using.

To sprout beans, soak 1 cup of kidney beans in water over night. Drain and rinse 3 times a day for 2-3 more days until you see tails sprouting. Cook them on the lowest temperature of the crock pot until tender. If you’ve never sprouted beans before, try looking up several different ways to prepare and sprout them.

But if you’re like me, you don’t have time to sprout your beans. So, canned beans will work just fine!

  • ¼ cups chopped fresh tomatoes
  • ¼ cup soaked sun dried tomatoes
  • 2/3 chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 jalapeno slice
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon coriander
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 cups of finely chopped zucchini
  • 2 cups of dark red kidney beans

Bring all your veggies to room temperature before preparing the chili.

Take all above ingredients, along with the water used to soak the sun-dried tomatoes, and put into food processor. Mix until well-blended.

Pour vegetable chili recipe base into a bowl. Stir gently into the chili approximately 2 cups of finely chopped zucchini and 1/4 cup of finely chopped sweet onion along with 2 cups of dark red kidney beans. Heat this up on the stove top to bring it to a warmer consistency. Serve over 1/2 cup of brown rice and eat to your heart’s content!

Why it’s healthy:
This low-cal alternative provides the same comfort-food satisfaction, but without the fat and calories and meat-packed and cheese-filled chili contains. This recipe is also full of fiber and protein.

nonuggets.jpgBaked Chicken Nuggets

  • 1-1/2 pounds of chicken thighs, boneless, skinless
  • 1 cup of ready-to-eat Cornflakes cereal crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon of Paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Italian herb seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

First, preheat oven to 400° F. Lightly grease a cooking sheet.

Remove skin and bone from chicken; cut thighs into bite-sized pieces. Place cornflakes in plastic bag and crush by using a rolling pin.

Add remaining ingredients to crushed cornflakes. Close bag tightly and shake until blended.

Add a few chicken pieces at a time to crumb mixture. Shake to coat evenly.

Place chicken pieces on cooking sheet so they are not touching. Bake until golden brown, about 12 to 14 minutes.

Why it’s healthy:
With only 175 calories per serving and 67 milligrams of cholesterol, it seems that baking the chicken is the way to go. Instead of using breadcrumbs, cornflakes cereal is an excellent alternative with the same sensation of batter… without the calories.

garlicmashed.jpgGarlic Mashed Potatoes

  • 1 whole garlic (with the stem growing outwards)
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  • 1 pound of Yukon-Gold Potatoes or Red-New Potatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup of 2% milk
  • 1 teaspoon of butter
  • buttermilk

Begin roasting the garlic. Slice off the bottom, and place the whole garlic in a garlic roaster, bottom-side-down, in a teaspon of olive oil. Place the garlic roaster in the oven on 300 degrees for about 45 minutes.

Once the garlic has cooked so that the bottom has a golden-brown color, use the point of a knife to remove the roasted garlic cloves and place them in a mixing bowl. Use about 4 cloves of garlic. Mash the soft cloves using a fork.

Of course, if you don’t have a garlic roaster, you can cook them sans-garlic roaster in the oven at about 400 degrees — it might be easier and cleaner for you to do it this way, just make sure you do it correctly!

Next, steam the potatoes for about 45 minutes, or until soft. Mash the potatoes using a fork. Add 1 teaspoon of butter. Mix it well into the potatoes. Add about 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and the milk to give it a creamier texture. You can also add a splash of buttermilk for a tart flavor and rich texture if you want to, but it’s not required. Mix in garlic ingredients. Continue mashing until the ingredients are mixed thoroughly.

Why it’s healthy:
These garlic mashed potatoes contain around 120 calories, compared to a general 300 calorie serving of regular mashed potatoes. It also contains only 8.5 grams of fat per serving.

frenchtoast.jpgFrench Toast Stix

  • 2 slices Wonder Light Bread
  • 1/3 Cup of egg beaters
  • Splenda
  • Cinnamon
  • 1/2 oz. Torani SF Vanilla Syrup or 1/4 tsp Vanilla extract
  • Cut your bread into strips.

    Combine egg beaters, cinnamon, and vanilla extract mix together until well-blended. Dip your bread strips in it.

    Cook in a pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Once both sides are brown, sprinkle Splenda and cinnamon on top.

    Why it’s healthy:
    The entire recipe has just 120 calories, and 1 gram of fat. Using egg beaters instead of whole eggs provides a lower-cholesterol alternative, but the same fluffy texture. It also has 5 grams of fiber and 12 grams of protein. Of course, we can only provide you with healthy french toast stix — we won’t know how much syrup, berries, or powdered sugar you’re going to use!


    These are sure to leave you with the satisfied feeling of a full snack or meal, but without adding inches to your waistline. Now, you won’t have to eat tree-bark instead of your favorite food, all it takes is a little elbow grease. Who would have known they were healthy too?

    Tags: , , , , , , , ,

    Share this post, or Subscribe:

    More Stuff Worth Checking Out »

    Unusual Stuff

    Paralyzed By Gas Station Nachos

    Posted 5/18/2017 6:54 pm by

    I’ve never had a problem eating food from a gas station.  Just two weeks ago, I ate a couple of hot dogs purchased from a gas station.  They were delicious.  That’s not the first time I’ve eaten gas station food, and I doubt it will be the last.  There’s nothing like a fun food novelty. […]

    Read »
    Unusual Stuff

    McDonald’s Lauches The Frork, And Also New Sandwiches

    Posted 5/01/2017 6:40 pm by

    McDonald’s is a company in transition.  The old favorites seem to be losing popularity; kids these days just don’t want Big Macs anymore.  That means time for a new invention, and it appears that McDonald’s is taking some cues from Japan by getting creative with their hamburgers.  McDonald’s is adding three new sandwiches to their […]

    Read »
    Unusual Stuff

    Raiders Fleeing Oakland For Vegas, Baby

    Posted 3/28/2017 8:29 am by

    Commissioner Roger Goodell gathered 32 NFL owners for one big question.  One of the league’s most wanderlust-stricken franchises is looking to move again.  The Oakland-Los Angeles-Oakland Raiders, tired of gutting it out in a run-down stadium, were once again looking for greener pastures.  Only the Miami Dolphins refused to cooperate.  With a vote of 31-1, […]

    Read »
    Unusual Stuff

    McDonald’s Blasts Number One Customer Donald Trump

    Posted 3/16/2017 7:21 pm by

    It’s not every day that a Twitter account dedicated to promoting McDonald’s as a business, but now it’s made a statement that will either increase business or cause a boycott and hashtag frenzy.  It’s all based on how you feel about President Donald Trump.  If you’re a fan, you’re booing.  If you’re not a fan, […]

    Read »
    Unusual Stuff

    Tony Romo Leaving Dallas

    Posted 3/08/2017 6:54 pm by

    In 2006, an injury to Dallas Cowboys starting quarterback Drew Bledsoe opened the door for an undrafted free agent by the name of Tony Romo to take the helm of America’s Team and lead the Dallas Cowboys to an early playoff exit.  Bledsoe went from starter to afterthought in a season.  Now, the circle continues […]

    Read »
    Unusual Stuff

    Xbox One Adds Netflix-Style Subscription

    Posted 2/28/2017 12:21 pm by

    There’s a certain charm to having streaming services at your beck and call.  I don’t get to watch as much as I want, but when I get a chance to watch something on demand, I usually take it.  I love Netflix, and I’ve watched more bad movies on Netflix than I have any right to […]

    Read »
    Unusual Stuff

    Whoops, Here’s The REAL Best Picture

    Posted 2/27/2017 9:37 am by

    For 89 years, Oscars has never had a major mistake.  The last few Oscars might have had a few flubs, but at least they never got the most important category of the night wrong.  Well, that’s now changed, all thanks to OG Bonnie and Clyde legends Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway.  When Faye Dunaway called […]

    Read »
    Unusual Stuff

    Queens Bull Captured After Merry Chase

    Posted 2/21/2017 6:40 pm by

    There’s the concrete jungle.  There’s the urban cowboy.  There’s all kinds of farm and animal metaphors that concern New York City, but none of them actually reflect the actual animals.  The bull market on Wall Street has little to nothing to do with actual bulls, so any time you see a strange animal loose on […]

    Read »
    Unusual Stuff

    Tom Brady’s Jersey Stolen From Super Bowl LI Locker Room

    Posted 2/06/2017 5:41 pm by

    Tom Brady has been wildly successful, if controversial.  He’s the first quarterback ever to win five Super Bowls and only the second player to do so after Charles Haley.  Unlike Haley, Brady won all his Super Bowls with the same team, the New England Patriots.  The only thing that seems to be able to stop […]

    Read »
    Unusual Stuff

    Panic! US Bacon Reserves Hit 50-Year-Low

    Posted 2/01/2017 7:01 pm by

    As of right now, the United States Department of Agriculture has 17.8 million pounds of pork belly in storage.  Pork belly is the delicious part of the pig that turns into bacon when cured and fried.  It tastes good, smells better, and is even good for you!  It seems like a lot, but it’s actually […]

    Read »
    Unusual Stuff

    Ben Affleck Keeps Cowl, Gives Up Director’s Chair

    Posted 1/31/2017 7:42 pm by

    Ben Affleck, no matter what you might think of him, is a talented actor and director.  He’s got the goods, but he’s smart enough to know when he’s in over his head.  All along, since he took on the mantle of Batman, he’s had his eyes on writing, directing, and starring as the Caped Crusader. […]

    Read »
    Unusual Stuff

    Concentration Camp “Escape Room” Shut Down

    Posted 1/27/2017 7:37 pm by

    There’s a new game genre out there.  Part simulation, part social game, part physical challenge, escape rooms are really popular.  You wander through a scenario, stuff happens, and you have to try to figure your way out in a certain amount of time.  I’ve done similar things, but I haven’t done a full-fledged escape room […]

    Read »
    Unusual Stuff

    Fired IT Worker Locks College Out Of Accounts

    Posted 1/17/2017 6:10 pm by

    In May, students for the for-profit American College of Education were running into some problems.  Their access to email accounts and course information was locked down by Google, who had disabled their accounts.  The reason why?  A fired IT worker for the American College of Education locked the school out of their Google cloud account. […]

    Read »
    Unusual Stuff

    Yahoo To Become Altaba With New CEO

    Posted 1/09/2017 8:51 pm by

    There’s just a constant state of flux in one of the web’s biggest companies and the pre-Google version of Google.  Yahoo, limping along while its former corporate child Alibaba has become a major player in the online world.  Yet poor old Yahoo keeps struggling along, but maybe a new name will yield new fortunes?  Yahoo […]

    Read »