Winter is nearly behind us, and that alone is cause for celebration. If you’re planning a coming-out-of-hibernation party, be sure to fill your spread with festive dishes that give comfort-food season the sendoff it deserves. As Julia Child once said, “A party without cake is just a meeting,” so don’t even think about skimping on dessert. To make hosting easier, skip labor-intensive layer cake and whip up a few quick batches of cupcakes instead. That way, you won’t have to deal with cutting and serving. Portion control is yet another benefit of serving cupcakes, especially for the host if there are leftovers. We’ve got devil’s food, red velvet, carrot cupcakes and more — all of which happen to be lighter than your average cupcake recipe, thanks to a few clever modifications.
Tag: comfort food
Have to feed a crowd? Craving something comforting? Need a quick and easy weeknight meal? Looking for a recipe that freezes beautifully? This Spaghetti Squash Chicken Lasagna checks all the boxes. While the traditional version is composed of layers of noodles, meat and cheese, I want to show you a different way of enjoying the classic dish. By swapping out the pasta layers for spaghetti squash, not only will you amp up the vegetable intake, but the lasagna-making process will become much more effortless. Adding kale to the ricotta mixture gives the dish an even greater nutritional boost. With a little prep work beforehand, you can whip up this hearty comfort meal in under 30 minutes.
There is perhaps no other food that inspires the same degree of fanaticism and controversy as bacon. From a near-cultlike following that’s led to the creation of bacon-themed apparel to the less-than-glowing WHO report from late last year warning that those who eat diets high in bacon and other processed meats might be elevating their cancer risk, it’s safe to say the crowd is split 50-50 between blind devotion and fearful skepticism. Where does that leave us when we’re trying to clean up our eating, but we also really want a comforting slice of bacon crumbled into our salad or sandwich?
Let’s work with the facts: Bacon is delicious, and while research has made a pretty strong connection between daily processed meat consumption and the possibility for illness down the road, dietitians have said that occasional bacon consumption is perfectly fine, especially when you buy “uncured” bacon.
Rather than using bacon as the centerpiece at mealtimes, we should be thinking of it as a garnish or topping — a small flavoring component, like an herb or spice. Careful with “topping,” though. We’re all intrigued by the notion of a bacon-lattice apple pie, but unless it’s Thanksgiving, it’s better to stick to the “in moderation” mantra.
Need a few examples? Try using bacon as …
Save your napkins for mopping up spills at the dinner table. There’s no need to blot any grease when you serve one of these healthy homemade pies from Food Network. Start with whole-wheat pizza dough — store-bought is ideal on a busy weeknight — or hop aboard the latest health food trend and prepare a high-fiber crust using chickpea flour. Have plenty of fresh, in-season toppings on hand. You can’t go wrong with a basic marinara sauce or pesto, plus your favorite cheese and a handful of fresh herbs. The No. 1 perk to preparing pizza at home? These easy pies cook up in the same amount of time you’d spend waiting for your delivery to arrive — maybe even less, if you have help. Even the littlest sous chefs can chip in with the toppings.
Without further ado, here are five better-for-you pizzas to save you from another humdrum weeknight dinner:
Cheese has a way of making everything better, whether it’s sprinkled on pasta, crumbled on salads or oozing out from between two slices of toasted bread. Now there’s even greater cause to celebrate its creamy superpowers: A new study from the University of Michigan suggests that nisin, a preservative that naturally grows in dairy products, aids in killing cancer cells and some types of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. But the dairy aisle’s sweetheart has been catching a lot of heat from health food crusaders insisting that cheese, or any milk product for that matter, should be cut out completely in order to achieve a healthy eating regimen and leaner figures. Supermodel Gisele Bündchen and her NFL quarterback husband, Tom Brady, especially piqued interest when they hopped aboard the no-dairy train. But … the creaminess. The melty, pull-apart goodness. And don’t forget the vitamin D! Let the stars keep their brown rice and wild salmon. We’ll be over here, enjoying chicken Parm, quiche and life in general.
Here are seven recipes that prove a cheesy dish can be good for you, too:
Since I’m a dietitian, I guess you could say that I know a thing or two about healthy eating. I also know all too well that it’s not humanly possible to eat perfectly 100 percent of the time. After all, food is meant to be celebrated, and I refuse to turn down my mother-in-law’s perfectly fried homemade dumplings at Christmastime or a scoop of creamy cinnamon ice cream during the brutal Texas summer. Having said that, I do keep balance and moderation at the forefront of my mind. Saying “yes” every time I pass by an ice cream shop will only foster a poor habit. I’ve definitely been there.
Imagine velvety whisky sauce drizzling down the sides of rich bread pudding. What could be more indulgent? Don’t worry, it’s a healthy indulgence! Read more
If there’s any day of the year to indulge your most-hedonistic dip fantasies, it’s Game Day — a national event so synonymous with chips and dip that there are actually NFL-brand serving trays made to enhance the ubiquitous snack food’s visual appeal and ease of consumption, all in the name of football. But why choose an oil-laden dip when you can dig into creamy, comforting creations for less than 10 grams of fat per serving? If you’re hosting a viewing party this year, you’ll definitely want to skip the sad jarred nacho cheese in favor of these homemade recipes.
When I think of stuffed peppers, I’m reminded of the cheesy, tomato-and-beef-filled versions my mom made when I was a child. I didn’t fall in love with bell peppers until much later in life, so I used to dread those dinners. I would sprinkle on extra cheese and eat only the filling, leaving as much baked pepper behind as possible. Thankfully, my taste buds have matured and I now love bell peppers, especially the slightly smoky taste of roasted ones.
I grew up on macaroni and cheese. In my Italian family, my mom showed her love through pasta, homemade sauce and plenty of cheese. She knew that comfort was achieved through chewy pasta and a creamy cheese sauce, whether you had a tough day at school or a sore throat. So it’s no surprise that I’ve followed a similar comfort food path as an adult. Long days, arguments and dreary weather are all solved with bowls of piping-hot, luscious macaroni. It’s “I love you” without having to utter a single word.