Monday, November 29, 2021

Comfort food that is also diet-friendly

Bailey Woodean
I have been a freelance writer for more than 4 years, a mom for more than 2 years, and a wife for just under a year. I am currently a student in a cooking and catering program with the intention of expanding my knowledge of the culinary business. I then plan to take this knowledge to properly write about and critique restaurants and food. Writing to you from Niagara Falls, NY, thanks for joining me on the ride!
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It sounds impossible, doesn’t it? How can comfort food really be diet-friendly? Well, these recipes are sure to be comforting, delicious, and yet won’t add to your waistline. Of course, if you overindulge in anything you are sure to pack on the pounds, so as a general rule of thumb, everything in moderation!

Comfort food that is also diet-friendly

Spaghetti Squash Meatball Casserole

Ingredients
  • 1 medium spaghetti squash (about 4 pounds)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 cups chopped collard greens
  • 1 cup chopped fresh spinach
  • 1 cup reduced-fat ricotta cheese
  • 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup pasta sauce
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
 Instructions
  1. Cut squash lengthwise in half; discard seeds. Place halves on a microwave-safe plate, cut side down. Microwave, uncovered, on high until tender, 15-20 minutes. Cool slightly.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°. Mix 1/4 teaspoon salt with remaining seasonings; add to beef, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Shape into 1-1/2-in. balls. In a large skillet, brown meatballs over medium heat; remove from pan.
  3. In the same pan, heat oil over medium heat; saute onion until tender, 3-4 minutes. Add garlic; cook and stir for 1 minute. Stir in collard greens, spinach, ricotta cheese, and remaining salt; remove from heat.
  4. Using a fork, separate strands of spaghetti squash; stir into greens mixture. Transfer to a greased 13×9-in. baking dish. Top with tomatoes, meatballs, sauce, and cheese. Bake, uncovered, until meatballs are cooked through, 30-35 minutes.
Comfort food that is also diet-friendly

Philly Cheese Steak Sloppy Joes

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/262955/philly-cheese-steak-sloppy-joes/

Ingredients
  • 2 teaspoons organic canola oil or avocado oil
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • 1 cup Sautéed Peppers & Onions
  • 4 (6 inches) whole-wheat sub rolls, split
  • 4 slices reduced-sodium provolone cheese
Instructions
  1. Arrange the oven rack in the upper third of the oven. Preheat broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef, oregano, and salt; cook, crumbling with a wooden spoon until cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes. Add tomato sauce and cook until bubbling, 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, warm peppers and onions in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring often. (Alternatively, microwave for 1 minute to reheat.)
  4. Lay rolls, split-side open, on the prepared baking sheet. Broil, rotating the pan as necessary until just starting to brown and toast, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the oven.
  5. Top toasted buns with the beef mixture, dividing evenly. Top with the peppers and onions and then cheese. Broil just until the cheese is melted, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Wrap each sub in foil until ready to eat. Serve hot.
Comfort food that is also diet-friendly

Vegan Pumpkin Mac and Cheese (easy recipe)

https://biancazapatka.com/en/vegan-pumpkin-mac-and-cheese/#wprm-recipe-container-12572

Ingredients
  • 14 oz gluten-free pasta* (400 g)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced
  • 14 oz pumpkin purée or squash (400 g) cooked or canned
  • 2/3 cup cashews* (100 g) presoaked in water (for at least 3h)
  • 3-4 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • about 1 cup water (or vegetable broth)
  • salt, pepper (to taste)

Toppings (optional):

  • dairy-free parmesan cheese
  • parsley chopped
Instructions
  1. Soak Cashews for at least 3 hours (or overnight). Or simply cook for about 10-15 minutes in a pot.
  2. Prepare pumpkin purée (if using homemade). It’s ready in only 2-3 minutes when cooking in the microwave.
  3. Cook pasta according to package instructions to ‘al dente’.

In the meantime, make the sauce:

  1. Heat up oil in a small pan and roast garlic for about 1-2 minutes.
  2. Rinse and drain cashews and add along with water, pumpkin, roasted garlic, nutritional yeast and spices to a high-speed blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Add more water, if the sauce is too thick.
  3. Drain pasta put back into the pot, pour the sauce over and heat everything up while stirring occasionally.
  4. Season again to taste, and top off with fresh chopped parsley and vegan parmesan, if desired.
  5. Enjoy!

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