4 Winter Comfort Foods, Upgraded
You’ve stocked your fridge. You’ve committed to having the greenest smoothies. You’ve even managed to haul yourself to the gym most days. But then, it happens: It gets cold. So very cold.
To help you win staying indoors, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite comfort food upgrades. Why go outside with food this good?
1. Grilled Cheese
There’s a reason grilled cheese is a comfort-food favorite: It’s really, really comforting. Upgrade this warm, gooey favorite by using 100% whole grain bread, fresh spinach and turkey. Instead of using butter, brush sliced bread with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with garlic salt for extra flavor. Then, place sharp cheddar (slices or shredded), a handful of fresh spinach leaves and thin turkey slices between the bread slices, and finally, grill on a panini press or heat and crisp up in a sauté pan.
Want to switch it up? Try different veggies — like broccoli, onions — or sweet potatoes. Experiment with cheeses, too. It's your grilled cheese. Do it your way.
Get the nostalgia you crave, but with a twist. Try mixing cooked quinoa into a combo of ground turkey and ground beef with coarsely chopped and sautéed onions, carrots and bell peppers. And as every grandma knows, you can’t have meatloaf without potatoes — but you can swap out mashed potatoes for roasted sweet potato chunks tossed with paprika. (Promise it’s not heresy.)
3. Mac and Cheese
Looking to up the dietary fiber of your favorite macaroni and cheese recipe? Replace some of the cheese with puréed cauliflower — its mild flavor makes it the perfect swap. Eating a keto-friendly diet? Switch out the pasta for small, roasted cauliflower florets for the pasta and top with crushed pork rinds before baking for crunch. (If you’re skipping dairy, try Aged Mozzarella Style Nutcheese in place of the cheese.) You can also add canned tuna to up the protein and/or frozen sweet green peas for another boost of dietary fiber. Eating dairy? Use a cheese that packs a punch of flavor — like Le Gruyère, extra-sharp cheddar, smoked Gouda or Gorgonzola.
Chili can be an awesome vegan comfort food, but you don’t have to follow a strictly vegan diet to love it. In fact, a vegan chili is a great way to eat some more plants! Focus on black beans and pinto beans, along with fat-free 365 Everyday Value Refried Pinto Beans as a thickener, and add in as many vegetables as you’d like, such as pumpkin, diced portobello mushrooms and red bell pepper.