Jan 20, 2015 6:00 AM

Author: Office of Public Affairs

Winter makes you want to cozy up by the fire with your favorite comfort foods. But be careful or you’ll quickly pack on the pounds. Here are lighter versions of three favorites: chicken potpie, mac and cheese, and meatloaf.

Mac and Cheese Surprise

Ooey-gooey macaroni and cheese tops the list of comfort foods. This version gets its creaminess from nonfat Greek yogurt and a surprise ingredient: butternut squash. 


1 package whole-wheat macaroni, cooked
1½ cups cubed butternut squash, boiled and puréed
1 cup low-fat milk
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons nonfat Greek yogurt
1 cup part-skim sharp cheddar cheese, grated
½ cup Gruyère cheese, grated
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 


  1. Preheat the oven to 400.
  2. Heat the butternut squash purée in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add milk, butter and yogurt, stirring until incorporated.
  3. When the purée begins to simmer, slowly mix in cheeses until the sauce begins to thicken.
  4. Season with salt and pepper, then gradually stir in macaroni.
  5. Transfer the mixture to a casserole dish and bake for 20 minutes.


Per serving (makes six servings): 285 calories; 9.9 g fat; 25 mg cholesterol; 34 g carbohydrates; 4.5 g sugar; 14.6 g protein; 2.1 g fiber; 1,164 mg sodium. 

Source: popsugar.com

Chicken Potpie

Moist chicken and savory sauce topped with a rich, flakey crust: What’s not to love about chicken potpie? How about the fact that some varieties have nearly 700 calories and 41 grams of fat per serving? But before you ban this dish from your diet, here’s an easy recipe for a much lighter version, with 100 calories and 5 grams of fat per serving.   


1 cup cooked chicken, diced
1⅔ cups frozen vegetables, thawed
1 (10-ounce) can low-sodium cream of chicken soup
1 cup reduced-fat biscuit mix
½ cup nonfat milk
1 egg 


  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Mix chicken, veggies and soup in a large bowl.
  3. Spread mixture into a 9-inch glass pie pan.
  4. Mix remaining ingredients, then pour on top of chicken mixture.
  5. Bake in oven until top turns golden brown, about 30 minutes.


Per serving (makes six servings): 100 calories; 5 g fat; 52.6 mg cholesterol; 4.4 g carbohydrates; 1.3 g sugar; 8.6 g protein; 369.6 mg sodium.

Source: food.com

Mom’s Meatloaf

For many, meatloaf conjures up happy memories of mom’s home-cooked meal. Using ground turkey instead of beef saves you more than half the calories and fat. The bell peppers and salsa give it a burst of fresh flavor—and a bit of a kick.


½ pound ground turkey
1 egg
¼ cup salsa
⅛ cup red bell pepper, chopped
⅛ cup yellow bell pepper, chopped
¼ cup onion, chopped
¼ cup dry bread crumbs
lemon pepper to taste 


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Form into a small loaf and place on a foil-lined baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 25 minutes.


Per serving (makes five servings): 112 calories; 5.1 g fat; 78 mg cholesterol; 6.1 g carbohydrates; 10.3 g protein; 0.6 g fiber; 174 mg sodium.

Source: allrecipes.com

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