The Louisville Cardinal

How to make your favorite comfort foods healthy

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By Madison Thompson–

With cold weather, you spend more time inside watching your favorite Netflix shows. You are less motivated to get out of the house and exercise. If you are one of those people who would rather sit down with a bowl of mac-n-cheese, then be forewarned: those tasty comfort foods like mac-n-cheese, potato chips and ice cream tend to be deep-fried and all around “bad” for you. Not only are these foods filled with fatty-acids for the “comfort food” sensation, but they are also loaded with carbohydrates, salts and sugars.

Now, if you exercise regularly and you are careful about the calories you consume, you will probably be alright. But if you are like me, sitting and watching Netflix takes precedence. Fear not: here are a few tricks so your treats don’t wrack up your calorie count:

French Toast with Ricotta

1 1/3 cups skim milk

1 1/3 egg whites

½ cup fresh berries

½ cup reduced-fat ricotta cheese

Ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt

8 slices whole-grain bread

2 teaspoons Stevia (non-caloric sweetener)

1 tablespoon ginger

Whisk together egg whites, salt, sugar substitute and milk. Dip bread into mixture. Cook on non-stick skillet over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Sprinkle cinnamon, cheese and berries and serve.


Asian Cauliflower Fried Rice

3 bacon slices (or bacon bits)


2 large eggs

1 medium cauliflower head

Ground black pepper

2 tablespoons ghee (or fat of choice, like butter)

1 teaspoon red boat fish sauce

4 ounces thinly-sliced mushrooms

1 small minced yellow onion

1 teaspoon coconut vinegar

2 tablespoons coconut amines

2 scallions

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Cook bacon. While bacon is cooking, cut up the cauliflower and put it into a food processor and pulse until cauliflower is the size of rice grains. Make omelet with eggs, salt and pepper. When done, cut omelet into strips.

Melt ghee (or butter) and cook onions until clear (five minutes in). Add mushrooms until brown. Add ginger for 30 seconds.

Combine everything except the coconut amines, coconut vinegar and the red boat fish sauce and heat for 5 minutes. Add in the rest of the ingredients. Serve.


Baked Potato Chips

3 large potatoes

2 tablespoons olive oil

Kosher salt

2 teaspoons ground black pepper


2 teaspoons olive oil

1 small minced onion

2 thinly-sliced scallions

1 ¼ cup nonfat Greek yogurt

¾ teaspoon onion powder

¾ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 450. Mix potatoes with olive oil and pepper. Arrange potatoes in one layer on 2 cookie sheets. Bake for 20-25 minutes and cool.

For the dip: add salt, heat oil over medium and heat onions, scallions for about 10 minutes until brown and soft. Cool and combine with Greek yogurt, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper and scallion greens. Chill and serve.


There are many different recipes out there that can be low calorie without taking away from the flavors and foods you love. And remember, all things in moderation and you’ll have a happy, healthy winter.


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