I believe it’s possible to combine clean eating and comfort food and come up with delicious results that don’t have to be full of fat and calories. Your’s truly, The Clean Eating Coach, is all about avoiding winter weight gain by enjoying some comfort foods in a lighter version.
With this past weekend’s super frigid temperatures (when I pretty much don’t want to leave the house and love hunkering down with some movies), it just screamed comfort food to me. But instead of reaching for one of my fav comfort foods (like homemade mac and cheese), I was busy creating a comfort food makeover – with a healthy twist.
Check out the ideas I shared on WTNH’s Good Morning Connecticut yesterday for clean eating, cozy comfort foods — Panko-crusted baked chicken (instead of fried), souffled sweet potatoes (light and airy, and oh so delicious instead of mashed potatoes and gravy) and some Hoppin’ John (collard greens and black-eyed peas – a Southern favorite, but without the pork).
Here are the two yummy dishes that I featured which I think you’ll enjoy:
Souffled Sweet Potatoes
(Adapted from Clean Eating Magazine)
I first tried this recipe at Thanksgiving as a savory side dish that was a departure from other sweet potato dishes I’ve made in the past. Sweet potatoes are a great substitution for white potatoes and nutritional powerhouses, full of antioxidants and fiber. This dish is a perfect makeover for traditional mashed potatoes and gravy.
4 pounds sweet potatoes, well scrubbed
1 head garlic, cloves separated and unpeeled
1/2 cup low sodium vegetable broth
2 tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3 large egg whites
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place sweet potatoes on a baking sheet, prick each one several times and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, or until soft.
2. Place the garlic gloves in tightly sealed foil and bake on a separate baking sheet for about 30 minutes until tender.
3. Remove potatoes and garlic and let cool. When cool enough to handle, peel the potatoes, squeeze the garlic from the skins and combine in a bowl with the broth. Mash until smooth and then add the rosemary, salt and pepper.
4. In a separate bowl, combine the egg whites and cream of tartar. Use an electric mixer on high speed and whip for 2-3 minutes until stiff peaks form. Fold half the egg whites into the potatoes with a rubber spatula and then fold the rest in.
5. Coat a baking dish with cooking spray and transfer the potato mixture. Bake in the oven at for approximately 30 minutes until the top is slightly browned then serve and enjoy!
Savory Collard Greens and Black-Eyed Peas (Hoppin’ John)
I absolutely love collard greens, especially when prepared in this quick and simple fashion without hours of cooking. Traditional Southern cooking calls for adding pork for flavor, but we can keep this dish happily vegetarian and healthy yet still flavorful. I love adding in the black-eyed peas for a more complete meal which you can serve with a side of brown rice.
2 bunches collard greens
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 15-oz cans black-eyed peas
2 tsp. apple cider or white wine vinegar
salt and pepper taste
1. Wash collard greens, cut out stems and stack several leaves on top of each other. Roll like a cigar and chop collards into small bite size pieces.
2. Heat olive oil in pan, add onion and garlic and saute for a couple of minutes until soft.
3. Add collard greens to pan and saute until bright green. Add a little bit of water if greens start to stick.
4. Add black-eyed peas and cook for a few minutes more until heated through.
5. Season with vinegar, salt and pepper.
What’s your favorite comfort food and what do you do to give it a healthy spin?