21 comfort food makeovers

Readers' favorite recipes, slimmed down with smart substitutions

Grown-up Mac 'n' Cheese

Photo by Iain Bagwell; styling by Dan Becker; written by Amy Machnak

Grown-up Mac 'n' Cheese

In our reboot of the childhood favorite, mac 'n' cheese is made for grown-ups with bacon and gruyère.

Recipe: Grown-up Mac 'n' Cheese

Vegetable Enchiladas

Photo by Iain Bagwell; styling by Dan Becker; written by Amy Machnak

Vegetable Enchiladas

Your typical vegetarian enchiladas are mostly cheese. That’s not the case with this version, loaded with fresh spinach, corn, and two types of beans.

Recipe: Vegetable Enchiladas

Eggplant Parmesan

Photo by Iain Bagwell; styling by Dan Becker; written by Amy Machnak

Eggplant Parmesan

This (non-casserole) version of eggplant parmesan is lighter and fresher tasting than the classic—we ditched the breading and added spicy sauce and fresh herbs.

Recipe: Eggplant Parmesan

Quick Chicken Potpie

Photo by Iain Bagwell; styling by Dan Becker; written by Amy Machnak

Quick Chicken Potpie

Everyone loves chicken potpie, but it takes 2 hours to make. We’ve traded from-scratch pie dough for homemade croutons, creating a great potpie in half the time.

Recipe: Quick Chicken Potpie

Lasagna with Sausage Ragu Redux

Photo by Annabelle Breakey; food styling by Randy Mon

Lasagna with Sausage Ragù Redux

The original: 44 g fat

Today: 12 g fat

The makeover: Turkey sausage subs for fattier pork, puréed cottage cheese mimics béchamel, and a splash of olive oil replaces nearly half a cup of butter.

Recipe:  Lasagna with Sausage Ragù Redux

A bowl of low-fat clam chowder

Photo by Annabelle Breakey; food styling by Randy Mon

Browny's Clam Chowder Revisited

The original: 50 g fat

Today: 6.9 g fat

The makeover: The original recipe, from a now-defunct Seattle restaurant, called for a quart of heavy whipping cream––we used milk thickened with flour.

Recipe:  Browny's Clam Chowder Revisited

More chowder recipes

Luscious But Low-Fat Cheesecake

Photo by Annabelle Breakey; food styling by Randy Mon

Luscious But Low-Fat Cheesecake

The original: 36 g fat

Today: 10 g fat

The makeover: Egg whites replace half the original whole eggs; a graham cracker crust stands in for pie dough, low-fat cottage cheese for cream cheese, and Greek yogurt for sour cream.

Recipe:  Luscious But Low-Fat Cheesecake

More low-fat cheesecake recipes

Fettuccine Alfredo with Peas and Prosciutto

Photo by James Carrier, styling by Karen Shinto

Fettuccine Alfredo with Peas and Prosciutto

Prosciutto and parmesan cheese keep the satisfaction factor high for this lean dish.

Recipe:  Fettuccine Alfredo with Peas and Prosciutto

Chicken Cacciatore

Photo by James Carrier; styling by Karen Shinto

Chicken Cacciatore

Boned chicken thighs make a quick, flavorful starting point for this lightened meal.

Recipe:  Chicken Cacciatore

Curried Mussels with Oven Frites

Photo by James Carrier; styling by Karen Shinto

Curried Mussels with Oven Frites

These mussels were inspired by a dish prepared at Château Loudenne in the Bordeaux region of France.

The shellfish cook quickly in a curry-wine broth and join crisp fries made lighter by being cooked in the oven.

Recipe:  Curried Mussels with Oven Frites

Sweet and Sour Pork

Photo by James Carrier; styling by Karen Shinto

Sweet and Sour Pork

It's as fast to whip up this colorful, light version of the take-out classic as it is to order out for Chinese.

Recipe:  Sweet and Sour Pork

Duck a l'Orange

Photo by James Carrier; styling by Karen Shinto

Duck à l'Orange

Traditional French cuisine goes exotic with the addition of green olives, but it's still be on the table in no time.

Recipe:  Duck à l'Orange

Shortcut Chicken Cassoulet

Photo by James Carrier; styling by Karen Shinto

Shortcut Chicken Cassoulet

This lighter, quicker version of cassoulet is packed with all the earthy flavor of its classic counterpart.

Recipe:  Shortcut Chicken Cassoulet

Sardine Factory Cioppino

James Carrier

Sardine Factory Cioppino

Look no further for your go-to cioppino recipe. This lightened version is rich with tomato, wine, and aromatics, and loaded with clams, shrimp, crab, scallops, and halibut.

Recipe: Sardine Factory Cioppino

Lighter Macaroni and Cheese

James Carrier

Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni dripping with cheese sauce stays light thanks to reduced-fat cheeses and creamy evaporated milk.

Recipe: Macaroni and Cheese

Oven-fried Chicken

James Carrier

Oven-fried Chicken

Oven-frying in a cornflake-and-herb crust keeps chicken and fries crisp with much less fat.

Recipe: Oven-fried Chicken

Serve with: Steamed vegetables and Oven Fries

Stacked Red Chili Enchiladas

James Carrier

Stacked Red Chile Enchiladas

"Every Friday night we had stacked cheese enchiladas made with red chile sauce and blue corn tortillas," says Sam Baca of Santa Fe, NM. "People would dry red chiles, grind them, and come around door-to-door with three, four, five kinds in the back of a pickup. To this day, those enchiladas are my favorite food."

This quick and light version still gets its kick from ground New Mexico chiles.

Recipe: Stacked Red Chile Enchiladas

Lighter potato soup

James Carrier

Creamy Potato Soup

Turkey bacon and a low-fat broth lighten this classic meal in a cup.

Recipe: Creamy Potato Soup

Lighter French toast

James Carrier

French Toast for a Queen

A lighter batter, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, powdered sugar, maple syrup, and oranges make this French toast a delectable treat.

Recipe: French Toast for a Queen

Lighter meat loaf

James Carrier

Lebanese Meat Loaf

Cumin, peppercorns, parsley, bulgar, yogurt, and a touch of cinnamon flavor lean ground beef or lamb.

Recipe: Lebanese Meat Loaf

Lighter Hot Turkey Sandwich

James Carrier

Hot Turkey Sandwich

"A real treat was to go to Howard Johnson and eat a hot turkey sandwich with mashed potatoes, gravy, and cranberry sauce," says Shirley Kerins of San Marino, CA. "When you're 8 years old and it's not even Thanksgiving, that's the ultimate luxury."

This recipe gets 2 servings on the table in less than half an hour.

Recipe: Hot Turkey Sandwich

Printed from:
http://www.sunset.com/food-wine/kitchen-assistant/healthy-comfort-food-00400000061960/