The cooler weather can be rough on the body and the soul. You’re battling the post-summer blues and all you want to do is treat yourself, nestle under a warm blanket, re-watch your favourite TV series and stick your face in a giant bowl of pasta. If this sounds like you then you’re in luck – You can have your cake (or pasta) and eat it too!
Here are 3 lighter versions of your favourite comfort foods (without skimping on taste and flavour). We’re talking Mac & Cheese, Not-So-Naughty Nachos and even Beef & Guinness Pie! These comforting recipes taste great and won’t derail your healthy eating plan, whilst also keeping your body and soul intact!
Mac & Cheese
- 40g Macaroni Pasta
- 100g Cauliflower, cut into small florets
- 110g Broccolini, trimmed & cut into 3 lengths
- 15g Butter, No Added Salt
- 100g Lean Chicken Breast, chopped
- 1 Tablespoons Plain Flour (12g)
- 1 Cups Low Fat Milk (250g)
- 15g Parmesan Cheese, grated
- 1 Tablespoons Chives (3g), chopped
- Cook macaroni in a medium saucepan of boiling water following package directions. Add cauliflower and broccolini for last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain.
- Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add chicken and cook for 2 minutes or until just cooked. Add flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly.
- Return to medium heat and cook, stirring, for 3-5 minutes or until the mixture boils and thickens. Add cheese and chives and season well with freshly ground black pepper. Stir through the macaroni and vegetables until combined. Divide between serving plates.
- 1 Pieces Wholemeal Mountain Bread (25g)
- 1g Olive Oil Spray
- 1/4 Onion (37g), finely chopped
- 1/2 Celery Stalk (28g), finely chopped
- 1 Cloves Garlic (3g), crushed
- 1 Pinches Chilli Powder (1g)
- 50g Lean Beef Mince
- 50g Canned Lentils, rinsed & drained
- 1/4 X 400g cans Diced Tomato (100g)
- 1/2 Tomato (84g), chopped
- 20g Avocado, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons Fresh Coriander (6g)
- 2 Teaspoons Extra Light Sour Cream (10g)
- 1 Teaspoons Parmesan Cheese (2g), grated
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Cut bread into triangles and place onto a baking tray. Bake for 5 minutes or until crisp and lightly golden.
- Meanwhile, lightly spray a frying pan with oil and heat over medium heat. Add onion and celery. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until soft. Add garlic and chilli powder and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
- Add beef mince and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up any lumps, for 5 minutes or until browned. Stir in lentils and canned tomatoes. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 8 minutes or until liquid has reduced and thickened.
- Combine the fresh tomato, avocado and coriander in a bowl.
- To assemble, arrange mountain bread crisps on plate and top with beef mixture, salsa and sour cream. Sprinkle with parmesan to serve.
Beef & Guinness Pie
- 1g Olive Oil Spray
- 100g Lean Beef Chuck Steak, cut into 2cm pieces
- 1/4 Onion (36g), finely chopped
- 1/2 Celery Stalk (20g), finely chopped
- 1/2 Carrot (30g), finely chopped
- 1 Teaspoons Tomato Paste (5g)
- 1 Teaspoons Plain Flour (3g)
- 30g Guinness Beer
- 1 Cups Reduced Salt Beef Stock (250g)
- 1/2 Zucchini (50g), finely chopped
- 100g Potato, roughly chopped
- 1 Tablespoons Low Fat Milk (20g)
- Spray a large saucepan with oil and heat over high heat. Cook beef, for 2 minutes or until browned. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Spray pan again and reduce heat to medium. Add onion, celery and carrot and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until soft.
- Stir in tomato paste then flour. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Return beef to pan and gradually stir in Guinness and stock.
- Cover and bring to a simmer. Cook, covered, over very low heat for 1 ½ hours or until meat is tender. Add zucchini for last 10 minutes of cooking. Season with freshly ground black pepper.
- When beef is almost ready, preheat oven to 200°C. Put potato in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and cook for about 15 minutes or until tender. Drain and return to pan. Add milk and mash until smooth.
- Place beef mixture into a 1 cup (250ml) capacity ovenproof ramekin. Top with mashed potato. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
So go ahead, treat yourself and feel good about it!