Healthy Recipe Makeovers : We gave our favorite comfort food recipes a healthy makeover. Finally, cozy without the calories!

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Healthy comfort food

They don’t call it comfort food for nothing. Whether it’s savory meatloaf, a sweet pudding, or warm apple pie, this type of food triggers feelings of cozy goodness that can’t be matched by more sophisticated dishes.

But there’s one teensy problem. Typically loaded with fat and calories, comfort food can become a once-in-a-while treat rather than a staple.

But we can help. We took a look at some of our favorite dishes, from waffles to whoopie pies, and gave them a healthy makeover. Finally, cozy without the extra calories!

Healthy Turkey Meatloaf

Meatloaf is the ultimate cold-weather comfort food, and this is one of the best we’ve ever tasted. Swapping ground turkey for beef slashes saturated fat in half, while still keeping it moist and meaty. Each slice is a skinny 208 calories, and the leftovers make great sandwiches.

Power Waffle

We love waffles, but not the kiddie version that goes right to your hips. Our grownup version is multigrain, topped with fruit and almond butter instead of super-sugary syrup to keep you energized all day.

Whole-Wheat Blueberry Pancakes

These incredibly hearty and healthy pancakes are in a class by themselves. They’re loaded with whole grains, moistened with protein-rich soy milk, and topped with antioxidant-rich blueberries, one of our favorite Superfruits.

Easy French Toast Casserole

This festive, low-fat brunch dish tastes just as good without Grand Marnier, but testers say the heart-healthy pecans are a must.

Coconut French Toast with Raspberry Syrup

Save this dish for a weekend morning when you are not in a rush. You may use fresh or thawed frozen unsweetened berries, or any of your favorite Super fruits.

Carb Lovers Club Sandwich

When you crave a classic club sandwich, do your heart and waistline a favor and make this instead. Lean turkey bacon takes the place of the greasy pork variety, and an ingenious roasted garlic and white bean spread subs for mayonnaise, amping up the protein and slashing the fat. So satisfying you’ll never miss the original!

Pesto Pizza With Sliced Tomatoes

When you crave a slice of cheesy pizza, this healthy version, made with store bought pizza dough, really satisfies. Our pesto contains walnuts, which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, so you get a small dose of the heart-healthy fat in every bite. This recipe calls for lycopene-rich tomatoes as a topping, but it’s also delicious with bell peppers and onions.

Autumn Cranberry Beef Stew

Nothing says cool-weather comfort food like a steaming bowl of fork-tender beef and mushroom stew. This light, potent version has nearly half the sodium of the original and includes the bold undertones of Guinness beer and the tangy zing of antioxidant-rich cranberries. Serve this slow-cooked dish over whole-wheat noodles for more fiber.

Healthy Wagon Wheel Beef Stew

This simple, beefy recipe combines the flavors of your favorite chili and pasta dishes for a skimpy 223 calories per serving. Everyone will love this dish, especially kids and company; it’s the ultimate comfort food!

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