Make your winter comfort foods healthier.

March 22, 2012 BY: LISA

With the cold weather setting in you may be tempted to dose up on the comfort foods, but remember the kilo’s you put on in Winter do not automatically come off when summer comes. Have a think about some healthier choices and smaller portions this winter and instead of expecting to put weight on in winter, try aiming for weight maintenance or even some weight loss. Remember adding vegies to any dish adds flavour colour, plenty of vitamins and minerals without the calories.

Here are some classic comfort foods that you can give a healthy twist!

  1. ¬†¬†Meat and mash potato- make surethe meat is lean and that your portion size is about the size and thickness of your palm. You can choose any meat you like as long as the fat is off. Mix your mash with combination of potato and sweet potato, this will lower the glycaemic index and therefore help lower the blood sugar response. Adding low fat milk and a small amount of margarine to your mash is fine, it’s the cream and loads of butter that will increase the saturated fat and calorie load.. Set your plate up so that 1/4 is meat, 1/4 mash potato and then load the other 1/2 your plate with lovely coloured vegetables.
  2. Creamy pasta – while we know that a tomato based sauce is always preferable to a creamy pasta you can make a great low fat creamy sauce using a tinned evaporated skim milk, add a small amount of flour to thicken the sauce and serve with vegetables in the sauce or a salad on the side.
  3. Pizza – Do you love gourmet pizza’s? They are easy to create at home and you can put what ever combination you feel like. Start with a wholemeal pita bread base, add the tomato paste choose any vegetable you can think off – mushrooms, capsicum, artichoke hearts, spinach, pumpkin, onion, pineapple, pine nuts -if you like to add meat make it lean ham or chicken or tuna then top with a small amount of cheese. These are even great cold for lunch the next day! If you are going to order take away then try a vegetarian option with a small amount of added ham and cheese.
  4. Burger and hot chips – If you are making this at home it can be quite a healthy meal. Start with a grainy bread roll, grill a lean mince burger add some salad, some reduced fat cheese and you have a quick tasty meal. You can also add grilled lean bacon and a poached egg on top for those tasty extra’s and a small number of oven baked chips if you are really hungry. If you are purchasing a burger from the shop then leave off the fried onion, egg and bacon and think about ordering a small serve of chips as this is where a bulk of the calories will be coming from.

It’s possible to stay healthy and warm this winter with a bit of extra thought and preparation.

Enjoy!

Lisa Renn

Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD)

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