Warm chocolate chip cookies, grilled cheese dipped in tomato soup, Grandma’s matzah ball soup, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese—what do these 5 foods have in common? They’re all classic comfort foods. Comfort foods are exactly as they sound; they’re foods that for one reason or another, evoke a certain nostalgia or sentiment, and thus provide a sense of comfort. These foods are often, but not always, high fat, or high carb.
Often when we feel powerless, anxious or sad, we seek comfort, and turn to these foods. These foods are delicious, they’re satisfying, and soothing. They often bring us back to happier times, evoking childhood memories, and feelings of love and protection. The problem is, when you rely on comfort foods for comfort, they’re a temporary solution, and can ignite a reward-problem cycle. Once you are done eating, your original concerns and problems remain. The comfort is temporary, but the food—that may or may not have been honoring your intentions for your weight management goals in the first place—was real. This can become a negative cycle.
But what if you could get that much needed TLC from food in a way that’s healthy and responsible? There is! We’ve made some smart swaps to give an F-Factor spin on the classics. The results are nutrient dense versions of your favorites; nourishment for the body and the soul. Not only will these recipes evoke the same feelings of comfort and nostalgia as their traditional counterparts, they can help you stay on track with your health and weight maintenance goals too. Here are 25 delicious comfort food recipes to take comfort in:
IF YOU WANT…
…to wake up and feel comforted: BLUEBERRY PANCAKES
There’s something wonderful about waking up and starting the day with a fresh batch of blueberry pancakes. However, unlike the Bisquik ones used to make as a kid, these short stacks are fiber-packed. They have almost four times the fiber of traditional blueberry pancakes, and less than half the calories! And if the idea of cooking makes you feel uneasy, take solace in the fact that these light, berry-filled silver dollar hotcakes are extraordinarily easy to make—the entire recipe requires only five ingredients!
… to soothe your soul… and your cold: GRANDMA CLAIRE’S CHICKEN SOUP
Chicken soup is the go-to homeopathic cure-all for almost every malady, according to almost everyone’s Grandma. So whether you’ve got a case of the sniffles, a rumbling tummy, just hungry or in need of comfort, it’s chicken soup to the rescue! This version is loaded up with vegetables so it’s rich in antioxidants, and provides some fiber too.
Vegetarian or vegan? Try ANTIOXIDANT RICH 10 VEGETABLE SOUP instead.
Good old mac and cheese is perhaps the ultimate comfort food, but it typically comes with more than 20 grams of fat per serving. Using high-fiber pasta, low-fat cheeses and Unflavored 20/20 FIBER/PROTEIN Powder these mac and cheese recipes are super charged. Think oodles of noodles covered in cheesy goodness then topped with perfectly toasted cheesy “bread crumbs,” that actually packs in fiber and protein. It’s warm, hearty, oh so delicious and actually nutrient-packed.
Prefer something Step 1? TryBROCCOLI CHEDDAR SOUP instead.
… something warm & savory:FRENCH ONION SOUP “GRATINTINÉE”
Rich and savory with that cheesy bread / crouton on top, French Onion soup is a classic comfort food. Unfortunately, it’s that oh so good cheesy gratinée topping that typically transforms this light broth-based soup to a total calorie-bomb. For our version we mimicked (and lightened up!) the traditional gratinée with cheesy 20/20 waffle “crouton” topper. It pairs perfectly with the slightly sweet caramelized onions submerged in the savory beef broth. Each serving packs 13g protein and 8g fiber. So not only is it delicious, but can help fill you up too.
… something creamy & rich: MUSHROOM ASPARAGUS RISOTTO
Aside from being delicious, there’s a physiological reason we crave rich, heavy foods when seeking comfort. Evolution has hardwired body to prefer fatty, high-calorie foods because they provide more energy for a longer period of time. Back when we were cavemen living off whatever we could hunt or gather, this was fortunate mechanism of survival. Needless to say, today, the urge to eat fattier foods doesn’t exactly serve us that same way. Either way, when we want comfort, rich and creamy does the trick and this lightened up risotto works wonders. It’s actually negative net carbs on F-Factor!
… to feel like a kid again: CRISPY BAKED CHICKEN TENDERS
Is there a more quintessential kid’s meal than chicken fingers with french fries? Get your chicken fingers on the adult way with this recipe. Using high-fiber crackers or wheat bran, mixed with sesame seeds for a crispy coating, these chicken fingers are elevated for your palate and dietary needs.
… something hearty: CHEESY HEARTS OF PALM LASAGNA
Often, when we think comfort foods, we think warm and filling. Meaty sauces fit the bill, as does pasta. Meat lasagna then is ultimate combination of all these things. Instead of traditional lasagna sheets, this recipe uses hearts of palm sheets, and thus is much lower carb. It’s also the kind of recipe that can feed your mental health. Because you are, in a sense, building something, following the steps is a mindfulness exercise that you can use to find peace in your day, and a sense of pride in creating.
… something old world and traditional: NOODLE KUGEL
Almost as much of a staple on the Jewish holiday table as matzah ball soup, noodle kugel is the type of dish that transports you right to family time. This version uses a low carb pasta, instead of traditional egg noodles, to lighten the carb load. Vanilla 20/20 FIBER/PROTEIN Powder provides that touch of sweetness you expect with this classic dish, as well as a fiber and protein punch. It’s a comfort food dish you can definitely feel comfortable about eating!
Kugel not your grandma’s specialty? Maybe HEARTY SHEPARD’S PIE was more her thing.