Healthy Comfort Food

By SMW Staff

The holidays and food go hand in hand, but we all know about the dreaded Holiday 10!  Avoiding gaining those extra pounds this time of year, while still enjoying winter’s comfort foods, can be a pretty tough order. Well, healthy comfort food is not a Christmas miracle – it’s a reality with these great recipes from Wellspring – America’s leading provider of weight-loss camps for overweight young people, families and adults.

Healthy Macaroni and Cheese RecipeHealthy Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Traditional Ingredients: white pasta, full fat cheese, cream

Healthy Modifications: use whole wheat pasta, add veggies like peas, mushrooms, spinach, broccoli, use fat free cream cheese or cottage cheese to thicken a sauce made with skim milk, use a mixture of fat free and low fat cheese, add flavor with spices like cayenne pepper and paprika


  • 8oz fiber enriched or whole wheat macaroni noodles
  • 1/4 cup fat free Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 packet McCormick Veggie Steamers Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/3 tbsp Vegetable bouillon powder
  • 3/4 cup Fat-Free milk
  • 1/4 block Cabot 75% Reduced-Fat Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/2 tbsp fat free Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Butter spray
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Nonstick cooking spray


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Spray a baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and butter spray.
  3. Boil pasta according to directions with 2 tablespoons bouillon and 1 tablespoon salt until tender.
  4. In a saucepan combine cornstarch with the fat-free half and half.
  5. Heat until the mixture thickens, and then add the cheese sauce packet, mustard, turmeric, garlic powder, parmesan and the cheddar cheese.  Taste the sauce and season if needed.
  6. Stir in the noodles and pour into pan.  Top with Panko breadcrumbs and spray with butter.
  7. Bake until breadcrumbs are golden brown, about 10-15 minutes.

Yield:  4 – 1 cup servings

Nutritional Information: Calories 294, Fat 3g, Protein 16g

Healthy Meatloaf RecipeHealthy Meatloaf Recipe

Traditional Ingredients: full fat ground beef, whole eggs, oil

Healthy Modifications: use extra lean ground beef or turkey, lean ground buffalo meat, fill it out with chopped veggies like carrots, celery, pepper, use egg whites instead of whole eggs to hold everything together


Buffaloaf Recipe


  • 1 1/2 lbs extra lean ground buffalo meat (sub 24 oz Gimme Lean for vegetarian)
  • 1/4 cup egg beaters
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • 3/4 cup fat-free bread crumbs
  • 1 each envelope dry onion soup mix
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, combine above ingredients.
  3. Press into a greased loaf pan and bake for 1 hour.
  4. Take ketchup and spoon it down the center of the loaf and continue to cook an additional 12 to 15 minutes.
  5. Serve immediately

Yield: 6 – 4 oz servings

Nutritional Information:  Calories 236 (vegetarian- 213), Fat 3g (vegetarian- 0g), Protein 36g (vegetarian- 18g)

Healthy Mashed Potatoes RecipeHealthy Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Traditional Ingredients: cream, butter

Healthy Modifications: use buttermilk or fat free sour cream or cream cheese instead of cream, add garlic, peas, green onion for additional flavor, leave skins in for extra fiber and vitamins.


  • 16 oz potatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup fat free sour cream
  • 1/2 cup fat free vegetable broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Boil potatoes until tender.
  2. Drain potatoes and transfer to large mixing bowl.
  3. On slow speed, begin whipping potatoes.  Slowly add sour cream, broth, and seasonings.
  4. Whip until smooth consistency is reached.

Yield: 4 – 1/2 cup servings

Nutritional Information: Calories 130, Fat 0g, Protein 4.5g

For more information on Wellspring and their programs, please click here

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