Quick and Healthy Comfort Foods

by | Updated: December 3rd, 2016

Everyone has a go-to “feel good” meal. Over the years, I’ve figured out how to make healthier versions of my family’s favorite comfort foods so we can enjoy them more often and not feel guilty. Here are two of my recipes (and really, no one notices  a difference from the originals!).

Macaroni & Cheese

2 cups whole wheat elbows or shell pasta

1 whole egg

3 egg whites

1 cup skim or low-fat milk

2 cups low-fat (2%) shredded cheddar cheese

2 Tbsp. butter or margarine (I use butter)

Dash of salt

Non-stick cooking spray


Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions; drain. Return pasta to pot; add butter and stir to melt. Whip eggs together and add to macaroni along with milk; stir in cheese. Spray a 13″x9″ baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Add macaroni and bake at 350⁰ F for about 30 minutes, or until the liquid is firm but not dry.


Baked Ziti

1 box whole wheat penne or ziti pasta

1 24 oz. jar pasta sauce

Olive oil

1 lb. Italian turkey sausage without casing (if available)

3 egg whites

2 cups low-fat shredded mozzarella cheese

8 oz. skim ricotta cheese

¼ cup Parmesan cheese

Non-stick cooking spray

Cook pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, brown turkey sausage (remove casing first, if needed) in a small amount of olive oil. Once browned, drain and add sauce. Drain pasta and return to pot. Add turkey with sauce and remaining four ingredients. Stir, then place in 13″x9″ baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Cover with foil and bake at 350⁰ F for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until sauce bubbles.


If you prefer to crunch away your worries, here are some healthy potato chip alternatives that kids love too.

Robert’s American Gourmet Pirate’s Booty Puffed Rice and Corn

Kettle Foods Sea Salt Baked Potato Chips Sea

Eden Foods Sea Vegetable Chips


Southern States Championships top contender Melissa Transou, a figure competitor, wife and mother, blogs about the unique sports nutrition needs of female athletes exclusively for Vitacost.com.