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Delicious & Healthy Alternatives For Your Comfort Food Cravings

Baked Mac & Cheese

(Courtesy of Eating Well)

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons plain dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 (16-ounce) or 10-ounce package frozen spinach, thawed
  • 1 ¾ cups low-fat milk
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 8 ounces (2 cups) whole-wheat elbow macaroni, or penne

Directions:

  1. Put a large pot of water on to boil. Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat an 8-inch-square (2-quart) baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Mix breadcrumbs, oil and paprika in a small bowl. Place spinach in a fine-mesh strainer and press out excess moisture.
  3. Heat 1 1/2 cups milk in a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat until steaming. Whisk remaining 1/4 cup milk and flour in a small bowl until smooth; add to the hot milk and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce simmers and thickens, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in Cheddar until melted. Stir in cottage cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
  4. Cook pasta for 4 minutes, or until not quite tender. (It will continue to cook during baking.) Drain and add to the cheese sauce; mix well. Spread half the pasta mixture in the prepared baking dish. Spoon the spinach on top. Top with the remaining pasta; sprinkle with the breadcrumb mixture.
  5. Bake the casserole until bubbly and golden, 25 to 30 minutes.

For additional preparation tips and nutritional information on this recipe, click here.       

Slow-Cooker Stout & Chicken Stew

(Courtesy of Eating Well)

Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons plus ½ cup all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 pieces bacon, chopped
  • 1 2/3 cups Guinness beer or other stout (14-ounce can)
  • 1 pound whole baby carrots or large carrots cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 8-ounce package cremini or button mushrooms, halved if large
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups frozen baby peas, thawed

Directions:

  1. Combine 6 tablespoons flour with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a shallow bowl. Dredge chicken thighs in the mixture to coat completely; transfer to a plate.
  2. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the chicken and cook until well browned, 2 to 4 minutes per side; transfer to a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Reduce heat to medium and repeat with the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and chicken thighs. Arrange the chicken in an even layer in the slow cooker.
  3. Add bacon to the pan and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup flour over the bacon and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes more. Add stout and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Pour the mixture over the chicken. Add carrots, mushrooms, onion, garlic and thyme, spreading in an even layer over the chicken. Pour broth over the top.
  4. Cover and cook until the chicken is falling-apart tender, 4 hours on High or 7 to 8 hours on Low.
  5. Stir in peas, cover and cook until the peas are heated through, 5 to 10 minutes more. Season with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper.

For additional tips and nutritional information on this recipe, click here.

Stovetop Chicken & Broccoli Casserole

(Courtesy of Eating Well)

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces whole-wheat egg noodles
  • (1) 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1 14- to 16-ounce package frozen broccoli florets, thawed and chopped, if desired
  • 1 1/2 cups skim milk
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Colby-Jack or Cheddar cheese

Directions:

  1. Place noodles in a large skillet. Pour broth over the noodles. Layer chicken, then broccoli over the noodles.
  2. Whisk milk, mayonnaise, flour, dry mustard, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Pour over the broccoli.
  3. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook, stirring once or twice, until the noodles and chicken are cooked through, 15 to 18 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, position rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler.
  5. When the casserole is done, sprinkle cheese on top and broil until lightly browned, about 3 minutes.

For nutritional information on this recipe, click here.

 

MedicAlert Team Member