Making Comfort Foods Healthier–Guest Post

After the holidays are over, planning out your meals can be a tricky business. Most people are ready to get into healthier routines and away from the holiday dishes they’ve been feasting on for the past month or so; eating during the holidays can be a tiring business! But making the switch from gluttonous holiday goodies to salads and veggies simply isn’t a feasible option for most families—winter is prime comfort food season, after all.

One of the easiest ways to make a smooth transition between holiday eating and your regular eating habits is to put some healthy twists on your favorite family meals. You don’t just have to eat carrot sticks to keep yourself feeling good post-holidays; there are lots of ways to add some extra nutrition to your usual dinners. Try out the following tips in your everyday cooking:

  • Stick to Whole Grains
From pita chips and crackers to bagels and sandwiches, whole grains are always the healthier option. Whole grain flour has fiber and nutrients that white flour just doesn’t, so try incorporating it into your cooking and baking.

  • Go for Lean Meats
Protein is a crucial part of any healthy diet, but some proteins are better for you than others. Turkey and chicken are both leaner meats than beef or pork, meaning they tend to be lower in calories and fat. Make sure to eat them with the skin off for a hearty dose of protein that won’t weigh you down.

  • Sneak In Some Produce

There’s nothing wrong with making filling, comforting meals during the winter—you’ve got to beat the cold weather somehow! Soups, stews and chilies are all perfect warm-you-up foods, and they’re also the perfect meals to sneak lots of veggies into. Add lots of diced veggies to soups stews and casseroles for some extra vitamins—mixed up in a pot, you’ll barely notice they’re there.

  • Sneak Out Some Fat
Using egg substitute in place of shell eggs is one of the easiest ways to decrease the fat and calorie content of any dish. Eggs can be used in dozens of different dishes, from obvious ones like omelets to less obvious ones like stir-fry or brownies, so keep some egg substitute in your kitchen for whenever you need it.

This recipe for a Turkey Sloppy Joe Cornbread Bake is the perfect example of how a hearty, comforting dinner can actually provide your family with good nutritional benefits. Lean turkey and egg substitute provide lots of protein with hardly any fat, but this bake tastes just as comforting as less-healthy comfort foods. Try it out and enjoy! 

Turkey Sloppy Joe Cornbread Bake
Prep Time: 15 min 
Total Time: 30 min
Serves: 6


  • PAM® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 can (15 oz each) Manwich® Original Sloppy Joe Sauce
  • 1 pkg (8.5 oz each) corn muffin mix
  • 1/3 cup fat free milk
  • 2 tablespoons Fleischmann’s® Original Spread-tub, melted
  • 1/4 cup Egg Beaters® Original

Preheat your oven to 400°F. Spray an 8 or 9-inch square baking dish or a 2-quart casserole dish with cooking spray. Cook turkey in large skillet over medium-high heat until crumbled and no longer pink; drain. Stir in Sloppy Joe sauce; heat until hot. Spoon into the baking dish.
Meanwhile, stir together the corn muffin mix, milk, Fleischmann’s and Egg Beaters in a medium bowl. Spoon and spread over hot turkey mixture. Don’t worry if the cornbread mixture doesn’t cover the meat completely; just spread it out as far as it can go.
Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown and set.

Author Bio:  Meredith K. wrote this guest post on behalf of Manwich®. For more comfort food recipes, from Sloppy Joes to Super Bowl dips, visit


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1 Comment

  1. Thanks for this post! I always have a hard time switching out my really fatty, sugary ingredients in comfort foods for healthier ones.