The weather in Norfolk is finally turning cooler and the leaves are beginning to change colors. Fall, to many people, means the return of comfort food. Comfort food is generally rich, filling, highly caloric food that is oozing with family tradition and sentimental memories. While traditional comfort food is delicious, most people choice not to eat it every day for fear of packing on the unwanted pounds.
The Norfolk Cooking Examiner has found that making only a few simple changes to a recipe can make it considerably healthier. Many of these recipes have the same tastes and flavors of a full fat alternative, but no one will be able tell the difference!
- Chicken puttanesca in parchment – All of the flavors of puttanesca sauce – olives, anchovies, capers and tomatoes – on top of a chicken breast and steamed in parchment paper.
- Mozzarella stuffed turkey and spinach meatballs – The title says it all. Low-fat ground turkey is mixed with seasonings and spinach, then stuffed with mozzarella cheese! Bake these meatballs until the cheese is oozing out, then toss with your favorite tomato sauce. Can be served alone or with whole wheat pasta.
- Grilled chicken marsala – Grilled chicken breast in a light marsala sauce using tons of mushrooms and beef stock. This is excellent alongside some brown rice to soak up the marsala sauce.
- Roasted acorn squash with wild rice stuffing – Can be used as a side dish or as a vegetarian entrée.
- Pork Milanese with lemony field greens – Instead of breading the pork in regular white bread breadcrumbs, make your own using whole wheat bread!
- Grilled eggplant rollatini – Traditional eggplant rollatini is breaded and fried, but you won’t miss it for a second. Eggplant lovers will love the smoky grilled eggplant. Use part-skim ricotta instead of whole milk for even less calories.
- American chop suey – American chop suey a.k.a. beef-a-roni! This recipe uses low fat ground turkey, tons of vegetables and whole wheat pasta. It’s so flavorful, no one will know that it’s full of healthy fat and fiber.
- Hearty Italian lentil stew – Mini turkey meatballs are mixed with green lentils, brown rice and tomato sauce for this hearty, stick-to-your-ribs meal. This was a childhood favorite for the Norfolk Cooking Examiner.
This Examiner finds that ground turkey can easily be substituted for recipes calling for ground beef. There are a few different kinds of ground turkey, but this Examiner likes to use Perdue’s 93/7 ground turkey (93% lean, 7% fat) found at the Norfolk Farm Fresh Supermarket. Not only is ground turkey delicious, it’s cheap at $3.59 a pound!