Comfort Zone

7 lightened-up versions of your favorite foods.


Let's get real: When you're pregnant in the dead of winter, controlling your weight is no piece of cake, although you'd probably like to eat one—and then another. We share our favorite recipes for comfort foods with a lighter twist to give you more energy and protect your and your developing baby's health.

Recipe: Macaroni and Cheese Traditional mac-and-cheese recipes can contain up to 1,000 calories and almost 60 grams of fat per serving. Slash the fat by using reduced-fat cheeses; Jarlsberg is particularly good because it has a more piquant flavor than cheddar and thus can be used more sparingly. Nutmeg also helps punch up the flavor.

Recipe: Chicken Tenders Marinating the chicken tenders in low-fat buttermilk (the longer, the better!) makes them juicy, tender and flavorful. Panko (small, flaky bread crumbs common in Japanese cuisine) or finely crushed unsweetened cornflakes provides a great crunchy texture. Using only 2 tablespoons of oil instead of the 4 cups usually used when making fried chicken cuts the fat considerably.

Recipe: Chocolate Parsnip Chili Winter-white cousins of carrots, parsnips contain more fiber than their orange counterpart to help combat constipation. Plus, they're a good source of folate, which helps prevent structural defects, such as spina bifida.

Recipe: Maple-Glazed Rutabaga With Toasted Pumpkin Seeds A rutabaga is slighty sweeter than its more familiar cousin, the turnip. It contains vitamin C, which aids in iron absorption, and magnesium, a mineral that may ease constipation and improve blood sugar control.

Recipe: Turkey Meatloaf Use ground turkey instead of beef for a leaner source of protein. Herbs and vegetables add fresh flavor, so you won't need traditional gravy, which contains more butter and heavy cream.

Recipe: Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes Yukon Gold potatoes are a particularly creamy variety, so you can skip the extra butter and cream. Cooking them in chicken stock also enhances their flavor.

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