While the calendar and box stores may be telling us that summer is coming to a close and pumpkin-spice season is around the corner, the weather says something different. While these cool spins on traditional comfort foods can be enjoyed year-round, you may particularly enjoy making them with your outdoor grill or eating them outside on a summer evening.
Not all comfort food is "unhealthy", but like many other recipes, there may be room to swap saturated fats for healthy fats, increase fiber using vegetables, and reduce sodium by making sauces at home instead of buying them at the store - thus making them "healthier".
grilled veggie tacos with whole-grain tortillas
Tacos are amazing in their versatility and explosive flavors. They typically featuring a protein like beef, chicken, or fish, sauces like salsa or cream sauce, and vegetables and cheese. I think the most controversial choice among tacos is tortilla choice! Hard corn tacos, soft corn tacos, or flour? Which one reigns supreme in your household?
You can increase the fresh flavor, antioxidant, and fiber content of your weekly taco night by adding more vegetables to your tacos. Whether you choose to swap the protein for marinated portobello mushrooms or grilled peppers, or add onions, tomatoes, zucchini, corn, or avocado as toppings, you can enjoy something a little different without forgoing your favorite summer staple.
chicken enchiladas with avocado
Store bought enchilada sauce and taco seasoning may be low in calories, but it's high in sodium. Most of that sodium is to preserve taste and food safety as the sauce sits on the shelf at the store. When you make your own enchilada sauce at home, you can freeze it in dinner-size portions to use next time. This recipe takes only 10 minutes and uses spices and other ingredients that you likely have at home if you regularly eat Mexican food.
Change up the texture of your chicken enchiladas by adding avocados, an amazing source of "good fats". And they're filling!
If you haven't tried making this dish before, then check online for a chicken enchilada recipe your family will love. It's a great dinner recipe to feed a crowd, but also works great for meal prep.
If you're tired of the heat but also miss the soups of winter, you should give gazpacho a try. Gazpacho is a cold soup, and when you make it with cucumber and avocado, you get a creamy soup that can help cool you down. Blend ripe avocados with sliced cucumbers and green bell peppers. Add Grek yogurt for a creamy texture and garnish with your choice of scallions or spices.
veggie fried rice
Veggie fried rice is already a take-out night special. But you can make a few swaps to increase the fiber (and thus how filling it is) while also getting extra vitamins and nutrients. You can make these swaps when you order your fried rice for takeout, or when you make it at home.
Try brown rice instead of white rice, and add extra vegetables to your veggie fried rice, like chopped spring onions, sliced carrots, cucumber, tomatoes, and even lettuce. If you like a bit of crunch, add the veggies when you plate up the meal instead of mixing in with the rice. If you like a creamy texture, add some sliced avocados with olive oil.
a blog about health, wellness, nutrition, and fitness from an epidemiologist / dietitian with personal trainer experience
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