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Healthy comfort foods.

Calling all foodies! With the festive season in high gear, most of us are looking forward to winding down towards the end of the year, reflecting and spending time with family while downing some good food. With that said, some of us are not waiting for the New Year to make a resolution to start living healthy. But with all the rich food that will grace our tables, it won't be easy to nourish our bodies without some guilt.

As far as old school recipes go, watch Grandma’s Secret Cookbook as Mo Rocca reminisces and reveals some treasured recipes. Tune in for all this on Tuesday 1 December at 16:30 CAT on Food Network (175).

We thought we'd take a look at comfort food that is cosy without the calories. Don't worry, these slimmed-down suppers don't skimp on flavour. 

Here are five comfort food ideas done well. Bon appétit.

Pizza 

Pizza tends to go hand in hand with weight gain but that doesn’t have to be the case this festive season. Pizza can be a great, healthy meal when it is done right. Choose an all wheat flour for the crust and fill it up with great vegetables like mushrooms, peppers, broccoli and cilantro - you can never have too many veggies.

 

Spaghetti and meat balls 

Nothing says "comfort" like a big ol' bowl of spaghetti and meat balls - thumbs up if it is made from scratch at home. However, pasta can pack a whole lot of calories, especially when you factor in the meat that goes with it. A healthier option is to go with wholewheat pasta or zucchini pasta and use turkey - it is known to be leaner - for the meatballs. Stuff the meatballs with garlic and ginger to make it even more tasty!

 

Fries 

Yummy! These are a guilty pleasure for everyone but believe it or not there is a solution! Rather than stuffing yourself with these rather fatty potatoes, opt for the orange cousins ala sweet potatoes. These orange cousins are packed with carotenoids, which are very good for your eyes. It’s like eating carrots without having to eat carrots! A double win here for sweet potato fries! Try them baked and you will not regret it.

Pancakes 

Simple carb central and not exactly the most exciting item on the breakfast menu. However, you can amp them up with Greek yogurt and avoid the maple syrup all together. Add chopped fruit - bananas go really well in pancakes - or nuts to this mix for a more interesting outcome.

Cookies 

This list would not be fair without a dessert to seal the deal. Yes cookies can be healthy, especially the oatmeal kind. Substitute the wheat for oats and use raisins to minimize sugar. A whole lot of dried fruit never killed anyone. Make sure you save some healthy cookies with a glass of milk for Santa this festive season, as he sure needs it!

Be sure to try these healthy alternatives to your favourite meals. They are good for your health and even better for your waistline. For more ideas, just check out DStv's Foodies Page.

As far as old school recipes go, watch Grandma’s Secret Cookbook as Mo Rocca reminisces and reveals some treasured recipes. Tune in for all this on Tuesday 1 December at 16:30 CAT on Food Network (175).