9 Healthy Comfort Food Hacks to Make Your Favorite Meals Even Better for a Delicious (and Nutritious) 2015

Like the other hundreds of millions of Americans who developed food-induced heart palpitations over the holidays, I resolved to eat healthier foods at the start of 2015. After months of indulging in doughy, cheesy, sugary comfort foods, I promised myself I'd satisfy my hourly hunger pangs with nothing but the good stuff — dark leafy greens, avocados, and pomegranate-topped-everything.

But then I remembered it's January, it's cold, and as the sun sinks down into the low hanging gray skies of Brooklyn at 5 p.m. each day, the last thing I want for dinner is a chilled kale and apple salad. Don't get me wrong, I love me some blanched kale and Granny Smiths, but cold winter times call for warm, comforting measures. And luckily, thanks to these healthy comfort food hacks, we don't have to go all cold turkey on our favorite seasonal comfort foods.

Image: Prevention RD

by Marion Bernstein

Baked Potato Nachos

Replace those salty processed tortilla chips with real life oven-roasted, potassium-rich potatoes. Oh She Glows tops her taters with classic nacho toppings including black beans, avocado, and fresh cilantro. Feeling super healthy? Replace those Russets with sweet potatoes a la Paleo Grubs.

Image: Oh She Glows

Chicken Alfredo Pizza With Creamy Cauliflower Sauce

The fiber-rich cauliflower poses as a creamy Alfredo base in this delicious (and nutritious) homemade whole wheat crust pizza from Making Thyme For Health.

Image: Making Thyme For Health

Broccoli Stem Fries

Why throw out broccoli stems when they make a great substitute for greasy French fries? Head on over to What’s Cooking Good Looking to see how Jodi seasons her stems.

Image: What’s Cooking Good Looking

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

We’re well aware how much Bustlers love their mac and cheese — which is precisely why it gives me great pleasure to spread the word on this healthy version courtesy of Prevention RD, who subs butternut squash and Greek yogurt for stick(s) of butter.

Image: Prevention RD

Garlic Mashed Cauliflower

There’s nothing more comforting than a warm bowl of creamy garlic mashed potatoes. But all that cream and starch will be sure to put you to sleep in seven minutes flat. Avoid the fatigue and mash some low fat, high fiber cauliflower instead. See how Healthful Pursuit mashes her hearty veg here.

Image: Healthful Pursuit

Spaghetti Squash With Chickpeas and Kale

Do you love traditional spaghetti dishes? Do you not love feeling weighed down by traditional spaghetti dishes? See how Love & Lemons replaces starchy noodles with vitamin A and beta carotene-rich spaghetti squash.

Image: Love & Lemons

Creamy Carrot, Ginger, and Lime Soup

There’s nothing better than homemade hot, creamy soup on a cold winter’s night. Meet your daily “good fat” quota by replacing cream or milk with blended avocado. See how Bare Root Girl blends hers with carrot, ginger, and lime.

Image: Bare Root Girl

Buffalo Chicken Chili

No classic comfort food list would be complete without a chili recipe. Cut the fat by replacing beef with ground chicken or turkey. Little Leopard Book satisfies both chicken wing and chili cravings by adding buffalo sauce to her pot.

Image: Little Leopard Book

Coconut Oil Hollandaise Sauce

Perfect the art of Sunday brunch within the comforts of your own home with this healthy homemade Hollandaise sauce recipe courtesy of Against All Grain.

Image: Against All Grain