Healthy Comfort Foods – Consumer Reports


Choose poultry. Replace the beef or pork your recipe calls for with ground turkey or chicken breast. Poultry options are lower in saturated fat, and since chili has a blend of flavors that meld when simmered together, substituting won’t make the dish noticeably drier or less rich in flavor.

Trade meat. Try replacing half (or all) of the meat your chili recipe calls for with cooked beans or bulgur. It won’t affect the texture or flavor of the dish, but it will increase the nutrition considerably. These foods provide healthy fiber and increase meal size, helping you stay full longer. In addition, it will reduce calories and saturated fat. For example, if a recipe calls for 2 pounds of ground beef (4 cups) and you replace half of that with 2 cups of beans, you’ll reduce the calories by about 164 and the saturated fat by about 16 grams in your chili. that’s about 27 calories and about 3 grams of saturated fat per serving.

Add all kinds of beans. If you’re making vegetarian chili, double the amount of beans. Or if you’re using a recipe that doesn’t call for beans at all, add some to boost the vegetable protein and filling fiber content of the dish. (There are about 14 grams of protein in 1 cup of beans.) And mix them up. Kidney beans, black beans, and pinto beans might be some of the most commonly used, but whatever you have on hand is good, they’re all nutritious and tasty. Using a variety can keep things colorful and maximize your nutrient intake, as each type offers a slightly different mix.

Mix in more vegetables. Try including a cup or two of cubed sweet potatoes, pumpkin, or butternut squash to add fiber and antioxidant beta-carotene, which your body converts to vitamin A. These vegetables have a sweet, rich taste that sweetens the hot pepper. You can also mix in frozen or canned corn. (It cooks quickly, so add it during the last few minutes.) The grains contain a good amount of healthy fiber, plus they have a fresh flavor and chewy texture that can provide a delicious contrast to the beans and rich spices. .

Go green. Serve your chili over sautéed kale or spinach. It’s a great way to get more dark leafy greens, some of the most nutritious foods, into your diet, and they’re lower in calories than rice or cornbread.

Use substitutes for sour cream. It’s tasty but high in calories and saturated fat. Instead, try topping your chili with mashed avocado or fat-free Greek yogurt mixed with a sprinkle of chili powder and a little chopped onion.


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