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We've put some of my all-time most popular recipes on a
diet—so you won't have to!
At this time of year it's natural to want to gravitate toward comfort food, the kind of hearty, belly-filling fare that leaves you feeling, well, comforted. Problem is, when we go into hibernation mode, it's not unusual to pack on a few cold-weather pounds. Unlike the summer months, when it's easy and satisfying to fill up on seasonal veggies, grilled lean meats, and salads, cold-weather fare is often heavier, fattier, cheesier, and more calorie dense.
Because we all have days (or weeks) when we crave foods that are less-than good for us, I've taken some of my favorite comfort foods and given them a healthy makeover. My panko-crusted zucchini sticks have the same crunchy goodness as deep-fried mozzarella sticks, but because they're baked instead of fried, they're a guilt-free snack; dunk them in a bowl of marinara instead of sugary barbecue sauce or ketchup and you'll be home free. My new version of carbonara substitutes ribbons of zucchini for some of the spaghetti and lean ham for the bacon. There's some cream in there, but not too much, and it still has the same silky, indulgent texture of the original. If you're like me, you may actually prefer this lighter version!
For dessert, my latest take on chocolate espresso brownies is so fudgelike that you won't believe they're made with black beans, oats, and coconut oil. Go on, help
yourself to a second serving. You won't be regretting it when spring rolls around.