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7 healthy comfort dishes to help kick off the new year

With the new year ahead, healthier eating habits become a part of new year resolutions. Since 2020 was a year of mastering the kitchen, your cooking skills can take on the challenge to turn comfort dishes into healthier ones.


Healthy eating doesn't necessarily mean eating only salads. Here are seven healthy comfort foods to fill up your belly and add nutrients to your diet.

Mac 'n' goat cheese

Everybody loves a bowl of mac and cheese, especially as a comfort dish. But in reality, how much better can you actually make it? Try switching up the beloved recipe by adding goat cheese, cherry tomatoes and spinach for a healthier version. This recipe is easy to make and will only take 15 minutes, so try it out for lunch as a healthier alternative on mac and cheese.

You can find the recipe for the mac 'n' goat Cheese here.

Chicken noodle soup

There is nothing more comforting than a bowl of chicken noodle soup during a winter evening. If you're feeling stuck with a classic chicken noodle recipe, try switching it up with this one for a low-calorie alternative. This version includes ginger and rice or wheat noodles to make things a bit healthier, but just as tasty. This recipe will take 30 minutes to make and is guaranteed to keep you warm or even help nourish you if you're not feeling too good.

You can find the recipe for chicken noodle soup here.

Black bean sweet potato enchiladas

This healthy Mexican-inspired dish might be just what you need for dinner this week. Protein-packed and completely vegetarian, black bean sweet potato enchiladas are filled with mouthwatering flavors that will have you obsessed. This easy recipe will take an hour to make, so you can feed the whole house with a healthy alternative on enchiladas.

You can find the recipe for black bean sweet potato enchiladas here.

Cauliflower risotto

Traditional creamy risotto is one of those special dishes that you can't make every week since it's time consuming, but this version of the recipe, filled with cauliflower instead of rice, promises a healthier and easier risotto to make. The same delicious flavors of risotto are incorporated in this recipe, but switches up the rice with cauliflower to add a lighter taste to the end result. This recipe will take 40 minutes to make and will satisfy any vegetarians looking for an easy, healthy dish.

You can find the recipe for cauliflower risotto here.

Turkey chili

With the cooler weather in Austin, there is no alternative to eating a bowl of chili on the couch and binge watching your favorite shows. Unless that recipe is a healthier version of it and is still considered a comfort dish. This slow cooker turkey chili recipe is simple, easy to make, affordable and jam packed with nutrients, vegetables and protein. With a 30 minute prep time, you can start the slow cooker in the morning and have your dinner ready eight hours later without having to do any work.

You can find the recipe for the slow cooker turkey chili here.

Spaghetti squash boats with chicken

Looking for an easy to make healthy evening meal for those colder nights? These spaghetti squash boats with chicken need to be your next meal. The perfect comfort dish, this recipe is simple and takes a little over an hour to make. Spaghetti squash is an easy ingredient to switch up your traditional meal, and is healthy enough to eat everyday. Add some bacon on top for a flavorful experience not even your kids can turn down.

You can find the recipe for spaghetti squash boats with chicken here.

Kale pesto pizza

Is there anyone who doesn't like pizza? Healthy alternatives to pizza have been made for years, but nothing beats a kale pesto pizza. Kale is a perfect ingredient for anyone looking to make their meals healthier, as it is packed with vitamins and proteins. This pizza is a delicious healthier take on everyone's favorite meal, and is easy enough to make at home. As long as you have 30 minutes to spare, this could be your next healthy dinner.


You can find the recipe for kale pesto pizza here.

Want to see one of these recipe's made?

Head to @austonianews on Instagram at 6 p.m. Wednesday where Austonia's Isabella Lopes will recreate one of these mouth-watering recipes on IG stories.

Popular

Tito's releases (not so?) ugly sweater line for the holidays, profits to charity

Tito's Handmade Vodka

Show your love for Tito's and for the community this year with a wide selection of not that ugly, uglyish, ugly, uglier, and ugliest holiday sweaters.

There's lots choose from, and plenty of accessories like scarves and socks, plus gear for your dog, too.

All of the items can be purchased online or at the Love, Tito’s Retail Store in Austin, TX. 100% of all net proceeds from online or in-store purchases go to one of the nonprofits we’ve teamed up with.

Click here to see the entire collection in the Tito's store.

Mac and Cheese Fest and Free Art Exhibit
Waterloo Greenway, Good Vibrations Installation


🗓 All weekend

🎨 Creek Show Art Exhibit

Check out this highly anticipated art exhibition with illuminated art along Waller Creek. Tickets are free and the event includes food vendors, dazzling lights, live music, and hands-on activities

All weekend 6 p.m - 10 p.m | 📍Waterloo Park

✨ Mozart's Light Show

This iconic holiday tradition lights up for the first time this holiday season starting this weekend! Reserve your spot for an enchanting light and sound performance, delicious hot cocoa, sweet treats, and some overall fun with your friends or family. The show runs till January 6th.

6 p.m and 9 p.m | 📍Mozart's Coffee Roasters - 3825 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, TX 78703

🗓 Saturday

🥊 Kickboxing in the Park

This fitness event is free and open to the public. Get your morning started right with a "Fitness in the park" class for kickboxing! The class will be led by certified instructors and is a great way to get a cardio workout in while also honing your self-defense skills.

10 a.m - 11 a.m | 📍 Metz Park

🛍 The Front Market

Support local LBGTQ+ and female artists at this outdoor market with over 150 vendors. Get your holiday shopping out of the way at this event, with vendors for food trucks, handmade goods, raffles, hands on workshops and activities, and more.

11 a.m - 5 p.m | 📍Ani's Day and Night - 7107 E Riverside Drive, Austin, TX 78741

🗓 Sunday

🧀 Mac and Cheese Fest

Did someone say cheese?! If you're like me and always willing to get your hands on a bowl of mac and cheese, then this event is for you. Check out the Mac and Cheese festival happening this weekend to decide which vendor has. the best mac and cheese for yourself, and enjoy the bar with creative cocktails while you're at it. Tickets start at $45.

11 a.m - 3 p.m | 📍Lantana Place - 7415 Southwest Parkway