Give stodgy comfort food a healthier edge with these easy ingredient swaps…

Image: 12 healthy comfort food recipes you shouldn’t survive winter without

Via: Sainsbury's

Sometimes only proper comfort food will do, especially when the weather’s a bit on the wild side. 


But if you’re craving a hearty curry or cheesy lasagne without wanting to blow the diet, these healthier comfort food recipes will satisfy without making you feel like a beached whale.


It might seem too good to be true, but the magic lies in some clever ingredient swaps…    


1. Curry: swap cream for tinned tomatoes

Avoid creamy kormas and cook up this fragrant okra and baby aubergine curry instead. Ready in 40 minutes, it’s an easy midweek treat – although the flavours get even more vivid if you make it ahead (just cool and store in the fridge overnight).


2. Pizza: swap a doughy base for a healthier polenta crust

Some people say you can’t make a decent pizza at home. Nonsense. This crispy polenta pizza is a revelation and beats any takeaway version hands down.


3. Pho: swap fatty pork for tofu

With tons of flavour from the star anise, cinnamon and coriander seeds, you can get away with swapping pork belly for veg stock and tofu – which absorbs all the lovely savouriness of the other ingredients. Slurping is by no means frowned upon. 


4. Spaghetti: swap pasta for courgetti or boodles

Covered in sauce, these are just as satisfying (if not more tasty) than stodgy durum wheat, and thin strands of courgette and butternut noodles are both available to buy ready-made if you can't be bothered to get busy with the grater. Where do we sign up?


5. Fish pie – swap spuds for celeriac

Celeriac might be the ugly sister to ruby beets and snowy parsnips, but it sure tastes delicious and makes a lovely, creamy mash for this healthier fish pie. Packed with lean salmon and skinless haddock, each serving of this winter warmer contains less than 300 calories. You’d never guess.


6. Burger – swap bread buns for mushrooms

Grill your portobellos until tender and they’ll make a far more flavoursome alternative to floury white buns. We’re also up for swapping beef mince for these silken tofu and sweet potato patties – they taste as good as they sound.


7. Roast chicken – swap Sunday lunch for a hearty soup

Radical and divisive for sure. But if you’re looking for a skinny take on the Sunday roast, this chicken and veg soup has all the flavours of the nation’s favourite meal. Add spaghetti and homemade Matzo balls to really fill you up. It puts tinned soup to shame.


8. Lasagne – swap pasta for courgette

With a semi-skimmed white sauce and gossamer-thin Parmesan crust, this lasagne scores high on flavour and low on calories. Swapping pasta for sliced courgette also ups the veggie content. Clever.


9. Chicken wings – swap chicken for cauliflower

These moreish mouthfuls are so heavily spiced with honey, soy and ginger, you definitely won’t miss the meat. Serve them in paper cups with a hot yogurt dip to dunk.


10. Nachos – swap tortillas for sweet potato slices

Roasted and spiced sweet potato make tasty vehicles for black bean and sweetcorn salsa. Load up and dig in.


11. Toad in the hole – swap pork sausages for venison

Lean venison sausages and skimmed milk batter keeps this family favourite skinny. Fresh thyme and sage in the Yorkies add extra flavour too.