Easy Comfort Food Recipes Made Healthy

Comfort food doesn't have to be loaded with empty calories and fat. Homemade classics, like mac and cheese, can be filled with good-for-you nutrients that keep you fueled during a tough workout.

As athletes, we need to take care of our bodies every opportunity we have. There are good (i.e. real) foods and ingredients and then there are processed products and ingredients that lead or contribute to disease. Make a few simple swaps to classic homemade dishes to ensure you're getting the right nutrients.

More: 1 Week of Dinners With 6 Iingredients or Less

Mac and Cheese

  • Vegan
  • Gluten-free option
  • Makes 3 to 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 8 oz organic sprouted whole-grain elbow pasta, cooked
  • 3/4 cup organic raw cashews
  • 1-3/4 cups made-at home almond milk
  • 1/4 cup organic coconut oil
  • 6 tbsp organic sprouted grain flour (use gluten-free flour if needed)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (Bragg Nutritional Yeast)
  • 2 tbsp organic miso paste
  • 1 tbsp fresh squeezed organic lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped organic red onion
  • 1/8 cup chopped organic garlic
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Organic ground white pepper to taste
  • Optional: truffle oil to taste

Directions

  1. Finely grind the cashews in a food processor, but be careful to not let them turn into butter. Set aside.
  2. In a large non-toxic saucepan, combine almond milk, coconut oil and flour and bring to a simmer over high heat, stirring well together to prevent clumps. Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir until thick and creamy.
  3. Add in the ground cashews, nutritional yeast, miso paste, lemon juice, chopped onion and garlic powder and salt. Mix until well combined.
  4. Mix the macaroni noodles in with the cashew cheese.
  5. Drizzle with truffle oil (if desired) and serve.

For Baked Mac and Cheese: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Pour the macaroni mixture in a 8- or 9-inch square baking dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (make your own or use organic breadcrumbs). Place in the oven, uncovered, and bake for about 15 to 25 minutes until the top is golden brown.

Note: Be sure to use gluten-free breadcrumbs if you need too.

More: Clean Eating Recipes for Athletes

Yukon Gold Scalloped Potatoes

  • Gluten-free option
  • Vegan
  • Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup organic raw cashew
  • 1-3/4 cups homemade almond milk
  • 1/4 cup organic coconut oil
  • 6 tbsp organic sprouted grain flour (be sure to use gluten-free flour if needed)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp organic miso paste
  • 1 tbsp fresh squeezed organic lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped organic red onion
  • 1/8 cup chopped organic garlic
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Organic ground white pepper, to taste
  • 6 medium organic yukon potatoes, unpeeled and sliced thinly
  • 1/2 cup chopped organic red onion
  • Organic paprika powder
  • 1 tbsp organic fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon organic fresh sage, chopped
  • Optional: organic truffle oil to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-inch glass baking dish with some organic coconut oil.
  2. Stir the salt and pepper into the flour.
  3. In a large non-toxic saucepan, combine almond milk, coconut oil and flour and bring to a simmer over high heat, stirring well together to prevent clumps. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir until thick and creamy.
  4. Add in the ground cashews, nutritional yeast, miso paste, lemon juice, chopped onion and garlic powder and salt and mix until well combined.
  5. Place 1/2 of the sliced potatoes along the bottom of the pan and pour 1/4 cup of the creamy cheese mixture over it. Repeat this process till potatoes and creamy cheese mixture are gone. Sprinkle with paprika.
  6. Place in the oven and bake for 60 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with fresh herbs.
  8. Drizzle with truffle oil if desired.

More: 2 Quick and Easy Dessert Recipes

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About the Author

Sarah Stanley

Sarah Stanley is a wellness educator, ultramarathoner, endurance athlete, speaker, business consultant, and founder of #wellnesschat. Passionate about authentic healthy living, Sarah lives what she speaks about, practicing an organic, whole foods, plant-based lifestyle that fuels her ultrarunning adventures. Her goal is to empower others to be knowledgeable about what they put in and on their body so they can live a healthy, disease-free and happy life. She's been featured in SELF, SHAPE, Ladies' Home Journal and Washingtonian. Connect with Sarah on Twitter @SarahStanley.

Sarah Stanley is a wellness educator, ultramarathoner, endurance athlete, speaker, business consultant, and founder of #wellnesschat. Passionate about authentic healthy living, Sarah lives what she speaks about, practicing an organic, whole foods, plant-based lifestyle that fuels her ultrarunning adventures. Her goal is to empower others to be knowledgeable about what they put in and on their body so they can live a healthy, disease-free and happy life. She's been featured in SELF, SHAPE, Ladies' Home Journal and Washingtonian. Connect with Sarah on Twitter @SarahStanley.

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