Lighter Cures for Complex Cravings

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Lighter Cures for Complex Cravings

Read on for these healthier versions of comfort foods.

Portobello-And-Zuchhini Tacos

Tacos, roughly translated as “stuff wrapped in other stuff,” are best when bursting with varied flavors and textures. This portobello-and-zucchini version is one of our favorites (and will soon be one of yours too).

Get the recipe: Portobello-and-Zucchini Tacos

Tortilla Soup With Black Beans

Despite its heavy reputation, Mexican food is easily lightened by shifting the focus from meat and cheese to high-fiber beans and high-flavor spice. No need to skip the chips on top -- choose a brand that uses natural ingredients, or make your own using gluten-free corn tortillas.

Get the recipe: Tortilla Soup with Black Beans

Charred-Eggplant And Beef Burgers

A plant-based patty can satisfy in its own right, but a beef-burger craving is a whole different animal. This not-quite-veggie burger mixes rich, savory beef with smoky roasted eggplant, combining the best of both worlds. (If you're going vegetarian, an extra-hearty mushroom burger is your best bet.)

Get the recipe: Charred-Eggplant and Beef Burgers

Lighter Chicken Pot Pie

Like pizza, pot pie is an exercise in contrasts -- the distinct shatter of flaky crust on warm, hearty filling is made no less by white meat, extra veggies, and low-fat milk. Or go all-veg with a lightened-up biscuit topping in our Chunky Vegetable Potpie.

Get the recipe: Lighter Chicken Pot Pie

Macaroni And Cheese With Butternut Squash

We’d never get rid of the cheese in your mac -- after all, it’s right there in the name! But a combination of part-skim ricotta, roasted squash, and extra-sharp cheddar makes less taste like so much more.

Get the recipe: Macaroni and Cheese with Butternut Squash

Mini Deep-Dish Pizzas

Pizza, how do we love thee? We can count the ways -- thy cheese, thy sauce, thy crust -- but these elements hardly capture thy elemental charm. While a sad pinch of part-skim string cheese on a pita might scratch an itch (for now), it won’t deliver the hug-on-a-plate effect we crave in an honest slice.If you find yourself in need of a slightly less-crushing hug on a plate, give these healthier options a try. Since there’s no faking pizza, swap pans instead of ingredients -- a muffin-tin treat offers built-in portion control, preferred ratios intact.

Get the recipe: Mini Deep-Dish Pizzas

Mushroom And Scallion Frittata

Although it makes a delightful breakfast, the frittata could also be served with a green salad for a lunch or light dinner. White button mushrooms can be substituted for the shiitakes; trim but do not remove the stems. Cook the vegetables, then add the seasoned eggs, and bake the frittata -- all in one pan.

Get the recipe: Mushroom And Scallion Frittata

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Carbs can be oh-so comforting. Here are some classic dishes like pizza and mac and cheese a little bit more diet-friendly.

Check out the slideshow above for these lightened up comfort foods.

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