If you’re like most people, you may feel like you have an angel on one shoulder, and a devil on the other. The angel urges you to eat lots of healthy fruits and vegetables and keep portion sizes under control. The devil, however, tempts you with guilty pleasures and comfort foods. This meatball recipe, an original AnnaMaria’s creation, satisfies both.
As someone who loves food, but also wants to do the best for my body at all times, I get it. I know what it’s like to feel like you have to give up all the joys of eating if you want to stay well. Trying to live healthy and feel satisfied can seem impossible.
The truth is, you don’t have to sacrifice! Comfort food can be healthy. And healthy food can taste as good as your old favorite comfort foods!
Let’s look at some simple ways to make your favorite comfort foods healthier and enjoy a simple and comforting meatball dinner that will leave everyone full and content!
You can boost the benefits of your comfort food recipes by mixing in some hidden veggies. A food processor comes in handy here – simply process vegetables like carrots, zucchini, kale, or other nutritious vegetables and add to your pasta sauces, meatballs, lasagnas, burgers, tacos, and more
2. Make smart replacements.
Those of us who are gluten-intolerant or vegetarian are already masters at ingredient swapping. If you haven’t put a spin on your favorite recipes yet, now’s the time to try. A strategic ingredient swap can transform an indulgent meal into a better, healthier version of itself – without sacrificing any flavor!
Here are some of my favorite better-for-you ingredient swaps:
Are some of your favorite comfort foods fried? If so, you’re not alone! Fried foods are some of the most difficult foods to cut out of your diet because they tend to be so delicious! For me, things like fried arancini just can’t be beat.
Aside from my precious arancini, most things are just as good baked, sautéed, steamed, or roasted. Some things are even better this way! A toasty eggplant parmesan, for instance, is even better when crisped up in the oven, rather than left soggy fried in oil.
Many recipes call for more sugar and salt than we really need. In fact, you can cut up to 25% of the sugar in a recipe without noticing the change in sweetness. Challenge yourself to sprinkle less salt on your meals and reduce the sugar in recipes.
You can also try cutting the amount of cheese and condiments you put on your favorite foods while still enjoying a small amount of added seasoning. Soon, your taste buds will adapt and you won’t even notice the difference.
Cravings happen. Sometimes you just need to indulge in that decadent chocolate cake or cheesy pasta! When that time comes, don’t deprive yourself. Fill your plate with healthy foods, then allow yourself a bite or a half-sized portion and truly enjoy it. You’ll probably find that just a few bites is more than enough to satisfy your craving.
The point of living a healthy life is not to be perfect and avoid junk food all the time – it’s to stay healthy enough so you can enjoy the pleasures of life as long as possible.
This meatball dinner recipe is one of my favorite comfort food recipes of all time – and it’s healthy, too!