Favorite foods without the extra calories

“People think the words ‘delicious’ and ‘healthy’ can’t be used in the same sentence,” says registered dietician Ellie Krieger, a New York Times best-selling author and Food Network host. “I can hardly blame them since so many foods billed as ‘good-for-you’ are so disappointing in flavor and taste,” she said.

Children and adults alike crave foods like creamy macaroni and cheese, French fries or juicy hamburgers. Traditionally prepared, though, these dishes are high in calories and fat. The average side of fries contains approximately 430 calories and 22 grams of fat, while a serving of boxed macaroni and cheese can have more than 300 calories and 12 grams of fat.

Krieger said to focus on moderation and simple adjustments to make foods we love both nutritious and delicious.

“You can have it all — food that is bursting with flavor that delights your taste buds and benefits the rest of your body,” she said.

The author shares her lower-fat recipe for classic mac and cheese.

Macaroni and Cheese
Serves 4
8 ounces uncooked elbow macaroni
3/4 cup milk, divided
2/3 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup pureed squash
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard

Cook the macaroni according to the package directions and drain. Place 1/2 cup of milk, cheddar cheese, squash, Parmesan cheese, salt and dry mustard into a pan and combine. Cook for five minutes until the mixture is hot and the cheese is melted. Add the cooked pasta and cook two minutes more. Add the remainder of the milk and cook for another two minutes.