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Top 10 Winter Recipes

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When the days are short and the nights cold and long, it's tempting to indulge in some fattening comfort foods. Try these low fat comfort foods instead. They're hearty and delicious.

1. Mac and Cheese

Low Fat Macaroni and Cheese
Fiona Haynes
Macaroni and cheese is perhaps the ultimate in comfort foods, but if you use regular cheese, butter for a roux and whole milk, that's an awful lot of fat calories. Here's a low fat macaroni and cheese that dispenses with the butter and substitutes reduced-fat cheese and nonfat milk for their full-fat counterparts.

2. Turkey Chili

Bowl of Turkey Chili
This low fat turkey chili is an ideal family supper, and one of my favorites. It's hearty, healthy and easy to prepare. Serve with a dollop of fat-free yogurt or sour cream on top.

3. Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd's Pie
Fiona Haynes
This a low fat take on a classic English dish. Shepherd's Pie was traditonally made with leftover meat--usually lamb or beef. This is a recipe that can be made ahead and frozen for later use.

4. Crockpot Chicken Chili

Low Fat Crockpot Chicken Chili
Fiona Haynes
While chicken thighs have more fat than chicken breasts, their rich flavor means you can eat smaller portions. Here, the chicken thighs add depth of flavor in this simple, low fat chicken chili.

5. Sausage and Mushroom Stew

Sausage and Mushroom Stew
Fiona Haynes
The beauty of this sausage and mushroom stew is that it's quick and easy to make. I used lean Italian chicken sausage, but turkey sausage would be a good substitute. This stew doesn't really require anything extra, but if you're especially hungry, a slice or two of warm whole-grain bread would be a nice addition.

6. Lentil and Black Bean Soup

Lentil and Black Bean Soup
Fiona Haynes
Comfort foods needn't be high fat or high calorie. Soup is a great example. You can make delicious, nutritious, and satisfying soups such as this Lentil and Black Bean soup, which is packed full of low-fat, high-fiber goodness. If you choose to use vegetable broth, this makes a great vegetarian lunch.

7. Tamale Pie

Low Fat Tamale Pie
Fiona Haynes
This delicious tamale pie pie is a family favorite. A corn-topped pie is great for my husband who can't eat anything with gluten. It doesn't really need anything to accompany it, although we sometimes have some extra vegetables on the side.

8. Turkey Meatloaf

Reduced Fat Turkey Meatloaf
Fiona Haynes
This is one of my favorite meatloaf recipes. Using lean ground turkey, breadcrumbs soaked in milk, and shredded vegetables makes for a flavorful, tender, moist meatloaf. In fact, the recipe yields two turkey meatloaves. Enjoy with skinny mashed potatoes (substituting low fat buttermilk or low fat milk for butter and cream), and your favorite veggies.

9. Three-Bean Crockpot Chili

Low Fat Three Bean Crockpot Chili
Fiona Haynes
A hearty, warming low fat crockpot chili with extra-lean ground beef, kidney beans, pinto beans and black beans. Enjoy with some mini corn muffins.

10. Banana Bread Pudding

Banana Bread Pudding
Fiona Haynes
Here's a great way to use up over-ripe bananas, especially in the autumn and winter months. This easy-to-make low fat banana bread pudding is the perfect antidote to a cold and wet day. This is a great brunch dish.
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