The 150 Healthiest Comfort Foods on Earth: The Surprising, Unbiased Truth About How to Make Over Your Diet and Lose Weight While Still Enjoying the Foods You Love and Crave


“This book tantalizes my taste buds and is everything I love—real comfort food that is as nutritious as it is delicious!” —Holly Clegg, author of the trim&TERRIFIC® cookbook series

Feel good about satisfying your craving for comfort food! You can now savor the taste—and healthiness—of warm, delicious, and comforting classics including mac ’n cheese, lasagna, chicken nuggets, pancakes, potato skins, and shepherd’s pie, thanks to acclaimed nutritionist Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., ...

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“This book tantalizes my taste buds and is everything I love—real comfort food that is as nutritious as it is delicious!” —Holly Clegg, author of the trim&TERRIFIC® cookbook series

Feel good about satisfying your craving for comfort food! You can now savor the taste—and healthiness—of warm, delicious, and comforting classics including mac ’n cheese, lasagna, chicken nuggets, pancakes, potato skins, and shepherd’s pie, thanks to acclaimed nutritionist Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S., and whole foods chef Jeannette Bessinger, C.H.H.C.

The two transform 150 comfort food favorites into good-for-you dishes without sacrificing an ounce of taste by:

- cutting back on sugar to lower blood sugar impact

- increasing fiber and protein

- boosting nutrients with added fruits and vegetables

- focusing on higher-quality fats such as olive oil

- reducing calories by reducing overall fat

The result? Delicious new classics such as: Fresh Phyllo Chicken Pot Pie; Higher-Protein, Lower-Cal Creamy Fettuccini Alfredo; Whole-Grain Home-Grilled Pizza; Satisfying Real-Food Pumpkin Pancakes; Lower-Cal Loaded Potato Skins; and Grass-Fed Italian Feta Meatballs in Tomato Sauce. Your taste buds—and your health—will thank you!

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592334827
  • Publisher: Fair Winds Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2011
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Meet the Author

Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S., a board-certified nutritionist with a master's degree in psychology, is a nationally known expert on nutrition, weight loss, and health. He is the author of several best-selling titles, including The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth, The Most Effective Ways to Live Longer, and The 150 Most Effective Ways to Boost Your Energy. He is the nutrition editor for Pilates Style, a contributing editor for Clean Eating, and a columnist for both America Online and Better Nutrition. His work has been featured in dozens of national publications (print and online) including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Time, Oxygen, Marie Claire, Diabetes Focus, US Weekly, Cosmopolitan, Family Circle, Self, Fitness, Allure, Essence, Men's Health, Weight Watchers, Prevention, Woman's World, Fitness, Natural Health, and Shape. He lives in Woodland Hills, CA. Visit

Jeannette Bessinger, C.H.H.C., is a board-certified, holistic health counselor, award-winning lifestyle and nutrition educator, and owner of Balance for Life, LLC,, which provides lifestyle health and nutrition education to individuals and organizations. A whole foods cook, she is co-author of The Healthiest Meals on Earth and a contributing writer for Clean Eating magazine. She is a lifestyle health and nutrition consultant to several public and private groups and coalitions working to improve the health of schools and cities in the United States.

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Read an Excerpt

Lean and Savory Sauced Pot Roast

From Dr. Jonny: As a kid, I really liked pot roast even though I had no idea what it actually was. Most pot roast recipes call for “beef chuck,” which is basically mystery meat—not to mention extremely fatty. A simple upgrade makes this comfort food healthier: Just choose bottom round, a leaner cut of meat that will give you all the flavor of the original with fewer calories. It’ll still cook up nice and tender because Chef Jeannette prepares it in a slow cooker and smothers it in a juicy, flavorful tomato sauce, eliminating the need for high-cal gravy. Leaving the skins on the potatoes adds fiber and vitamins, and using a slow cooker saves calories because you don’t need extra “browning” fat. Note: If you really want to make this a healthy dish, choose grassfed beef!


- 1 large onion, coarsely chopped

- 4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into 1⁄4-inch (6-mm) rounds (or use a 1-pound, or 455-g, bag of mini-baby carrots to save time)

- 2 stalks celery, sliced

- 3⁄4 pound (340 g) baby new potatoes, halved or quartered if large, unpeeled

- 1 can (14.5 ounces, or 410 g) diced tomatoes in sauce, undrained

- 2 tablespoons (32 g) tomato paste

- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) red wine vinegar

- 4 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped

- 1 tablespoon (15 g) Dijon mustard

- 1 teaspoon Sucanat, sugar, or Xylitol

- 1⁄2 teaspoon each salt and fresh-ground black pepper

- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled

- 1⁄4 teaspoon cumin

- 1⁄4 teaspoon turmeric

- 1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

- Pinch of allspice

- 2 to 21⁄2 pounds (905 to 1135 g) boneless bottom round roast

Scatter the onion evenly in the bottom of a large slow cooker. Add the carrots, celery, and potatoes. In a medium bowl, mix together the tomatoes, tomato paste, vinegar, garlic, mustard, Sucanat, salt, pepper, rosemary, cumin, turmeric, cayenne, and allspice until well combined. Place the roast over the vegetables and carefully pour the tomato sauce over all. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, or until the meat is tender and cooked through.

Yield: 6 to 7 servings

Per serving: 382.6 calories; 14.7 g fat (34% calories from fat); 36.4 g protein; 24.5 g carbohydrate; 5.3 g dietary fiber; 108.6 mg cholesterol; 344.4 mg sodium

From Chef Jeannette: Even Healthier: for a unique flavor twist with more fiber and vitamin A and less starch, substitute a large sweet potato or half a medium butternut squash for the white potatoes. Peel and dice into 3⁄4-inch (1.9-cm) chunks.

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Table of Contents


1 - The Mains


Capsaicin-Rich Jamaican Jerk Chicken

Flavorful Faux Fried Chicken

Flavorful, Fiber-Full, Crispy Chicken Nuggets

Fresh Phyllo Chicken Pot Pie

Better-Than-Mom’s Low-Salt Chicken Soup

Not-So-Sweet and Sour Chicken

Light and Tangy Vitamin-C Orange Chicken

Sumptuous White Meat Chicken Cacciatore

Skinny Stuffed Chicken with Zucchini Pappardelle “Pasta”

Lean and Light Curried Chicken Casserole

Light and Lemony Garlic Roasted Chicken

Smoky, Lower-Sugar Barbecue Drumsticks

Zippy Chicken Enchiladas: Protein Aplenty

Tasty Turkey Tetrazzini with Whole-Wheat Egg Noodles

Savory Slow Cooker Tender Turkey Drumsticks

Smoky Lower-Fat Bacon Turkey Burgers

Hearty Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna with Lower-Fat Meat Sauce

Lean and Tasty Sloppy Jonny

Healthy Holidays Dinner: Free-Range Citrus-Stuffed Herbed Turkey

Higher-Fiber Apple-Corn Bread Stuffing

Autumnal Antioxidants: Cranberry-Orange Relish


Iron-Man Slow Cooker Beef Stew

In-a-Pinch Spaghetti Bolognese

Lean and Mean Marinated Flank Steak Tostadas

Grass-Fed Italian Feta Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

Lighter-but-Luscious Portobello Beef Stroganoff

Good-for-You Guacamole Grass-Fed Burger

Free-Range Ketchup-Mustard-Relish Sliders

Rich, Muscle-Building Meatloaf

Sinless and Savory Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls

Lean and Savory Sauced Pot Roast

Grass-Fed Ground Beef Burritos with Cilantro-Orange Salsa

Lemon Cinna-Mint-Spiked Lean Lamb Stew

Simple, Saucy Antioxidant American Chop Suey

Savory Souped-Up Shepherd’s Pie

Rack of Lean Lamb with Herbs and Roasted Shallots


Less-Butter Baked Scallops and Savory Shiitakes

Zesty Calcium-Stuffed Salmon

Tempting Tuned-Up Tuna Casserole

Protein-Packed, Apple-Glazed Wild-Caught Alaskan Salmon

Tempting Four-Flavors Shrimp Pad Thai

Backyard New England Clambake: Bounty of the Sea

Fresh and Fiber-Full Fish Fingers

Luscious Low-Carb Lobster Rolls

Creamy, Lower-Fat New England Clam Chowder

All-in-One Spicy Shrimp and Brown Rice Jambalaya

Savory, Protein-Rich Chicken and Shrimp Paella

Superfresh and Lemony Olive Oil–Rich Shrimp Scampi


Higher-Protein, Lower-Cal Creamy Fettuccini Alfredo

Madeover Mac and Cheese—a Calcium and Vitamin D Bonanza

Chuck’s Healthy Eggplant Parm

Tangy, No-Cream of Tomato Soup

Pork-Free Fresh Pea Soup

Smoky Bean Baked Nachos

Lower-Oil Spicy Sesame Peanut Noodles

Tender Greens Pesto with Protein-Packed Pasta

Whole-Grain Home-Grilled Pizza

Rich Cheesy Crudités Fondue

Smoky Hot Whole Grains and Beans Chili

2 - Side Dishes

Two-Corn Cheesie Grits with Roasted Veggies

Nutted Shiitake Brown Rice Pilaf

Sweet-Tart Omega-Rich 3-Bean Salad

Zingy Whole-Grain Broccoli Corn Bread

Nutty, Iron-Rich Creamed Spinach

Not-Your-Grandmother’s Green Bean Casserole

Creamy Creamless Skillet Corn

Healthier, Whole-Grain Lemon Veggie Rice

Aromatic, Antioxidant-Rich Orange–Sweet Potato Casserole

Lower-Cal Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

Creamy Low-Fat Mashed Potatoes

Fluffy Twice-Baked Potatoes with Chèvre and Roasted Shallots

A Lighter Touch: Tangy German Potato Salad

Tender Lower-Fat French Fries

Sweet and Tangy No-Bake, High-Fiber Beans

Whole-Grain Veggie-Rich Macaroni Salad

Light and Bright Waldorf Salad

Tangy Raw Caesar Salad with Whole-Grain Croutons

Lean and Clean Dirty Rice

Lighter Cider Coleslaw

3 - Desserts

Satisfying Real-Food Piecrust

Organic Gingersnappy Piecrust

Giant Two-Crust Apple Dumpling Pie

Autumnal Fresh-Pumpkin Pie with Potassium

Memorable Freshest Blueberry Blast Pie

Dark and Mineral-Rich Coco-Fudgy Pie

Vitamin C–Rich Sweet-Tart Apple Rhubarb Crisp

Tender and Trans Fat–Free Peach and Blueberry Cobbler

Decadent Dark Chocolate Chip Multigrain Cookies

Simple Snappy Real Ginger Cookies

Dreamy, All-Natural Choco–Peanut Butter Cookies

Spiced, Lower-Sugar Cookies

Decadent Better-Fat Walnut Brownies

Jonny’s Fudgy Chocolate Antioxidant Pudding

Creamy and Nutritious Coconutty Rice Pudding

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein-Power Milkshakes

Light and Groovy Sorbet and Homemade Soda Floats

Lower-Cal, Moist Mock Sour Cream Chocolate Cake

Dense and Dreamy Fruit ’n Nut–Filled Carrot Cake

Rich and Creamy Lower-Cal Cream Cheese Frosting

Real Fresh, Real Fruit Strawberry Ice Cream

Magnificent Madeover Strawberry Shortcake

Iron-Strong Gingerbread Cake with Poire William

The Real Deal: Lightly Sweetened Fresh Whipped Cream

Tart Cherry Chocolate Whole-Grain Bread Pudding

4 - Breakfasts

Corn-Rich Whole-Grain Jonnycakes

Warm, Lower-Sugar Apple Cranberry Compote

Satisfying Real-Food Pumpkin Pancakes

Hearty High-Fiber Baked Cinnamon French Toast

Homemade Heart-Healthy Nutty Ginger Granola

Open-Your-Eyes Orange High-Fiber Waffles

Nutritious Real-Deal Oatmeal: Sweet Nutty Banana Oats

Protein-Packed Cheesy Onion Oats

Clean and Cheesy Apple Turkey Sausage

Two-Cheese Fit and Flavorful Frittata

High-Protein Smoked Chicken Quiche Dijon

Lighten Up Cheesy Mediterranean Egg Scramble

Whole-Wheat Chili Biscuit Breakfast Pie

Savory Baked-Not-Fried Hash Browns

Fiber-Full Sweet Potato Mini-Muffins

Low-Fat, Light, and Luscious Banana Muffins

Lemony Light and Bright Breakfast Fruit Salad

Banana-Sweet Strawberry Breakfast Bread

Nutty Antioxidant Power Cran-Orange Bread

Portobello Benedict with Sundried Tomato Pesto

Two Better Omelets

Gourmet Whole-Grain Breakfast Burrito

Luscious, Lighter Almond Coffee Cake

5 - Appetizers, Snacks, and Drinks


Lower-Cal Loaded Potato Skins

Creamy, Stuffed, Potassium-Packed Portobellos

Healthier, High-Quality Almond Cheese Puffs

Higher-Protein 2-Cheese Chicken Quesadilla with Cranberry

Best Broiled Buffalo Wings

Sweet and Sassy Thai-Glazed Baked Wings

Clean and Lean Smoky Blackstrap Rum Grilled Wings

Lean and Classic Game Night 3-Layer Mexi-Dip

Cheesy, Iron-Rich Spinach Squares


Warm and Soft Lower-Sodium Pretzels

Lower-Sugar Shrimp Cocktail with a Kick

Heart-Lovin’ Spicy and Sweet Nuts

Better-for-You Cinnamon Applesauce

Fiberlicious Sweet ’n Smoky Baked Beans Dip

Heavenly Omega-Boosted Deviled Eggs

Calorie-Light Caramelized Onion Dip

All-Natural Spicy Salsa Guacamole

Lower-Cal Instant Tropical Frozen “Rice Cream”

Pure and Simple Spiced Cider

Fresh and Fruity Coconut Lime Mojito

Sweet and Spicy Antioxidant Hot Chocolate

Appendix: The Healthy Comfort Foods Pantry


About the Authors


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