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Recipes: 5 Healthy Takes on Classic Comfort Foods

Recreate burgers, mac 'n' cheese, and lasagna using fat-burning, energy-boosting ingredients.
Claire Benoist

We're not above food porn. We’ll be the first to admit that we’ve also toured, the Internet’s deep-fried, culinary hall of shame. We’re only human, after all, and double-cheeseburgers with doughnut buns appeal to us, too. Unfortunately, they also keep us fat. So we decided to embrace it. As they say in the infomercials, “There’s got to be a better way!” And we found it: classic comfort food, just the way you know and love it, but with the stealthy substitution of natural muscle-building, fat-burning, and energy-boosting ingredients. It’s time to drop the guilt. Because sometimes, you can have your cake and eat it, too.

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Mushrooms do more than slash calories, fat, and cholesterol; their umami, or savory taste, intensifies the flavor of the food they’re mixed into. What’s more, mushrooms are the only source of vitamin D in the produce aisle.


  • 6 oz cremini mushrooms
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup low-fat ricotta cheese
  • 4 oz 93% lean ground beef
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 deli thin buns


1) Chop mushrooms into ¼-inch pieces. Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 tsp canola oil. Place mushrooms in pan and sauté for 3–5 minutes. Drain. Return mushrooms to pan and season with salt and pepper.

2) In a medium bowl, combine mushrooms, ricotta cheese, beef, egg, bread crumbs, basil, and Worcestershire sauce. Form mixture into two patties of equal size.

3) Preheat grill or grill pan to medium-high heat.

4) Cook patties for 5–7 minutes on each side, or until they reach an internal temperature of 160°.

5) To assemble, place each patty on top of a deli thin and garnish with your favorite fresh produce.

Serves: 2

Nutrition: Calories: 377, Protein: 30g, Carbs: 4g, Fat: 13.5g, Saturated fat: 2g, Fiber: 7g, Cholesterol: 151mg, Sodium: 790mg

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