Healthy Comfort Foods

By: Jacqueline Gomes, MBA, RDN

January 26th, 2018

Comfort foods…we all have them and we all love them! They can make us feel emotionally satisfied, remember a special occasion or serve as a reward or temporary calming. Think about your favorites — my comfort foods almost always have to do with potatoes! From Spanish Omelets to simply roasted potatoes I absolutely love them!

You can turn even your favorite comfort foods into deliciously healthy meals with just a few modifications, for instance add in more veggies or switch out a higher fat ingredient for a lower fat ingredient. In the recipe below, replacing the pasta sheets with zucchini increases the nutrition and decreases the carbohydrate. The melted cheese will add loads of comfort.

Did you know? According to a recent study by Cornell University researchers, women and men seek out different comfort foods. Men crave mixtures of salt, protein, & fat like pizza and steak. Women seek out high fat & sugar foods like chocolate, ice cream, and cookies. What are you favorites?


Zucchini Lasagna

Ditch the carbs in favor of veggies! This “Lasagna” fits the bill for a comfort food, chock full of melty cheese and is so delicious you won’t miss the pasta!


  • 2 cups ricotta
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling the top
  • 2 large eggs
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cup marinara
  • 2 to 3 large zucchini, cut into large strips using a Y peeler and drained on paper towels
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, make ricotta mixture: Stir together ricotta, parmesan and eggs and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Spread a thin layer of sauce in a baking dish and layer with two layers of zucchini noodles, ricotta mixture, and mozzarella.
  3. For the final layer, make a zucchini lattice. Layer zucchini noodles side by side at a diagonal in the baking dish. Lift the bottom half of every other noodle and lay another zucchini noodle across diagonally. Repeat until top layer is full.
  4. Sprinkle with more Parmesan and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Bake until totally melted and zucchini is cooked through, 30 minutes.
  6. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing.