Recipes adapted from True Comfort: More Than 100 Cozy Recipes Free of Gluten and Refined Sugar. Copyright © 2020 by Kristin Cavallari. Published by Rodale Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House.
WHEN YOU THINK OF COMFORT FOOD, “HEALTHY EATING” MAY NOT BE THE FIRST THING THAT COMES TO MIND. But Kristin Cavallari is determined to change that perception with her new cookbook, True Comfort: More Than 100 Cozy Recipes Free of Gluten and Refined Sugar. In it, the reality TV star, entrepreneur and mother of three has “health-ified” classic comfort dishes—and proven they can be just as tasty as the originals.
There’s no doubt Cavallari is a master of transformation and reinvention. Since her breakout role on The Hills ended in 2010, she’s forged a path of her own, which includes launching her fashion and lifestyle brand, Uncommon James, and penning a bestselling cookbook. In True Roots she revealed her passion for creating delicious meals with whole, fresh ingredients. Dieting is a don’t for Cavallari, who maintains her toned physique with regular resistance workouts (she’s a longtime fan of Pilates) and balanced meals. Off the menu: white flour, sugar and salt, and dairy from cow’s milk.
True Comfort takes Cavallari’s mission a step further, offering crowd-pleasing recipes (from light bites and family dinners to drinks and desserts) that meet her dietary needs. Referring to herself not as a chef, but as “a mom who loves to cook,” she says these meals are representative of how she and her family eat on a daily basis.
It wasn’t always that way for Cavallari, who grew up in an Italian family, eating casseroles, pasta and lots of sweets. It wasn’t until her twenties that she became aware of her food sensitivities. “Unfortunately, white flour and cow’s milk leave me feeling irritable and lethargic,” she writes. That’s when she overhauled her diet by giving up processed and diet foods.
But that doesn’t mean depriving herself. Substitutions are key to healthy meal makeovers. Cavallari might substitute lentil pasta and oat flour for the white versions, and a natural sweetener like honey or maple syrup for sugar. Other stand-ins include sheep’s-milk cheese and mineral-rich pink Himalayan salt. She’s also a fan of set-it-and-forget-it meals, using her slow-cooker to prepare chicken tacos, ground bison chili and even lasagna.
For a creative and nutritious twist on the traditional, give these recipes a try. From a toasty open-faced sandwich to a plate of creamy pasta, these dishes only taste decadent.
Burrito Bowls With Lime Rice
Mexican food is a must in the Cavallari household. By making the Roasted Salsa, “Refried” Beans and Avocado Crema in advance, these flavorful bowls can be whipped up in a snap.
2 POUNDS SKINLESS, BONELESS CHICKEN THIGHS
½ CUP GOAT’S-MILK YOGURT
1½ TEASPOONS CHILI POWDER
1½ TEASPOONS GROUND CUMIN
1 TEASPOON SMOKED PAPRIKA
4 GARLIC CLOVES, MINCED
2 TEASPOONS GRATED LIME ZEST
1½ TEASPOONS PINK HIMALAYAN SALT FRESHLY GROUND BLACK PEPPER
2 CUPS LIME RICE (SEE RECIPE, BELOW)
1½ CUPS SIMPLE GUACAMOLE (SEE RECIPE, BELOW)
1½ CUPS BLACK “REFRIED” BEANS (SEE RECIPE, NEXT PAGE)
1½ CUPS ROASTED SALSA (SEE RECIPE, NEXT PAGE)
1½ CUPS AVOCADO CREMA (SEE RECIPE, NEXT PAGE)
1. Place the chicken in a large zip-top bag or baking dish. In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, the spices, garlic, lime zest, salt and a pinch of pepper. Pour over the chicken, massaging it into the meat. Seal the bag (or cover the baking dish), place in the fridge and chill for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
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