Seasonal Flavors Recipes: Comfort Food Makeover

St. John’s and MVP Health Care’s Seasonal Flavors cooking demonstration gave comfort food a makeover on October 20. Attendees had the opportunity to taste delicious recipes as shared below. 

Be a part of our next session and enjoy Seasonal Flavors firsthand. To RSVP for our next Seasonal Flavors cooking demonstration, visit

Baked Mac & Cheese

Baked Mac and Cheese


Yields: 4 servings 


3 tablespoons plain dry breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon paprika
1-16 ounce or 10 ounce package frozen spinach, thawed
1¾ cups low-fat milk, divided
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
8 ounces (2 cups) whole-wheat elbow macaroni or penne

Put a large pot of water on to boil. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Coat an 8-inch square (2 quart) baking dish with cooking spray.

Mix breadcrumbs, oil and paprika in a small bowl. Place spinach in a fine-mesh strainer and press out excess moisture.

Heat 1-½ cups milk in a large heavy saucepan over medium-heat until steaming. Whisk remaining ¼ cup milk and flour in a small bowl until smooth; add to the hot milk and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce simmers and thickens, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in Cheddar until melted. Stir in cottage cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Cook pasta for 4 minutes or until not quite tender. (It will continue to cook during baking.) Drain and add to the cheese sauce; mix well. Spread half the pasta mixture in the prepared baking dish. Spoon the spinach on top. Top with the remaining pasta; sprinkle with the breadcrumb mixture.

Bake the casserole until bubbly and golden, 20 – 30 minutes.


To make ahead, prepare recipe, but do not bake. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator, if necessary, then bake for 35 to 45 minutes.

To make fresh breadcrumbs, trim crusts from whole-wheat bread. Tear bread into pieces and process in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. One slice of bread makes about ½ cup of fresh crumbs. For dry breadcrumbs, spread the fresh crumbs on a baking sheet and bake at 250 degrees F until crispy, about 15 minutes. One slice of fresh bread makes about 1/3 cup dry crumbs.

Nutrition Information: 576 calories/serving; 22 g total fat (11 g saturated fat; 2 g monounsaturated fat); 63 g total carbohydrates; 9 g fiber; 69 mg cholesterol; 917 mg sodium; 37 g protein

turkey-loaf Recipe

Turkey Meatloaf


Yields: 8 servings (1/8 of a loaf)


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped (about 1½ cups)
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon pepper, divided
1½ tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons ketchup, divided
1¾ pounds ground turkey, 97% lean
1¾ cup dry breadcrumbs
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 large egg white, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Heat oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, and ¼ teaspoon pepper; cook, stirring for about 1 minute. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, broth, and 1 Tablespoon ketchup; transfer mixture to a large bowl and cool.

Add turkey, breadcrumbs, egg, egg white, and remaining ¼ teaspoon of pepper to mixture in bowl, and mix well. Mixture will be very moist.

Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and coat lightly with cooking spray. Form the turkey mixture into a loaf and place on the pan. Brush meatloaf evenly with remaining 2 tablespoons of ketchup.

Bake 1 hour or until thermometer inserted into center registers 170 degrees F. Let meatloaf stand 5 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Information: 202.1 calories/serving; 4.8 g total fat (1.3 g saturated fat; 0.7 g monounsaturated fat; 0.4 g polyunsaturated fat); 12.8 g total carbohydrates; 1.1 g fiber; 80.1 mg cholesterol; 272.5 mg sodium; 25.7 g protein)

Chocolate Tofu Mousse Recipe

Chocolate Tofu Mousse


Yields: 5 servings


8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup soy milk
½ vanilla bean, scraped
10 ounces silken tofu, drained
¼ cup raspberries
¼ cup blueberries

To prepare ganache, place chopped bittersweet chocolate in a bowl. In a saucepan, combine soy milk and scraped vanilla bean. Bring to a boil; pour over chocolate. Let stand 1 minute. Remove vanilla bean and whisk until smooth.

In a blender, process drained silken tofu until creamy (10 seconds). Add ganache; blend until smooth (20 – 30 seconds).

Spoon into 5 individual bowls; refrigerate until mousse is firm (1 hour).

Before serving, divide ¼ cup each raspberries and blueberries among bowls.

Nutrition Information: 291 calories/serving; 18.6 g total fat (10.4 g saturated fat; 5.5 g monounsaturated fat; 1.4 g polyunsaturated fat), 30 g total carbohydrates; 5 g fiber; 0.0 mg cholesterol; 28 mg sodium; 6 g protein

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