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Fall comfort food recipes for the ‘Hungry Girl’ in all of us

Adriana Velez is Food Editor for SheKnows. She spent her formative years in Brooklyn, which pretty much explains everything about her. She now lives somewhere else and has discovered life after kale and kombucha. She's written for Civil ...

Hungry Girl has a healthier take on the stick-to-your-ribs slow cooker recipes we're craving

Hello, fall. Hello, changing leaves. Hello, crisp air and shorter days — and hello, roaring appetite. If it's late October, I guess it's time for me to get extra hungry, and I know I'm not the only one. We're finding ourselves at the magical intersection of holidays and OMG winter is coming, where suddenly we find the need to insulate our bodies against the cold with pot roast and mashed potatoes.

Inevitable? Yeah, probably. But there's a healthy way to go about all this comfort-food feasting. We've got three totally satisfying fall recipes from our friends at Hungry Girl (check out Lisa Lillien's BlogHer keynote how to become a celeb chef) — and yes, one of them includes pot roast. I think you know where we're going with this. This is comfort food that loves you back.

More: How to make dinner magically appear when you come home at night

Hungry Girl’s slow cooker pot roast

Hungry Girl has a healthier take on the stick-to-your-ribs slow cooker recipes we're craving
Image: Hungry Girl

Serves 12

Nutrition information per serving (about 2-1/2 ounces cooked meat with 2/3 cup broth and veggies): 206 calories, 7 g total fat (3 g saturated fat), 447 mg sodium, 11 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 4.5 g sugars, 25.5 g protein

Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 10 minutes | Inactive time: 3 – 4 hours or 7 – 8 hours | Total time: 3 hours, 25 minutes – 8 hours, 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 (3 pound) raw boneless chuck beef roast, trimmed of excess fat
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (14 ounce) can fat-free beef broth
  • 4 cups carrots, cut into 1/2-inch coins
  • 3 cups roughly chopped onion
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup celery, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

Directions:

  1. Bring a large skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to high heat. Season the roast with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cook and rotate until all sides are browned, about 5 minutes. Place in a slow cooker.
  2. Add all remaining ingredients except cornstarch to the slow cooker, including the remaining 3/4 teaspoon each salt and black pepper. Gently stir.
  3. Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or on low for 7 to 8 hours, until the roast is cooked through.
  4. Turn off the slow cooker. In a small bowl, dissolve cornstarch in 2 tablespoons cold water. Stir into the liquid in the slow cooker. Let it sit, uncovered, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
  5. Remove and discard thyme sprigs. Slice the meat and serve topped with veggies and sauce.

Hungry Girl’s cherry cranberry sauce

Hungry Girl has a healthier take on the stick-to-your-ribs slow cooker recipes we're craving
Image: Hungry Girl

Serves 12

Nutrition information per serving (about 1/3 cup): 33 calories, 0 g total fat (0 g saturated fat), 25 mg sodium, 11.5 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 4.5 g sugars, 1.5 g protein

Prep time: 5 minutes | Cook time: 20 minutes | Inactive time: 3 hours | Total time: 3 hours, 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups frozen dark sweet cherries (no sugar added)
  • 1 (12 ounce) bag whole cranberries (fresh or frozen; no sugar added)
  • 1/4 cup Truvia spoonable no-calorie sweetener (or another no-calorie granulated sweetener; see note below) or more to taste
  • 2 (1/4 ounce) envelopes dry unflavored gelatin

  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. In a medium pot, combine cherries, cranberries, sweetener and 1 cup water. Set the heat to high, and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, occasionally uncovering to stir.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup of cold water.
  4. Remove the pot from the heat, add the contents of the small bowl, and thoroughly mix. Stir in orange zest and salt.
  5. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and refrigerate until chilled and set, at least 3 hours.
  6. If you like, add additional sweetener to taste.

Hungry Girl FYI: Truvia spoonable calorie-free sweetener is about twice as sweet as sugar. If using a no-calorie granulated sweetener that measures cup-for-cup like sugar instead of Truvia, double the amount called for in this recipe.

More: Paleo versions of our favorite Thanksgiving dishes: It's about darn time

Hungry Girl's toasty marshmallow sweet potato skins

Hungry Girl has a healthier take on the stick-to-your-ribs slow cooker recipes we're craving
Image: Hungry Girl

Serves 10

Nutrition information per serving (1 skin): 74 calories, 0.5 g total fat (0 g saturated fat), 94 mg sodium, 17.5 g carbs, 1.5 g fiber, 7.5 g sugars, 1 g protein

Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 30 minutes | Total time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 5 (8 ounce) orange sweet potatoes, uniform in shape
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar (not packed)
  • 1-1/4 cups mini marshmallows

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray.
  2. Pierce the potatoes several times with a fork. On a microwave-safe plate, microwave for 15 minutes, until potatoes are soft.
  3. Once cool enough to handle, slice each potato in half lengthwise. Carefully scoop out the insides, leaving about 1/4-inch inside the skin. Discard the potato pulp (or reserve it for another use).
  4. Place the hollow shells on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  5. Bake until the edges begin to crisp, about 10 minutes.
  6. Top with brown sugar and marshmallows. Bake until marshmallows puff up and lightly brown, 3 to 4 minutes.

Before you go, check out our slideshow below.

Hungry Girl has a healthier take on the stick-to-your-ribs slow cooker recipes we're craving
Images:Iowa Girls Eats
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