Comfort foods appeal to a wide range of people. They are familiar, filling, and tasty, making them a popular option at our Community Meal sites. Comfort food recipes also tend to be easy to adapt to feed a large group of people, which makes them popular in our kitchen. They are not, however, known for being particularly healthy. Dishes like meatloaf and macaroni and cheese may be satisfying, but they can be high in fat, sodium, and refined carbohydrates. In order to meet our nutritional standards and continue to serve some of the comfort classics that are popular with our guests at the same time, we try to seek out recipes that take these traditional dishes and bump up the nutritional profile by adding things like whole grains and vegetables.Two of our favorites recipes from recent months are “Brown Rice Meatloaf,” which uses lean meat and subs brown rice for the bread crumbs, and “Popeye’s Mac and Cheese,” with features an added layer of spinach, and uses low fat or skim milk to lighten things up a bit. Both were popular with our guests, and healthy as well!Brown Rice Meatloaf(Recipe adapted from the Eat Clean Diet Cookbook)Ingredients1 lb. lean ground beef or turkey1 cup brown rice, cooked1 egg3/4 cup plain yogurthalf cup chopped onionhalf cup chopped celeryhalf cup diced carrothalf cup chopped bell pepper1 tsp. saltquarter tsp. pepper1 tsp. garlic powder1 tsp. basil1 tsp. oreganoDirectionsPreheat oven to 350. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.Combine all ingredients by hand in a large bowl. Place in a loaf pan and bake for one hour. Let sit 10 minutes before cutting.Popeye’s Mac and Cheese (Baked Macaroni and Cheese)(Recipe from Eating Well magazine)3 tablespoons plain, dry breadcrumbs1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oilquarter teaspoon paprika1 16-ounce package frozen spinach1 and 3/4 cups low-fat or skim milk, divided3 tablespoons all-purpose flour2 cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese1 cup low-fat cottage cheese1/8 teaspoon ground nutmegquarter teaspoon saltFreshly ground pepper, to taste8 ounces (2 cups) whole wheat elbow macaroni or penne Directions Put a large pot of water on to boil. Preheat oven to 450°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 1/2 cups milk in a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat until steaming. Whisk remaining 1/4 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, 25 to 30 minutes.