February 26, 2014
20/20 Friendly Comfort Food

Has your favorite recipe or cookbook begun to collect dust since you started the 20/20 meal plan? Don't worry you're not alone! It can seem scary or impossible for your favorite recipes from pre-program days to be healthy and suitable for the 20/20 meal plan. Don't get me wrong, some classics are indeed near impossible to make healthy and still edible. However, many of your recipes likely just need a few tweaks (substitute whole-grain for refined, add less fat or salt, increase protein per serving, etc.)

Here are a few of my favorite semi-comfort food recipes to try, and hopefully in doing so you'll become more comfortable with the idea of your traditional meal plan and the 20/20 meal plan becoming one & the same!


Easiest Crockpot Salsa Chicken (Stage 1)

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 4-8 hours, depending on method


  • Approx. 1.5 lb. frozen chicken breasts
  • 1 16 oz. can salsa (Ex: Arriba! Fire Roasted Mexican Chipotle Salsa or Newman’s Own Tequila Lime Salsa)


1. Place frozen chicken breasts in the bottom of a slow cooker or Dutch oven and top with salsa.  

2. Cook, covered, in slow cooker on low heat (~225F) for 6-8 hours or on medium heat (~350F) for 2-4 hours.

3. Shred chicken with two forks and cook an additional 30 minutes.

Enjoy as a salad topper, with cabbage leaves, shredded low-fat mozzarella in stage 3, or with corn or whole-grain tortillas if in stage 7! Refrigerate extras for easy leftovers. Add spices such as jalapeno, red pepper flakes, etc. per your taste.

Yields: 4 servings (based on ~19oz. cooked chicken yield)

Nutritional information, per serving: 205 calories, 5g fat, 435mg sodium, 8g carbohydrate, 33g protein


Korean Bul Kogi (Stage 1)

Prep time: 10 minutes, then left overnight in marinade

Cook time: 10-15 minutes


  • 1.75 lb. thinly sliced sirloin or flank steak
  • 3 green onions
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 4 tbsp. less sodium soy sauce
  • ½ tbsp. sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper



  1. Mix all ingredients except meat in a medium bowl. Marinate meat in mixture overnight.

  2. Stir-fry in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat until cooked through.

  3. Enjoy with cauliflower rice (stage 2), cooked brown rice (stage 7) or with steamed veggies.

Yields: 4 servings

Nutritional information, per serving: 325 calories, 14g fat, 607mg sodium, 9g carbohydrate, 38g protein

Shirataki Beef Stroganoff (Stage 3)

 Adapted from

Prep Time: 15 minutes 

Cook Time: 20 minutes



  • 8 oz. lean filet beefsteak, thinly sliced
  • 1 package tofu Shirataki noodles
  • 1 c. sliced mushrooms
  • 1 c. sliced onion
  • 3 wedges Laughing Cow Light Swiss cheese, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. dry au jus mix
  • 1 tbsp. plain non-fat Greek yogurt
  • Pinch black pepper


1. Rinse Shirataki noodles and drain, pat dry. Microwave according to package directions (~1 minute.)

2. Drain excess liquid from noodles and pat dry again. Cut noodles into half or thirds. Set aside.

3. Cook beef until done through, ~ 4 minutes, over medium-high heat on stovetop. Set aside.

4. Combine au jus mix with 1 c. water and stir until dissolved. Pour into pan on stovetop, and add mushrooms and onions. Cook on medium-high heat for ~7-10 minutes or until sauce has thickened.

5. Add cheese wedge and yogurt and stir until combined. Add noodles and beef to the pan mix and mix until combined, then season with pepper to taste and enjoy!

Yields 2 servings

Nutritional information, per serving: 220 calories, 7g fat, 614mg sodium, 15g carbohydrate, 3.5g fiber, 25g



Share your healthy, 20/20 friendly comfort food recipes here, and maybe you'll inspire others as well!


Written by Erika Brown

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