Skinny Comfort Food 1

The Perfect Meal for Mother’s Day

Surprise your mom by creating a relaxing meal for Mother’s Day, without slaving away in the kitchen. These easy, tasty recipes are updated skinny versions of classic “comfort food.” This updated pot roast masterpiece has all the flavor of mom’s traditional dish but only half the calories, thanks to a few smart skinny substitutions. We use fat-free broth and cornstarch to create a juicy sauce, rather than cream for gravy.

Of course, pot roast is perfect when served with everyone’s favorite comfort food: mashed potatoes. Our creamy version pumps up the flavor with horseradish, while cutting fat with low-fat sour cream.

Mom’s Slow-Cooked Skinny Pot Roast

Simmering all day in seasonings, this juicy roast will fill your home with a mouth-watering aroma guaranteed to entice your family to the dinner table before they even close the front door.


1 pound boneless chuck roast (or tenderloin)

2 cups baby carrots

2 medium red potatoes, sliced into wedges

1 large onion, sliced thin

2 bay leaves

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 cups fat-free beef broth

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

½ teaspoon salt (to taste)

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons water


Place all ingredients (except cornstarch & water) into slow cooker, in order listed. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours, or until internal temperature of roast has reached 150 degrees and vegetables are tender. For thicker sauce, combine cornstarch and water; pour into slow cooker the last 15 minutes of cooking. (Note: we used 6 quart slow cooker).  

Yield: 8 servings (1 cup). Per serving: Calories: 395; Fat 22g; Carbs: 12.3g; Protein: 28g. Cost Per Serving: $2.88.

Creamy Horseradish Mashed Potatoes

These fabulously creamy mashed potatoes start with red potatoes, also known as “new potatoes” or “boiling potatoes.” Their waxy flesh contains less starch and more moisture than Russet potatoes (baking potatoes), making them perfect for mashed potatoes. Plus, they are packed with fiber, iron, Vitamin C and more potassium than a banana.


2 lbs. red potatoes, rinsed and cut into large chunks

1 cup reduced-fat (2%) milk

1 cup reduced-fat sour cream

3 tablespoons reduced-fat margarine

2 tablespoons horseradish

⅓ cup fresh chives, chopped fine

Salt and pepper (½ teaspoon, to taste)


Arrange potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until tender (20-25 minutes). Drain potatoes into colander; put potatoes back into saucepan. Add remaining ingredients to hot potatoes. Turn heat to medium; using fork (or potato masher), smash potatoes until blended and all ingredients are heated. If too thick, add more milk until desired consistency.

Yield: 8 servings (1/2 cup). Per serving: Calories: 119; Fat: 3.6; Carbs: 21g; Protein: 4g. Cost Per Serving: $.69.

Suzette Zara is a food journalist, certified nutritionist, creator of Devil’s Salsa ( and frequent speaker on low-fat healthy cooking.  For more great recipes and nutrition tips, visit her website