Chicken and dumplings might be one of the most comforting meals out there. Seriously, what’s more delicious than a cream-filled stew with floating pillows of dough? Oh yes, they’re basically refined, processed flour cut with lard and cooked in heavy cream, which is a bad thing if you are trying to lose weight. Not to mention, with approximately 2,000mg of sodium in most recipes, it is enough to give you high blood pressure just by looking at it. Luckily though, we know just how to make it healthier without losing out on all that fantastic taste.

Follow these simple tips to transform this winter staple into a nutritional bonanza:

  • Opt for lean chicken breasts only, and discard the skin, which is where a lot of the fat is.
  • Pack the dish with extra veggies such as more peas, some carrots, celery and potatoes.
  • As for the dumplings, try making the dough with fiber-rich whole wheat flour or cornmeal, and don’t forget to throw in some chopped herbs for extra green and flavor.
  • Reduce the sodium count by using homemade stock for the base, or buy low-sodium stock.
  • Using reduced-fat sour cream instead of heavy cream slashes the saturated fat levels in this dish. You could also just replace cream with some arrowroot for a lighter, healthier base.

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Simona is a journalist who has worked with several leading publications in India over the last 17 years, writing on lifestyle topics and the arts, besides interviewing celebrities. She made the switch to public relations and headed the division as PR Manager at ITC Hotels’ flagship property, the ITC Grand Chola, but has since returned to her first love, journalism. Now she writes on food, which she is sincerely passionate about and wellness, which she finds fascinating and full of surprises. When she isn’t writing, she is busy playing the role of co-founder and communications director of The Bicycle Project, a six-year-old charity initiative that empowers tribal children in rural areas, while addressing the issue of urban waste.