Christine Avanti's comfort food diet

Christine Avanti, celebrity nutritionist and author of "Skinny Chicks Eat Real Food," whips up these delicious recipes that will help you lost weight.

Heirloom Mac 'n' Cheese Muffins

Makes about 36 muffins


1 pound whole wheat elbow macaroni

4 teaspoons olive oil

1 shallot, finely diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 ½ cups half and half

1 ½ cups 1% milk

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

5 tablespoons whole wheat flour

1 pound reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese, grated

? pound Gruyer cheese, grated

1 tablespoon coarse sea salt

? teaspoon ground black pepper

3 large heirloom tomatoes, diced

? cup seasoned dried breadcrumbs

3 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves


Preheat the oven to 375°F. Coat three 12-cup muffin pans (disposable aluminum pans will work fine for this) with cooking spray.

In a large pot of boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente, according to package directions. Drain well.

Meanwhile, heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

Combine the half-and-half and milk in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat; do not let boil. Keep warm.

Heat the butter and 2 teaspoons of the oil in a large pot over low heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking frequently, until the mixture thickens and turns a very pale yellow, about 5 minutes. Add the sauteed shallot-garlic mixture and the warmed milk mixture and gently stir until the mixture thickens, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the Cheddar, Gruyere, salt, and pepper. Add the cooked macaroni and stir to combine. Fold in the chopped tomatoes.

Mix the remaining 1 teaspoon oil with the breadcrumbs in a small bowl. Fill each muffin cup about three-fourths full with the pasta mixture and sprinkle each muffin with breadcrumbs.

Bake until the sauce bubbles and the macaroni has browned, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes.

Serve garnished with the thyme.

Nutrition facts per 2-muffin serving -- 145 calories, 10 grams protein, 12 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams fat

Christine's Detox Tea

Serves 5


3 ounces fresh ginger, peeled and sliced

3 dandelion root tea bags

3 milk thistle tea bags

2 cinnamon sticks

30 drops artichoke extract

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


Combine 5 cups of water and the ginger in a large saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil and boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Add the tea bags and cinnamon sticks. Cover and steep for 15 minutes. Strain into a large pitcher. Add the artichoke extract and lemon juice. Stir and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until cold.

Nutrition facts per 1-cup serving -- 4 calories, 0 grams protein, 1 gram carbohydrate, 0 grams fat