TODAY   |  August 26, 2013

Comfort foods with a healthy twist

We all crave certain foods to help us get through tough days, but they can be packed with sugars and unhealthy ingredients. Peggy Kotsopoulos, author of “Kitchen Cures,” shares some alternative dishes, including a sweet potato gnocchi and dark chocolate quinoa cookies.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> they say you are what you eat so we lightened up your favorite comfort foods to help you look and feel better.

>> we're doing it without sacrificing flavor. peggy is a registered new transiti nutritionist.

>> what does that mean?

>> we take a whole food approach to everything. real foods and whole foods to make you feel your best every day.

>> we're making it. very few ingredients. sweet potatoes , brown rice flour and very very simple ingredients.

>> what i'm going to get you to do first is we have seeds here that are brown. mix it up. what it does is it acts as a binding agent. so let that sit for about a minute and we can scoop in sweet potatoes . so here's a spoon here. scoop that one in and i'll start mashing. sweet potatoes are high in a type of vitamin a so high in antioxidants. great for your skin and body. we'll add in brown rice flour. so it's going to bind everything together.

>> binding.

>> and we have our omega 3s and fiber and then we have brown rice flour. what we're going to do is -- you can just smoosh it.

>> how would this be with a regular potato.

>> we're getting more fiber. sweet potato is higher in vitamin a.

>> there we go.

>> so what you have is a dough. wipe your hands there. you're going to roll it out with flour and you take a board scraper and you put little pieces.

>> about an inch?

>> about an inch wide. and stir it in boiling water and cook it for a few minutes. while that's training, we have coconut oil . it's more stable at a high heat temperature.

>> would you do olive oil ?

>> olive oil or any oil you want. i like the flavor of the coconut oil . sage leaves to that as well.

>> sage.

>> and we'll add hazelnuts.

>> so that's not just on top.

>> we can add it on top. i'm going to add some to the pan. anyway you want to do it.

>> do you have to put the garlic.

>> put it right in there.

>> you want to cook it down.

>> okay. in the interest of time.

>> it's longer than the three minutes.

>> i can eat it fast. you can take your hazel nut and put it on top.

>> it looks beautiful. and finish it off with a mojito. and double chocolate.

>> thank you so much. recipes at we're back in a moment. this is "today" on nbc. .

>>> we have learned so much this morning about brooke shields . mostly that she can tie a cherry stem in a knot with her tongue.

>> there you are right there.

>> and it's a legit knot.