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Joy Bauer lightens up the anchors' favorite comfort foods

Think buttery pound cake, cheesy lasagna, gooey cinnamon buns and addictive mozzarella sticks.
/ Source: TODAY

I've been hearing from so many viewers asking me to lighten up their favorite meals (keep your requests coming!). And this week, the anchors wanted to get in on the fun, so Al, Craig, Dylan and Sheinelle challenged me to makeover their all-time favorite indulgences — think buttery pound cake, cheesy lasagna, gooey cinnamon buns and addictive mozzarella sticks! Without further ado, here are my Joyful renditions — I hope you love and devour them!

Noodle-Free Cheesy Spinach Lasagna

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

For me, this dish is creamy, cheesy ecstasy in a pan. Every bite makes me excited for the next. And while I love noodles as much as the next person, I felt the need to create a lower-carb, lower-calorie, noodle-free rendition. Lasagna without noodles: How is that even possible? I promise, one bite of this veggie, flavor-filled masterpiece will answer that question. Make it and report back!

Get the recipe here.

Mozzarella Sticks

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

These ooey-gooey mozzarella sticks are kid- and adult-approved, and yes, you can make them at home using just four simple ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen. They're baked, not fried, but still have a crispy, crunchy coating and a melty, mozzarella filling. Grab some warmed marinara sauce and dip away.

Get the recipe here.

Cinnamon Buns

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

It's hard to resist the scrumptious scent of freshly baked cinnamon buns. Sweet news: I've figured out a clever way to prepare them using nutrient-packed ingredients and minimal sugar. Now you can whip up a batch and enjoy the cinnamon-y goodness whenever you get a craving.

Get the recipe here.

Flourless Pound Cake

This classic dessert just got a shiny new makeover. Instead of the standard recipe, which typically contains oodles of butter, white flour and sugar, I created a flourless rendition that bumps up the overall nutrition and provides 6 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber per slice. The end result is a rich and moist pound cake that won't pack on the pounds.

For delicious recipes, follow Joy on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, and check out her new kid's book "Yummy Yoga."

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