Think of your favorite comfort food, and what comes to mind? Something ooey-gooey, sugar coated or maybe salty? The good news is that you can create options that give you the taste, texture and flavor you want in a comfort food but with plant-based, nutritious ingredients.
Here are a few swaps to start with when updating your favorite comfort food recipe:
- Replace dairy with almond, coconut or cashew milk
- Skip the butter or margarine, and use olive oil in cooking recipes, and vegan butter in baking recipes
- Limit added sugar (did you know that for some recipes you can reduce the amount of sugar by 25% with very little, if any, change in taste or texture?!). Then try experimenting with adding date paste, fruit purees, monk fruit or stevia in the place of table sugar
- Try a new gluten-free or 100% sprouted whole grain crackers, pizza crusts, breads and muffins
- Use a flax egg instead of an egg in baking recipes (one tablespoon ground flaxseed with four tablespoons water, let sit for 15 minutes = one egg)
If you’re ready to cook right now, or looking for inspiration, try these recipes on for size. They are all plant-based, dairy-free, and have a gluten-free option.
SAVORY MAIN DISH
Regardless if you are trying to make good choices at family celebrations or just need a warm meal to fill you up these Chickpea Cutlets with gravy can hit the spot and make you a meal time hero.
Traditional mashed potatoes, although tasty, aren’t always the most nutrient dense option for your table. Try making them the same way you always do, but instead using non-dairy butter and almond milk with sweet potatoes, which are a good source of vitamin C.
MAC N’ CHEESE
The ultimate comfort food has to be mac and cheese. For a new way to have this classic, try Vegan Mac and Cheese.
No longer just cheese and bread with sauce! Top your pizza with veggies to give it more nutrition and flavor. Get excited about serving your family this classic with a healthy twist using this Gluten-free Vegan Pizza Recipe.
If you’re looking to get fancy but trying to avoid sugary cocktails try a mocktail. This Kombucha Mojito Mocktail is perfect for parties or unwinding at the end of the night with your main squeeze.
There is a common misconception that when you are making positive nutrition choices, you have to give up treats. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Instead, look for low sugar, naturally sweetened options or better yet make your own so you know what’s going into your food. The options are seemingly endless, but if you want to start with the ultimate comfort dessert try these Chocolate Chip Cookies.
For more delicious dishes check out the Vega recipe center! Search your favorite comfort food and you may be surprised to find an awesome new variation on an old favorite.