By Carrie Havranek
After a busy or stressful day you just want something that makes you feel good on the inside, like a warm hug or a meal that’s as comforting as it is nourishing. That’s why we reach for comfort food. In this line up, we’re sharing dishes that are comfort food classics in their own right, but revamped for a healthier profile. Packed with more whole foods, more veggies, and the smart use of cheese, we’re out to share that you can have the flavors you crave without feeling bloated or uneasy after eating. And don’t worry—we didn’t forget about dessert!
Just for a second, imagine a meatloaf but without the meat, but all the umami goodness that goes into a meatloaf. What you’re imagining is Eating Bird Food’s savory lentil loaf, held together with oats, lentils, and veggies, and a glaze made from maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, and tomato paste.
That classic orange hue you’re seeing here? That’s not powdered cheese, but instead, a sauce made from sweet potatoes, cashews, and nutty nutritional yeast. Swap out gluten free elbows if need be, and stir in frozen peas, broccoli florets, or some baby spinach for a nutritional boost if you want. Either way, you’re sitting down to a bowl of comforting mac and cheese.
The traditional ooey-gooey grilled cheese has nothing on these veggie-loaded sandwiches. Caramelized roasted veggies on fresh whole grain bread and cheddar cheese. Right?
Meatballs meet healthy with these zoodles and chicken feta meatballs. Make up a whole bunch of the meatballs at once and freeze whatever you don’t eat right away.
Ditch the butter and cream in the sauce and instead, we are looking at chicken broth and nondairy milk. The crust is made with whole wheat pastry flour and gives the top a rustic feel and a more nutritious bite. You can keep it on the dairy free side by using vegan butter to prepare the crust.
There are few things that feel as good to eat as a bowl of creamy tomato soup. This one gets its velvety texture from blitzed-up white beans. It’s gluten free, and can easily be made vegan by swapping the bit of butter in it for vegan butter or olive oil.
With an endless number of mix-ins, no refined sugar, and healthy ingredients such as nuts, oats, coconut oil, and whole wheat flour, you can see why we’re putting this oatmeal cookie on regular rotation. If you want to make this cookie gluten-free, reach for a one-to-one gluten-free baking blend and preheat the oven!