Comfort foods (with a healthy twist)
Ok, so your day sucked, nothing felt like it went right, you missed you train (and your deadlines) and have arrived home feeling frazzled. Sound familiar? Life can be complicated at times, but no matter what the day has thrown at us, we can ALWAYS seek solace in food.
The aromas, sounds and textures of comforting, familiar meals on the stove is pure therapy for the soul. And with a healthy twist they can deliver big wins nutritionally too.
Take a look at our 5 comfort food tips below and get our 3 feel good recipes onto your weekly meal plan.
1) Go big on veg
Comfort food dishes can be made with all sorts of different veggies. If you’re more of a carrot person than broc, or you fancy experimenting more with some seasonal veg – go for it! Recipes are there to guide you but there’s no harm in experimenting and tweaking things to make it your own. And it goes without saying that adding more veg will ramp up the health creds of your meal, bringing more nutrients and vitamins to the party.
2) Introduce more plant-based alternatives
Comfort dishes are prime territory to experiment with more plant-based foods.
Exchanging the ground beef in that lasagne for a carefully seasoned mix of eggplant, mushrooms and tomatoes; swapping out the rice for cauliflower rice; opting for plant-based proteins over minced beef in your bolognese. All of these are great hacks to lighten up traditionally heavy comfort foods and treat your crew to a healthy (and delicious) meal.
3) Batch cook in advance
We’re all busy so a chance to get ahead on the week’s meals is a smart move – especially when you have multiple mouths to feed.
Try setting aside time on a Sunday to batch cook meals for the week ahead, then portion them out and pop in the freezer. Our Easy Lentil Dahl, Sweet Potato Gnocchi and Veggie Chilli Con Carne are all great comfort food dishes you can make in advance.
4) Go for flavor
Veggies really don’t have to be boring. In fact, they are a brilliant blank canvas to introduce lots of tangy, fresh and upbeat flavors.
Think spices, olive oil, lime & lemon juice, harissa, chipotle, fresh herbs, seasoning. A great marinade = next level veggies and packs a real flavor punch into comfort foods.
5) Opt for low carb options
The beauty of comfort food is that you can tweak the grains and ingredients easily to match up with your health goals. If lower carb foods are part of your plan, opt for some simple switches that give you that full and satisfying meal, without diverting you away from your goals.
Fullgreen Riced Cauliflower has just 6g carbs per pouch (as opposed to around 55g carbs in white rice) and works effortlessly with lots of comfort food dishes. There are also 2 portions of veg per pouch – making it a healthier choice all round.
Add these cosy recipes by @mummasvegankitchen to your meal plan this week:-
Vegan Cauliflower Mac n Cheese
This Vegan Mac n Cheese cuts back on the pasta and brings in more veg with a winning mix of cashews, spices and nutritional yeast to achieve that creamy, comforting flavor. Therapy in a bowl after a tough day!
- Serves 4
- 45 minutes
A heady taco seasoning + light, fluffy cauliflower mix + bean salad + tahini dressing = these plant-based tacos. The flavors here are so good, we’re willing to bet your crew won’t miss the meat…
- Makes 6
- Time: 35 Minutes
Fried Cauliflower Rice
We all need a great fried rice in life and this one ticks the box for both mid-week dinners and light lunches on the go. Made with veggies, tofu, soy sauce, sesame oil and spices, it’s a total flavor bomb that will leave you feeling satisfied (minus the bloat).
- Serves 2
- Time: 10 minutes