Foods that are high in carbs have been snubbed by many diets as something to avoid at all costs, but the reality is, our bodies need carbs in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. There are good carbs out there — foods that we should not restrict — and there are bad carbs out there. The bad carbs are really the refined carbs, like pasta and bread made from enriched flour and white rice. So, what can you eat if you’re avoiding those? So much. Good carbs include grains and legumes (rice, oats, lentils, quinoa, etc…), beans of all kinds, broccoli, carrots, leafy greens, and starchy vegetables like potatoes and winter squash. Don’t forget about fruit like apples and bananas, either!
By following trend diets that encourage us to cut back on healthy carbs, we often end up restricting ourselves from some of the best food out there. To give you some ideas on how to assemble these ingredients into meals that taste amazing, we’ve picked out 15 of the best carb-licious vegan recipes for fall.
1. Roasted Acorn Squash Stuffed With Quinoa and Mushroom Pilaf
This Acorn Squash Stuffed With Quinoa Mushroom Pilaf is pretty enough to serve to company and provides a nice healthy-carb packed dinner. It is such a versatile recipe; you can add your favorite ingredients for stuffing or vessel, such as wild rice or butternut squash — both of which are also packed with good carbs. Even some lentils would be nice to add a bit of protein. This is a main course designed to be enjoyed by anyone and everyone.
2. Chickpea ‘Meat’ Sauce Over Pasta Shells
Forget cutting pasta out of your life — just be sure to always grain a box that’s made from 100 percent whole grains. This Chickpea “Meat” Sauce Over Pasta Shells is the next best thing next to simmered-all-day pasta sauce. You’ll have all your family and friends guessing how you managed to juggle your day while making such a fabulous meaty sauce – hey, we won’t tell them it was super easy if you don’t!
3. Super Simple Potato Curry
It takes about five minutes to prepare this Super Simple Potato Curry and then you just have to wait 20 minutes for it all to get hot and the potatoes to get soft. Basically, you cut the potatoes, dump everything in a large saucepan, and simmer. Not quite as simple as throwing a pizza in the oven, but pretty darn close. Starchy potatoes combined with rice and peas makes for an extremely cheap, high-carb meal that can feed the masses.
4. Lentil Pizza Crust
Pizza’s not off limits — just make this Lentil Pizza Crust. This pizza features a thin crust that’s perfectly crispy. All it takes is a few simple ingredients and a blender — no yeast or the wait time that comes with it. It goes great with all your favorite vegetable toppings, so go wild.
5. Roasted Vegetable Polenta With Crispy Chickpeas
There’s something incredibly comforting about a dish of creamy polenta — plus, it’s healthy carbs. This Roasted Vegetable Polenta With Crispy Chickpeas combines that comfort with crispy, oven-roasted chickpeas, and vegetables like cauliflower and squash in a meal that deviates from your standard dinner. While this is a great meal on its own, it can be paired with a salad made from dark, leafy greens and a side of gluten-free bread.
6. Risotto With Crispy Brussels Sprouts
Truth be told, this Risotto With Crispy Brussels Sprouts is amazing. Roasted brussels sprouts add a dimension of texture as they sit atop a bed of creamy risotto. Risotto may be time-consuming, but this recipe is hardly difficult! It takes little effort to create a warm, comforting, and flavorful meal.
7. Sweet Potato Bean Burgers
These Sweet Potato Bean Burgers are filling, flavorful, and a breeze to make! You simply bake some sweet potatoes until tender, add soft butter beans, mash, sauté, bake, and serve. You could add in other healthy ingredients like brown rice, cooked buckwheat, or hemp seeds, to up the nutrition. This particular burger is topped with avocado slices, plenty of greens, tomato, and pickles, but feel free to get creative!
8. Tomato and Lentils Over Pasta
This recipe for Tomato and Lentils Over Pasta is the perfect Sunday night dinner; it’s full-flavored, yet incredibly easy to make. Freshly cooked lentils are tossed in a mixture of mustard and onion with fresh cherry tomatoes and served on a bed of warm pasta. Top this hearty dish with chopped, fresh herbs and a sprinkle of almond Parmesan.
9. Butternut Squash and Black Bean Bisque
This hearty Butternut Squash and Black Bean Bisque may not include cashew cream, but make no mistake, it tastes like bisque. Butternut squash is roasted, puréed, then returned to the soup pot to act as the base for black beans and couscous. This is the kind of rich, creamy soup that fills you up and keeps you full for hours to come.
10. Pesto Roasted Cauliflower and Potatoes
These Pesto Roasted Cauliflower and Potatoes are so good, they’ll upstage any everything else on the table. Cauliflower and potatoes are roasted with just oil, salt, and pepper until tender and flavorful. Then, they’re tossed in a basil and pine nut pesto. If you like your pesto to be cheesy, add nutritional yeast to your liking. This versatile and comforting is best served alongside lighter mains.
11. Lentil Veggie Loaf
If you’re looking for an effortless meal that doesn’t disappoint, then you have to make this Lentil Veggie Loaf. What makes this meaty dish so wonderful is not only its heartiness but also its versatility. You can pack it with whatever vegetables you want and still achieve something delicious. It’s topped with a spicy homemade barbecue sauce for extra flavor.
12. Moroccan Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
These Moroccan Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potatoes have a lot of delicious flavors going on. From Moroccan-spiced quinoa and hearty vegetable curry to the final sprinkle of crunchy pumpkin seeds on top, this dish will keep your taste buds entertained the whole time. This entrée even has peanut butter! So next time you want a unique and filling dish, try these sweet potatoes out. You won’t be disappointed.
13. Pueblo Corn Pie
This Pueblo Corn Pie is basically a casserole made from two layers of tasty carbs. To start, you’ve got a tasty corn and bean chili on the bottom that’s hearty and spicy. Then, it’s covered with a layer of cheesy cornmeal that’s baked until golden and crispy. This is the perfect comforting dish to dig into on a weekday evening or to bring to a fall potluck.
14. Thai Basil Lentils With Coconut Brown Rice
This simple meal of Thai Basil Lentils With Coconut Brown Rice is packed with spicy and fresh flavors. The combination of basil, coconut, tamarind, and sesame will delight your taste buds. This protein-packed meal is also incredibly simple to cook, making this dish an ideal weeknight staple.
15. Lentil and Pumpkin Tagine Stuffed Peppers
Sometimes it’s the simple dishes that give the most glee. Case in point, these Lentil and Pumpkin Tagine Stuffed Peppers. Packed with hearty lentils and steamed pumpkin, along with green beans and rice, they’re bright, colorful, warm, and comforting. They’re easy to whip up for dinner and so filling, you won’t even need sides — but save room for dessert.
Carbing up has never tasted so good. Which recipe do you have your heart set on? Tell us in the comments!
Lead image source: Moroccan Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potatoes