We all know eating plenty of vegetables is a great way to stay healthy, but let’s be honest: sometimes they leave us “wanting more” unless we know how to prepare them in a healthy way that tastes like comfort food. I remember some of my very favorite comfort foods as a child were actually vegetable-based, even though I wasn’t vegan or interested in health at that time. From peas with macaroni, stir-fry with soy sauce, and especially mashed potatoes since I live in the South, there almost wasn’t any comfort food I would turn down, regardless if it included veggies. Needless to say, however, the options I had back then weren’t exactly the healthiest way to eat my vegetables.
When I first learned to prepare foods healthier, I was pleasantly surprised at just how easy it was to make a healthy vegetable meal taste like indulgent comfort food. If you’re looking to do the same thing, then definitely try some of my tips below. You’ll be satisfied and nourished all while feeling like you’re eating something that’s bad for you. Intrigued? Check out these tips and head into the kitchen!
Most people think eating vegetables raw is better for you, but raw veggies can be very hard to digest, not to mention they’re not exactly comfort food. While you should get a mix of raw and cooked veggies, one of the best ways to make vegetables taste like comfort food is to roast them. I am so fond of roasted sweet potatoes, butternut squash, onions, and carrots all tossed together on a pan with some herbs and seasonings. You can also use balsamic vinegar to add even more flavor to root veggies. They get a nice crispy shell while they’re still incredibly soft and mushy on the inside. When you eat them, they offer a rich, caramelized flavor that feels like you’re eating a healthier version of French fries or a hearty potato dish. You can eat roasted veggies alone, toss them in some broth for an easy soup, place them over salad greens for a comforting lunch, or pair them with quinoa or your favorite vegan protein. Learn How to Pan Roast Root Vegetables, and then try this yummy Roasted Vegetables With Lemon Cannelini Sauce.
2. Turn Vegetables Into a Casserole
Vegetables can easily be turned into a casserole without using noodles at all. For instance, layer squash with tomatoes, tomato sauce, some sweet potato slices, onions, chopped herbs, and then drizzle some vinegar and maybe a little olive oil or tahini for a heartier casserole. This Butternut Portobello Spinach Casserole is one of my personal favorites that will blow you away at how comforting and satisfying it is, all while being good for you, too. Get more vegan casserole recipes here to get your fill of decadent and healthy in one easy dish. I’m a huge fan of this vegan lasagna which is packed with healthy veggies for you and it’s low-carb and gluten-free!
Sloppy Joes, tuna noodle casserole, stuffed sweet potatoes, fajitas, pizza, soup, and even pot roast can all be made vegan. Think about your favorite comfort food and buy the seasonings that the original recipe uses. Then see if you could use a form of tofu, squash, potatoes, or beans to recreate a healthier version. Even spaghetti can be made vegan by using spaghetti squash as noodles and topping it with vegan meatballs. Use nutritional yeast to make a cheese sauce and utilize non-dairy milks as a substitute for milk and cream in recipes. Get creative, think outside the box, and you’ll be making new versions of your old favorite comfort foods before you know it!
How do you make your vegetables taste like comfort food?
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Lead image source: Pomegranate Balsamic Roasted Vegetables