What would you think if you saw the word “vegan” advertised under your favorite comfort food recipe? One very common misconception about a vegan diet is that the food is tasteless – but that could not be farther from the truth! There are plenty of ways to achieve that satisfying belly-full warmth that you get from a classic comfort food dish, and this can be done sparing tons of calories! Once you’ve tried these vegan comfort food spins on classic home-cooked meals, you’ll never want to try them any other way!
Vegan Comfort Food Recipes
Vegan Mac and Cheese
Everyone’s favorite go-to comfort food just got a whole lot healthier! In fact, you’ll be stunned that there’s no actual cheese involved, just healthy substitutes that still produce the same great taste you’ve come to know and love.
For this recipe, you will need:
- 350 grams of dried macaroni
- 1 onion
- 1 liter of organic soy milk
- 100 grams of dairy free margarine
- 85 grams plain flour
- 1 teaspoon of English mustard
- 50 grams vegan cheese
- 5 cloves of garlic (optional)
- Fresh thyme
- Olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Sea salt
1. To begin, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Make sure you set aside several medium-sized pans and a couple of mixing bowls as well for this recipe.
2. First, dump your macaroni into some boiling water and cook thoroughly, adding sea salt to the mixture for taste.
3. While your noodles are cooking, peel and halve the onion, then place a small pan on medium heat that contains the soy milk. Add the onion to the soy milk and bring the mix to a boil. Remove this from heat once it has reached its boiling point, then remove the onion and set the milk aside for later.
4. Grab another medium-sized pan and melt your margarine over medium heat, slowly adding the flour to the brew. This will begin to form a paste, and once you see the mixture thickening, start to add the soy milk bit by bit , whisking until it is smooth.
5. Crank up the heat and bring this paste to a boil, then reduce and let it simmer for about 10 minutes, or until it has thickened.
6. From here, toss in the teaspoon of English mustard and grate your vegan cheese over the pan as well. Finally, throw in some salt and pepper for added zest.
7. By this point, your macaroni should be ready to go. Drain the water from the noodles, then pour them into the pan containing your newly mixed sauce. Toss the macaroni and stir thoroughly, making sure it is evenly coated.
8. Next, you’ll move the entire mixture into an ovenproof baking dish (a casserole dish would do quite nicely!)
9. The final touch is your top coating. Peel and slice your garlic into a mixing bowl, and sprinkle in fresh thyme leaves.
10. Add this to another medium pan with a splash of olive oil and let it cook for 2-3 minutes, or until golden. Remove the mix and pour it into a food processor along with your breadcrumbs and a dash more oil. Blend until combined, and finally drizzle it over the top of your noodle dish.
11. Let the noodles bake for 20-25 minutes, and remove them when golden and bubbling.
This dish goes well paired with seasonal greens and a glass of dark red wine, instantly producing that warm belly feeling that a good dish of macaroni and cheese always brings – but this time, you won’t have to feel guilty for eating it!
Vegan Enchiladas with Homemade Sauce
Nothing beats a good, greasy Mexican meal when your body is in need of some culinary TLC. With this recipe, you’ll be able to obtain that same fill without the greasy guilt! This meal is light, easy to prepare, and gives your gut the satisfaction it was needing.
For this enchilada recipe, you will need:
- 8 whole-wheat wraps or corn tortillas
- 3 cups fresh spinach
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
- 1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice
- 7 oz of tofu, drained and crumbled
- 1 15 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1-2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon of salt
For the homemade sauce, which is optional but highly encouraged to add for flavor, you will need:
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa (yes, it’s true! A secret ingredient!)
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cayenne chili powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup water
- 2 8oz cans of tomato sauce
- Salt for taste
1. To start, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
2. You’ll begin with the enchilada filling first. Sautee the garlic and spinach in the lime juice until they are wilted. Add this to a large bowl that contains the crumbled tofu and black beans. Pour in the chili powder, salt, and mix until all ingredients are combined. Set this aside for now and start on your sauce.
3. To make the sauce, you’ll whisk together the flour, cocoa, and spices in a saucepan. Add a quarter cup of vegetable broth and stir it into a paste, adding the cup of water. Bring this to a boil over medium heat and pour in the tomato sauce, stirring lightly. Let this cook for a few minutes, until it looks like it has the thickness of tomato soup. Throw in a dash of salt if the sauce needs some taste, and then set it aside for now.
4. Shift your focus back to the enchiladas. Drizzle a thin layer of sauce in a casserole dish, and then drop your tortillas in the bowl with the remaining sauce, ensuring that both sides are coated. This will allow the tortillas to soften so they can be rolled.
5. Next, place your tortillas, open-faced, in the casserole dish and add a couple scoops of the enchilada filling. Roll them up, and continue this process until they are all filled.
6. Pack them tightly next to each other in your dish, and finally drizzle the remainder of your homemade sauce over the top. These should bake for about 30 minutes, or until the edges of the tortillas are crisp and golden brown.
7. Once the enchiladas have cooled, they’re ready to be eaten. If you have any remaining sauce, feel free to add it on your finished product; some grated vegan cheese goes nicely with this as well.
*One final pro-tip: you can’t go wrong with fresh cilantro on top of this dish.
With these two spins on comfort food classics, hopefully you’re able to see that eating vegan can be both nutritious AND delicious! Don’t be surprised if you decide to turn to these alternative recipes instead of resorting to old, traditional methods. Who wouldn’t want to get that rich, dinner-full feeling without all the calories, grease, and guilt? Next time you hear the word “vegan” being criticized, make sure to pass along these recipes, and you’ll be sure to silence whoever has a complaint!