6 Outstanding Vegan Comfort Foods to Keep You Warm This Winter
Whether you’re hiding from your responsibilities on a cold winter afternoon or FBI-level stalking your ex’s new crush, comfort foods can bring warmth into our lives on even our worst days. If you follow a plant-based diet, though, finding comfort food you can actually eat can be a challenge. Never fear — vegan comfort foods do exist!
We’ll be honest, most comfort foods are pretty unhealthy. There’s actually science behind why we crave fatty, sugary, salty foods in times of stress and sadness: They activate the brain’s reward system and make us happy.
But it IS possible to trigger those happy feelings without deep frying everything in your pantry (put the Twinkies down, and step away from the deep fryer). Comfort foods can be both healthy and plant-based. Check out these 6 healthy options to keep you warm this winter.
Chickpea Noodle Soup
The best vegan comfort foods are plant-based takes on winter classics. Chickpea noodle soup is an easy alternative to chicken noodle soup.
First thing in the morning, throw vegetable stock, whatever chopped veggies you want, and one or two cans of chickpeas into a slow cooker. Season to taste, and let it simmer on low while you’re at work. By the time you get home, all that’s left is to boil the noodles and call in sick for the next day so you can enjoy your soup in peace.
Tomato Soup With Toast
“But wait,” you protest, “tomato soup isn’t vegan!” Au contraire, mon ami. While it’s true that tomato soup is traditionally made with cream, coconut milk is an equally creamy plant-based alternative that makes tomato soup one of the comfiest vegan comfort foods.
As for the toast part, we’re pretty sure you can figure that out yourself.
Grilled Portobello Mushroom Sandwich
Grilled portobello mushroom sandwiches are perfect vegan comfort foods because they give you all the flavor and B vitamins of a burger without any of the saturated fat. Portobello mushrooms are also amazing for digestion, heart health, and your skin.
Rub your mushrooms with olive oil, salt, pepper, and fresh herbs (or marinade them ahead of time if you want to get fancy!). Then, throw them on the grill or in a skillet for four to five minutes. Once they’re cooked to your liking, layer your mushrooms on bread with lettuce, caramelized onions, and other toppings of your choice.
Plantains are highly nutritious vegan comfort foods that are easy to snack on or as a side to your main dish (say, a grilled portobello mushroom sandwich?). A high source of carbs, fiber, and antioxidants, plantains can do no wrong.
When your plantain is ripe — the peel should be brown, not yellow — cut it into slices, fry with your choice of healthy cooking oil, and toss with salt. The result is a salty, savory, mildly sweet snack that’s crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside (just like you, ya big softie!).
Tortilla Chips & Guacamole
Homemade tortilla chips are approximately one million times better than store-bought ones. Plus, they’re super easy to make and customize (if you want gluten-free vegan comfort foods, for example).
First, cut mini corn tortillas into triangles and toss them in a pan of sizzling hot vegetable oil. When they're nice and crispy, give us your best Salt Bae impression for a healthy dose of sodium.
Store-bought guac is great if you’re in a pinch (hey, Netflix won’t binge itself!). But if you're feeling ambitious, the homemade stuff is usually better, and you get the pride of a job well done when you finally sit down to eat it!
Outstanding Foods Snacks
For all you truly lazy people (we see you, we appreciate you, and we offer free shipping across the U.S., so you don’t even have to leave the house for your vegan comfort foods), Outstanding Foods snacks require exactly zero effort to prepare.
Our Puffs, Pig Out Crunchies, and Cheese Balls are delicious, filling, and dairy-, gluten-, soy-, cholesterol, and GMO-free (that’s a mouthful!). Plus, they each contain between 4 and 9 grams of plant-based protein per serving.
Find Outstanding Foods in stores near you to stock up on your winter stash of vegan comfort foods!