As cold weather sets in and snow blows outside your window, you may be getting into a comfort food mood. After all, what's better after a day of dealing with cold and damp and ice than sitting down to a warm bowl or plate of a classic favorite in front of the fire? That's why for this Meatless Monday roundup, we've united some of our all-time favorite comfort food recipes.
But not to worry, my heath-minded friends. We know that it's just as important for your dishes to be delicious as it is for them to be healthy. Our selection of comfort food recipes are just as much about health as they are about flavor, with ingredients rich in vitamins, minerals, and, of course, protein, to make sure that your Meatless Monday meal is filling and satisfying.
For many Americans, lasagna is a key comfort food. Anyone who grew up eating lasagna made by an Italian mamma or nonna knows that most lasagna recipes contain a meaty sauce as the base. But a vegetarian lasagna can be just as comforting, and in fact, many people prefer the lighter flavors and textures of a vegetable-based lasagna. This one in particular is made with a ricotta layer that cooks up fairly solid, making the pasta bake easy to slice. The sauce is full of cauliflower and spinach, giving it both flavor and texture.
Image:K. B. R.
There may be nothing in the world more comforting than melted cheese and bread. Our version of cheesy pull-apart bread is a bit healthier than that simple combo of fat and carbs, with a nice amount of parsley and relatively low fat goat cheese. Of course, you might want to pair this one with a big salad to make sure that your Meatless Monday dinner remains healthful, albeit comforting.
Image: Docteur Cosmos
Stuffed tomatoes are a classic comfort food in many parts of the world, including in Italy, France and Greece. Many versions are stuffed with a beef mince, but rice-stuffed tomatoes are a tasty vegetarian- and vegan-friendly option. These tomato are full of flavor, not to mention the vitamins from tomatoes. If the tomatoes near you are nothing to write home about in the winter (which in most parts of the country is the case!) this recipe is just as fantastic with bell peppers, large chiles like poblanos, or even tomatillos -- just add a bit of tomato paste to the rice to get that richness of flavor.
There is perhaps no more classic an American comfort food than chili. Our vegetarian chili recipe allows a variety of beans to stand in for more traditional meat, with a nice additional dose of vegetarian protein thanks to quinoa. The resulting chili is rich and flavorful -- perfectly suited to a comfort food Meatless Monday meal.
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