As the weather grows cooler, it’s easy to fall into the temptation of hearty, stick-to-your ribs comfort foods. When you think of comfort food, you probably think about tucking into a rich bowl of beef stew or a cheese-laden pasta bake, but hearty doesn’t have to mean unhealthy this year.
Comfort foods tend to be rich and decadent, which holds especially true for vegetarians who have to rely on cheese and often fattening dairy products to give their favorite hearty dishes the textures and flavors they crave.
Next time you’re looking for a healthy, hearty dish to warm you up, think meatless with one of our favorite meat-free recipes.
Cheesy Polenta Casserole: When you’re on a diet, you might think you have to avoid any and all cheese in order to trim your figure. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to enjoy your favorite dairy product. Mix it into polenta for a creamy, satisfying comfort food with less than 350 calories per serving.
Quinoa, Carrot & Zucchini Casserole from The Savvy Vegetarian: Quinoa is packed with protein and nutrition, so instead of pasta or rice, mix your favorite vegetables with the delicious grain.
Vegetarian Rice Casserole: For the vegetarian on a budget, this is the perfect dish to make for dinner and enjoy leftovers for lunch throughout the week. Substitute your favorite seasonal veggies for variety.
Stick-To-Your-Ribs Stews & Bakes:
Vegetarian Vegetable Stew: from The Curvy Carrot: Balsamic vinegar adds a splash of flavor to this nutrient rich vegetable stew.
Vegetarian Chili: Instead of ground beef, add bulk to your chili with vegetables for your next football watch party. You can also add pizzazz to your next pot with hot sauce, cayenne pepper or chopped chipotle peppers for a kick without the calories.
Easy Vegetarian Chili from Food Coma: Chop all of your ingredients ahead of time so that when you’re ready to eat dinner, all you have to do is toss everything in one bowl for a quick, satisfying meal.
Barley Lentil Soup: Replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth in this fiber-rich soup that will be more satisfying than any creamy soup you might crave when the weather turns cooler.
Creamy Vegetable Soup: When a recipe tastes creamy without any added fat, that’s when you know you have a winner. Toss some of your favorite vegetables with a white bean puree for a creamy texture without added fat.
Thai Coconut Soup from Care2: A vegetarian diet is anything but boring, especially when you incorporate your favorite spicy, ethnic flavors into a comforting, cool-weather soup.