Spring is here, but you would never know it in Maine, we got a foot of snow yesterday! As I was heading out to the store on Friday before the storm, I decided it would be a perfect weekend to make some of my family’s favorite comfort foods. When I think about comfort food, I think about steak and potatoes or a hearty meatloaf. However, there ARE comfort foods that are vegetarian and provide that warm and cozy feeling year-round. Whether you want to reduce your meat intake, host a Meatless Monday, or are vegetarian, these dinner ideas provide simple options for wholesome comfort dishes.
Vegetarian Comfort Food
Butternut Squash Lasagna. Filling Italian meals are a staple for Sunday dinners, and lasagna gets an upgrade with squash. Skip the meat sauce and serve a special sauce with cheese. Add vegetables to make it more nutritious. Prepare a butternut squash filling (or look for a butternut squash sauce) and add spinach to each layer as you add your cheese. You won’t need as much cheese this way, and you are still not adding any meat to the dish. Look for sugar-free pasta sauce to make this even better for you!
Pot Pie. Chicken pot pie is such a southern comfort food, however, you can make this meatless easily. For a vegetarian pot pie, you will simple use onions, potatoes, broth, carrots, seasonings, peas, and puff pastry. These make great leftovers too for busy weeks. I love this Vegan “Chicken” Pot Pie Recipe from Coach Debbie Runs:
Shepherd’s Pie. Replacing the meat with mushrooms in Shepherd’s Pie makes for a wonderful, filling and delicious dish! Check out my version <HERE>
French Onion Soup. Usually made with a beef broth, there is another option with low-sodium vegetable stock. Onions, butter, oil, salt, and seasonings finish up this simple soup. Add cheese to the top and enjoy! Check out my favorite Onion Soup Recipe >HERE<:
Chili: Chili is one of my favorite comfort foods after a day of skiing or ice-skating. It is easy to make a pot of it and freeze the left-overs for another meal. Here is one of my favorite versions from Confessions of A Mother Runner:
Vegetable Pizza. Use your favorite pizza crust and pile it high with your best vegetables. I like to use ranch instead of pizza sauce and top with peppers (red, green, and yellow), tomatoes, cauliflower, and broccoli. Arugula is a great green to add to this pizza too. You can swap a pre-made pizza crust for a cauliflower crust for an added vegetable twist! Don’t forget the cheese. Here is a GREAT vegan gluten free pizza crust from Fitfulfocus, just pile on your favorite veggies!
Fruit Pizza. Want a sweeter treat? Make a fruit pizza with a crust, cream cheese, and top with fresh fruit. This is a simple spring or summer appetizer that is filling and comforting. Kids love helping cook this, and you can serve this for a pool party or barbeque as well.
Here are a few of other ideas to get creative with Vegetarian Comfort Food:
Creamy Mushroom Pasta. Use your favorite pasta (I like rotini) with a white sauce for a creamy pasta dish. Instead of meat, cook with mushrooms. Red pepper flakes are a good seasoning to add for a bit of spice too.
Spinach Muffins. Serve comfort food in the mornings with a healthier breakfast item. Use spinach, feta cheese, and your favorite muffin recipe to recreate this idea for your family.
Swap your meal plan to a more wholesome vegetarian diet with these dinner ideas. Not only can these dishes be better for you, they can help you save money on your grocery bill too. Believe it or not, vegetables can be affordable when you buy sales or in bulk. What is your favorite vegetarian comfort food? Will you give any of these dishes a try? As always, I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.
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Linking up with: Confessions of a Mother Runner for Meatless Monday