As fall marches on, your interest in kale salads and fruit sorbet may dwindle, while your craving for lasagna and
cheeseburgers starts to pique. How to satisfy your comfort food needs without feeling like you’ve ingested a block of cement? Here are 5 healthy comfort food dishes that hit the spot and are packed with fresh vegetables and nutrients.
Baked sweet potato fries
Sweet potatoes are a super nutritious alternative to their white brethren… they also happen to make a delicious French fry. When fry craving hits, simply chop 2 sweet potatoes, toss in good olive oil and spread in a single layer over a sheet pan. Then, sprinkle with your favorite seasoning: salt, pepper, Rosemary, a pinch of brown sugar, for example. Bake on high for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender and golden brown. Enjoy with traditional ketchup or a paprika aioli dipping sauce.
Who needs mashed potatoes when you can indulge in this decadent vegetable puree? To prepare, oven roastone head of cauliflower (sectioned) with 6 whole cloves of garlic in olive oil, salt and pepper until tender. Then, transfer them to a food processor and add 1 tablespoon of sour cream, 2 tablespoons of Greek yogurt and plenty of salt andpepper. As you blend, pour in about 2 cups of vegetable stock until the mixture achieves the consistency of a creamy mashed potato.
Turkey burgers may be old news, but they’re popular for good reason.
Substitute beef for lean ground turkey, add an egg, 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese, finely chopped basil, salt and pepper for an Italian take on the classic. It still will taste magnificent with your favorite toppings – ketchup, mustard and mayo – or try mozzarella and marinara if you want to stick with the Italian theme.
Spicy coconut fish stew
This hearty stew will warm you up on the coldest nights. It’s manages to taste rich and delicious while staying light and fresh. Use a white fish like tilapia. Marinate 1 pound of fish in a generous blend of chopped cilantro, Thai pepper, garlic, salt and lime juice for 1-5 hours. Heat peanut oil in a wide, deep frying pan, sear the fish on both sides then remove. Add 1 can of coconut milk and deglaze the marinade drippings from the bottom of the pan. Then, return the fish to the mixture and let the stew simmer for about 30 minutes. Serve over your jasmine or basmati rice.
Kale & lentil dal with chicken sausage
This is an Indian-inspired dish with some healthy additions that will stick to your bones and makes for great leftovers, too. In a large pot (or a pressure cooker) combine 1 cup of split red lentils with 3 cups of water, 3 tsp. salt, 3 tsp. cumin, 2 tsp. turmeric, 1 tsp. coriander. Set the burner to high until the water boils, then turn down to low and let simmer. After about 20 minutes, check to see if lentils are soft. When they are almost done, add 2 heaping handfuls of kale and continue cooking, covered. Meanwhile, butterfly and panfry 2 chicken sausage links (ask your butcher for fresh, organic chicken sausage, if they have it). When the kale dal is ready to serve, spoon into a broad, shallow bowl and place the butterflied sausage links on top.
What comfort foods do you crave during the winter? Share with us in the comments or on our Facebook page.