Winter is upon us and it seems like this winter is going to be an even cozier one staying IN. So grab those blankets, light the fire, have a couple of puzzles on hand and hunker down. To go with that warm and fuzzy vibe, we have curated some of our favourite comfort foods, all Nourished up. We also have so many other dinner recipes up on the blog, but let’s start you off with some of our all time favourites. With some easy swaps, these classic comforts are transformed into healthier meals so you can feel good about serving them all winter long to your family. They also make great meals for one with plenty of leftovers ( I have more easy ways to make tasty back to school lunches from leftovers down below). Cook once, eat three times.
Get cooking and put these comfort foods on repeat!
Rose Pasta (Dairy-Free and Gluten-Free)
Love the cheesy flavour, but not so much the cheese? Me too. That’s why I love this dairy-free pasta. It is creamy, rich and luxurious, and packs in a huge nutrient punch. It is easy to make, nutrient-rich and can be done pretty quickly from pantry essentials. Cashews blend easily into a velvety sauce adding layers of flavour and satisfaction, not to mention healthy fats. I like this sauce with gluten-free rigatoni or chickpea shell pasta, but really any pasta will work. Serve with a huge green salad and add this to your list of comfort foods.
Sunflower seeds work just as well if there is a food allergy. Follow the same instructions.
1 Cup olive Oil
6-8 Cups cherry tomatoes, halved
2 red peppers, sliced thinly
4 Cloves Garlic (sliced)
1 Cup cashews (Soaked for at least 15 minutes)
1 Cup fresh basil, ripped
2 TBSP nutritional yeast
2 TSP sea salt
2 large roasted red peppers (from a glass jar. Different from the tomato mixture above.)
1/2 Cup Basil, torn
1 Package gluten-free pasta
1. Coat tomatoes and peppers with 3 TBLS of olive oil, half the garlic and salt. Mix well and sauté 30 or so minutes until tomatoes and peppers are blistering and watering. Set to low.
2. Drain cashews. Ditch the water
3. In a large pot, saltwater and boil for pasta. Once boiled, add pasta.
4. Add cashews, roasted (jarred) red peppers, remaining garlic, nutritional yeast, salt, 1/3 cup water and rest of olive oil to blender and blend until smooth.
5. Once pasta is done, drain but make sure to reserve a lil bit of pasta water.
6. Add pasta back to the pot. Add tomatoes and peppers, salt, pepper and pour sauce slowly just to coat, but not too much. If you want more, you can always add later.
7. Add basil and mix. Salt and pepper to taste.
8. If the sauce is too thick, add a bit of pasta water until desired consistency.
(Leftover sauce is easily frozen to use again)
Gluten-Free Chicken Fingers
Kid food, all Nourished up. This gluten-free, high fibre, high protein meal is one of those definite kid pleasers. It makes an easy grab and go dinner on nights when you are pressed for time. But when you do have space, do yourself a favour and double recipe and freeze. These are great basics for easy comfort foods to have on hand. Serve with cut-up veggies and you are supermom, but you already knew that!
4 Organic chicken breasts skinless and boneless, sliced in three-inch long tenders
Salt and pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp paprika
2 cups cooked quinoa, cooled
1/2 cups bread crumbs gluten-free, like Mary’s or brown rice crumbs
1/4 cups ground chia
2 tbsp olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Spread out the quinoa on a piece of wax paper or aluminum foil.
3. Mix chia and gluten-free crumbs together and then spread over the quinoa. Squeeze together until the moisture of the quinoa is absorbed.
4. Place the eggs in a shallow bowl.
5. Sprinkle chicken with salt, garlic powder, pepper and paprika.
6. Dip the chicken in the egg and then into the quinoa mixture, turn over and coat.
7. Place onto a baking sheet. Brush with olive oil and bake at 350 until translucent thru and crispy, about 20 minutes.
Dairy-Free Mac and Cheese
This cheesy rendition of the mac and cheese classic cuts the cheese in half without sacrificing any of the satisfaction. We sub in nutrient-dense nutritional yeast which is high in B-vitamins, folic acid, selenium, zinc, and protein and is gluten-free (check specific brands for certification) and contains no added sugars or preservatives. And is it ever tasty, cheesy and savoury. This dish oozes not only in flavour but also in nutrients. Any type of pasta works in this dish.
1 package multigrain elbow pasta.
1 head cauliflower finely chopped
2 cups brown rice crumbs
2 tbsp ground chia
1/2 cups parsley chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cups nutritional yeast (I like Red Star brand)
1 onion chopped
1 cup sharp cheddar grated
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt or plain unsweetened almond milk yogurt
1/2 cups unsweetened plant milk
1 tbsp dijon mustard
Salt and pepper
1. Heat oven to 400° F.
2. Cook the pasta according to the package. Adding the cauliflower for the last 3 minutes of cooking; drain and set aside.
3. Mix together brown rice crumbs, chia, parsley, 2 tablespoons of the oil, salt and pepper.
4. In same pasta pot add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add the onion, salt and pepper until soft, 3 minutes.
5. Mix in the pasta and cauliflower. Add the cheese, nutritional yeast, yogurt, milk and mustard.
6. Transfer to a shallow 3-quart baking dish, sprinkle with the crumb mixture, and bake until golden brown, 12 to15 minutes.
Get the soup pot out. Cold nights heat up with this healthy take on chilli. With so many textures with its hearty mix of beans, vegetables and protein, no one will even miss the meat.
Serve topped with cilantro, avocado and a squeeze of lime a side salad—got to eat those leafies and a couple of nacho chips. This recipe feeds an army but tastes even better leftover. Freeze a batch for next week too. This vegan chilli is one of my top comfort foods to make ahead.
1/2 cups quinoa cooked
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 onion chopped
4 cloves garlic minced
1 jalapeno pepper diced
1 large carrot peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery chopped
1 red bell pepper chopped
1 zucchini chopped
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans 1 can, I like Eden’s brand
1 1/2 cups cooked red kidney beans 1 can, I like Eden’s brand
3 cups tomatoes diced, if using prepped tomatoes use from a glass jar
2 cups tomato sauce
3 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp ground cumin
Salt and pepper
1. In a large pot, heat coconut oil over high heat. Add the onion and garlic. Cook until translucent.
2. Stir in jalapeño, carrot, celery, peppers and zucchini. Cook until vegetables are tender. Add beans, tomatoes and sauce. Stir in the cooked quinoa.
3. Season with chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper.
4. Simmer on low for about 30 minutes. Serve warm.