I love a hot fudge sundae or a stack of pancakes as much as the next person. The key to being vegan, of course, is simply to find appropriate alternatives for the dishes I already love! Today I’m going to share with you some of my favorite comfort foods, how I prepare them, and where you can find them to make them yourselves. Let’s start with breakfast and work our way up from there.
Brand: Van’s Foods
Key ingredients: Soy & wheat
Initially, I was skeptical of how tasty a dairy-free egg-free waffle could possibly be. Luckily, one taste of these fantastic convinced me otherwise and got me absolutely hooked. The blueberries add a sweetness and perfect punch of flavor, and the four grams of protein per serving make it a healthy choice as well. These are, hands down, the best frozen waffles I have ever tried to this day. And did I mention there are fifteen grams of whole grains per serving?
Brand: Almond Breeze
Key Ingredients: Almonds
While milk itself isn’t exactly a comfort food, it is a key ingredient I use in many of my recipes to make vegan breakfasts and desserts. Almond milk is deliciously creamy and low in calories, making it a great (and sometimes necessary) kitchen staple for any non-dairy consumers. Sugary cereals and breakfast shakes are incomplete without a “dairy” aspect, and almond milk does the job great for me. You can find almond milk (or any variation of non-dairy milk) at your local supermarket.
Brand: Earth Balance
Key ingredients: Vegetable Oil
Similarly to milk, butter itself is not a “comfort food.” It is, however, a crucial ingredient in many of the dishes I prepare. As someone who remains a big fan of mashed potatoes, pancakes, cookies, and toast, making the foods I love is nearly impossible without the aid of a buttery replacement. This particular spread by Earth Balance has a light, creamy flavor, which makes it versatile and ideal for any basic recipe. You can find vegan spread at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, or any local grocery store.
Key ingredients: Soy
I must confess: I did genuinely enjoy the taste of hot dogs before I became vegan. I’ve never been a large fan of beefy, tough-textured meats, but there was something softer about hot dogs and bologna that I actually liked. Luckily, the taste and texture of these meats can be easily replicated with soy products, and LightLife plant protein foods do just that. Their “smart dogs” are non-GMO certified and contain seven grams of protein, making them both a delicious and health-conscious choice. You can find them easily at almost any local supermarket.
Key ingredients: Soy and wheat
One of my favorite things about a “bologna” and cheese sandwich is the pure simplicity of it. I’m not a fancy eater, by any means, and my preferred tastes tend to be rather mild and moderate. With that established, I am totally satisfied with nothing more than this sandwich with a side of pasta salad and potato chips. It’s fast, it’s easy to prepare, and it keeps my tummy happy for hours on end. The Yves bologna slices are 100% vegan, kosher, and low in fat, on top of being an excellent source of plant protein. If you find yourself having a difficult time digesting large amounts of soy, consider taking a digestion aid pill before digging into these slices (I learned this for myself the hard way.) After that, dig in and enjoy!
Brand: So Delicious
Key ingredients: Cashews
Working as a hostess in a restaurant, I see tons of food coming in and out of the kitchen every night. One dish in particular that caught my eye was a chocolate fudge brownie paired with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and I knew I’d immediately have to try to prepare one myself. Because I am allergic to coconut on top of eating dairy-free, the vegan options for ice cream were little to none. Luckily, a bit of poking around the internet led me to find cashew milk ice cream- especially the flavors by the brand So Delicious. The calorie count is significantly less than that in dairy milk ice cream, but the taste is nearly identical. For my little treat, I paired it with the Cherrybrook kitchen dairy-free fudge brownie mix, and the results were phenomenal. The brownies were also gluten-free, which meant my mother could enjoy a piece as well! Overall, the ice cream is totally perfect for me, and maybe even for you as well. I picked up both the ice cream and the brownie mix at my local grocery store, so make sure to take a peek yourself!