I don't know about you, but my soul feels pretty happy eating vegetables. While Paula Deen might have another kind of dish in mind when she says "comfort food", I picture a big pile of brown rice, perfectly cooked veggies, and a big glass of raw kombucha.
The truth is that the words "comfort food" or "soul food" can mean a lot of different things. For some, soul food means a particular genre of Southern cuisine. To me, it means food that feeds you emotionally as well as physically. Sometimes that's fried chicken. Other times it's a regular weekday meal that your Mom used to make, even when it wasn't actually that good. Comfort food can also be something that was prepared with a clear purpose, something that you know can help heal your body, like green juice or whole foods. Really, it's anything that brings comfort by way of the mouth.
Comfort food is as necessary as it is varied. Unless you are entirely puritanical, you probably understand that pleasure is as essential a virtue as wisdom, though either can be awful when used in excess. There is nothing wrong, in my opinion, with finding joy at the bottom of a well-cleaned dinner plate. The trick is learning to find happiness and comfort in foods that afford you nutrition as well as pleasure.
Plants have a long history of getting the short end of the stick when it comes to soul. Lucky for them, I've got soul to spare. As proved in my latest zumba session, ALL of my soul goes into my cooking. There's just none left for booty shaking. When you cook with soul, plant based food doesn't have to be dull and dreary. It's easy to work with once you learn a few tricks, and far more safe to handle, and kinder to the world than meat. Once you learn to cook veggies, you learn to love them too, and after that, they become your soul food.
Veggie-Centric Comfort Food on Mary Makes Dinner
(V) = Vegan / (VG) = Vegetarian / (GF) = Gluten-Free
- Chipotle Quinoa Casserole
- Monterey Jack & Macaroni with Spinach
- Black Bean Falafel Tacos
- Yaki Onigiri
- Black Bean Soup
- Roasted Carrot & Cashew Soup
- Restaurant Style Ginger Dressing
- Banh Mi Sandwiches
- Sweets n' Grits
- Texas Pad Thai