Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Comfort Food Can Be Healthy

By Chad Sarno, February 14, 2013  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Chad Sarno

Healthy eating can be so much more than just salads and tofu. By showcasing plant-based foods as the main course, you can feel the comfort of a hearty meal while doing your body good.

Stocking the Right Stuff

Let’s scan the aisles for comforting pantry and fridge staples. Having a variety of beans, grains, nuts, seeds, spices, whole grain pastas, veggie stocks, potatoes, squashes, root vegetables and dark greens on hand sets you up for success in the kitchen when your goal is filling, comforting meals.

Reach for Beans and Greens

Beans are one of those great staple ingredients that will ‘hearty’ up any soup, stew, pasta, casserole or salad. Next time you’re making a favorite gravy or red sauce, add a cup of your favorite beans. Check out this little video to discover the versatility of the magical fruit.  And any time you can incorporate dark greens into recipes, whether it be through soups, sauces, salads or pastas, the more nutrient kick you’ll get. Here’s a great blog and greens video showing the versatility of these dark leafy loves.

Now You’re Cookin’

Simple Black Bean SoupWhen it comes to comfort-food cooking methods, slow cooking, roasting, poaching, dehydrating, reducing and braising are all delicious options because they caramelize and concentrate ingredients to boost flavor. Extra busy this winter? Tap the magic of the slow cooker! There’s nothing better after a long day than the smell of a home-cooked meal waiting for you. Try Lentil Chili and simple Black Bean Soup.

Dreamy and Dairy-Free

Want something rich and warm on colder days? Try Creamy Cashew Risotto with Butternut Squash or Curried Tempeh with Sweet Potatoes. These recipes feature cashews and alternative milks to provide creaminess without dairy.

Next time you’re craving comfort food, think outside the macaroni box! Stock your kitchen with comforting staple ingredients and arm yourself with tasty recipes and these helpful videos, and you’ll discover how delicious plant foods can comfort your belly and feed your soul.

Tell me: what’s your go-to healthy comfort food?




Rob Z. says ...
I love healthy comfort food! Thanks for the inspirations!
02/15/2013 10:06:58 AM CST
Brenda Thompson says ...
Love the Lentil Chili recipe.
02/15/2013 2:39:43 PM CST
FoodieFood says ...
My go-to healthy comfort food is brownies made with red beans and ground flaxseed!
02/16/2013 5:25:05 PM CST
Raja says ...
Basic minimal food
02/18/2013 5:28:34 PM CST
Gloria Martin says ...
I love your Spicy Vegan Pumpkin Soup. How do I know when you have it in the store? Is there a specific day when you make it?
02/23/2013 7:25:48 PM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@GLORIA - This decision is made at the store level. I would suggest reaching out to your local store to see if they have set days this will be available.
02/27/2013 12:19:29 PM CST
Desiree Reyes says ...
I love the chicken cacciatore!! Awesome comfort food! Where can I find the nutritional information? Thank you for making delicious food!
04/29/2013 8:31:26 PM CDT
Sheryl says ...
Just had an incredible lunch from the cold foods buffet bar; however, I would have liked to know the nutritional information of each dish. Can't find it anywhere on the net. Can someone help please?
05/13/2013 1:20:05 PM CDT
anne brissette says ...
I would love the recipe for the oyster, artichoke spinach soup that I buy in the seafood soup bar. Thanks Anne
05/14/2013 3:15:32 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@DESIREE - Check with your local store for nutritional info, if they have it, they will be happy to share it with you!
05/14/2013 4:01:15 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@SHERYL- We are in the works of gathering Prepared Foods and Bakery nutritional information at each store but might not have all of the information gathered on every product just yet. Check with your local store to see what info they have as of now!
05/14/2013 4:28:55 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@ANNE - Typically these soups are made in-house and vary between stores. Check with your local store to see if they have a recipe to share with you!
05/14/2013 4:30:01 PM CDT
Edie says ...
How do you cook the bacon stuffed cheddar baked potatoe?
06/18/2013 9:54:30 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@EDIE - I was unclear as to which receipt you were referring to in this blog post. If you can elaborate a bit I can look in to the cooking method for you!
06/19/2013 3:33:23 PM CDT
bluecking says ...
I wish you would post what your hot bar is serving each day at the Kentlands. I love your collard greens and have only had them once. How can I know when you are serving them?
06/27/2013 1:56:04 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@BLUECKING - The best option would be to call the Kentlands store directly to ask when they will have these back on the hot bar! If they are not sure, hopefully they can give you the recipe!
06/27/2013 3:44:03 PM CDT
Kathleen McNiel says ...
I am a heart patient of 60 and interested in inproving my diet. I am deficient in iron just slightly.
06/27/2013 4:00:02 PM CDT
Debbie Hatms says ...
I'm looking for low sodium items. These are especially hard to find. Can u help me with that and do any prepared food items u have no to extremely low sodium? Sincerely, Debbie
06/29/2013 3:34:20 PM CDT
Cheryl.vice says ...
One of the store employees said there was a hot food bar sale every week but she didn't know what day. Can you tell me?
06/29/2013 3:39:47 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@DEBBIE - Our Prepared Food items differ between stores so reaching out to your local store for their suggestions would be the best option. We do offer a list of low sodium options on our recipes site: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/search/%20?f[0]=field_special_diet%3A22.
07/01/2013 12:53:01 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@CHERYL - This will vary between stores. Try to check on your local store's website or social media channels for an announcement they might have regarding hot bar sales.
07/01/2013 1:06:50 PM CDT
stella says ...
Normally I wouldn't reply to these things as they seem to be reserved for the type A anal people, but due to a recent weight loss thing I am on, ive found your salad bar to be healthy, kinda, but I cant find the ingredients or the prepared foods, visuals for them, description, something and nothing is found on the site, which sucks.
07/19/2013 3:18:43 PM CDT
Frances says ...
I was in your AnnArbor Wholefoods today and was delighted to see that the fresh prepared food is now all organic !! This is biggest and best step you have ever taken. A great step forward, I have a grand daughter who often brings my great grand children to eat at Wholefoods and it has worried me enormously that they were eating non-organic when they ate in your store even though they eat organic at home. Now I am very greatly relieved ! Thank you so much ! A very wise decision ! Well done ! Better for all!
07/20/2013 8:06:42 PM CDT
Claire Levitt says ...
I need to find out about your Hazelberry Patties.
09/25/2013 10:36:00 AM CDT