• Kristin Akbasli

My Top Three Crowd-Pleasing, Health[ier] Comfort Dishes

My husband and I hosted our first #plantbased Super Bowl Party this year. We were determined to make all of our favorite dishes without meat or dairy and have our guests love them as much as we do!

Here were the top three crowd-pleasing dishes, which everyone asked for the recipes and we had NO leftovers (even though we secretly would have some, so we made a LOT!):

Air-Fried Cauliflower Buffalo Bites (Vegan)

Recipe modified from @chocolatecoveredkatie


  • 1/2 large cauliflower head (cut into florets)

  • 1/4 cup almond flour

  • 1 tbsp #traderjoes Everything but the Bagel Seasoning

  • 1tsp paprika

  • 3 tbsp milk of choice ( I use #goodkarma Flax Milk with Protein)

  • 1/2 cup Frank's Hot Buffalo Sauce

  • 1/4 tsp vegan butter (I used #myokonos)

Note: I quadrupled this recipe (so 2 cauliflower heads) for my party, but the air-fryer can only properly fry 1/2 cauliflower head at a time. I recommend doing the same and running 4 separate batches of the bites.

Pre-heat air fryer (I have a #cosori) for 5 minutes at 350 degrees. Mix all dry ingredients and put in large mixing bowl. Then, mix all wet ingredients and put in separate bowl. Dip each cauliflower floret into the buffalo sauce/melted butter/milk, then into the almond flour/EBTB/paprika. Coat all florets, then place in air-fryer once it's ready. Cook for 15 minutes, making sure to SHAKE the bites every 3-4 minutes for even frying.

Serve with #kitehill ranch dip (vegan, almond-based; shown in picture) or another plant-based dip (#goodkarma as some good ones, too!)

Vegan Keto Chili (in crock pot)

(serves 8; cook time 35-45 minutes on stove, 6 hours in crock pot)

  • 1 lb #beyondmeat ground beef or #lightlife ground beef (you can add an additional pound, if you want it really "meaty". I prefer to have less fat/sodium in mine, hence I added the edamame for protein and density!

  • 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped

  • 1 (8 ounce) bag of shelled edamame

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 (10 ounce can) diced tomatoes with green chiles, undrained (low sodium from Ro-Tel)

  • 1 (15 ounce can) tomato sauce

  • 1 (32 ounce) carton low-sodium vegetable broth (I like #engine2 or #imagine)

  • 1 (7 ounce) can tomato paste

  • 2 tbsp chili powder (or more if you like it spicy!)

  • 1 tsp oregano

  • 1 tsp cumin

  • 1 tsp garlic powder

  • black pepper to taste (I would NOT add salt--- the plant-based meat is already salty!)

Brown garlic and plant-based meat on stove top. Meanwhile, put all remaining ingredients in crock pot. Drain "meat", then stir all ingredients together in crock pot. Cook on high for 5-6 hours, or low for 8 hours. You can also cook this on the stove top for 35-40 minutes, or let simmer all day!

Vegan Mac and Cheese (not low-calorie, not Keto!)

Cook time: approximately 30 minutes (including prep)

This recipe has been a family favorite for ALL ages and dietary preferences; everyone asks for it! My husband makes it for all holidays and parties, since our family always requests it!


  • 1.5 lbs pasta of choice (organic shells are preferre

  • 1 medium carton Almond Milk (or other nut milk) 4 bags of Whole Foods 365 brand plant -based cheddar (he swears this one tastes and melts the best, even if there are "cleaner" ones out there)

  • 6-8 cloves of garlic, diced

  • 1 jalapeno, diced (optional)

  • 3 TBSP Vegan Butter (Earth Balance or Myokonos--he prefers EB, I prefer Myokonos for its ingredients)

  • 3 Dr. Praegers Super Green Veggie burgers (optional, but DELISH)

  • 1 tsp hot sauce (we used #franksredhot)

  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Bring water to boil. Boil pasta and cook thoroughly, NOT al dente (~15 minutes).

While pasta cooks, pan-fry the veggie burgers in a separate pan and let them sit.

Drain pasta, and leave in strainer. Season pasta in strainer generously with salt and pepper and mix around.

Using the same pot on medium/high heat, make the cheese sauce using the following steps:

  • Add Vegan butter

  • Add diced Garlic and optional jalapeno

  • After quick saute, add 1 carton of almond milk and bring to a boil

  • Add all 4 bags of cheese, while stirring continuously

  •  Add a few dashes of hot sauce, salt and pepper to taste

Once cheese sauce is melted, add pasta back in (and optional cooked veggie burgers) and combine. Turn off heat and let sit for 10-15 minutes.

Notes from the Chef: Upon combining, you want the pasta (and optional veggie burgers) to appear as if there is slightly too much cheese sauce, so only add the amount of pasta back in that allows for that.  The cheese sauce soaks into the pasta and thickens.  If the Mac and Cheese appears perfectly cheesy right after combining the pasta back in, it will usually end up drying up shortly after and loses its creaminess. 

If you make any of these recipes, comment below and let me know what you think!

If you want more recipes, comment below to ask for healthier alternatives, plant-based, or allergen-free recipes for your favorite dishes!

#createmyweight #nutritioncoaching #weightlosscoaching #healthiereating #healthycomfortfood #superbowlfoods #crowdpleasers #partytime #healthandhappiness

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