Enjoy Comfort Food Without Any of the Guilt

By: Michael Fossbakk | January 5, 2018

Welcome to two-thousand and eighteen, dear reader! Let’s talk about resolutions. Specifically resolutions of the “New Year” variety. I’m talking about things you resolve to do in 2018 that you maybe also resolved to do in 2017 (but didn’t quite get around to it).

For many, New Year’s Resolutions are often of the health and diet variety, which is ironic because, in Michigan, the new year is also the time of year when temperatures drop and people resort to unhealthy comfort foods to battle the frigid climate. Don’t worry. Dining on comfort food in metro Detroit this new year doesn’t have to be all pizza and mac ‘n’ cheese (no matter how amazing that sounds).

If you’re minding your diet while these sub-zero wind chills try to beat you down, fight back with one (or all) of these five healthy comfort food dishes in metro Detroit!

Black Bean Burrito from Sprout House

Sprout House in Grosse Pointe Park is a natural food supermarket and eatery with fresh soups, salads, sandwiches and more available six days a week. The black bean burrito comes packed with spicy bean filling, brown rice and mild, raw cheddar all rolled up in a whole wheat lawash flatbread. Tasty, filling and healthy.

Smothered Tempeh from Detroit Vegan Soul

As the name implies everything at Detroit Vegan Soul is free of products produced by animals. Both the “East” and “West” locations (both of which are in Detroit) serve a delicious tempeh dish that will delight your taste buds. The smothered tempeh (a soy-based product formed into a patty shape) is covered in a brown mushroom gravy, topped with green onion and sliced almonds, and served with redskin mashed potatoes and green beans on the side.

Cass Avenue Grilled 5 Cheese from Cass Cafe

Okay, I know what you’re thinking: a grilled cheese can’t be healthy, especially one with five kinds of cheese. What if I told you this grilled cheese from Cass Cafe also contains wild greens, sun-dried tomatoes and red onions? Sure, all that cheese might seem like a bad idea, but that’s why I recommend asking the kitchen to hold a couple of them and double up on the vegetables instead. How’s that sound?

BBQ Tempeh Sandwich from PJ’s Lager House

PJ’s Lager House is a community dive bar with made-in-Detroit musical performances. The menu may be covered in deep-fried everything, but the BBQ tempeh sandwich is a standout comfort. Grilled tempeh cooked in BBQ sauce, brown sugar and honey, then topped with red onions and coleslaw and served on a toasted Kaiser roll. They had me at “BBQ.”

Ima Tacos from Ima

Corktown-based Ima is known for its noodle and rice bowls, but once you say the word “tacos” nothing else matters to me. Ima’s tacos are served in a jicama shell with wakame slaw, green chili hot sauce, toasted corn, shiso and your choice of protein: spicy shrimp, roasted tofu, garlic chicken, smoked pork loin or avocado. So much flavor without all the grease and fat!