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Chef Audrey’s Healthy Upgrades to Comfort Food Favorites

Chef Audrey’s Healthy Upgrades to Comfort Food Favorites

Chef Audrey’s Healthy Upgrades to Comfort Food Favorites

We all have our favorite comfort foods. The ones we grew up with. Or maybe we turn to them when we’ve had a stressful week.

What Chef Audrey, Ezra’s Enlightened Cafe, can tell you is this: what we turn to as children is definitely what we often turn to as adults.

So in our kitchen today, Chef Audrey says why not set our kids up with some healthy foods and healthy emotional connections to foods we see as treats or comfort foods?

Here are two recipe upgrades for what are commonly found to be pitfalls of sugar and processed ingredients. Enjoy!

Simple Fruit Popsicles

My kids love and I mean LOVE popsicles! But we don’t buy them at the store. We bought these really fun popsicle molds years ago and make super easy popsicles – which saves us money and helps us control what our kids are eating

• Chopped fresh fruit of your choice. We love strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and even apples and peaches.
• Filtered water
• Popsicle molds. You can often find them at the grocery store or you can find them online.

  1. Add your fruit to your mold. As little or as much as you like.
  2. Now fill the rest of the way with your water.
  3. Allow to freeze for about 8 hours.

We will make a batch of 6 or 8 at a time at night and then they’re ready the next day. On a hot day, each of our kids might have 2 or 3. And we don’t mind because there is absolutely no added sugar! In fact they are staying super hydrated and getting important nutrients from the fruit.

Chef Audrey’s Healthy Upgrades to Comfort Food Favorites

Chef Audrey’s Healthy Upgrades to Comfort Food Favorites

Vegan Upgraded Nachos

Makes enough for 3-4 people

I was inspired to make these because our whole family loves all things Mexican food. But it’s really hard to find truly healthy and vegan nachos in this city. So we set out to make our own! I love the tip of adding the kimchi to the cashew cheeze, which boosts the gut balancing power of your food. A healthy gut = a healthy person!

Temphe “meat”

• ½ large yellow onion, diced
• 3 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 teaspoon sea salt
• 1 ½ packages of organic non-gmo temphe, diced small
• ¼ cup fresh diced tomatoes
• 1 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1 teaspoon coriander powder
• 2 tablespoons of your favorite pasta sauce (organic is a great way to go)
• Add a small handful of fresh basil and oregano if you have them, chopped


  1. Sautee your onion and sea salt in your oil for about 3 minutes. Now add your spices, temphe and sauce and just sautee on medium until it’s browning nicely and looking like ground meat – maybe 15 minutes. Set aside.

Nacho Cheeze with gut boosting power

• 1 cup raw cashews
• 1 red bell pepper, chopped
• 1 tablespoon garlic powder
• 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
• 2 teaspoons sea salt
• 1 tablespoon kimchi
• ½ cup water
• ½ avocado, fresh


  1. Blend until creamy! Set aside.

To assemble your nachos, add your organic tortilla chips of your choice on your plate (we love organic). Now crumble over your meat, some salsa, fresh veggies like sliced jalapenos or even thinly sliced carrots, onion, etc. Get creative! Now drizzle over your cheese. And you have some pretty amazing nachos that are truly healthy for you. Enjoy!

Check out our class lineup and more about Ezra’s Café at

We also have a new plant-based membership! Check it out at Registration closes soon!

Want to follow me (Chef Audrey) to see what I’m up to at home, behind the scenes at the café and at our farm? Find me at @GaiaChef or